Final Fantasy III tops iPhone Games of the Week

Mar 25, 2011
Games

Fans of the old school of role-playing games will probably have heard already about Square Enix’s release of Final Fantasy III on the iPhone and iPad, but if you’re looking for a classic gaming experience, that’s the game you want this week. It’s a bit expensive, though, so while it leads this week’s Best Games […]

Fans of the old school of role-playing games will probably have heard already about Square Enix’s release of Final Fantasy III on the iPhone and iPad, but if you’re looking for a classic gaming experience, that’s the game you want this week. It’s a bit expensive, though, so while it leads this week’s Best Games list, we’ve also got four high-quality alternatives that are also worth your consideration. Get the skinny below.

Final Fantasy III (iPhone, iPad) $15.99

It’s got quite an asking price, but Square Enix’s Final Fantasy III is a full-featured, fully 3D remake of the old-school original that was made in the early 1990s in Japan, and only recently made it to the States as a Nintendo DS game in 2006. The iOS version is a port of that 2006 remake, so Final Fantasy III has the graphical and story quality of the Nintendo DS version, which is already great. But to differentiate this port from its role-playing game counterparts on other platforms, Square has added additional story cutscenes to a game that already has quite a bit of story animation scattered throughout. There’s a lot of classic turn-based role-playing action to be had here, and enough great features to warrant the high price tag.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (iPad) $4.99

A beautiful mix of audio and visual ideas is on offer in Sword & Sworcery EP, and for no other reason than its amazing pixelated 8-bit art-style, it’s worth a look. It’s also an interesting action adventure experience that features a wayward monk and his quest through the world. Along the way, you’ll battle wolves and solve music-based puzzles and explore a game whose developers have made even lunar cycles have an effect on the story. Sword & Sworcery looks great and features a lot of innovative ideas for an iPad game. I can’t wait for the iPhone version, expected sometime next month.

Robot Wants Kitty (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

As a robot trapped in a dangerous factory filled with hazards, your task is to find a way to reach a  hidden kitty within each of Robot Wants Kitty’s large bank of differing level types. Each sends you into a 2D side-scrolling platform section of the factory, where you’re tasked with gathering up equipment for your robot that allows him to perform different actions: one power-up lets you jump, another gives you a laser gun, and a third makes you able to break bricks, and so on. Each new power-up allows you to reach a section of the level you couldn’t get to before, in order to eventually work through the whole thing and reach the cat. It’s part action, part puzzle, part exploration, with boss fights and analytical thinking along the way. Robot Wants Kitty is a great offering, with some really strong controls and gameplay, for just a buck.

Get Outta My Galaxy! (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Some kind of weird, overly cute aliens are invading your solar system of tiny, easy to traverse, great-for-having-a-nap planetoids. The best way to deal with them? Tool around each planet and slap them straight into orbit with your four alien hands. If it sounds like fun, it is: Get Outta My Galaxy! is a fun action/puzzle game with a great premise, in which you’ll wander each 3D planet looking for enemies to tap out of existence. The puzzle part comes in when you have to find a way to reach all of the enemies, or approach them in certain ways so they don’t flee or become invulnerable. Slaps are a matter of quick tapping, but getting to enemies can mean having to clear obstacles or navigate mazes. With small planets for levels, the whole game has an air of Mario Galaxy, which is a very good thing.

Pilot Winds (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

By now you might have played Tiny Wings, a game about gaining flight by using the inertia of downward slopes to pick up speed, then ramp off into the air on the next upward slope. While they were developed more or less concurrently, making neither a clone of the other, Pilot Winds uses the exact momentum mechanic of Tiny Wings: touch the screen when you hit a downward slope to become more aerodynamic and pick up speed, then release on upward slopes to launch yourself. The difference is, where Tiny Wings is simple in its gameplay, Pilot Winds is more complex: you can earn points for maintaining momentum with skillful drops down additional hills, or carefully engineer a bounce maneuver when you know you’re about to lose your momentum for a second chance. You can even just drop out of the air at a full stop to earn a quick point boost at the cost of your momentum. There’s a lot of options and strategic thinking involved, as well as precise controls that are hard to master. It gets addictive in a hurry and there are multiple game modes to keep you satisfied.

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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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