Gameloft iPhone review blitzkrieg

I love my iPhone. Its ability to be both trendy and useful has helped my productivity with work and the ladies sky rocket over the last year. When I’m not busy with the ladies (or work) I like to sit back and enjoy some games. Luckily the 2.0 firmware update has given us all the ability to enjoy games on the best Apple mobile phone to date.

I have recently had the opportunity to explore all of Gameloft’s offerings for the iPhone application store. The list consists of Brain Challenge, Bubble Bash, Chess and Backgammon Classics, Diamond Twister, Platinum Solitaire, and Platinum Soduku. As a whole, I am pleased to report that the majority of the games are decent titles worthy of your precious mobile gaming time. Yet, there are a few kinks in Gameloft’s armor that need to be explored.

Hit the break for the full review of the games.

Brain Challenge

Developed by Gameloft

Published by Gameloft


Price is $9.99

Gameloft’s Brain Challenge is essentially a stripped down version of Brain Age. Brain Challenge features a simple interface that allows users to test their mental might across five different categories in the hope of increasing brain functionality. While I have never been too sure if these games actually work, at least I had a decent time multiplying, matching, and looking at bouncing balls. In addition to the basic measurement play, the game features a “stress mode” that monitors your abilities to perform the main game while an asshole avatar bosses you around, as well as lets you access every mini-game completed directly from the main menu for some on-the-go complacency. There’s even a cute coach instead of a creepy Japanese dude that explains each mini-game to you.

The biggest failing of the game is its cheesiness. The game opens with the infamous quote that states we only use 10 percent of our brains, and we’re supposed to buy into the fact that an iPhone game is going to bring us to that next echelon of existence. The two coaches available in the game are particularly chatty, and the music is borderline terrible. The game is also prone to crashing, but no more than what you may already be used to with the Safari browser.

Visually, the game is pleasantly vibrant. The majority of the mini-games are fun to play, but there are certainly a few that make you question if Gameloft just drew random adjectives and nouns out of a hat and decided to input it digitally. The game allows for multiple users as well, which is great when you want to show how much smarter you are compared to a person you let touch your iPhone on a regular basis. Overall, Brain Challenge is a good game that should fulfill anyone who doesn’t want to lug around both a DS and an iPhone at the same time.

iPhone blitzkrieg “Yay” or “Nay” – Yay

Bubble Bash

Developed by Gameloft

Published by Gameloft


Price is $7.99

Bubble Bash is exactly like those flash games where you shoot colored balloons with a colored projectile in the vain attempt to get three in a row and clear the entire screen before more balloons are added to it. Unlike the flash variants, Bubble Bash is actually fleshed out with a full campaign mode, complete with a silly story. From what I can ascertain, the game’s two Hawaiian protagonists are in an epic search for treasure and have had the unfortunate circumstance of existing in a dimension with colored bubbles instead of clouds. There’s also a crab in the game that spits bubbles, if you’re in to that kind of thing.

Playing the game is a cinch. There is a little scroll bar at the bottom of screen that allows users to fix the trajectory of the projectile with their finger. Once fixed, pick up the finger and the projectile flies towards the target. Fairly early on in the campaign, you will unlock a skateboard that will bring the iPhone’s tilt functionality into play. Moving the phone left to right will cause the skateboard to move the aiming apparatus accordingly. It’s certainly an interesting twist, but it becomes hard to handle in the endgame when bubbles need to be popped in a fashion that prohibits time errors.

Bubble Bash also features little items and trinkets that you can unlock by popping certain bubbles that contain them. For the majority they are useless, but some allow you to outfit your avatar with different colored shorts and tanktops. Also, all of the game’s campaign levels are available in a quick game format if you’re too busy to navigate through levels or screw around with the out of place boss battles. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked this title for what it is. If you want a simple, intuitive bubble popping adventure, then go grab this now.

iPhone blitzkrieg “Yay” or “Nay” –  Yay

Diamond Twister

Developed by Gameloft

Published by Gameloft


Price is $4.99

This is probably a running theme at this point, but Diamond Twister is Bejeweled with different themes and modes. If you’ve been under a rock, the point of these games is to swap little colored gems into lines of three or more same-colored gems to clear the stage. Diamond Twister takes the core gameplay of Bejeweled and runs with it fairly well. The gems are quite large, so sliding them with your finger is no problem. The functionality of the iPhone is worked into the mix quite well. When you rotate the phone, the diamonds turn as well. The game also looks unusually sharp. I was a bit surprised by the detail on the gems.

