iPhone/iPad Games Guide: What to Buy This Month

  • Publish Date: March 30, 2011
  • Comments: ↓ 6 user comments

Great games on a dollar a day

What are the best new iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch games available for a total budget of $30 -- or about a dollar per day? Below are the best-reviewed titles released over the past month. All games are available for all Apple portable devices unless otherwise indicated.

Best-Reviewed New iPad/iPhone/iPod Games, $30 Total Budget - March 2011
  Game Genre Rating Metascore Price
Image Angry Birds Rio Action/Puzzle 4+ 89 $0.99
Image Land-a Panda Action/Puzzle 4+ 87 $0.99
Image Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP Adventure 12+ 86 $4.99
Image Hot Springs Story Simulation 4+ 86 $3.99
Image 6th Planet Adventure 12+ 85 $0.99
Image Tapper World Tour Action 12+ 84 $1.99
Image Egg vs. Chicken Action/Puzzle 9+ 82 $0.99
Image Collision Effect Action/Puzzle 4+ 82 $0.99
Image iStunt 2 Action 4+ 82 $0.99
Image KAMI RETRO Action 4+ 81 $0.99
Image Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard Shooter 12+ 79 $6.99
Image Speedball 2 Evolution Sports 9+ 78 $0.99
      TOTAL COST: $25.88

The Metascore for iPhone and iPad games is an unweighted average of individual scores given by professional game publications on a scale of 0 (bad) to 100 (good). A Metascore of 75 or higher denotes generally positive reviews, while 90 or higher indicates universal acclaim. Scores are not calculated for games with fewer than four reviews.

Below, we take a closer look at each of the past month's best new games. (Note that all game summaries are from the publishers' official descriptions.) Don't forget that you can now get updated critic and user reviews for these and all iOS games in Metacritic's new iPhone/iPad section.

Angry Birds Rio
iPhone/iPod Touch version  

Metascore (out of 100):
89
from Rovio Mobile
Action/Puzzle, $0.99, ages 4+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

The latest installment in the hugely successful Angry Birds franchise is a tie-in with the movie Rio.

What happens when everybody’s favourite fierce fowl get caged and shipped to Rio? They get very angry! In Angry Birds Rio, the original Angry Birds are kidnapped and taken to the magical city of Rio de Janeiro, where they eventually escape their captors and set out to to save their friends, Blu and Jewel – two rare macaws and the stars of the upcoming Fox motion picture, Rio. Angry Birds Rio will pair the physics-based gameplay of the original game with unique twists based on the film. Angry Birds Rio features: - Two fantastic episodes with 60 exciting levels! - Completely new achievements! - Special Hidden fruits - discover them all! - Put your Angry Birds skills to the ultimate test in a spectacular boss fight! Expect plenty more where this came from: Episodic updates throughout 2011! The most exciting of avian adventures continues! Help the Angry Birds to free their friends and defeat the evil smugglers! Stay tuned for further fun episodes!

[Note that a separate Angry Birds Rio HD version is available for iPad owners, but does not have enough reviews to qualify for this list.]

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100Modojo
A textbook example of how to seamlessly blend a game with a movie, and with additional levels on the way, it's a must play for longtime fans as well as newcomers.
100Slide to Play
If you're a fan of the series, absolutely pick this one up. It's just different enough from the others to make it distinct, and it's also a ton of fun.
90GamePro
Sure, it's not a real Angry Birds sequel, but it's more of a good thing for only $0.99.
90Video Game Talk
The presentation is highly polished and little touches like the inclusion of the Rio characters as playable birds or the extra information included in the menus really help advance the core concept of Angry Birds.
85IGN
A smart, snappy new chapter for the series. The new goals -- freeing birds and shattering monkeys-- offer a nice reprieve from the bird-pig narrative, and the forgiving learning curve makes this a much better play than the punishing Angry Birds Seasons.
70Pocket Gamer UK
What Angry Birds Rio lacks in new ideas and freshness, it makes up in quality gameplay and good value.

