Defend against waves of zombies

BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak is a one-player zombie-survival game that mixes elements of real-time strategy with an open-map tower-defense game.

The core of BioDefense is a survival mode, in which you protect your base from random waves of zombies. You have to juggle several interdependent factors as you construct and defend your base: you have to build collectors on top of "toxium" deposits (toxium is the game's currency, and a finite resource on the map), but you can only build where you have light--so you also need to build spotlights. Predictably, spotlights are fragile, so you need to … Read more

You sank my Battleship!

Battle of Midway is a one-player iPhone adaptation of the popular "Battleship" guessing game (and the iconic Milton Bradley game of the same name).

Gameplay closely mirrors the analog version, with you and an opponent (an enemy AI, in this case) secretly placing rectangular ships on a 10-by-10 grid, which you can do manually or automatically. You then take turns guessing the location of each other's ships by firing at specific squares, and Battle of Midway has both "volley" and "salvo" modes (either fire until you miss or fire once for each of … Read more

You will pay for your insolence!

Babel Rising is a fast-paced arcade game that puts you in the role of a vengeful deity "punishing infidels"--that is, killing off puny humans by the hundreds before they can build a tower that reaches "God's realm."

This game shares thematic similarities with apps in which you play a god manipulating (and exterminating) little people, but Babel Rising is much more like castle-defense games, as you use taps and touchscreen gestures to directly kill countless "heretics." The tiny builders approach from the bottom of the screen, and you have a fixed view … Read more

Space Station: Frontier for iPad is hard to put down

I check the iPad apps lists every day in the hope to uncover new gems. Though the frequency of apps coming into the app store is probably better described as a trickle rather than a flood, there's already been a few keepers that I've spent a lot of time with. One new addition to my iPad is a strategy game like no other I've seen so far and I think it has just the right elements to keep strategy gaming fans coming back for more.

Space Station: Frontier HD ($4.99) takes elements from tower-defense-type games and … Read more

Galcon Fusion goes HD for iPad

I've had the 32GB iPad for almost two weeks now and I'm really happy with my purchase. There are not as many apps available at this early stage as I had hoped, but I suspect that there are many developers working furiously to make their app ready for the new device.

So far, most of the apps I've tried for iPad are fine-tuned, HD versions of their iPhone counterparts. While it can be a little hit or miss as far as whether they are worth the extra cash (especially if you already paid for them on iPhone), … Read more

Touch-screen chess

tChess is one of the best chess apps available for the iPhone and iPad. The low-priced Lite version offers many of the features of tChess Pro, including an elegant interface and lots of in-game extras. (Both versions have variable difficulty settings, but tChess Lite taps out at a 1200 ELO rating, which "corresponds to a strong casual player but is weaker than an average chess club player.")

tChess Lite offers an excellent interface for chess learners, whether passing the device in two-player mode, or solo against the AI, with a clean, 2D board view that you can flip … Read more

I crown you King!

We Rule is a real-time kingdom simulation game where you'll need to earn money to expand your kingdom. Earning money in We Rule requires that you grow crops and build factories and shops that will bring in a steady income over time. The touch-screen interface is fairly intuitive for choosing what type of objects you want to build, but lacks descriptions of buildings making it difficult to predict how much income you will gain by placing a specific type of building. Part of the fun is finding out which building will net you the most cash. You also can … Read more

Defend the castle!

Castle Conflict is a charming little arcade strategy game that has gotten much better since its limited debut.

Based on a fairly primitive desktop game, Castle Conflict starts with a straightforward premise: two castles fighting against each other, sending out units to do battle and gather resources (i.e., the trees that pop up randomly in the middle of the battlefield). You play the castle on the left, on a small 2D screen, and as you build up resources, you press touchscreen buttons to create new units. You start with a limited palette of units: cheap but fragile peasants to … Read more

What does Google really know about advertising?

Google has been following me around lately.

I'm not sure if I've made one inadvertent comment too many about my liberal lords and masters, but whichever Web page I happen to visit in order to seek some temporary respite from my complicated life, there I find an ad suggesting I should buy a Nexus One.

Actually, it's hard to call these things "ads." They're little pictures of the Nexus One. Some have no message to speak of. Others enjoy lines such as "it's ultra-light." This is a line I associate most … Read more

Three sweet software deals

Bleh. Enough with the hardware. Yesterday's quad-core desktop sold out quicker than a congressman in an election year. (Hi-yo!)

Today I've got three, three, three deals for the price of one. And because they're all software, and all downloadable, there's no sellout risk. (They do have time limits, though, so get clickin' on the ones you want.)

1. MacHeist nanoBundle 2 It's the return of one of my all-time favorite deals! For just $19.95 you get seven great Mac apps, which have a combined value of $260. Even better, 25 percent of the proceeds … Read more