Category Archives: Games

Top Retina Display-ready games for your new iPad.

The best thing about the latest Apple iPad is that high-resolution Retina Display that packs four times the pixels of its predecessor. The problem with such a screen is that apps that aren’t updated for it won’t look as good as they should. And despite having improved graphics hardware, you’ll find that most of that horsepower went into powering that screen–the new iPad isn’t significantly faster than its predecessor.

While we believe that most developers will be working on Retina Display-enhanced versions of their apps, the updates will take some time. Meanwhile, Apple has a new section (with 45 apps at last count) that highlights some of the apps that are ready for the high-resolution display. Of course, not all updated apps get into Apple’s list and few of them are games. Hence, we have rounded up some of the best games that will look great on your new iPad.

You may also have heard that apps updated for the Retina Display on the iPad have been super-sized. In other words, the higher-resolution graphical assets required by that 2,048 x 1,536-pixel screen have resulted in an increase in file size. While the magnitude of the increase varies depending on the app, the biggest culprits are usually games, especially those that boast 3D graphics. For instance, Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation is a whopping 1.05GB download. Hence, we have included the size of the file (these files are likely to be expanded in size when installed on your iPad).

1. Angry Birds Space HD
Just when it seems that Angry Birds has become more about the brand and the merchandise–there are even plans for theme parks–comes a reminder from developer Rovio that the franchise is still about the games. By blasting the birds (and pigs) into space, the latest installment in the series adds a new dimension to the gameplay by mixing in zero-gravity. Our favorites are the bonus levels that are obvious tributes to classics such as Space Invaders and Super Mario Bros.Price: US$2.99
File size: 20MB
2. Diamond Dash
A huge hit on Facebook with 10 million players, Diamond Dash has been equally successful since moving to the iOS platform. This pattern-matching game isn’t that different from competitor, Bejeweled Blitz. Both games are incredibly fast-paced due to their 60-second time limit, but the flashy explosions and effects of Diamond Dash fit right into its frantic clickfest gameplay. As with most social games, there’s the element of playing against your friends. To keep things exciting, you’ll even get a score handicap if you have a lower rank.Price: Free to play with optional in-app purchases
File size: 23.4MB
3. DragonVale
If you’re a fan of “How to Train Your Dragon”, DragonVale is probably right up your alley. This simulation game has the player raise their own dragons in a park. Besides the usual hatching and feeding, there are also options to upgrade the park with more facilities. The fun, however, is in unlocking new breeds of dragons, which is done by cross-breeding different elemental types of dragons. The graphics are cute enough to distract you while waiting for your dragons to grow (unless you wish to pay real currency for ingame items).Price: Free to play with optional in-app purchases
File size: 24.9MB
4. Flight Control Rocket
Besides Angry Birds, another game that has made the recent leap into outer space is Flight Control Rocket. The original game was about directing air traffic and the latest version is more of the same. The graphics and art design is top-notch and it looks really good on the new iPad. There are new spaceships that change the pace of the game due to their different characteristics and robot assistants that give various bonuses. Unfortunately, using these robots often require ingame purchases which undermines the game experience, especially when this is not a free app.Price: US$0.99
File size: 31MB
5. Galaxy on Fire 2 HD
Arguably one of the best sci-fi games on mobile platforms with its engrossing story and a huge number of side missions, this visually stunning game gets even better with high-resolution textures designed for the iPad’s Retina Display. If you’re going to be looking at this game for an extended period of time–Galaxy on Fire 2 HD boasts more than 10 hours of gameplay–it’s important that you get the updated version.Price: US$9.99
File size: 519MB
6. Infinity Blade II
The poster child for gaming on the iPhone/iPad, Epic Games’ action RPG, Infinity Blade II, is critically acclaimedfor its outstanding graphics and combat system. Given the already-excellent visuals, you may be hard-pressed to see the differences between the non-Retina Display version and the high-resolution update. However, this is besides the point: The art design and the swordfighting are more than sufficient reasons to play this game.Price: US$6.99
File size: 791MB
7. Mass Effect Infiltrator
Mass Effect 3 may have ended the saga of Commander Shepard, but there are still stories to be told in that universe. Mass Effect Infiltratordoes that by putting the player in the role of an agent who turns against his company because of its experimentation on aliens. As with most other Retina Display-enhanced 3D games on this list, there’s plenty of eye candy to go along with the inevitable explosions and combat scenes. Your ingame performance in Infiltrator can also contribute to your overall score in Mass Effect 3 if you own both games.Price: US$6.99
File size: 647MB
8. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation
One of the best first-person shooter titles for the iOS platform, Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation is a huge game, from its massive 1GB download size to the amount of content. There’s a campaign with 13 missions, where you can enjoy the cinematic cutscenes as you get used to the controls. Once you’re done, it’s time to dive into the multiplayer mode, which you can play with up to 12 players via local Wi-Fi or through online game servers. While the storyline isn’t much to write home about, the gorgeous visuals and excellent multiplayer mode make up for it.Price: US$6.99
File size: 1.05GB
9. Real Racing 2 HD
When it comes to racing games on the iPad, it doesn’t get more photo-realistic than Real Racing 2 HD. The HD version for the iPad 2 looked really good and the latest Retina Display update only makes it slightly better. Chances are that despite the company’s claims of 4x anti-aliasing, you probably won’t notice all the improvements on the new iPad unless you stare intently at the screen. However, there’s no doubt that it’s the racing game to get, with its 30 licensed cars and multiplayer mode with up to 16 players.Price: US$6.99
File size: 444MB
10. Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy
First demoed at the launch of the latest iPad, Sky Gamblers has high-resolution visuals that show off the capabilities of that Retina Display. The plot and the premise aren’t any good and you shouldn’t expect a realistic flight sim, but the fast-paced arcade-like action and the stunning graphics still makes for an entertaining game.Price: US$4.99
File size: 360MB