Fresh iPhone Games for Mar. 15: Liqua Pop, iStunt 2, Trundle update

Mar 15, 2011
Games

We’ve got a triad of games well-designed to maximize your iDevice’s touch and tilt capabilities. First up is Liqua Pop, a beautiful take on the match-3 formula that has you combining water droplets in order to make them so big they blow up, with quick drags of your finger across the touchscreen. Then there’s iStunt […]

We’ve got a triad of games well-designed to maximize your iDevice’s touch and tilt capabilities. First up is Liqua Pop, a beautiful take on the match-3 formula that has you combining water droplets in order to make them so big they blow up, with quick drags of your finger across the touchscreen. Then there’s iStunt 2, which uses tilt controls to make 2D snowboarding possible — with no shortage of ragdoll injuries for your snowboarder, as well as cool tricks and high scores. And then there’s a fresh update for the tilting, tapping puzzle-platformer Trundle.

Liqua Pop (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

Great graphics, great sound, smooth controls — that’s the makings of a solid iOS game, and it’s also the formula of Liqua Pop, a matching-type puzzle game in which players quickly drag water droplets of different colors together in order to make the largest bubbles possible, then pop them. The more bubbles you pop together, the higher your score, but wait too long and the screen will fill with water, resulting in game over.

Liqua Pop is surprisingly beautiful and responsive. The game is played just by dragging bubbles of different colors together. Once bubbles hit critical mass, they start running a timer until they pop. You can delay the popping by tapping the bubble to buy time to build a combo, or force critical bubbles to pop by shaking your device — both of which abilities add a lot to the strategy of a high score. You can share your benchmarks on Facebook and see where you rank against other players every day on the game’s built-in leaderboards.

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iStunt 2 (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Tilt controls and snowboarding action are what you get for less than a buck with iStunt 2, a 2D game that uses the iPhone and iPad’s tilt capabilities to great success with lots of twisting, turning snowboard runs that include speed boosters and loop-de-loops. Oh, and gravity switchers that have you snowboarding on the ceiling, or at least on overhanging cliffs.

Sporting 42 levels, iStunt 2 is definitely a challenge, putting you through your tilting paces as you try to rack up a high score for pulling cool stunts while doing your best not to just get mangled by an unforgiving, icy landing. Tilt your device to align your snowboarder with the ground so he doesn’t fall, and maximize your point totals by quickly identifying oncoming obstacles and jumps so you can snag all 10 stars on each level.

Trundle update (iPhone, iPad) Free (with in-app purchases of $0.99 or $1.99)

I’ve said this before, but Trundle remains one of my favorite games in the App Store. It’s an inventive puzzle platformer that makes use of the iPhone and iPad’s tilt and touch controls while going for an understated art style of silhouettes and dusky colors. The game is free to play and comes with several great levels at no charge, and Trundle’s developer, Mobile Bros, has updated the app a couple of times with additional levels for purchase.

Trundle players who opted for the $1.99 unlimited in-app purchase (which gives access to all of Trundle’s available purchasable levels, plus any new ones that come along) now have access to a set of three new levels in the “Spelunking” pack. All three play on light and darkness and involve caves — the first features a wide-open cave with lots of backtracking and exploration that’s a departure from Trundle’s usual linear levels.

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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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