The 2013 National Football League season finally kicks off tonight, and it's been a long wait since the Ravens toppled the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII way back in February. Luckily, the season never has to stop in the video game world. In recent weeks, a couple of notable new releases have popped up, while others have been refreshed for the impending season. With the real games about to start up, here's an updated look at 10 of the most notable football games for iPhone and iPad. Not all of these are winners, but if you're craving pigskin action around the clock, surely a few of these options will scratch that itch.
With the right apps, even the rankest of amateurs can make beautiful pictures on their iPhones. Studio Design is one such option, packing an array of powerful tools and palettes into a deceptively simple interface that will have you generating professional-looking layouts without watching hours of tutorials. Even if you've never pushed a pixel, you’ll be able to dive right in.
PAX Prime, Seattle's annual expo of all things gaming-related, drew some big crowds over the weekend — and while much of the focus was on PC and console games brought to the show by big publishers, there were plenty of promising iOS games on display, too. Not surprisingly, some of the most interesting ones came from independent developers. Turn-based strategy, RPGs, racing, and rhythm games were all on display for attendees to see firsthand — but if you didn't get to go, be sure to check out our favorites.
Open-ended, world-building sandbox games are spawning at an increasingly rapid pace on iOS of late, with each offering a slightly different twist on Minecraft's addictive mix of exploration, scavenging, building, and crafting. While Terraria builds off of the Minecraft vibe in some interesting and adventurous ways, Junk Jack X copies it a bit too blatantly. Lack of originality aside, that's not entirely a bad thing. Translating many of the familiar-looking gameplay and visual elements to 2D works fairly well, offering moments of fun for patient players with collection obsessions.
Sometimes licensed games leave you scratching your head in confusion at their bizarre muddling of a beloved pop culture franchise. Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM Pocket adapts a popular trading card game based on the Yu-Gi-Oh manga and anime series into an entirely different trading card game, just barely managing to string together something moderately enjoyable in the process. Battling wits with virtual and real opponents is both fun and challenging, but there’s not enough depth to keep you interested for long.
There are tons of faux guitar apps on iPad, and frankly, most of them aren’t worth the pixels they occupy on your screen, especially if you happen to own and play the real thing. While it’s still not what we'd call the Holy Grail, Pearl Guitar shows some real promise, especially for anyone who has been completely underwhelmed by previous offerings. Pearl Guitar is based on samples recorded from a 1979 Martin acoustic dreadnought guitar, and includes many subtle touches, like the sound of the guitar's wood being knocked if you move the iPad, or the string buzzing sound that happens when you move your fingers around a real fretboard.
Frantic action games occupy a weird space on iOS, offering right-to-the-point entertainment that's ideal for portable games while often lacking the precise controls such games demand, due to the missing physical buttons. Soul Grinder stands out by doing something uncommon: It offers an experience that not only fits its platform in terms of length and straightforward design, but also by featuring a control scheme that provides just the proper amount of control for an App Store action affair.
Our first monthly recap looks back at the games we reviewed during the month of August, with a total of 24 iOS and Mac games presented here in bite-sized, to-the-point encapsulations. And if you want to read more, simply click the link on each slide to read the full, scored critique and find the link to purchase each game. August was headlined by intriguing Mac adventures like BioShock Infinite and Gone Home, while iOS highlights included Asphalt 8: Airborne, Rymdkapsel, and Plants vs. Zombies 2, but there's plenty more fresh gaming action found within.
We've got an extra-large edition of Price Drop for you this week due to the holiday sales that are going on. So if the thought of three whole days with no work and your extended family up in your business night and day makes you quake with fear, here's a few sweet deals to keep you distracted, get your life in order, and to actually make some fun things in the real world. Get tapping!
Staying fully connected these days often involves managing multiple social networking accounts, which means posting updates across multiple accounts – a potentially daunting chore on Mac or PC, and downright tedious from the iPhone. Socializer promises to make short work of this task, despite a look and feel firmly stuck in the past. The app makes it dead simple to cross-post messages – with or without attachments – to Twitter, Facebook, and App.net, all at the same time.