Three games came out recently which are all fun in their own way, but not really deep enough to warrant their own individual reviews. This isn't necessarily a bad thing by any means, as some of my absolute favorite iPhone games are the ones you only play for 30 seconds at a time. So if you're looking for a new game to play while you're waiting for your microwave popcorn to finish popping, consider any of these:
iHook, 99¢ - With controls that feel a little bit like Rocket Jockey for the PC, you pilot a tiny space ship through 20 different levels. Each level is host to a set of pylons you must grab on to with your hook (by tapping) in order to change the trajectory of your ship. Tapping again disengages your hook and sends you flying in whatever direction you were headed when you let go, and tapping your ship makes you turn around and head the opposite direction.
Completing the included levels involves flying around and picking up enough of the fuel tanks strewn about to open the exit portal. From there, you make your way to the exit, and go on to the next level. It's a simple gameplay concept that should be simple enough to execute, but it doesn't take long before iHook starts throwing out narrow corridors, bombs, moving barricades and other obstacles which left me crashing my ship and retrying levels more times than I'd care to admit. Thankfully, there are checkpoints.
Infection:Zombies, 99¢ - Yes, yes, I know, few things on the App Store are more played out at this point than zombies, but a few things sets Infection:Zombies apart. First off, instead of simply slaying zombies, you play as a zombie and are tasked with converting as many humans to undead as possible. People on our forums are loving it, and what really sold me on the game was the ability to upgrade your zombie's stats between levels, as the concept of upgrading a zombie just seems beyond ridiculous to me.
Initially you can only play as Micky the zombie, but other zombies are unlocked as you infect more humans with different starting stats that either move faster or do more damage when attacking. Gameplay consists of tilting your device to move your zombie around, bumping in to humans to either eat their brains or optionally infect them. Infected zombies join you in your fight and infect other humans on screen until there is no one left living. Simple, a little repetitive, but oddly enjoyable.
Crazy Parachute, 99¢ - In Crazy Parachute, you play as one of four skydivers who jump from a blimp on the count of three and plummet towards the ground collecting power ups and avoiding obstacles on the way. Three other AI controlled players are doing the same thing, and the first person to the bottom wins. The game is controlled by tapping to jump initially, tilting, then tapping again to open your parachute.
With each completed level you jump from higher and higher, and the gameplay mechanic of timing when to open your chute really reminds me of my old days playing Pilotwings on the Super Nintendo. Because you're racing, you want to open it at the absolute last second, but open it too late and you're going to find yourself cratering in to the ground... Which is what I usually find myself doing, getting far too greedy and waiting way too long to pull the rip cord. I could see Crazy Parachute multiplayer being a ton of fun, a game mode which is sadly nowhere to be found in the initial release.