Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Fergus' Favourite iTouch Game Apps

This post is for the offspring of Loucks' and Allards' and other families of the iPhone/iTouch persuasion who will enjoy this new way of gaming and/or distraction for a long journey or a never-ending wait at the store. Well, Fergus has been having a blast with them anyway! But I have been wishing for a friend's blog post where I could just go and find 10 or so really cool game suggestions and avoid all the hassle of reading reviews and trying to sort out a million different game recommendations!

So here it is, Fergus' list of favourite game apps after a dedicated 3 days worth of game play by a six year old.

Biases up front - we do seem to prefer games that have lots of ways to solve the puzzle, ones with replay and goof around value rather than just solve it and be done with it. Most of these are either Free or have Free lite or demo versions so you can try them out and see which ones are destined to be your favourites!

(JellyCar = Free or JellyCar2 = $0.99)
A truly wacky rolly poly squishy car game where you literally "jelly" your way down the track trying to reach the finish spot. You can make your car big for a limited time to traverse certain perilous obstacles, but the game controls are otherwise simple, just touch the screen in the right half to go forward or in the left half to go backward, tap the car to toggle from big to small. The car gets squished and flung and tumbles down slopes - they call it "soft-body physics", but Fergus just calls it hilarious laugh-out-loud fun! Beware, you will be back to buy the $0.99 version before the day is out, it is that cute and intriguing.

You Tube link: JellyCar

Ragdoll Blaster
(Ragdoll Blaster Lite = Free or Ragdoll Blaster = $1.99)
OK, does it get any cooler than firing limp floppy rag dolls out of an imposing looking cannon trying to aim them just right so that they hit the red bulls eye target?! I think not. Just the floppy dolls will get you as their arms and legs flap when they hit something or splat. So far this has been Fergus' absolute favourite - he powered through the 18 free levels in one afternoon and we happily revisited the iTunes App Store to pay up our $1.99 for the 100-level full version. Fergus solved the puzzles, but he had almost as much fun just indiscriminately firing rag dolls and piling them up or watching them hit things. If you are anything like me you will want to wrench the iTouch/iPhone from your offspring's hand so you can play this one yourself!

You Tube link: Ragdoll Blaster

iBlast Moki
(iBlast Moki Lite = Free or iBlast Moki = $1.99)
Like cannons? Well how about bombs? In iBlast Moki you place bombs in the place(s) you think you will need them to detonate in order to blast your cute sleeping "Moki" to the swirly red target. As the levels get harder, you get more bombs and have to set timers on them to blow sequentially so that "Moki" continues to move toward the target. Though the levels seem to get hard pretty quick, and Fergus isn't quite adept enough to time the bombs without help, you can repeat levels and tweak your bomb locations and timing as many times as you like, and just blowing things up seems to be pretty entertaining to a six year old!

You Tube link: iBlast Moki

(Trace = Free)
Kudos to the brothers who developed this app and have offered the complete version, all 120 levels of it, completely free!

This is another game with pretty basic controls - you can go forward, backward, and jump. The aim is to walk your guy to the sunburst at the end of the course. The fun comes when you have to draw in your own paths and platforms to help you get from A to B. Every solution can be different, depending on what you draw. The drawing part can be a bit frustrating when you are Fergus trying to draw a tiny platform in just the right spot, but you can erase and do them over. There is no time limit, and you can try again as many times as you want. And it is totally free - you can't go wrong with this one, it is imaginative and creative.

I haven't tried it yet, but these same brothers have another game out now called Gomi that they are marketing the more usual way with a Gomi free demo and $2.99 Gomi full version.

You Tube link: Trace

Tiki Towers
(Tiki Towers Lite = Free or Tiki Towers = $0.99)
Jibbering monkeys leaping all over your fragile bamboo bridges. You build structures to get your monkeys from their box to the Tiki Tower, then you let the monkeys out and they leap onto your structure and it sags and sometimes breaks. You get extra points if your monkeys not only get to the Tiki Tower, but also get bananas on the way. We've had fun with this one, the monkeys are funny you can make different structures, so there is no "right" way to solve each puzzle. The free lite version has the first 9 of 45 levels.

You Tube link: Tiki Towers

Toki Tori
(Toki Tori Lite = Free or Toki Tori = $4.99)
Your little bird needs to find his eggs, he uses bridges and other "gifts" to navigate his puzzle and reach all the eggs. Mildly frustrating in that when you die you have to start over and get all the eggs, not just the ones you haven't gotten, but it plays just like most platform games and so was intuitive and easy for Fergus to figure out given his experience with mario and other similar type games. Cute birdie. But we haven't played it nearly enough to need to decide about the steeply priced $4.99 full version.

You Tube link: Toki Tori

(Sway Lite = Free or Sway = $4.99)
This is such a wacky game Fergus petitioned to have it included - you control "Lizzie" the frog's grasp on the wall he is hanging from by putting down and lifting up your left and right thumbs, and sliding your thumbs to sway "Lizzie" back and forth so she gets momentum to leap to another part of the wall. It takes some getting used to, but is so unusual it sort of sucks you in. We have died a lot, but Fergus managed to swing enough to get all the little pink thingys you have to collect and reach the goal of the first level at least. Not sure we'll ever get good enough to justify a full version at $4.99 though.

