Mini Reviews: Zombie Farm, Taylor Swift, Star Command 3

The iPhone RPG and simulator games are remaining strong, while teenage country fads are invading your touch screen.

Zombie Farm

It's strange to see how social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are precursors to gaming trends on the iPhone.  It started with the mafia themed text based iPhone MMO RPGs like Mafia Wars, iMob Online, and iMafia.  It has not quickly shifted over to farming simulators with games like Tap Farm from PlayMesh.  These are simple enough farming games that require you to plant crops and check on them in reasonable time.  Most of them remain fairly similar and once you decide you like the basic farm game concept you simply look for the cleanest incarnation of the concept.  Thankfully Zombie Farm meets those base requirements and then shoves a whole host of innovation back on top.  Zombie Farm, which is in most respects a free iPhone game, integrates the iPhone owners obsession with small time organic farming and large scale zombie revolutions.  The essential deal inside Zombie Farm is that you can grow different kind of zombie crops.  These zombies grow just as if they were similar cash crops, like carrots or tomatoes.  Once these zombies do grow out of your patches then you can try to get even more until you get enough for an army, which starts at an enlistment number of eight.  What you end up with later in Zombie Farm is something so elaborate and eccentric that only a subnormal genius plastered on a mescaline drip could think up.  You have the statues from Easter Island in the middle of your apple trees?  Fifteen types of zombies can erupt from the ground from seeds and storm around your farm?  Zombie Farm is fun, colorful, and engaging enough to keep your interest longer than the majority of free iPhone games being sucked out of the iTunes' App Store.

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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has a new iPhone app?!  Like OMG!  Yes, its a new requirement of pop stars that an iPhone application in your honor is on every teenagers iPhone.  If you are lucky enough, the application of your favorite pop country singer is free.  This time you hit lucky sevens.  Taylor Swift, the free iPhone application version of the digital monstrosity, really consists of an injection of strait promotional material without much in the way of content. That's not to say that there is really much they could put in there anyway.  It is broken up into different sections with news about Taylor Swift, her tour information, and music clips that seem to play at random most of the time.  The music section in the Taylor Swift free iPhone application could be the selling point for this if they were complete in any real sense.  If you had the ability to just listen to some tracks, even a limited listing, then this would really be something.  The same would be true of some moderate video content, but still nothing.  The most annoying part of the Taylor Swift free iPhone application is the thirty second song clips that play constantly when you have it open.  If you want to shut down everything in your life for a few minutes to catch up with T. Swift that may be fine, but for most middle schoolers this is still kind of in your face.  Of course there are links to buy the songs you are sampling, which is just another underhanded way that they can get young girls to run up their iTunes account.  If you are obsessed with Taylor Swift this is a no brainer, and for everyone else there is still no brains.  What you have been looking for has not been here the whole time.

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Star Command 3

PlayMesh, the persistent developer of free text based iPhone MMO RPGs, has finally released Star Command 3.  All of PlayMesh's RPGs get an overhaul in sequence, so after free iPhone games like iMafia III and iRobots, Star Command 3 is just the logical release.  The updates in Star Command 3 are comparable in every way to all the other third generation PlayMesh RPG titles.  You will still do the basic quest performance to get money and experience.  You will still invest in property for the major cash influx.  The PlayMesh Points system is still in place as PlayMesh Points is the only way that PlayMesh makes any money off of these games.  You will even start Star Command 3 with thirty nine free PlayMesh Points, and you can expect constant offers of free PlayMesh Points to come later.  The reality of Star Command 3 is that it is really exactly the same as the rest of the PlayMesh lot in absolutely every way except for the theme.  The theme itself, which is a loose star fighter motif, is by no means the most inventive out of the group.  If you already play Star Command then this is going to be an absolute, even if it is just for the free PlayMesh Points.  At the same time you will begin to notice that playing several of the PlayMesh titles will end up giving you more opportunities for free PlayMesh Points.  The PlayMesh RPG model is different than others in that there is no friend code system and you instead go internal for friends and purchase them like items.  This may be a model that is better for you than that proposed by Storm8, Zynga, or The Godfather, but with recent releases like Original Gangstaz, Star Command 3 seems a little archaic.  PlayMesh generation four is on the horizon so you may want to stick it out.  On the other hand, free PlayMesh Points are free PlayMesh Points.

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