It’s game time! And by that, I mean it’s iPad Game Thursday again. Our latest batch of games launches you into The Simpsons’ hometown of Springfield; an alternate universe where sheep are running rampant; a BMX racer’s dream; a dangerous underworld where you can become a Random Hero; and a magical tavern where a dragon’s cooking will help you complete quests in the battle between good and evil.
Here’s the Simpsons-tastic situation: Homer has accidentally razed Springfield a la apocalyptic meltdown and it’s your job to help him rebuild it — any way you want. Are you good at multitasking? See if you can juggle completing random tasks (to earn donuts, of course); relocate Marge, Bart and the rest of the fam; grow and harvest tomacco; party with Duffman; and more.
This game has the tendency to become pretty addictive, whether you’re already a fan of The Simpsons or not (although, let’s face it, that latter group is pretty small these days). Hardcore fans and newbs alike will get a kick out of the classic Simpsons humor (for example, check your Indolence, Consumerism and Gluttony measure up on the Conform-o-meter).
Of course, what places this game firmly in the I-just-can’t-put-it-down category is that you never run out of things to do. Visit friends, play pranks on them, score another doughnut, spend some time at Duff Brewery, make Apu work never-ending shifts at Kwik-E-Mart, and check out the exclusive content, like never-before-released scenes. Ah, there’s just never a dull moment in Springfield.
In this alternate universe, monsters have been let loose to manage the out-of-control sheep population. In each level, your goal is to eat the requisite number of sheep before they escape to their barn. The wool you earn can then be used as in-game currency to level up and unlock new monsters.
But it’s not as simple as it sounds. You move your monster by tapping on the ground ahead of it using point A to point B logic — in other words, turning corners requires some trick maneuvering. And as levels increase in difficulty, you’ll find you have fences, bales of hay, and other objects in your monster’s path.
To make matters worse, these sheep are smart! When they spot your monster coming, they’ll head the other direction and it will be up to you to determine how best to chase down the sheep. Special items, like cookies, enable your monster to perform certain moves which enhance your sheep-snatching skills.
Race your way through 40 levels/tracks as either a novice, intermediate, expert or pro utilizing lifelike physics and intuitive swipe controls that enhance gameplay and make it smooth, rather than slow it down. Don’t expect to be a wiz at the controls right off the bat, but once you are, your speed will increase big time.
There are a good mix of shorter and longer tracks, with a combined ton of variety. The soundtrack isn’t bad either, courtesy of punk band Strung Out (you can listen to your own music too, naturally). Of course, once you connect to Facebook to race your friends, that’s when the real fun begins. You’ll be obsessed with beating each other’s scores. Watch your friends’ best runs and then try to copy their lines.
The makers have promised tons of updates, including new tracks, rider skins and Game Center integration. I look forward to seeing how they can improve on what already seems like some pretty excellent attention to detail.
From the same gang who gave us League of Evil comes Random Heroes, an action game in which you set out to save the world. You and your band of misfits must battle monsters from another dimension by collecting coins, upgrading your weapons and blasting away the bad guys.
While the game’s name might not be particularly inspiring, the gameplay certainly is. Choose your character, ahem, your hero, and then make your way through the more than 30 levels. You’ll have to make the most of the 10 available weapons, like rocket launchers and flame throwers, so use your coinage to increase their firepower as you progress through the game.
Just when you think you’ve made it through all the evildoers in a level, you’ll have to defeat their bosses, so make sure you’ve got enough power saved up. Now get out there and save the world, random hero!
Imagine you’re a dragon who didn’t want to follow in the footsteps of his fellow plundering and pillaging dragons. Instead, you want to run a magical tavern, one that attracts heroes from all over the realm with its tasty recipes.
Certain types of heroes (such as clerics, wizards, knights and the like), see, have preferences for certain types of foods and meads, so you’ll need to know what to cook and brew. Once they’re satisfied, you can invite them to stay and help you complete quests, which might involve hunting down trolls and other evil monsters.
Tavern Quest keeps you busy, and it’s another good example of a game that gives players something to do, both in the short-term and the long-term. Another major draw is the game’s beautiful graphics. With such detailed and colorful 3-D characters and environments, you can’t help but get sucked in.