Our new game, Cavernous, is currently “In Review” in the app store so I have some spare time to write about other inspiringly intuitive games I play and admire.
1. Flight Control
At first run, I had my planes crash on one another before I touched anything. I thought this was still the intro playing. This is not necessarily a good thing, however, it took a few seconds to recover, rearrange my fingers together and start swiping and drawing curves on screen. The rest is dead-meat history – same as my first weekend with the game.
2. Angry birds
Famous for it’s addictive gameplay, however my 3 year old daughter kept firing the catapult backwards for some time. It’s not really the game makers’ fault that catapults work that way, however there isn’t much hope using the games for those who are not ready to grasp these physics.
Don’t we love them one-action games, where instead of picking the dual stick mechanism of some lifeless shooter you just have to tap your way to glory. In Canabalt, the critically-acclaimed depth-free side-scroller, you can really just meditate into your action however intense it is.
The best $2 I’ve spent in recent memory – this fantastic toddler’s puzzler is high on my 3 y.o. daughter’s iPod touch show-off routine as she presents her toys and stuff to friends and visitors. It is quite deep (over 30 different puzzles), and even taught her some basic English letters (not her mother tongue) . How does it do it? It really got the drag-and-drop puzzle mechanics spot-on, and when too hard, helps the user find its way to where the piece should drop by giving various visual and aural clues.
5. Colorful Aquarium (and Lite)
This was my 3 y.o. daughter’s first foray into the iOS games. Empowered by the intuitive controls of this app she gained enough courage to try many more later on. Your simply have to swipe your fingers to reveal menus, then add fish to the aquarium by swiping again. Positioning plants on the surface is a bit more advanced as it needs stabilizing the plants with a tap (as opposed to the swipe gestures needed for most actions). Feeding the fish and seeing them fetch the food is enjoyable. There are far more detailed apps in the app store, however I found this one the cleanest and the less cluttered of the lot (and we tried a lot).