A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer


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 :smileyhappy:

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 :smileyhappy:

[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…


Audi­ence Cal­ib­ra­tion Pro­ced­ure from Super­broth­ers: Sword & Swor­cery on Vimeo.

No rest…
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.

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Published by Brad Grier

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