Land-a Panda
iPhone/iPod Touch version

Metascore (out of 100):
87
from Big Pixel Studios
Action/Puzzle, $0.99, ages 4+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

This physics-based puzzler has you shooting pandas from a cannon (rather than birds from a slingshot).

The world's panda population is in decline, and your help is needed! Assist the lovestruck Yang Guang (male panda) to meet with his dream partner Tian Tian (female panda), in this highly innovative puzzle game. With a unique gameplay mechanic, a wide variety of levels, and beautiful High Definition graphics, Land-a Panda is one App Store title you won't want to miss! Land-a Panda combines fast action based gameplay with puzzle mechanics, and a simple and intuitive touch control system. Launching Yang Guang from a cannon is as simple as tapping on it, although as you progress more complex objects are introduced, making your timing and planning ever more crucial. Love is in the air: Unfortunately it's not quite as simple as getting Yang Guang to meet with Tian Tian. If you don't collect any of the golden love coins on your way, Tian Tian will not be impressed! To get maximum points (and love!) you must collect all three golden coins in each level, while avoiding a variety of enemies and obstacles along the way. Timing is everything: Reaching Tian Tian will not always be easy, with a multitude of different cannons and obstacles to traverse Yang Guang through in order to reach his soul mate. From moving and rotating cannons, to teleports and spooky ghosts to avoid, you'll need to master a number of skills to impress this fine lady. Easy to learn but difficult to master, can you collect all the golden coins and win the heart of the gorgeous Tian Tian?

[Note that a separate Land-a Panda HD version is available for iPad owners, but does not have enough reviews to qualify for this list.]

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100AppSpy
A fun, refreshingly easy to enjoy puzzler for all ages.
100GamePro
Beneath Land-a Panda's adorable exterior is a surprisingly solid physics-based puzzler that's an absolute steal at it's bottom-shelf price of $0.99.
100Modojo
So there it is. One of the coolest features from a 1990s Super Nintendo game, wrapped within a colorful exterior starring one of the cutest video game characters we've seen since Cut the Rope's Om Nom. Download it now, thank us later.
90AppSmile
Combining Cut The Rope-style gameplay with Big Pixel's familiar graphic style, this has the makings of an addictive and high-score-competitive gem.
80148Apps
This physics puzzler is great to look at, and fun to play, if not a bit challenging. But, it wouldn't be much of a puzzler if it didn't puzzle you, I suppose.
80IGN
Land-a Panda's simple concept, addictive gameplay and charming art direction make it a standout among thousands of mediocre apps and make buying it a no-brainer.
75Slide to Play
It's fun, challenging, has plenty of replay value, and is just plain cute.
70VideoGamer
One of those games you can happily dip in and out of over a period of weeks.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

Metascore (out of 100):
86
from Superbrothers
Adventure, $4.99, ages 12+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

This stylish adventure title includes a soundtrack by indie rocker Jim Guthrie.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is an exploratory action adventure with an emphasis on audiovisual style. Traverse a mythic little realm, use a sword to do battle & evoke sworcery to solve mystical musical mysteries. Co-operate with friends via Twitter, experience a videogame world that is affected by moon phases & help a wandering warrior monk complete her woeful errand. S:S&S EP features an album's worth of original music by noted composer Jim Guthrie as well as artwork & designs by Superbrothers Inc, crafted & engineered by videogame wizards at Capy in Toronto, Canada.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100Destructoid
A game that takes real chances to stretch the gaming medium without sacrificing the joy of play and discovery that makes the medium great. It's a bold experiment in having the adventure game genre take a meaningful, humorous and fun look at itself. Gaming doesn't need to find its Citizen Kane, but it may have discovered its Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead without even trying.
100Slide to Play
Playing Sword and Sworcery is like watching a spectacularly weird animated indie film, and we want to recognize these kinds of creative leaps on the iOS platform. We recommend picking up Sword and Sworcery for the music and visuals alone, but sometimes the gameplay isn't up to the same "mythopoetic" standards.
95IGN
A must-have game for your iPad... The unity of sight, sound, and touch is something special, and it's something that makes perfect sense on a device like the iPad. Please make it a hit. Because I wouldn't mind seeing this EP become a full-fledged album.
80GamePro
This self-described "meandering, mytho-poetic adventure" is a gorgeous, if sometimes aimless, step forward for independent games on the iOS platform.
80Modojo
One of the App Store's most intriguing, enjoyable and kooky titles, a game that manages to stick with the player long after he or she leaves the retro inspired world.
80Pocket Gamer UK
A unique adventure game with an incredible sense of style, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP captivates despite of its abstract approach.
70Eurogamer
There's no doubt of the passion and heart that went into the creation of Sword & Sworcery. The artistry is extraordinary. The resulting art is not, not quite. Artistry is important, and I admire it to the fullest extent. In considerations of art, though, I want something more profound. Love, perhaps.

