The Heist leads iPhone Games of the Week

May 26, 2011
Tech

How often do you get to play a mobile game that comes with a real-life prize at the end? That’s what you get when you play The Heist. It’s a bank robbery game that ends with players opening a vault to discover a tangible reward. It heads up this week’s best games list, not because […]

How often do you get to play a mobile game that comes with a real-life prize at the end? That’s what you get when you play The Heist. It’s a bank robbery game that ends with players opening a vault to discover a tangible reward. It heads up this week’s best games list, not because of what you can win for playing it, but  because it’s a quality puzzler with lots of challenge, not to mention four different kinds of puzzles packed within. Read all about it below, and check out what else we’ve been playing all week.

The Heist (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Developer tap tap tap also consists of the same people behind MacHeist, and they’ve put together an interesting puzzle title with a lot of variety in The Heist. First off, the game packs 60 puzzles that come in four different varieties and four different difficulties. They’re all riffs on the kinds of games you’ve played before, like Sudoku, but high-quality graphics and some challenge keep them interesting. You’ll feel like you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. Your goal in The Heist is to solve puzzles in order to defeat the security systems that protect a vault. As you knock them down, eventually you’ll get the vault open – where you can claim a real-life, free prize for your trouble. It’s a nice incentive to go with a game that’s fun on its own, and The Heist also includes Game Center support and a handful of achievements to give you a reason to keep playing.

D-Capitatrix (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Gamers will have heard of Portal and Portal 2, the first-person physics puzzlers in which players have to use interconnected portals to solve puzzles. The player can use a “portal gun” to shoot a blue portal and an orange portal at walls, and stepping through one hole causes the player to exit out the other. It’s a trippy experience, and D-Capitatrix captures it in an iOS version. The difference is, this puzzler trades the 3-D first-person environment for a 2-D perspective that works really well. By tapping and dragging, you can place portals around each level and then tilt your device to roll a disembodied robot head around the stage. On each level are three batteries the head needs to collect before you can return it to its robot body. The goal is to rebuild robots across a whole bunch of levels made up of interesting, smart puzzles.

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Touchgrind BMX (iPhone, iPad) $4.99

Touchgrind, an iOS skateboarding game, is already a great concept – the game is played by touching two fingers to a skateboard on the screen to act as though the player is riding it. Swiping and moving those fingers causes the player to do tricks with the board and rack up points. Touchgrind BMX is the same premise, but instead of a skateboard, it uses a BMX bike. Like its predecessor, this is a well-made game with great physics and interesting controls, plus a quality graphical presentation. Each level requires you to execute a number of stunts and complete objectives before moving on, and doing well unlocks new bikes, paint jobs and other content along the way.

Candy Train (iPhone, iPad) Free

PopCap Games’ new label, 4th & Battery, has released a new free game for Apple’s iOS devices, and it’s at least as much fun as the developer’s previous title, Unpleasant Horse. Candy Train is actually a reboot of an older title from PopCap. The frantic game is all about building train tracks using tiles that are scattered around the screen. Each tile’s piece of track is different, and by tapping them, players can rotate them to make complete tracks around the screen. All the time you’re creating new tracks, the candy train is following your paths, so the pressure mounts along the way to keep the train from running out of track and crashing. It gets hectic and very challenging as you pick up additional cars and increase the length of your train, and you can’t complain about the price tag.

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Storm in a Teacup (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

As Storm, a magical character, you’ll have to navigate a whole mess of platforming puzzles in Storm in a Teacup. And yes, you ride around in a teacup as you brave the game’s cartoony graphics and challenging levels. Rather than jumping, Storm has a limited capability to hover, which is activated by tapping a virtual button. It takes a little getting used to, but using Storm’s hovering power gets intuitive before too long. It also makes for careful, skillful navigation of the game’s 40 levels. Platforming fans will have a good time here, and Storm’s visuals make it a treat to play.

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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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