Roboto leads iPad Games of the Week

Take the hoverboard from Back to the Future, place a cartoony robot on top, add in 2D platformer action with 3D backgrounds, and you’ve got Roboto. It’s one of the most content-rich, fun iOS games to come along this year, and it’s this weeks must-install. Add in a gross-out-good puzzler, take to the skies with a spot-on remote control plane sim, and bring your best tile-removal skills to a new Mahjong title, and you’ve got yourself our iPad Games of the Week.

Roboto ($2.99)

It’s rare to find an iOS game with a high level of graphical polish and top-notch level design, but Roboto proves that a little extra effort goes a long way. Fusing side-scrolling 2D platformer action with rich, 3D backgrounds adds up to a deeply satisfying gaming experience. The on-screen controls are crisp, with the usual movement stick and jump/fire buttons within easy reach. You’ll need to guide your little robot across 30 game fields, powering-up walls, over massive jumps, while barreling along at top speed. Your blaster will take out any enemies in your way, while intense boss battles will truly test your skills. The controls do tend to be difficult to trigger in rapid succession, especially during the boss fights, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Grab Roboto this week before the price goes up. You won’t be sorry!

Gesundheit! HD ($1.99)

Snot happens. Young boys (and men who act like young boys) will find Gesundheit’s singular focus on snot and sneezing a gross-out-loud barrel of fun. In a Rudolph-like twist of fate, you play not as a reindeer with a glowing nose, but a little green pig with some serious allergies. After your friends refuse to let you play in their little piggy games due to your “different” nose, some serious monsters show up with a taste for pork. Thankfully, they’re easily distracted by your green balls of mucous. It’s up to you to save this beautifully rendered city and its piggy inhabitants from a terrible fate, using your nose gremlins as bait to lure monsters into traps. You’ll need to hide, send balls of phlegm into various traps, and watch as the monsters pounce and munch away. There are lots of ways to approach each level, and you’ll need to master the “sneeze/hide sneeze/hide” approach to grab power-ups, magical StarFruits, and other important items in order to unlock maximum achievements. It’s 40 levels of sneezy goodness.

RC Plane 2 ($0.99)

As a boy, I spent many a summer afternoon on the flight line of a nearby RC plane club, watching my father put his remote-controlled planes through their paces. He’d spend all winter building, coating, testing, and tweaking his creations, which sometimes ended up as broken wrecks after just a few hours of flight. Now we can all experience the virtual thrill of RC plane flight in RC Plane 2. You’ll get similar on-screen controls to the real thing, moving the levers up and down, left and right to control the flight surfaces of your model plane. The feeling of flight is spot-on, with a reasonable learning curve before you master the controls. Your dollar gets you a starter plane and places to fly, while a few more bucks get you even better planes and new locations to soar. Anyone with even a passing interest in flight sims or model plane flying will find lots to love about this game.

Mahjong Towers Touch HD (Free)

Search the App Store for Mahjong games, and you’ll find dozens to choose from. As a fan of this genre, I’ve yet to find the perfect tile-removal game for my iOS devices. Mahjong Towers Touch HD comes very close to being the best of the best, once you plunk down an extra $2.99 to unlock the full set of tile sets beyond the six basics included with the free initial download. The touch controls in this new offering are super-solid, which immediately gives the app a massive boost over its competitors. Keep removing tiles by touching the pairs in sequence, working your way down to an empty board. You’ll need to being your A game, strategically uncovering the right sets at the right times to keep the action going. The best addition? A counter shows you how many matches are available every step of the way, so you’ll never wonder if there’s anything left to remove. The usual reshuffle and hint buttons are just a tap away, along with undo and more. With 192 layouts in the for-pay version, a quality musical score, and HD graphics, this could be the best Mahjong title available today.

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