EA’s new frontier may just be in the mobile market. While we know of the powerhouses that it holds in the PC and console arenas, this giant is looking to spread out to the iPhone and iPad realms. At GDC 2012 this year, EA rolled out their line of games that you’ll be playing on those long trips to pass the time. I got my little paws on some of the hottest games that they have to offer and I’m delivering them straight to you.
Flight Control Rocket
Release Date: End of March
Anyone familiar with the addictive nature of Flight Control should already know about this game. The original game put you in the control tower hot seat as you tried to land all the planes safely and in their respective runways. Flight Control Rocket takes it a step further, or should I say miles further, as you head out into space to keep an eye on the great dark yonder. As ships come in, you move them to their respective landing areas while keeping them away from each other. Fifteen different ships mean that you’ll have to switch strategies on the fly as you deal with ones that fire rockets, speedup, or split into two whenever you touch them.
For a game based in the future, you come to expect a few extra changes such as extra lives that allow for the occasional crash without it being game over and coins that you can collect to buy your own robots. Take these bots along for the ride for extra bonuses like more health, easier enemies, or use the hardcore bot that turns off more of the more helpful features, but keeps your score multiplier up. As they gain experience, the bots give you more, but they can easily run down if you use them too much.
Additional modes like Odyssey that focuses on speed and Infinity that focuses on matching the right color rockets to the proper landing pad add to the longevity of the title. Even with the kitchtchy sci-fi graphics and space music, Flight Control Rocket looks to be more than a handful for anyone looking for some quick fun or a challenge on their mobile device.
Release Date: Late Spring/Summer
Immediately, the game Dragon’s Lair comes to mind when you see The Act. They’re both games where you play within an interactive cartoon with no discernable controls. While the former may be an exercise in frustration, The Act turns out to be a pleasantly surprising romantic comedy about a window washer and the things he will do to impress a lovely nurse.
Controls are simple – swipe right or left. That’s it. It’s how you swipe that matters. Move from one side to the other will cause a big reaction like laughing out loud or jumping on top of someone. Smaller motions give you more subtle actions like a tap on the shoulder or a knowing glance. Every scene uses these movements differently so you’ll need to experiment to find out what will each little swipe will do. You get three chances to get it right, and the game allows for you to occasionally save yourself from a bad swipe.
In the section I got to play, we found our hero, Edgar, trying to catch the eye of that fancy little nurse. A couple of slight nudges turned the overly shy guy into someone a little more comfortable. He sits closer to the table, leans in just a little. Give it time and she makes eye contact. Move back a little and she moves forward. It’s an interesting give and take mechanic that really shows off the power of the animation. One wrong swipe, like in my case, and you’re grinning like and idiot and giving her the cheesy fake gun signal. The nurse quickly gets up and walks away. But then again, that’s just the story of my life.
Release Date: In the Next 2 ~ 3 Months
Highflying adventure takes to the iPad with Air Mail. You won’t be playing delivery boy all the time as you race around to light torches, collect fish, or shoot off fireworks during a celebration. In beautiful 3D environments, pilots get to choose from multiple controls such as tilt, your standard button configuration, or an advance mode that lets you control either flap independently for big tricks.
For each of the stages in the main story mission, you’ll meet a new character as well as journey through some rather impressive worlds. Wisdom Land comes adorned with paper lanterns, little wooden huts, and a massive Buddha in the center of the island. Other locals such as the Lost Temple give nods to Indiana Jones as well as Ghibli’s Porco Rosso, a movie about a flying pig.
Beyond your typical story mode, there’s also an express delivery mode that records the number of tasks a player can accomplish in a set time. These scores go out to a global leaderboard and new challenges will be added after release. Explore mode lets you do just that – explore. Players fly around each of the unique islands, locating special spots on the maps. There’s no win or lose here. Just sit back and enjoy the flight.