Posts bySteve Palley

    Hey, What Happened?! STP 3.0!

    Do things feel a little different around Slide To Play? It’s not just you.

    After two months and change of frenzied development, we’ve launched a new version of the site. Yes, it may LOOK a lot like the old site we all know and love–plus some bugs we are working to resolve ASAP–but believe you me, this is not your Daddy’s STP. We’ve rebuilt the whole thing from scratch.

    Our original system served us very well for four years, so why would we make such a dramatic change? Because we had to. We outgrew our setup in the fall, resulting in downtime and other assorted nastiness. All of a sudden, we felt like we were losing our grip on our mission, which is to keep you up to date on the best games for your iDevice and make the App Store a better place for everyone. Needless to say, we were bummed.

    No longer. The new STP is fast, reliable, and up to date. It’s a platform primed for growth, just like the one we cover.

    You may already be noticing the snappier load times and the streamlined interface… and we’re just getting started. Many more improvements are on the way in the coming days.

    So, have a look around and let us know what you think in the comments. As always, STP belongs to our readers first and foremost, and we want to make this the best site it can possibly be.

      Parrot AR.Drone Buzzing Towards Release in August/September

      If you’ve followed the news much recently, you’re probably aware that the (somewhat controversial) new hotness in military tech is drone warfare–unmanned nastiness from above. European firm Parrot is showing off their iDevice-powered civilian version of the tech at E3, the AR.Drone, which is hovering towards U.S. retail early this Fall. (more…)

        Dungeon Hunter II Hands-On Preview

        Gameloft’s gone sequel-crazy this year at E3, with follow-ups for many of its big franchises like Hero of Sparta and Let’s Golf waiting in the wings. Today, we spent some time putting the next Dungeon Hunter through its paces, and we think it’s looking mighty fine thus far. Details within! (more…)

          Padvance iPad Case Contest: And the Winners Are…

          After several hours of hard judging–including multiple fistfights, an extended filibuster, and some choice schoolyard name-calling–we’ve got our winners for Padvance’s iPad Case Design Contest! Inquire within to see which entry won the Grand Prize of a new iPad! (more…)

            Analysis: Apple Stirs Up iPhone Social Gaming

            One buzz-phrase that has often been applied to Apple, with no small amount of justification, is “disruptive change.” This is a company that has made a business of turning entire industries upside down with a single big announcement. Whether it’s wiping out feature phones, getting AT&T in a headlock, or backing the recording industry into a corner, Apple is the technology world’s greatest iconoclast.

            But the firm’s principles of creative destruction apply internally as well as externally. Sometimes, as was the case today, we suddenly realize that Steve Jobs and Co. have been paying attention to the goings-on in their proprietary ecosystems after all. (more…)

              iPad Unboxing Video

              Well, what do you know– the UPS man finally came! In true tech nerd fashion, here’s a quick video showing off the iPad’s rather minimalist packaging. (more…)

                Welcome to Padvance!

                My iPad hasn’t actually arrived yet. I just checked UPS Tracking, and apparently its last known location is Ontario, CA–50 miles east of my current location… quite a bit further away than my local Apple store. Such are the wages of sloth.

                While I wait, I wonder–not for the first time–what am I actually going to do with this thing? (more…)

                  The Rise of Freemium

                  As we’ve probably all noticed by now, there’s something a little wonky about iDevice gamers’ attitude towards pricing. We have huge appetites for new content, we get super-amped about the latest and greatest games coming down the pipeline… and yet, we’ve been known to complain vociferously when developers charge more than a couple of bucks a game to keep the lights on. (more…)

                    WSJ: Next iPhone Rev Heading to Verizon?

                    Rumors of a Verizon-compatible iPhone have been percolating for some time, no doubt driven by disgruntled AT&T converts who yearn for their carrier of choice. If you’re one of those unwilling exiles, the Wall Street Journal bears glad tidings: you might be able to come home in the relatively near future–although maybe not in time for Apple’s annual iPhone refresh this summer. (more…)

                      STP Turns One!

                      Slide To Play launched on September 1st, 2008, after a month-plus of frenzied labor and more than a few extremely late nights.

                      Parents inevitably put a lot of themselves into their children, and although they may have more specific goals in mind, the overriding hope is to see them survive… grow tall… and flourish.

                      Let me say that we all are very proud parents today. STP has bloomed from a tiny, unknown seed of a blog into full adulthood. (more…)

                        Thursday Twitter Giveaway: Spy Bot Chronicles, Lifeboat, Pac-Man Remix!

                        Oh, look at that… a day that starts with a “T.” That means it’s time to give away more promo codes on Twitter! We’ve got a nice lineup for this contest, too: IUGO’s just-released platformer Spy Bot Chronicles, Lifeboat, and Pac-Man Remix.

                        You know the drill by now. First, follow us on Twitter. Second, Tweet us the answer to TODAY’S QUESTION: If you were a robot, what would you be designed to do? Third, use this format for your contest Tweet: @slidetoplay (your answer here)

                        As usual, we’ll pick out the three best answers around 5PM PST tomorrow and DM the winners their codes. Remember, the codes are only good on the US App Store (although our non-domestic readers are more than welcome to play anyway), and please submit only a single contest entry.


