Grand Theft Auto iPhone game leads the pack in great games of the week

Jan 21, 2010
Games

While several quality iPhone games were released this week by notable developers, they were overshadowed by Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. The remaining four spots were really close calls, so I have included a list of Honorable Mentions. Pick up and play these games – you won’t be disappointed. 1. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Rockstar […]

While several quality iPhone games were released this week by notable developers, they were overshadowed by Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. The remaining four spots were really close calls, so I have included a list of Honorable Mentions. Pick up and play these games – you won’t be disappointed.

1. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars iPhone game ($9.99) became the top-grossing app in the iTunes App Store in two days. It’s a near carbon copy of the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP versions, but costs $10 less. The protagonist of GTA: Chinatown Wars is Huang Lee, who returns to Liberty City after his Triad boss of a father’s murder with an antique sword that he desires to pass on as a family heirloom to his Uncle Kenny. You can stick to the storyline missions or go on a shooting-spree, which in my opinion, is one of the GTA series’ best strengths (made possible by the sandbox game environment). Hands down the best game of the week. It’s hard for independent game developers to compete with such a storied platform franchise.

2. Fleeced! – Shear Terror

I love when a developer thinks outside the box. The Fleeced iPhone game ($3.99), developed by Bight Games, features two feuding farmer brothers, rhyming put downs, poachers with hair clippers, and llamas. The objective of this one-on-one game is to destroy the walls–which start as haystacks but you can upgrade to sturdier barriers–of your brother’s llama pen so a poacher can shear its undercoat. If he shears your llama completely, you lose the round. The brothers’ weapon of choice? Cannons. Cannons that shoot single, double, and even clusters of cannonballs. This game has unique gameplay and intuitive tilt controls. You can control the path of the cannon by tilting your iPhone or iPod touch left, right, forward and backward. Fleeced has great potential and tremendous shelf-life, making it a must-have.

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3. Bad Apples

The Bad Apples iPhone game (Free), from Metaversal Studios, adds much-needed personality and dimension to the match-three puzzle genre. The goal in Arcade mode is to score as many points as possible in matching three successive apples, blueberries, or pineapples while avoiding the evil-looking ‘bad apples’. On either side of the board are two tubes to collect fruit juice. If you collect more juice from the bad than good apples, you lose. To speed-up the fruits’ descent from the tree, just shake your iPhone. It’s refreshing to see a game that seamlessly integrates the ‘shake’ feature in a way that is 100 percent relevant to the game’s content. Bad Apples also comes with Puzzle mode, where the goal is to solve puzzles in a predetermined number of moves. You can upgrade to the full version within the app for $1.99, which gives you access to more features, including 25 additional levels, ‘timed’ mode, and a new earthy enemy.

4. Comet Racer

In the Comet Racer iPhone game (99 cents) your mission is to race against the clock (or your shadow from previous time records) through a hollowed-out asteroid and a series of obstacles, getting your escape pod from start to finish. Along the way you’ll discover power-ups and other goodies. This game is challenging and comes with two control options: the standard directional pad and buttons or the Control Circle option. The latter is difficult to use – after 30 minutes of trying I couldn’t get the hang of it. Cool side note: your pod is susceptible to the throes of gravity, so move quickly! Kudos are in order for developer Donut Games. They do a great job transferring their popular flash games, like Jungle Crash Land and Gold Miner Joe, to the iPhone without any gameplay glitches.

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5. Alley Gator

At first Alley Gator’s (99 cents) title seems like a misnomer, seeing as how the game takes place in the New York City sewer system. Regardless, I quickly became addicted to the latest opus from Glu Games, the troupe responsible for a handful of instant classics, such as: Glyder 2Super KO Boxing 2Mini Golf: Wacky Worlds and Guitar Hero 5 (for Android, Blackberry, and Windows). The Alley Gator iPhone game utilizes tilt controls similar to Waterslide Extreme, but it dresses up the gameplay with better graphics, special items and more interesting obstacles. The goal is to maneuver Alley the alligator–sporting a fez cap– through the tunnels before the time runs out. Your overall score increases if you collect all of the chili peppers along the way. In the game’s Settings you can access Glu’s blog and provide game feedback.

Honorable Mentions: Are You Alright?Uggy, Isaac Newton’s Gravity, Secrets of Lost Pyramid, Rafter

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Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for appoLearning.com, AndroidApps.com, and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).

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