Being born in the mid-80s means that, like you, I am part of what is now known as the Nintendo generation: a generation of people who grew up with video games, and who will actually enjoy playing video games with our kids one day. I personally started on an 8-bit machine brought back from China by friends of my parents, before moving onto a 16-bit SEGA Mega Drive generously donated to me by my older cousin when he moved onto the first PlayStation console. Since the introduction of memory cards and built-in hard drives though, gaming has become a lot more advanced, with the newest range of consoles competing to own the entire TV based entertainment system, very exciting.
To be honest though, as much as I’d like to, I personally don’t have much time to invest in gaming. Therefore, my gaming experiences are limited to the time spent traveling across the country for business. It is on these journeys that I am forced to disconnect from the world and, with flight mode activated of course, I jump right into one of the following five favorites
Tiny Wings — US$0.99
Although this game does indeed involve birds, they’re the furthest thing from angry. Tiny Wings is one of the most addictive games I have ever played in my life. The premise is simple enough: get your little bird to travel as far as possible before the sun sets by timing his accents and descents on the various hilly islands that you encounter. The various achievements that you need to unlock are incredibly entertaining, sometimes frustrating and alway original. The boldly colored landscapes, incredibly upbeat (yet strangely relaxing) soundtrack and your little bird’s squeaky voice all contribute to make Tiny Wings a true classic of the mobile gaming era.
Grand Theft Auto — US$4.99
When I heard that Rockstar was bringing this title to iOS devices, I got so excited that I set a reminder on my phone for the release date and will go as far as saying that I was definitely one of the first to download it on my iPad (probably not, but it works well as an intro). Why? Why not? It’s bloody GTA! From the original top-view game that allowed geeky twelve-year olds with budding distaste for authority and unhealthy obsessions with homemade bombs to steal cars, blow up trucks and escape cops in high-speed chases, all the way to hotly anticipated GTA V, I have played and loved each and every release in the series. The iPad version of the game is a great port, even though the touch controls do take a bit of time getting used to. Now I can take my love of virtual violence and destruction with me everywhere I go, something that is probably quite unnerving to anybody sitting next to me on a flight though.
Fruit Ninja — US$0.99
I believe that Fruit Ninja will go down as one of the most addictive and simplistic games of our time. I suppose it has something to do with my childhood obsession with Wolverine (by far the best member of the X-Men), but there is just something about slicing a watermelon in half with your finger, or taking out five juicy peaches with just one slice, that gets me going. The perfect game for waiting in queues or just sitting around in airport lounges, Fruit Ninja is an absolute classic in my opinion and will continue entertaining me for many flights to come.
Swords & Sorcery — US$4.99
Although a lot more involved than your average iOS game, S&S is one of those gems that envelopes you with its beautiful design and creatively captivating storyline. The graphics are quirky, the characters are entertaining and the soundtrack is amazing, so much so that I actually bought it online (great music for working). Best played in the dark without any potential interruptions, and with a decent set of headphones, S&S transports you to magical world that allows you to completely immerse yourself in the fictitious quest of your character. Even after you finish the game, you’ll keep coming back every few months to experience it over and over again. Trust me on this one, pure genius,
Sonic Dash — Free
Although I’m really not a big fan of these new running games that are currently flooding the App Store and holding the top spots on the download charts, I must say that Sonic Dash is my current addiction in terms of mobile gaming. It must be the fact that you get to play as some of your favorite SEGA characters from years gone by (Sonic, Tails and Knuckles are all back in this title), or could it be the familiar sound of those golden rings that Sonic is continually lusting after that keep me coming back. Either way, Sonic Dash is both challenging and entertaining, with lush graphics and a huge sense of nostalgia contributing greatly to its playability.