There’s a ton of different game modes tied into a loose story of robbery. What it ends up boiling down to is playing Bejeweled with an introduction to a level sequence and a little header to the top right to remind you that you are in Cairo and not at work dodging your boss. Unfortunately, quick access to the game modes won’t happen readily, as you’ll have to play through the campaign to unlock the majority of them. It shouldn’t be much of a concern, though, as all of the extra “challenge” modes just boil down to the same Bejeweled play with a few tricks added into the mix.

iPhone blitzkrieg “Yay” or “Nay” –  Nay

Platinum Solitaire

Developed by Gameloft

Published by Gameloft


Price is $3.99

Platinum Solitaire is just what you expect, with a few new games thrown into the mix like Golf, FreeCell, Pyramid, Spider, and Yukon. All of the modes are solid, and in working order. For the majority, the game is responsive to your touch. Shifting cards side to side is easy, but occasionally when you want to grab just one card the experience can break down. I also found that shaking my iPhone to “shuffle” the cards was a bit obnoxious. Also, there’s a casino element that adds a layer of betting and pooling, but let’s be honest, you’re only ever competing against yourself. If you’re a big fan of solitaire, pick this up, but otherwise stay away.

iPhone blitzkrieg “Yay” or “Nay”
Nay

Platinum Sodoku

Developed by Gameloft

Published by Gameloft


Price is $3.99

Platinum Sodoku is a digital take on the familiar paper-and-pencil puzzle. The puzzle board is a 9 by 9 grid divided into 9 smaller 3 by 3 grids. The goal is to fill in each column, row and 3 by 3 box with the numbers 1 through 9.  To fill in a box, the player touches the box then draws the number on the screen with his finger. The game was able to easily recognize all my numbers except 5, which it kept reading as a 9 until I started by making a down stroke. For those with terrible handwriting or who wish to expedite the number writing process, there is a number pad option. The game also offers an eraser for mistakes and a draft option, which inserts a tiny 9 by 9 grid to provide a space where possible solutions can be recorded. While it is difficult to pinpoint these itsy-bitsy blocks with a single tap, the player can access a zoom feature by touching and holding anywhere on the board. Zoom can be tricky near the edge of the board, but it does not become overly frustrating.

Platinum Sodoku offers 324 puzzles in 3 degrees of difficulty. Unfortunately, the player is only offered a few unlocked puzzles to start. There are a few features offered up by Platinum Sodoku that make it an upgrade from your grandma’s sodoku. First, the player is offered a selection of backgrounds images and music. This may seem worthless, but after 45 minutes of trying to solve a puzzle (there is a timer that can tell you exactly how long you’ve been working), trust me when I say the option for new music will be appreciated. The most interesting offerings of the game are in the form of two modes called Custom Grid and Solver Mode. In Custom Grid, you can input your own numbers (or a blank puzzle from your favorite Sodoku book) then work on solving it. The game will be able to recognize if you are correct or not. Additionally, Solver Mode will solve any puzzle you put in. Whether you just feel like challenging the computer or you have an outstanding unsolved Sodoku puzzle, this mode can help. In the end, if you love Sodoku, you’ll appreciate all the little things offered by Platinum Sodoku. If you hate Sodoku, this game won’t necessarily win you over.

iPhone blitzkrieg “Yay” or “Nay”Yay

Chess and Backgammon Classics

Developed by Gameloft

Published by Gameloft


Price is $9.99

There’s always a spectacularly bad apple in a decent bunch. Chess Classics is a fairly traditional take on the spectacularly old game. The only problem is, the game isn’t particularly responsive to the touch, unless a player has super spider-thin fingers. The game is in 3D, and allows players the ability to rotate the board around to have a better go at the pieces, but the angles you have to hit your piece at makes the game very confusing. The reverse goes for Backgammon Classics where the pieces are easier to hit and less crunched together.

While the game works fine for what it is, I felt myself wanting more from the titles. There is a “Quiz” mode tacked onto the games that puts players in bad positions and the goal is to get out of them safely. It’s short and cheap, just like how the entirety of the package feels.

iPhone blitzkrieg “Yay” or “Nay”Nay

 

 

Brad BradNicholson