If you ever wanted to see how the pairing of minimal effort and a free-to-play model could decimate a play experience, NFL Pro 2013 may be the greatest example to date in any genre. It's a disaster in nearly every respect. NFL Pro 2013 has the real-life teams, but not the players, stadiums, or schedules, instead substituting laughable fake names and generic faces for the identical-looking player models. But that's not nearly the worst of it. As a wildly cynical freemium offering, you'll have to use your limited in-game currency to purchase even basic plays in the middle of a game.
It's a clever idea, using physical figures or toys to interact with the iPad's touchscreen, but much of the time it simply proves a novelty: a short-lived diversion that deflates once you realize you'd rather be playing a great, standalone tablet game -- or with better toys, for that matter. That's certainly the case with the HeroClix TabApp and the recently released sets of compatible Marvel Comics figurines, which span X-Men and The Avengers. Much as they're properly recognized by the free app, the game experience itself proves terrible throughout.
What's more important than education at a university? If you ask Adult Swim, the answer seems to be balancing out the proximal science of love for all who attend. In a bizarre case of opposites attracting, girls adore robots, cooing when placed next to them in this strange little game of seating arrangements. Robots reciprocate up to a point, though they remain indifferent to nerds. For their part, nerds are happy sitting next to either robots or girls, though girls are irritated by their presence. How do you keep everyone happy? That's the basic gist of Girls Like Robots, a nicely brainy tile-puzzler that's one of Adult Swim's most personable titles yet.
Sonic the Hedgehog's many previous App Store exploits have all been ports of past favorites or newer multiplatform releases, so to see Sega pursue a brand new mobile experience in the form of Sonic Jump is encouraging. Granted, as you'll notice immediately from the screenshots, "new" may not be the best word to describe a title that pays very obvious tribute to Doodle Jump and its ilk. That's not necessarily a problem, as Namco Bandai showed that such a pairing can work wonders with Pac'n-Jump, but Sonic Jump doesn't quite find the sweet spot between its disparate origins.
While Game Center on Mac has yet to really offer a bounty of great games, Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy is the first big title to take advantage of cross-play between Mac OS X and iOS devices. Surprisingly, the transition to a keyboard-centric control setup feels less comfortable than the touchscreen interface, but Air Supremacy is still a stellar aerial combat game with excellent online multiplayer.
God simulators can sometimes bring out the worst in people, but Babel Rising doesn’t even bother with the concept of mercy; you’re just some omnipotent jerk. But even the sadistic pleasure of crushing villagers can’t rescue the game from mediocrity.
The shortest distance between two points is a line, right? So what's the shortest distance between three logs, through a barrel of TNT, and around a bald eagle? Turns out it's still a line -- cut with the axe wielded by the mighty Jack Lumber. Luckily, the game isn't just a re-skinned knock off of Halfbrick's successful Fruit Ninja formula, as it actually improves upon it in a way that respects the original.
Think you have what it takes to best Super Hexagon? If you have strong reflexes and an iron will, you probably do. The real question is whether or not you possess the patience to subject yourself to the maddening hazing needed to achieve mastery of its abstract geometrics. That's another matter entirely. Like any good arcade puzzler, Super Hexagon’s overlying simplicity masks a deceptively devious core. In the purest mechanical sense, all you’re doing is rotating a small triangle to avoid an endless scroll of glowing obstacles that fixate on the screen’s center. A collision of any kind means instant death. Simple, right?
For those of us who live up north, that crisp fall air is already starting to slowly creep in as the days and nights grow cooler. Summer is winding down, but one of the best things about the impending changing of seasons is the gorgeous blasts of color that will soon spread across the lush natural terrain as the trees transform and shed their leaves. It's a beautiful time of year. Whether you're already in the thick of it or prepping for a trek to scope out some beautiful autumn vistas, here's a great collection of apps for your inner leaf peeper.
The App Store has an originality problem. Too often, developers ape the exact themes and mechanics from top-selling games, creating a sea of never-ending cartoon birds and temple chases. But despite the incredibly familiar mechanics driving Marvel's new Avengers Initiative, there's no denying the satisfying crunch of a Hulk fist smacking a Skrull. Sure, it's a bit of a knockoff, but the best examples of imitation lead to great new ideas.