iPhone Life magazine

Games

Abducted Episode 1 in the App Store!

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Due to other reviews and the mad holiday and CES email avalanche, I totally missed the press release on this new Sunside game (recently also "greenlit" on Steam Greenlight) called Abducted, which is a space horror RPG that uses the Radiance game engine. The first episode (of several to come) was actually released for iOS back on December 19, 2013, and the game in the US app store has been discounted to $2.99 for a limited time. 



New Kick The Ball App Makes Kids Exclaim "Goal!"

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Kick the Ball 

3.5 out of 5 stars

Become a soccer star in this new soccer simulation and compete with players around the globe! In Kick the Ball, it’s all about flicking the ball with your fingers to the right targets as quickly and as precisely as possible in beautiful 3D graphics. 



Game Centered: Special Holiday Edition, Exciting New Games and Awesome Updates.

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. This week, in advance of Apple’s annual iTunes Connect closing dates (12/21-12/27) we've been treated to a whole slew of top-of-the-line new games and big updates that slipped into the App Store just in time for Christmas! We've got a lot of exciting gaming news to cover, so let's dive right in. And don't forget, the App Store allows us to gift apps and any of the following games would make excellent holiday presents.



This Escher-inspired iPad Game is a 'Beautiful Impossibility'

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Described as an interactive M.C. Escher artwork, Monument Valley may change the way you play puzzle games. It's currently being developed by London-based design studio ustwo, specifically for iPad.

The ustwo team established the game as a "surreal exploration through fantastical architecture and impossible geometry." Designer Ken Wong adds: "Monument Valley is a beautiful, exploratory experience, somewhere between exploring a toy shop and reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."



Apple Posts Best of 2013 Lists: Duolingo Named iPhone App of the Year

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Monday Apple posted their Best of 2013 lists, including Music, Movies, TV Shows, Apps, Books, and Podcasts. The free Duolingo - Learn Languages for Free, was named iPhone App of the Year. And it's well deserved. Not only can you use it to learn Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, and English, but the app makes it fun. It uses gaming techniques to help you learn. And, interestingly, the app also has a crowdsourcing function, such that in the process of learning and doing translations, you are helping translate the Web into other languages. 



What I Played This Week: Angry Birds Go and Quantic Pinball!

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There's a buzz over Angry Birds Go (free), and 'freemium" titles in general to discuss in this edition of WIPTW. I was not aware that computer bits were being subjected to such draconian work conditions on our devices that they needed to rest; but Angry Birds Go introduces the "energy" concept to the Rovio game chest: a union break for overworked player characters, I suppose. Otherwise, ABG has plenty of good graphics, and is mostly goofy and fun like a cart race should be. Also played this week is the jam-packed action pinball slam of the season called Quantic Pinball ($2.99). If you like pinball, you will gorge yourself on this version.



Cognition Episode 1: More Than The Eye Can See

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Cognition Episode 1 ($3.99)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Back when graphics were first starting to take shape for computer games, Sierra set the standard for adventures with titles like King’s Quest and Leisure Suit Larry. The fact that you could actually see your character follow your commands along with the immense amount of dialog made the experience feel as much like an interactive movie as anything. Phoenix Online Studios clearly understands what it takes to make this style of game, and as much as I loved the old Sierra games, I’d say the Cognition series kicks things up a notch or two. More realistic characters, adult subject matter (in a mature way, not like Leisure Suit Larry), and a focus on exploration and discovery (instead of finding an obscure key in a tree to unlock some mystic chest) give Cognition Episode 1 more of a Law & Order bent than anything. It’s just too bad this intriguing story telling couldn’t have come with a better interface wrapped around it.



Ahoy, Mateys! Time for Another Game-Centered, Featuring Updates, News, and Oh Yes, Pirates!

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Happy Holidays gamers, and welcome to the latest installment of Game Centered. Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition. This week's installment brings news of what promises to be a new, award-winning game set within the Game of Thrones universe, as well as update news and a review of the latest Assassin's Creed iteration. And don't forget, the App Store allows you to gift apps, something to keep in mind as you read on...



JumpStart's Madagascar Math Ops Makes Math Magical

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I have a special place in my heart for JumpStart learning programs. My kids grew up on the Toddler series and popped those CDs in our old PC like they were pop tarts in a toaster. But this is a post-PC era, and touch screens and apps are all the rage.

Fortunately, JumpStart has changed with the times and they offer a plethora of iOS apps that leverage the touch screen as well as relationships with Dreamworks and their Madagascar characters. Jumpstart offers apps that teach ABC's, math and more.



Tetris Creator Sees if Lightning Can Strike Twice with DWICE

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Just like Tetris, the iPhone and iPad took the world by storm and copycats abound. Now Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris, has released an iOS app, DWICE ($1.99), that bears some similarity to his original creation and adds a modern, space-age feel.



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