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Thursday, September 14, 2006
iPod Games Reviewed
12:01 PM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld has posted a First Look at Apple's recently released games for fifth generation iPods. Available for purchase from iTunes the list includes old favorites such as Tetris, Pac Man, and Mahjong. The article examines the installation process as well as the iPod's suitability as a gaming platform.

The iPod screen is smaller than what I’m accustomed to, playing games on a Sony PlayStation Portable or Nintendo DS, but the iPod’s screen is extremely bright and sharp, perfectly suitable for games. Some of the games strain my eyes a bit—Pac-Man, for example, renders the entire maze on the iPod screen with some other superfluous graphics, and the maze is really tiny. Others, like Vortex and Mini Golf, make good use of the available screen space.

Playing with the click wheel takes some getting used to, and it’s different for each game. Each game is simple enough in its control scheme that the limited input the click wheel allows works well enough, and some, like Vortex and Bejeweled, have done a good job of figuring out ways to use the click wheel’s rotation capability. While some games require lots of tapping, others, like Pac-Man, simply require you to apply a bit of thumb pressure to the spot on the click wheel you want Pac-Man to move. Some games take longer than others to figure out; others get frustrating when you accidentally hit the click wheel in the wrong spot. (I’ve already folded a few winning hands at Texas Hold’em that way.)

Sound quality in each of the games is excellent, with full stereo sound and rich sound effects. Each of the games has a basic structure that you’ll get to know pretty quickly—showing you time and battery level in upper corners of the screen, asking for your name (to record high scores) and asking you to save when you exit (presuming you’d like to continue a game in progress later).

Check out the rest of the review at the link below.

Macworld: First Look at iPod Games
Apple: iPod Games

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