Lots of gaming going on in this week's price drop, from the cute to the shoot 'em up to the fantastical. We've got them all under our belts and ready for your weekend pleasures. And you know our motto: if it's free, whatta ya gotta lose? So fire up your App Store and get downloading.
Word Off is like a sleazy used car salesman shilling a fine product. The underlying game may be sharp, tense, and original, but it's mired in a scuzzy business model. At its core, Word Off presents a smart mix between a word game and a strategy title. You play on a board comprised of hexagonal tiles, each containing a letter, and begin with a cluster of occupied spaces in one corner while your opponent starts with the same in the opposite corner.
According to the Center for Hearing and Communication, 38 million people in the United States go through life with significant hearing loss or with the sounds of the world around them completely muted. Luckily, modern technology has made great strides in improving communication for people that suffer from hearing loss. We've compiled eight apps for iPhone and iPad that have made life a little louder for those with difficulties hearing.
LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias sounds like it could be a Pixar film: using the power of the wind, a boy goes on a quest to find his missing mother in a faraway land. Exploration and puzzle-solving make innovative use of that wind, letting you move a finger across the touchscreen to “draw” the path of a gust, which the young protagonist Toku can use to jump, move objects, or otherwise interact with his environment, to name a few abilities.
If you've ever enjoyed scrawling sequential stick figure doodles in the corner pages of a school notebook and then flipping through it quickly to make the little fellows spring to life, then FlipBook HD may scratch a familiar itch. This drawing and animation app packs a few neat features for crafting clever movie shorts, but an unintuitive interface, stability issues, and a meager selection of drawing tools ultimately make old-school pen and paper a more inviting option.
Adobe Proto is aimed at designers who want to rough out a sketch of their website or mobile app on the go before heading into Dreamweaver or other desktop tools. The resulting wireframe prototypes can be synced to Creative Cloud, either with a free 2GB account or as part of the 20GB included with the $49.99 per month service. The iPad-only app liberates designers from having to sit at a computer all day.
Given the popularity the Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure console game -- which uses toys with built-in RFID chips to interact with the digital characters -- it's disappointing that the series' iOS debut is a simple gallery-style shooter, paired with the kind of persistent challenge progression done best in the excellent Jetpack Joyride.
Offering only nine pre-set filters, no digital zoom, and two flash options (fully on or off), KLIK by Face.com is by no means a great camera. But what this social media camera app does offer is facial recognition software that learns and grows smarter with every use. And while it lacks fancy editing options, it does the job it sets out to do with remarkable skill.
Memorial Day Weekend is chock full of activities. And sales! Yes, who doesn't love an excuse for a good App Store blowout. There's plenty to choose from so we grabbed a little here, a little there, a lot like your plate at a picnic lunch. Dig in and enjoy.
Polymer's about as basic a puzzler as they come, requiring players to slide tiles into place to assemble large, amorphous shapes. The larger the shape, the more points are rewarded. Simple, right? But there's a catch: entire columns need to be shifted around, making a game of Polymer more like futzing with a Rubik’s Cube than simply swapping tiles.