Fresh iPhone Games for Jan. 6: Canabalt (update), I Love Strawberries, Save Toshi

Jan 6, 2011
Games

We tracked down three great casual games for today’s Fresh Games list, and while all three aren’t extremely deep or long-running, all three will keep you busy for quite a while and test your fast-twitch reflexes or your logical puzzle-solving skills. All three have high production values and innovative control schemes, so if you’re looking […]

We tracked down three great casual games for today’s Fresh Games list, and while all three aren’t extremely deep or long-running, all three will keep you busy for quite a while and test your fast-twitch reflexes or your logical puzzle-solving skills. All three have high production values and innovative control schemes, so if you’re looking to kill some time and get your thumbs engaged, keep reading.

Canabalt update (iPhone) $0.99

There are a lot of endless rooftop running games in the App Store — the kind where you have to jump to avoid obstacles and gaps, picking up speed the longer you run and getting scored on how far you get. Canabalt tracks those scores on online leaderboards through Game Center, and also includes achievemetns through the service.

Even though it hasn’t been out long, Canabalt just received a big update to add Retina display support to the game, which is a nice touch considering the underplayed black-and-white visuals (and silhouetted War of the Worlds aliens that seem to be destroying the world in the background) elevate the game above the competition. Even better than the look of the game is the sound — Canabalt packs an upbeat, high-energy soundtrack that really adds a lot to this fun, casual game.

I Love Strawberries (iPhone) $0.99

This casual puzzle platformer looks overly simple, but its simplicity really helps to make it a good time that can be easily learned. As a weird little gray cube, your job is to collect strawberries and reach the end of each puzzle stage in as few moves as possible. You accomplish moving by jumping: touching the screen charges up a jump, and releasing it lets the jump fly with varying degrees of power. Tilting the iPhone controls aiming to help determine where you’ll land, so you can avoid obstacles and cube-death.

There are a bunch of clever and addictive levels to play through and attempt to best, and your scores — number of moves per level and strawberries nabbed along the way — is tracked for achievements and leaderboards through Game Center. At only a buck, I Love Strawberries is a great find that’ll keep you entertained with the same kind of veracity as something like Angry Birds.

Save Toshi (iPhone) $1.99

Speaking of addictive casual puzzlers, Save Toshi has a cool idea behind it and gameplay that demands logic and will draw you in. Your job is to get Toshi, a Japanese pop star, to a nearby dance floor. She can’t walk and she’s standing on goofy objects, like wood columns and ramps, so you’ve got to use physics and planning — and a gun — to push, slide and catapult Toshi to her designated dance area.

Each level is a different puzzle, using lots of different materials and different rules for how you can interact with them. Your only means of moving Toshi is to shoot things, but you can’t shoot Toshi or cause her to fall in the surrounding water, because she’ll die. So you have to get creative by breaking and knocking over things with your gun, and you’re scored by how well you do it, and on how few shots you use.

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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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