Welcome to Appland, Part Two

Here’s the second part of the guided tour of my iPad, and it focuses on what my iPad primarily focuses on: games. I have them divvied up into different folders.


I like puzzle games and have a number of them in here. In fact, this folder is full and I need to start Puzzle II. The highlights here are:

ArtPuzzles – Jigsaw puzzles of the works of famous artists. Comes with 9 pictures free, and then for two bucks you can buy a bunch of paintings by an artist. I bought Rembrandt, who I got kind of tired of, Renoir, who I did all 99 puzzles of, and Van Gogh, who I just started. You can’t rotate pieces, but otherwise it’s a fine way to do puzzles on the iPad. I wish they had more modern artists, though.

WordSearch HD Free – there are a ton of word search apps out there, and I’ve tried a bunch. This one has its faults (its word lists are really odd sometimes, it sometimes hides words inside other words, and it often wants you to find two- and even one-letter words, which is dumb) but it’s still the one I’ve kept around. If there’s a better one out there, I’m interested in finding it.

Other puzzle games I like: Big Bad Sudoku Book, Reiner Knizia’s Labyrinth, Helsing’s Fire, Dungeon Raid (actually an iPhone app, but it looks fine at 2x), and Mahjongg Deluxe Free.

Multiplayer Games

There are a lot of boardgame and strategy game apps but very few of them actually let you play against your friends without your friends having to be sitting next to you. The games in this folder allow asynchronous multiplayer, which means you can take your turn, and then eventually the other players can take their turns. This is a feature I prize highly, and I hope it comes to more games soon.

Carcassonne is the king of boardgame apps. Not only does it look and play great, it lets you play other folks. I have had up to 15 different games going at once, taking my turns after work and before I go to bed. It’s a fun game that isn’t difficult to learn and provides a lot of strategy. It pretty much is the standard to judge other boardgame apps by. (If you want to play me in Carcassonne, send an invite to carcassonne@daveexmachina.com.)

Reiner Knizia’s Samurai is a close second, only falling behind because I’m not that crazy about the game itself. Still, it’s a great implementation of it, and works fine. I am davelartigue on it.

Scrabble was born to be played this way. You can think all you want about your letters without bugging anyone else. I find the official app to be far superior, but practically everyone I know goes for Words With Friends instead. I am Dave_Lartigue on Words With Friends, and you can challenge me on Facebook to play straight up Scrabble.

Disc Drivin’ HD is crazy fun. You are flicking a little disc around a track, racing against others. Be careful for hazards, don’t fall off the edge, and don’t do wimpy-ass worthless flicks like I always do. I am dave.lartigue on Disc Drivin’ HD.

Board Games

There are a ton of boardgame translations out there, many of which are really good, and almost none of which I play regularly, because I don’t want to play against an AI. For example, Neuroshima Hex is a game I love, implemented really well, and I would play it every day if it were in the category above. Alas, it’s not, and I don’t.

Small World is a beautiful adaptation of a great boardgame that I’d love to be able to play online, but this one, for some reason, I do tend to play against the AI.

Boggle was, for a long time, probably the most played game on my iPad, and I still love it. It doesn’t bug me that I can’t go head-to-head on this one because it’s enough fun for me just trying to find as many words as I can. I consider myself doing quite well if I find 50% of the total words in a shake.

Strongholds: New Age is worth a mention here. It’s based on an old minigame from Might and Magic 7 called “Arcomage”. Again, I’d love to play it against others.

Other boardgames I have and wish would do multiplayer: Blokus HD, Catan HD, Ingenious, Poison, High Society, Kingsburg, Kingdoms, Ra, Battleline, Through the Desert, Yahtzee, Battleflood, TouchRummy (Rummikub), and Pentarow.

Games Games

I guess I should divide this group up into, like, action games or something. It’s kind of a catch-all right now. Here are the things here I like:

PuzzleQuestHD and PuzzleQuest 2 are both a lot of fun, going beyond the usual “match three” stuff. I’m in the middle of PQ2 right now and it’s great.

BeeCells is incredibly easy to learn and powerfully addictive.

Dungeon Solitaire can be frustrating, as sometimes the cards are just against you, but most of the time it an enjoyable diversion.

Amazon: Hidden Expedition is one a them hidden-object games which I guess was on sale at some point. I really enjoyed it and played through it twice. I haven’t found any others I like as much, though.

Other Gamey Games I like: The Incident, Hexius, Death Worm, Monster Dash, Archibald’s Adventures Lite (I keep meaning to buy the full version), and Isaac Newton’s Gravity.

Card Games

I play Spider Solitaire like crazy on my computer, but for some reason Spider languishes on the iPad. I guess because, unlike the laptop, I have much better alternatives here. I have a bunch of other card games as well but don’t really play them.

Role Playing

Computer RPGs left me behind long ago. The days of Ultima 7, Might and Magic, Fallout, Baldur’s Gate, and such are long gone, replaced by FPSes and cutscenes, cutscenes, cutscenes. I’ve grabbed a few RPG like things for the iPad, but I just don’t have the patience for a lot of it anymore.

Underworlds was a Diablo-like game that I played and finished. It was okay, but nothing to write home about.

100 Rogues is not quite the Nethack port it sounds like it might be, but it’s pretty fun.

Dark Nova is a version of the old Space Trader game I played the hell out of back in my old Palm Visor days.

That’s mostly it. I know there’s some stuff missing from that list that will have a bunch of people insisting I forgot something, but I’m not really interested in real-time strategy, first-person shooters, or tower defense. With that in mind, again, let me know if there’s something you think needs to be on my iPad!

Tomorrow (maybe): New Stuff

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3 Responses to Welcome to Appland, Part Two

  1. Stewart says:

    Good write-ups, Dave. Sounds like you are making excellent use of your iPad.

    Curiously absent from your list is the heavy hitter, Angry Birds. I’m sure you tried it somewhere along the way. Kids like it, and I went through a little addiction period with it, myself. The new game I’m playing is Tiny Wings. These are game games, but still pretty good at showing off iOS device abilities. I’m not sure, but you might also like Flight Control and Cut the Rope. Maybe not.

    Other Apps I use that you might want to check out are Flixster (movie app that also gives showtimes at theaters near you), Yelp (I have a love-hate relationship with reviews written by the masses), and Sushipedia!

  2. Dave says:

    Angry Birds really didn’t do much for me, same with Cut the Rope. I’m not sure why.

    And I really can’t think of a reason I’d need to know movie showtimes near me.

  3. Anarkey says:

    Dude, dl’d Dungeon Raid (Lite) today. It’s a hit with the entire family. Even Sophia has been playing it like crazy. I don’t know when I’ll get my iPad back, but thanks for the rundown! I definitely need to pay for the full version.