Games Reviews

Game Time: Physics Games

Physics might not seem like a qualifier that should ever go in front of “games” but the iPhone has other plans. On any given day, there are dozens of “physics games” selling like hotcakes in the iTunes store. We decided to take a look at some of them (and take some liberties with what we defined as physics game). The result has tree forts, motorcycles, and snowboarders crashing onto our iPhone.


Andrew Garrison

Don’t believe the name, SimplePhysics is anything but simple. In Andrew Garrison’s game you have to adjust the structural integrity of buildings, which range from a tree fort to a skyscraper in Chicago. Doesn’t sound too simple right?

This should definitely hold.
The interface, however, is incredibly easy to use, letting you slide your finger to quickly build and erase support beams. Certain levels have anchor points, which show up as squares and from which your entire structure must be built outward from. It feels like World of Goo with a highly technical angle.
Physics rating: 8 – This is a legitimate physics game, although several weird glitches had our buildings collapsing with no strain — or holding up when they definitely, definitely shouldn’t have.

Lane Splitter

fractiv, LLC

The cool guy in the icon is going to get to work at any cost. Even if that costis his life.

Welcome to Lane Splitter, the most dangerous game to ever hit iOS devices. It’s like Frogger, except instead of crossing the road you’re moving with traffic and instead of controlling a frog, you’re an accountant with a vendetta against speed limits.
Lane Splitting is the bomb.
The physics come in when you hit a car, go flying in front of it, and then (usually) get run over. The ragdoll physics have your limbs akimbo as you soar through the streets. Luckily, after each gruesome crash, you’re ready to hop back on your bike and ride to work.
Physics rating: 6 – We’ve never hit a car going 80 on a motorcycle, but we imagine we wouldn’t gracefully slide across the cars in front of us.

Snowboard Hero

Putting a snowboarding game in a list of physics game might not be entirely fair, but this isn’t just a snowboarding game — this is Snowboard Hero, the most insane game to ever pretend it had anything to do with sports.
This guy’s a hero just for surviving this trick.
Snowboard Hero will have you jumping off jumps no human could survive, doing tricks no human could possibly do, and falling harder than humanly possible. But it’s not like we care, when we have 30 seconds to pull off the world’s coolest tricks. Even the falls aren’t realistic, you just sort of stumble and quickly get up — after dropping off a cliff. Once you reach later levels, your characters will have even better stats, meaning they’re less likely to fall and will jump high enough to make Superman jealous.
Physics rating: 0 – Who cares? This is AWESOME.