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iPad the all-rounder who loves games

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As the world is beginning to understand the iPad effect, the belief that the new tablet can be a flagship product for the gaming world is growing. This is demonstrated by the interest of the developers and that of the customers but also and above all the demonstration that we had firsthand of what can be done with iPad in the gaming field. Our editorial team has, in fact, taken a test ride with some of the many games available for the Apple tablet since the day of launch, being impressed both for the quantity and quality of the games as well as for the efficiency of the hardware.

On the App Store USA the iPad section offers a large catalog of titles born for iPad, both these apps and games in HD magazine versions for the tablet, and new titles, few, but to which we are sure many other ad hoc games will follow. For those who purchased iPad on Saturday 3 April, the choice is already full of paid titles; the only drawback is the fact that we are faced with prices often higher than what we are used to for iPhone and touch, even if there are lite and free versions, perfect for a test ride.

To immediately test the performance of the iPad, the display quality and also the new control system possible thanks to the larger screen, we purchased N.O.V.A HD from Gameloft. The game visually impressive even for those who have already seen it on iPhone and touch. The wealth of landscapes and settings best rendered thanks to the higher resolution and the wider screen. The possibility of being able to customize practically all the main controls is an important feature that distinguishes iPad from practically any existing portable console.

To play NOVA you need to hold iPad in a horizontal position with both hands: if we play while seated, the position of the virtual joypad is more practical towards the bottom of the screen. Conversely, if we play lying down, just a tap on Pause and the game options to move the joypad a little higher. In this way it is possible to place iPad above us and continue to play holding it a little higher. Obviously, the customization of the controls also applies to the map, which we can enlarge and reduce as desired, and to position the shot, jump and the button for the special weapon.

The first impressions collected are remarkable: now even lying in bed or in an armchair it is possible to play a title worthy of a console. The elaborate and well-kept environments of complex games from a technical point of view such as NOVA stand out much more on iPad than on iPhone.

In our opinion, for iPad thanks to its wide touch screen and the ability to control everything with one or more fingers are the definitive machine features for pure strategy games, real-time strategic games and all the most popular variants. less action that have met with great success on the iPhone and touch. This thought is evident after a short test ride with Harbor Master HD, also available in the Lite version, the complex strategy and development game We Rule in which it is necessary to manage and develop a feudal society with control of resources, buildings and much more.

After a few tens of minutes we were convinced that fans of this kind of games would do well to start saving to buy iPad on the first day of launch in the boot. The mouse and keyboard, practically inseparable companions for this kind of titles, were literally "burned" on Saturday 3 April with the launch of the iPad. We have not yet had the opportunity to try Civilization for iPad but it should be kept in mind that we are faced with the first generation of titles, mostly created and tested via simulator. With future titles, we are confident that not only the simplest tower defense but also the richest and most complex strategic will find their way to land on the iPad screen.

Finally, the iPad and the unique use and control experience it offers are also perfect for non-games, the innovative apps that offer new styles of play or entertainment for the little ones. Among these, it is impossible not to mention the brilliant Smule in which the music and the keyboard of the piano are reworked in an app that is not a game, but which is at the same time intriguing and fun to use. Beams of light and luminous points move in harmony on the screen: the user is tacitly invited to press the illuminated areas or the dots: every time we touch the iPad screen it emits a precise note of a famous musical piece. It is also possible to play in free style alone, or even in a duet with other people on the planet. The notes of the piano, reproduced with rather powerful audio from the iPad speaker and the image of the Earth in the background are one of the best experiences, and also the most difficult to describe, that we would recommend to try for anyone, even those who do not like video games.

While waiting for the new rising star in the gaming field to also land in Italy, we also remember Jigsaw Puzzle and the Disney Interactive Toy Story game-book. The first is nothing more than a digital version of the puzzle. The high quality screen, the vivid colors and the incredible brightness of the LCD panel give new life to the puzzle game. Even those who do not like to identify matching pieces of cardboard to compose the final image, will not be able to help but be enchanted by the perfect multi-touch control to move, rotate and fit the puzzle pieces together. Disney's Toy Story Read Along instead only one of the numerous applications that will lead to the kidnapping of iPad as soon as they become part of a family with children. The images of Pixar characters and the text read by a good narrator are able to fascinate not only the little ones.