Tilt to Live is hardly the first iPhone and iPod touch game that springs to mind as ripe for iPad conversion, but it works surprisingly well.
While there's little to distinguish it from the iPhone release, there's equally nothing that defines this iPad edition as inferior.
Attention has been paid to the presentation, which is nicely scaled up for iPad, and the inclusion of modes and features introduced on iPhone as updates make this version complete from the get-go.
However, that parity with the original prevents Tilt to Live HD from being as significant a release on iPad.
Power-ups to the people
In short, this is the same game only blown up for the expansive iPad display. You control an arrow in a sea of geometric enemies by tilting your device. It's a game of evasion: they're out to get you and it's up to you to avoid touching them at all costs.
With no means of directly attacking these foes, you're left to seek out power-ups that appear randomly on the screen.
These include yellow missiles that automatically target enemies, blue icicle blasts that freeze foes within a set radius, purple guided shots that fire in your direction of movement, and explosive red charges that destroy any enemies caught within their blast zones.
The weapons are without question the best part of Tilt to Live HD, even if the manner by which you acquire them is the worst aspect of the game.
Power-ups must be unlocked by accumulating award points. While that's tolerable for potent aides like the bubble shield that protects your icon from attack, it's annoying when it restricts access to offensive weaponry.Hum drum conundrum
It's a design conundrum. It seems counter-intuitive to hold weapons back until you acquire a set number of awards when having access to those weapons would make it easier to reach those point totals. This isn't an easy game - unlocking weapons requires skill and patience.
To be fair, this structure does lend the game replay value. The desire to unlock every weapon is sure to entice a return.
A new pricing structure distinguishes this iPad edition from its iPhone original. Downloading it for free nets you the main Classic mode in which you avoid enemies and seek to eliminate them by picking up weapons.
Three extra modes - Code Red, Gauntlet Evolved, and Frostbite - can be purchased from within the game. While Gauntlet Evolved and Frostbite aren't terribly exciting, Code Red is a speedy take on Classic mode that's worth a look, especially if you find yourself unchallenged by the latter.
Even if you're not interested in spending money on these extra modes, Tilt to Live HD is a recommended downloaded not because its Classic mode is free, but because it's fun. It's not the type of game that you might expect for iPad, but it's undeniably well done.