Blek puts at your fingertips a kind of Simon Says for calligraphy — you draw a wiggly line, and the semi-sentient digital ink continues to repeat that movement pattern until it collides with and pops coloured discs (good) or stumbles into the black (bad).
The 60 levels start off very simple, but you’re soon confronted with real head-scratchers, it being in no way obvious how to proceed. Trial and error often wins the day, but that’s not a criticism — even when you stumble upon a solution in Blek it feels like a triumph.
There’s a calculating nature to Trainyard, which starts off as possibly the world’s easiest puzzle game. You get a station and destination, and have to drag tracks between the two. A gentle difficulty curve then introduces the odd rock and multiple colours of stations on the same small screen.
Only once it’s lulled you into a false sense of security does Trainyard reveal its true nature: a taxing, demanding puzzler that in its final levels will have you tearing your hair out trying to find the complex track spaghetti required to get all of the trains safely home.
More after the break...
23. Pinball Arcade
Pinball’s something of a lost art, which is a huge pity. The best pinball tables are the equals of the finest videogames around, offering a surprising amount of depth while demanding precision and concentration.
Pinball Arcade is almost an interactive museum, housing dozens of fully playable classic tables inside your device. You get Tales of the Arabian Nights for free, and IAP enables you to buy the likes of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Bride of Pin•Bot, Black Knight and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
24. Touchgrind Skate 2
This one takes a rather literal stance regarding controlling a sports game with your fingers. The board appears on the screen and your fingers become tiny legs, enabling you to perform gnarly and rad tricks, man! Irksome lingo aside, this is a fantastic title that’s initially demanding but hugely rewarding once mastered.
You can also upload videos of your best moves and show off to your friends, and there’s fortunately no way you can skin your knees, unless you trip over while obsessively performing ollies, powerslides and heelflips while walking down the street.
25. Ant Raid
Ant Raid resembles a movie from an alternate universe where the script for A Bug’s Life got merged with Fight Club. You assist a band of ants, fending off ravenous mutant bugs with a serious case of the munchies and an appetite for your kin.
The controls are simple, involving you selecting ants and sending them off to fight, and occasionally directly squishing enemies in an act of ‘divine retribution’. It’s quite lightweight for an RTS, but the game’s breezy nature and fast action more than make up for any lack of strategic depth.
S$1.28, iPhone | S$3.98, iPad
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