Dream:scape, Chop Chop Slicer lead iPhone Games of the Week

Jun 9, 2011
Games

The beautiful graphics of the Unreal Engine 3 once again grace Apple’s iOS platform in this week’s Best Games list. This time around, it’s Dream:scape that’s employing the powerful graphics engine that helped make Infinity Blade such a massive hit, which helps make it an immersive and interesting slow-burn first-person experience. Read all about it […]

The beautiful graphics of the Unreal Engine 3 once again grace Apple’s iOS platform in this week’s Best Games list. This time around, it’s Dream:scape that’s employing the powerful graphics engine that helped make Infinity Blade such a massive hit, which helps make it an immersive and interesting slow-burn first-person experience. Read all about it below, and catch up with four more great games from the past week – all of them only a buck.

Dream:scape (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

Wilson is on the verge of death. Trapped between this world and the next, he finds himself in his “dreamscape,” a sweeping rural area with bits of memory transmuted into physical locations. Dream:scape puts you in Wilson’s shoes in a beautiful first-person puzzle game running on Epic Games’ awesome Unreal Engine 3, the same graphics engine powering Infinity Blade and Dungeon Defenders. A solid combination of atmosphere, intrigue and music, along with an unfolding mystery, makes Dream:scape very interesting in that classic Myst sort of way. It requires players to take their time and explore, which is a nice change from iOS titles that focus on instant gratification and short-term, bite-sized intensity.

Chop Chop Slicer (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Speaking of short-term intensity, there’s quite a bit to be had in Chop Chop Slicer, a marriage of arcade-style defend yourself action and a Fruit Ninja-style slicing mechanic. Using the iPhone’s touchscreen, you have to “slice” by quickly drawing lines through objects. The trouble is, those objects, and sometimes alien enemies, are coming straight for you, requiring quick reflexes and accurate movements. Taking out incoming threats by cutting them apart earns you points, and the fewer slices you can use to kill or dismember an enemy or object, the better your score. Chop Chop Slicer grabs on to the addictive nature of Fruit Ninja and its fun controls, and amps things up perfectly by adding a need to move quickly or risk death. It also packs a solid 3D art style that’s elevates the gameplay by making everything on-screen look pretty great.

Feed Me Oil (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Slower-paced puzzler Feed Me Oil requires players to direct the flow of oil from a pipe to a waiting receptacle, using objects the player can place around each stage. Platforms, turning mills and wind currents are all in your employ in Feed Me Oil. The key to scoring well is using smart placement of your resources to use as few as possible to move the oil from Point A to Point B. The game also packs hints that detract from your score but can help along the way. To top it off, Feed Me Oil looks great. It has an art style reminiscent of the very cool World of Goo, and each of the destinations for the oil actually look like creatures that want to “eat” it. In fact, in each level the very land is alive and made to look like some kind of animal. It sounds weird, but it works, especially when combined with the game’s challenging puzzles.

Mecapix (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

If Tetris and Space Invaders had a baby, it would be Mecapix. The game is actually kind of hard to describe: played on a vertical screen, your job is to stop blocks falling from the top from reaching the bottom. To do this, you trace your finger over a grid at the bottom of the screen to draw blocks of your own, in different configurations, like a three-by-one line or a four-by-four square. Your blocks then quickly rise to collide with the falling blocks, causing both to annihilate each other. If the falling squares get past your defenses, you lose a life, and Mecapix doesn’t make things easy. Some blocks are armored, some are invulnerable to certain attacks, and some behave strangely, acting as bombs or firing lasers to clear other blocks. It takes a few minutes to wrap your head around it, but Mecapix does a great job of mixing fast reactions with strategy and planning, with a minimalist style and clean, no-nonsense graphics.

Velocispider (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Another Space Invaders-like vertical shooter, Velocispider is a fun little 8-bit 2D game in which you control the titular dino-arachnid, which is also a cyborg that has a laser cannon. Your goal: fend off waves of flying robots and cyborgs that seem to have once been marine animals, in the employ of a shadowy enemy who wants to cook and eat your velocispider eggs. Movement is handled with tilt controls, while firing at your enemies is constant. Power-ups add some dimension to the game, but basically, this is your standard bullet-hell vertical shooter scenario. Velocispider scores points for having solid controls, a great look and a solidly ramping difficulty that makes it challenging but never quite frustrating. Plus, there are some pretty cool and involved boss fights. Fans of old-school gaming with a new-school twist will have a good time.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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