Here’s a look at a few games for Apple’s iPad.
Back to the Future: The Game, Episode 1 (Telltale Games, $6.99) Famed time travelers Marty McFly and Doc Brown are continuing their adventures on Apple’s magical tablet.
This animated ode to the 1980s film franchise directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd gives fans a new way to enjoy interactive cinema.
Taking place roughly six months after the third film, the story has gamers control Marty and, with help from the films’ time-bending DeLorean, go back to the 1930s and Hill Valley’s Prohibition days on a quest to find missing scientist Emmett “Doc” Brown and not rewrite history.
Fans of games such as Tales of Monkey Island and Sam & Max Save the World will be familiar with the search-and-question routine. The player interrogates characters such as the dowdy Edna Strickland or bully Biff Tannen through choices on the screen, and uses the iPad’s touch screen to move Marty around to explore locations.
Although already available for computers and PlayStation 3, I much prefer the iPad’s mobility to play anywhere and its touch-screen interface for this type of challenge.
Specifically, it’s much easier to point to objects, such as grabbing a mysterious shoe in the DeLorean or accessing an ever-expanding inventory with simple taps on the screen.
Be aware, completists, this is only episode one of five (it will take $28 more to complete the adventures), but this episode offers six chapters worth of plot-building interactivity that should take hours to exhaust fans.
As far as any problems, I’ll forgive some of the scene stuttering and the simplicity of the puzzles, as the stylish three-dimensional animation looks great, with likenesses of all of the primary characters. It’s also nice to hear Mr. Lloyd reprise his role as the wacky Doc.
WackyLands Big Boss (Chillingo, $1.99) The Trogon Kingdom and North Pole are ripe pickings for a crushing visit by a customizable behemoth in this cute, side-scrolling action game.
The challenge requires a player to use an egg-shaped Godzilla-size monster to pillage and plunder while fending off attacks from a variety of foes, such as archers, knights, ninja, pesky wizards (who aren’t afraid to shrink the Big Boss) and brigades of Santa’s female elves wielding spears.
The addictive experience is not just about controlling the beast through exhaustive finger-tapping and swiping at him to deliver devastation and movements, but also about collecting coins to purchase fashion, weapons and upgrades.
Spending time equipping the big guy with a club and sensible footwear while bringing out his personality through facial features, eyes and an assortment of radical clothing (ranging from a Robin Hood shirt to a jester hat) will take longer than actually playing through the more than a dozen scenarios.
Power-ups are also enabled as the boss conquers multiple hordes of enemies with helpful tricks, including stomping a battlefield clear of enemies and setting foes on fire.
And just to keep the Big Boss consistent with his monstrous personality, he can snack on a princess (or even Mrs. Claus, heaven forbid) to keep the health meter full while in the middle of combat.