Mobile Monday №6


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Mobile Monday

JohnBThis week's Mobile Monday highlights one of the most disturbing trends of the 21st century: adding a lowercase "i" to the front of words. Our example: iDracula. Why on earth does the name Dracula need an "i" in front of it? Unfortunately, playing the game doesn't offer any clues, so I suppose we'll just have to deal with it. Or should that be, iSuppose?

Remember: each week on Mobile Monday we offer you the chance to win an iTunes gift certificate that will cover the cost of every game featured in the article. All you have to do is sign-in with a Casual Gameplay account, leave a comment giving feedback about one of the games, then check back the week after to see if you've won. Simple! Congratulations to last week's winner, JohnnyCaps!

idracula.jpgiDracula - Undead Awakening - If you thought serious, mainstream-style games had no place on the iPhone, iDracula aims to prove you wrong. A survival-horror isometric shooter, you control movement with your left thumb and firing direction with the right, a setup that works so well you'd swear you had dual analog sticks in your hand. You play a vampire hunter who is being hunted himself. Survive wave after wave of witches, werewolves and vampires by moving and shooting in all directions. As the enemies grow stronger you pick up better weapons that help you stay alive, and certain upgrade "perks" are available as you gain experience. A free lite version is also available.

zenbound.jpgZen Bound - From the same studio that brought us SPiN, Zen Bound is a relaxing yet thought provoking 3D game where your only goal is to have a good time, not get a high score. Use your fingers to rotate, twist and spin the block of wood in any direction, wrapping the rope around as much of the surface area as you can. Each shape has a few tough nooks and crannies to get to, but fortunately you only have to cover a percentage of the sculpture to move on to the next piece. Excellent use of the touch screen, and you can even change the rope's origin by tilting the iPhone!

jellycar.gifJellyCar - It's squishy. It's bouncy. It's a car. Made out of jelly! And you know what? Everything else is made out of jelly, too! This physics-based driving game challenges you with moving the jelly car through a series of puzzles. Tap the sides of the screen to move in that direction, and tap the car to grow big or small to fit through small spaces or push objects over.

spawnilluminati.jpgSpawn Illuminati - The most fun "doing nothing" you'll have with your iPhone/iPod Touch. Spawn Illuminati lets you play with colored particles while listening to your favorite music (or just silence). Just drag one or two fingers around the screen, swirling and chasing the moving colors however you see fit. Tap the screen with three fingers to bring up a menu packed with features you can tweak. A free Spawn Lite version is also available.

NOTE: Games listed may not be available outside of North America. Prices are subject to change and are therefore unlisted. Please see the individual game pages for purchasing info.

22 Comments

How about some BlackBerry games for those of us that don't fall for trendy Apple BS?

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Sorry, we do not have plans to feature any Blackberry games, nor games for mobile platforms other than iPhone/iPod Touch at this time.

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I LOVE falling for trendy apple BS.

Spawn Illuminati is so calming and nice. I love the "abstract" mode.

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iPhone/iPod only? That's pretty limiting I'd think, how about for the G1 at least? That has tons of great apps. Wife has one and loves it, I'm stuck with my Blackberry from work though I would get the G1 if I had the option.

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iThink iDracula has great control. iApprove!

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yankjenets Author Profile Page March 2, 2009 11:42 AM

Zen Bound just isn't my thing, even though everyone else seems to love it. iDracula is pretty good, but the lack of variety makes it boring after awhile.

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What? Computer/iPhone games only? That's pretty limiting I'd think. How about reviewing some kitchen appliances!!?? Not all of us can afford iPhones and computers you know! I want to hear about the new Cuisinart toaster oven!!! How about some book and movie reviews too!!

If I don't start seeing some more diversity of reviews on JIG, I'm canceling my membership and demanding my money back!

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Um... dabaser, if you didn't want only computer/iPhone games, why did you choose this site to sign up to? JIG simply isn't about books, movies, or... kitchen appliances. And, obviously, people who can't afford computers can't access JIG, so it wouldn't really be a big help to them.

[Edit: I think you totally missed the sarcasm that was dripping from debaser's comment. It had me in stitches. xD -Jay]

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I've been playing Zen Bound since it came out, and I still find it relaxing and entertaining. The graphics are beautiful, the background sounds calming and the gameplay is engaging.

iDracula, too, is a well done game. They plan a release, within a week or two, of two more levels, weapons and more perks and enemies. They're also introducing more game modes. So if you're holding off spending 99¢ because there doesn't seem to be enough there (which there is already!) I'd suggest laying the cash down before the price is increased!