                        Pac-Man Remix Review

                        A new team is at the helm of Namco Networks’ iPhone efforts, spearheaded by Jonathan Kromrey–formerly of Apple’s very own games group, and leader of the Texas Hold ‘Em project back in the day. Kromrey has promised to overhaul Namco’s iPhone strategy, which has been characterized to this point by “Remixed” versions of its arcade classics.

                        After a day spent playing Pac-Man Remix, we’re good and ready for Kromrey to work his magic. Pac-Man’s latest iPhone outing is fun, but it’s also plagued by minor quality issues and runs out of content in under two hours. (more…)

                          Tuesday Twitter Giveaway: Triazzle, The Deep Pinball, Crazy Monkey Spin!

                          We hit 1,234 Twitter followers sometime today! That number has no practical significance whatsoever (other than the fact that it’s one bigger than 1,233), but we here at STP have a bit of a numerology fetish, so a perfect lineup of four integers like that gives us the shivers. It also gives us a great excuse to give away promo codes for the just-reviewed Triazzle, The Deep Pinball, and Crazy Monkey Spin! (more…)


                          Gameloft Announces NFL 2010, Modern Combat: Sandstorm; Taito Floating Bust-A-Move

                          We’ve seen a spate of high-profile game announcements over the last 48 hours that merit attention. Bigtime publisher Gameloft is building an iPhone-sized football field for NFL 2010, as well as taking aim at the First-Person Shooter genre with Modern Combat: Sandstorm.

                          Taito, fresh off the huge triumph of Space Invaders Infinity Gene, announced that classic arcade fave Puzzle Bobble is on the way as well. (more…)

                            Slide To Podcast #10: Village Idiot Savant!

                            Another Saturday, another podcast! This time, the STP crew is talking noise about Resident Evil 4, Drop7, and Space Invaders Infinity Gene, among other games. There’s also a spirited discussion about July’s Game of the Month award, and an inquiry into piracy on the App Store. Good times! (more…)


                            Spy Bot Chronicles Hands-On

                            What hath Toy Bot wrought?! The popular series of iPhone platformers officially wrapped with the release of Toy Bot 3 last year, but we had a feeling we hadn’t heard the last of him… and we were right. Kind of.

                            Last week, we sat down with developer IUGO at the Casual Connect conference in Seattle to take a look at Spy Bot Chronicles, an upcoming Toy Bot spin-off that’s looking very promising in its unfinished state. (more…)

                              STP on thisMoment!

                              STP has partnered with hot new social network thisMoment to sponsor the site’s new iPhone hub.

                              tM is built around timelines and rich media, making it somewhat different than existing social networks. If you like taking and sharing pictures, scrapbooking, putting your life in some kind of perspective, and/or preserving your memories in digital form as a hedge against dementia, it’s well worth checking out! While you’re at it, check out STP’s tM page.

                                STPodcast #8: Inside the Glu Factory is out!

                                Slide To Podcast #8: Inside the Glu Factory is hot off the digital presses over on iTunes.

                                I was out of town for this one, but Andrew, Jer, and Phil didn’t even miss me! Topics include STP’s new features, games like Ricky and Enviro-Bear, previews from Glu’s iPhone Games Day, and the correct pronunciation of Phil’s last name. (more…)

                                  STPodcast #7: Networking Extraordinaire is Out!

                                  Yeah, yeah, we know: we’re late with the podcast. Last week’s episode spent several additional days in processing–we actually had to type in all those 1s and 0s by hand. On the plus side, all this extra work has resulted in one of our best episodes yet… we think. (more…)


                                  Cheap Shot: Blend the Boss

                                  My name’s Steve Palley, and I’m the Bossman here at STP. The Big Kahuna. El Jefe Maximo. I don’t take orders, I give em, and that’s just the way I like it. It’s the natural order of things.

                                  But you know what? My fellow bosses and I don’t feel real safe right now. We’ll be living in fear until the party responsible for Blend the Boss–a sick individual who goes by the name Joe Cartoon–is hunted down and locked away forever. (more…)


                                  Star Hogs Review

                                  Star Hogs is part loving homage to the classic franchise Worms, part insanely technical space opera, and entirely awesome.

                                  IUGO nailed the artillery gameplay, and then packed the game full of weapons, upgrades, features, and play modes–resulting in something that turn-based strategy lovers can really sink their teeth into. (more…)


                                  Rolando 2 Review

                                  If Rolando–one of our favorite iPhone games of all time–was a very tough act to follow, making a new game to surpass Rolando 2 will be next to impossible.

