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Tilt On: Dr. Awesome, MicroSurgeon M.D.

Play Qix on your iPhone to save your contact list from horrific viruses.

You got insurance? OK, good, I'll see what I can do.
You got insurance? OK, good, I'll see what I can do.
People have been spilling a lot of virtual ink over iPhone games and how they're "the next big thing" or something. It's kind of crazy to sit here and watch the chaos, because it all just reminds me about how everyone kept throwing investment money at mobile games a few years ago. Only now everyone is pumping out Texas Hold 'Em clones that are played via a touchscreen. Revolution!

Of course, there are always going to be a handful of quirky, free applications to mess around with, and with the App Store exploding, it's no surprise that companies are coming together to specifically develop higher-quality content for Apple's little money machine. But most of these games usually come at a price. Are you really willing to pay eight bucks for a game on your phone? Especially when that game is kind-of-shoddy version of Uno? Especially-especially when you can get a better version of Uno for Xbox Live Arcade for five bucks? Nonsense!

With that in mind, I was prepared to write off ngmoco's Dr. Awesome, MicroSurgeon M.D., which was released earlier this week. The screenshots made it look like some kind of medical take on the Phoenix Wright style, and the game looked... kind of bad. But by incorporating names from your phone's contact list and basing its gameplay off of an arcade classic, it's actually kind of rad.

The game sets up the action by putting you in the role of Dr. Awesome, and the game is all about you fighting infections that pop up in patients. The patients are actually people taken from your iPhone's address book. So when the screen pops up and claims that John Vignocchi is infected with a grimy (but curable) disease--which I don't find surprising in the least--it's up to me to save him.

The fate of Warhammer Online depends on my ability to play Qix!
The fate of Warhammer Online depends on my ability to play Qix!
You save your patients by cutting off the infection. This part is, essentially, a reskinned and lightly altered version of Taito's arcade classic, Qix. You tilt the screen to move your implement out, and as you cut off pieces of the playfield, your percentage increases. You need to trim off 75 percent of the level to win and continue on. But there are viruses and other enemies trolling around who will pop you if you or the line you're drawing gets touched. The game also adds power-ups that make you move faster, shrink your foes, give you more time to complete your task, and so on.

So I was having fun with it, but I also expected that the game was going to be selling for the typical "we're a real company that makes games" price, like EA's eight dollar Uno. That would be complete madness. But ngmoco is wisely charging $1.99, which is a significantly more palatable price for a simple, fun game. If you're the sort of person who's willing to pay for iPhone games and you have a hefty address book full of friends, you'll probably dig it. Or, at the very least, you'll probably get a couple dollars' worth of fun out of it.

While I'm at it, I should probably ask you about this. Do you care at all about coverage of iPhone games? We'll probably pipe in now and then when something like Dr. Awesome grabs our attention, but we aren't currently planning on going all-out with full-on reviews. Cool?
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+

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Jeff

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Edited By Jeff  Staff
You got insurance? OK, good, I'll see what I can do.
You got insurance? OK, good, I'll see what I can do.
People have been spilling a lot of virtual ink over iPhone games and how they're "the next big thing" or something. It's kind of crazy to sit here and watch the chaos, because it all just reminds me about how everyone kept throwing investment money at mobile games a few years ago. Only now everyone is pumping out Texas Hold 'Em clones that are played via a touchscreen. Revolution!

Of course, there are always going to be a handful of quirky, free applications to mess around with, and with the App Store exploding, it's no surprise that companies are coming together to specifically develop higher-quality content for Apple's little money machine. But most of these games usually come at a price. Are you really willing to pay eight bucks for a game on your phone? Especially when that game is kind-of-shoddy version of Uno? Especially-especially when you can get a better version of Uno for Xbox Live Arcade for five bucks? Nonsense!

With that in mind, I was prepared to write off ngmoco's Dr. Awesome, MicroSurgeon M.D., which was released earlier this week. The screenshots made it look like some kind of medical take on the Phoenix Wright style, and the game looked... kind of bad. But by incorporating names from your phone's contact list and basing its gameplay off of an arcade classic, it's actually kind of rad.

