Posts tagged dungeon solitaire
Here’s a list of ten games to play during this month. They won’t be the ten best iPhone games – any list without Angry Birds, Doom and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is not a list of the greatest iPhone games – but they’ll be selected based on a mix of quality, novelty and relevance to the month’s events.
Mostly excellent conversion of the classic board game. The interface is lovely, playing against the AI is fun and it’s a wonderful conversion. It’s let down a bit by what appears to be a completely broken online implementation – many games I’ve tried to play have been full of baffled chat messages and no actual game – but when it works it’s excellent. Easy to pick up, but brain-twisting in the best possible way as you try to make long-term plans based on hopes and educated guesses. Buy it as a single-player or local-multiplayer game with a possibility of bonus online multiplayer against friends and you won’t be disappointed.
The App Store is built on novelty. Games appear for pennies, are the best thing ever for ten minutes, then disappear. Civilization Revolution is different. It eats both hours and battery life with equal abandon and is almost impossible to put down once you’ve started a game. You start with a small, wandering prehistoric tribe capable only of building a small settlement. You end up with tanks and fighter plans and nuclear weapons as you struggle to dominate the world through your military, cultural, economic or scientific might. It’s all incredibly absorbing and doesn’t deserve to be left to rot as you devour the latest, greatest arcade novelty.
Cubed Rally Racer
Of course, there’s a lot to be said for arcade thrills and Cubed Rally Racer is one of the best of the newer games on the App Store. Essentially it’s an isometric driving game, where the aim is simply to make it to the end of the randomly generated course with as many points as possible. You simply choose how long you want the course to be – ten sections for a commercial break, twenty-five sections for a serious challenge – and then try to get to the finish line without crashing. Hard to put down, seemingly infinitely replayable, this is a serious bargain.
Fed up of traditional Solitaire? Has even Spider Solitaire got tiresome? Try this. It’s very much a Solitaire game – it’s all based on a deck of cards and the shuffle is as important as the strategy – but you’ll also have to engage your brain. It’s a great game with the default deck, but there are numerous expansions that add new cards, often with new rules. It’s nothing like Magic The Gathering, despite the screenshot suggesting otherwise, but it is the best Solitaire game I’ve ever played.
FIFA World Cup
This would not feature in a list of the ten best iPhone games, but you can’t really get more topical. And if you do get swept up in World Cup fever and want to play with real players on your iPhone, then EA have had the decency to put a decent game in this bit of merchandise. Nice features like arrows showing where your passes will go and excellent replays mean that this is a very solid game. Will you be playing long after the World Cup is over? I doubt it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good game to have right now.
It’s always good to get free games. It’s especially good to get free games when they’re absolute classics. Initially baffling, if you can work your way inside NetHack, you’ll be rewarded with a deep, endlessly-replayable roguelike. You move through the dungeon, killing monsters, trying strange potions, attacking shopkeepers by mistake and, inevitably, dying. Just don’t get too attached to your pets.
An absolute, stone cold classic. This should be preinstalled on every iPhone. Today, for example, the queue in Spar was huge, so what did I do while I waited to buy my Mini Cheddars? Yes, I played Orbital. Three game modes, all worth playing, all sorts of high scores and a cold, yet beautiful, aesthetic. Absolutely essential.
Robot Unicorn Attack
This is one of those arcade novelties. Maybe you won’t play it forever. Maybe it’s not as good as the free Flash version. Maybe it’s overpriced at £1.79. Whatever. Right now, today, this is great fun. And it makes a change from Canabalt.
If Civilization Revolution seems a bit too much, play Slay instead. Games are quicker, military conquest is the only option and, well, it’s not even remotely the same, apart from being turn-based and based on conquering territory on a map. It’s been around for many years, but the fact that it’s the same as the ancient PC game shows how well the mechanics have stood the test of time. Easy to overlook if you’ve not played it, this really deserves your attention.
