Cataline HD tops iPad Games of the Week

Jul 24, 2011
Games

In this edition of iPad Games of the Week, Cataline HD borrows from the game physics of Angry Birds and you defend earth from the dreaded Flamions in Allied Star Police, a game developed by PopCap with the input of 9-year-old Owain Weinert. Enjoy these titles and more! Cataline HD Mini (Free) Cataline HD has […]

In this edition of iPad Games of the Week, Cataline HD borrows from the game physics of Angry Birds and you defend earth from the dreaded Flamions in Allied Star Police, a game developed by PopCap with the input of 9-year-old Owain Weinert. Enjoy these titles and more!

Cataline HD Mini (Free)

Cataline HD has it all: a full port of Angry Birds’ controls and physics, an environment set in a magical land full of embroidered castles, rainbows, and landscapes, with cute cats standing in for birdie ordinance. The goal is to launch kitties into the air (propelled by rainbows!) and get them to land in the pool of water with a waiting fish. The artwork alone makes this freebie a must-install, conjuring up fond memories of Yoshi’s Story from my N64 days with embroidered, soft fabrics making up every element of each level.

Add in adorable cats of all shapes and sizes, unhappy gray clouds who cry rain drops, and tons of other cute touches, and you’ve got the perfect Angry Birds-like experience for younger (and young at heart) iPad gamers. You won’t find this gem on the App Store’s top free games listings…yet. Go grab it and help developer Afzainizam Zahari get his 15 minutes of app fame. It’s well-deserved!

Allied Star Police (FREE)

Cheers to PopCap for teaming up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to turn 9-year-old Owain Weinert’s dream app into reality. While fighting leukemia, Owain worked with the PopCap team to create a super-fun tower defense/real-time strategy game for all iOS devices, available for free right now in the App Store.

The Flamions have invaded Earth and you must stop them. Just like Plants vs. Zombies, you’ve got lanes of attack to defend. But instead of standing still and placing turrets and other snares, this time you drop tanks, sniper and machine gun trucks, and other offensive vehicles into each lane. They’ll roar down the field and attack incoming baddies. You’ll need to focus your attention on the top of the screen to see which lanes contain Flamions, then spend your cash wisely to send vehicles to take on each threat.

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The action is wild and wooly, and honestly, refreshingly original. Boredom won’t be an issue with Allied Star Police. A must-have for any iPad gamer looking for a quick hit of free iOS gaming goodness. Thanks Owain, PopCap, and Apple for bringing this gem to the App Store to support a great cause!

Dream Track Nation ($0.99)

I spent the best days of my youth creating my own race tracks inside Electronic Art’s Racing Destruction Set for the Commodore 64. Along comes Dream Track Nation for our modern iPads, and I’m glad to say that I can now scratch the old itch that is “make it and race it.” The creation module aside, the app delivers a fun, 2D physics racing experience across 60 levels of high-speed insanity. It’s the off-kilter physics that really shines in this dollar-menu offering. Roar around the turns, hit the jumps at high speed, and grab as many stars as you can along the way.

Want a real challenge? Try the multiplayer mode, or go online to grab player-made tracks, then make your own. The initial release is not without its problems. Dropping right through a section of track several times takes the fun out of any racing experience, while a scarcity of power ups on some tracks that help you float or otherwise make it across a level in one piece can make for a 100% un-fun game session. Finding an opponent via Game Center was more tumbleweed and crickets than the head to head goodness that was promised. With some tweaks and an update or two, Dream Track Nation will cross the finish line in first place, no doubt.

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Sid Meier’s Pirates! for iPad ($3.99)

They said it couldn’t be done. But Firaxis proves once again that they’re up to the task. Take a fan-favorite from the 1980s, upgrade the graphics and game play, add on a plethora of updates and fresh mechanics to take full advantage of the iOS platform, and you’ve got yourself a rousing success. Sid Meier’s Pirates! harkens back to the original Commodore 64 edition, complete with the same story, crazy hats, baron-killing mini games, and full-on bombardment of 18th century harbor towns from the deck of your ship. You can choose to dig into the back story and vie for political power to rule the land, or simply be the baddest, meanest, and destruction-oriented pirate you wish to be.

The ship-on-ship battles can overwhelm your original iPad’s processing power from time to time, while the mini-games really kept my attention. You’ll feel the familiar, Civilization-like “just one more turn!” feeling throughout the game, which is a very good thing. Ringing up at $3.99, Pirates! for iPad is a monster of a game that will keep you swashbuckling, plotting, and doing all you can to ensure Dutch dominance of the high seas.

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Tim McLain

Tim McLain is a freelance writer and an online marketing manager, helping serious researchers and students find and make use of the best online content found on the deep Web. His passion for all things computers/tech started when he was a teenager, working with his twin brother to set up a C64 BBS in their bedroom.

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