Motocross racing and turn-based strategy: iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps include a very realistic 3D motocross game and a more involved turn-based strategy game unlike other titles we've come across at the iTunes app store.


This week, Apple surpassed an amazing milestone at the iTunes app store: one billion downloads. Apple had been running a contest called the Billion App Countdown promotion with prizes including a chance to win a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card, a MacBook Pro, an iPod Touch, and more. Though the contest ended once they reached their mark (winners will be announced soon), it's still an amazing feat and clearly implies the apps are going to keep on coming. That's great news for iPhone app lovers like us!

It's no secret that the most popular apps at the iTunes Store, paid or free, are largely from the games category, so this week I'm going to talk about two new games on my iPhone you should check out.

Even without a career mode, the graphics and gameplay are excellent (Credit: CNET)

SuperCross ($7.99) lets you jump on a motocross bike and race in full 3D on several unlockable tracks. Choose from a number of color schemes for your bike and your racer and also choose the displacement of your engine (two-stroke and four-stroke machines are available). Use your iPhone or iPod Touch's accelerometer to turn your motocross bike and navigate the best lines over jumps, bumps, banks, and whoop-de-doos. You can choose from several different control schemes if you don't like using the accelerometer for turning (control pad arrows are added onscreen) and each work very well.

Though the look and feel of Supercross is excellent, I can't help but think a career mode in which you could race through a season is a needed addition to this game. The way the game is set up, you simply need to come in first or second in races to unlock more tracks, but there's not much draw beyond that. Even without a career mode, if you love motocross racing, this game is probably the best so far for iPhone, but some may want to wait for a more complete game--especially at $7.99.

As you move each unit, you are given a number of abilities you can perform (Credit: CNET)

Uniwar ($2.99) is a bit more involved than a lot of the pick up and play games for the iPhone, but turn-based strategy game lovers should definitely grab this game. Played on a hexagonal grid map, you must command your army of units with varying abilities to defeat your enemies. Choose from three races with different strengths and weaknesses and slowly build your fighting force using the turn-based system. The player to capture all the bases wins the game, but it takes a lot of thought and strategy to manoeuver your units and use their abilities to get you into a position to win.

Uniwar offers a campaign mode to get you started familiarizing yourself with each units skills and abilities. From there you can play a solo skirmish-like mode or take your battle online against live opponents. Online games can have anywhere between a 10-minute or 72-hour limit between turns with e-mail notifications to let you know when you're supposed to act. But even the solo game against the AI is a lot of fun, with different maps and races to give the game plenty of replay value. Though Uniwar might not appeal to those who are more interested in action-type games, if your a turn-based strategy game enthusiast, I can't recommend this game enough.

What's your current favorite iPhone app? Do you think Supercross offers plenty at the $7.99 price tag? Do you think more involved games like Uniwar have a place on the iPhone? Let me know in the comments!

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.