iPad Game Apps - dummies

By Bob LeVitus, Bryan Chaffin

iPad game apps make sure you’re never bored. You can test your gaming skills by using iPad apps for just about every kind of game — pool, car racing, crosswords, and many more!

Angry Birds HD


In Angry Birds, the object is to shoot birds from a slingshot-like apparatus to knock down structures and kill the green pigs who have stolen the birds’ eggs. Kill all the green pigs on a level and you get to advance, but leave even one little green piggy alive and you’ll have to try this level again.

It’s a simple premise with a plot as old as time, goofy animation, and a boppin’ theme song you’ll hum for days.

There are 180 levels to date — and they’re all physics-based puzzles that require a combination of logic, skill, luck, and brute force. The developer releases content updates regularly, with new levels and, occasionally, a new bird type.


Pinball HD


Good pinball games require supremely realistic physics, and Pinball HD delivers. The way the ball bounces around the table and interacts with bumpers and flippers is completely realistic and authentic. So realistic, in fact, that you can “shake” the table to influence the ball’s movement. And like a real pinball machine, if you shake too hard, you’ll tilt and lose your ball.

All three tables in Pinball HD offer an instruction page (Jungle Style’s is shown in this figure) that explains your objectives and offers detailed advice about specific features of the table.


Pocket Legends


If you’re a fan of Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs), Pocket Legends for iPad is an incredibly cool 3D MMO game that doesn’t (or at least doesn’t have to) cost you a cent.

You can join thousands of players from all over the world when you play. You begin by choosing one of three character classes to play as: an archer, an enchantress, or a warrior. Then you wander around dungeons, forests, and castles killing zombies, skeletons, demons, and other bad guys while collecting gold pieces, experience points, weaponry, and armor.


Real Racing HD


At least a dozen car-race games are available for the iPad already, but Real Racing is the real deal. With 48 cars in four classes, 12 tracks, and five unique game modes, a career mode with three divisions and 76 events, plus multiplayer Wi-Fi support for as many as six racers, it’ll take you a good long time to master it. Heck, it’ll take you a good long time to unlock all the different tracks and cars, let alone master the game!

Real Racing offers myriad options for controlling your race car. You can steer by accelerometer (tilting the iPhone) or by touching the left or right side of the screen. You can accelerate either automatically or manually. And you can adjust the accelerometer and brake sensitivity.

The sound effects are great; the tracks are unique; and there are a variety of different driving surfaces such as asphalt, grass, gravel, and ripple-strips, each with its own effect on your car’s speed and handling.




The trouble with most other crossword-puzzle apps is that they either have crummy puzzles or they charge money for the puzzles — a la carte or by subscription. The Crosswords app uses a different model. For $10, you continuously receive new puzzles from sources that include the Houston Chronicle, Washington Post, New York Times Classic Crosswords, and many others. And of course it has a very usable interface, designed for both landscape and portrait modes.

Flight Control HD


This is one of those games that doesn’t sound great in theory but is a blast to play. And you’ll want to play again and again. You’re the air traffic controller for a map-full (there are eight maps) of airports, aircraft carriers, and helipads. Aircraft appear on all four edges of the screen. Your job is to land them all safely by drawing their paths to landing. The aircraft and landing spot must be the same color, and the aircraft come faster and there are more of them as the game progresses.

Pool Pro Online 3


It’s enough like real pool to be challenging and fun. It’s easy to learn and difficult to master, a winning combo for games. Playing solo against computerized opponents is fun — but for a real challenge, head for one of the online lobbies of available players and hustle up a game. The game controls are fluid and intuitive, and you’ll get the hang of shots, even the ones that need some finesse, before you know it.



Tetris, if you aren’t old enough to remember Clara Peller, was the first really popular falling-block game for personal computers. This rendition’s great — with a ghost image that helps you put blocks where you want them, and new power-ups and other stuff you may or may not consider an improvement. However you like it — classic, or with new and improved features — it has a hypnotic quality that will keep you coming back for more.

Words With Friends HD


It’s a lot like Scrabble, but played against your friends or random strangers asynchronously. You make a word, then it’s your opponent’s turn. When your opponent makes a word, it’s your turn again. Repeat until no tiles remain in your rack(s). It has all of your favorite Scrabble features — including double- and triple-word and letter scores. And the tiles have the same point value as in Scrabble, so you already know how to play! And you can play up to 20 games at a time.