iPhone Games

Kijjaa. iPhone + Computer = Blended Gaming.

This morning a friend of mine turned me on to a new game for the iPhone and my computer. It’s called Kijjaa! and I have to admit it’s a blast.

The game makes your iPhone the game controller, while the game interaction is actually played out on your computer screen. I tried this on my computer at work using the lite version of the game (it’s free) and it works great. It works well enough that I am tempted to buy the .99 cent version to get all of the features.

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The game is a space invaders style point and shoot game with retro graphics on both the phone and my computer screen. While I’m not a huge fan of the look and the color pallet used here, I can completely see this integration of handset and second screen action being used more in the future. This is the kind of merged technology that I could see moving to net connected Smart TV’s and or Google TV in the future.

The rise & fall of Esteban Ortega, The Dip Desperado.

Over the weekend I saw both the 30 and 15 second versions of this TV spot for Doritos. While they both sell the call to action, (the iPhone, Android, and Facebook game) they don’t sell the story as well as this 2 minute version that will be running in movie theaters before the coming attraction segments.

This TV Commercial was created by BBDO UK for the Doritos brand, and is really a set up for an advergame that is played on smartphones or in the social network space owned by Facebook. The TV commercial centers around the story of Esteban Ortega, a professional Dorito flicker, his rise and fall, and inevitable comeback. The production quality and look is really well done, and the story is pretty engaging. As for the free game, well it is pretty addictive itself. Trust me, I am not a huge gamer and I spent a couple of hours playing it yesterday evening. The game is a pretty simple idea but it is well executed and it let’s users see how they compare to their Facebook friends which is a nice social networking hook that directly promotes the brand. If you are interested, you can get the Facebook game here. The iPhone and Android apps are available through their respective stores.

iPhone Game of the Week Review

When “The Iconfactory” launched back in 1996 it was a repository for icon packs as well as a developer of software for creating and using icons. Since the launch of the iPhone, they’ve been responsible for the creation of two great iPhone applications, Frenzic which costs 3 bucks, a fast-paced puzzle game and Twitteriffic 4 bucks for the full version or free for the light version. Twitteriffic is one of the original premium Twitter clients available on the iTunes App Store.

Iconfactory’s latest game, Ramp Champ takes the concept of an arcade game of skee ball and shrinks it down to the iPhone. The application features the same highly stylized, well illustrated graphical work seen in all the other Iconfactory products. Included in this first release of Ramp Champ are four different virtual skee ball games. Clown Town with a carnival theme, Breakwater Bay which is underwater, Space Swarm a skee ball version of Space Invaders, and Icon Garden which is a tip of the hat to Iconfactory’s own roots in icon design.

The game controls are simple and share the same compelling gameplay as games like Paper Toss. By simply flicking your finger upward from the bottom of the screen, you roll a ball toward your target. Depending on how fast you flick, and which direction you swipe your finger controls the power and aim of your shots. Like any skee ball player knows, each of the targets award different amounts of points, and after rolling all your balls the game dispenses virtual carnival tickets that you use to buy virtual prizes.

If you’ve ever been to an arcades or carnival, you probably have fond memories of dumping quarters in to skee ball machines, filling your pockets with tickets, and then claiming some completely worthless prize from the counter. As the former owner of several of those terribly useless trinkets I can say that Ramp Champ provides a perfect amount of nostalgia, and plays into the fun that you got by going to the arcade. Fun game play, wasting time, trying to hone your skills to win more junk. There’s more to the game though than just racking up more and more points. If you click on the “Goals” button you see that each of the four games included also have their own sub-set of goals for different game play and extending the experience.

As an example, The Icon Garden game has progressively harder goals like plant all the pixel flowers, or tip over the canine bovine, or score over 13,000 points. Planting the pixel flowers is as simple as hitting every target. The canine bovine is all about knocking down Clarus the Dogcow as many times as you can, and scoring over 13,000 is pretty self-explanatory score a bunch of points. Completing all the goals requires a fairly high amount of precision, and in the few days of playing with the game I’ve been unable to complete more than a couple of them. The thing is though, Ramp Champ has kept me coming back for more. Most of the goals seem simple at first. You find yourself saying how hard can it be to hit 6 things with 10 balls?, but the games end up being much more difficult than they appear, which is part of the appeal.

Iconfactory is already offering two add-on packs that can be purchased in-game for .99 cents. Each pack contains 2 new ramps, 6 new goals, 18 new prizes, and shiny new trophies.

In addition to game play Iconfactory has integrated a social networking aspect to the game. You can link directly to Twitter and Facebook to boast about how good you are and what your high score was.

The game is beautifully designed and the over all look is really nice. Iconfactory has done a fabulous job, with game play, and the integration of in-game purchases without being obnoxious about it. I recommend picking up Ramp Champ. It’s fun, and well worth the money spent. I can see this being fun and entertaining for quite some time

Ramp Champ is, $1.99 at the app store.