Hot Springs Story

Metascore (out of 100):
86
from Kairosoft Co. Ltd
Simulation, $3.99, ages 4+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

The creators of Game Dev Story return with a less whimsical but more detailed simulation game.

Rooms, restaurants, arcades, and baths -- position each facility to lull your guests into hot spring Nirvana and skyrocket your establishment to fame! Craft the perfect Japanese garden from lanterns, pine trees, azaleas, and more -- you'll need it all if you want to attract VIPs like pop stars and novelists. There can only be one #1! Do you have what it takes? Turn your device to rotate the screen, touch to scroll, and pinch to zoom in and out.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100AppSpy
A different approach to the Sim-Management style of gameplay that made Game Dev Story so popular, but it's no less addictive and players should prepare themselves for some social black-outs.
100Slide to Play
Hot Springs Story might just be the best tycoon/simulation game on the App Store. All we need now is for Kairosoft to bring over The Game Dealer, their game retailer simulator, which they already released on Japan's App Store. Then, we'd really feel refreshed.
90AppGamer
Hot Springs Resort is another triumph of balance between the hard nosed world of number crunching and cute character management. The beautifully detailed characters and scenery hide a devious game engine that will see you playing long into the night.
90GamePro
Kairosoft's follow-up to the ultra-addictive Game Dev Story retains its predecessor's innovative gameplay and sees the introduction of some nifty new flourishes.
85Multiplayer.it
Hot Springs Story brings an extremely deep experience through a simple and intuitive interface, ideal for novices. Obviously the game can soon become repetitive and predictable, while the setting could not attract many western users, but there are a lot of improvements from Game Dev Story, like the ability to zoom in/out or play in landscape mode.
80148Apps
Hot Springs Story isn't quite as gripping as Game Dev Story. Its subject matter being not quite as clearly enjoyable as the earlier game, plus it's really quite a serious sim, with no sign of the humor of Game Dev Story. However, in turn it's a deeper experience with more to it. This ensures that Hot Springs Story is still a great game to play, just not quite as wondrous as its predecessor.
80IGN
Another fun simulation from the makers of the great Game Dev Story. It's much deeper with more to do. It may not have the charm of Game Dev Story (at least, not to gamers), but the building aspect of Hot Springs Story is more rewarding in several respects.
80Pocket Gamer UK
Hot Springs Story secures Kairosoft's position as the god of iPhone management gaming. Far too addictive for its own good.
70Eurogamer
What the game lacks, though, is the self-referential humour that made GDS so adorable.

6th Planet

Metascore (out of 100):
85
from Monkube
Adventure, $0.99, ages 12+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

A sci-fi adventure from the animation studio behind the Oscar-nominated film The Secret of Kells.

