Best iPad & iPhone Games — February 2014
The new year is already here and bringing chilly weather to a lot of places, making it a really easy decision to just stay inside and keep warm with the hottest iOS apps. Whether it’s training a fledgling Ninja, collecting eggs in a whimsical Hidden Object game or taking a stroll down memory lane with updated takes on 1980s arcade games, you can have a fun holiday with some of the games on this roundup of the best iOS Games of February 2014.
Ninjas are nominally graceful, highly skilled warriors, as adept at wielding a katana as they are at jumping from one building wall to the next. But as his name suggests, Clumsy Ninja isn’t the most talented practitioner of ninjitsu – rather, he’s the untrained star of this new Virtual Pet game, and you have to help him acquire some mad ninja skills.
Unlike some other games in this category, Clumsy Ninja features a surprisingly human, likable character with a backstory. The game’s smooth, physics-based animations bring the ninja to life – he reacts to falling down just like you would expect a normal person to, and he does so all the time since throwing him through the air is a key part of his training regimen.
To make your ninja a true master, you have to help him out with his strength training. You’ll hold up a punching bag and move it around, guiding him to get better at timing his punches.
Your awkward ninja will need to do more than just break a sweat, however. There are a lot of objects to collect to boost ninja skills, including a balloon that enables him to travel to higher areas. Interactive objects such as trampolines and athletics hoops instill in your ninja the flying moves and toughness that he needs to level up and obtain additional Karate Belts.
“Compared to other Virtual Pet Games, there is less emphasis placed on maintaining your ninja’s health stats and more on interacting with him to improve his abilities and moves,” explained TouchArcade’s Danny Gallagher. “The training space exists in a 3D environment and the true beauty of the experience is watching the Ninja move and react to them as you move them around him.”
In-app purchases of gold and diamonds allow for more rapid progress through grueling ninja training. Gallagher noted, however, these features were well implemented and were not required for having an enjoyable experience.
Kiwi & Me
Is it a bird or a plant? Either way, the star of Kiwi & Me is an adorable creature trying to collect eggs outdoors. The game’s springtime vibe may seem out of place if you’re up to your eyeballs in winter snow, but Kiwi & Me is a fun game for any season.
As cute as this bird-plant is, it’s got a real problem: its mother has gone missing! To find her, Kiwi has to solve match-three block puzzles to proceed through a variety of forests, mountains and deserts. The game has 75 levels, loaded with hidden items that keep Kiwi happy, giving it exceptional replay value.
“Each level has a hidden item that can appear for Kiwi to unwrap, but it isn’t guaranteed to appear, which means you’ll want to replay stages as often as you can,” wrote GameZebo’s John Anthony. “Drop the item to the bottom of the screen and complete the level to see what item Kiwi gets to play with”
Obstacles are introduced as the game goes on, including additional rows of blocks that have to be cleared out before the regular puzzle can be solved. You can purchase moves that make it easier to get through each level, but since these extras are only usable for specific puzzles, not all players may be interested.
Double Dragon Trilogy
Here’s a blast from the past! The original Double Dragon was released for arcade all the way back in 1987, but now new and old players alike can experience it for iPhone with Double Dragon Trilogy. The collection includes Double Dragon, Double Dragon 2: The Revenge and Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone.
True to its retro origins, Double Dragon Trilogy features a joystick and buttons, although these controls are on-screen, virtual and resizable. Gameplay itself couldn’t be simpler: March through the stages, fighting-off enemies and gathering objects such as chains and crates to make things easier. You can play for a high score in Arcade Mode, or focus on unlocking new features via the Story Mode. There’s even the option to have all of this set to the 8-bit soundtrack, for old time’s sake.
This compilation also including some interesting multiplayer features, including Bluetooth support for co-op mode. Double Dragon Trilogy is also compatible with many Bluetooth-enabled iOS peripherals.