Just in case you didn't think that this blog was capable of extreme cuteness....

So you probably have heard (in my last blog) that I recently picked up an iPhone.  This was for several reasons, the first and most important one being that my old phone was starting to randomly drop and not receive calls (even though I took really good care of it- danged planned obsolescence!).  So I needed something both reliable and multi-purpose.  The iPhone works perfectly for my needs (I also have a Macbook that I regularly use, so I wanted something that could wirelessly sync).  Of course, the first thing I did was turn off Siri- she is basically like female Stephen Hawking and annoys the heck out of me.  Get back to me when you create a moe anime character voice, m'kay Apple?

But there's more than just phone and text capabilities on the iPhone.  There are also games.  Now, many people are probably thinking that the iPhone only offers stuff like Angry Birds and Tetris, but there's a variety of really cool games for iPhone, and most of them are relatively low-cost.  The bonus part about most of them is that they tend to run on both iPad and iPhone, so if you like your larger screen for gaming, you can often re-download on your other devices for free.    And, of course, there are a lot of free games that you can play before buying or simply enjoy the free versions.  Plus, you should totally keep an eye out for Apple's "app of the week," as they will often showcase popular games and allow you to download full versions for a limited time only for FREE.

So without further ado, I'm going to talk a bit about a couple games that I've been really enjoying these last couple of days.  Stay tuned for the cuteness!

1) Magical Drop Touch!

If you have been reading my blogs since the inception of my time here on GIO, you'll know I'm a huge fan of this Neo Geo classic game.  Magical Drop is an adorable puzzle game with multiple settings and levels where you play as a semi-animated tarot card character and you use your fingers to slide the colored balls up and down the screen, creating chains of color and racking up the points.  A simple concept, to be sure, but quite challenging once you get past the first couple of levels.  The best part about the mobile version is that it is pretty responsive, sports adorable artwork, and has a lot of different modes to keep you busy.  Plus, it's a steal at $2.99.

2) Rainbow Tissue Cat

If you like Internet Memes and cute bouncing kitties, you'll absolutely love this game.  In fact, it's really addictive, even though the poppy level music might get on your nerves after a couple of hours (you can turn it off in the options menu).  Basically, you play this kitty who is jumping around on boxes with a toilet paper roll under him and rainbows flying from his backside.  If you're confused, basically you just need to hit the birds, get the stars (some which give you special short-term powers like "meow-let time" which allows you to go in slow motion while dodging bombs) and dodge the boobietraps.  The free version allows you to play the morning level over and over ad-infinity, and if you happen to be a big spender, you can purchase the game for a whopping $0.99.  It's a pretty amazing game, and I've been using all the stars I collected to unlock funny costumes (my kitty is bouncing around on a sprinkled donut right now), as well as trying your best to beat the high scores (be warned, it gets REALLY difficult REALLY fast- are you up to the challenge?).

3) Lostwinds / Lostwinds 2:

This was a sleeper hit on the Wii, but they've come out with a very responsive version for the iOS.  Described as a Zelda-esque adventure/plat former with wind control elements, this is the "core" game that I was looking for on my iPhone.  I've played through the initial levels and I'm really enjoying all the cool wind control things you can do with your character, and the art style is reminiscent of Mini Ninjas (which was also awesome).  I highly recommend this game (and its sequel), which retails for $4.99 on the app store.

4) Do Don Pa

Another puzzle game with some good zen-like music and a colorful ball scheme, Do Don Pa works slightly differently than Magical Drop.  You can actually pick up colors in clumps instead of simply sticking to similar colored balls, and the challenge level picks up pretty quickly, although the easy level is pretty fun for beginners.  You can get a free version with just the easy level, and it can be fun for those five minutes you're waiting in line at the store.  The full version is $2.99 in the App store, but it's pretty much worth a couple bucks for the time you'll spend on it.

5) Falling Stars

So I hear you like free stuff?  This is not technically a "game" per-se, but I've already spent countless hours making songs with the simple and intuitive software.   Falling Stars is completely free to play with, and you can actually save previously made tracks.  The basic controls allow you to choose from various types of "sounds" (synth, bass, percussion) and then you draw lines and shapes on the screen with each type.  Once you are done, you tap the little stars at the top of the screen in whatever fashion you would like and watch as they fall onto the various shapes you've made below, creating unique music that's never the same each time!  Even though it's not quite the same, this game does remind me a bit of Loco-Roco in how the balls of light affect your drawn shapes, but beyond that, there's really no score or anything- just pretty music and fun times.


Also, while technically not a game, this looks promising....

The iCade is made for smartphones to fit into and use in lieu of crappy on-screen controls.  I'm not 100% sure of how compatible it is with most of the games that I've mentioned above, but I'm considering looking into it.  The main problem is that the price is kind of steep- $69.99 (at least on ThinkGeek, which is where I first saw it).  So for now, call me skeptic, because I'm enjoying my games without the extra bulk.  


So does that mean that I'm giving up on my handhelds? NO WAY!  I actually have been carrying my 3DS around and playing Pokemon Conquest a lot (and let's not forget that my 3DS gives me coinage for taking it on walks!).  For an SRPG, it's pretty decent, although I'm used to playing with Disgaea's elegant and simple gameplay (come on, it sucks that I have to play each Pokemon's move individually one at a time instead of stacking moves and then executing at the end to rack up the damage).

I'm also excited to say that I've slightly surpassed the HALF A MILLION STEPS mark with my 3DS, which is pretty impressive, considering that I only got it last November.  I'm also really enjoying messages through Swapnote from my GIO friends.  I appreciate the 3D pics of the day, and the fun drawings (you know who you are)!  I hope that all of you keep 'em coming- they brighten my day!


So, dear reader, what are your thoughts on the smartphone revolution?  Do you feel like they're worth it, the wave of the future, or simply cheapening handheld gaming?

If you have a 3DS, what is your current step count? Make sure to pat yourself on the back for keeping active!

And finally, do you think that the relative inexpensive nature of app-based games is a blessing or a curse?  I mean, on one hand, there are so many good games out there for 5 dollars or less, which is impossible to find for official handhelds or consoles, yet at the same time, is this possibly cheapening the market and leading to an influx of "trash games" that lack any proper substance?

As always, I look forward to your replies! :D

Pictured here: Adorableness from Nichijou- my current favorite anime comedy!

And yes, she does have a key in her back.... :D