Author Archive
  • The Show Must Go On (Review) iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

    Posted by on December 26, 2011 under Portables, Reviews
    This app may be the greatest development in opera since Elmer Fudd's maniacally shrieking "KILL THE WABBIT!" That landmark performance more than 50 years ago squeezed Wagner's 17-hour "Der Ring des Nibelungen" ("The Ring Cycle") into seven minutes, according to Bugs himself. Actually, it's even more impressive than that since key elements of Tannhäuser  and other works by Wagner are thrown in... more.
  • The Ultimate Juror (Review) iPhone/iPod/iPad

    Posted by on December 26, 2011 under Portables, Reviews
    Think of it as the bar exam for graduates from the University of Law & Order. No need for more than a few basic facts about somebody beheading his friend, since facts aren't all that relevant to the verdict. What really matters is whether you accept the female dog walker or the male restaurant owner as a juror (without being able to question or know anything more about them). And it's all r... more.
  • Titus (Review) iPhone/iPod/iPad

    Posted by on July 21, 2011 under Portables, Reviews
    Determine the winner by making the nominees dodge actual tomatoes during stump speeches and literally pick the pockets of old ladies to collect cash. The dark and cynical humor of presidential politics sees some of its finer moments in TITUS, a $1.99 iPhone simulation that's basically a series of minigames in an unapologetically Tim Burton-like setting. It's far from the most realistic virtual ... more.
  • Food Processing (Review) iPhone/iPod/iPad

    Posted by on July 6, 2011 under Portables, Reviews
    Video games are usually play-tested before foisting them on paying customers.Therefore it's's baffling to think what Food Processing, an iOS arcade puzzler from Chillingo, went through (or didn't) between the "final" line of code and the App Store. Both the visuals and controls render this game largely unplayable, making a game that's not very original a rare instance where it's not even worth the... more.
  • Play Kalei (Review) iPhone/iPod/iPad

    Posted by on July 6, 2011 under Portables, Reviews
    Something different and still fun is a too-rare occurrence in the App Store, so when a game like Play Kalei lets you toy with the world through a kaleidoscope there's much rejoicing. A short cheer, but nonetheless spirited. I had an odd liking for kaleidoscopes as a kid, to the point of indulging in one of those overpriced yuppie desktop toys early in my professional career (alas, it's generall... more.
  • Dragon’s Lair II: Timewarp (Review) iPhone/iPod/iPad

    Posted by on June 27, 2011 under Portables, Reviews
    There's a reason Dragon's Lair has been rereleased ad nauseum despite its massive lack of player content. There's also a reason its sequel, arguably a much better game just rereleased in highly playable form for the iPhone, barely registers in the collective memory of gaming history. Dragon's Lair, of course, was a fascinating novelty in 1983 for its first-rate animation as much as its quirky l... more.
  • Pinball Tristan (Review) iPhone/iPod/iPad

    Posted by on June 13, 2011 under Portables, Reviews
    Seeing as how there's a gazillion iPhone pinball games already, the average gamer is probably wondering why there's any reason to get excited about this title with its spartan "toy-like cabinet (and) old-style mechanical score drum." Furthermore, it's easily the most primitive game released by a developer whose never budged from charging new-release prices even for titles that are 20 years old. ... more.
  • Cricket T20 Fever (Review) iPhone/iPod/iPad

    Posted by on June 8, 2011 under Portables, Reviews
    Summer's here, bringing with it that classic sport with balls and bats. Since most of us who play instead of watching it are on sandlots instead of in stadiums, there's also frequently rule tweaks to account for conditions/players/etc. The version we'll be playing on what we'll call Mark's Virtual Sandlot includes a few simple basics: • Everybody bats each inning. No strikeouts – players... more.
  • Paper Wars: Canon Fodder (Review) iPhone

    Posted by on June 3, 2011 under Portables, Reviews
    PWCF's main claim to being "unique" (a word repeatedly used) is depicting various elements like enemies and weapons as crudely drawn icons on little scraps of paper. It also strips gameplay down to the essentials, as all action takes place on a single-screen battlefield with one cannon in the lower left corner as only your weapon. Waves of enemy soldiers march from right to left and your mission i... more.
  • Hack RUN (Review) iPhone/iPod/iPad

    Posted by on May 26, 2011 under Portables, Reviews
    Maybe it was figuring out how teachers' passwords were encoded on my high school's typing tutor program. Or how to copy the code from a game cartridge on my computer to disk. Or recovering "eternally lost" files for eternally grateful people. But the dark portion of my soul is largely occupied by a cyberpunk. The truly sinister contemplations are restrained by that large reservoir of sanity ... more.