Rage HD leads iPhone Games of the Week

Dec 2, 2010

I hope last week’s Thanksgiving-induced absence of Games of the Week was easier on you than it was on me. Not only did I not get to pontificate on the latest and greatest the App Store has to offer, but I also fell well behind – meaning this week’s list is more of a Games […]

I hope last week’s Thanksgiving-induced absence of Games of the Week was easier on you than it was on me. Not only did I not get to pontificate on the latest and greatest the App Store has to offer, but I also fell well behind – meaning this week’s list is more of a Games of the Past Couple of Weeks.

I also missed out on mentioning updates to personal favorites such as Street Fighter IV and ChuChu Rocket, and the release of a Christmas edition of Robot Unicorn Attack. I’m a broken man, and the only thing that can fix me is one of the better collection of games you’ll ever see in this space.

Rage HD ($1.99)

Gamers such as me and id Software have been crowing about the greatness of Rage HD for what seems like months now, and the graphically revolutionary app is finally out. The first-person shooter takes place in a post-apocalyptic world on a game show called “Mutant Bash TV,” and you maneuver through detailed environments shooting bad guys and aiming for bulls-eyes. The game does truly look as stunning as advertised, and even the non-HD version of the game (the 99-cent Rage) is one of the best looking games in the App Store. But before I anoint this as the future, there are some issues – the game is very short and controlling the camera isn’t quite as beautiful as the rest of the game. This is still a must download for any serious iPhone gamer, as at the very least, it’s a sign of what gaming on the device can become.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 ($4.99)

You know what you get when you combine two wildly popular things into one game? That’s right, a wildly popular game. Take LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 for instance, an app that of course combines the Harry Potter franchise with the well-established LEGO gaming franchise. The game includes more than 40 levels based on Harry Potter books and films, and allows you to play as all your favorite characters or to create your own. The touch-screen controls (a d-pad option is apparently on the way) work well, with you dragging your finger in the direction you want to move and tracing various shapes to perform spells. Full disclosure, I know very little about Harry Potter, but it’s obvious to me the vast majority of its fans will love this game. It’s a typically solid LEGO-based game and well worth the price.

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Sentinel 3: Homeworld ($3.99)

I would never claim there are a lack of tower defense games in the App Store, but it does seem like it’s been a while since a notable one was released. Enter Sentinel 3: Homeworld, an impressive looking game from Origin8 Technologies and the third installment of the Sentinel series. The action is typical of the genre, with sci-fi bad guys making their way on a track that leads to your base, and you placing more than 20 weapons along the way in hopes of stopping their progress. But the detailed graphics really are some of the best I’ve seen from a game like this, and the campaign mode boasts an impressive 20 levels across 14 maps. Additional features include an endless mode and a high score-based classic mode, and while it may be a bit strong to call this the best iOS tower defense game ever, it’s definitely in the conversation.

Wispin ($1.99)

Grumpyface Studios’ Wispin is in so many ways the prototypical iPhone game of 2010 – cute characters, lots of color, simple controls and blobs. More important than all of that stuff, this is a fun arcade-style game that will likely appeal to a ton of people. Long story short, the land of Ether has been invaded by red, green and blue ‘Bloopers’, and Wispin is in charge of getting rid of them. You do this with a traditional d-pad and a color wheel in which you can switch between the three colors – and before you run into a Blooper you have to make sure you are on the correct color. It devilishly simple, with the only complaint I can muster up being that the controls seem to get out of whack at times, though even this is something you will get used to. It’s probably a little too cutesy for hardcore gamers, but arcade fans and casual gamers alike would be wise to pick Wispin up.

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UFC Undisputed 2010 ($4.99)

Less than a month after EA Sports debuted their MMA title (aptly named MMA by EA Sports), THQ has released its competition – UFC Undisputed 2010. It’s easy to recommend the game for UFC-specific fight fans as it includes more than 25 of the federation’s fighters, and all are recognizable in this visually-pleasing game. But it’s an absolute shame there’s no career mode here, instead only exhibition and tournament modes. I prefer the MMA by EA controls as well, though I can certainly see why others would disagree. Still, Undisputed’s controls just aren’t challenging or fun enough for my tastes. With that said, if you’re in love with the idea of pitting your favorite UFC fighters against one another portably, then by all means grab this title (and quick, before the price goes back up to seven bucks). But this isn’t the end all and be all of fighting games, unfortunately.

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