Skip to main content

Can you play games on an iPad?

I've already waxed lyrical about the iPad for work purposes, but it is also supposed to be a fun device, so I felt obliged to check out whether you can play games on it in a satisfactory fashion. I have to confess I'm not much of a games player these days, but I was once. When X-wing and its sequels came out I spent days playing them, and for a few years one of my main sources of income was reviewing computer games for a magazine.

The good news is, yes, the iPad does work pretty well as a game playing device. Ok, we're not going to get X-box/PS3 level of graphics, but it's pretty nifty. Once you've got over doing a labyrinth type game using the motion sensors to tilt the board, it's easy to find some rather nice backgammon games like the one illustrated above (just called Backgammon). You can play against a fair computer opponent, 2 player or online.

Making a bit more use of the graphics, I've downloaded rather a nice pinball game in Pinball HD. Only 3 tables, but a good variety of types. I confess I've always been a sucker for pinball in its physical incarnation, so the excellent look and feel of this game appeals a lot. The only slight surprise, given those motion sensors, is that you can't tilt.

Finally, I've had a quick go at the (free) opening section of the new Back to the Future game to see what leading edge graphics in an iPad game are like. Although I found the exposition of the story a little slow (you can swipe to hurry it up, through), it's a nice combination of an interactive video and a puzzle game. It looks good and it plays smoothly.

I haven't tried any shooter games yet, but on this early sample, games and the iPad go together well. I bought it thinking of it as a toy and it has proved much more - but it doesn't mean you can't have fun with it too. There are plenty of free games, and even those you pay for are rarely more than a few pounds - very refreshing if you have been paying £30-40 for a game.

Comments

  1. Brian. I have a question for you. Do you remember Ivor the Engine?

    The reason I ask is that a friend of mine has been working with Peter Firmin of Smallfilms fame to create an Ivor the Engine adventure game for the iPad.

    My friend is a games developer, and in my opinion has done an astounding job in taking Peter's original artwork and digitizing it to create a game based on an original Ivor the Engine story.

    I just wondered if you'd be interested in looking at the game and writing about it on your blog?

    Al the best,
    Seb

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Seb -
    I do indeed fondly remember Ivor the Engine! Feel free to get your friend to drop me details at brian@brianclegg.net.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Which idiot came up with percentage-based gradient signs

Rant warning: the contents of this post could sound like something produced by UKIP. I wish to make it clear that I do not in any way support or endorse that political party. In fact it gives me the creeps. Once upon a time, the signs for a steep hill on British roads displayed the gradient in a simple, easy-to-understand form. If the hill went up, say, one yard for every three yards forward it said '1 in 3'. Then some bureaucrat came along and decided that it would be a good idea to state the slope as a percentage. So now the sign for (say) a 1 in 10 slope says 10% (I think). That 'I think' is because the percentage-based slope is so unnatural. There are two ways we conventionally measure slopes. Either on X/Y coordiates (as in 1 in 4) or using degrees - say at a 15° angle. We don't measure them in percentages. It's easy to visualize a 1 in 3 slope, or a 30 degree angle. Much less obvious what a 33.333 recurring percent slope is. And what's a 100% slope