It’s summer, and it’s blasted hot outside. Every day I wake up drenched and curse my miserly ways (I thought I could tough out the heat on my 15th floor apartment with two dinky fans in lieu of an air conditioner). I look to the west and pray for rain. I often see thunderheads stacked off in the distance like shadowy gods, but they’re always oh-so far away and will have nothing to do with me. Bloody teases.
But hey, I have an excuse to drape myself over one of my fans and escape into any video game that can offer me at least one world full of ice or water (or ice water). Heck, at this point, any kind of an escape into fantasy is welcome. Here are five iPhone games that have helped keep me pretend-cool. It’s going to be a long summer.
Remember that Simpsons episode where Bart and Milhouse abuse the Kiwk-E-Mart’s self-serve policy by building a towering ice cream cone? Now you can live the dream thanks to Scoops: Ice Cream Fun for Everyone. The basic idea is to tilt your iPod and catch scoops of delicious-looking frozen custard as they fall inexplicably from the sky. Just avoid the onions and tomatoes, because tomato ice cream is a pretty gross concept.
I’ve sung The Deep’s praises in the past, and with good reason: It’s a pretty solid little adventure-exploration title. But in the scorching summertime heat, it scores bonus points with me because it takes place almost entirely underwater. Cool, deep, tropical waters. What, sharks? Who cares?
Crush the Castle is pretty classic as far as iPhone titles go, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun to play. You aim your catapult, wind up, and then unleash destruction on the royal court using bombs, rocks, and firebombs. What does all this mayhem have to do with summer? Well, I’m stuck in the sizzling city and therefore coveting the King and Queen’s countryside summer home. If I can’t have it, I can knock it down. Take that, Richie Rich!
Another game that lets me pitch a fit when my temper gets too heated. I can bruise the World Warriors, and they’re pretty cool with it. When Ryu or Ken do a Hurricane Kick, it stirs up a nice breeze. Also, Guile’s my homeboy. I roundhouse kick him in the junk, he Flash Kicks me in the face, and then we toss back some beers. After he’s had a few, he starts crying about Charlie, and then I sneak out because it’s just pathetic.
Phoenix Spirit is a game about a squirrel who has the good sense to stay in the deep shade of a cool forest. There’s a great deal of exploration to be done in this Metroidvania-style title, and most of it is far out of the sun’s way. Despite the game’s control issues and jittery tilt calibration, it’s nice to spend a little time where the sun don’t shine.