The game sets up the action by putting you in the role of Dr. Awesome, and the game is all about you fighting infections that pop up in patients. The patients are actually people taken from your iPhone's address book. So when the screen pops up and claims that John Vignocchi is infected with a grimy (but curable) disease--which I don't find surprising in the least--it's up to me to save him.

The fate of Warhammer Online depends on my ability to play Qix!
The fate of Warhammer Online depends on my ability to play Qix!
You save your patients by cutting off the infection. This part is, essentially, a reskinned and lightly altered version of Taito's arcade classic, Qix. You tilt the screen to move your implement out, and as you cut off pieces of the playfield, your percentage increases. You need to trim off 75 percent of the level to win and continue on. But there are viruses and other enemies trolling around who will pop you if you or the line you're drawing gets touched. The game also adds power-ups that make you move faster, shrink your foes, give you more time to complete your task, and so on.

So I was having fun with it, but I also expected that the game was going to be selling for the typical "we're a real company that makes games" price, like EA's eight dollar Uno. That would be complete madness. But ngmoco is wisely charging $1.99, which is a significantly more palatable price for a simple, fun game. If you're the sort of person who's willing to pay for iPhone games and you have a hefty address book full of friends, you'll probably dig it. Or, at the very least, you'll probably get a couple dollars' worth of fun out of it.

While I'm at it, I should probably ask you about this. Do you care at all about coverage of iPhone games? We'll probably pipe in now and then when something like Dr. Awesome grabs our attention, but we aren't currently planning on going all-out with full-on reviews. Cool?
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Vigorousjammer

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Edited By Vigorousjammer

iPhones games are cool... but I don't want a crazy amount of coverage on it...
the way you guys are doing it now is fine

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DJ_Lae

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Edited By DJ_Lae

I'm all for a bit of coverage on cool iPhone/iPod Touch games, especially with so much shit to dig through in the app store in quests to find the good stuff.

They really need better ways to let people know when apps make it through the queue, though. When is Puzzle Quest out, anyway? December? December's a big month.

My dream would be to see ports and new versions of games like Professor Layton, Phoenix Wright, and Elite Beat Agents, since they'd be perfect fits for touch-screen only input.

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Jimbo

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Edited By Jimbo

"Do you care at all about coverage of iPhone games?"

Not even a little bit.

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erinfizz

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Edited By erinfizz

Current amount of iPhone coverage is cool. I don't ever plan on owning one, but it's interesting to hear what is being done.

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TaintedSun

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Edited By TaintedSun

If I had one I would say the same thing I say about my Zune games:

Waste my battery on a secondary feature that feels tacked on? No thanks.

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digital_sin

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Edited By digital_sin

Not really intrested right now in iPhone games. But you did bring up a good point; games like Pheonix Wright and Trauma Center should fit in perfectly on the iPhone and iPod touch, I barely used the D-Pad in either of those. I wonder why no one seems to have caught on to that idea. All the games I seem to run into on the app store are crappy racers that are impossible to control and the tilty ball balance games (or whatever they're called).

Also, I really hope that if you fail to save someone while playing Dr. Awesome, the game tells you that he/she's dead and deletes their contact from your iPhone. That would make for some intense gameplay sessions.

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deadpoool

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Edited By deadpoool

"but we aren't currently planning on going all-out with full-on reviews. Cool?"

Very cool, I am not at all interested in these games, don't know about anyone else, but to be honest, I'm kind of only interested in xbox/ps3 stuff with a mild interest in pc games.

Couldn't really care less about hand held stuff


Oh, and using that phrase "couldn't care less" reminds me that American's frequently  get this wrong.....most americans say  "I could care less".....Which makes no gramatical or theoretical sense given the context it is used...saying  "i could care less" even in a sarcastic way still implies that you care about the topic at hand, and you want to care less.....its just plain stupid, could someone have a word with the American who is in charge of this and get it sorted?

Thanks

=andy=

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Champy

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Edited By Champy

i dont care about iphone or ipod personally.

