Game review: Space Marshals for iPad

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Space Marshals for iPad is a top-down shooter that pulls you in quickly and will have you surprised when you next look up at the clock. It has great arcade graphics, easy-to-learn controls, and plentiful levels for you to explore while you accomplish missions and avoid the bad guys.

In Space Marshals you play a western-style marshal, complete with six-shooter and ten-gallon hat. You’re on an alien planet, hunting down escapees from a prison break. An AI computer and various human characters show up along the way to help you through a series of missions, each taking place on a different part of the planet. For example, in an early mission, you sneak around a base, trying to disable tracking radar so you and your buddy can make a clean getaway in a stolen ship. A helpful overview map stays in the top right of the screen giving you a condensed view of the level and your goals.

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Review: Alto’s Adventure for iPad

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Alto’s Adventure is getting a lot of good press, for a lot of good reasons. With a combination of compelling but uncomplicated gameplay, beautiful graphics, and a sprightly soundtrack that perfectly fits the scenario, Alto’s Adventure is one of the best things to hit the App Store in a while.

You play the part of Alto, a simple yak herder from a snowy and mountainous part of the world. Someone left the barn door open and your yaks have made an escape. You grab your snowboard and start chasing them down. Along the way you need to jump over rocks and chasms to avoid biting it, and starting back at the barn. As you catch each errant yak, you gain points with which you can upgrade your snowboard and skills, such as your jump hang time. In the only tired metaphor used in the game, you also scoop up coins for upgrading the board and yourself. As you careen down the mountain you’re presented with bridges and cables you can jump onto and shred to gain more points. Finally, doing simple flips and other tricks will also gain you points. But really this point-gathering takes backstage to the gameplay and graphics.

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Lucha Amigos for iPad: slingshot meets bumper pool in Mexico

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Lucha Amigos is an entertaining mashup of Angry Birds-style launching and bumper-pool geometry in which you try to launch turtles to explode cacti inside rooms with bouncy walls. Yes, it makes no sense at all, and it’s still a fun casual game, with no annoying in-app purchase delays, that will have you coming back for more.

In Lucha Amigos (“Fighting Friends” in Spanish) you’re presented with a top-down view of one room after another with various walls and furniture. Each room represents a game level, and is filled with several randomly-spaced cacti and flowers. You get an arsenal of three–four turtles which you fire into the room using a slingshot-style launcher. Your job is to run into and therefore explode as many cacti as possible. Running over the flowers also gets you smiles from the señoritas in your cheering section. As you hit and explode cacti, your turtle bounces off, and continues to carom around the room until it loses steam. Red turtles have a little gun you can fire to shoot more cacti and flowers. If you knock out all the cacti with your turtles, you win the level and the next is unlocked. If you use up your turtles without decimating the cacti, you get laughed at and try the same room again. The levels seem never-ending so you won’t run out of challenges. It’s nonsensical enough that it’s easier to play than explain, so just try it!

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Red Bull Racers for iPad is entertaining, surprisingly addictive

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If you favor driving games, and love games that hook you with that “just one more try” feeling (think Crossy Roads), I’ve got an arcade racer for you. Red Bull Racers for iPad is a slot-car racing game that puts you in a multitude of vehicles, on dozens of tracks, against 0–4 opponents. The races are fun, the gameplay is addictive, and the graphics and sound are smooth and responsive. As a free-to-play offering, Red Bull Racing is definitely worth your time to download and play.

In Red Bull Racing you drive a go-cart, race car, motorcycle, or snowmobile around a slot-car race track. The tracks range from smooth grand-prix style, to rough dirt with jumps, and even snow-packed courses. No matter the track or the vehicle, your job is the same: go as fast as you can to pass your competitors and come in first, while managing your corner speed so as to not go flying off the course and lose time while you watch the other cars leave you behind. There are six “cups,” or racing series. Within each cup are three racing levels: beginner, amateur, and pro. Finally, within each level there are 12 events, nine of them single-player, and three multi-player. As you can see there are lots of races over many course: you won’t get bored.

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Time travel to 1993. And shoot things: DOOM for iPad

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In the first 10 minutes I spent playing DOOM for the iPad I felt like I had returned to 1993, playing the hottest new 3-D video game, in my slovenly bachelor pad with the sticky carpet, on my Macintosh LC. With apologies to Wolfenstien 3D fans, DOOM was really the first immersive, mass-market first-person shooter (FPS). It was like nothing before, and set the stage for an entire genre that ate PCs, then consoles, and finally… iPads. Those of us who have wasted more hours than we’ll admit with a PS3 controller in our hands and Call of Duty on the big screen owe a debt to the creators of DOOM, id Software. In those days before multi-player, my co-workers and I bragged about high scores, and shared cheat codes we copied from Usenet newsgroups (ask your Dad).

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For the uninitiated, let me set the stage: you play the part of an unarmed space marine that finds himself in a space station, seeking to survive alien attacks, and find his way out of the station through an almost-endless series of mazes. You confront bad guys, steal their weapons, and walk around picking up ammo and health packs for when you’re all shot up (which is often). You also need to pick up keys that open doors that lead you out of each level, and into the next. If you survive, you find weapons of greater and greater firepower, starting with a weak little revolver, to shotguns, to machine guns, and ultimately to the “BFG” which stands for… well, you get it. You need these guns to dispose of the tougher and tougher bad guys you encounter while wandering around the mostly empty space station. On the original PC title, your finger was always poised over the command-S option, to save your progress in case you died, which you did with startling regularity.

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Review: Sky Force 2014 for iPad

I don’t tend to play iPad games for very long unless I’ve volunteered to review them. I tend to feel compelled to play just so my coverage is more comprehensive. Sky Force 2014 is one of those rare cases where “business as usual” has been flipped on its head. This game is so good that […]

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Trials Arcade for iPad is motorcycle trick-riding fun with only one flaw

Trials Frontier is a fun arcade-style motorcycle stunt riding experience. The whimsical graphics, unique bike controls, and intricate courses make the riding interesting, and you’ll find yourself laughing at your own crashes. Even at the very beginner levels, the bike responds well to inputs and you’ll quickly become more expert in jumping, wheelying, and flying […]

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Air Race Speed for iPad-An Entertaining Space Flyer

Air Race Speed is a fast and fun way for you to test your space-fighter pilot skills like Luke Skywalker in the famous trench-run finale to the original Star Wars movie. You use the iPad’s motion sensor or on-screen controls to guide a series of faster and faster ships through tunnels, past obstacles, and around […]

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Review – FlipPix Art for iPad

FlipPix Art is a logic puzzle app that is fun for all ages.  You need to use logic to fill in squares that form an approximation of an image.  When you touch Play, you are presented with a picture with question marks representing hidden pictures that will be revealed when you solve the puzzle. Touch a […]

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Review: Hitman GO for iPad

Hitman GO is a brilliant and surprisingly charming adaptation of the Hitman concept. Hitman games have always been played from a third-person perspective, and required precise timing and thorough knowledge of your surroundings to successfully assassinate your targets. Hitman GO, on the other hand, plays more like a board game. It’s sort of like Monopoly […]

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