The iPad is a magical device, at least according to Apple, but is it a device worth buying to play games on? [UPDATED for the holidays.]
This is our best advice — updated regularly — about whether or not you should buy an iPad for gaming, what games to get for it and what to watch out for.
[This post was last updated on Oct. 1, 2010 and will be updated if events, news, games, prices or acts of nature cause our opinion to change.]
Should I buy an iPad for gaming now?
No way, not at this price. The iPad is a wonderful device. It's an amazing electronic book, magazine and newspaper reader. It's fantastic for watching movies on and browsing the web. And it has plenty of great applications and not a few amazing games. But gaming is more of a pleasant side effect of owning an iPad than it is an excuse to buy one.
What Else Does It Do Besides Gaming?
The iPad is a tablet computer, that means it can do a lot of the things a low-powered computer can do, but uses a touch screen instead of a physical keyboard or mouse.
You can browse the Internet, check your email, use the iPad as a digital photo frame, watch movies, listen to music, read books, magazines and newspapers, take notes and even organize your work with a calendar and contact database.
There are also those thousands of wonderful apps that add amazing functionality to the sleek, sexy device.
If I'm going to take the plunge, should I get an iPad or iPad 3G?
The iPad still doesn't strike us as an on-the-go-device. We mostly use our iPads while home, or perhaps in a location with WiFi. When we do travel with the tablet a little pre-planning and an abundance of WiFi hotspots means we rarely miss the ability to log into the Internet with a cell network. Besides, that 3G plan is pricey.
I already have an iPod Touch, should I "upgrade" to an over-sized iPad?
No, not really. While the iPad may look like a bigger iPod Touch, once you get it you'll find that you don't use it in the same ways. The iPhone and iPod Touch are devices you carry around in your pocket or use in your car. The iPad is more like carrying around a book, or a really, really small laptop.
Besides, it's $500!
What are the best games on the iPad?
ANSWER UPDATED, 10/01/10:
The iPad doesn't have the same abundance of tailor-made games that the iPhone and iPod Touch have. But there are some great titles. We're particularly fond of the games that are ports of table top gaming. Games like Boggle for iPad, Crosswords, and Shredder Chess for iPad are all terrific titles.
And there are some amazing action games as well, like Dungeon Hunter HD, Mirror's Edge for Ipad and Warpgate HD. Strategy also seems like a perfect fit for the iPad with titles like We Rule, Defense of the Oasis and Strategery topping the list.
Also, don't forget that every iPhone and iPod Touch game will run on the iPad as well. Sure, they won't look as clear, with their graphics doubling in size to fill the screen, but that's not as bad as it sounds for some games.
Click the gallery for more info about each game.