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Summary:

When I got the iPad I decided to be good, to make an effort to stay away from games. But in a moment of weakness I picked up Scrabble and it was all over. Here are my top five games for the iPad.

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When I got the iPad I decided to be good, to make an effort to stay away from games in the App Store. Now I like to play games as much as anyone, but I wanted to concentrate on checking out productivity boosters for the new slate. I knew that if I started picking up games in the store my bank account was going to get very thin, very fast. I did really well for a while, but in a moment of weakness I picked up my first game. Playing on that big, vivid screen was addictive, and my resistance was all but over. I have been trying a few games on the big screen, and so far have five favorites that I spend a fair bit of time playing.

Scrabble. I’m a fan of the word game, and admit I really miss Scrabulous on Facebook. When I saw all the good reviews for Scrabble on the iPad, it was the very first game I picked up. My effort to avoid games was over right then and there. Scrabble is a great way to kill some free time, and the developers have made great use of the iPad screen. I only play against the computer as I am determined to hold off on online gaming for as long as possible. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. $9.99.

Pinball HD. I picked up Pinball not expecting too much, to tell the truth. I like pinball, but playing it on a 9.7-inch screen couldn’t possibly give a real experience, right? Wrong. Playing Pinball HD is as close to playing real pinball as you can get on a computer. The game has three different tables to play, each with its own theme and special effects. The camera angle automatically changes fluidly during game play, and the view zooms in and out as needed. The controls are ingenious — the two lower corners of the screen are invisible flipper buttons. That’s it. Tap and the flipper works as expected. This game is more fun than a game should be. $2.99.

Moonlight Mahjong. I have long been a sucker of playing Mahjong on PDAs. The simple matching game is perfect for a quick fun session, and is a natural for a touch device. Moonlight Mahjong has been optimized for the big iPad screen, and is a full 3-D game of delightful complexity. There are many layouts available for the tiles, and you drag the table around in 3-D to allow the proper viewing angle to match tiles. It’s simple and addictive. 99 cents.

SpaceStation: Frontier HD. This game puts you in defense of a space station from a seemingly endless horde of attacking space ships. You gather needed resources by mining asteroids, and have to watch your power level continously to keep base defenses operative. The game can be played in either portrait or landscape orientation which makes it convenient no matter where you might be. $4.99.

Iron Man 2 for iPad. You can’t be a gamer and a comic fan and not get this game. It’s not the best game, but it’s Iron Man. Getting Tony Stark through levels of bad guys is fun no matter what. Game play is engaging if a bit simplistic, and the control system is well done to take advantage of the touch screen. Is it worth 10 bucks? Hey, it’s Iron Man. $9.99.

 

This list of my favorite games is sure to change over time. Heck, it will likely be constantly changing now that I’ve weakened and allowed games on my iPad. I try to be strong but playing on the iPad is just so much fun.

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  1. Gavin Miller Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    I was going to hold off. ‘You don’t NEED this’ I told myself. Wait for the next version was my mantra…….ordered a 64Mb, 3G yesterday on pre-order at the UK Apple website. Sigh.

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  2. Pinball HD might well be the app that finally gets me to pull out the old credit card — a tablet form factor is perfect for pinball ;)

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  3. Have to agree on Pinball HD, I’m no gamer normally but it’s indecently addictive.

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  4. I was also trying to hold back by, not installing any games on my iPad. Well just last week downloaded RealRacing HD and it is very nice graphics and fun. Now we know what James has been up to these last few days… Playing games on his iPad. I mean working on reviewing games on his iPad. ;)

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  5. Scrabble on the iPad is awesome. It integrates with Facebook seamlessly as it not only let’s you play against your friends on Facebook, but it let’s you pick up your game on there too when you’re away from your iPad. And the tile rack app for the iPhone/iPod Touch makes it an awesome digital board game to play at home with your family and friends too. If you haven’t tried that yet, you really should.

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  6. Pinball HD and Scrabble have killed my workday.

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  7. Is it just me, or does the Iron Man 2 game really look AMAZING… especially for such a tiny device. I am in awe.

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  8. That pinball game looks suspiciously similar to the one Windows had for so many years. I remember beating the hell out of it on my Windows 95 box back in my college days – it was probably the best free game I had.

    I also like Scrabble, but for that I go to my Pocket PC. I picked up a SD game card from Handmark that includes Scrabble, Battleship, Yahtzee and Monopoly (another big favorite of mine). I always have these on my smartphone now, and it’s a great way kill time anywhere in an instant.

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  9. Regarding Moonlight Mahjong. If this is the type of game you’ve been playing on PDAs, then you still haven’t played Mahjong on PDAs. Moonlight Mahjong and its ilk are tile matching Shanghai style games that use Mahjong tiles (they could have easily used anything for the matching). None of these games can and should be classified as Mahjong games. True Mahjong (which I would buy in a heartbeat for the iPhone/iPad) is a set collecting game similar to rummy. I have played Mahjong for many years and I detest these tile matching games advertising themselves as Mahjong games, which they are not.

    But that’s just me.

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  10. My favs:

    Asphalt 5 (amazingly polished racing game)
    Cribbage HD
    Shrek Kart

    I think Shanghai Mahjong for iPad is better than Moonlight Mahjong.

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