I may make this a new category of review: Games so addictive and interesting I can't stop playing them. And this week's winners are LIMBO ($4.99), and BADLAND (Currently free), two fabulous horizontal-scrolling games I could not seem to stay away from. LIMBO is not just a game, but a true work of art, immersing your adolescent character in a realistic, dark and very scary world (I was flinching and jumping in my seat playing this game). BADLAND offers similarly superb backdrop scenes, but with bouncy, full-tilt maze-style action that is just ridiculous fun. The polar opposite of the foreboding LIMBO, you use BADLAND for a spot of cheer! Uh, you'll need it...
I have a couple of great apps for review this week and some news about an exciting new 3D action/adventure and puzzle-solving game coming soon, called Abducted.The first app I played this week was Cubemen 2 ($1.99). Cubemen is an engaging real-time strategy and tower-defense game that puts you in command of a squad of blocky soldiers. You can vector them to protect your base, or move them out to attack and destroy the enemy. The second app I played (though "playing" is not really the right word) this week, is the new, improved, and simply astounding Solar Walk ($2.99)! I used it to research earthly and extra-terrestrial satellites and to follow the beautiful and inspiring Cassini mission to Saturn!
Many states are cracking down on the use of cell phones while driving. In fact, just across the state line where I live, using a cell phone while behind the wheel can get you stopped by the State Police and fined (no matter what you are doing with it). Wheeltunes ($0.99) aims to make at least the act of accessing your playlist or controlling your player safer with a fully gesture-based player control UI. However, it is important to note that it still likely can't protect you from a fine. You should make sure to know the cell phone driving laws in your home state or anywhere you may be traveling this summer, and follow the law. If you must drive and play with your music player, you certainly should do so with an app that has a simple, stark interface and allows you to change tracks with a swipe.
If you have traveling geeks in your life (or are a geek traveler yourself) and are looking for two very cool tech products released this year, check out the booq Boa squeeze ($129.95)
and the FAVI Bluetooth Keyboard ($39.99)
(both plenty cool for non-geeks as well).
I have a couple of mini reviews, one news item, and a game preview for you this week. Goldenoid 3D builds on the old brick breaker clones with 3D awesomeness; Sledventure is a snow fort sliding/smashing block buster of sorts. You can grab them in the App Store for less than a $2 (a free ad-injected version of Goldenoid also available). Plus in this edition, some news on a new Kingdom Rush edition, and a YT preview of Cubemen 2. Let's dig in, shall we?
A few weeks back, I posted about the simple animated stylings of the YoWindow weather application (Free). Without confusing graphs or charts—you can relax and watch the animated weather unfold on your iPhone while it's doing nothing more interesting than refilling power on it's dock. Now YoWindow is universally available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, and later this summer, a Windows 8 version cometh as well.
It's great when you find a cool driving game, 3D shooter, or aerial fighting challenge to rock your iPad. But all three in one game?!! What some might call an overreach, I call a more action-packed game! Fire & Forget The Final Assualt ($1.99) is a Mad Max-like combat racing speed run that builds on the old 1980s Amiga franchise solidly, updating it for iOS and adding the ability to fly... Sweet!
If you love great science fiction with a fantastic plot, world-building menagerie, and a breadth and depth of alien life forms that are nothing less than astonishing, you should read Scott Sigler. If you love sports of any kind (particularly football), you also should read Scott Sigler. If you wonder if you could ever enjoy stories combining these seemingly unconnected genres (sports and sci-fi), you can and you will if you read... Scott Sigler's Galactic Football League series of ebooks! Read on for a full breakdown!
Why do companies do it? (Make new stuff that is no longer compatible with old stuff?!) While there's some truth to emerging technology outdating old products, companies also do it to get you to spend more money. Take all those old 30-pin speaker docks out there in iPhoneland, we bought them up like hot cakes, right? Now, many older iPhones and iPods have turned into dust-collecting paperweights and the compatible docks are all but obsolete.
But there is a gadget that can transform your speaker into shiny new tech yet again! The Dolry, made by Swedish manufacturer C4 Electronics, is an extremely ingenious Wi-Fi adapter that connects to your old 30-pin dock and turns it into an AirPlay (or DLNA) compatible wireless powerhouse!
Folks around these parts been sayin' thar's a new mech game in town, goes by the name of iMech Online. Well, I'm here to tell ya I seen it with my own two eyeballs! You'll want to be a-strappin on your pulse cannons, because this one is gointer to be a wild, mech-blasting ride!
iMech Online is finally in the App Store—free and full of cool 3D blow em up action—nearly a year after it was announced at the 2012 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.
It is a testament to the health of the App Store ecosystem that indie games like iMech Online can flourish. But I digress... What I like about iMech is less about fancy 3D Retina visuals that can eat half a gig of device storage (iMech comes in at a leaner 136M), and more about its tried and true game-building principles, namely: