My copy of the newest Nancy Drew game is currently lost in cyberspace. Darn. And I scheduled in an hour of time so I could play it yesterday. What did I do during my hour of gaming time, then?
I recently found out that a lot of companies like to make their iPhone games free for a week or so. That way, they get featured on iTunes' "free apps" section, the game generates a lot of buzz, and when they start charging for the game again, many people will buy it.
That's the idea, at any rate. Gamezebo keeps a running track of which iPhone games are currently free. So recently I downloaded about several free games, and here are my reviews:
Paper Glider is kind of a blatant rip-off of a popular Flash game. The game cares more about getting you to spend money than it cares about actually being fun; they deliberately withhold the good features and force you to pay for them with in-game currency. My advice? Play the original, superior Flash game.
Dr. Stanley's House is a Flash games that you can play for free on the Internet, if you feel so inclined. The PC version is better, but really, I don't think either version of the game is worth playing. The graphics aren't so great; they consist mainly of closed doors. Also, the game's directional arrows are a failure, in that you can't beat the game without going in directions that are not marked by directional arrows. What's the point of having directional arrows if they don't lead you the screens you need to go to?
Chronicles of Spoon looks like another Flash game. I'm sensing a pattern here. The game has nothing to do with spoons; it's about leading a spaceship through a maze. The controls are a tad too difficult to master easily, and I gave up after losing the second level five times in a row.
Land-a Panda is a platformer, where you move a bouncy panda from one side of the screen to the other, so he can be with the girl panda. It is a very cute game, with nice graphics and sound effects. The gameplay reminds me of the barrel levels in Donkey Kong Country, and I would totally buy this game for its normal price of 99 cents. My only complaint is that whenever I lose a level, the girl panda start crying her eyes out, and it makes me feel like a horrible, horrible person who makes pandas cry.
Mexiball is not that bad of a game. It's a puzzle game, involving matching colored balls in mazes. And for some reason, it's Mexican-themed. It somewhat inspires me to replay every level to get all three stars, just like Angry Birds does, but I'm going to be honest: I probably wouldn't get it if it wasn't free.
Tripeaks Solitaire is merely passable, in my book. The tutorial is unhelpful, the levels are more difficult than the Windows version, and the sounds still play even when you turn the volume off. I'll stick with normal solitaire.
Paper Ninja is just like Fruit Ninja, only with actual ninjas. To be honest, I don't really like Fruit Ninja. To me, that game is just a less fun version of Duck Hunt, where your goal is to hit all of the moving enemies that appear onscreen. I think I'm saying that I'm a little tired of "destroy all the enemies that appear onscreen" as a basic premise for a videogame.
To be fair, Paper Ninja tries to improve upon Fruit Ninja. The cutscenes and storyline are nice, and I like the challenge of having the ninja enemies block certain attacks, thereby forcing you to think a little bit about which attacks to use. But still, that doesn't change the fact that every single level is basically the same. I'd recommend checking it out, as long as it's free.