Gears leads iPad Games of the Week

May 1, 2011
Games

What do you get when you combine an overhead physics puzzle game, rich, near-3D graphics and a rolling ball? Gears, of course. This week’s top iPad game will have you tilting your tablet for many weeks to come, feeding power balls into the special funnel at the end of each level. The fate of our […]

What do you get when you combine an overhead physics puzzle game, rich, near-3D graphics and a rolling ball? Gears, of course. This week’s top iPad game will have you tilting your tablet for many weeks to come, feeding power balls into the special funnel at the end of each level. The fate of our world hangs in the balance, so get to it iPad gamers. Backyard Pilot is a worthy free flight sim that takes full advantage of your tilt and accelerometer controls, while Grim Joggers Freestyle puts you in charge of a line of jogging lemmings navigating a truly grim countryside. Finally, Balleballz takes your traditional Breakout game into space, adds some neon, and lots of power-ups. It’s frantic two-player action like you’ve never seen on your iPad.

Gears ($0.99)

The last remaining human city is in peril. To save it, you must use your iPad to guide 27 special balls of energy across as many gear-infested levels, using your finger or tilt controls to guide the little saviors to a special funnel at the end of each puzzle. When it drops through the funnel it adds its energy to the machine running the city. Drop all 27 into place, and you’ve saved the world! Combining top-quality graphics with nearly-perfect controls (use your finger instead of tilt mode to be more precise), Gears will challenge you to finish each level in record time, while collecting as many power-ups as you can along the way. Each puzzle contains several elements (some that explode when touched) to block your way, and you will lose a few balls along the way. Steam punk and puzzle game fans, along with anyone who likes a mechanical aesthetic, will love Gears from start to finish.

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Backyard Pilot (Free)

In Backyard Pilot, all you’ve got to control this crazy plane is a thrust control on the right side of the iPad’s screen (speed), and the device’s tilt control to both steer and go higher or lower. It will take come practice to control your plane in this manner, but it’s worth your time to perfect your moves. While the game is one big ad for other games from the developer, it does offer a basic plane sim experience for a grand total of zero pennies. As you successfully land at each airport, you’ll take on passengers and new aircraft, which you then bring to the next destination. Rinse and repeat for a total of 28 trips. Time to turn off your cellphones and move those tray tables and chairs to their full upright positions.

Grim Joggers Freestyle (Free)

Joggers, here’s a tip: Avoid joining your 15 friends in a local graveyard for a jog. You’ll only be tempted to run in a single file formation, lemming style, and each be horribly killed if an unseen iPad user doesn’t help the leading jogger jump or double-jump at the right moment. Soon enough you’ll find yourself at the front of the pack and in range of all manner of sharp obstacles like, say, a small wall of knives. That’s the premise of Grim Joggers Freestyle. You’ll race (jog) against the clock to see just how far you can get before your 15 fellow health nuts bite the dust. Each time you make a mistake, the pack leader goes to heaven. Each level you try is randomly generated, adding a fiendish level of difficulty to this freebie. With built-in leaderboards and simple pick up and play controls, I can honestly say that the App Store finally has its first jogging-as-bloodsport killer app on its hands.

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Battleballz ($1.99)

Solid two-player games played on a single Apple tablet are relatively hard to come by these days. That’s why I was so excited to give Battleballz a try. You and a friend (or you against an empty slot or AI player) simultaneously control paddles that bounce small balls, Breakout-style, into the center of the screen. You’ll need to take out all the bricks there, capture power ups, and keep the balls in play as long as possible. If you’re an old-school Breakout or Arkanoid fan such as myself, you’ll feel right at home with this iOS newcomer. UK-based Pocketeers Limited have done an exceptional job bringing this two-player gem to Apple’s tablet, with a full 80 achievements to unlock along with 10, 20, and even 30 round battles to keep you and your friends blasting away. Throw in some glowing neon, super-simple controls, and a worthy musical score or two, and you’ve got yourself the cure for any rainy spring day.

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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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