Monday, November 19, 2012

New App Reviews: Angry Piggies Wanted edition

New iPad means new apps. Of course. Here are three of my favorites. Mostly just catching up with the latest stuff for iOS to be honest. More to come soon!

Angry Birds Star Wars HD, $2.99
If the Disneyfication of Star Wars goes something like this, it won't be so bad, I guess. The addition of Star Wars makes the Angry Birds franchise exciting again.

• It's like Angry Birds plus Angry Birds Space plus a new cast of birds with awesome powers. The red bird is Luke Skywalker with a lightsaber. The black bird is Obi Wan with force push. The yellow bird is Han Solo with a blaster.
• There are Angry Birds Space-style levels too. I like Space much more than plain Angry Birds.
• Easy to learn. Difficult to master. Getting all three stars on a level is tricky. Challenge accepted!

• It's actually easier than other Angry Birds games, so it's not much of a challenge. You can breeze through the whole game in a day.
• Not all birds have new powers. Chewbacca bird is just the same as the mutant green bird from Space. The rebel pilot birds are just the standard blue bird, nothing special about them.

Third World Nerd Verdict:
If you like Angry Birds, play it. Everything is better with Star Wars. But if you don't like Angry Birds, the addition of Star Wars won't do much for you.

Bad Piggies HD, $2.99
This time around, you play as the pigs from Angry Birds. You're out to steal some eggs, and to do that, you need to use science! Build rolling contraptions with rockets, springs, bombs, you name it. It's a sandbox of invention.

• More physics shenanigans. Instead of flinging birds, you build a contraption and let it loose on the level.
• It's like the smart brother of Angry Birds. You have to use your brain this time around.

• The inventions are actually more limited than advertised. Don't expect to get truly inventive. There's usually one or two ways to solve a level, which are all part of the game design.
• Controlling your invention can be tricky.

Third World Nerd Verdict:
The invention mechanic is simultaneously the best part of the game as well as the most disappointing. There's so much potential there that isn't met just to keep the game flowing and simple. It seems like the inventions are pretty open, but in truth, there are only so many possible contraptions in each level. The freedom is a lie. Still, it's a fun game that adds a new twist to the genre.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted, $6.99
Game developers like EA want you to believe that the iPad is the future of mobile gaming. NFS:MW makes the best case for this so far with stunning graphics and a game that's full of cars and tracks and game modes. It really looks like a console game.

• Impressive graphics.
• Impressive everything. It really is taking iOS gaming to the next level.

• The controls. You get the choice of tilt controls or touch and swipe controls. Both are lousy.
• The tracks. Those roads are as big as EDSA. It's ridiculous. Of course, the roads are that size to compensate for the lousy controls.
• The cops. Those guys can get annoying.

Third World Nerd Verdict:
iOS gamers may feel right at home with the controls, but old school gamers will find the controls laughable. There is zero precision, and though the game is good for some casual racing, don't expect a deep racing experience. That would be fine, except your casual racing experience is ruined by the frustrating cops who are constantly smashing up your car. Blerg. Skip it, and get the console version instead.

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