For many, video games are an opportunity to live out a fantasy. And in the case of Bloodmasque, it's possible to actually watch yourself take on the role of a vampire hunter (via a photo-snapping feature), hacking and slashing your way through a macabre version of 19th-century Paris. But after the initial amusement of seeing your own head atop a game character wears off, Bloodmasque struggles to keep things interesting
Christmas came early late last year as Santa’s elves restored Google Maps to iOS as a third-party app. Seven months later, the mobile Maps has already hit version 2.0 with another stocking full of enhancements, including native support for the iPad. At first glance, Google Maps 2.0 looks identical to the previous version – iOS users were the first to receive this all-new user interface, which finally started arriving on Android devices over the summer. The moment you begin searching, however, changes abound.
League of Geeks' debut game Armello was one of the stars of the show floor at the PAX Australia pop-culture convention last weekend. Coming next year to iOS, it's a gorgeous turn-based strategy offering that draws elements from card and board games, as well as several popular video games — most notably Sid Meier's Civilization series. We spent some time with a pre-alpha build, and walked away impressed.
Creative Assembly, developer of the hyper-ambitious Total War strategy franchise, has charted a more focused course with Napoleon: Total War. Even though the Gold Edition — brought to Mac by Feral Interactive — includes three add-on packs with more units, battles, and countries in tow, the mission of the game is clear: To use the Total War framework to tell a personal narrative of one of history's most determined, megalomaniacal, and successful conquerors.
Brave New World, the second and final expansion pack for Sid Meier's Civilization V, polishes the title's deep, turn-based strategy gameplay with a gazillion small but satisfying new tweaks and improvements. These myriad enhancements provide a number of new ways to do the one thing that all players do every time they boot the game up: Try to take over the world.
Ever wanted to make the Internet bend to your will without needing a degree in computer science? The folks at IFTTT have made that dream a reality since 2010, and now have a way to do it from the palm of your hand as well with the new iPhone app. IFTTT is an acronym for “if this, then that,” a statement familiar to computer users with basic programming knowledge. It’s also a web-based service that makes it possible to connect disparate services using a trigger and an action, known as a “recipe.”
There's something about music that brings us together. From drum circles to the original Napster, our favorite songs somehow sound better when we share them with other people. Even when we're rocking out to our iPods, we want our friends to know what we're listening to, endlessly tweeting and posting updates to our Twitter followers and Facebook friends. Nwplyng looks to clean up our social feeds with a whole new way to share. Despite its name (Now Playing minus the vowels), it isn't another digital jukebox. Instead, Nwplyng wants to be your favorite app for sharing and discovering new songs by turning the process into something of a competition.
Indie developers were out in force for Australia’s first PAX gaming convention, with iOS games outnumbering offerings on other platforms on the show floor. Ubisoft and Nintendo stood mostly alone as the big publishers in attendance, joined by mobile giants Halfbrick and more than 20 smaller developers, many of which rose from the ashes of now-defunct triple-A companies like Blue Tongue and Pandemic. And they made an impression. Here are 10 of the most intriguing new and upcoming iOS and Mac games we saw on the show floor at PAX Australia.
Back in the video-game heyday of the ‘90s, it wasn’t uncommon to see high-profile titles get releases on portable systems as well as home consoles. The former ports were invariably watered down — handhelds could at best make a valiant attempt at capturing the spirit of whatever the game was, but the chunky hardware just couldn’t quite get there. Surprisingly, the iOS conversion of well-regarded shoot-'em-up Sine Mora feels like a throwback to those days.
Pac-Man is in the midst of a renaissance right now; between multiple video games built to support an upcoming cartoon launch, the character is headed in a lot of different directions at once. Pac-Man Dash! is his latest iOS incarnation, and it's an endless runner with some enjoyable gameplay mechanics — and also a few missteps in its approach to in-app purchases.