5 Honest Reviews for the Top Free iPad Games

The most downloaded  apps are inevitably the games. As soon as I was in  possession  of my new and sleek iPad2, my kid brother (the gaming pro) immediately took over and started downloading games. As I always  appreciate  his input for online games, I have used his  expert  comments in this post as well. Many thanks Fran.

Here is our list for the Top 5 Free Games for the iPad

1. Metal Storm: Wingman

Metal Storm: Wingman has excellent graphics. You actually get the feeling that you are flying a fighter plane in a dogfight against a rival. The game’s controls are sensitive enough to allow you to move into a specified direction without any fuss. The  sensitivity  of the controls can either be reduced or increased based on your specifications. The “Automatch” feature allows you to play with a randomly-selected player  who is also logged on to the game from any part of the world.

Things that the creators could do to improve the game:
The inventory  of planes, missiles, and cannons is sorely lacking. Also, the number of players allowed in the multi-player mode should be increased as the current allowance of a maximum of two players in a dogfight becomes a yawn if played over a long period of time.  The “Game Campaign”, which is the story mode of the game, is extremely short and lacks a proper outline. The difficulty level should be improved as targets can be easily  destroyed by an amateur.

2. DLF IPL

DLF IPL has wonderful  flexibility as it allows  you to fiddle with the player’s field placement and other game controls (that are very responsive).  Also as  ergonomics has been taken into account,  you don’t have to break your fingers to pick the direction that you choose to play or on how you want the player to deliver the ball.  This game is very simple and straight  forward.

Things that the creators could do to improve the game:
The graphics of the game is a big let down. The player and background images are distorted. There is  no multi-player option in this game.  The full version of the game costs USD  4.99, which is honestly overpriced. It is wiser to go for the free version of the game.

3. World Cup Table Tennis

World Cup Table Tennis is probably one of the best games available  on your iPad  for Table Tennis aka ping pong. You play with competitors from different countries (that is actually the iPad processor) based on the level of proficiency that you attain. The controls are easily learnt and allow you to form your winning technique and tricks. It is one of the most downloaded ping pong games.

Things that the creators could do to improve the game:

The game lacks the multi-player option.

4. Angry Birds

i. Angry Birds HD

Angry Birds HD is fun to play and exercises your grey-matter a lot ( as a lot of logic is required to get rid of the concrete, wood, and ice blocks). My brother finds this game interesting. He says, “this game is not a walk in the park like most of the other games I have played. Also, the difference in the features available between the free and paid version is very limited, and hence the free version is a real catch.”

Things that the creators could do to improve the game:
The graphics of this game are quite poor; the images lack sharpness. Also, the lack of variety of characters in this game give it a dull and boring edge as the same characters are used and abused over and over again.  The number of levels available in this game are very limited causing the game to end quickly.
ii. Angry Birds Rio  (BONUS Review)

Angry Birds Rio differs from Angry Bird HD in the fact that it requires you to be the rescuer (primarily) versus the destroyer (as is for Angry Birds HD). You have to save the birds from their mean little cages and destroy some annoying monkeys too. The story line (there actually is one) is a comic-book style. The extensive use of flash, specially visible in all the small touches that are shown, makes this game a crowd-pleaser.

5. Contract Killer

Contract Killer is a treat for all you gaming expert-hitmen. The graphics and story line, while not refreshingly new, are funny and provide the comfort of a familiar sniping game.  In this world of mobsters and hitmen, the more cold blooded your shot, the better are your chances of raking in the moolah. But beware, nothing is as it seems, and as likely as you are to get a hit, equally certain is the  possibility  that you will be the target of a hit as well. You have to check this game out everyday as a bonus awaits for those that do.

Things that the creators could do to improve the game:

This is a very heavy game. It will gooble up space in your memory.

Note: Some  images  are used from the iTunes store.

10 Must-Have Free iPad Apps

I have been bewitched by Apple products ever since I got my hands on my first iPod in college (a generous gift). My old friend, the iPod, has since been retired from my service, but still continues to bring music and entertainment to my dear ones. The time was ripe and on cue, I was bewitched by another Apple product. Enter the iPad. I moved from my initial skepticism (Oh, why do I even need something like that?) to pure delight when I got my iPad 2.

Having an iTouch may be enough for some folks,   but when you get used to it, suddenly, screen size does matter. On my iPad, I love reading e-books, watching videos, and even making notes on the larger, scrumptious 9.7-inch LED screen. The larger onscreen keyboard is a life saver for the days when my fingers feel especially pudgy. Having a front- and rear-facing camera is an added bonus for my many video chats. Still no flash though, sigh.

Here are my Top 10 Must-Have Free iPad Apps

1. Kindle Cloud Reader

Being a big reader, I experimented with lots of free e-book readers from iBooks to Kobo to Stanza (to name a few). What really sold me the Kindle Cloud Reader was its beautiful interface and the constant fresh fodder (e-books) from the Kindle store. You have to use a very basic shopping concept here, good deals are only found if you regularly check what is on the clearance rack. Every day, the store provides fodder of a different genre. The magic is that I can pick some really good stuff for free! I also do not miss having a book spine on the screen (as is seen in iBooks).

2. Terra

The default mobile Safari browser is not bad. I like my browser tabstoo much to settle though. Terra is simple to use and I can open as many tabs as I want. It is strong on privacy; I can browse without saving anything in History, and I can set a pass code for my History and Bookmarks. (The following image is from technologytosoftware.com).

