As I've mentioned on many an occasion, I'm not really much of a player of computer games. I do enjoy watching the graphics when other people are playing live action games, but I have little interest in joining them.
Now, it's true that I have an interest in the underlying graphics and algorithms. I know enough about graphics hardware and software to be dangerous, and I've seen things evolve from black-and-white Pong level to today's incredibly realistic, full-color, high-definition imagery. However, if you backed me into a corner and asked me if I were a game player, my answer would be a resounding "No!" Thus, you can only imagine my surprise when I was rooting around my iPad recently and realized just how many game apps I have downloaded on to it.
The thing is that I'm a sucker for amazing graphics and thought-provoking puzzles. When you combine the two, then I guess I'm hooked. This is one reason I subscribed to the Kickstarter campaign for Cyan's Obduction game, which is scheduled for an October 2015 release.
A scene from Cyan's forthcoming Obduction.
But I digress. The games that are currently residing on my iPad are what I consider the bee's knees, the best of the best, the cream of the crop, and I wanted to share them with you to see if you agree with me.
Let's start with the game that I ran across most recently, Monument Valley ($3.99). This is a sort of puzzle game in which you guide the little princess character through a series of amazing Escher-esque architectures.
A scene from Monument Valley.
These images are so beautiful that I wouldn't be ashamed to have them as prints on my wall. The puzzles are complex enough to be interesting, but not so complex that you want to bang your head against the wall. As you progress through the game, an interesting underlying story develops; all I can say is that I certainly didn't expect what happened at the end. This counts as the best $3.99 I've ever spent.
If we were to go from the sublime to the ridiculous, my next contender would have to be Cave Bowling ($0.99). In many ways, this game is similar to Angry Birds. I was never lured into Angry Birds, but I've spent more time than I should playing Cave Bowling.
A scene from Cave Bowling.
I don't know what it is about this game, but it's strangely addictive. The early levels are so easy that you are lulled into a false sense of security. The later levels have you gnashing your teeth and rending your garb until... yes, you've solved it. But, wait, there's a new level. And so it goes.
Next up we have The Room ($0.99) and its sequel, The Room Two ($2.99). The photo-realistic graphics on these little beauties are no less than sumptuous.
A scene from The Room (or The Room Two... I forget).
In The Room, you start off with a cabinet that contains lots of secret panels, accesses, and moving parts. Using the iPad's touch screen, you can spin the cabinet around, zoom in and out, and manipulate things so as to solve the multi-layered puzzles. I really love these games, not the least because they've kept my wife, Gina the Gorgeous, occupied for hours.
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