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Friday, December 12, 2008

iPhone games

Having been an enthusiastic iPhone user for the past four months, I’m not surprised that many of my students want to play games on it (at least those students who don’t have iPhones themselves; this is Weston, after all). That’s a good excuse for installing games, isn’t it? Or do I just want to play them myself?

Maybe so, but at least the recommendations still came from the students.

Here’s what I have, in alphabetical order:
  • First is Dactyl, a game of hand-eye coordination. Not unexpectedly, I’m terrible at Dactyl and can’t possibly compete with my freshmen and sophomores on the math team.
  • Then comes Enigmo, which I haven’t learned yet, so I have no opinion on it. But my students tell me that it involves physics and problem solving, so it must be good.
  • Then we have Labyrinth Lite, an astonishingly faithful reproduction of the classic wooden labyrinth game. Tilting the iPhone backward and forward in two directions exactly mimics the physical game, even to the point of accurately reproducing the momentum and sounds of the real-life steel ball.
  • The silliest game that used to be on my iPhone is Scoops. Scoops of ice cream fall from the sky, and you move your cone left and right in order to catch the scoops while you avoid onions. Onions? Yes, onions. I’ve removed Scoops, even though a certain sophomore disapproves of my doing so.
  • Then there’s Tetris, though I’m currently using the unauthorized knock-off called Tris, which I installed shortly before it got kicked off the Apple Store. Maybe I’ll get the real thing, as Tris rotates the tetrominoes counterclockwise rather than clockwise as nature intended.
  • Finally we have my current favorite, Trace. It’s hard to describe this one, but it’s addictive and not time-pressured, so try it yourself!
Of course I also play Sudoku a lot, but that’s really a puzzle, not a game.

What’s next? Scrabble, perhaps? Or SimCity? Is the screen big enough for either of them?

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