IPad Games: The Ultimate Gamer's Guide To Apple's IPad

Slim, sexy and packed with a library of games, the iPad is shaping up to be a powerful contender in the eyes and for the fingers of gamers.

While I don't quite buy Apple's claims that the iPad is magical, everything we've learned about the device leads us to believe that it will be a powerful force in the world of portable gaming. In fact, it could create it's own niche, a portable most often used in the home.

With more than 50 games already lined up for the device's premier next week, now's a great time to brush up on everything you need to know about gaming on Apple's iPad.

The Device

The iPad is 9.56 inches high, 7.47 inches wide, half an inch thick and weighs one and a half pounds (1.6 pounds for the 3G model.).

The WiFi version of the iPad will goes on sale on April 3 for $US499 for 16GB, $US599 for 32GB, and $US699 for 64GB. The Wi-Fi and 3G models will be available in late April for $US629 for 16GB, $US729 for 32GB and $US829 for 64GB.

The 9.7-inch 1024-by-768 pixel resolution display supports multi-touch and is fingerprint resistant. As with the iPhone and iPod touch, the device also includes an accelerometer and ambient light sensor and can play back video and audio. It also has a dock connector port, 3.5 mm headphone jack, built-in speaker and microphone.

The built-in battery lasts up to 10 hours.

The Games

We have, through leaks, sources and official confirmation, tracked down nearly 50 games bound for the iPad. The list seem to have several things in common, better graphics, higher prices and making use of that larger screen.

Here's a break down of everything we know, and you need to, about the games coming to the iPad.

Amateur Surgeon

Amateur Surgeon will soon be available in all its gory glory for the iPad. Operate in fully-upscaled iPad resolution, now with an enhanced two-player cooperative mode and dual-Facebook Connect functionality exclusively for iPad surgeons.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Adult Swim Games

Ammoin HD

The goal of this puzzle game is to collect all of the valuables on the board by moving a pawn according to some simple movement rules.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US0.99

Developer: Samuli Rihonen

*iPhone screen shot shown.

AniMatch HD

The goal in this children's game is to match the pairs of cute animal heads. Each animal makes a sound when you touch it. Sounds like the stuff of nightmares!

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US1.99

Developer: Lima Sky

Azkend HD

This puzzle game has you touching and dragging your finger along like tiles to remove them from the board. The more tiles destroyed the higher your score.

Release Date: April 3

Price: TBA

Developer: Myth People

*iPhone screen shot shown.

BaboCrash HD

This match three puzzle game features a Madballs theme.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US0.99

Developer:Playbrains

Boggle

The classic dice and spelling game comes to the iPad with 3D letter cubes and email multiplayer.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US2.99

Developer: EA Mobile

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Bugdom 2

In this free-roaming 3D action-adventure game you control Skip the grasshopper as he hunts down the bee that stole his knapsack.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US9.99

Developer: Pangea Software

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Checkmates

Local multiplayer chess game that will feature the ability to save and resume a match, create custom players, track your stats, pseudo 3D graphics and perhaps in a future update, the developers tell us, online support.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Logic Pretzel

Cliffed XL

Race to the bottom in this 2D scrolling racer. The iPad version will feature head-to-head split screen mode so two players can race on a single device. There are also new characters, improved graphics and new backgrounds.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: IUGO

Coach K

Really more of a fan service to folks obsessed with Duke's Men's basketball and their famous coach Mike Krzyzewski. The game looks to be a collection of mini games all with a coach K theme.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US2.99

Developer: MJKD

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Cro-Mag Rally

Race cavemen (and women) through the stone, bronze and iron ages in primitive vehicles using title controls and primitive weapons to beat the competition.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US9.99

Developer: Pangea Software

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Crosswords

Stand Alone promises to deliver a redesigned version of their iPhone crossword game with an optimised user interface more reminiscent of the newspaper experience.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Stand Alone

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Enigmo Deluxe

An iPad version of the incredibly popular Mac, iPhone and iPod Touch title. The game is a 3D puzzler that has you building mechanisms, directing lasers, plasma and water to get them to their final destination.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US9.99

Developer: Pangea Software

*Enigmo 2 photo featured here.

