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test your skills against friends (or strangers) on the best games for iPhone and android.
by Sean Ludwig
Halois one of the biggest console franchises ever,
so it’s no surprise that other game developers
have attempted to emulate its success. Like the
famous Xbox title, Archetype lets you play from
a first-person perspective, with your gun on the
right-middle of the screen. Your left hand controls
your movements, while your right hand controls
your weapon and where you look. Archetype
puts you in the middle of sci-fi landscapes and
lets you fight other players in team deathmatch
and capture the flag modes. The graphics look
great, the action is fluid, and multiplayer works
over Wi-Fi and 3G.
$0.99 (with paid extras)
Dinosaurs with grenade launchers? The concept
is certainly novel, but DinoSmash Online goes
beyond that with fast-paced multiplayer battles.
The game uses Game Center to match up oppo-
nents and bring them into a world of platforms
that you must navigate by jumping and using a
hook. Take your opponents out with one of five
weapons before they get you. DinoSmash is
simple, cheap fun that’s worth revisiting a few
times a week for intense battles.
The concept sounds silly at first—slice flying
pieces of fruit with your finger and watch out for
bombs—but then you get addicted. Fruit Ninja
lets you earn points by consecutively slicing the
oranges, pineapples, and more that pop up on
the screen. Earn combos by slicing three or more
fruits in a row and earn accomplishments as you
get better. The real fun starts when you play friends
and random opponents using Game Center. If you
slice your opponents’ fruit, you lose points. To up
your score, look for unclaimed fruit to slice.
In Strategery, the
player uses equal
parts luck and skill
to take over an entire
board of countries.
The mechanics will
be familiar to anyone
who has ever played
the board game Risk.
The player assigns
a certain number of
armies to each territory he or she controls, and uses
strategy to take over the board. If all your territories
are connected, you earn a bonus of army placements
at the end of your turn. Once you get a few rounds
in, you’ll be ruling the world in no time.
Are you a Scrabble
fanatic or even a
casual player? Words
With Friends is a
clone that lets you
against online op -
ponents. The board
looks almost identi-
cal to the traditional
smart phone gaming is everywhere. Ask your friends or family if they’ve
played Angry Birds, Bejeweled, or Plants vs. Zombies on their phones, and
there’s sure to be some cheers. But these single-player games are just the
beginning of what’s possible with the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, webOS, and
Windows Phone 7 platforms. The beauty of a connected device is that we can
interact withother players. Multiplayer gaming is slowly becoming more popular,
with casual audiences looking to challenge friends and random opponents.
With the launch of Game Center on Apple’s iOS platform in September,
Apple signaled that gaming had become an integral part of the smart phone
experience. Gaming on the iPhone and iPod touch has exploded since the
App Store opened in July 2008, and around 41,000 of the store’s more than
300,000 apps are games. Game Center simplifies the experience of gaming
on the iPhone. Instead of signing up for a separate account for each down-
loaded app, players can use their Game Center credentials to connect with
other players for matches and leaderboard tracking.
Similar to Game Center is the longer-running OpenFeint, a company that
connects gamers across all platforms. OpenFeint may disappear from the iOS
platform because of Game Center, but it could become more important on
Android, which doesn’t yet have a central gaming hub.
Android doesn’t have nearly the number of apps or games as Apple’s App
Store, but that doesn’t mean developers aren’t working to catch up. Android
has more than 100,000 apps and AndroLib.com estimates that about 15,000
are games. Single-player titles such as Bonsai Blast, Jewels, and Super KO
Boxing are just the beginning, and multiplayer titles are popping up, even if
they aren’t as polished as the iOS titles.
Here are the top multiplayer games for iOS and Android.
Laptop | January 2011
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