6th Planet tells the story of a near future, where the planet Saturn suddenly changes into a possible place for humans to live. To find out what is going on, a monkey is sent into space. This is the beginning of a series of events that will determine mankind's future. The goal of the game is to guide your space pod to the landing site on the other side of the level. With only two buttons to work with, it is a simple concept that's easy to pick up, but hard to master. The Story Mode contains 50 levels, divided across 7 worlds. This stands for at least four hours of gameplay. If you succeed in finishing this mode, you unlock the Master levels, which is a collection of very challenging levels for you to try out. This mode will be updated in the future with more content. The comic story, in between the levels, consists of a total of 188 screens, which is two comic books worth of images. The story is co-written and drawn by the studio that's responsible for the Oscar nominated animation films The Triplets of Belleville and The Secret of Kells. Screens are colored by Raymund Lee, famous for his work on Marvel's Wolverine series.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100AppSpy
6th Planet merges a great storyline with simple gameplay to create a relaxing and enjoyable gaming experience.
100Slide to Play
But when you succeed and complete a level, you feel like you've earned it. If you're not squeamish about a heavy challenge, reach for the stars, space traveler.
90AppSmile
Combining simple controls with a variety of game modes and an engaging comic-book style backstory presentation makes for a surprisingly compelling game.
80148Apps
A great title to play if you're a fan of Lunar Landing style games. It offers a perfectly pitched difficulty curve and its developers haven't forgotten to consider presentational aspects, as demonstrated by the sterling comic book and soundtrack.
80GamePro
The feel of the controls takes some getting used to and there are several levels that will try your patience, but the excellent atmosphere and clever challenges make 6th Planet a space trip worth embarking on.
80Modojo
Aside from that, 6th Planet is a great example of what creative folks can do with iOS. We look forward to Monkube's next project.
70Pocket Gamer UK
Not immediately a perfect fit, 6th Planet's fusion of Lunar Lander style play with its collection of comic strips proves to be a winning formula in the long run.
70TouchGen
The slow pace of the game limits the appeal of an otherwise well presented game.

Tapper World Tour
iPhone/iPod Touch version  

Metascore (out of 100):
84
from Warner Bros.
Action, $1.99, ages 12+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

A modern update of the classic drink-sliding arcade game Tapper.

Tapper, the beloved 1980's arcade classic, makes its long awaited debut in an all-new version made exclusively for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad! In Tapper World Tour, you'll serve drinks to an eccentric cast of characters across a variety of outlandish locations. With a brand new story line, stunning graphics, challenging gameplay, and animations from the legendary Don Bluth, it's up to you… Serve or Be Served: The beloved bartender Sam is back, and this time he has company. Sam has enlisted his vivacious and beautiful daughter Nikki as his partner in crime for a journey around the globe. Join Nikki, as Sam shows her the tricks of the trade as they travel the globe and encounter a variety of crazy customers. Tapper World Tour sets the "bar" for iOS… in more ways than one! On The Rocks: Start off by choosing which character you want to play and then head out on your wild adventure. Once you arrive at each location, you have three or more counter tops to manage. Patrons arrive sporadically at the end of each bar and slowly advance towards you demanding drinks. Serve each customer by filling a glass with their drink of choice and sliding it down the bar towards them. Once caught, the satisfied patron gulps it down and is pushed back a short distance. The goal is to continue serving drinks until all patrons are pushed out of the bar. As the game progresses, the customers become harder to please, appear more frequently, request different drinks, move faster and get pushed back shorter distances. Collect tips to gain lives all-new power-ups to gain an advantage, or activate the live entertainment to distract patrons while you catch up with their drink orders. Manage your bar skillfully to clear the entire lot of customers to proceed to the next level.

[Note that a separate Tapper World Tour HD version is available for iPad owners, but does not have enough reviews to qualify for this list.]

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100Slide to Play
You've probably already played at least one variation of the Tapper formula, but World Tour is still worth checking out, and not just for the incredible visuals. The game is a perfect fit for iOS, with intuitive controls and bite-sized stages.
85IGN
The classic gameplay is improved by the new wrinkles, such as having to serve the right drinks to specific customers.
80148Apps
Excluding the weak mini games, Tapper World Tour is pretty good fun. It's not long before it's quite tough, but it is fairly addictive.
80AppGamer
Tapper World Tour takes the winning formula of the arcade game, adds a few new twists and wraps it in a bunch of great visuals. Despite it still have a fairly repetitive nature, there is enough variety in the game to keep you coming back for more.
80Modojo
A wonderful homage to one of the most beloved games of all time.
80Pocket Gamer UK
Tapper World Tour is a shot of fun arcade gameplay and colourful graphics that will have you asking for a second round.

