Mac|Life - Games http://www.maclife.com/articles/9/feed en Review: GameSmart CTRLi Mobile Gamepad http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_gamesmart_ctrli_mobile_gamepad <!--paging_filter--><p>When the MFi (Made For iOS) controller standard came into being about a year ago, it had the potential to usher in a new era of iOS gaming that allowed developers to deliver true console-quality gaming on an iOS device. Unfortunately, most MFi controllers have suffered from one problem or another: too expensive, too unwieldy, too unresponsive, or a combination of the above. The GameSmart CTRLi Mobile Gamepad from Mad Catz aims to succeed where others have failed, and it does a very admirable job.</p><p>All it takes is one look at the CTRLi to see where it gets its inspiration: the controller is clearly modelled off of an Xbox 360 gamepad. That's not a bad thing; the CTRLi has a good heft to it — it doesn't come off as flimsy or cheap in the slightest — and feels very natural in one's hands. Unfortunately, the controller also borrows one negative feature from Xbox — the somewhat clunky D-pad (digital directional pad). The D-pad on the CTRLi is arguably superior to that of an Xbox controller, but it still sometimes requires an extra-firm touch to get it to do what you want it to.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/madcatz_ctrli_620.png" width="620" height="465" /></p><p>Luckily, just about everything else about the CTRLi is excellent. The two analog sticks have just the right amount of tension, the shoulder buttons are well placed, and the face buttons are very responsive. There are plenty of <a href="http://madcatz.com/compatibility/ctrli/" target="_blank">compatible titles</a> in a variety of genres, and every game we tested benefitted from improvements to maneuvering and action; gameplay was significantly smoother and easier to control than it was via touchscreen-based virtual joysticks and buttons. The controls were less consistent when navigating menu screens, but that's a fault of the software rather than the controller itself.</p><p>The CTRLi was easy to get up and running as well; all it takes is a couple of button presses to get it synched via Bluetooth to your iOS device. It comes with a detachable smartphone clip, too. Though you can play with your iOS device propped up or in a stand, you can also attach the easy-to-use spring-loaded adjustable clip and slide your iPhone right in to create a makeshift portable gaming system. The clip is surprisingly sturdy and it's big enough to even hold an iPhone 6 Plus.</p><p>Speaking of which, don't worry about the fact that the package claims it's made for iOS 7 and iPhone 5s/c; we tried it with iOS 8 and the aforementioned iPhone 6 Plus (as well as a 4th-gen iPad running iOS 7), and the controller worked beautifully. Perhaps the biggest strike against it, however, is the fact that doesn't feature a rechargable lithium-ion battery; though that helps keep the cost down to just under $60, it means you'll have to keep a supply of AAA batteries on hand for whenever it runs out of juice (which reportedly won't happen for 30 hours or so).&nbsp;</p><p>If $60 is a bit too pricy for you, you could also consider Mad Catz's Micro CTRLi; it's smaller, so it may be less comfortable depending on the size of your hands, but it's $10 cheaper and offers most of the same functionality as its larger sibling.</p><p>Though the CTRLi isn't perfect, it's the best MFi controller we've tried. It provides comfort and responsiveness in a reasonably priced package, and it significantly improves the playablity of console-style games on iOS devices.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> If you're looking to get an MFi controller, this one should be at the top of your list.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>GameSmart CTRLi Mobile Gamepad</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mad Catz </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://madcatz.com/gamesmart-c-t-r-l-i/" target="_blank">www.madcatz.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $59.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>iPhone 5, iPad (4th gen), iPad mini, or iPod touch (5th gen) or newer device running iOS 7 or later</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Feels great. Controls are mostly responsive. Reasonable price.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>D-pad is a tad sticky. Runs on AAA batteries rather than built-in lithium-ion.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_gamesmart_ctrli_mobile_gamepad#comments Reviews controller CTRLi GameSmart iOS mad catz MFi controller Micro CTRLi iPad iPhone iPod Games Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:02:55 +0000 Chris Hoffman 20827 at http://www.maclife.com 10 Spooky Halloween Apps http://www.maclife.com/article/gallery/10_spooky_halloween_apps <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/gallery/10_spooky_halloween_apps#comments Gallery App Store AppLife Apps Best Horror Movies Database Costume Quest games halloween Haunting Melissa Horror Can iOS iPoe 2 Mickey's Spooky Night Puzzle Book Night Terror scary Scary Prank Halloween Scary Soundboard Pro Slender Rising 2 spooky iPad iPhone iPod Games Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:26:01 +0000 Richard Moss 20828 at http://www.maclife.com New iOS Games This Week: October 16, 2014 http://www.maclife.com/article/games/new_ios_games_week_october_16_2014 <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/new_ios_games_week_october_16_2014#comments Gallery Angry Birds App Store AppLife Apps Avenged Sevenfold basketball Columns Deathbat games Hail to the King Helix Hyspherical iOS NBA 2K15 new releases NOVA 3 Sentinels of the Multiverse South Park transformers Zen Pinball iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:40:50 +0000 Andrew Hayward 20799 at http://www.maclife.com Review: VVVVVV http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_vvvvvv <!--paging_filter--><p>VVVVVV is a fairly simple platformer, but one crafted and refined to mechanical perfection. The controls are as basic as the visuals — go left, go right, and flip gravity. But this game is full of things that complicate matters.&nbsp;</p><p>The aim is to rescue your scattered crew members by exploring VVVVV's grid-based world. It’s effectively made up of single-screen platform puzzles, each one offering a test of dexterity, brain-power or both (though some stretch across more than one screen).&nbsp;</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/vvvvvv_620.png" width="620" height="388" /></p><p>Solving the harder ones is both supremely satisfying and rarely frustrating, thanks to generous restart points. It does get very hard — platform veterans will find their skills tested. But the ability to quickly try sections over and over again means casual players shouldn’t be put off, either.&nbsp;</p><p>The game controls beautifully, too — crisp and accurate, though we switched to using (non-default) on-screen buttons for greater precision.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Inventive, huge fun, challenging, and satisfying. VVVVVV is one of the best platformers on iOS.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>VVVVVV</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Terry Cavanagh </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://www.terrycavanaghgames.com" target="_blank">www.terrycavanaghgames.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $2.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>iOS 4.3 or later</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Great level design. Excellent controls. Lots of retro charm.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>N/A</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_vvvvvv#comments Reviews AppLife Apps iOS Platformer VVVVVV iPad iPhone iPod Games Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:23:43 +0000 Matt Bolton 20785 at http://www.maclife.com New iOS Games This Week: October 9, 2014 http://www.maclife.com/article/games/new_ios_games_week_october_9_2014 <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/new_ios_games_week_october_9_2014#comments Gallery App Store AppLife Apps Dragon Quest Final Fantasy games iOS new releases ORBB reckless racing skullduggery Terra Battle words with friends Zombie Highway iPad iPhone iPod How-Tos Games Thu, 09 Oct 2014 22:31:14 +0000 Andrew Hayward 20757 at http://www.maclife.com The Best Games for iOS 8 http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best_games_ios_8 <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/best_games_ios_8#comments Gallery App Store AppLife Apps Aralon Sword and Shadow Asphalt 8 Badland Cloud Knights Epic Zen Garden games iOS Leaf on the Wind Metal Modern Combat 5 Mr. Crab Prime World Defenders World of Tanks Blitz iPad iPhone iPod Games Wed, 08 Oct 2014 23:45:54 +0000 Richard Moss 20751 at http://www.maclife.com Review: Angry Birds Epic http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_angry_birds_epic <!--paging_filter--><p>If you have children of a certain age, you could be forgiven for thinking Angry Birds are everywhere. Rovio’s hit franchise has dominated the App Store in its four-and-a-half year, eight game run, and has branched out successfully into toys, a cartoon, and even soft drinks. And now Angry Birds Epic continues the trend of branching out from its humble slingshot-firing origins.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/angrybirdsepic_620.png" /></p><p>This time it's into RPG territory. All the usual suspects from the cartoon series and the prior games show their face at some point in this free-to-play game, which is light on depth (and story) and big on character and art-driven comedy and charm. Fights are all turn-based, with one defensive, one offensive, and one special ability assigned to each character according to their equipment (which can be upgraded using a simple crafting system) and innate attributes. With up to three birds at a time, you battle it out against any number of the meddlesomely conniving piggies, who've once again run off with some eggs.</p><p>Angry Birds Epic starts out ridiculously easy, but the difficulty ramps up fast. And while you can certainly scrape through without spending a dime, there’s a clear push towards buying coins to power up your flock or to keep them standing against the evil piggy scoundrels. Don’t expect to be wowed: this is a solid but unspectacular step into new territory for the birds.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong>&nbsp;Angry Birds Epic swoops into RPG land with a fun and light outing to Piggy Island, but it’s neither epic nor inventive in its formula.