Trucker’s Delight: Episode One
And let’s finish off with another novelty. Beautiful graphics, simple yet addictive gameplay and a fairly worrying backstory based on a music video. I played it solidly for two days and haven’t been back since. I keep meaning to, but somehow things get in the way.
Another update, more cards to play with. There’s also a new option to build a random deck with the cards you’ve got.
Me, I prefer just to choose all the expansion packs and go for a big game. It is, of course, heavily luck-based – will you get something to deal with those pesky dragons? – but that’s Solitaire for you.
It really seems to be pretty much endlessly enjoyable. I leave it for weeks at a time, but I’m never sure why. When I do play it, I enjoy it tremendously. Definitely needs to be seen as one of the premier iPhone games, I reckon.
Lots of this last night. I’ve only managed to improve my best score by one hundred points, from 28,000 to 28,100, but that’s not really why I’m playing, anyway. It’s just a lovely, lovely solitaire game.
The dragons are very hard to deal with if they come out early, but there are ways to see them off. I especially like using the potion that makes cards very powerful, but which kills them after their next fight. I get monsters to drink it a lot more often than I give it to one of my heros.
A break from the usual list of the ten iPhone games I judge to be the best, here’s a list of ten games to play during this month. All will be great games, but they’ll be selected based on a mix of quality, novelty and relevance to the month’s events.
Angry Birds is one of the very best games you’ll find on the App Store. You pull back a catapult to launch birds at structures set up the evil, egg-stealing green pigs, aiming to knock them and destroy the pigs inside. The levels are wonderfully designed, for the most part, with luck playing a much smaller part in proceedings than you might think when you first play. It’ll take a few days to get through all the levels – there are about a hundred of them now – and there’s tons of replay value in trying to get all three stars for every level and get good scores on the global leaderboards. A huge, well-deserved success.
The devloper’s next iPhone game, Gravity Hook, is coming out soon, so what better time to revisit Canabalt? Not that you need any excuse. Canabalt is a masterpiece of one-touch gameplay and atmosphere. Perfectly playable without sound, the soundtrack nevertheless heightens the tension and makes the simple act of running and jumping feel like humanity’s last hope for survival.
New to the App Store, this is a fantastic solitaire game, based around fighting with fantasy-themed cards. There are monsters, zombies and dragons stacked up against your band of heros. Though the luck of the draw is important, as in all solitaire games, a wide variety of cards and tactical options make this much more interesting than your standard solitaire game. Very highly recommended.
Also new to the App Store, but a long, long way from being a new game, here comes the game that started it all. Updated graphics and toned-down difficulty make for a much friendlier game than the NES original and the lack of story and cut scenes means you’ll be able to spend a lot of your time actually playing the game. It may be simple compared to later games in the series, but that doesn’t hurt a bit on a mobile platform.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
A giant of a game, this towers over the other games available on the iPhone, puts its hands on its hips and roars with laughter. An absolutely huge game, with great controls, this brings the humour, the carnage and the city you love to the iPhone. Alongside the story, there are all sorts of side missions, along with a hugely addictive drugs economy that you can use to earn money. It’s pretty much perfect and, for my money, is the best game on the App Store by a country mile.
Noby Noby Boy
Not, perhaps, the best game you’ll ever play on your iPhone. In fact, it’s not really game at all, simply a suite of little toys and mini apps. Think of it as a toy, though, and it’s brilliant. You can mess around stretching, flicking and breaking BOY, check the time, import photos, even browse the web. It’s all very silly and lightweight, but has a huge amount of charm. If you’re anything like me, you’ll keep coming back every now and again, just for the joy of it.
Everybody loves Orbital. Well, okay, not quite everybody. It’s a harsh mistress, where a single mistake spells death, so some lily-livered types find it off-putting, but most people play a couple of games and fall in love. It’s all about angles and sensible shooting, wrapped up in neon explosions in the emptiness of space. It’s horribly addictive – especially if your Facebook friends are also playing it – and all three modes offer something different. It’s not got the humour and scope of Grand Theft Auto or the cartoon charm of Angry Birds, but it’s got claws of cold steel that grab you and won’t let go.
It’s March, which means baseball is back. There’s a whole host of baseball games on the App Store and most of them have something going for them, but at the moment I’m playing Konami’s Power Pros. It’s easy to pick up, well-presented and cute. It may not have real players, but it feels right. Go Panthers!
If you’re playing Canabalt, you might as well play this, too. It’s the flip side of that game, where instead of being an escaping human, you’re a giant robot bent on destruction. Why you’ve been programmed to be unable to move past a city block unless its been completely destroyed I don’t know, but that’s the situation you find yourself in. You stomp through the city, destroying everything in your path. Buildings, trees… and the army. Soldiers are fried and squished, tanks explode, helicopters fall in flames. Eventually the armed forces will bring you down, that’s inevitable, but it’s great fun to see how far you can get before you fall.
Words With Friends
You always need Words With Friends. It’s a bit unstable at times and not as balanced as Scrabble, but it makes up for it with a huge userbase and ease of use. If you’ve got any interest in word games, you need this. There’s no single player, but that doesn’t matter given how easy it is to start an online game. I’m always up for new challengers and I’m easily beatable, so if you want a game, I’m ThatRevChap. So good it’s got a permanent space on my dock.
Well, that didn’t take long. I thought I’d be able to resist buying the expansions for a good long while, as the core deck is quite good enough to stand up to repeated play, but I caved in yesterday afternoon.
Each expansion costs 59p and adds seven cards to the deck. That may not sound like much, but it’s enough to add spice and variety to the game. Things like the dragon slayer sword add more tactical interest to the game, though obviously the main determinant of success remains the luck of the draw. As I keep saying – this is very much a solitaire game. Just a bloody good one.
I may even be overstating the amount of luck in the game. I’m definitely winning more games than I was when I first started. So much so that I’m now starting to consider my score when playing. You see, during the game you earn gold and your total gold at the end of the game is your score. There are worldwide and local leaderboards, as well as achievements for getting big scores. (The first achievement is for getting a score of 50,000 – my best at the moment is 28,000.) You can really improve your score by using treasure cards to make monsters stronger, but worth more gold. It’s a very risky strategy and I’ve always come a cropper when trying to maximise my score, but I’d really like to at least hit the top spot on the local leaderboard sometime.
(There’s a also a free expansion, by the way. Enter the code 033-084-049 in the game before the 30th of April and you’ll get some nice extra cards for free.)
Apart from Words With Friends, this was the only game I played last night. I even got an achievement for killing the Ice Dragon. (If you’ve played the game, I’m sure a little spark of hatred lit up when you read his name.) I also won a game in less than ten moves, through sheer fluke.
A couple of times I’ve had games that couldn’t be completed – the only cards left were hero cards, which got forced off the board when played, so added back to the deck, so came back again and were forced off the board again – but that’s a minor annoyance. No problem to quit out and restart.
You’ve got to remember this is a solitaire game, so games are decided as much on luck as tactics. If you hate playing solitaire, it won’t appeal at all, but otherwise – go buy. Now.
A wholehearted, unqualified recommendation here. Dungeon Solitaire is a brilliant game that works on the toilet, in bed, on the sofa, at your desk and sitting outside the TK Maxx changing rooms while your wife tries on swimsuits.
It may look like a collectible card battling game, but it’s very much not. The clue’s in the title. It’s a solitaire game. It’s got its own deck and its own rules, but it’s all about turning over cards and trying to win. There’s more scope for tactics than traditional solitaire games and it’s got a very robust set of rules that sound immensely complicated on paper, but which are made very clear by a quick tutorial.
You can add to the game by buying cards to add to your deck as DLC, but there’s no need to do so. The main deck is good enough to stand up to repeated play.
There are also OpenFeint leaderboards and a good list of achievements and overall this is a very, very good solitaire game. It being a card game, there will of course be times where you can’t win, but that’s common to all these games and no reason to steer clear. I really do urge you to take a chance and spend £1.19 on this game, because I honestly don’t think you’ll be disappointed.