Apple and education have always gone hand in hand, but Cupertino has taken a bold leap with iBooks 2, a full version update offering zero new features for those of us who graduated from school long ago. But for iPad-toting students, the company’s new digital textbook initiative is a revelation.
Hero Academy, a new tactics title from Robot Entertainment -- a studio formed in the wake of Ensemble Studios' closure -- is a lighthearted social strategy game that matches cutesy "My Little Tolkien" combatants with ultra-accessible grid-based gameplay. Players pick one of two diverse "Heroic Teams" before taking to the battlefield, where they're tasked with protecting a precious supply of crystals from their opponent's onslaught.
While Parallels and VMware duke it out on the desktop for Windows virtualization supremacy, competitors are skipping the computer entirely and creating innovative ways for transporting the PC experience onto the iPad. The latest comes from cloud-gaming pioneer OnLive, which utilizes its expertise in the field to bring us OnLive Desktop, a free, touch-based Windows 7 app.
Upon first glance, Super Crate Box seems singularly focused on the speedy collection of the titular objects, which pop up randomly on the screen one at a time until nabbed. Each bumps up your top-of-screen tally, but also equips you with a surprise weapon: a laser rifle, rocket launcher, or mines, among other possibilities. However, as you nimbly leap from platform to platform trying to boost your score, the screen fills with anxious alien foes, all aiming to nix your pixel protagonist.
In Sonic CD, the titular hedgehog runs so fast that he can travel through time à la Back to the Future's Delorean. Going into the future portrays a dystopia full of evil robots, yet if Sonic goes back in time and destroys a generator, he can achieve a brighter, happier tomorrow with fewer foes.
Apple's digital sous chef has already cleared valuable cabinet space, but what good are all those recipes if you don’t know the difference between confit and chiffonade? Top Chef University can get you up to speed, but at a significant price.
Poor Superman. Because of his nigh-invulnerability and near-endless array of preposterous superpowers, DC Comics' star-spangled superhero has had trouble forcing himself into the same video game mold that works so well with many other men (and women) in tights. Chillingo's Superman for iPhone attempts to solve that conundrum with a novel take on the hero's arsenal.
Cars 2 AppMATes is a free iPad app that can be played entirely on its own, letting you drive a virtual, talking car through the familiar world of Radiator Springs from the Disney/Pixar film series, but it's the specially configured plastic cars that make this app unlike anything else out there. Well, when they work properly.
Web file sharing service YouSendIt has jumped into the cloud-based file sharing pool with new apps for desktop and mobile; and at first glance, YouSendIt 1.52.4 is a modest update to the company’s previous iOS client, adding native iPad support, passcode lock, and user interface enhancements. But the refreshed app is now part of a broader strategy that goes beyond its humble roots.
As one of Square-Enix’s non-Final Fantasy masterpieces, Chrono Trigger’s reputation precedes itself. And while it may be hard to deny the nostalgia of seeing that swinging clock pendulum, you might want to temper your excitement over this inexplicably finicky iOS port.