I’m more drawn to games than you are, Laura, especially when I’ve spent the day writing, but I’ve never been good at shoot-em-up stuff. I like cards and other kinds of strategy, and things involving connections or geometric shapes. Pipe Dream, derailer of many undergraduate papers, was an old Windows favorite. Tetris, too, but I never had nightmares about it, which is more than I can say about the pipes’ green goo.
I’ve found some great games for the iPhone — Eliss and, before the “upgrades,” Twistlink and Surfacer — but most either haven’t been reconfigured for the iPad or don’t translate well to the larger screen. One exception is Stay, another balance game, this one involving falling squares, rectangles, and skulls. Though Stay is sized for the iPhone, not the iPad, the washed-out, low-res images don’t suffer the way so many others do in the 2x-blowing-up. I prefer the larger version.
In the easiest mode, the idea is to keep your little red triangle on the seesaw as long as you can. Once you get the hang of it, it’s not so hard. Until the skulls start dropping. They explode into eight or ten deadly little black asteroids.
I’ve never gotten good enough to discover what horrors lurk in the more difficult settings.