iPhone Games of the Week
Baseball Superstars 2012 is an anime RPG that involves America's favorite pastime (think Madden meets Pokemon). There are seven different modes that allow you to build players, teams or just play exhibition games. In "My Batter" mode you can customize and build a player starting from his rookie year by buying upgrades, and even taking him to the mall for some R&R. Along the way you will meet a variety of goofy anime characters who will help you build charisma and teach you lessons. All these things are required to improve your skills so you can become a baseball superstar.
The baseball part of the game is simple but still involved. You can control your hitters, pitchers and base runners depending on the game mode you've selected. Swinging the bat is as simple as tapping a button, but actually hitting the ball is another story. Especially when you are up against tougher anime pitchers who throw fireballs and other various crazy pitches. Pitching requires various swipe motions to throw curveballs and sliders. In "My Team" mode you can play all the innings and control both the hitting a pitching. In "My Batter" or "My Pitcher" you only control the player you're building.
This week's iPhone App of the Week is the Numberlys -- an adventure story game by Moonbot Studios. Moonbot describes their app as a "celebration of the early fantasy epics King Kong, Metropolis and Flash Gordon." The homage to Fritz Lang is part children's story and part narrative game. The story follows the Numberlys, a group of cute characters who set out to invent the alphabet. Users must help the Numberlys create the letters A to Z in a series of interactive puzzles.
Moonbot founders come from a background in animation and filmmaking. They're more known for releasing book-apps like The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, not iOS games. Recent reviews of the Numberlys make it sound like a stunning visual experience that is interrupted by a pointless child's game. The iTunes App Store customer reviews also seem to be split on this topic. I haven't played it so I can't comment on its playability.
Zynga’s latest multiplayer, Scramble With Friends, is the official iPhone Game of the Week. The latest "With Friends" app is another word game that tests your vocabulary by displaying random letters in a four-by-four grid. Players must form as many words as possible before the countdown clock expires. The words are easily spelled out by sliding your fingers over the letters that are displayed.
Scramble With Friends is basically the same as Zynga’s original Scramble game, with the added bonus of playing with your friends. You can also play random opponents. The person who scores the most points in three rounds wins. The game is compatible with all three iPhones, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generations) and the iPad. It requires iOS 4.0 or later.