iPad reviews of the week: Space Miner, Madden NFL 11, BIT.TRIP BEAT, Undead Attack! Pinball, Flick Golf

Game: Undead Attack! Pinball HD
Price: $2.99 / £1.79
Size: 25.2MB
Buy it now from the iTunes store:US/UK

Zombies have become such an irrefutable and unavoidable gaming sensation recently -- even infiltrating a game likeRed Dead Redemptionin a meaningful way via DLC -- that seeing the shambling undead in a pinball game is hardly a surprise. But it is entertaining, as the introduction of grotesque, cartoon-like creatures on a traditional pinball table delivers a new twist on a familiar formula.

Undead Attack! Pinball HD may list its zombie stars first in the title, but at its core, this is still primarily a pinball experience. Taps on the left and right side of the iPad screen control the flippers, and while the tables are more fantastical than their real-life counterparts, the physics and feedback are about on par with what we're used to from the genre. But once the ball starts moving, Undead Attack! reveals its distinct approach, as the zombies slowly emerge and start heading towards the metal gate found beneath your bottom flippers.

Keeping them away by flinging the ball into their brains is the goal, and you'll occasionally gain a massive spiked ball -- which can also be manipulated via the iPad's accelerometer -- to help you along the way. A last-resort mist attack is also available near the gate, but it'll only make up for your lacking ball skills a couple times before your stronghold falls. Undead Attack! definitely seems targeted more towards casual users, as the simple tables and lowered emphasis on careful ball management may put off hardcore pinballers, but it's a fun option for less serious pinball fans.

Game: Flick Golf HD
$4.99 / £2.99
Size: 25.3MB
Buy it now from the iTunes store:US/UK

Flick Golf HD isn't out to topple the full golfing simulations of the iOS world – it's a super-simple series of one-shot, get-it-in-the-hole attempts that feels like a cross between iPhone hit Paper Toss and the slightly ridiculous backspin ability in the console Tiger Woods games.

You start each hole staring at the tee, taking distance and wind variables into consideration before flicking upwards to launch the ball towards the large target on the green. As it approaches its final destination, you can flick in any direction to give the ball a nudge, with the hopes of racking up the highest score by being close to the pin; plus, you can earn bonuses for excessive mid-air finagling. Flick Golf doesn't have multiplayer, tournaments, or any kind of extensive or customizable career option: it's just an arcade-style game of darts on a considerably larger scale. Using golf balls, of course.

Flick Golf HD could stand to love a couple bucks from its current price, since it's a fairly shallow and straightforward experience, but it's still an amusing diversion here and there -- especially if you've saved (or accidentally botched) countless Tiger Woods shots by applying tremendous backspin over the years.

Jan 15, 2011