It's a classic science fiction construct: revolutionary new technology promises the world, brave (and/or foolish) pioneers dabble in the unknown, and the unexpected results bring dire consequences. Upgrade Soul – a standalone graphic novel app with 3D elements and a soundtrack – hits a couple of familiar notes in that regard, but its tale of a so-called medical miracle and the people it affects captivates in its early chapters. Written and illustrated by Ezra Claytan Daniels, Upgrade Soul spotlights Hank and Molly Nonnar, an elderly pair of well-off science aficionados who decide to undergo a bold and highly experimental medical treatment.
It's staggering to think that Hundreds began life on anything other than a capacitive interface, but this multitouch magnum opus has unexpected origins as a mouse-based web game. Granted, the ball-expanding puzzler has been revised and refined significantly since that inauspicious debut, resulting in an experience that is perfectly centered around the touch of a finger. Brought to the App Store by a dream team of indie designers, including those behind favorites like Canabalt and Gasketball, Hundreds is one of the smartest and most satisfying touch-based games I've ever played, particularly on an iPad.
Style and attitude are two ingredients found in abundance throughout the first chapter of The Journey Down, a fresh HD reboot of a quirky freeware PC adventure that makes a comfortable transition to the touch screen. A heavy Caribbean influence shows up through the catchy reggae soundtrack to the main character's thick accents and beyond, giving this point-and-poke trek some fresh flavor. It's a nice change of pace from average genre fare.
Just like you've gotta eat, iPhone and iPad users gotta use apps, but some people don’t venture too far past the packed-in options or maybe whatever’s at the top of the App Store charts. But maybe you’re settling for a plain old cake donut when you could have a mouth-watering strawberry and Nutella crepe — and a much better experience. We set out to replace your everyday apps, the workhorses you rely on. Sample from this buffet, and you won’t save any calories, but you will have an even better time using your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
It's a new year and time for a new you. We've got some travel apps to broaden your horizons as well as some exercise apps to fix where you've been broadening other parts of yourself over the holidays. So time to get started on at least some new games, eh?
Budgets tend to get a little tight during and immediately after the holiday season. Income gets dumped into gifts, change clangs into buckets for charity, and the essentials get stretched a little thinner than usual while you slowly refill your coffers. There is no time when coupons, rebates, and savings are more welcome. Ibotta offers shoppers a new way to save some cash for buying what they normally would in select stores, assuming it's featured on the app's virtual shelves.
Apple's default Music app has always served my listening needs well enough; it's easy to navigate, looks good, and offers fantastic control over my iTunes Match-stored library. But since I downloaded Ecoute, I've been singing a different tune. PixiApps' offering manages to cram an incredible amount of features onto a 4-inch screen without making things feel cramped. A heavy reliance on gestures helps keep the interface clean, and an emphasis on artwork makes my music library come alive.
Anomaly Korea lives up to its namesake, offering a very different kind of approach to the familiar tower defense genre by putting you on the offensive. Granted, this isn't 11 Bit Studios' first attempt to shake up the common strategic framework. Last year's Anomaly: Warzone Earth featured much the same concept: defend Earth from an alien force that just happens to set up fortified, powerful towers along city streets. Your roving caravan of armored vehicles is tasked with making it through each mission alive, or completing other noted objectives.
This is it, friends, the very last Price Drop of the year. Did you get the apps you wanted this time around the sun? No? Well, then this is your last chance for some cheapies. Or it's time to put some money into your App Store account and suck it up and buy what you want, no matter the cost.
It's been another incredible year for iOS gaming, helped in no small part by significant hardware upgrades like the Retina display on the last two full-sized iPads, plus the larger screen of the iPhone 5. Considering the mass of games released each and every week, it's no small feat to choose just a handful of highlights; but we've done just that with this list, which includes big productions and indie gems alike across an array of genres. If you're looking to play catch-up on 2012's best iOS games before diving into 2013's anticipated fare, be sure to load up your device of choice with these fantastic titles.