Developer: Triniti Interactive Limited
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Once upon a time, the bible says, everyone had "threescore years and ten." Nowadays, the average life expectancy is more like 80 than 70, so obviously we'll need something to fill up those extra 10 years. Enter All in One Gamebox.
AiOG started in October with "8 games in one." Now, the app is up to 26 arcade-style games rolled into one neat package. Owners of All in One Gamebox already know when an update is released, go grab it because it's likely that the developers have added yet another game to the already packed Gamebox.
Games range from the driving challenge 2009 Road Master (go fast, grab power-ups, avoid other cars,) to the fly-and-shoot 1945 Ace Destroyer, to the Warcraft-like Ancient War. They have three things in common: the addictiveness and common-sense controls that earn this app a rarely-awarded 9 points. (Somewhat slow load times —probably unfairly—deprived it of the last point needed to reach iPhone App perfection.)
Some AiOG games are robust and full-featured; Ancient War, for example, could easily be a title of its own. Others are ultra-simple, both graphically and conceptually; at least early on, Jailbreaker ends each game with the sad news that you've collided with a crate or been mangled by a buzz saw. But none are "filler;" even the simpler games have a compelling quality.
Part of the appeal of All in One Gamebox is that it's super intuitive. The controls are always easy to learn, and you virtually never find yourself needing the instructions. Many of the games are text book examples of "pick up and play." Perfect for casual gaming.
This doesn't mean that All in One Gamebox lacks the finesse or sophistication of other games. The developers at Triniti Interactive obviously emphasizes using all the iPhone's built-in capabilities. In many games, you swerve across the road (or the sky) solely by tilting the phone, and in Bowman Defense you simply tap to select a weapon, then draw your finger across the screen to draw the bow and fire.
Throughout the games, All in One Gamebox scripts the challenges and the action to keep you playing. The campaign mode of Neander Block has you winning new territories as you match blocks on-screen to make them disappear; the robust Ancient War has you conquering tribe after tribe, upgrading military units such as catapults, wizards, and cavalry.
You won't find strategy or word games in AiOG, just good old-fashioned arcade-inspired action games. Probably because 26 games are squeezed into one app, there is also not much in the way of music, although you can play your iPod during gameplay. Openfeint allows for multiplayer action and global leaderboards.
Free from annoying in-app purchases, All in One Gamebox has a play-to-buck ratio that can't be beat.