A deceptively addictive puzzle-bobble clone where you simply shoot bubbles into clusters, then they explode and fall down. Get them all before the bar at the top of the screen pushes them down to the bottom.
OK, so it’s hardly original, but it’s well presented and it distracted me for a good 10 minutes. Easy to pick up and play, and playable by all ages with a good selection of levels. The game is ad-supported, but you’ll be so focused on playing you honestly don’t notice them.
Invented by Robert A Kraus, this game was sent to me by bedroom coder Doug Sartori for inclusion in the iPad Board Games database, but I’m shocked to say I haven’t got around to a full review of it yet. The game is a 100% free implementation of the original Neutron game.
The game itself reminds me of an ancient British game called Fox And Geese, but it’s quite easy to pick up and play, and the iPad really lends itself well to these kinds of games. Basically, you have two players attempting to capture the central Neutron piece by moving it into their own zone, or surrounding it so the opponent can’t move it into theirs. Each turn, you move both the neutron piece, and one of your own pieces. The pieces move in any one direction, sliding along until they hit an obstacle. Here’s a screenshot of me about to win.
Neutron Capture is a free game for the thinking-man, a must-have for any strategic board game enthusiast. Includes an AI player for those of us with no friends.
“Nothing lasts forever” is the motto of this game, as you send your legions into battle in this fantasy take on Tower Defense / Plants and Zombies. Mine the gems, build your army, crush your opponents. Like all good games, the concept is simple.
The makers of Legendary Wars have tried hard to differentiate their game from the rest of these PvZ clones, and to do this they have given you more strategic control over your troops and a longer battlefield that you can scroll across. The free version of this is optimized only as an iPhone game, but it still looks great running at 2x on my iPad. Perhaps a little shallow, and certainly not as addictive as some games out there but definitely worth a free download, I think.
Yet another Risk clone, European War 2 Lite suffers from a slightly fiddly interface. In this fresh take on the classic, the idea of collecting taxes from your regions is introduced, along with building up regions and purchasing troops and support rather simply getting them each turn. It certainly offers a unique Risk-like experience.
Although I own the full version of this game too, the developers recently chose to release a lite version in the hopes of attracting new fans and I’d love you to check out too, as it’s a real star on the iOS platform.
Helsing’s Fire is a puzzler at heart, but it’s such a unique theme that there are no comparisons I can make with other games.
Dr Helsing and his assistant Raffton are on a mission to rid the land of things that go bump in the night. To this end, they employ the powerful Victorian force of a torch light and coloured potions. Simply touch to place the torch light and expose the beasties, and apply the correct coloured potion. It may sound ridiculous, but the execution and presentation is just so perfect. This is definitely my pick of the month.
With incredible HD graphics on the iPad, Shadow Era is a card-battling game in the style of Magic The Gathering. I must admit, I could never really get my head around Magic and this game certainly doesn’t make anything more accessible to those new to the genre. Still, if you’re willing to put the time in to learn the cards or enjoy this style of gaming, then I’m sure you’ll appreciate the free online multiplayer mode and GameCenter integration.
That’s it for this month, be sure to check out the previous article in this series and stayed tuned for more next time. If you have some suggestions for the next article or would like your free iPad or iPhone game featured, let us know in the comments. Thanks!