Wednesday, August 8, 2012

5 Great Games for the iCade

I love the the iCade. There are some games that just don't feel right with a virtual pad, and iCade provides that much needed joystick for controlling arcade games that really, really need tactile feedback to get some serious game on. Following is my “short list” of games that are a blast to play with this device, and most other game pads too. So scrape a few bucks together, grab a beer (or 2), dust off your iCade and try these 5 good 'uns, and no, I'm not mentioning Atari's Greatest Hits, most of you have that already... and it's kind of crappy. Got that beer yet? Yeah? Well then hit that More button below and let's get going!

Goat Up: There are 2 types of people out there: People who love Jeff Minter games and all of you loser jag bags out there. I for one think he was one of the best developers back on the C=64 and is one of the best devs on the iPad today. Take Goat Up for instance: Start with 1 goat who can move left, right and jump, add a vertically moving game field with platforms full of grass to eat and dozens of objects to collect. Finally include perfect dead on controls with or without the iCade and you have an instant winner. The retro graphics add ambiance to the excellent game play and combined with iCade make you feel like you are in a miniature version of the arcades of the 80's. There is so much nuance to this game it's hard to believe he cranks these things out so dang fast.

Muffin Knight: Great graphics combine with smooth gameplay to make an excellent single screen muffin-collectin' platformer. The real hook to the game is the massive amount of upgrades and unlockable characters available. While the touch controls are neigh impossible the frustration ends and the fun begins once you hook up the iCade and get down with some hardcore arcade fun. Also check out the similar but much harder game Super Crate Box.

Forget-Me-Not: A Pac-Man RPG? What kind of crazy mind comes up with this stuff? And what a great idea! Wander around the maze gobbling up dots, killing monsters and collecting the key to escape each randomly generated level. The built in swipe controls work quite well, but playing Forget-Me-Not with the iCade is an UnFORGETable experience. Great stuff.

Dynamite Jack: This stealth based top down bombastic action game is darn near impossible to put down once you start playing. Avoid or destroy the guards blocking your way out of an underground prison mining complex. Simple to play, hard to beat. A classic graphics style combines with modern lighting effects to make a sinister play experience. Includes a level editor to create your own levels and share with others. One of the best iPad games out there. Period.

Super Ox Wars: Jeff Minter is one of those guys that “gets” gaming on the iPad. The man cranks out games for the device at an astounding rate, and each one is better than the last. This is probably why 2 of his games make my short list. Super Ox Wars is a top down collect-em-up shooter with an 8 bit aesthetic combined with a pixel-perfect control scheme. This game has it all: looks, great sound and tight gameplay. A wide variety of enemies and that classic Llamasoft style make Super Ox Wars an instant classic. It really plays well on the touch screen, but its obvious Minter spent a lot of time getting things right on the iCade as well.

So ends my short list of great games for the iCade. There are plenty of great games for the device that did not get mentioned here, but we mention them from time to time on the podcast and here at Also make sure to check out the official iCade supported games list for a full catalog of iCade compatible games.

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