Egg vs. Chicken

Metascore (out of 100):
82
from PlayFirst Inc.
Action/Puzzle, $0.99, ages 9+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

This cute puzzler brings something new to the "match-3" genre.

In a world filled with questions, one question has stumped mankind for ages… which came first? Crack open this egg-sterically funny action puzzler, and let the battles begin! Seemingly harmless eggs are being invaded by waves of ruthless roosters and plundering hens. Defend the walls of the eggs' fort and prevent a coop d'état! In this egg-citing blend of defense and match 3, cluster armies of peppy eggs together, and launch a hard-boiled attack on relentless chickens! 3 Dozen Levels Of Grade AA Fun: Whip your way through hours and hours of eggs-hilarating fun and hilarious scenarios! Slide Your Eggs Into Ready Position: Prep your eggs by sliding them in all directions and matching groups of same-colored eggs. Flick And Launch Eggs Into Battle: Repel the masses by launching the fearless eggs into the oncoming waves of chickens! Can't Get These Eggs And Chickens At A Farmers' Market: Battle 10 unique chickens with 7 special eggs: Fire, ice, lightning all come into play as you strategize the best combo to fend off the chickens! Scramble To The Top With Power-Ups: Gain over 25 power-ups including bombs, fort repair kits, and egg upgrades to tame the hordes!

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
90148Apps
Egg vs. Chicken is one of those rare gems that I have to encourage as many people as possible to buy. It's cute, it's easy to play and it entices you into playing for much much longer than you'd envisage. It could well be the next Plants vs. Zombies or Angry Birds. It certainly deserves to be.
90GamePro
It's a quick and challenging puzzler that delivers gameplay we haven't seen before on the App Store, and I'd call it one of the best original puzzlers I've played on my iPod Touch.
80TouchGen
Instead of being a clone it brings a completely unique gameplay formula to the App Store, and it is a fun one at that. If you are into match three games or barricade defence games this title comes highly recommended.
75Slide to Play
A Match-3 game with a lot of character and some frustrating gameplay.
70Pocket Gamer UK
Too simple a set up to stretch out across an entire game, Egg vs. Chicken is nonetheless an entertaining match-three battler, even if it comes to the boil a little too quickly.

Collision Effect

Metascore (out of 100):
82
from Chillingo Ltd
Action/Puzzle, $0.99, ages 4+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

It's two color-matching games in one: puzzle in one mode, arcade-style action in the other.

Collision Effect is the perfect blend of action and puzzle, guide your cosmic orbs–called Zybbles, toward one another but don't let them touch! Collide: The aim is to bring your orbs of the same color together, but be careful, you'll have to plan your paths to avoid crashing into those of a different color, or it will be game over! Action: Collision Effect has two game modes; Action Mode is a non-stop frenzy with three difficulty settings. Players can ease themselves in with the Easy and Normal modes before trying the fast paced action of Hard! Be on the look out for bonus orbs too! Puzzle: Puzzle Mode serves up brain teasing challenges that require careful planning and expert timing. The puzzles are challenging and every stage requires you to think a little differently!

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100AppSmile
Using simple tap controls and beautiful visuals, Collision Effect tests your mind and you dexterity in an exciting way.
80148Apps
While Collision Effect is fun and engaging in Action mode, its Puzzle sibling feels somewhat incomplete, as if it were thrown in as an afterthought to add depth to the game.
80AppGamer
This is a wicked little game that will delight and annoy, and then delight you again. It is definitely one of those games I will keep on my iPod for a good while yet.
80AppSpy
Collision Effect isn't just a pretty face as it also boasts entertaining arcade and puzzle gameplay that remain distinct despite their shared basic elements.
80GamePro
Sure! Collision Effect's core puzzle mode isn't really worth putting time into, but it's one of the more interesting action-puzzlers on the App Store, and is easily worth the price tag.
80Modojo
The game would have benefited from multiplayer of some sort, but as a single player only affair, Collision Effect is without question one of the best puzzle games on the App Store.

iStunt 2
iPhone/iPad Touch version  

Metascore (out of 100):
82
from Miniclip.com
Action, $0.99, ages 4+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

A sequel to the 2009 snowboard racing game iStunt.

