Three exciting games were released for iOS devices in the last week and a bit. One was from a well-established computer and console development juggernaut. One was from a (now) blockbuster company that made their name on the iPhone and iPod Touch. And the final one from a small but respected Canadian design house, is currently taking the iTunes App store by storm — becoming Game of the Week on launch day. And if you’re planning to pick up an iPad 2 tomorrow, you might want to make these your first downloads
Let’s take these in order, starting with:
A Classic — Final Fantasy III
First off, let’s get this out of the way, it’s pricey for a universal iOS game, sitting at $15.99 in the app store. But there’s huge value at that price considering the play value of this ground-breaking and the price of the game on other platforms, it’s still a deal.
What’s all the fuss about?
Well, the classic FFIII really helped introduce Japanese style RPGs to the North American market. Wikipedia describes it thusly:
It was influential in the development of the magic system and job systems of Final Fantasy XI. In 2006, readers of the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu voted the original Final Fantasy III the eighth-best video game of all-time. As of March 31, 2003, the game had shipped 1.4 million copies in Japan.
The remake’s reception has been mostly positive with high sales and fair reviews from video game critics. IGN notes that “interest in FFIII should come as no surprise given…the popularity of the DS”. The game sold 500,000 units within the first week in Japan, beating Square Enix’s original prediction that they would only sell 350,000. As of August 6, 2007, the game has sold 990,000 units in Japan and 460,000 units in North America. As of August 8, 2008, it has sold 480,000 units in Europe. Figurines of the characters from the game have been created.
Yes, it’s a classic you should have in your library. The iOS version is a remake of a remake:
First released in 1990, Final Fantasy III was the first title in the Final Fantasy series to become a million-seller, establishing once and for all that Square Enix’s classic RPG saga was here to stay.
The full 3D remake released in 2006 duplicated the original’s success, selling over a million copies worldwide.
- New and improved 3D visuals and story sequences exclusive to the iPhone/iPod touch
- Smooth, intuitive touch-panel controls specifically tailored to Square Enix’s iPhone RPGs
- Quicker browsing through the monster bestiary and other game records
- New visual designs for the Job Mastery Cards
- Retina Display compatible
Modern Classic — Angry Birds Rio
Developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch, the Angry Birds franchise has seen phenomenal growth, rightly so as it’s a pretty fun type of game — launch cute birds from a slingshot and knock things down. Odds are if you’ve got an iOS device, you’ve got a version of Angry Birds on it. It’s that popular.
So much so that there’s a movie in the works, and this game (Free or .99 for iPhone, Free or 2.99 for HD) is the logical movie tie in — Angry Birds Rio, the latest installment in the franchises, brings the birds to warmer climes:
In Angry Birds Rio, the original Angry Birds are kidnapped and taken to the magical city of Rio de Janeiro, where they eventually escape their captors and set out to to save their friends, Blu and Jewel – two rare macaws and the stars of the upcoming Fox motion picture, Rio. Angry Birds Rio will pair the physics-based gameplay of the original game with unique twists based on the film.
My new favourite — Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
No that’s not a typo, that long and unwieldy string of character is the name of this highly-unusual adventure game. Harkening back to the ultra-low-resolution displays of the 8-bit days, this 4.99 game/art-project/thing evolves the adventure game style and yet still manages to engage the jaded gamer — mostly me
[It’s] an exploratory action adventure with an emphasis on audiovisual style. Traverse a mythic little realm, use a sword to do battle & evoke sworcery to solve mystical musical mysteries. Co-operate with friends via Twitter, experience a videogame world that is affected by moon phases & help a wandering warrior monk complete her woeful errand.
You’re introduced to the game by a cardigan-wearing pipe-smoking narrator. Well, I’m assuming that’s a cardigan and a pipe — can’t tell much with the pixelated style. Regardless, it’s fun, highly engaging, entertaining, and kinda weird. I like it so far — perhaps you might too? The video will get you into the spirit of things…
So, with these new game offerings, I’m thinking any free time is now accounted for — in a good way.
Update: Currently iPad only, though an iPhone version is in the works.
This post of is one of many I publish weekly at the Future Shop Techblog. Read more of my Lifestyle Technology articles here.