EA and Gameloft show off early Apple iPad games

The games showed off at the Apple event today in San Francisco weren’t the very first iPad games announced – that honor goes to Crosswords, announced yesterday, a full 24 hours before the new tablet computer was unveiled – but they’re pretty close.

Developers from EA and Gameloft wheeled out (non-playable) demos of racer Need for Speed: Shift and first-person shooter N.O.V.A., both iPad-optimized versions of existing iPhone apps. For the record, they are not low-res iPhone apps blown up to fill the iPad’s 9.4-inch screen (which end up looking a bit grainy).

How do these optimized games look? Pretty good, actually. Engadget was on hand to snap a few shots of them in action, and noted improved graphics and more options when it came to configuring controls; two finger swipes in N.O.V.A. throws a grenade, for example. (That said, first-person shooters ain’t going to work on this thing; I’ve seen enough shooters on the Nintendo DS to suggest a touchscreen and FPSes don’t go together terribly well.)

Meanwhile, in Need for Speed: Shift, tapping inside the car takes you, uh, inside the car, an up or down swipe will move you through the gears, and (most neatly of all) a tap on the mirror will let you look behind you.

Just a few of Engadget’s off-screen pics:

[Via Engadget]

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