Hit the slopes for some serious shredding in the most fun snowboarding game ever created! To survive you will have to perform impossible stunts, dodge deadly saws and do incredible jumps in a world where gravity laws have been broken! Combining outstanding physics, amazingly responsive controls and beautiful retina graphics, iStunt 2 is one of the most fun and original games on the App Store. With loads of exciting and devilishly tricky levels, iStunt 2 guarantees you many hours of fun. Free your mind in this mind-blowing action-packed adventure pushing the adrenaline to the limit!

[Note that a separate iStunt 2 HD version is available for iPad owners, but does not have enough reviews to qualify for this list.]

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100Slide to Play
iStunt 2 feels less like a snowboarding game and more like a face-melting interactive roller coaster. That's not a bad thing.
80148Apps
Delivers a fun, challenging experience for anyone with an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. While the game can be played for free online via a flash version, the added tilt controls and portability of the iOS version makes it worth the buck it costs to own.
80AppSpy
Whether you're shredding it up performing backflips, switching gravity and dodging blades or simply trying to scrape by while keeping your face in-tact, iStunt 2 scales things up quickly, providing a satisfying challenge for those willing to tackle it.
80IGN
iStunt 2 is a fun little physics racer masquerading as a snowboarding game. The physics are consistent, so what works in the first stage also works in the 42nd.
80Modojo
Overall, it's a lot of fun, especially as you unlock achievements and post high scores through Game Center, but you'll need a certain level of patience to deal with constant restarts that make iStunt 2 more of a stop and go experience; it definitely puts a damper on the action.
80Pocket Gamer UK
iStunt 2 is a ferocious mixture of hardcore high score gameplay and fun ragdoll snowboarding physics.
80TouchGen
iStunt 2 is a fun casual arcade platforming trial game featuring wacky physics, and some mad air. The levels are generally well constructed, and I want to have more of them right now.
75No DPad
There's really not much to the game, and the features are pretty much the same as any other Miniclip game: $0.99, GameCenter, and Retina graphics. And for those that downloaded iStunt, iStunt 2 is a welcome addition to the family.

KAMI RETRO

Metascore (out of 100):
81
from Gamevil
Action, $0.99, ages 4+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

A platformer with colorful, pixellated-3D graphics.

Push your mind and fingers to the limit. Platform puzzle madness in colorful retro graphics! Colorful Retro Graphics With Dynamic Effects: Dazzling retro style 3D rendered artwork with glittering visuals and awesome sound effects Quick Motion Touch Screen Gameplay: Flick, push, nudge and swing to save as many troops as possible Puzzling Levels With Obstacles And Traps: Think your way out of trouble by placing tools such as springs, springboards, fans and cannons Multiple Worlds With Dozens Of Stages: Collect stars from a total of more than 60 stages to unlock five unreal worlds.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100Slide to Play
This masterful, retro-themed gem belongs in every iOS gamer's collection.
80148Apps
While it's got some room for improvement, it has a lot of good things going for it, has plenty of value and challenge in its 65 levels for $1.99 and is a concept that I hope gets explored even more in future updates and future games.
80AppSpy
'Retro' gets thrown around all too easily and while KAMI RETRO features gaudy 'pixelated' visuals its the fun modern gameplay that makes this worth checking out.
80Eurogamer
Levels come thick and fast, but what starts off as a charming, casual diversion soon bares its teeth and has you utterly absorbed in its gorgeous and inventive platform puzzle madness.
80GamePro
It's a solid platformer with fresh mechanics and fantastic presentation, and it really shouldn't be missed, especially by those with fond memories of the Lemmings series.
80IGN
Kami Retro is a tough little game â€" but I had a great time playing it. Yes, I'm a total sucker for the 8-bit paper art. But that's just gravy poured over smart action-puzzle play.
80Modojo
Factor in those vibrant old school visuals and catchy tunes, and Kami Retro is a wonderful App that belongs on your iPhone.
80Pocket Gamer UK
A brightly coloured, cleverly designed platform-puzzler, Kami Retro is recommended for quick doses of challenging fun.
80VideoGamer
A quirky little title which stands out in a market swamped with clones.
70TouchGen
An equally fun, as frustrating puzzle platformer.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard 

