Back when it was first released on the Nintendo DS in 2009, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes' highly engrossing mix of match-three puzzle gameplay and RPG combat made it the surprise sleeper hit climbing its way onto year-end best games lists. While the low-resolution original was spectacular on its own, the fact that Clash of Heroes on iOS is a port of the updated HD console version is even better news for puzzle nerds.
January is National Hobby Month, and while the month itself is almost over, it's never too late to pick up a new personal pastime. Whether you want to take up a new skill, dust off an old interest, or just need a diversion that you can turn to, it's good to have a leisurely pursuit to partake in. Once you've picked your great escape, let us help you turn it into a full blown obsession. We've compiled eight apps geared toward the most common hobbies, which are designed to help you indulge yourself in your acquired interest. These apps will turn you from dabbler to hobbyist and potentially even enthusiast in no time.
Doing 30-plus laps while meticulously avoiding collisions and penalties won't appeal to most, but F1 2012 is meant for those interested in a tiny taste of what it's like to drive the most extreme vehicles on earth. The game requires patience, precision, and a steady hand to win, but still manages to be a good entry point for players new to the simulation racing genre.
Bit Dungeon brings together The Legend of Zelda’s top-down dungeon stomping, Diablo’s loot lust, and the unforgiving difficulty of roguelikes within a slick retro-style quest. Fresh from developer Kinto Games, this hack-and-slash action RPG distills the allure of classic gaming into an addicting mobile adventure. Between the simple mechanics and incredible challenge, you may find Bit Dungeon's stat-building pull difficult to resist, even if a couple of issues rear their head at times.
Digisocial is the latest free iPhone app with ambitions to become its own mobile social network. Instantly familiar in design to anyone who’s used Instagram or Path, Digisocial adds the ability to send and receive HD-quality voice messages, and even record audio to accompany uploaded images. It’s a clever idea that mostly works as promised – the app is fast and responsive at sending text or voice messages, and it’s quite entertaining the first few times you use it. Unfortunately, I can’t help but think Digisocial is just one announcement away from obsolescence, should an existing rival decide to incorporate the same concept.
Chances are, if you grew up playing Final Fantasy in the ‘90s, you’ve probably got a soft spot for at least one of the old-school entries in the venerable RPG series. Assuming that’s true, Square Enix’s latest iOS spin-off is aimed squarely at you. Don't believe the hype — on paper, the premise behind Final Fantasy All the Bravest sounds interesting, but banal design and a complete reliance on in-app purchases make for an insidious attempt to prey on nostalgia.
When Temple Run hit the App Store in summer 2011, it didn't look like much -- no thanks to its pixelated, original PlayStation-level graphics and unremarkable visual design. But the old adage about not judging a book by its cover holds true with free iOS games, as well, as its genre-shifting 3D twist on the traditional side-scrolling runner made it an absolute sensation, racking up more than 170 million downloads in the time since. With new sequel Temple Run 2, Imangi Studios needn't worry about making a bad impression, thanks to dramatic visual improvements and welcomed gameplay enhancements.
Lode Runner should be instantly familiar to anyone who spent much time on computers during the '80s. Originally released in 1983, it focuses on the adventures of a lone stick figure out to get rich while evading sinister guards. Lode Runner Classic offers up a faithful, mostly unchanged port of the 30-year-old original — but while the game itself is still mostly fantastic, the iOS shell that's been built around it leaves something to be desired.
It's difficult being a delivery truck driver, particularly when the directions to your destination require a path that's not on any map, and the people you encounter along the way only seem interested in twisting you up in their own winding affairs. That's the case in the first act of Kentucky Route Zero, an offbeat and alluringly atmospheric five-part episodic adventure for Mac that finds its lead, Conway, out in search of a mystical highway.
Ever feel like there just aren't enough hours in the workday to tackle all the tasks you need completed? We know the drill. Being busy isn't always conducive to being efficient, but a range of helpful apps make it possible to shave some of the extra time and hassle off your chaotic workday. From quick troubleshooting to serious life-hacking, these must-have productivity apps will maximize your daily awesomeness on the job, letting you get more done with greater ease.