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Angry Birds Epic</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rovio Entertainment </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://www.rovio.com" target="_blank">www.rovio.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Free (w/ IAP) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>iOS 6.0 or later</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Nice graphics. Different than the usual Angry Birds fare. Solid turn-driven gameplay.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Not very innovative. In-app purchases are almost a must.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_angry_birds_epic#comments Reviews Angry Birds Angry Birds Epic AppLife Apps Rovio iPad iPhone iPod Games Mon, 06 Oct 2014 18:50:21 +0000 Richard Moss 20738 at http://www.maclife.com New iOS Games This Week: October 2, 2014 http://www.maclife.com/article/games/new_ios_games_week_october_2_2014 <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/new_ios_games_week_october_2_2014#comments Gallery Adult Swim Adventure Xpress App Store AppLife Apps Banner Saga Columns Crazy Taxi Entwined Fruit Ninja games Hulk Hogan Inferno iOS new releases pokemon Spirits of Spring Trading Card Game wrestling WWE iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 02 Oct 2014 21:47:30 +0000 Andrew Hayward 20722 at http://www.maclife.com Review: Broken Age http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_broken_age <!--paging_filter--><p>Shay lives a coddled life, alone on a spaceship, watched over by some exceedingly parental computer programs. His days consist of saving his adorable toy-like shipmates from equally cutesy "disasters." Vella lives in a sweet (literally) baking village, with a supportive family. Her days, however, are numbered — she’s due to be sacrificed to a great beast, to keep her village safe from its wrath.</p><p>Broken Age is the story of these two breaking away from their respective destinies and fighting back against their oppressor, whether it’s a huge monster or a restricting environment. You play as them both in this point-and-tap adventure, switching between their stories as you see fit until you reach the cliffhanger at the end of the first act — the second is coming later this year, and will be an additional IAP.</p><p><img src="/files/u332541/2014/10/brokenage_620.png" width="620" height="465" /></p><p>It’s traditional as far as adventure games go — tap to walk around the areas, and tap to interact with things and people. The different areas you visit are largely interesting and fun, and the puzzles’ solutions make a lot of sense. We found it easy for this kind of game (not a bad thing really), but a little light; no puzzle-solving made us feel like a genius, even if some are inventive. If you like your point-and-clicks to be brain-busters, this won’t really do the trick.</p><p>We loved Broken Age anyway. It has some brilliant jokes in its clever script, with superb art and top-notch voice acting bringing it all together — and, in the end a wonderful allegorical statement wrapped in its witty, frivolous candy shell.</p><p><strong>The bottom line.</strong> Veterans may find its puzzling a bit slight, but Broken Age’s wit, inventiveness, and polish make it a must-play.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-the-bottom-line"><legend>Review Synopsis</legend><div class="field field-type-text field-field-product"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Product:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Broken Age</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-company"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Company:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Double Fine Productions </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-contact"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Contact:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://www.doublefine.com" target="_blank">www.doublefine.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Price:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> $9.99 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-requirements"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>iPad 2 or later, iOS 5.0 or later</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-positives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Positives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Some clever, logical puzzles. Lovely art and animations. Funny, smart story.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-negatives"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Negatives:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>A little easy, to be honest.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.maclife.com/article/reviews/review_broken_age#comments Gallery Reviews Adventure App AppLife Broken Age Double Fine iOS iPad Games Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:07:29 +0000 Matt Bolton 20716 at http://www.maclife.com New iOS Games This Week: September 25, 2014 http://www.maclife.com/article/games/new_ios_games_week_september_25_2014 <!--paging_filter--> http://www.maclife.com/article/games/new_ios_games_week_september_25_2014#comments Gallery Anomaly App Store AppLife Apps Asphalt Overdrive Columns Cosmophony Cursed Treasure FIFA 15 games iOS Kill Shot new releases RGB Express Smarter Than You iPad iPhone iPod Games Thu, 25 Sep 2014 23:38:20 +0000 Andrew Hayward 20690 at http://www.maclife.com