It’s quite a feat when a game’s presentation is mesmerizing enough to cause death by distraction. Such is the case with God of Blades, a side-scrolling sword combat game that takes full advantage of the Retina display to create something genuinely remarkable and unique. Your character, the Nameless King, automatically runs from left to right (think Canabalt), encountering enemies as he traverses a flat yet stunning 2D landscape. Directional finger swipes translate into one of four basic sword moves, and various unlockable swords all have different ranges and speeds.
Despite early criticisms of the iPad as a device for content consumption rather than creation, a wide range of third-party productivity solutions continue to flourish in the App Store. One of newer kids on this block is Polaris Office, a suite from Korean developer Infraware promising to bring the Microsoft Office experience to iOS for cheap (currently $9.99; regularly $19.99). Better known on the Android platform where it’s preinstalled on select carrier-branded handsets, Polaris Office made the leap to iOS this year with an all-in-one solution for viewing and editing Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on the go.
Not only has Apple's ongoing war with Google cost us our sense of direction in iOS 6, but one of the best ways to watch YouTube videos was also a casualty. However, just because Apple pulled its preloaded YouTube viewer without offering a replacement, it doesn't mean we all have to run to Safari to watch the double rainbow guy. If Google is indeed working on a universal version of its hastily assembled iPhone YouTube app, it might want to take a peek at third-party option Jasmine for a little inspiration.
Cobbling together a wild assortment of makeshift mechanical whirligigs to ferry naughty swine to their destination is the task in Bad Piggies HD, which delivers a refreshing spin on the Angry Birds series and its iconic adversaries. Piggies packs the same immense charm and addictive pull of its predecessors, but it also takes the physics heavy puzzle play in a completely new direction.
Even if you haven’t heard of Ubisoft’s once-beloved limbless hero, Rayman -- and if you don’t play games on home consoles, that may very well be the case -- Rayman Jungle Run might easily be placed among the App Store's most attention-grabbing titles. Directly inspired by last year’s gorgeous console platform-hopping reboot Rayman Origins, Jungle Run essentially converts Origins’ 2D guts into simplified runner-style gameplay.
When it comes to apps for keeping track of your busy schedule, iOS users fall squarely into two camps: The first are perfectly happy with the faux leather of Apple’s built-in Calendar, while others continually comb the App Store in search of a better solution. It’s this second group that the developer of Planner Pro seek to appease with its latest effort.
FIFA Soccer 13 for iOS finally convinced me that a console sports game could be distilled into a touch-based mobile experience. It’s not without its flaws, and play sometimes feels a little cramped, but FIFA 13 still notches some very respectable goals thanks to stellar controls and slick presentation.
It's unlikely that the newly redesigned TuneWiki is going to replace your iOS music player or service of choice. There are any number of apps out there that are slicker and more innovative with better features and discovery tools. But if you need to know what Taylor Swift is really saying in the chorus of "Red," you'll at least want to give it a shot.
Designed to mimic the effect of a classic photo booth (albeit without the exorbitant fees), Boothsy looks the part, including turning out the photos in strips -- customizable up to four, a nice touch. Thanks to a simple interface and some cool built-in features, the iPad app helps you relive the memories of squashing into a cramped space with your mates to get some snapshots. Facial recognition is arguably the standout feature here, and with it enabled, the app won’t take the set number of pictures unless there’s a face actually in shot.
Lili is one of those games you want to like, desperately. Offering a gorgeous, heavily-stylized world with adorable characters and a fantastically endearing protagonist, it's a shame what's under the hood doesn't match the glowing exterior. Lili is at once charming and boring; enchanting and frustrating. In essence, it's a great example of a well-developed narrative dragged down by flat gameplay.