Here we are only two days from the arrival of the iPad and gaming news surrounding the device is coming at a fever pitch. Games are now continuously appearing in our Upcoming iPad Games forum and on the App Shopper iPad area. We're doing our best to keep readers in the know regarding upcoming titles that've got us excited.

Have a look at three that we're anxious to spend some time with.

Galcon Fusion

Phil Hassey has just sent us details of the upcoming iPad version of his arcade-strategy game Galcon [App Store], winner of the 2009 IGF Mobile Innovation in Game Design award. Galcon Fusion for the iPad features online realtime multiplayer support and takes full advantage of the iPad's ample screen real-estate.

Features, as listed by the developer:

  • Beautiful new HD graphics
  • Multi-player, team games, and solo missions
  • Achievements and detailed rankings
  • 8 single player games including Stealth and Assassin
  • Online games with up to 12 players
  • Play against PC, Mac, and Linux users

See the developer's Galcon Fusion page for more iPad screenshots.

Battle for Wesnoth HD

Back in November we took a look at David White's iPhone take on the open source, turn-based strategy game Battle for Wesnoth [App Store]. We were quite impressed with the game's online multiplayer implementation that allows iPhone gamers to go up against desktop-based competitors. A major shortcoming, however, is the small iPhone screen and an in-game interface that's not ideally suited to the cramped quarters. All that should fall away with the recently announced iPad version, rendered to its 1024x768-pixel screen.

The above screenshot (click for full-size) shows the iPhone version, inset, to give an idea of the additional play area provided by the iPad version.

Battle for Wesnoth HD will arrive in the App Store at a download price of $0.99. See the forum thread for discussion and more in-game images.

AirCoaster XL

Ziconic's AirCoaster started out as an interesting sort of iPhone toy / demo that let users careen down a variety of floating roller coaster tracks, adjusting certain physics details along the way to change up the experience. With AirCoaster Pro [App Store], things got a lot more interesting with the inclusion of a track editor allowing you to create the coaster of your dreams.

The developer has recently announced support for the iPad in his upcoming AirCoaster XL featuring lovely 1024x768-pixel graphics, the integrated track editor, and an improved touch interface, thanks to the additional screen real estate offered by the iPad.

With the iPad I was finally able to create a multitouch roller coaster track editor that is truly usable. Trying to create a roller coaster on a tiny iPhone screen never really felt right.

See the developer's forum post for additional iPad screenshots.

  • omg

    Kudos to battle of wesnoth for charging 99c for their 'HD' version, and not use it as an excuse to charge $10. in the ipad release, jobs stated that most of the games would run 'perfectly' in double size using iphone ver., but it seems most of the devs have taken the route of making new versions in which one has to pay for again.

    Aircoaster looks like a good 5 minute distraction.

    Again, i wait with interest to see how this market pans out.

    • Adams Immersive

      “Perfectly” is relative. Blow something up and will often get blurry or blocky even if it technically runs fine. And even doubled, an iPhone app doesn’t fill the iPad—it has black borders on all 4 edges. And then there’s the shape: the iPhone is 3:2 (semi-widescreen) while the iPad is 4:3, and that means the UI needs to be redone. (As it should be, anyway, to take real advantage of the extra finger space.) And then, when it’s done, there are two different versions (even if combined into one binary) to support and maintain into the future. Making this all the harder now: the earliest iPad developers have only had a simulator to work with!

      Long story short: making a really good iPad-specific version of an iPhone game is NOT necessarily at all easy or quick or cheap for the developer. So charging money isn’t some scam. (Even $10, for that matter, is nothing for a truly good game.) I’m glad when iPad versions are free or super-cheap, but I’ll hardly badmouth a developer who doesn’t (or even can’t) go that route.

  • Anonymous Cow

    Kudos for devs to charge whatever price will sell.

  • Rachel

    Is the ipad going to have it's own part of the app store or are we gong to have a lot of kids writing "this does doesn't work I want my money back."

    • Mark

      A really good point, which I feel should have been done already with the different iPod touch/iPhone models. There has been much confusion over time. Many people miss the small requirements text under each description. I believe there should be a global app filter - something visible on the top bar of the store, where you can choose your device and it will only show you apps that are guaranteed to work on that platform.

      • spiffyone

        For the iPhone/touch platform proper, unless 3Gs/32-64GB current gen iPod touch is needed, honestly...this sort of thing is not necessary as devs SHOULD target the lowest common denominator model (iPod touch 1st "gen"). The original iPhone/touch "gens" are not THAT far apart from each other, the only true significant difference in terms of processing power being the higher clockspeed on the CPU of the 2nd "gen" touch and 3G over the original gen iPhone and iPod touch. They all use the same "gen" GPU and CPU otherwise and same amount of RAM. And higher clockspeed is not enough difference where devs HAVE to exclude the original models. Frankly, the 1st "gen" touch and iPhone should be the "base" model they develop for, as it would assure games would run across all models. Makes the most business sense.

        Where it gets tricky is 3Gs and the current gen iPod touch (32 and 64GB models) as those have the more powerful "next gen" CPUs AND GPUs...and double the RAM. But, as yet, it made no business sense to make 3Gs/32-64GB exclusive games, as it would cut off the larger bulk of models out there. Doesn't make business sense to go 3Gs/3Gs based touch exclusive right now.

        Over time, if the iPad market shakes out like I think it will, we'll see less and less iPad "exclusives" as the market will skew older and not buy as many games.

  • Chase

    Hey, look. The ground.

  • Noman

    I want an ipad.....

  • Ziconic

    AirCoaster XL is a universal app, which means it contains both the iPad and iPhone versions. If you are a first time AirCoaster user with both an iPad and an iPhone/iPod touch, XL is all you need.

    And it's just $1.99, a dollar more than AirCoaster Pro, which is iPhone-only. 😉

  • Mel Swelnerwenegen

    Holy shiz. Galcon, Flight Control, Geometry Wars on iPad.

    My frail gamer heart cannot take this.

    Dare I say it... When can we expect GTA: Chinatown Wars with a perfected control scheme?!

  • Commentbug here

    looks good