Escape: Norm's World XL

This new title will feature two player in two modes: head-to-head and co-op, both on a single iPad. The 3D graphic title has you swiping controls to navigate a series of pads.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: IUGO

Flight Control HD

The insanely popular top-down flight control game is coming to the magical iPad. In the game you must swipe flight paths for an increasingly large number of incoming aircraft. The iPad version will have larger maps, eight single-player maps including three in "HD", new cooperative and split-screen versus modes and plenty of tweaks.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US4.99

Developer: Firemint

[Pic]

Galaxy Control 2

Galaxy Control is essentially Flight Control in space, with players controlling a number of spaceships as they manoeuvre through the different gravitational fields of a variety of planets.

Release Date: April 3

Price: TBA

Developer: TopLineSoft

*iPhone screen shots shown.

Grind HD

This 3D skateboarding game used NVIDEA's PhysX engine to simulate realistic physics in a skateboarding environment. Swipe across the screen to perform tricks.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Andy Mileusnic

*iPhone screen shot shown.

iBubbleWrap

More digital toy than game, this app lets you touch to pop a variety of different bubble wraps.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Lime Sky

iMahjong 2

Classic Mahjong on the really big screen of the iPad.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US2.99

Developer: Jirbo

*iPod Touch screen shots shown.

Implode! XL

Plant dynamite to destroy structures. The iPad version will include a new in-game editor for creating your own levels, revamped user interface and new developer created levels.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: IUGO

Labyrinth 2 HD

The developers promise that the iPad version of this popular iPhone game will have new features, not just bigger, better graphics. The iPhone version of the game, which just hit this month still has players trying to get a ball through a maze by tilting, but now it also include new game elements like cannons, bumpers, mutliballs and lasers, the ability to create your own levels and share them, up to four player multiplay via WiFi or Bluetooth and awards for achievements.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US7.99

Developer: Illusion Labs

*iPhone screen shots shown.

Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim

Developers Herocraft tell us they plan to bring the PC strategy game Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim to the iPad, calling the device the ideal platform for gaming.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Herocraft

Mirror's Edge

Electronic Art's iPhone take on their console free-running game plays an awful lot like indie fan-favorite Cannabalt and our sources tell us the game is also headed to the iPad. Not a lot is known about the game, but Totilo's impressions of the still-to-be released iPhone version left him feeling like it was a title that could help birth a new type of platformer.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: EA Mobile.

*iPhone screen shot used.

MS. PAC-MAN

The famous pink-bow wearing Pac is set to hit the iPad sometime post launch of Apple's tablet device. No word on what it will include, but judging by Namco's screenshot of PAC-MAN, it's going to be beautiful.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Namco

*iPhone screen shot used.

Nanosaur 2

Glide and fight your way through this 3D game as a flying dinosaur from the future as you hunt to locate stolen dinosaur eggs and return them safely to wormholes.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US9.99

Developer: Pangea Software

*iPhone screen shots shown.

NBA Hotshot HD

This flick-to-play arcade simulator has you shooting basketballs as a hoop as fast as you can to try and hit the high score in a set time limit.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Freeverse

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Need For Speed: Shift

Shown off at Apple's official iPad announcement, little official is known about this game. From what we've seen of the game, it looks like a much higher resolution version of the iPhone title. The biggest edition to the title, though, is how well it makes use of all of that extra screen real estate. For instance, you can tap on the car to go into a cockpit view during a race and tap on the rear view mirror to see behind you.

Release Date: April 3

Price: TBA

Developer: EA Mobile

neutron

Think TRON lightcycle racing played on a 3D field.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US0.99

Developer: Notboolean

*iPhone screen shot shown.

