When historians inevitably attempt to make sense of this generation’s obsession with smartphones, they’re bound to be baffled by one ubiquitous trend: cutesy, physics-based, star-ranked puzzlers. Now that Angry Birds fruit snacks are being sold on the "impulse buy" rack at Walgreens, I think we can all agree that the strangely specific sub-genre has more or less jumped the shark, and anything released from this point on is retreading familiar territory. This may be why I was initially pretty quick to dismiss Shark Dash, Gameloft’s recent foray into the “fling-adorable-animals-at-stuff” formula -- and a game in which you quite literally make sharks jump.
Have you ever wondered what it's like to develop a video game? Building mods or custom maps is an honest way to gain some experience with game development, but doing so requires technical knowledge most people don't possess – or want to spend the hard time learning. Thankfully, a few games over the years have simplified the process through level-editing software. The Perpetual Testing Initiative, a community-generated content add-on for Portal 2, is a really enjoyable, no-fuss way to try your hand at building your own mind-boggling stages.
Capturing the feel of the 80s is like shooting fish in a barrel. Looking at children's entertainment from the era, we had a cartoon designed around selling action figures that turned into cars, while another featured a skeleton antagonist named Skeletor (good job, guys). And on the live-action front, we had Fred Savage saving the day with a host of Nintendo products. You barely need to satirize these when the source material is already this outrageous. It's an easy target, but that doesn't make Saturday Morning RPG's nostalgia-tinged look back at the days of G.I. Joes and Care Bears any less entertaining.
Released back in October 2009, Rock Band iOS was co-developed by EA Montreal and Harmonix, with publishing handled by Electronic Arts and MTV Games. Two years later, parent-company Viacom would sell-off Harmonix, and MTV Games would cease to exist. Harmonix has since continued on as an independent developer, finding massive success in Dance Central, but a supremely weird pop-up started presenting itself in Rock Band iOS yesterday. A pop-up which appears to claim the game has an expiration date.
Of all the memorable fighters to bear the Capcom name over the last couple decades, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes seemed perhaps the dodgiest choice to bring to touch screen devices when announced recently. We've seen solid examples of fighting games translated to the iPhone and iPad, such as Soulcalibur and Capcom's own Street Fighter IV Volt, but this crossover fighter is a very different kind of beast -- a dizzyingly quick tag-team affair that's known as perhaps the most chaotic genre entry to date.
Vengeance is sweet. As you cut a path through the battlefield towards your rival’s fortifications, there’s something primal and satisfying about charging through their last line of troop defenses, setting fire to their buildings along the way, and finally running your blade through the treacherous shogun responsible for your father’s death. Though the path to victory follows a familiar trajectory, Sega and The Creative Assembly’s long-running Total War real-time strategy series takes an interesting new direction with its iOS debut.
Jetpack Joyride, an auto-runner type iOS game from Halfbrick Studios, is hands down one of the most addictive games I've ever played. The "just one more" urge every time a round ends, the large assortment of goofy items unlockable through coin collection – it took every ounce of my feeble willpower to pull myself away and play other worthy titles. But thanks to a massive update, the addiction is back in a big way.
Werewolves are usually only good for a few things: terrifying villagers, killing city folk, and inspiring catchy tunes by Warren Zevon. Fortunately for professional thief Lucas MacGuffin, they’re also quite adept at making their way through a locked-down, high-tech city. Which is good, because he’s stuck as a werewolf in exactly that daunting locale.
When Max Payne was first released on PC and consoles in 2001, there was nothing else like it. Featuring exceptional voice acting, a gritty storyline that could have been ripped from the pages of a James Ellroy novel, and action-packed gameplay that felt like it was on loan from a John Woo film, it quickly became the blueprint for countless other games. Slow-motion shootouts? Firing two guns whilst jumping through the air? You can thank Max Payne for them both. Now, more than a decade later, it’s finally available for iOS gamers to enjoy as Max Payne Mobile.
Hundreds of quirky, clever, and unique games found their home on the Mac in the 80s and 90s, keeping the Apple faithful entertained while they waited for the next blockbuster to (maybe) get ported. Many of these classics have since been ported, remade, or succeeded by iOS versions, set to thrill and amaze nostalgic veterans and newcomers alike. Here are 10 of Mac gaming's finest that you can now play on iPhone and iPad.