While Madden NFL 11 was undoubtedly the star of the show at the top secret EA Hot For the Holidays event last week, EA was also showing off a couple of predictable sequels, iOS adaptations of Hasbro classics, and third party titles published by EA.

SimCity Deluxe - This sequel of sorts is basically little more than a makeover of the original SimCity [$2.99], it's a little disappointing that EA is releasing this as a separate game instead of applying these fixes to the existing one, but I suppose you could say the same about most EA sequels. SimCity Deluxe is going to have seasons (and disasters to go with each) as well as graphics that look a lot like SimCity 4 for the PC. In the game you will finally be able to modify the terrain with touch controls, which actually was a lot of fun. The new UI is also substantially less clunky, although still suffers a little just because there's so much you can do in the game and packing all those functions in to a sensible touch-based interface is never going to be easy.


The Sims 3 Ambitions - I've never really been one to get sucked in to The Sims, but the sheer popularity of the series is undeniable. The Sims 3 Ambitions, much like SimCity Deluxe takes the same basic formula from The Sims 3 [$6.99] and greatly improves upon it. Unlike The Sims 3 World Adventures [$6.99], EA doesn't currently have plans to allow you to import your existing sim in to the game which I'm sure some people will be disappointed by. Regardless of that, Ambitions is host to tons of improvements. You can now build rooms of your house just like the computer game, there are kids in game, players have much more control over the speed of time, and the city area is much denser with many more career paths and activities for your sims. For me, my favorite part of Sims games was always building my house, so I was very excited to see they finally added that functionality to the iPhone game and even more so when I saw just how well the touch interface worked for building.


Risk - Moving on to EA's massive pile of Hasbro IP is an officially licensed Risk game, and there's really not much to say about it other than it's Risk. The game has a futuristic look to it with scan line graphical effects everywhere, modern looking troops, and a soundtrack that wasn't half bad. What killed me about playing Risk at the event was it just seemed like too little too late. When the App Store first came online I was practically begging for a Risk game on my iPhone, and since then there have been many highly competent Risk spinoffs such as Lux DLX 2 [$4.99] which not only is universal but also features over 80 different maps to play on. If EA gave Risk the Carcassonne treatment and provided a well designed game from a well known name with asynchronous push alert powered online multiplayer, Risk would have been the easiest game in the world to recommend. Unfortunately, with local multiplayer only, the only thing that was captivating about Risk was the brand name.


Yahtzee for the iPad - Originally created all the way back in 1956 and with classic gameplay that couldn't be more basic and playable with little more than five dice and a piece of paper, it definitely was a little silly seeing Yahtzee on the iPad. Silly as it may be, I've really enjoyed nearly every game with solid local multiplayer on the iPad, and Yahtzee will be no different. The iPad game will have four different gameplay modes, as well as Facebook Connect functionality to boast about high scores and issue challenges.


R-Type - Last, but certainly not least, is the upcoming iPhone port of R-Type. We've covered the game in the past, from its original announcement last year to the recent screenshots released. In any shooter, high frame rates and precise controls are both very important, and I'm happy to say that R-Type completely met my expectations and I can't wait for it to be released.


These games consist of EA's "summer lineup", and aside from Madden which is set to be released on August 10th, and Risk which is already available in the New Zealand App Store and should appear tonight in the US App Store, when these games get released is anyone's guess. EA typically doesn't publicize games that aren't very close to being released on the App Store, so hopefully we'll be seeing these games very soon.

Yahtzee, Reckless Racing and Madden NFL 10 are the only games EA seems to have planned for the iPad anytime soon, and when asked about their plans for the iPhone 4, moving forward EA doesn't plan to do more iPhone 4 specific versions of games like NCAA Football by EA SPORTS HD. When possible, they said their games will support the various features of the iPhone 4, but were reluctant to offer specifics beyond that.

  • http://www.twitter.com/josh_hofer Josh Hofer

    Why haven't we seen any official NHL game from EA yet? Or any major publisher. Sigh. Screw Football!

    • henderson101

      YES YES YES +1

      Hockey Nations is okay, but NHL 10 is certainly is NOT!

  • http://www.twitter.com/josh_hofer Josh Hofer

    Why haven't we seen any official NHL game from EA yet? Or any major publisher. Sigh. Screw Football!

    • http://*sigh* henderson101

      YES YES YES +1

      Hockey Nations is okay, but NHL 10 is certainly is NOT!

  • JCat

    A Sim City game NOT for the larger screen iPad... amazing. But it's ok, the iPad gets Yahtzee -- a game that really needs tons of real estate.

    • Bjorn Keizers

      That's basically what I wanted to post :-)

      It makes no sense not to put it on iPad.

  • JCat

    A Sim City game NOT for the larger screen iPad... amazing. But it's ok, the iPad gets Yahtzee -- a game that really needs tons of real estate.

    • Bjorn Keizers

      That's basically what I wanted to post :-)

      It makes no sense not to put it on iPad.

  • http://twitter.com/BulkSlash BulkSlash

    I love R-Type, but this is an EA port. What are the chances it's a buggy, rushed piece of shit that never gets properly patched and fixed, like Red Alert?

