May 21, 2010, 1:28 PM — More than a few quality iPad-optimized games have hit the App Store in the month-and-a-half since Apple released its new device. But which ones deserve a coveted space on your iPad?
That’s a question for our crack team of iPad game reviewers. So we asked our reviewers to name the games that have grabbed their attention since the iPad’s arrival. As with our list of essential paid and free apps, we devoted special attention to games that take advantage of the iPad’s unique qualities, whether that’s making the most of the device’s screen space or implementing a particularly clever control scheme.
The result? A diverse lineup of games that includes racing, casual, puzzle, adventure, and action titles. Based on the apps below, iPad gaming is off to a great start, with hopefully more great offerings on the way.
Angry Birds HD
Another iPhone port that gets to spread its wings on the iPad, Angry Birds HD ( Macworld rated 4.5 out of 5 mice ) makes the most of its newfound space. The original game always felt a bit constrained on the smaller iPhone screen, so I was thrilled to see an iPad version available at launch. Angry Birds HD isn’t a universal app—so if you enjoyed the original, you’re shelling out $5 for the honor of playing the higher resolution version. However, Chillingo added additional levels, a crazy new boomerang bird, and hidden golden eggs that unlock even more levels. The gameplay is the same on the iPad as on the iPhone—simply flick your birds with the slingshot at the pigs and their assortment of defensive structures. On the larger screen, you can really appreciate the clever animations and intricate level design. Plus, zooming out to survey the battlefield is now practical.—James Savage
Flight Control HD