N.O.V.A. HD

The iPad version of Gameloft's Halo-like iPhone shooter will have customised layouts and new gesture controls, like a two finger swipe used to throw grenades. There's also the ability to bring up a screen-wide grid to issue slo-mo attacks.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Gameloft

Numba HD

Match number tiles in this fast-paced puzzle game.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Cobra Mobile

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Otto Matic for iPad

Another action game from Pangea Soft. In this title you control robot Otto Matic fighting to save Earth from The Giant Brain from Planet X.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US9.99

Developer: Pangea Software

PAC-MAN

Namco tells us that their iPad version of PAC-MAN will be hitting around the time of the iPad's April 3 launch. Judging by the screenshots they've provided, it looks like this higher resolution version of the arcade classic is going to be stunning. I particularly like the shadow effects under the joystick.

Release Date: April

Price: TBA

Developer: Namco

Plants vs. Zombies HD

We called it, and now leaks from iTunes have confirmed it, Plants vs. Zombies is coming to the iPad. This fantastic take on tower defence games has you defending your backyard with zombie-eating, pea-shooting plants from wave after wave of zombie invasions. The iPad version is likely to expand the playing maps and perhaps, we hope, will offer up a bit more to do once you play your way through the lengthy single-player campaign.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Popcap Games

Pool Pro Online 3

The iPad version of this online and offline pool simulator will hit sometime in April, Namco tells us. The iPhone version includes customizable tables, sticks and settings, the ability to play online against other iPhone owners and PC gamers and amazing graphics. I expect more of the same for this big screen iPad version.

Release Date: April

Price: TBA

Developer: Namco

Raging Thunder 2

This arcade racer includes internet and local multiplayer racing, five game modes and range of international settings.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Polarbit

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Real Checkers

This game popped up on a leaked list of iPad games hitting launch day. Unfortunately, we don't know much about the title besides its release date and price. But, it is checkers, so I'd expect that there isn't much more you need to know.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US0.99

Developer: Unknown

*iPhone screen shot of Checkers Premium is shown.

Real Racing HD

Firemint's foray into racing will include a high level of detail and, it seems, the ability to customise your race car's paint job with images loaded or taken on your iPad.

Release Date: April 3

Price: $US9.99

Developer: Firemint

[Pic]

Risk

A source tells us that Electronic Arts Mobile has been testing a number of iPad games include Risk. This classic multiplayer world domination strategy board game sounds like a perfect fit for the iPad. I'd love to see more strategy board games also make their way to Apple's device. I'm looking at you Carcassonne.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: EA Mobile

*Board game image shown.

Saving Private Sheep

In this physics-based puzzler you use your finger to destroy the obstacles on the screen to enable the sheep to land safely on the... land. The game includes 80 levels and an eclectic mix of structures and blocks.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Bukly PIX

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Scrabble

Another board game we hear that EA Mobile is busy testing before sending it to iTunes. The publisher already has a traditional version of Scrabble out for the iPhone. I suspect this one would allow multiple people to play the game at the same time, essentially turning the iPad into a flat-on-the-table board game.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: EA Mobile

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Sherlock Holmes Mysteries

Warner Bros. Entertainment tells me that their game based on the Sherlock Holmes movie is headed to the iPad. The iPhone version includes a number of mini-games all themed around Holmes' attempt to solve The Case of the Innocent Man.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Warner Bros. Entertainment

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Tetris

You can't have a gaming platform without Tetris. Good thing our sources tell us that EA Mobile has already made one for the iPad. No word on what it will include, but my money is on at least one single-device, multiplayer game.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: EA Mobile

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Trism 2 and Trism Spinoff

The man behind uber-popular motion-sensing iPhone puzzler Trism tells Kotaku that he is working on not one, but two games for the iPad. Trism 2, he tells us, will be a straight sequel to the original title with versions for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. Trism Spinoff, he says, will be a game made exclusively for the iPad.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Demiforce

*iPhone screen shot shown.

