Unresponsive controls or a sloppy touch-based interface can often hold back a fighting game from shining on your mobile device. Fright Fight is one iOS brawler that looks a lot like Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series, but offers its own simplified combat system and unique touches that together offer a well-rounded experience without the need for a controller. You may not pull off extravagant combos along the way, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be having fun bashing baddies in online showdowns.
Our iPhones collect all sorts of information about our lives. Head over to your privacy settings and you'll find a list of your recent locations. Check out your cellular settings and you can see a running tally of how much time you've spent talking. Reporter, a new tracking app, looks to make your statistics even more personal. Through a series of pop quizzes, it collects information about your life and presents a graphical analysis of your routine — for better or worse.
Abe Lincoln looks pretty mean with a chainsaw. He’s one of 12 historical figures called in via cloning to save the world (and an underground hobo kingdom) from hordes of monsters, zombies, evil dudes, and man-eating cheeseburgers in Rocket City Studios’ dual-stick hack-and-slash game, Second Chance Heroes. It’s just about as crazy as it sounds, and the wacky premise is backed by solid gameplay. Lincoln is joined by a who’s who lineup of historical clones, including Leonardo da Vinci, Napoleon Bonaparte, Joan of Arc, and Queen Elizabeth I (who carries a gatling gun).
Word Puttz definitely gets points for its original premise: take a casual game of Scrabble, throw it on a miniature golf course, add an octopus, and you've got this new free-to-play affair. Okay, so the octopus doesn’t actually have much impact on gameplay other than being your guide to this oddly linguistic puzzle hybrid, but it’s worth mentioning for the sheer oddity — and in that vein follows the essence of Word Puttz itself.
It’s no surprise that a cartoon like Adventure Time would branch out into video games to attract its young (and alternately, geeky adult) audience. What is slightly more startling is how well the latest effort from Cartoon Network stands on its own merits. While certainly effective as a tie-in to the cartoon, its card-battling mechanics are so strong that Card Wars could have done without the license and proven just as sophisticated and inventive.
One of the challenges facing educational game developers is how to strike a balance between lessons and fun. Too much teaching, and the game ceases to keep a child’s attention; too little, and it becomes just another game. That’s one of the reasons Slice Fractions is so great: it has mastered teaching kids about fractional math without having overt lessons to do so. Slice Fractions tasks players with clearing a path for a woolly mammoth to get from one side of the screen to another.
Tablet DJs have long been happy with the two primary players in that sandbox: Native Instruments’ Traktor DJ and Algoriddim’s djay, the latter of which launched a stellar sequel not long ago. Both are digital spinning powerhouses, but carrying around a large library of music has always been a limiting factor for covering all potential sonic bases. That’s where Pacemaker is trying to carve out a unique niche: it’s the only iPad DJ software that comes with Spotify support.
Kahuna is a tactical, one-on-one board game about controlling island territories. The physical boxed set, originally published in 1998 and still available today, doesn’t look like much – a modest deck of cards, a few plastic pieces, and a minimalistic game board. But what initially appears to be a simple game of token placement quickly reveals itself as a meditative test of strategy. USM’s universal iOS version of Kahuna not only capitalizes on this clever design, but also adds a distinctive thematic flavor to the experience.
The loss of Google Reader and the dawn of Flipboard-style news apps have tested the resolve of many RSS fans, but at least one champion for the medium hopes to change the way we read news on our iPhone with "a little peace each day through quiet, careful reading." That’s the lofty philosophy behind Unread, an RSS-based reader app that promises to "surprise and delight" users. Unfortunately, the first part of that equation came with the realization that there is no native iPad support – a shame considering that’s where the bulk of my reading is done, aside from perusing a few headlines while on the go.
To carry the breakfast analogy through to its full extent, Force of Habit’s retro-styled tower defense/shoot-‘em-up hybrid Toast Time comes with a glass of insanity and a side of ridiculousness. It’s utterly bonkers and lightning-fast right from the start, with a typically British kind of over-the-top silliness and tongue-in-cheek humor, though there’s a solid mechanic at the core. Your singular preserve from a ruined breakfast is Terry the toaster’s projectile bread slices, which you fire at inter-dimensional, time-rushing beasts intent on sneaking off with your morning meal time (seriously).