Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard leads iPhone Games of the Week

Mar 17, 2011
Games

It’s time for another beautiful-looking premium game from Gameloft in Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard, the first entry of the well-loved Rainbow Six series to the iPhone and iPad. The game looks and plays great on an iPhone 4 and hits the ranks of first-person shooters on the iOS platform pretty high on the list. But […]

It’s time for another beautiful-looking premium game from Gameloft in Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard, the first entry of the well-loved Rainbow Six series to the iPhone and iPad. The game looks and plays great on an iPhone 4 and hits the ranks of first-person shooters on the iOS platform pretty high on the list. But while it’s excellent, Rainbow Six is a little expensive, so there are four other great entries sitting squarely at a dollar to round out this week’s Best Games list, ranging from puzzlers to shooters. Sneak a peek below.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard (iPhone, iPad) $6.99

Gameloft’s latest is a powerhouse first-person shooter in the hugely popular Rainbow Six series, which has made a big impression on video gamers over the years. The series has now landed on the iPhone and iPad, and works as a hybrid of virtual buttons, gyroscopic aiming controls that invoke the responsive quality of N.O.V.A. 2, and touch controls that let you issue orders to your two squadmates. Shadow Vanguard takes you through 11 missions in which you play an elite special ops squad tasked with taking down terrorists, and you can play it solo with a computer controlled team, or with a pair of friends over a Bluetooth connection. There’s also an online multiplayer mode that supports up to 10 competitors. With great graphics and controls, Rainbow Six ranks high among the top-tier FPS games currently available on Apple devices.

Ring Blade (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Great use of touch controls matched with an interesting but understated art style mark Ring Blade, a vertical shooter in which you control a “launcher” that fires ricocheting blades at enemies. The launcher takes damage as enemies and projectiles run into it, and once it sustains too much hurt, it gets destroyed and it’s game over. In order to stop that from happening, you’ll need to slide the launcher left and right along a track at the bottom of the screen using touch controls, and aim and fire your blades using a “flick” motion. Blades nab more points the more ricochets they pick up before taking out their targets, so thinking about your shots and taking them fast is key. Ring Blade opens up the vertical shooter genre and finds new ground to explore in what’s becoming a perilously overcrowded field.

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iStunt 2 (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Frustratingly difficult though it may be, iStunt 2 expertly makes use of tilt and swipe controls to bring 2D side-scrolling snowboarding to your iPhone. The game is divided into halves — one being a series of crazy levels in which you’ll try to clear levels and rack up points by doing stunts, and the other in which speed is king. In both modes, you’ll have to tilt your device left and right in hopes of preventing yourself from flipping forward and falling on your face or slamming into one of the many, many obstacles to be found on the crazy and twisting courses. There’s a lot to have fun to be had in iStunt 2, and the game gets challenging by requiring a high degree of precision in your ability to control it. All in all, it’s a formula that will keep you coming back, even if you die a hundred times — which you probably will.

Smoody (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Take the great, challenging puzzle mechanics of Cut the Rope — basically, cutting things in order to solve puzzles — and expand them to include things like wood and large objects as well as ropes, you’ve got Smoody. This physics puzzler will get you thinking about solving problems in different ways as you push through 80 levels of trying to drop and roll a “smoody” from one side of the level to the other, where a black hole acts as the goal. Along the way, you’ll encounter items ranging in weirdness and complexity, from swinging ropes, platforms and tables to teleporters. Smoody will get your brain working and provide lots of new challenges. It’s a tough game that invokes the simplicity and fun of one of the App Store’s best, and so should provide quite a bit of fun to puzzle fans.

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Land-a Panda (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

There are pandas that need to propagate, but in order for them to reach each other, one needs to be carried from one side of a goofy level filled with deadly falls to the other. That’s where you and your wealth of short-range panda-launching cannons come in: using timing, patience and skill, you’ll launch the male panda across each level, snagging gold stars for getting through different spots in each level on your way to reunite with your panda girlfriend. There’s a whole lot of physics puzzler to go around here, as well as a great art style and Game Center and OpenFeint support to hook you up with leaderboards and achievements.

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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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