Metascore (out of 100):
79
from Gameloft
Shooter, $6.99, ages 12+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

This tactical first-person shooter is the first Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six title available for iOS.

For the first time on iPhone and iPod touch, enjoy a new FPS experience that allows you to lead a team of elite soldiers! A global terrorist organization threatens the world balance. Only one team can prevent this: The Rainbow Unit! These colors never run. An Original Title With Epic Missions: Play 11 thrilling missions to defeat a dangerous and well-organized terrorist group. Play recreated and enriched levels based on the original Rainbow Six game like the Embassy Hostage Crisis, an oil platform assault or the infiltration of a rebel camp in Africa. Join a new Rainbow Unit complete with 3 new members, each with their own unique abilities like recon, demolition or stealth. Experience Co-Op And A Rich Multiplayer Mode: Join up to 2 friends and challenge the entire game together in Local and Online Co-op modes. You can also go head-to-head with the best unit leaders in the world on 5 exclusive and thrilling maps in Multiplayer mode - up to 10 players. They'll Never See It Coming: Infiltrate enemy compounds without them ever knowing you're there thanks to a wide range of state-of-the-art gadgets. Use snake cameras to spy around corners, silencers to keep your kills discreet and many more covert tools and weapon upgrades. Be The Leader Of An Elite Unit: An exclusive real-time tactical system for iPhone that lets you lead your teammates through each level. Order them to cover, shoot or use grenades to clear rooms before an assault!

Note: This game is not compatible with iPod touch 3G 8GB and older devices.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100AppSpy
Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard may not be as polished and detailed in its gameplay compared to its console counterparts or even other recent releases by Gameloft, but it still stands up well as a portable version of a challenging tactical shooter.
100Slide to Play
Sure, it's not all that different from the N.O.V.A.'s or the Modern Combats, and it would be nice to see Gameloft stretch themselves a little more in a future FPS. But no other company out there makes iPhone FPSes as big or exciting as Gameloft. If you want a tactical shooter in your pocket, you've come to the right place.
90148Apps
If you're only in it for multiplayer, you might feel a little restricted with only 5 maps and 5 guns to choose from, but the single player campaign more than makes up for this. I was truly impressed by the quality that's gone into it.
88MEGamers
If you are looking for something new away from the N.O.V.A series, this is a great contender for your collection.
80AppSmile
While Rainbow Six plays and controls like most other Gameloft shooters, the additional of strategic maneuvers and co-op multiplayer help to separate it from the pack and give it an identity all its own.
80GamePro
This tactical FPS impresses with its slick shooting mechanics and presentation, but suffers from cluttered touch-screen controls.
80Modojo
Of course, outstanding graphics don't make a great game. Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard is without question one of the App Store's premier first person shooters.
70TouchGen
It can be hard to master, and what Rainbow Six game isn't?, but once you get into a few multi-player bouts you'll get a good and solid multi-player experience, it's just not quite great.
65IGN
The cluttered controls and odd intelligence of both enemies and teammates throws a little cold water on the game.
60Gamekult
Quotation forthcoming.
60Pocket Gamer UK
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard should be a good game, yet uncharacteristic lack of polish and attention to detail derail this tactical shooter.

