iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3

Written by Joe Martin

July 18, 2009 | 09:54

Tags: #iphone #iphone-and-ipod-touch-games-round-up #iphone-games #ipod-touch #peggle #racing #sonic #sonic-the-hedgehog #worms

Companies: #apple

Peggle

Developer: PopCap
Price (as reviewed): £2.99 / $4.99 from the App Store

We’ve never really played Peggle before, we admit. The loveable unicorns and talking ferret-things that make up the cast may be delicious in a red-wine sauce, but they’re a bit too sickly-sweet for our gaming tastes, we always thought. Still, on the insistence of our forumites, we thought we’d take a look.

If, like us, you’ve not played Peggle before though then heed our warning; this is possibly the most addictive game ever made.

On the surface of it Peggle is a simple pinball like game, where your role is to use a finite number of balls and power-ups to hit all the orange pins on the screen. In reality though, Peggle is actually more of a compliment simulator and the main focus of the game isn’t the pins at all – it’s all about telling you how awesome you are.

*iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3 Peggle and Mass Effect: Galaxy on the iPhone *iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3 Peggle and Mass Effect: Galaxy on the iPhone
Peggle on the iPhone and iPod Touch

Practically everything you do in Peggle results in lavishing you with praise or pretty rainbows – fantastic, awesome, magnificent! At the same time, it’s almost impossible to lose the game too with balls (which function as lives) getting occasionally reclaimed via a well at the bottom of the screen and reaching certain point limits. Even if you lose your last ball then you can still always get one more go by winning a coin toss.

The sum of all these parts then is that PopCap’s Peggle makes it feel like you’re always winning, which makes the game almost impossible to put down. Quite apart from that though the simple touch-based controls and the straightforward gameplay make it an excellent app to while away the hours with since the game is consistently rewarding however you choose to play it.

Verdict: A highly recommended iPhone game, it’s definitely worth overcoming any snobbishness you have towards casual games to give this a go.

Mass Effect: Galaxy

Developer: Electronic Arts
Price (as reviewed): £1.79 / $2.99 from the App Store

Mass Effect on the iPhone is almost the exact opposite of the situation we had with Peggle, as we’d played the full and original Mass Effect several times and loved it. It was our type of game and we had high hopes for what BioWare might achieve on the iPhone, even if their inevitable RPG took a more casual bent.

Unfortunately though, those hopes were quickly shattered upon playing the game as, not only is Mass Effect: Galaxy not even remotely an RPG, but it’s also utter dross.

*iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3 Peggle and Mass Effect: Galaxy on the iPhone *iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3 Peggle and Mass Effect: Galaxy on the iPhone
Mass Effect: Galaxy on the iPhone and iPod Touch

Following the anti-Batarian adventures of biotic mercenary Jacob Taylor (who’s set to appear in Mass Effect 2), Galaxy is a straight-up, top-down shooter controlled using the accelerometer – a tool we’ve yet to see used to decent effect as the main input for the game.

Nearly everything in Mass Effect: Galaxy is automated and Jacob fires on enemies by himself, so all you really have to do is move him around walls, tap the mostly-useless special powers and wheedle through drawn-out and linear dialogues between levels. There’s precious little room to make an impact on the storyline or get a sense of what the characters are about, which means even when you aren’t negotiating around the awful control system then there’s still precious little fun to have.

Verdict: A universal letdown, Galaxy may look like a tempting game to fans, but it’s something you’d do well to stay away from unless you like to see your action games crossed with Wooden Labyrinth. Try Peggle instead.
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