You can expect plenty of games to be coming to the iPhone from id Software in the future, who’ve announced plans to bring many of the Doom and Quake titles to the platform soon – but for the moment it’s just Wolfenstein Classic.
And it is awesome. Harder than stone-baked nails, but still utterly awesome despite that. What else would you expect when John Carmack himself ports the grand-daddy of FPS games to a mobile phone?
Carmack himself admits that Wolfenstein has plenty of problems in the lengthy dev notes for the title, many of which stem from the inexperience of the level designers. Even if he were using the exact same tools Carmack reckons he could improve the game immeasurably nowadays. We can kind of see his point as the 50+ levels are littered with dead-ends and empty rooms, but it isn’t a fatal flaw. Wolfenstein’s charm shines through regardless.
That said, though Carmack has chosen to leave the game as-is for the most part, there have been a few tweaks. The main change is the addition of an auto-map that is handy for the easily disorientated. The interface has been tweaked to accommodate the controls too – a simple D-pad and fire button are all you need since you don’t need to aim up or down.
Wolfenstein Classic is easily one of the best games in the App store at the moment and it since all but the secret levels are unlocked from the off it has a real pick-up-and-play feel to it that keeps us coming back no matter how hard the bosses are. Anybody care to share tactics for defeating Mecha-Hitler?
Verdict: As ageless and important now as it ever was, Wolfenstein Classic may be incredibly difficult, but we don’t care. It’s still the best FPS on the iPhone by far.
Bookworm may be made by Popcap and it may be firmly established as a casual title, but there are individuals at bit-tech who still hold that Bookworm is one of the most nail-biting and strenuous hardcore gaming experiences you can have. It starts out easy, but by the time you reach later levels and those burning red tiles are raining down you’ll sweating by the ladleful.
The basic aim of the game is simple; use the tiles on the board to spell out as long and complex words as you can, but without letting any red tiles reach the bottom of the screen. It sounds easy, but those red tiles will burn through your letters faster than a brat goes through pocket-money, so watch out.
The game itself is monstrously long, with bit-tech games writer Joe being the only person we’ve ever even heard of who’s managed to finish it, and Popcap has added some extras on over the PC version. As well as getting the turn-based Classic Mode and the time-orientated Action Game you can now also collect certain words across all games for bonuses. There’s a bunch of different categories; vegetables, clothing, body parts and so on – so collecting all the bonus words is no easy feat.
There’s not many other ways that Bookworm could really have been expanded, but that doesn’t matter. The gameplay of the original PC version, which also went under the name of BeSpelled and swapped the worm for a wizard, is strong enough to make Bookworm and instant hit. It’s still keeping us entertained through our long commutes and our current record is an 11 letter word (pronouncers) and 6,300 for a single word – what’s your high score?
Verdict: If puzzle games are your thing or you pride yourself on a huge vocabulary then Bookworm is quite simply an essential game for you. It's endlessly replayable and oodles of fun.