Best iPad Games — April 2013
There were quite a few fantastically explosive titles to hit the mobile gaming scene in March & April, including wizards that shoot fire from their fingertips and deep dungeons filled with monsters. If you’re still deciding which titles to snag after recovering from holiday-induced exhaustion, we put together a list of the best iPad games so far in April to help you out!
If you’ve played traditional role-playing games, you’ll notice a few common elements. The main character usually starts off with limited power and is asked to complete tasks by other characters in the game world, gaining experience and gold along the way. Magicka is an action-oriented RPG that makes fun of those attributes. Why is that woman just standing there waiting for someone to rescue her? Is the leader of your wizard school really a vampire? These are the types of things you’ll answer as you explore this satirical title. The iPad version turns the game into a 2D side scrolling game, making it significantly different from the PC version. However, Apps Spy contributor Andrew Nesvadba noted it still has all the basic components and is a great pick for an entertaining mobile game.
Players tap their screens to combine different elements and cast spells. Different combinations of each element will result in a different effect on enemies. You’ll have to decide quickly whether you want to shield your own character or shoot fire to quickly dispatch your enemies.
“Magicka for the iPad may not be as deep an experience as the original, but it’s no less fun for this reduction and still a wonderful pick up for those who enjoy action titles that require more brains than bashing one or two buttons,” Nesvadba wrote.
The commute to work in the city can be a real headache, but traffic can be particularly hazardous in the world of TrafficVille. Players are tasked with the responsibility of keeping cars moving while also making sure no massive accidents happen. This title will put your multi-tasking skills to the test, as players can control up to six traffic lights! Safely getting vehicles through intersections earns points, and with the world leader boards, traffic management has become a competitive sport. Those who have played it enjoyed it so far, giving the title a nearly five-star rating in the App Store. Reviewers noted that it can start off simple, but becomes more difficult as larger numbers of cars take to the streets. Add in special vehicles like ambulances and you’ll have to think pretty quickly to keep everyone safe!
Hybrid games might be the next big thing, and Dungeon Hearts delivers a mixture of role-playing and Match 3 Games. 148 Apps contributor Jennifer Allen noted that this is a little heavier on the matching than it is on the RPG side of things. Never-the-less, it’s an addictive title that gives players control over four heroes who must battle their way through a series of monsters. Combining gems of the same color launches an attack, but you’ll have to be quick to defend against the hordes of enemies! As stronger opponents emerge, you’ll also have to chain together matches to launch more powerful attacks.
“It’s quite a challenging way to play, even if the basic idea is immensely simple,” Allen wrote. “The speed gradually ramps up the further one gets into the game, and more runes emerge too. Special runes also begin to play a role, such as ones that can’t be moved at all and enemy skulls that take a number of blows to defeat.”
When you’re tired out from all that action-packed adventure, it could be the right time for a friendly Hidden Object Game. Fetch is also for players who enjoy a light-hearted story to go along with their cognitive challenges. Without giving too much away, players take on the role of a young protagonist who must overcome obstacles and hunt for clues to find his dog that has been kidnapped… by robot pirates! Mac Life contributor Nathan Meunier commended the game for the interactive environments and family-friendly atmosphere. Indeed, players can pop ooze bubbles or ruffle bird feathers all while navigating a seemingly gloomy futuristic world.
“Playing Fetch often feels like you’re delving through a colorful storybook, and its locations and thoughtful characters bring the world to life with lots of opportunity for interaction,” wrote Meunier. “It’s a touching adventure that resonates well with players of all ages, though it’s particularly attuned to dog lovers and younger gamers.” Other gamers agreed, giving Fetch more than a four-star rating in the App Store.
There is nothing better than getting to sit back and relax after the holidays, but FishCo by Big Fish Games keeps boredom at bay by giving you your own fish tank to manage. Ever dream of starting with a small-scale fish store and building into an aquatic empire? Now you can have the opportunity right from your iPad! Of there is more to managing your own business than sitting back and watching the fish. Each level brings unique upgrades. You also get to decide which fish to buy – will you go for cardinal tetras or java fish first?
The game was well received at the Apple store, with more than a four-star rating and favorable reviews. Players commended the graphics and the educational value in learning about different kinds of fish. The best part is you don’t need to know your panzerwels from your corydoras to have a good time!
They say time is money, and Little Inferno is an iPad Game that reminds us of that while also having a little humor at our expense. You do need to be a little thick-skinned to appreciate the satirical nature of this title, but Wired noted that it skyrocketed in ratings. Players are tasked with ordering things and throwing them in a fire. The catch is that there is some waiting time involved between ordering something and when it gets there. The title is also filled with not-so-subtle criticism of some free games that charge way too much for essential add-on features. For example the description of the “gaming tablet” item says it is “filled with ‘free’ games that will cost you thousands.” Besides unleashing your inner pyromaniac, the game serves as a fun reminder that your time is worth something!
“An unexpected twist leads players away from the monotony of the inferno and into some characters who share a message that made me realize that Little Inferno isn’t a cynical, mean-spirited hate letter to the games industry, but something far more thoughtful and valuable,” wrote Wired contributor Ryan Rigney.
Riven for iPad
In 1993, a Hidden Object Game franchise launched that would help define the genre. The original game was Myst, which put the player in a strange world with little explanation. The objective was to explore and let the plot unravel through a series of clues. The game world evolved over several sequels, the first of which being Riven, originally released in 1998. However, January 2013 put some life back into the series by bringing Riven to the iPad.
Reviewers, such as Modojo contributor John Bedford, did note that the game can be “uncompromising” in challenge, but features a new hint system to help shorten the learning curve. The game may hail from a bygone era of having to keep physical journals of gameplay to help them navigate and a dire shortage of convenient walkthroughs, but some frustration is well worth experience the iconic adventure.
“It might represent a sharp change of pace for traditional tablet gaming, but if you’re prepared to give a lot of yourself to Riven, your reward is to be lost in a world of unparalleled intrigue and exploration,” Bedford wrote.
Joe Danger Touch
Joe Danger Touch comes from the widely popular console game of the same title. It’s an arcade racing game, featuring a motorcycle stunt rider named Joe Danger. You’ll have to make your way through obstacle courses as quickly as possible while collecting coins for even more points. The iPad version was redesigned to incorporate touch controls and gesture functionality, so imagine getting to pull off flips and all kinds of crazy stunts by swiping at your tablet! For example, players can swipe backwards to pop a wheelie.
MacLife contributor Matt Clark noted that the first several levels seem simple, but the game ramps up its difficulty to challenge players later on. He commended the developer for successfully bringing a console game to the mobile platform by making the controls intuitive and using iPad and iPhone functionality to offer a unique gaming experience.
“Joe Danger Touch is a bright, addictive platform game that should serve as required playing for any developer interested in moving a console favorite to the App Store,” Clark wrote.
Looking for more great mobile games? Check out the links below: