Avatar, a sci-fi tower defense, and Texas Hold'em: New iPad games of the week

After a flurry of high-profile launch titles, things have been a little quiet on the iPad gaming front. But here are three new arrivals worth checking out.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

The newly updated Avatar game brings Na'vi action to your iPad in glorious HD. Gameloft

My iPad arrives tomorrow. (Woo!) Thanks to everyone who shared their suggestions for what apps I should install first.

Of course, as eager as I am to check out popular stuff like iBooks, Netflix, and The Elements, I'm even more eager to test the iPad's acumen as a game console. And from what I've seen of these five new titles, I won't be disappointed.

Heads Up: Hold'em HD brings everyone's favorite poker game to your iPad--and it won't cost you a dime to sit at the table. Headlight Software

Avatar for iPad  I liked the movie, but didn't bother with the tie-in game that debuted on the iPhone late last year. Why? I find most action titles a bit too claustrophobic on the small screen. But on an iPad? With updated HD graphics? That's more like it. This combat-packed trip to Na'vi will cost you $9.99.

Heads Up: Hold'em HD  What's better than a good game of no-limit Texas Hold'em? How about a free one? This surprisingly polished title offers 1-versus-1 competition (more would be nice, obviously, but beggars can't be choosers) against the CPU or a friend--someone you can hand your iPad to when it's his turn, or someone who has his own iPad or iPod. (Heads Up supports wireless play via Bluetooth.)

Space Station: Frontier HD  The game most likely to endanger my productivity, Space Station: Frontier puts both sci-fi and RTS twists on the popular tower-defense genre. Harvest energy, build and deploy your weapons, then defend your space station against alien attacks. The HD version has been redesigned to take advantage of the iPad's roomy screen, and the developer says multiplayer is coming soon. That sounds awesome. Price: $4.99.

Well, those are the new games I've got lined up for iPad action. Now hit the comments and tell me what's playing on your iPad.

In the meantime, be sure to check out CNET's recent roundup of the 20 best iPad games.

Space Station: Frontier HD looks like a must-have for sci-fi-loving fans of TD games. Origin8 Technologies Limited