Reviews
Worth iTrying – iOS Titles You Might Like

By Jorge Figueiredo - December 11th, 2011

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I can’t believe that it is so close to Christmas! Where did the time go? Really – tell me. While you are coming up with theories, I will break down four neat little iOS titles that you might be interested in.

Burger Joint

People talk a lot about being busy; keeping a number of plates spinning, as it were. This little iOS ditty has you spinning plates, but about a different axis. Arctic Empire’s Burger Joint is a cute little game that has you helping Skip the monkey in his quest to build a better burger to save his family (and keep the kitchen clean).

The main mode of Burger Joint involves three monkeys, four plates, and a bunch of ingredients falling from the sky (where ingredients in fast-food restaurants usually come from). As the ingredients fall, you can tap the monkeys and they will swap plates, facilitating building a burger in the right way (bottom bun, topped by ingredients and then capped by the top bun). Once a complete burger is made, it disappears from play and points are awarded accordingly; ingredients that are out of place will remain in play until they are somehow incorporated into a burger.

It’s a fun diversion with smooth game-play* and a few different variations that allow for some old-school arcade-style game-play!

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Note: Freaky looking monkeys that yell out features in colour-gradiated fonts are telling the truth.

Seraph

Seraph is about a falling star born from a wish, and has you flying through the dream world collecting dreams and avoiding nightmares. The dreams are tinted blue and give you more “star energy” (displayed on a meter at the bottom of the screen); nightmares are coloured red, and will sap the star energy from your meter – if this happens a few times you will be toast. The object of the game is to go as far as possible along this continuously-scrolling (and frankly hypnotic) landscape. Of course, evil always has an extra trick up its sleeve; while dreams are fairly unassuming, nightmares can come in different sizes. Luckily, at certain times you can actually upgrade your star, allowing you to cleanse nightmares, turn them back into dreams, and reap the rewards.

Players have a choice of using touch-based or tilt-based controls. Frankly, I find most tilt-based controls somewhat tough to use, so I stick with the touch-based. Graphics and sounds are both simple and beautiful; they work together very well and do nothing to dissuade you from pouring lots of time into this title. While game-wide variety may be lacking, it more than makes up for it with raw fun: if you are a score-hound and love to battle against yourself, this is one game you will definitely love.

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This game is hypnotic and fun. Give it a try!

Chickon

Chickon is another fun territory-conquering game by the genius behind Galcon. In fact, there are elements of the game that are very similar (instead of planets with ships, you conquer nests with chicks). Your enemy in Chickon is an army of robot chickens that you must struggle against to free (uniquely-designed) roosters; eventually you will take it to the top as you destroy factories in the fight for chicken-kind.

The game starts with you wandering around the yard as a hen; as you move around, you will discover entrenched robot chickens that you must conquer. Each enemy nest presents a unique challenge that you must beat to claim victory over that level. Essentially, it’s a crazy chain: winning each board relies on you gaining control of enough nests to lay enough eggs to hatch enough chickens to conquer more nests. There are also some amusing power-ups (come on, who doesn’t want to nuke an army of robot chickens?) that will help you win the day.

I really like Chickon; in fact, I think I like it more than Galcon. The goofy premise, bright visuals, jazzy music and crazy sound effects make this a fun diversion for those that do not have enough time for a full-on military strategy simulator.

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The roosters are effing hilarious.

Pocket Potions

Your Fairy Godmother has passed down her potion shop to you. Already famous throughout the land, this potion location is the place to go for everyone’s vial needs – but you have it in your mind to turn this tiny shack into a successful (and profitable) business. Potions require ingredients and care; ingredients can be bought from a store using in-game currency or grown by tending plants. Plants bloom at regular intervals, and it is important to harvest them when you have the chance. Creating potions is a matter of tapping them out – tap to add ingredients; tap to stir; tap to bottle; and tap to place on a display table. Once this is done, the potion can be bought by a patron. Please enough patrons and your reputation will increase, attracting more customers. Some customers will even require more of a hands-on approach, which results in not only money from them, but experience (and sometimes ingredients).

You can upgrade your shop with more display tables, more cauldrons, aesthetic pieces (like cool windows) and mystical animals. You can even conscript friends, visit other shops and leave gifts – all in the name of raising your reputation and increasing your karma. Graphics and sounds are really well done – adding a bit of pizazz to the usually dull-ish style of business simulators. The unique effects that happen when people take your potions is pretty hilarious.

If you have the patience, you will probably enjoy Breaktime Studios’ Pocket Potions. It is worth noting that you should exit fully if you ever want to take a break – not doing so will result in everything spoiling and having to start from scratch.

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Pocket Potions is a really slick-looking game.

* – IOS 5 on a 4th Gen iPod Touch.
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