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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

Media Monday: iOS Games

This week, let's look at a bunch of games. All played on the iPhone and iPad. 

Star Wars Commander - ★★★☆☆
A Star Wars take on Clash of Clans. I made it to Level 6 before it lost me. The biggest takeaway I have from this game is how not worth playing it feels. And, since I've stopped playing, I've racked up way more points (medals) than I would have by working at it, since waves of randos throw themselves on my well defended but mostly abandoned base.

INGRESS - ★★★★☆
Google does a great job of hitting the facets of freemium games that make this addictive, but it's basically capture the flag with flags that dissolve even if nobody's actively destroying them, as a front for a big data mining operation. I don't regret playing, but there's no end, and I know I'm not going to get as involved as the people hacking the system to do brilliant and impossible things, so level 8 is going to have to be my victory condition.

Defuse Dbomb - ★★☆☆☆
I figured there had to be a game in the app store about bomb disposal, and after trying a bunch of demos, this was the one that seemed the most similar to fun. I thought there would be lockpicking games too, but there's not much.

Smash Hit - ★★★★☆
This is a game about breaking glass things with marbles. Or ball bearings, maybe? Anyway, it's pretty satisfying to smash things, and because I didn't buy the IAP unlocks, I got good enough to play the whole game in single sittings. 

God of Light - ★★★★★ (iTunes)
A really well done puzzle game. I got 3 stars-or-whatever on every level and found all the fireflies. The core game is about reflecting beams of light around, but new mechanics and units are added regularly to keep things interesting. Really nice.

Space is Key 1 and 2 - ★★★☆☆
A port of a simple-as-can-be flash platformer, in which you make your square jump over the rectangles at the appropriate times. I didn't think much of it at first, but I played through all 100 levels (between the game and it's included sequel), and then the next night I did it again.

Forbidden Island - ★★★★☆ (iTunes)
This is a port of a board game to iOS, but that makes it a video game, and I did win several rounds of this game. I beat it playing two characters on my own, and in two player games where we played one and two characters apiece, on various difficulties. Have yet to beat the toughest modes or buy the additional island setups. A solid adaptation.

80 Days - ★★★★☆
I was genuinely surprised to find that I successfully navigated around the globe in only 77 days. I thought all was lost! This seems like a huge game, with so many more possible cities to visit, routes to take, or even things to do in the cities I've already been through. The sheer difficulty of seeing everything makes this seem like the kind of game that would drive me crazy, and might even somehow slow me down from playing more in the future. I have a lot of exploring to do here..

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