Just in time for Christmas, Apple have unleashed a slew of newer, sleeker, shinier and prettier iPads onto a poor unsuspecting public. Boasting the same high-res retina display, stereo speakers and a thorough stripping down for the lightest and slimmest iPad yet, a lot of this iterationâ€™s impressiveness actually lies under the hood.
Weâ€™ve come a long way since the original iPad, and the Air is good at showing us how much â€“ featuring the new 64-bit A7 processor and M7 motion chip, this latest delicious slab of tablety goodness is eight times faster than version 1.0. While this means things like smoother web browsing and faster loading of apps, the only way to truly put this power to the test is with some high demand games â€“ and here are five titillating titles thatâ€™ll push your Air to its limits.
1. Infinity Blade III: Reborn
Infinity Blade has always been a beacon of mobile technical accomplishments, ever since the impressive-looking first iteration brought the Unreal Engine to iOS. Since then HD versions of both number one and Infinity Blade II have been released, getting prettier and smoother with each sequel.
Reborn is not an exception whatsoever, keeping the core gameplay addictive and simple to learn but difficult to master, and taking full advantage of the iPad Airâ€™s unified 64-bit processing and new Apple A7 processor. Download it (itâ€™s worth the cost) and just sit back and marvel at the fact that your tablet is running this.
2. BIT.TRIP RUN!
We all remember the original retro charm of the original BIT.TRIP games of the last few years, so it might be a little surprising to see something thatâ€™s synonymous with basic (but charming) classic graphics in a list of technically demanding iPad games.
In truth, though, RUN! is more of a spin-off for the series and, while all the graphical charm of the originals are certainly present, itâ€™s in a much for vivid and vibrant 3D environment. Worry not though, BIT.TRIP fans, the same side-scrolling gameplay is still here â€“ it just looks so much better. With the fast-paced action the series is known for, your new Air should be able to run this without having to stop for a breath. Of air (sorry).
3. The Room
Ah, The Room â€“ such a simple concept but unrelentingly enthralling and absolutely impossible to put down. Itâ€™s not one youâ€™d necessarily play again (once youâ€™ve beat the puzzles and the game, thatâ€™s kind of it), but the journey you have on your first play through is superb. Itâ€™s challenging and a fantastic experience but, most importantly for this list, it does look really amazingly detailed.
The simplicity of the gameâ€™s concept means that all of the iPadâ€™s processing oomph can go into making the environment as detailed as possible, and it does look fantastic on the Airâ€™s retina display â€“ with all the new power it boasts, you can be sure itâ€™ll run optimally.
4. Dead Trigger 2
The original Dead Trigger was a graphically fantastic game already, and with number two taking full advantage of new Apple hardware (like the A7) due to its very recent release, it looks just as good, if not better â€“ and, most importantly, runs smoother than Frank Sinatraâ€™s voice covered in melted butter. Or something.
ANYWAY. This zombie-themed FPS really wouldnâ€™t look altogether out of place on a current-gen home console and, thanks to the increased powered under the hood, the iPad Air should run this perfectly with little to no framerate drops, and nippy loading times. And itâ€™s free!
5. Mass Effect: Infiltrator
Mobile ports of big console releases have typically never been looked upon fondly by the gaming community but, thanks to intuitive controls and simply jaw-dropping visuals, Mass Effect: Infiltrator can manage to stand pretty tall next to its console counterparts. For something so fast paced and dependant on accurate and response input detection, Infiltrator steps up to the mark really well, creating pretty smooth and intuitive gameplay.
While itâ€™s been around for about a year now, existing titles can always benefit from a little bit of a hardware boost, which means that your new iPad Air should run this without dropping any frames or any painfully slow loading times. Look at the trailer. Look at it!
This post was written by Tom McShane â€“ blogger, tech enthusiast, lover of all things shiny and writer for UK-based Fone Angels, who specialise in professional iPod, iPhone and iPad repairs.