    I think I'll wait for some App Store reviews before committing to buy.

    • Bruteoutlawz

      Did you even read the review???

      " In any shooter, high frame rates and precise controls are both very important, and I'm happy to say that R-Type completely met my expectations and I can't wait for it to be released."

      • Shirokami

        I have played plenty of EA games with good controls and decent frame rates on many systems. But that doesn't mean it won't be buggy. ^____^

      • Hanatarashi

        EA kawaii desu ne~~~~ ^_______^ :3333

  • http://twitter.com/BulkSlash BulkSlash

    I love R-Type, but this is an EA port. What are the chances it's a buggy, rushed piece of shit that never gets properly patched and fixed, like Red Alert?

    I think I'll wait for some App Store reviews before committing to buy.

    • Bruteoutlawz

      Did you even read the review???

      " In any shooter, high frame rates and precise controls are both very important, and I'm happy to say that R-Type completely met my expectations and I can't wait for it to be released."

      • Shirokami

        I have played plenty of EA games with good controls and decent frame rates on many systems. But that doesn't mean it won't be buggy. ^____^

      • Hanatarashi

        EA kawaii desu ne~~~~ ^_______^ :3333

  • Peter

    I've been waiting for an iPad Sim City since before I knew the iPad existed...

  • Peter

    I've been waiting for an iPad Sim City since before I knew the iPad existed...

  • QuebecRage

    No NHL? No PGA Tour 2011? Another SimCity? Another Sim? WTF?

    • henderson101

      The lack of NHL is really disappointing. I think it was even announced at one of the conventions in 09. They have Football/Soccer/American Football (delete as appropriate) games and NBA - how hard would it be? Was NHL 07 on the PSP really such a bad experience that EA now no longer wants to do handheld NHL games?

  • QuebecRage

    No NHL? No PGA Tour 2011? Another SimCity? Another Sim? WTF?

    • http://*sigh* henderson101

      The lack of NHL is really disappointing. I think it was even announced at one of the conventions in 09. They have Football/Soccer/American Football (delete as appropriate) games and NBA - how hard would it be? Was NHL 07 on the PSP really such a bad experience that EA now no longer wants to do handheld NHL games?

  • Thomas

    No iPad version for the new SimCity? Too bad. It was a definite sale for me otherwise.

  • Thomas

    No iPad version for the new SimCity? Too bad. It was a definite sale for me otherwise.

  • JCat

    Unreal, next we'll see Dead Space on Iphone and EA sports Tic Tac Toe on iPad.

    • Greg

      Hahaha +1

  • JCat

    Unreal, next we'll see Dead Space on Iphone and EA sports Tic Tac Toe on iPad.

    • Greg

      Hahaha +1

  • Nick

    People who think yahtzee is a game much less fun (woot! We get to roll dice!) are beneath contempt.

  • Nick

    People who think yahtzee is a game much less fun (woot! We get to roll dice!) are beneath contempt.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Eli's take on EA's Risk. Too late to the game with too little else to offer over the incumbents. There are at least 3 other worthy Risk-like games that would more than satisfy my Risk cravings:

    Lux DLX 2
    Generals
    Dominion

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Eli's take on EA's Risk. Too late to the game with too little else to offer over the incumbents. There are at least 3 other worthy Risk-like games that would more than satisfy my Risk cravings:

    Lux DLX 2
    Generals
    Dominion

  • Nathan

    Another one here hoping that SimCity would come to iPad. I'd have thought it was a no-brainer.

    The graphics look more like SimCity 3000 to me, rather than SimCity 4.

    • Tastic

      Even though I don't have an iPad, I gonna say that's a deal-breaker. The SimCity game they already have out is buggy, slow, and dull, and I paid way too much for it when it first came out ($15 IIRC). If they can't even give a game like that enough love for an iPad version, I don't see why they should get any more cash from me.

  • Nathan

    Another one here hoping that SimCity would come to iPad. I'd have thought it was a no-brainer.

    The graphics look more like SimCity 3000 to me, rather than SimCity 4.

    • Tastic

      Even though I don't have an iPad, I gonna say that's a deal-breaker. The SimCity game they already have out is buggy, slow, and dull, and I paid way too much for it when it first came out ($15 IIRC). If they can't even give a game like that enough love for an iPad version, I don't see why they should get any more cash from me.

  • http://www.cubiclemuses.com Aaron

    Seriously. I've been waiting for a proper iPad release of SimCity for a while. Maybe I'll finally go and start checking out some of the clones...

  • http://www.cubiclemuses.com Aaron

    Seriously. I've been waiting for a proper iPad release of SimCity for a while. Maybe I'll finally go and start checking out some of the clones...

  • Gokunama

    Hopefully the new SimCity has had more of the bugs removed, like on some scenarios, I'm still unable to build a bridge, or the transportation issue. Probably wait a while to see a lot of reviews before handing over my money this time.

  • Gokunama

    Hopefully the new SimCity has had more of the bugs removed, like on some scenarios, I'm still unable to build a bridge, or the transportation issue. Probably wait a while to see a lot of reviews before handing over my money this time.