By now you’ve probably seen our hands-on impressions of some of EA’s bigger mobile titles coming to the iPhone and iPad. However, to limit our coverage to those titles would be selling you short, as EA has some very interesting titles in the pipe. While heavy hitters like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for the iPhone and SimCity Deluxe for the iPad raise attention, it’s the smaller titles that offers the most surprises. Below are three band new games coming from EA and their subsidiary Chillingo coming out this month.
The most exciting new addition to the iPhone and iPad has to be TxT Fighter. It’s a fighting game, but instead of using traditional dragon punches and quarter turns, TxT Fighter uses the soft keyboard to type out words to perform attacks in this one-on-one fighter. Character choices range from a snobby ballerina to a drunken Irishman, so this isn’t exactly the most politically correct title this year, but it is certainly unique.
Surprisingly, this is more than just a typing game for the iPhone. Yes, you are typing words out, but the game presents players with two words at a time. Easier words will do less damage, and harder words are longer and more complex, and do more damage. Special moves can be performed if the special meter builds up, and other special moves can be performed by spelling words a unique way, like spelling the word “robot” as “R-r-o-o-b-b-o-o-t-.” It’s a quirky system that’s made even more fun with local online multiplayer. It also supports both Facebook and GameCenter integration. While TxT Fighter is certainly not Mavis Beacon, it is most definitely a unique take on typing games.
Sheeplechase, on the other hand, is an odd new racing title for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Set in a farmyard where pigs and sheep compete over apples, players tilt the device towards themselves to guide the sheep through gates. Movement is pretty simple, tilting left and right to get the sheep in the right direction, although getting the sheep to go fast enough basically means tilting the phone almost vertically. It’s a weird orientation to play, and leads to finicky controls. The game is fun, in a simple sort of way, and the difficulty progression is evident very early on. It’s a fairly basic title, but for the right price could be worth it.
Finally, Neon Battle HD is the latest game recreating those coffee table-style arcade machines. Set flat upon a table, one player versus the computer, or two-player versus with one on each end of the iPad. Cannons, EMC, rockets, and other weapons are as simple as flicking forward, causing all sorts of flashy explosions in this retro shooter. It’s a vibrant and competitive game, and the two player versus is a great use of the iPad itself. Smart players will save their secondary weapons for the best opportunities in this modern take on retro-style games.