The Secret of Chateau de Moreau appears to have promise on first glance. It’s a point-and-click mystery in a lush European setting, with somewhat muted anime-style sensibilities. Ostensibly, you’ve seen this plot before: a young boy, Antoine, is summoned to the estate where his late stepfather has died. Shortly after Antoine and his family, a diverse cast of Clue-like characters, learn foul play was involved in the elder statesman Moreau’s death, it’s revealed that the boy is sole heir to the family’s inheritance. As these things tend to go, Antoine is fingered as the killer, and it’s your job to prove his innocence.
Do you back up your Mac? If a disaster takes out your hardware, will one of those polite guys from an insurance commercial appear, honoring your policy with a snap? Since that’s pure pipe dream, you’ll need to provide proof that you owned that computer—and any other items in your claim. Home Inventory provides the framework for you to catalog everything, even helping you keep track of the value of your items versus the maximum coverage of your policy. The software misses a few important options, but its simple interface and invaluable iPhone helper app make the giant task of inventorying your home manageable.
When you think about digital books, you most likely imagine faithful reproductions of actual physical books, like those available for iBooks or the Kindle app. But your iPad is a powerful computer capable of doing much more than just replicating a stack of paper. Many companies have already experimented with this, resulting in books like Alice and Pedlar Lady, among others, but Game Collage has taken the idea to a whole new level with Bobo Explores Light.
Over the last two weeks we've gotten wind of a bunch of high-quality console games coming to iOS. This week was fairly similar, with console-quality games stealing the show. Hardcore gamers will be giddy to know that the classic console fighting game SoulCalibur is coming to iOS. While more seasoned gamers might be more interested to know that the masters of pinball games (Farsight Studios) are bringing an anthology to iOS soon as well.
Before iCloud commits our DVDs to a life of protecting tabletops from tasty beverages, DVD Ripper HD aims to help us shift their contents to our hard drives to mix with our purchases from iTunes. The app provides numerous options to convert the content of your DVDs to formats compatible with popular devices, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, and many others. Advanced features include the option to trim the original movie to a smaller section before it’s ripped and also to adjust the aspect ratio.
The very concept of escape when it comes to zombies has become, from an entertainment perspective, next to impossible. They’ve saturated media and spread their virus across the public consciousness, and like the shambling hordes themselves, their appearances just keep coming. The outbreak of their pop-cultural contagion is a grim allegory to how things would probably go down if flesh-eaters suddenly invaded more than just our minds and wallets. Dead Escape, then, is just another in the zombie ranks, with its only real differentiation being that it looks pretty nice for an iOS game.
Take a classic arcade game premise, expand upon it the right way, and you’ve got something good. That’s what Gameloft did with Tank Battles, a top-down tank simulator that puts you in the cockpit of a World War II tank. You’ll fight through 50 campaign levels, battle against the computer in assorted random levels, play cooperatively with a second player, or get down and dirty online in Death Match, Team Death Match, or Capture the Flag. Like the arcade tank games you loved, Tank Battles sports an array of power-ups such as speed boosts, homing missiles, invisibility, flamethrowers, rockets, short-term invincibility shields, and land mines.
Even without the Yankees in the playoffs and an NBA regular season, it’s pretty much a perfect time to be a sports fan. Nelson Cruz broke the MLB record for most home runs and RBIs in a playoff series, Tom Brady has somehow found yet another gear, and Jaromir Jagr is back on the ice at 39 years old. And with all of that great action filling the days, fantasy die-hards still have to find time to manage multiple teams.
There are many role-playing games (RPGs) for iOS devices, like Solomon’s Keep or Battleheart, but nearly all are focussed on casual gameplay; something you’d pick up for a few minutes to pass the time. Although by no means unique, the iPad-only Companions is cut from a different cloth, and if you’re a fan of traditional fantasy RPGs like Wizardry, Dungeon Master, and Bard’s Tale, you’ll appreciate the depth and breadth of the storyline and gameplay.
Kairosoft has built a tiny cult empire on the strength of the simulation genre. Its first game, Game Dev Story, won the hearts of many game reviewers (including ours), and since that entry the formula hasn't deviated very much. Unfortunately, the "Story" series is starting to get a little bit long in the tooth, and we're hoping Kairosoft will branch out soon. Sadly, this formula is starting to overstay its welcome.