A week of praise for the iPhone 5s and a week of blame for it both. And it looks like a distributor has a great tradeback deal in the works, so if you were hesitant about a new handset, this could be your ticket. Plus a great Cupertino employee moonlights for an iconic brand. That and more behind the curtain.
Each week, we highlight a selection of the most interesting, exciting, and unique new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch titles released on the App Store. A number of charming-looking titles headline the week's offerings, including Double Fine's beloved Costume Quest, which comes over from consoles, as well as the font-inspired side-scroller Type:Rider and the so-called Zelda-meets-Pokemon affair, Monster Adventures. Meanwhile, Ariel's Musical Surprise and Escape from Doom provide nice polar opposites on the back end of this week's overview.
Despite securing the official (and lucrative) NASCAR license, Eutechnyx’s most recent offering on the App Store isn’t a racing game, strictly speaking. Instead, NASCAR: Redline is more like a career management sim: as a fresh-faced rookie in the Sprint Cup Series, you must win races to finance new car parts and pit crew training sessions to climb to the top of the standings. Unfortunately, some of the mechanics feel unclear, while in-app purchases for this premium game seem unnecessary and frustrating.
Cancer is a miserable disease that has likely touched your life in one way or another, be it directly or distantly. We wish we had an app that would eliminate cancer from existence, but doctors and researchers are thankfully putting their efforts towards much more reasonable cures and solutions. So instead, in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we've gathered eight apps designed to help in the fight against breast cancer. From raising awareness about the disease to helping you get informed and stay on top of regular check-ups, these apps are the best pocket-bound aid in the effort to stop breast cancer from infecting your life and loved ones.
Designers and Photoshop pros from an earlier generation will remember the venerable Kai’s Power Tool Photoshop plugins, and even though they’ve been M.I.A. for years, one of the wackiest of those plugs – the Fractal Explorer – has been reincarnated as Frax, a seriously cool graphics toy and perhaps the single most impressive bit of graphics code we’ve yet seen on iOS. Available in separate iPad and iPhone versions (iPad reviewed), Frax is a full-screen, interactive fractal playground, with a very fluid, straightforward interface and a decent amount of customization possibilities for generating a wide variety of truly attractive fractal graphics.
Strategy games may be popular on iOS, but too many perform a tired juggle of microtransactions and abstract gameplay that cranks out forgettable games that mainly differ by setting. Machines at War 3 marks a welcome departure from all of that. Its tactics may be simple, but its Command and Conquer-inspired real-time strategy (RTS) stands so far apart from similar offerings on the App Store that it's well worth the price of admission.
"Level 22" is not a glamorous name. It’s generic. It doesn’t inspire excitement. Without context, it could mean practically anything. So it’s the perfect way to reference a floor of an equally generic corporate tower, which also happens to be where you work. The trouble here is that it’s a weekday, and after a night of heavy celebrating for your birthday, you’re not at your desk. If the boss finds out you’re late, you’re fired. How do you keep your job? If you’re a fan of Hideo Kojima’s classic, quirky stealth-action series, Metal Gear Solid, you probably already know that your only recourse is to sneak all the way back up to your desk on the 22nd floor through increasingly complex scenarios.
Brightly colored Spandex and match-three puzzling might seem an odd pairing at first, but digging into Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign yields addictive super-villain smashing fun in abundance. Between collecting virtual comic book covers to unlock new heroes and leveling up your posse with RPG-style enhancements, this free-to-play battler hits the nerdy sweet spot without going overboard in the in-app purchase department.
Following a stellar effort last year, it feels like 2K Sports phoned in the latest mobile edition of its highly regarded basketball simulation series. NBA 2K14 is essentially NBA 2K13 (minus the commentary), albeit with updated rosters and a new mode focused on superstar LeBron James. It feels incomplete, thanks to awkward gaps in the presentation where you'd expect commentary, plus a host of other minor glitches and issues. But, as with last year's effort, there's a decent – albeit barebones – basketball simulation under the hood.
It's the week of glitches, rush jobs, security breaches, and the voice behind the curtain--or at least behind the little round button we call Home. Who got hacked, who dropped the ball, and why don't levels work like they're supposed to? And did you get my text? I sent it like an hour ago….