iOS Roundup: Swords & Soldiers, Groove Coaster

August 1, 2011

This week, we look at the iOS port of Ronimo’s downloadable hit and another trippy title from Square Enix.

Swords & Soldiers (iPhone, iPad): We loved Swords & Soldiers in its initial WiiWare iteration, and we loved it later too when it showed up on Steam and PSN. So when we say that the iOS version is the best way to experience the game, we don’t do so lightly.

Ronimo’s particular brand of streamlined 2-D real-time strategy translates wonderfully in the port (handled by the equally-impressive Two Tribes). Much like the platform’s version of Plants vs. Zombies, Swords benefits greatly from the touch interface and doesn’t lose any significant functionality in the process. The whimsical humor and solid underlying mechanics should cement its must-have status. 5/5

Groove Coaster (Universal): Lately, when it isn’t making big, sweeping role-playing titles, Square Enix is cooking up quirky, stylized games using its old properties. Groove Coaster, made by the team behind Space Invaders Infinity Gene, is a simple rhythm game at heart. You simply tap to the beat when your icon reaches certain points in a line on the screen.

What makes things interesting is the coat of paint. The line follows swoops and turns in a wild, psychedelic aesthetic, and the songs are all designed for a cool immersion. There are multiple difficulty levels, unlockable themes and icons and leaderboards. It’s simple, but it’s cheap and totally worth a look. 4/5