Book review: Creating Games with cocos2d for iPhone 2

After recently receiving a review copy of “Creating Games with cocos2d for iPhone 2”, I have been dedicating a bit of time in the evenings to read through this book, which covers game development by example in my favourite 2d games engine, cocos2d for the iPhone.

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Disclaimer: I did receive a free review copy of the book.

You can grab a copy of the book from here – Creating Games with cocos2d for iPhone 2. Right now the book is priced very reasonably (only £14.44 for the ebook version) , and I will actually be buying myself a copy to support Paul Nygard (the author), even though I did receive a free copy.

The book itself reads well. Paul explains concepts in an easy to grasp fashion, and provides examples to relate against, so if at first the explanation does not make sense, then by comparing it against the examples explained, concepts do tend to snap into place very nicely. I would recommend having a basic understanding of cocos2d and the concepts around the engine before tackling this book. The reason for this, is that not every single bit of code is explained – the basics are left for you to understand yourself. This is perfectly fine in my opinion, as if every single line of code were to be explained in any kind of book like this, you would end up with a 1000+ page book! That being said, code is explained very nicely, and learning the basics around cocos2d-iphone does not take a lot of time at all.

As an example in chapter one, you create a “Memory tile flipping game”, and Paul explains the use of arrays to hold tiles, the code to compare tiles to each other, boolean checks, cocos2d actions and animations and all of that other good stuff in great detail. He doesn’t go into detail on the very basics, like “what a sprite is”, which I don’t think should be expected anyway.

I like this style of book, as I find I learn best by example – and that is essentially what this book is – a bible of game examples, explaining many different game type concepts and teaching you each in turn. By reading through the chapters of this book, you will learn lots of great algorithms and concepts which can be used to bring your own game ideas to fruition!

There are some great topics covered, as Paul does go through teaching you to create a large variety of game types. I had already found some improvements to make to one of my own games I was busy creating after reading through chapter 1 of the book, and plan on using knowledge gained from the match 3 section (chapter 3) for an upcoming game this year. There is even a section of multiplayer games via Bluetooth, which I skipped over, but definitely plan on coming back to, as this is something I have been very keen to try out.

Overall, I think this book is a bargain for what you get, with the only small downside being that it is recommended to have a basic knowledge of cocos2d-iphone before getting started with it.

Grab your copy over here: Creating Games with cocos2d for iPhone 2 or check the same link out for a free sample of chapter 4.

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