Here's a confession: I typically detest marble-rolling games. They're too often fiddly, inexact, and demanding in terms of difficulty for my fly-sized attention span. Luckily, there exists a marble-tilting game that I can actually appreciate. Presenting itself in a distinctly different mode from the usual wooden box maze with a ball bearing in it, Aerox is more like a futuristic pinball-style obstacle course in 3D.
- "In respect of military method, we have, firstly, Measurement; secondly, Estimation of quantity; thirdly, Calculation; fourthly, Balancing of chances; fifthly, Victory." That's Sun Tzu, describing an iPhone game in the 6th Century BC.
- Spacefaring games are enjoying a renaissance on the iPhone and iPod Touch lately, and Ultraviolet Dawn is a promising new contender, set to challenge the likes of WarpGate. While the trading and mercantile RPG aspects are awfully familiar, Ultraviolet Dawn keeps one foot squarely in classic territory, eschewing 3D graphics for strictly top-down 2D sprites. In this sense it is the closest to the original inspirations, but also suffers somewhat from being ported to a touch screen interface.
- Most iPhone and iPod Touch owners have by now run the veritable gauntlet that is the App Store. It can be very difficult to pick out the gems from the rubbish, particularly these days when it is all too easy to gussy up a mediocre game with flashy graphics and nice icons, only to find that all those layers of gloss and glitz have been applied to a boring or malformed concept. iHook is a rare occurrence - a really great gameplay idea, hidden beneath a pile of badly translated English and 80s arcade-style graphics and sound.
- The thing about classic arcade games is that every one of them achieves a classic balance. Pac-Man, dated though it may be, doesn't really stop being fun to play the older it gets. Asteroids, Missile Command, Centipede - they all have a timeless quality, a certain combination of mechanics that elevated them to that pantheon of arcade cabinets in the collective nerd hall-of-fame. Frogger is one such game. And so we come to Banzai Rabbit: clearly an homage to the old pixelated amphibian hero, with some fresh new visuals and a backbreaking difficulty curve.
- There is something refreshingly honest about a video game that stands athwart any semblance of plot. There's this package, see, and you need to get it through the factory using the tools available. That's all you need to know in order to play the The Package; even the title itself does away with any false pretences of a storyline or embellishment. What is required of you in this flashy puzzle/mousetrap remix is a rudimentary understanding of physics and a working digit.
- Ask yourself: when an old forest becomes mysteriously riddled with disease, what is your first best option? If you said Flying Magic Squirrel, then you are on the same wavelength as the developers of Phoenix Spirit. This deeply quirky, sometimes outright confusing game put you in the role of the aforementioned Magic Flying Squirrel in a Castlevania inspired game of aerial exploration.
- In Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink, he proposes that humans actually tend to make up their minds about something within the first two seconds of perceiving it. Everything else is just elaborate justification for those first two seconds: whether or not you got the job in an interview, what colour of car you like, or what sort of pet you're going to get. I don't know if it absolutely holds true for video games, but I did decide that I loved Mobigame's Edge in roughly two seconds. The luminous brilliance of this perfectly realized puzzle game is apparent right from the start.