3. Instagram

I have cheated a bit here. As of now, its interface still looks like that of a stretched iPod app (the fit-to-screen type). But, I (and another 10 million users) love the simplicity and pure ingenuity of  Instagram’s many fun filters. It’s easy to link to Facebook and Twitter too. This app is good news considering there aren’t any good photo-editing social networking apps.

4. Flipboard

This app creates a magazine from my numerous networking-site feeds. My updates from Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, and many other sites, are much easier to manage as a result. I mainly use Flipboard to save all my favorite stories to be savored at my leisure. Flipboard also won Apple’s iPad App of the Year award.

5. Evernote

This popular app is a lifesaver. I make about a dozen notes a day on the Evernote cloud. It is easy to get used to it.

 

6. Dropbox

This is another amazing cloud app that offers 2 GB of free space to its users. I can’t imagine how I lived without it. I can save and manipulate my data, as if on my local desktop, using Dropbox.

7. Skype

The beauty of having a camera on the iPad is that I can make a video call on a full screen with Skype while catching up with other friends. Who in the world is not on Skype?

8. NPR

This news app beats NY Times, WSJ, and many others because it does not have the painful limited (or paid) viewing of its content. Its articles are open to everyone. I enjoy the latest NPR news broadcast, or simply listen to its playlist of songs.

9. Twitterrific

There are numerous Twitter apps. An ideal app, in my opinion, is one that I get the hang of in less than 10 seconds. Twitterrific fits the bill. It is simple and intuitive. It has not failed me yet, so I see no reason to jump to TweetDeck.

10. AccuWeather

I believe that it’s good to have more than one source to check my weather forecast. AccuWeather is an American company that provides (reasonably) accurate weather forecasting services worldwide. The interface is clean and presentable. No overload of information here. The hourly update on multiple locations is a nice touch.

Bonus Free iPad App

11. Talking Larry the Bird

In a nut shell, Larry repeats what you say to him in his own ducelent tones. Its too much fun for a human.

11 Favorite iPad Apps from 2 Friendly Geeks

image Two of my online buddies have an iPad. I asked both of them to recommend a few iPad apps so that I could share them with you. If you have an iPad, you might want to take a few seconds to check these out.

• The first list comes from my friend Zia, who authors the blog CyberNirvana. Here’s what he told me about the apps he uses:

I have over 50 apps on the device which I use to a varying degree. The 5 apps below are almost used daily. I consider them as a must have and treat them as the essence of using an iPad over the use of laptop/netbook, that is: convenience, speed and usefulness.

air-video 1. Air Video – An amazing program which allows you to access and view all your videos (all major formats supported including DivX) stored on your PC (even USB hard drives) from the iPad. The streaming quality is excellent depending on the Wi-fi access. I decided to purchase the full version (a few bucks) As soon as I realised I was able to watch The Dark Knight in HD in the living room on the iPad.

cinexplayer 2. CineXplayer – An app which is only 2 weeks old and which has shocked a lot of people. How did Apple allow an app to bypass its own self-imposed restriction of video formats playable on the device? This app allows you to load all DivX and Mpg movies (via iTunes) into the iPad for offline viewing. The quality is unaffected and conversion is seamless.

instapaper 3. Instapaper – The ability to read text in the right format on the iPad is literaly a pleasure. This app allows me to read all the articles captured from the net in a neat and easily readable format.

flipboard 4. Flipboard – This app is the talk of the net right now. People are surprised at how good it is and wonder how long it will last as a free product. This one pulls news and content (not RSS feeds) from the web, including Twitter and Facebook, in a beautiful and slick format.

early-edition 5. Early Edition – A simple RSS aggregator which displays all my feeds in a newspaper-like format with the option to send stories to my Instapaper account.

• The next list comes from my friend and fellow author, Rajesh. Here’s what he told me:

These are the apps I use on a day-to-day basis on my iPad, and I enjoy using them.

evernote 1. Evernote – Evernote turns the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad into an extension of your brain, helping you remember anything and everything that happens in your life. From notes to ideas to snapshots to recordings, put it all into Evernote and watch as it instantly synchronizes from your iPhone to your Mac or Windows desktop. (quote from the website)

dropbox 2. Dropbox – Dropbox is the easiest way to sync and share your files online and across computers. (quote from the website)

quick-office 3. QuickOffice – ACCESS. VIEW. EDIT. SHARE. Quickoffice Connectâ„¢ Mobile Suite is the FIRST and ONLY full-featured Microsoft ® Office productivity suite for iPhone ® or iPod ® touch with integrated access to multiple cloud services. (quote from the website)

pulse

4. Pulse – Catch up on all your news in this highly acclaimed reader – so good it was featured by Steve Jobs himself in the WWDC keynote! (quote from the website)

osfoora 5. OsfooraHD – Osfoora for Twitter is a fast and clean twitter client that gives you easy access to all of twitter’s functionalities. Osfoora features an elegant and clean Home screen that lets you access most functionalities in a single touch. (quote from the website)

im-plus 6. IM+ – All-in-One app for GTalk, Yahoo, MSN/Live Messenger, AIM/iChat, ICQ, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, Jabber and Skype chat.   (quote from the website)


• If you have your own tips about good iPad apps, be sure to comment below or email me.