You Tube link: Sway

Spikey's Bounce Around
(Spikey's Bounce Around Lite = Free or Spikey's Bounce Around = $1.99)
Spikey is a sticky blue guy who needs to free the butterfly jars from the gardens so they'll smash and free his friends the butterflies. He sticks to walls, but bounces off the blue and yellow bouncer circles, so things can get a little crazy. It is another one of those games you can solve differently each time you play. The free version has 9 of 50 levels.

You Tube link: Spikey's Bounce Around

Enigmo $1.99
Here's one with no lite/demo version, I bought the 50 level full game straight out for $1.99. You redirect the flow of water droplets with various provided instruments like pans, funnels, etc. This makes for numerous ways to solve each puzzle, and great news for siblings, there are spots to save 5 different games so everyone can have their own saved file to come back to. This gets pretty challenging, but as with some of the others, just spraying water all around can be pretty entertaining!

You Tube link: Enigmo

(Soosiz Lite = Free or Soosiz = $0.99)
Fergus likes moving this wacky bird around collecting coins and defying gravity. I see some other reviews call this a trickier more polished version of Gomi (by the makers of Trace).

You Tube link: Soosiz

(Rolando Lite = Free or Rolando = $2.99)
This is a rolling, avoid-the-bad-guys game, but it is complicated by bizarre landscapes and balls that can roll together or separately depending on how you group them. Wacky, and gets great reviews.

You Tube link: Rolando

That should keep you busy for a few days anyway. I can see the iTouch being a great boon on long journeys as new and different apps abound so you can load up a swack just before you leave and keep folks busy trying out new things for hours. The Touch itself isn't cheap I guess, but the games sure are! Compare them to the price of a DS game! The challenge seems to be to keep the darn thing charged up long enough.


Rebecca said...

Great list!

You may also enjoy Melissa Wiley's app-reviews on her blog.

Our family really really really likes Cartoon Physics.

MMmommy said...

Mitch and KJ both recommend UNBLOCK ME - free then 99 cents for the full game

it is kinda like, Rush Hour with one red block that needs to be freed. The free has enough levels to challenge us for a couple of hours .. though I suspect we will be back to buy soon.

TAP TAP DANCE was our first and still remains a favorite. Music plays and the goal is to tap the falling colors as they land at the bottom. Similar to keeping the beat, or hitting the notes in a Rock Band Style Game FREE version has a couple of songs .. we upped to the 4.99 version pretty quick.

Super Monkey Ball is enjoyable (3.99) - though challenging as it involves some great balance control, so you ball does not go over the edge!

Touch Physics - 1.99 with the lite version being free. It does become challenging quickly, though you can revisit earlier levels. The idea is to use shapes to move a ball from one end of the screen to the next. You draw the images with your finger and that part can be a bit of a challenge, until you get the hang of it.

There is one or two others that escape me now, I will track them down !!!

Great list we have generating here ! ! !

Rebecca said...

G. informs me that I should just look on his iPod Touch (where all the games live) as there are too many to just tell me about. I'll take a look later today (if the thing is currently charged up) and post to my bloggy-wog.

And it's Crayon Physics. Silly me.

Rachel said...

This is quite a list! We're going to have to check out all these games...so far we've only been playing Labyrinth and Pacman. What in the world are we thinking? I had no idea there were so many games! (Well, I had some idea, but I hadn't really let myself think about it that much.) So does this mean you guys got an iTouch for Christmas? Woo hoo!

balloonatikmama said...

It means we have had an iTouch for over a year and never really used it!

memet said...

Hamish enjoys the classic Rush Hour game, and Crazy Machines (where you get to build... crazy machines). You have to buy the latter through their website rather than the iTunes store. Fenna likes the very relaxing Bloom (a music app by Brian Eno-- it is very zenny and mellow-- I suggest this to the kids when they are too wired). My musician Sis-in-law recommended Bloom, and also Pianist (a very small keyboard) and miniSynth (a synthesizer). Her most interesting suggesting was Cosmovox which is a theremin- type instrument-- you move the iPhone to make eerie horror movie-type sounds. We are awaiting the now delayed launch for Plants vs Zombies onto iPhone. It has been veyr popular on the laptop!

BTW: great list.. very thoroughly researched! Thanks guys!

memet said...

ARG! Forgot to mention the whole REASON I got into apps at all: iBird. The awesome portable bird ID book. Kids love to play the bird songs which come with each entry. A brilliant and beautiful app for anyone interested in the LBB (little brown bird) at the feeder or the "Duck" at the beach. If you play an appropriate birdsong in your neighbourhood it will attract birds to you!

Also: the is a free NFB download, where you can download all the Canadian National Film Board films (have not used this yet, but got good reviews), and also Sketchbook-- quite an elegant drawing tool.

Rachel said...

which ibird do you recommend? (you may have the iBird Canada edition, but just wondering if you had an opinion about iBird backyard, plus, pro etc. i've been looking at several different bird apps, but i can't decide which one to get. there was just a story on them on NPR, but i don't remember which one they recommended...

memet said...

HI Rachel,
I have iBird Canada. Sorry, but I do not know much about the other editions. We have not used it much, but it is a resource that I know we will definitely use in the future. A good bird ID bookis atleast $30, so purchasing this is a no-brainer for our family.