Older Games That Still Pretty Much Rule
I haven’t found enough good new games recently to do a quick-hit style list, so I figured I’d highlight some old favorites that I might not get a chance to mention otherwise.
Dungeon Raid (iPhone)
Does everyone realize that this game should be, like, way up there with Drop7 and Canabalt and whatever else is in the iPhone game “canon”? I mean, it’s basically double heroin, in app form. You’ve got gem-matching like Bejeweled—except better because you can trace crazy huge lines all across the screen—plus dungeon crawling RPG elements like Puzzle Quest—except better because it uses a roguelike structure where you maximize your character for a single run—and the result is devastatingly, apocalyptically addictive. And you can play it with one hand! Really, I’m not sure any game is more perfectly suited to the iPhone.
(Alright, I know it’s not that old, but it was technically disqualified from my 2011 list, which made me sad.)
Boost 2 (Universal)
Man, I was into this shit when it was still Boost One (#worsthipsterever). Back then, I loved it for its ultra-clean modernist style, for how fluid the tilt controls felt, and for how the entire world unfolded and inverted half-way through your run. Then it got one of the best updates I’ve seen for any game—it sharpened up the graphics, tweaked the interface, and introduced the now-definitive time trial mode, along with a bunch of other goodies. I’ve been playing this one for a while and don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
Okay, so this is just a clone of the old Flash game Curveball. But Curveball is probably my favorite flash game ever (I wish I knew who developed it. Anyone?), and Vector Ball has its own style, retina graphics, solid physics, and good touch and tilt controls. (I actually prefer tilt; touch is too easy.) So yeah, not the world’s most impressive feat of design, but I’m happy to have it in my pocket.—Nick