Gamer Dad and how iOS saved me from the game-death clutches of parenthood!

Justin Fletcher is a writer of a website called Quarter To Three, a gaming website. He recently became a father to a pair of twins and he wrote a series of "new dad" diaries, citing the death of gaming. He puts into words what I failed to describe to my friends when I attempt to tell them I have no time for gaming. It's an excellent read. Try this one: New dad diaries: altered states.

An excerpt:
"Technology can’t help. I can get all the baby monitors I want, but they won’t still the voice inside of me that says they’re faulty or broken or unreliable. That my son or daughter could be choking right now while I’m engrossed with exploring some digital fairyland to solve the Riddle of Whatzis and find the Smiting Sword of Smite. Is that really worth risking their safety? And even if one of the monitors worked perfectly, wouldn’t its hissing audio and flashing sound level indicators break the immersion anyway?

So for now, immersion must take a back seat to situational awareness. For now, I can’t afford to lose myself in anything but my children."

So, how to play PC games downstairs when all these worries are on my mind?
Anyway, taking care of little sen2, a baby of 2 weeks old now, in turns give me a lot more gaming time than when she was not born yet. How is that possible?

It is because I now have a new way to play games - on the Apple iPhone! And it is made possible because I could game with one hand while the other carry little sen2 as she sleeps in comfort of my warm body.

I normally don't play iPhone games because I find that it is relatively inferior to its cousin, the PC. If I have the time, I would rather spend it on the PC. But there are 4 games I'd highly recommend in the iPhone - it's unlike any iPhone games and it reeks a certain quality. A must have:

1. Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor ($2.99)

This is one of the early iPhone games that garnered a lot of critical acclaim for it's innovative use of the iOS user interface and for it's artistic style. This is a game that people were asking for a Bafta award, the Oscar equivalent for games mainly because it dares to be different from the rest of the iPhone games.

In this game, you control a spider as he cari makan (hunts) for food around the manor owned by a guy called Bryce. As you built cob webs to trap flies or pounce on hornet, you absorbed the hand painted background and you will learn what happened to the people of Bryce Manor. It tells a story of triangle love, loneliness and possible suicide. No one knows for sure but I like the way the story is told, indirectly.
Try it out. It has a Lite version called Hornet Smash, although the Lite version only shows you the mechanics of the game and not the artistic, story telling part.

2. Battleheart ($2.99)

Fancy a hack-and-slash Diablo-like game in iPhone? I would recommend Battleheart - for its addictive RPG element, grinding, stats, weapons and armors, spell casting, etc.

You level up four character and fight each battle to win experience points and gold, both of which can be used to purchase better weapons or learn better spells. And there are many classes to recruit - each with their unique skills. Pretty fun to build a group of different classes to adventure.

Besides, the graphics are really cute.

Unfortunately, no Lite version.

3. World of Goo ($2.99)

The game that had its root as a PC-indie game is now ported to the iOS. And what a great port it is. This game is the only game in App Store that has a score of  97 on metacritic, a website that aggergate reviews of a game from many, various websites. So a score of 97 means that the game had very favourable reviews all over the internet. And this game deserves the rating. I played the PC version to death and have no qualms on getting the iOS version.

If there is one game you want to play and show case your iPhone, buy this game. Yes, it's even better than Spider and Battleheart! Way better!

Unfortunately, no Lite version.

4. Dungeon Raid ($2.99)

Out of these 4 games, Dungeon Raid sucked most of my time. I spent so much time on it that I am pretty burnt out by now. But it is the easiest to play with one hand and the most addictive. Be warned.

Try the Lite version.

It's no simple match-3 game. It's beyond the eye. I don't even know how to sell it. If you have played Bejeweled and Puzzle Quest, it's like them and yet vastly unlike them.


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