5 Under $5 iPad Games, March 22-23

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Hey everybody! Beth Elderkin with iPad Insight here. I’ve been crazy busy recovering from SXSW and preparing a comedy sketch show that I’m performing this week with The White Trash Kennedies. If you’re in Austin, click here for more information. Be sure to watch the video above for my weekly hello. In the meantime, here’s your latest “5 Under $5.” Some fun games this week. A great selection!

Disclosure: These games were independently observed or purchased by the post’s author. For more information on our site’s review policies, visit the About page.

Mount Olympus

1. Mount Olympus
Price – $1.99

Anyone who knows me (well, maybe just my family members) knows that I’m obsessed with Greek Mythology. So anytime a game features Greek or Roman mythological characters, I’m typically on board. This game is no exception. It’s a fun point-and-click puzzle where you try to save the Gods, Demi-Gods and Heroes … who’ve all mysteriously gone missing.

I will say this game is best suited for kids and families, because it’s pretty easy. There are many hints to keep you going if you get lost — including just telling you where to go if you can’t figure out the next part of the game. Older gamers can still get some fun out of it, but not as much as younger players. It’s a fun family game that’s good for the price.


2. Quarto! 
Price – $0.99

With an exclamation point!

The game of Quarto is a challenging tabletop puzzle that plays a lot harder than it looks. If you don’t believe me, just check out the rules. Sounds simple, but once you get going it can be just as challenging as a good chess match. Trust me, this game is tough, and this iPad version holds up that tradition fairly well. I really like the two-player options with this iPad version of the game. You can play tabletop with a friend, face to face, or go against a computer if you’re playing by yourself.

There’s a very similar version of this game already on the iPad … you’ll notice that one doesn’t have an exclamation point (!). But that version is $4.99, and I couldn’t see any two-player tabletop options on that one. So for the price and playing options, Quarto! is a good find.

roll back home

3. Roll Back Home
Price – $1.99

Amazing design … but not the most amazing gameplay. That’s the overall reaction to this one, and I have to  agree.

In this game, you’re a little ball rolling through different obstacles and maps, trying to get home. The sketch art design is nothing short of awesome. It made me feel like I was in grade school drawing sketches between classes. Well, maybe not me necessarily (I can barely master a stick figure!), but any other talented child artists out there.

But the puzzles aren’t the most exciting, and feel repetitive at times. I did like how the game used the iPad’s tilt and motion to move the ball around, but it wasn’t enough for repeated gameplay. If you’re looking for a quick game while waiting for the bus, the design makes it worth the price. But anyone wanting something with more of a punch, this isn’t the most challenging or thrilling.

star horizon

4. Star Horizon
Price – $3.99

I continue to be amazed by space shooters on the iPad. They’re rivaling some of the best PS2 and XBox games, and some of them are closing in on the newer models. If you like space shooters, this is a good find. It doesn’t have the best story or character development … but hey, most people aren’t playing iPad space shooters for complex characters, they want to do barrel rolls and blow stuff up.

I will say this game is similar to some other space shooters out there, and if you already own one of those, you may not need to pick this one up to. But if you’re looking for a fun space shooter, or you’re a space shooter addict and want another game for your repetoire, this could be a good find.

dark guardians

5. Dark Guardians
Price – $1.99

This side-scroller is by the graphic designer of Lumi, a sweet and adorable family game. Any similarities? Nope, not really. This is a fantasy runner game that uses rhythm elements to fight across mythical landscapes. The design is fun and creative, with lots of movement and action.

Now, I will say I’m  not a fan of runner games — I feel out of breath if I can’t make my characters stop and chill for a bit. So I probably won’t be playing this one much. But anyone who likes runner games will find something to enjoy in this one.

Beth Elderkin

Beth Elderkin is an award-winning multimedia journalist currently working as a news producer in Austin, Texas. She's been a game reviewer for iPad Insight since 2011, and also runs a gaming blog at easymodego.tumblr.com.

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