                                  This sequel trumps the original in every conceivable way: story, gameplay, graphics, sound, online, everything. It shows what a talented development team can do on this platform when given the right resources, and it should leave Nintendo and Sony sweating. Once is a fluke, but twice is a trend. The iPhone’s signature game is now a flagship franchise. (more…)

                                    STP 2.0: Welcome To The Next Level

                                    This isn’t your dad’s iPhone gaming. We’re heading fast towards Year 2 of the App Store, and the ground has shifted under our feet. $5.99 is the new $9.99, beefy new iPhones are breaking speed records, microtransactions are picking up steam… oh, and we’re closing in on 15,000 iPhone games.

                                    The whole enterprise has mutated into something as complicated and messy as it is unique and awesome. A simple blog no longer suffices to cover the madness.

                                    And that’s why STP isn’t just a blog any more. (more…)


                                    Archon Review

                                    For a lot of gamers, the venerable game of chess is pure Dullsville. Dopey, worthless pawns; horses that move in an “L” shape; old guys playing in the park; games that take hours… who needs it?

                                    We want to make up our own rules based on Saturday morning cartoons–we want action, excitement, spellcasting, and scantily clad women! You will find all that stuff in Archon, too, but with only weak CPU opponents to fight, it’ll go stale fast. (more…)


                                    Jungle Bloxx Review

                                    It’s easier to destroy than it is to build, but is it as fun? In the case of DChoc’s Jungle Bloxx–the third game in the Bloxx series–we’d say yes. This game may not be as strong as the earlier ones, but it still has a cool concept behind it. There’s many hours of block-popping puzzlement to be had here. (more…)


                                    Mass Effect Galaxy Review

                                    Mass Effect Galaxy, from Bioware and Electronic Arts, was one of the bigger games we saw at E3 a few weeks ago. Billed as a sort of teaser for the upcoming Mass Effect 2, this game introduces you to some of the new console game’s major characters as they fight through a side story.

                                    If that exposition was all we cared about, we’d be pretty satisfied with Mass Effect Galaxy. But we paid our $4.99 expecting to play a video game of some kind, too–and that’s where this app falls flat on its face. You’ll need one of those faster-than-light accelerators to bridge the gulf between its quality and the high expectations attached to its name. (more…)

                                      STPodcast #6: Back From The Wars is Out!

                                      We’ve got a double-wide show this week, in which the STPodcast crew (Steve, Jer, Phil, and Andrew) discusses the wonders of E3/WWDC, chats about the latest iPhone games, and ruminates over the iPhone 3GS and OS 3.0!

                                      Grab it here!


                                      F.A.S.T. Review

                                      SGN–known mostly for its social MMOs and free sports games to this point–pulled a tight 180 and hit the afterburners for F.A.S.T., an action-packed, technically accomplished dogfighting game that matches wanna-be fighter jocks up for Internet duels.

                                      With a state-of-the-art presentation, tight controls, and great online play, F.A.S.T. is simply one of the best action games around right now. (more…)


                                      Cheap Shot: Little Runner

                                      Little Runner, the musical microgame from Shanghai-based Red Rocket Games, ran all the way across the Pacific Ocean to reach the App Store. There’s not much to it, and that’s okay–simple can be good, especially when it’s backed up by a cool soundtrack. (more…)

                                        Speedy: iPhone 3GS Sells 1 Million In First Weekend

                                        The initial sales returns are in for Apple’s next iPhone model, and they are impressive: the House of Jobs moved a million iPhone 3GS devices in its first weekend of sales, matching the debut of the iPhone 3G last summer. (more…)


                                        Cheap Shot: Popple

                                        In Popple, a random rainbow of colored bubbles pours from the top of the screen, like you’ve upended a huge box of Skittles. The goal is to seek out and pop a specific sequence of colors, quickly and repeatedly, before the curtain literally drops on your game. Oh, and the pattern is constantly shifting, too. (more…)


                                        Cheap Shot: Diorama

                                        Hey, want to give yourself an instant migraine? Try Diorama on for size. It only costs you 99 cents… plus the price of a postage stamp, if you want to augment the headache by sending away for a free pair of 3D glasses! (more…)


                                        Bionic Surfer Review

                                        Robert Casperson’s Bionic Surfer is one of those indie gems we really wish we saw more of on the App Store–a fun, professionally polished game with a sense of humor to boot. Those in the mood for a platformer with lots of puzzles and hidden treasures are in for a treat. (more…)


                                        Rise Of Lost Empires Review

                                        Gameloft’s Rise Of Lost Empires, a real-time strategy game that looks a bit like a Warcraft II homage, tells a tale as old as time. It’s good versus evil, light versus darkness, man versus touch controls… waitasec, that last one isn’t supposed to be in there! But it is, unfortunately, and it turns what could have been a competent RTS into a messy, frustrating free for all. (more…)


                                        Streetball Review

                                        The sport of basketball might have started in a Massachusetts gym with a couple of peach baskets and a soccer ball, but its spiritual home is the urban playground, where swaggering athletes talk trash and perform superhuman feats of agility.

                                        From hip-hop to high fashion, everyone wants a piece of street basketball–including Battery Acid Games, who recently put Streetball on the App Store for $1.99. While we’re happy to see the iPhone get more hoops games, this one should stay benched, as you’ll be done with it in minutes. (more…)