Bigger, Bolder, Better: From iPhone to iPad
The Apple iPad hits stores Saturday, April 3rd, opening up a whole new world of possibilities for developers and gamers. And while there will be a full lineup of optimized, high-definition versions of iPhone games available after its release, there are already a number of iPhone games that will both look great and benefit from the larger surface area of the iPad screen that you can play on day one. We've scoured the depths of the App Store to bring you ten games you can buy the second you get your iPad home and out of the box. Be sure to also look out for our list of HD iPad games, which we'll be posting online soon. For your convenience, we've also made it so that clicking on the names of the following games will take you to iTunes where each title is available for purchase.
10 Pin Shuffle
10 Pin Shuffle is an immensely satisfying shuffleboard game that features Wi-Fi multiplayer, which is one of the driving forces that has made the game such a popular casual game on the iPhone. We predict that the experience will only become more enjoyable (and easier to control) on the iPad. The larger playing surface will give you greater control over your puck, resulting in it being easier to plan out your strategies. 10 Pin Shuffle is the type of game the iPad will bring to life, and will make you feel like you're involved in an actual tabletop game.
The prospect of an online shooter was hugely exciting when it first hit the iPhone, and while Eliminate Pro is visually pleasing and layered with hidden depth, it's a difficult game to pick up and play. Its main problem is the sensitivity of the controls, as the on-screen commands often have untrained players side-stepping towards a wall rather than blasting the enemy's head off. It would seem the iPad is the natural remedy to this problem. The added scale will immediately put a stop to moving in the wrong direction, and more importantly, will provide players with the opportunity to focus on the battle at hand. Since the game is based around quick-thinking and accuracy, the iPad is going to provide the best platform for the formula to work as smoothly as possible.
The appearance of Final Fantasy on the iPad could potentially offer gamers the best way to experience the classic RPG title. Guiding your party on their perilous adventure is currently a fiddly experience on the iPhone thanks to some spotty touch-screen controls. You have to manually move your four heroes across the land via the on-screen d-pad, and also delve into conversations/dungeons via contextual buttons. There's something frustratingly static about it all, as the title begins to lose its grace and flow due to the inefficiency of the control scheme. The iPad's greater scale will pay dividends here, especially if you utilize a stylus to aid your quest. This will offer greater precision, and should begin to eliminate the aspects of the current app that have gotten fans riled up. If all else fails, a simple tweak to the controls could further make this an attractive iPad prospect.
Glow Hockey 2
Glow Hockey 2 is a neon-tinted game influenced by the popular air-hockey arcade machines that we all know and love. While it's deliciously smooth, visually engrossing and fun to play on the iPhone, it's another title that suffers from the iPhone's small screen. Glow Hockey 2 definitely wouldn't need any tweaking to work well on the iPad, and the simple yet vibrant visuals will stand out on the new display. We also can't help but wonder about the possibilities of simultaneously running a match with two iPads pushed together. It's an exciting prospect, and definitely shouldn't be ruled out as developers look for ways to innovate on the new device.
Monopoly Classic is another classic board game that can capitalize on the iPad's release: The main problem with Monopoly on the iPhone is that it doesn't let players look at the board when trading properties. Action buttons are also too small and require a lot of hunting-and-pecking. Ideally, EA will update the title to take full advantage of the iPad -- a fully visible board would top the list -- but even in its current iPhone form, Monopoly will prove to be a fantastic addition to the iPad. Rather than dusting off the actual gameboard and shuffling paper money, a family could conceivably place an iPad on the coffee table and start playing right away.
This classic board game Scrabble needs little introduction, as it continues to dominate both the App Store and its original scene. But one of the things we didn't like about the iPhone version was that juggling tiles was sometimes more difficult than it needed to be, and not being able to see the entire board at once in great detail was a pain. Both of these issues should be non-existent on the iPad, making it even easier to rack up the points with a seven letter word. The sleek design, intelligent AI and intuitive multiplayer options makes this a must-have for iPad owners.
The Secret of Monkey Island
There's no question that having Guybrush Threepwood's unforgettable original adventure on your iPhone is as cool as it gets, but move it onto the iPad, and the experience can only get better. The point-and-click interface wouldn't need any work as it's already well implemented, but the larger screen of the iPad will make it easier to navigate the colorful pirate-themed world and solve its unique puzzles. We're also big fans of the game's distinct old school look, and seeing the bustling Scumm Bar or cannibal infested Monkey Island on the iPad is going to be an interesting experience. The visuals may look a bit pixelated on the iPad, but that's also part of The Secret of Monkey Island's charm.
Street Fighter IV
Although sneered at by purists of the series, there's no denying Street Fighter IV on the iPhone is a superb technical achievement. Sporting most of the visual sheen of the full release, and eight characters to get to grips with, it's definitely the best fighter on the App Store. It was a brave move by Capcom to bring this to the small screen, but already it's been snapped up by users and rocketed to the summit of the App Store's Top 25. Street Fighter IV's main drawback on the iPhone is the joystick control, an issue the iPad's superior display should help alleviate. The larger screen will also allow the amazing graphics to shine. While the increased size of the actual unit may prove to be a roadblock for some gamers, Capcom's portable fighter has the style to make it a popular choice for iPad owners.
Although Worms has sold well on the iPhone, it isn't without issues. Like the Scrabble app, there are limitations with the screen. The scale of each battle is remarkably minuscule and requires an endless amount of screen-pinching to zoom in and out. Although Worms' graphics are vibrant and capture the cartoon feel of the series, every other aspect of the game is crying out for a bigger screen. With the extended playing surface of the iPad, the problems that plagued the iPhone release will be immediately solved, allowing you to focus on the most important thing: blowing the crap out of your enemies with banana bombs and flying sheep. Worms is a game that requires deft precision and control, two things the iPad's hardware will no doubt excel at.
Zen Pinball: Rollercoaster
If Zen Pinball: Rollercoaster's iPad potential doesn't immediately strike you, it will shortly after you finish downloading it. This title simply turns your iPhone into a pinball machine, bringing all of the bright lights, lost balls and flipper action in portable form. The iPad's capabilities will accurately replicate the thrills and spills of the real thing, and will showcase the game's realistic physics on a grander scale. If you've ever wanted a pinball machine, but haven't got the funds for the real thing, the iPad alternative will be the best addition to satisfy those instinctive reflexes.
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