Heavy Mach.2 HD headlines iPad Games of the Week

Sep 4, 2010
Games

Heavy Mach.2 HD The Mech Assault series took the original XBOX by storm back in the day. Now we’ve got the iPad, and Heavy Mach.2 HD ($2.99) brings both the satisfying “build your own mech and blow things up” genre to our devices, with a generous helping of RPG features to boot. Getting started is […]

Heavy Mach.2 HD

The Mech Assault series took the original XBOX by storm back in the day. Now we’ve got the iPad, and Heavy Mach.2 HD ($2.99) brings both the satisfying “build your own mech and blow things up” genre to our devices, with a generous helping of RPG features to boot.

Getting started is a breeze. Set up a new game, then get yourself to the first battlefield. A ready-made basic mech is waiting. This is very much a top-down shooter, so drag your finger across the screen to set a movement path for your mech, then click on an enemy tank to open fire.

You’ll quickly master drawing arc paths to keep your mech moving around enemies, dodging fire while laying down some serious fire. When an enemy pops, there’s a solid chance it’ll drop some loot or upgrades. Be sure to scoop it up quickly by drawing a new path, or it will disappear.

Between missions, head over to the Equipment Shop to buy, sell, and equip upgrades. The usual mech fare is here – rocket launchers, machine guns, armor plating, repair kits and various parts for each limb or foot of your walking death machine. Unique to the mix is the ability to buy a bot to accompany you into battle. This fits into a bot slot, offering extra attack abilities or loot grabbers.

As you work through the levels, upgrading and kitting out your mech will be critical. There are gaps in the action, and only true mech heads will love spending time choosing and equipping the dozens of different items to see what difference each makes.

I’m fond of equipping the basics, being sure I’m loaded for serious enemies. There are dozens of other $2.99 games in the App store that aren’t worth your time. Heavy Mach.2 HD is a bargain, and its depth and high fun factor will keep you fighting for many weeks to come.

wwTouch – World War Touch

If you’re an old-school Axis and Allies tabletop game fan, and don’t mind beta testing a new app for developer Frozen Pepper, wwTouch – World War Touch ($4.99) is for you. Global domination is the goal, and only careful research, perfect unit placement and a willingness to suffer through an unpolished interface will propel you to victory.

You and up to five friends take turns researching nine types of military units, all unique in their abilities to help you control land, sea and air. Choose the massive global map for five-person play, while focusing on a single region works better for small numbers of players.

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My suggestion: When you load the app for the first time, turn your iPad to Portrait mode. Why? The interface doesn’t tell you this, but turning your device this way auto-launches the much-needed game manual. Read it, knowing that it could use some editing by a native English speaker. (It’s not entirely indecipherable, but you’ll need to read and experiment as you play your first few games to get the basics nailed down.)

A sample turn involves several steps, which can occur in any order you wish. You might want to double-tap on one of your territories to see what units are positioned there, then drag one or more units onto an adjacent enemy territory to attack. Once they’re committed, clicking the small red cross in the enemy location will cause the battle to commence. Once you’ve expanded your empire a bit, you can place factories or choose new units to produce between turns to help with defense, then end your turn and hand your iPad to the next player.

Critical to the game is the ever-changing newspaper. At any time during the game, rotate your iPad to bring the paper into view. You’ll quickly see how many territories you’ve lost, which countries you’ve grabbed from your enemies, and the most recent scientific breakthroughs.

If you’re looking for an immersive strategy game that’s almost ready for the spotlight (and want to get in while it’s cheap and the developer is open to your feedback), then give wwTouch –  World War Touch a try.

ElevensHD

My extended family has bought more Hoyle Card Game titles over the years than I can count. ElevensHD ($1.99) brings a fresh new card game to the iPad – Elevens. Sporting a quality soundtrack, a “simple to learn, but hard to master” rule set and eye-popping graphics, this is every Solitaire player’s dream app.

You start with 22 cards in a play area, and an open card on the stack. The goal? Remove all the cards from the play area by selecting two or more that add up to 11.

The further back the cards are in the play area, the more points they’re worth when you’re making an 11 mashup. Can’t find cards that add up to that number? No worries. Just click the deck to flip another and keep trying.

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You’ve got three short rounds to score as many points as you can. If you’re lucky (or smart) enough to clear the entire play area, you’ll be rewarded with unlimited bonus rounds.

Choose from Easy (no time limit, but less points), Medium (2-minute time limit, more points), Expert (75-second time limit, massive points) or Insane (60-second time limit, crazy points) to challenge your Elevens skill.

Card game lovers, snap up this newcomer to the App store. Parents of young math students, here’s a replacement for flashcards that will get your kids mastering simple addition. Trust me (as I try to do simple math using my fingers, like always.)

Battle Bears Go

Years ago, it was all the rage to insert avatars of Barney into first-person shooters. Battle Bears Go (99 cents) brings this familiar “kill the cute character” shtick to the iPad, shamelessly challenging the prepubescent teen in all of us who’s yearning to slaughter wave after wave of cuddly teddy bears making overly cute sounds as they do their best to hug us. To death.

The controls are surprisingly smooth and well-done, until the screen fills with baddies. Lag and a somewhat small area of attack can make the harder levels challenging. Still, your left thumb moves you around the screen, while your right controls your direction of weapon fire. Tap and hold to spray bullets. Move from room to room, avoiding death hugs and systematically murdering wave after wave of bears.

Some bears are slow and hug-attack in packs, while others are obese and slow, taking lots more bullets before collapsing under the weight of their shredded, bullet-riddled stuffing. Power-ups and upgrades will help you tear through the hordes, and be sure to try the two-player mode with a friend. As long as you can master planting your tongue firmly in your cheek and have a good laugh at the basic premise of Battle Bears Go (think Smash TV meets Care Bears), this will be one app you’ll be laughing at (with?) for many weeks to come.

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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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