A blog about casual gaming

IOS Game Round Up

IOS Game Round Up

We report on some of the iPhone and iPad games that have caught our attention recently.

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Published by Alex Kearns on 9th February 2011

Okay, we give in. When we started this blog back in late 2009, we intended to focus on free online games. We did not want to burden visitors with the hassle of downloading or purchasing games. But as Casual Girl Gamer has grown in popularity (many thanks to all the 200,000 odd who visit us each month), so have the calls for us to cover games for Apple's iPad and iPhone devices.

We have up until this point resisted the temptation to do this. We think our focus on free online games is one of Casual Girl Gamer's biggest draws. However, Apple's IOS platform has grown massively over the past few years, and there are now ever more people wanting to read reviews of the latest iPhone and iPad games.

So, yes, we have finally given in. Casual Girl Gamer will continue to focus mainly on free online games (so all you fans of these games need not worry) but every so often we will review iPhone and iPad games as well. We start with a round-up (in no particular order) of some of the iPhone and iPad games we have been playing over the past few weeks.

Megan and the Giant

The story behind the making of this title is arguably more interesting than the game itself. A guy is working in the Tokyo office of a giant Japanese tech company when he suddenly realises he needs a big change in his life. He decides to ditch his corporate career and instead start making games for a living. He knows nothing about games. And so has to learn everything from scratch, from creating the graphics to doing the programming and balancing his accounts. A year of furious learning and working later and he releases his first game.

The guy is Brandon Wu of Studio Pepwuper and the game is Megan and the Giant, a stealth-based escape game aimed at children and young adults. Given the inspirational tale behind the game, I really wanted to love Megan and the Giant but ultimately it fell a little short. Having said that, it has some lovely moments. The London-themed graphics - policemen in blue uniforms, red telephone booths - work well. The story is also cute and captivating.

My main problem with the game was that I found the core gameplay a tad repetitive and also, oddly for a game aimed a kids, pretty difficult. I was far more interested in how the story of the little girl and a rock would turn out than actually playing through the game's levels. Despite these shortcomings, Megan and the Giant is an admirable first effort by Brandon. He clearly has bundles of potential, and we are thoroughly looking forward to his next game. You can purchase Megan and the Giant on the iTunes store here.


Spirits is a modern take on that PC classic Lemmings (a free online version of which you can play here). But whereas Lemmings was a frantic, desperate race to save your critters, Spirits manages to be serene and relaxing (see our list of the Top 10 Most Relaxing Games for more like that). The game is also a sight to behold, one of the best looking IOS games we have come across, for which the developer, Spaces of Play, deserves a lot of credit.

Spirits has received loads of plaudits - including the Indie Arcade Aesthetics Award and a Tokyo Game Show nomination - so if you haven't bought it already, you really ought to. iPhone and iPads versions of the game can be bought here.

Cube Runner

If I was to be stranded on a desert island and was allowed to take just one iPhone game with me, it would undoubtedly be Cube Runner. I cannot get enough of this mesmeric avoidance game. You play the pilot of a space craft flying into a never-ending cloud of cubes. Steer by tilting your iDevice and try to avoid crashing into a cube for as long as possible. Fun, innovative and unbelievably addictive. And what's more, it is absolutely free. Get it now here.

Today I Die

Daniel Benmergui has become something of a legend in the world of arty Flash games, thanks to quirky gaming gems like Today I Die and I Wish I Were the Moon. Now iPhone users can experience his thoughtful, philosophical style of gaming, thanks to this slick port of Today I Die to the iPhone. The game can perhaps best be described as a poetry puzzle game. You have to change the words in a poem by solving a series of puzzles. Get Today I Die for the iPhone here.

Fruit Frenzy

I am not that much of a fan of three-of-a-kind style games but this one, Fruit Frenzy, put a smile on my face. For a start, this is not one of the standard three-of-a-kind rip-offs that you find everywhere nowadays. The game actually brings some innovation to the genre.

You probably best play the game to find out how this innovation works, because it is a tad tricky to explain. I'll have a go: you have five columns of fruit that gradually build up as new fruit drop from the ceiling. You can move these columns of fruit up and down. There is also a central row of fruit. It is in this central row where you need to get at least three of a kind. This central row can also be moved sideways.

See, I told you: it makes no sense in writing. Just play the game - it is beautifully designed and, even for a three-of-a-kind-phobe like me, incredibly addictive. Fruit Frenzy can be obtained on iTunes here.

What cool iPhone and iPad games have you been playing? Please share in the comments section below.

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