While I'm not the retro overlord our own Blake Patterson is, I've always thought it would be super cool to have a cocktail arcade machine. Even though the iPad doesn't have the 30 years worth of pizza grease on it like your typical Pac-Man cocktail table would have, the iPad is a surprisingly good substitute when it comes to face to face single device multiplayer. Where am I going with all this? Well, Super Cosmic Word Snake [$2.99] combines so many things I like in an iPad game it's almost like 3V Games built their game off some design document of mine that I haven't even created yet. It's dripping with retro charm, has simple (but incredibly fun) two player single device multiplayer, and even has Game Center.
To start playing, you need to situate the iPad between you and a friend and flip a coin (or somehow determine) who is going to play which side first. As the first player, you're responsible for growing the super cosmic word snake as much as possible. Adding body segments on to the end of said snake is as simple as hitting the 7 letter buttons at the bottom of the screen to make a word. The first letter of the word you form must start with the last letter of the worm itself. The snake then, well, snakes around the screen towards the opposite side.
Player 2 plays on the opposite side of the screen, and using a slider and a button you're able to fire at the word snake. Initially you'll need to shoot asteroids out of the way to get a clear shot, but after that you're home free to unload everything you've got on to the snake. Segments of the snake come in two types, and can be killed in one shot if those segments were added by a three (or less) letter word. Segments added from a four (or more) letter word take two shots to kill.
The game is over when the worm has either been destroyed, or it has made it all the way to the other side. After that, it starts over, and it's up to you whether or not you switch places. There's also a single player mode included as well, although it's substantially less fun than playing with another person. In fact, if you don't have someone to play with, I'd go as far as just suggesting sticking with more typical single player oriented word games.
I really like how retro-ized the whole game is, and how the graphics and interface are designed to look just like a cocktail table arcade machine. It's also neat how the two players play the game so differently, with one player playing what amounts to a retro-style shooter while the other plays a word game. It would be cool to have some additional game modes, or power-ups of sorts that could keep things a little more even if one player was particularly good at their goal, but overall Super Cosmic Word Snake is a surprisingly fun two player iPad game.
Watch Button Watch App