Groove Coaster leads iPhone Games of the Week

Jul 29, 2011
Games

Slick, minimalist rhythm title Groove Coaster opens this week’s best games list, bringing a fresh look at the genre while maintaining the same classic kind of gameplay that fans of games like Tap Tap Revenge! will notice and appreciate. It’s a quality title that’s addictive and looks great, but it’s only one of the five […]

Slick, minimalist rhythm title Groove Coaster opens this week’s best games list, bringing a fresh look at the genre while maintaining the same classic kind of gameplay that fans of games like Tap Tap Revenge! will notice and appreciate. It’s a quality title that’s addictive and looks great, but it’s only one of the five games we had the most fun playing this week. Read about the rest below.

Groove Coaster (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

There are a few decent rhythm games in the App Store, most notably the Tap Tap Revenge series, but new ones occasionally crop up and are worth a look when they find a compelling way to present tried-and-true gameplay. Groove Coaster finds a compelling presentation by using minimalist graphics and simple controls to allow players to engage in a variety of rhythmic challenges with only the need to play with one finger. Each Groove Coaster level requires players just to tap along with the song playing when prompted, but it’s challenging because everything in Groove Coaster is also moving with the music. It’s a fun and  very competent music game that doesn’t stray too far off the beaten path, so players who enjoy this genre will feel right at home.

Connectrode (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

It’s hard to come up with an easier concept than Connectrode. Each game level is just a grid filled intermittently with special colored microchips with little faces. Your job is to take colored chips you’re given at the top of the screen and connect two faces of the same color. It sounds easy, but every time you place a chip, you have to be aware of the strategic implications. Wall off a section of the grid from the top of the screen and you’ll be cut off from placing chips there, since the chips can’t pass through one another, only through gaps. It’s a simple but smart puzzler that’s easily addictive and a welcome change of pace for the App Store.

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Aww, Eggplant!? (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Think Fruit Ninja but vegetables and you have a rudimentary idea of the mechanics behind Aww, Eggplant!? Yes, the game features flying vegetables that criss-cross the screen, and your job is to take them out of the air – but instead of chopping them, you’ll actually try to skewer them for your grill by firing thin skewers at them. The tougher to nab the veggie, the higher the score given for it, and players receive bonuses for keeping a streak of hits going and for skewering multiple veggies at once. But nail an eggplant and you’ll receive a deduction in points. It’s not fair to the eggplant, but Aww is a really addictive title that gets more and more challenging over time. It’s also weirdly hilarious, with great themed levels and sound effects.

Silent Ops (iPhone, iPad) $6.99

Gameloft’s latest is a third-person 3-D stealth game in which you play a secret agent not unlike Sam Fisher of the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell series. Your primary goal in each of Silent Ops’ seven levels is to stay quiet, sneak up on and break the necks of guards, and gather key intelligence for your agency. There’s a lot of fun gameplay to be had here in the single-player campaign, and that’s to say nothing of Silent Ops’ 12-player online multiplayer mode. The controls are a bit wonky, but Silent Ops is fast-paced and looks great.

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Mad Wheels (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Think “slightly more cartoony Death Rally” and you have the Mad Wheels concept, and that’s very good. It’s a racing game you play with an analog stick on the left side of the controller. Racing is your primary objective, but along the way you’ll hit shortcuts and boosts to get the best of your opponents – along with weapons, allowing you to blow up anything that gets in your path. You’ll rack up points in each race based on your performance throughout, and those scores can be compared to other players around the world using Mad Wheels’ Game Center leaderboards. You also get three game modes, including an online multiplayer mode.

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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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