Cheers! I love the Mobile Mondays! Great feature :)

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Fuzzyevil Author Profile Page March 2, 2009 3:53 PM

Jelly Car! I've been playing this game for several months, its great, especially for a free game. I can't beat Huge Wheels though, and I've been trying for days. Any tips?

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I can't wait to try out Spawn Illuminati! This will bring my productivity to zero, but I will have fun.

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Anonymous March 2, 2009 11:44 PM

Considering that as of the end of 2008, 47% of smart phones in peoples hands were Blackberries, and further considering the number of really excellent games available, I tend to agree that the iPhone/iPod limitation is somewhat silly.

The reality is that there are FAR more Blackberries out there than iPhones. The selection of games IS somewhat limited on the Blackberry, but a site like JIG is big enough and influential enough that more developers might be willing to take a chance on the BB platform if they see other works being showcased. I can tell you anecdotally that there is a real hunger amongst BB users for a JIG approach to casual BB game reviews, and it'd be a real shame for you to miss the opportunity to fill an otherwise pretty empty (but capacious) niche.

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JIGuest - Are you including the iPod Touch in those statistics? If not, you're omitting a significant portion of the market for these games.

And what are the statistics regarding the percentage of Blackberry users who actually play games versus those with an iPhone or iPod Touch?

Our resources are rather limited here at JIG so we focus only on the best of what's available. And I have heard of nothing on the Blackberry platform that makes getting one uniquely compelling from a casual game perspective.

Until that day comes, we plan to focus solely on the iPhone/iPod Touch platform for now.

Update: This story paints quite a different picture than your statistics. In fact, according to the AdMob Mobile Metrics report (PDF), "The iPhone OS has already surpassed the RIM OS [Blackberry] and Windows Mobile combined."

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I like Jelly Car a lot. I wish the Zen Bound had a free version as I'm hesitant to fork over $5 for it.

Also, I think the name of this column should be changed from "Mobile Monday" to "Whiney-Pants Monday"

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tsempetOr Author Profile Page March 3, 2009 10:36 AM

Spawn: pretty, but a bit dull, especially using Itouch (due to lack of speakers). Still a pretty 'game'.

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The JellyCar game looks both fun and interesting and Zen Bound looks like an incredible way to waste away a few hours. Now all I need to do is get a job that provides enough disposable income to justify purchasing (and, in my opinion, re-purchasing on a month-to-month basis) an iPhone to play them. Honestly though, soapbox aside, my Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go phone is more than adequate for me. But an iTunes gift certificate? iCould use one of those.

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iWant iDracula! It's looks and sounds like fun.
I love the new (now somewhat old) Mobile Mondays. Something to look forward too!

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I am surprised Jelly Car just now made it to Mobile Mondays. I mean, everyone I know has that game for their iPod touch.

I would have thought it would have come earlier. But I am happy it was sponsored.

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I love jellycar!

This game is really good, it keeps your best time for each level and, like Rolando, you can zoom in and out whilst driving to get a better look at the whole level.

It's like playing with your food, except way cooler, with the added bonus of jelly wobble!

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Thought I'd splurge on a paid game this week, since I've worked out a way to justify spending an unlimited amount of money $1 at a time (By telling myself I'll air-dry my laundry next time, and save myself a buck. I'll actually do it one of these days.)
I'm really enjoying iDracula so far. Partly for the controls and gameplay, which feel quite natural, and also for the style. The diablo-esque graphics are a great compromise between the stick-figure types that leave me wanting, and processor hungry 3d rendered games that slow and occasionally crash my device.
Also it's worth noting that the reason the game will rate you as a "noob" the first few plays is because the omens you acquire are counted cumulatively. I suspect there is more continuity between plays as well. If ever these mobile games get reviewed individually, I would nominate iDracula to be more thoroughly examined (after the new version, perhaps?). Until then, I'll try to work out its secrets myself.

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TEEDUB0210 Author Profile Page March 7, 2009 3:25 AM

Zenbound has me hooked, it's a program that I actually find myself playing more than once!

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Thanks for nailing the i-Fashion issue. It's probably going to live a long time still, but frequent reminders of the nonsense of it may help…

iDracula can be quite engrossing indeed! After the (mild) shock of the character's pair of legs moving completely independently from the torso (!), and getting used to the controls, this is a really great game: excellent artwork and relentless action!
I still can't get used to the weapon selection slider, though. I would also enjoy a slightly more tactical gameplay -- less monsters but more powerful, perhaps. Looking forward to the update!

Zen Bound seems quite intriguing and I'm tempted to buy it… after one hour shooting frantically in iDracula, soothing is definitely needed! 8-O

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