Fast forward to today, just over a week later, and although I can't prove it, I'm pretty sure rainblocks--which was made by Eric Koziol--is now my most-played iOS game.
So, what's changed in the meantime? I don't really know, to be honest--well, other than I think my brain went on a walkabout during my initial experience with it, which prompted me to assume it was some sort of endless (or nearly so) puzzle game, like the Tokoton mode of the Zoo Keeper series.
In reality, it's a decidedly timed affair, with the result being that rainblocks feels like a mad-dash, try-to-beat-your-high-score kind of title--which is right up my alley, especially if it's stuck inside a portable device.
As for the other games mentioned in this post's header, if I were to line them up based on how much time I've spent with them in the last week or so, I'd probably go with: BATTRIX, Zoo Keeper DX, Drop Wizard and then Tumbledrop.
I don't suppose you're up for taking in some of my thoughts on all of these lovely iOS games (and they truly are lovely, each and every one of them)? If so, please keep reading.
BATTRIX--This bite-sized RPG was made by the wizards at Opus Studio, who also brought the world the Half-Minute Hero games and Jikandia: The Timeless Land, which of course means it features some stunning spritework.
There's more to it than that, though--which probably won't shock anyone who's experienced any of the afore-mentioned PSP titles. This is most evident in BATTRIX's gameplay "hook," which tasks players with exposing its map one tile at a time. (You begin the game standing on a single, solitary tile, and nearly every step you take away from it reveals previously hidden areas and battle-able enemies.)
The idea is a perfect fit for the medium, and a lot of fun to boot. Also a perfect fit for the medium: the controls used in BATTRIX's battle scenes, which of course are intuitively touched-based and which also feature fast, frequent and intriguing weapon changes.
Drop Wizard--This was my first iOS game, and it's sure to remain one of my favorites for some time to come. The graphics here are absolutely adorable--and right up there with the best of the single-screen platformer genre, if you ask me.
The gameplay's great, too, in that it wisely considers and keeps in mind the iOS platform's weaknesses (generally unresponsive digital controls being the main one, of course) without letting them hamper the action at hand.
As for what all that nonsensical blather means for the end-user (me and you): instead of focusing on fast-paced leaps and twitchy, last-millisecond responses à la most other single-screen platformers, Drop Wizard focuses on strategy. Which is a good, as all you're able to do in this game, control-wise, is move your adorably behatted protagonist left and right. (Yes, that means there's no jump or other action button.)
I'm sure that sounds more than a bit nuts, but in reality it's brilliantly refreshing.
|Zoo Keeper DX|
So, what's Tumbledrop's gameplay like? I guess you could say it's a physics-based puzzler. Actually, it's kind of like Jenga, that block-balancing tabletop game that everybody's become obsessed with at one point or another. Only Tumbledrop is a lot more visually interesting, what with its on-point use of pastels as well as its bricks and blocks and stars that grin like non-creepy Kewpie dolls.
Anyway, it's a lot of fun, and it's no pushover (pun not entirely intended), which always is a good thing, in my opinion. In fact, I've only made it through a few screens so far thanks to its general toughness. Still, I hope I can make it a bit further before I stick a fork in it and move on to some other technicolor iOS title.
Zoo Keeper DX--If you've played some version of Zoo Keeper over the years, you've pretty much played them all. In the case of almost any other series, I'd say that's a bad thing, but these bright, animal-themed puzzlers are such a blast to play that I can't bring myself to do it.
One somewhat negative thing I will say about the iOS iteration of Zoo Keeper is that it's a bit lacking when it comes to modes and options--there are just three of the latter, as far as I can tell, and one of them is an online battle mode I'm unlikely to use.
Other than that fairly minor quibble (especially given Zoo Keeper DX's cheap asking price), though, this one's a ... well, it's a keeper, as that old--and appropriate--cliché goes.
See also: previous 'Shall We Do It?' posts