iPhone gameI’ve been exceedingly busy over the past few weeks, and even more busy this month, what with getting married at the end of it. Many of my friends have noticed, as a result, my relative absence on Xbox Live the past few weeks, and mentioned it to me. While I can’t deny that having a very busy schedule has kept me away from my 360 these days, there’s another cause to my absence; the explosion of great games that have appeared on the iTunes store for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

I just want to briefly recommend a few of the iPhone games that have most sucked up my gaming time in the past few weeks.

First are the old-school games I’ve been most addicted to; Yahtzee, Monopoly, and Texas Hold’Em. The iPhone versions are all incredibly well done, with variations and online capabilities that thoroughly surprised me.

When it comes to more action-oriented games, the Iron Man tie-in game is astonishingly fun, though the difficulty may be somewhat high for people unaccustomed to rail shooters. The iPhone port of Wolfenstien 3D is a terrific trip down memory lane for older gamers, and sports a first-rate interface adaptation to touch screens that many other games could learn from.

TapDefense and Fieldrunners have hooked me on the tower defence genre like no other games of their sort previously; the former is free and a must-have for any iPhone user, and the latter is more than worth the couple bucks it’ll cost you to play a more traditional, open field which requires maze-building skills in addition to the usual careful choices of towers and upgrades.

Flight Control – where you need to guide a barrage of landing air planes and helicopters to their runways without collisions – is much more challenging than it sounds, and is all the addictive fun that it’s hyped up to be. Touchgrind is a brilliant and novel adaptation of the skateboarding genre to the iPhone, with your two fingers acting as your feet on the board and an impressively open-ended game world. And FlickFishing, maybe my most-played app these days, is an incredibly well made and addictive fishing simulator.

The free games, such as TapTapRevenge 2, Anaconda, and LightBike Free are all must-haves. The Oregon Trail game is a terrific update of the educational old-school game which both teaches and entertains. And not enough can be said of Pocket God, the frequently-updated, inexpensive simulator that lets you torture or reward islanders in an ever-increasing array of ways, from feeding them coconuts, fish, and letting them use the bathroom (rewards) to lightning strikes, tosses into hungry volcanoes, and being fed to fire ants (tortures) that are all funny and perfectly suited to wasting a couple minutes when you need to.

These are just a few, brief introductions to some favourite games on the iPhone; I’ve played far more than this, have some experience with them, and plan on coming with some more specific reviews once the road trip, stag and wedding-filled days get behind me.

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