Speedball 2 Evolution

Metascore (out of 100):
78
from Tower Studios
Sports, $0.99, ages 9+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

Hockey meets handball in this updated-for-iOS arcade-style sports title (which dates back to the 1980s) that now boasts multiple gameplay modes.

A brutal, futuristic mixture of Football and Hockey played at Break Neck Speed. The Bitmap Brothers' classic sports game remade for iOS. FEATURES: Hard Hitting Gameplay, Super Slick Visuals, Choice of Intuitive Tilt and Virtual Joystick Controls, 28 Teams from 4 Planets, 10 Season Career Mode, 10 Single Player Game Modes, Full Player Transfer Market and Upgrades, Multiplayer Mode (WiFi and Bluetooth), Retina Display on iPhone4, HD Graphics on iPad, Game Center Support.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
90AppGamer
In re-creating a classic game, Vivid Studios have triumphed with this iOS version. Every ounce of fun has been successfully transplanted from the Amiga classic. But more than that, they've added to it without diluting what made the original so good.
90TouchArcade
This is a classic arcade-style sports game that is more about fun than about simulation and accuracy.
90TouchGen
I am extremely happy with how well the game has been treated in its transfer to iOS. The control scheme is simple, but perfect for the touch screen.
80148Apps
A great way for people that may have missed the original game to check it out now, but veterans may be disappointed at how easy it has become.
80AppSmile
Replay value is pretty good if you can adjust to the controls and speed of the game, with lots of cups and tournaments to play, lengthy seasons, and the multiplayer option.
80AppSpy
Revivals of great classic titles deserve nothing less than a polished update and Speedball 2 Evolution delivers almost perfectly - just remember to take some time out to get comfortable with controls first.
80Eurogamer
On balance, though, Jon Hare and co. have done a fine job in capturing the spittle-flecked fury of the Amiga original so successfully.
80MEGamers
The Amiga's future sports superstar makes its most successful comeback yet, with a game that feels just as fresh as it did 20 years ago.
80Pocket Gamer UK
Speedball 2 Evolution isn't a step forward for the old fighter, but it does offer up some enjoyably violent nostalgic action.
78Everyeye.it
Speedball 2 Evolution is the return of the most exciting and engaging arcade sport game of the last twenty years.
75Slide to Play
A trip down memory lane, but it's lacking much in the way of challenge.
65IGN
Aside from some quirks, Speedball 2: Evolution is a well-assembled and well-priced port of a nostalgic favorite, but this futuristic sports game delivers fun in inconsistent doses, thanks to dated gameplay and spotty touch controls.
60GamePro
Might be the best version of the classic sports game to come out in recent years, but that's mostly because nobody has yet made a fantastic port of it (don't touch that hideous XBLA remake).

What not to buy

The worst-reviewed titles from the past month include Painkiller Purgatory 32, Wave - Against every BEAT! 61, and Trigonon 68.

What are you playing?

Have you tried any of the games above? If so, what did you think of them? Are there any other new iPhone or iPad games that deserve a download? Let us know in the comments section below.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (6)

  • JL16  

    I personally think that most of the games by gameloft are extensive and come with amazing graphics that truly take advantage of th ipods gaming capability's. these tom clancys games can be suprizingly realistic and I am very dissapionted with the low score given to Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard

  • Ruscour  

    Some great games here. I hate stupid reviewers that give low scores for dumb reasons though, eg S:S&S had lower reviews for its terrible graphics, when they were deliberately pixelated as per the art direction...

  • Addy Rash  

    Simple and great would be the best words for this puzzle game. Loving sounds , sense of humor, simplicity and all the features are really amazing. I would love to play it.

  • walker  

    Just got Helsing's Fire the other day. It is an underrated, well-executed puzzle game. Great sound, simple concept, sencse of humor and really fun. Love this feature, keep it up. Would like to see some gameplay videos.

  • Mithel  

    Excellent feature.

  • Mitch Tough  

    12 games for 26 bones??? Not bad! That's like half the price of a console game that nobody will ever finish. I dig this.

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