Worms HD

This worms-infested turn-based strategy game has you battling across bizarre landscapes as an army of worms.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: Team 17 Software

*Xbox 360 screen shot shown.

Zen Bound 2

The sequel to the popular, highly-stylized puzzle game still has you wrapping paint-soaked rope around objects to cover them in paint, but this time around there will be new methods for puzzle-solving painting. The game will also include a series of objects to be painted based on other popular iPhone and iPad games.

Release Date: April 3

Price: TBA

Developer: Secret Exit

Zombie Attack! Second Wave XL

This tower defence game has you fighting to protect your shack from hordes of zombies. The iPad version will have enhanced graphics, a new user interface and new character.

Release Date: TBA

Price: TBA

Developer: IUGO

What Else Can You Do?

While the iPad, like the iPhone and iPod Touch before it, will likely be a popular device for gaming, that's not nearly all it does.

There will be, of course, plenty of Apps to purchase, the ability to browse the Internet, check your email, view (but not take) photos, watch movies, listen to music, check maps, schedule your calendar and take notes.

But here are a few of the ways I think the gamer in you might use the device.

Comic Book Reader

This ability has me almost as excited as the chance to play board games on the iPad is a chance to read comics on that big, beautiful iPad screen.

The best looking app we've seen to date for this is Panelfly's Comic Reader.

Book reader

Books! I love them, but I love carrying around an entire bookshelf in my pocket. The tiny screen of the iPhone, though, is starting to bother my aging eyes. Fortunately, there are several iPad solutions including Apple's own iBooks app and the redesigned Kindle Reader for the iPad.

Magazine and Newspaper Reader

Newspapers aren't dead, they're just sleeping. Same can be said for all of those chunky print mags that vomit out floor-filling streams of paper ads when you pick them up. Fortunately for anyone interested in a nice Sunday read and a longer life for a free press, the iPad has us covered.

A number of magazines and newspapers are already on board to provide their publications redesigned and enlivened for the iPad.

Accessories

While I'm sure an avalanche of accessories are bound for the iPad, Apple is currently only showcasing five on the official site. They include a keyboard dock, an iPad case, an iPad Dock, a power adaptor and a camera connection kit that allows you to import photos with a USB cable or directly from an SD card.

Make sure to bookmark this page. We'll be updating it with hands-on impressions of games, apps and the device itself as we near the April 3 launch date.


Comments

    I'd get one if I could run Photoshop and other Adobe software on it. Not to mention have 500GB on it.

    I yearn for something that isn't casual on this platform.

    How about the aussie price for me to mull over?

    the IPAD is the most useless device ive seen in a while...

    Mmm, delicious GIANT iPOD touch! Seriously, Steve Jobs is just getting greedy now, and REALLY lazy. The only people stupid enough to buy one of these things are Apple Hipsters because "Oh my gosh, it's an Apple product!"

    I tire quickly of variations on Tetris and Bejewelled. I bore of tower defence games, no matter how hi-res & no matter how many zombies there are.

    Clever 3D accelerometer puzzlers I like in theory and at first even practice, til my brain explodes. Not-so-clever accelerometer driving sims lead me to imagine doing the Dakar Rally in a neckbrace and blinkers.

    I - for some reason-still want an iPad (blame subliminal advertising) but I resign myself to books, comics and point&click retro games (Monkey Island Monkey Island Monkey Island)...

    where is a pinball game?

    bring on a serious RTS, or RPG.

    I actually plan to buy the iPad, although it's not a priority, because i can't be bothered with the tiny screen of the ipod touch or iphone.
    I can understand why people who already own an apple iTouch wouldn't be interested, but for first-time apple customers, the laarger, more screen-sized screen appeals on more than one level.
    And, unless serious developers can make a profit on serious games, there will only be the barest trickle of serious games.

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