Real gamers review the iPad

Two editors, six games, one smudgy touch screen. Are any of these casual apps worthy of your hardcore attention?

Overall, we were underwhelmed by everything we played on the iPad. If forced to pick the games we thought worked best with the new device, however, this is what we'd go with.

Warning: Don't expect the jaded snarkiness to end quite yet.


Chris: If I had to pick a favorite, it’d be Geometry Wars. The iPhone saw plenty of GW imitators, yet no comer was able to shake the simple fact that the touchscreen is a shitty substitute for analog sticks. Where do you put them? I don’t know whether to give Bizarre or the iPad’s gargantuan screen credit, but this solution is apparently “Anywhere you want.” Wherever you put your fingers is where the game sets the sticks, and you can reset them any time. As a result, you rarely lose control, and on certain occasions, you can even be more accurate by pointing directly where you want to shoot. Not bad.

Unfortunately, the iPad’s larger border, with zero tactile distinction between the touchscreen, means your finger can occasionally slip into a dead zone. So, it’s hardly preferable to an actual controller… should Apple remedy that someday, however, you could consider this version of Geometry Wars to be the definitive one. It carries over all the features and gameplay modes I loved in GW1 and 2, plus it’s ridiculously well suited for portable play.


Charlie: Ironically, the genres that are best-suited to Apple's fancy new technology are the old and forgotten genres that gamers have, for the most part, given up on. Point-and-click adventure games seem like a natural fit and, after playing Command & Conquer: Red Alert today, I know for a fact that real-time strategy works well.

With the larger touch screen, navigating through the endless menus was as easy as getting cash out of the ATM, and when I wanted to select a unit, I just touched him. When I wanted to build a refinery, I just pointed where I wanted it to go. Magic! But will anyone outside a very specific niche care? Doubtful.

Apr 5, 2010

We recommend