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TwoOneFive

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Edited By TwoOneFive

hey the more the iphone expands its gaming library i hope you guys keep covering it, especially if they come out with some real gems. 

of course anyone whose name is white will not like it LOL 

i'm getting a new ipod touch for christmas, so i would like to see some coverage of the games if you could!
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pikamookie

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Edited By pikamookie

I totally care!  Please cover more iPhone games.  There's such a dearth of reliable iPhone app reviews that GiantBomb's would be super appreciated. 

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Equal_Opportunity_Destroyer497

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The occasional iPhone coverage doesn't bother me but I definitely couldn't care less.

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tekmojo

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Edited By tekmojo

Unless I was a developer for iPhone apps, I really don't care.

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Media_Master

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Edited By Media_Master

Man, those iPhones are expensive!!!!

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Bass

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Edited By Bass

umm, yeah. im totally fine if you dont do full on reviews of iPhone games. It's nice to see that some of the games are actually ok, but unless the iPhone starts generating high quality games, it's not a big deal for you to fully support it.

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Milkman

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Edited By Milkman

No full reviews but articles like this are neat.

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futuramafreak

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Edited By futuramafreak

I'd like to see mentions of good games or good values like this, especially with the App Store being saturated right now.

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TrashMustache

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Edited By TrashMustache

I think I phone games are the most disposable of all kinds. they are unpersonal, they feel like a silly gadget displayed from a prop.

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Jixashauser

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Edited By Jixashauser

Most iPhone games aren´t worth what they cost but this seems kinda cool :)

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Edited By GMoneyCricket

Yes, I'd like to hear about it when something cool hits the Iphone.  I have the Ipod Touch, and I ride the train a lot in Chicago, so I would like to know what time-waster games are actually worth the wasting of my time.  You know what I'm saying?

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yellownumber5

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Edited By yellownumber5

If something Interesting or innovative pops up, sure, even though I don't have an iPhone.  There has to be some interesting gameplay that comes out of a touchscreen only/tilt peripheral.  I think it may be a while though before an iPhone could be really considered a viable portable gaming platform such as a DS or PSP, even though to this day an occasional mobile game has been competative.  Once iPhones have gotten to that point, sure I'd like to hear about it.

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CheeseFanatic

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Edited By CheeseFanatic

I'm obsessed with my iPhone and the games for it. I constantly got to the sites Touch Arcade and Finger Gaming for iPhone reviews. While it would be cool to see you guys covering a few iPhone games, I come to Giant Bomb to hear about console games, not mobile games.

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Snail

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Edited By Snail

Reviewing iPhone games is the same as reviewing mobile games, makes no sense.

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fluxbit

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Edited By fluxbit

DS, Flash, iPhone, ngage -- whatevs -- if it's GOOD, cover it.

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Mace

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Edited By Mace

I would like to see more iPhone coverage. 

Obviously I do not expect every single game for the iPhone to be given a preview and a review, but it would be nice if Giant Bomb could maybe do some kind of regular round-up of the best, recently released, games. Maybe every month or bi-weekly, something along those lines.
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Edited By Metiphis

I would love some more iPhone game coverage, seeing as how some crazy shit is starting to happen with them.  We're seeing some really cool stuff like Crayon Physics and a new Metal Gear.  Hell I put ScummVM on my iphone so I could play all my favorite Lucasarts adventure games.  And you know what?  They don't run half bad.

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Edited By Brackynews

In short, keep talking about the cool stuff you're playing.

iLove my iTouch, but there are a growing number of sites catering to iGames, and iGlance at them maybe once a month.  Using the GB wiki is fine for me to read up on the high profile stuff, and there are user reviews right there in the store.  Toss out the 1s and 5s and you get a decent sample.

Will you ever review a free game?  Since the versions and prices can change at any time, is it fair to judge value?   Iron Man was $10 a while ago, and tonight it's $1.  The App Store is made for bargain hunters.
The retro rehashes are so far both retro and rehashy. 
To quote another blogger some time ago, "IT IS FUCKING XEVIOUS."

omg I just discovered a port of Scorch.  gotta go!