The Game Bakers cooked up a tasty, well-plated iOS debut with its original twist on critter-flinging combat, and Squids: Wild West sees the gang of adorably stretchy cephalopod protagonists return for another round of crazy gun slinging and squid hurling fun. Deep sea vistas blend with the dusty west in each beautifully designed battlefield, making for a peculiar mix that works so well largely due to the high level of polish and personality woven throughout the presentation. The fact that Squids: Wild West is a real looker is bolstered by accessible gameplay that belies its strategic depth.
Remember the scene in John Carpenter's sci-fi classic, They Live, where the hero dons a pair of special sunglasses and finally sees how the world around him really is? Using Google's awesome new iOS version of its Chrome browser offers a similar type of reality check, shining an ugly spotlight on how Apple holds back third-party browsers on the platform. If you've used Chrome on the Mac, you pretty much know what to expect from the iOS app: Fast omnibox search or URL entry, unlimited tabs, Incognito mode for private browsing, and the ability to sync open tabs, bookmarks, and passwords to a Google account in the cloud.
Turn-based strategy games might seem like a somewhat complex genre for iOS’ pick-up-and-play market, but Outwitters seems primed to sell players on the approach with ease. Essentially, it’s an asynchronous online (or local pass-the-device) multiplayer board game utilizing hexagonal grid maps and a colorful, quirky art style, with the goal of maneuvering your team of odd creatures -- ranging from salty sea critters to sugary rainbow-pop cuddlies -- to destroy the enemy’s base on the opposite side of the board.
Apple's new Podcasts app is a testament to the tremendous evolution the medium has undergone since its humble iPod beginnings. Having long outgrown its iTunes tab, it was inevitable that Apple would develop a standalone app to mark the podcast's maturation into a legitimate form of entertainment. Expectedly, the universal app looks great, though it's not quite as functional or bug-free as desired.
Early iOS tower defense favorites like geoDefense and Fieldrunners proved that the strategy sub-genre could shine on a touch screen, and Kingdom Rush only continues that trend with a fantastically well-produced affair that's bursting with challenge, content, and excellent presentation. Following an iPad-exclusive release earlier this year, Kingdom Rush comes to iPhone and iPod touch with a standalone native version, which offers the full original experience albeit for smaller screens.
Our iPhones can do amazing things, but time after time we find ourselves running through the same repetitive taps and swipes to accomplish simple tasks. Launch Center Pro attempts to streamline automation with a unique tap-and-slide interface that offers centralized control over the various actions found within hundreds of apps.
Putting a fresh spin on iOS racers, Slingshot Racing ditches traditional steering and gas controls and simply lets you tap the screen to grapple onto nearby pillars and whip around turns. As such, timing and momentum take center stage in these looping, steampunk-themed environments, with a variety of play modes included across distinctive tracks.
This one's for the baby boomers: Centipede has returned, and if you played it as a kid you’ll feel right at home with this updated iOS edition. Like the 1980’s Atari arcade classic, the object in Centipede: Origins is to clear the screen of insects and arachnids of various types, which are trying to encroach on your territory by moving in various patterns down the game screen. However, the developers have modernized this version a bit, making it more accessible for casually paced play while adding a basic leveling system for weapons and power-ups.
Can anyone truly be a filmmaker? Francis Ford Coppola famously predicted such a future in the documentary Hearts of Darkness, and developer John Clem seems to agree, having created the CinePro app for this very purpose. The video-shooting iPhone app offers a more robust tool set than Apple’s own Camera app, but while the price is fair, some bugs make for a cautious recommendation.
The design philosophy behind many free-to-play games seems to be latching onto players’ bank accounts and doing as much damage as possible. This is usually achieved by limiting essential resources, or by holding the shiniest, most powerful items behind a fat price sticker. This is all fine and well, so long as the core mechanics remain fair and engaging. That's not the case with Monster Paradise.