It's easy to write off 2013 as a year without any real design innovations. The first great smartwatch is going to have to wait till next year — sorry, Samsung and Pebble — and we didn't get a new Apple product that wasn't a riff on a previous one. And Google didn't make any headway with Glass.
But it wasn't a lost year by any stretch. We might not look back on 2013 as the watershed year that 2007 was, but even without a big bang, there were a number of advancements that made us look, touch and think just a little different.
Most notable stealth-action games — including Metal Gear Solid, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, and Mark of the Ninja — make sneaking about and leaving enemies undisturbed merely an option, also providing the ease and capability of dealing out death as desired. Not so in the first episode of République, which follows Hope, a teenage girl held captive for possessing revolutionary materials within the school of a totalitarian regime. Aside from wielding the occasional pepper spray bottle or a one-time-use taser, she’ll need to creep around every corner and stay totally unseen to avoid being recaptured. And unlike in the average stealth affair, you’re not even directly controlling her actions.
First released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas still ranks among the biggest, most ambitious, and most impressive games ever made. With an open game world that spans three distinct cities and miles of open countryside in between, it tells a story that starts with petty gang wars in a facsimile of early '90s L.A., and eventually balloons to include government conspiracies, jetpacks, and massive casino heists that lead to absurd wealth. The idea that it's now playable on our phones is a little mind-blowing — and yet here it is, without visible sacrifice or compromise, looking, sounding, and playing just like we remember. Well, almost.
This week's stories are about resurrection of old names, how one company pivoted in the face of the iPhone's awesome-sauce, the unveiling of some new amazingness we've all been waiting for plus the newest games of the week and a few apps that might just keep you sane these last few weeks of the year. That and more as always, just step right inside.
Apple seeded the beta for OS X 10.9.2 beta to developers today, and the update included a big bit of news for users of Apple's FaceTime software. As of the next public release, Mac OS X users will likely be able to use FaceTime Audio, the voice-only version of FaceTime that was included with the launch of iOS 7. As things stand now, users of FaceTime on Mavericks have to use a version in which voice and video activate together.
The years haven’t always been so kind to Rayman. After a series of popular games in the late '90s, Michel Ancel’s limbless hero spent the better part of a decade on Ubisoft's backburner, ceding the limelight to the publisher's other blockbuster franchises. Rayman Origins — originally released for consoles in 2011 — is finally available for Mac via Feral Interactive, however, and it's a spectacular return to form. In brief, Rayman Origins is one of the best side-scrolling platform games of the past several years.
The world of The Walking Dead is brutal and tragic, and not just because it's swarming with zombies. Half the survivors are remorseless bandits, and the other half are paranoid and distrustful because of the first half. Everything goes wrong, good people die in agonizing ways, and something horrific and sad waits around seemingly every corner. It's certainly no place for a child—so of course, that's the role Season Two of Telltale's acclaimed adventure series casts you into.
Holy smokes, y'all, we have a bigger than usual Price Drop column this week as there were just too many great apps from big names in iOS that we couldn't stop. If there are apps you've been looking to buy but have been waiting for a sale, well, your ship has come in, kiddos. Get 'em while they're hot, fresh and cheap.
It’s a wild week for new releases before Apple closes off the submission pipeline for the holidays, with Republique, Colossatron: Massive World Threat, and The Shadow Sun standing out as interesting original releases, and Walking Dead: Season Two, Cut the Rope 2, and Ridge Racer Slipstream delivering notable new entries in popular franchises — and there’s quite a bit more out there beyond the 10 titles spotlighted here. Enjoy the holidays with these and other new iOS releases, and keep an eye out for our year-end gaming lists in the coming days.
We'd like to simply associate the holidays with the good times we have with our family members. Unfortunately, we all know the hassle that comes before you ever walk in the door and get greeted by your loved ones. Traveling during this time of the year is more painful than any of the awkward moments you may experience gathered around long-unseen relatives, but you can cut out some of the stressful parts of making it home for the holidays with the help of these eight apps. Sure, they can’t quite teleport you to your destination, but at least the trip there will be a little smoother.