If not for the licensing rights, SolarQuest could have been called Star Trek: Shuttlecraft Run. As the pilot of the Delta Flyer—er, nameless spacecraft—it’s your job to race from one end of an intergalactic obstacle course to the other, gathering power-ups and extra points as you go. Just try not to get distracted by all the eye candy.
Mac users have traditionally drawn the short straw when it comes to games. The Mac has plenty of good titles, but not nearly the variety as Windows. With Macs gaining popularity and market share, bigger game publishers like EA have been releasing games for Mac OS X, but many others are holding out. This is where CrossOver Games comes in.
Out of the box, the iPhone and iPod touch can sync with Outlook’s appointment calendar and address book—but not its task list. For those who live and die by the to-do, that’s a major omission. Chapura’s KeyTasks comes to the rescue, offering limited but effective task synchronization.
Quordy is a Boggle-like word game that gives players three minutes to create as many words as possible out of adjacent letters. The longer the word, the higher the score. But before you play, you first have to scramble the digital tiles by giving your iPhone a shake, like a word-nerd James Bond making a vodka martini.
If there’s an activity that could unequivocally be described as low-tech, meditation is it. All it consists of, after all, is sitting quietly as you clear your mind and concentrate on nothingness. Believe it or not, however, your Apple tech can help you on your journey toward nothingness—or “mindfulness” as practitioners prefer to call it. But before we detail the specific Mac- and iPod-based meditation tools, here’s a short introduction to the concepts involved.
A World War II-era tank game with 3D graphics and arcade action—how can you go wrong? Unfortunately, Tank Ace 1944 goes very, very wrong, with graphics and sound effects straight outta 1984 and gameplay that’s as bland as rice cakes. It has weird controls, awful 3D rendering, and dismal AI. And, yet, damn if this game isn’t kinda fun!
In addition to a metronome with tap tempo and a tuner that detects incoming pitch or plays tuned notes, a comprehensive chord chart shows the fingering for thousands of chords. You dial in any chord variation in the book, and the app will shows how to play it in as many as seven different ways.
This combo metronome/tuner provides both a flashing dot and optional audible click for the tempo. Rather than focus on guitar tuning, Orfeo lets you drag notes up and down a treble and bass clef from notes C2 to C6 and plays the tone for the selected note.
With seven types of guitar tunings available, two modes either auto-detect whatever string the input is closest to or let you choose which string to tune (with reference tones played in the earphones). A unique “waterfall strobe” tuner picks up very sensitive pitch fluctuations.