March 2, 2011 at 7:43 PM ET
The iPad is a great place to play games. But the iPad 2 looks like it's going to be an even better place to play games.
Wednesday, Steve Jobs revealed the iPad sequel — a device that will arrive with a dual-core A5 chip that makes it two times faster than the original iPad and graphical performance that's supposed to be nine times faster.
On their website, Apple vows gaming on the iPad 2 "will be smoother and more realistic." With that in mind, here's a look at the games that will take advantage of the iPad 2's power and beautiful screen real estate.
But you don't have to wait until March 11 (when it goes on sale) to play these games. If you own an iPad 1, these games are well worth spending your dimes and your free time on right now.
Dead Space for iPad, $9.99
You don't have to have played the "Dead Space" horror games on an Xbox 360, PS3 or PC to enjoy the franchise's heart-pounding visit to the iPad. The game features a brand new story line — one that sets the stage for "Dead Space 2." It's a story full of the kind of undead-filled space action the series is known and loved for. Just be ready to take down lots of disturbing foe. The sound design is stunning and so are the graphics. This "Dead Space" app does a great job showing off just how good a game machine the iPad can be.
Talk about your adorable and deeply addictive role-playing games. "Battleheart" boils down the best elements of role-playing and strategy gaming into a sleek package that's wrapped up in delightfully crisp animated artwork. Take your party of knights, wizards, witches and rogues into battle against all manner of enemies. Level them up and customize them with unique skills. The controls are intuitive, the gameplay is addictive; the whole thing is just good fun.
Infinity Field, $1.99
For those of you who love dual-stick space shooters, "Infinity Field" will scratch your arcade itch very nicely. This is old-school gaming at its core but with some really vibrant and eye-popping modern graphics. If you loved "Geometry Wars," you're sure to love this game. But not to worry, "Infinity Field" has plenty of fresh modes and unique gameplay elements to help it stand all on its own. For example, "Snake Mode" — a mode that has you cut down your enemies with a moving, rope-like laser — is a blast.
Infinity Blade, $2.99
Speaking of infinity, "Infinity Blade" is an absolutely epic hack-and-slash/role-playing game ... and it's a game Apple put on display Wednesday as they introduced the iPad 2. Apple executives used the game as a way to showcase the iPad 2's increased speed and zippier graphical performance. And for good reason — "Infinity Blade" is among the finest-looking games in the App Store. In this sword-play adventure, you storm a citadel and cut down one colossal enemy after another. The graphics are not only totally gorgeous, but the character customization will completely absorb you as you outfit yourself with all manner of swords, armor and magic in your endless attempt to avenge your father's death. Once you've embarked on this game of revenge, you'll find it difficult to put down. Meanwhile, if you're already an "Infinity Blade" fan, you'll be happy to hear there's a free update that brings you even more loot to uncover and enemies to cut down.
Back to the Future, Episode 1, $6.99
There are many things I don't miss about the 1980s — mullets, stirrup pants, Bon Jovi, Ronald Reagan. And yet still, I have a certain weakness for some things about that decade. Namely, the movies. 1985's "Back to the Future" is one of those movies that will always have a special place in my aging and jaded heart. Which brings us to the film's revival as an iPad game. Telltale Games (the folks behind the beloved "Sam & Max" franchise) bring us this all-new "Back to the Future" adventure which comes complete with all the important elements — Marty McFly, Doc Brown, and that sweet DeLorean time machine. It's not a perfect game but having been brought over from the PC, it is well suited to the sprawling iPad screen. Those of us who actually lived through the 1980s will enjoy taking Marty and Doc on a time-traveling adventure — one that picks up six months after the third film ends and will play out over five episodes. Meanwhile, those of you whippersnappers who didn't experience "Back to the Future" because you weren't even alive (sigh) ... well, just trust us old-timers and give this app (and the movie) a try.
World of Goo, $4.99
I just can't say enough good things about "World of Goo." When the indie game first appeared on the PC and Wii, it quickly became one of my all-time favorite games. Now it's found a brand-new home on the iPad. This clever physics-based-puzzle game has you building teetering towers out of adorable balls of goo in an attempt to get past all manner of obstacles — spear-filled pits, deadly buzzsaws, deep crevasses. With its unique brain teasers and freakishly adorable art style, "World of Goo" is truly a one-of-a kind. (For more on "World of Goo," click this link.)
PuppetShow — The Mystery of Joyville, $4.99
If you want to show off some pretty pictures on your iPad, this point-and-touch/seek-and-find adventure game is a good way to do it. You're a detective tasked with solving the mysterious disappearance of a young boy. To do so, you'll have to traverse a strange, unnerving world of Joyville displayed for you in lush interactive images. In the best casual adventure game tradition, "PuppetShow" presents you with a host of puzzles to solve, mini games to play and objects to find as well as pretty imagery and a mysterious story to fall right into.
Rage HD, $1.99
If you want to see just how good-looking your iPad's graphics can be, be sure to try out the on-rails shooter "Rage." In a post-apocalyptic world, you are the star of a gruesome game show. That means you'll be sent running through one labyrinth filled with mutants after another. It's your job to gun down as many of these beasts as you can, avoiding the projectiles they hurl at you while trying to grab as much cash and ammo as you can. Mostly, it's your job not to get dead. Blood, guts and mutants have never looked so...uh...pretty. (For a full review of "Rage HD" follow this link.)
Pocket Legends, free (in-app purchases)
So you like to play "World of Warcraft," but you can't haul your computer or even your laptop everywhere you go. "Pocket Legends" is here to fill that MMO void. "Pocket Legends" is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game for the mobile set. This game lets RPG lovers do what they love most — create a character, go on daring quests and explore an epic fantasy world populated with thousands of other gamers. The graphics look good and, best of all, you'll be able to play this game across platforms — against not just other iPad owners but iPhone owners, and even Android phones owners as well. All those other devices are certainly fine — but the iPad is, hands down, the best place to play this game.
Cut the Rope, $1.99
"Cut the Rope" is one of the few games that managed, for a time, to knock "Angry Birds" from its top spot on the App Store charts. And once you play it, you'll understand why. Like "Angry Birds," this is a very well-designed physics/puzzle game that will make your brain burn as you try to figure out how to cut a rope and feed candy to a hungry (and adorable) monster. The game presents one level after another filled with delightfully clever puzzles that will keep you coming back again... and again ... and again. (For a full review, follow this link.)
Aside from those listed above, here are a few more must-have games for any and all iPads:
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