Mirabile dictu! There's quite a bit of la francaise in this week's price drops, so if you're planning a trip to the Left Bank be sure to load these apps. And for the rest of you, let's just have a look at what we've got cooking in this week's Price Drop.
It's becoming increasingly tough to squeeze into the tightly-packed puzzle genre in the App Store. With tons of tile-matching, piece-sliding, and color-swapping titles available in abundance -- albeit with challenge and mental stimulation often lacking -- sometimes the only puzzling thing is what is qualified as a puzzle. Enter Cubis Creatures, a game developed by the aptly named FreshGames, which has come to push staleness out of the genre and replace it with smart and satisfying gameplay.
Despite the shift to a digital display, Ticket to Ride looks exactly as you’d hope, with the distinctive visuals pulled directly from the now-classic board game and perfectly presented in this new Mac release. And the menus are as stylish as they are functional, getting you to where you need to go while staying era-appropriate. Luckily, they get you right into the game itself, which is the real draw here.
The process of keeping the mind sharp and punchy is a lot like going to the gym -- except instead of lifting weights and working up a nasty sweat, some of us prefer to engage in a bit of clever wordplay to keep the brain firing on all cylinders. When mental gymnastics are preferable to good old-fashioned physical exercise, the App Store is a hot spot for hunting down the best puzzle games for getting the job done. Get ready to flex some mental muscle and scarf down some tasty word salad with these stimulating gaming apps for the orthographically inclined.
For those who use their iPad as a central music hub, MyTunes Pro HD serves as a way to play and organize tunes, with a couple of basic features in the free download, including a simple player, DJ-style transitions between tracks, and custom album artwork options. Several other features are available via a $9.99 in-app purchase, though they can be used free for up to 10 minutes a day to give you a taste before you buy -- but I can't see why anybody would be compelled to pay for the app's premium content. Most prove to be flashy but insubstantial gimmicks that generally make music sound worse.
Showing a bit more ambition than its predecessors, N.O.V.A. 3 aims to be slightly more than a shameless clone of Microsoft's Halo, adding in mechs and jetpacks to the sci-fi shooter along with a bit more personality and environmental variety. It's also quite the looker, with the universal app's gloss shining through brightly, especially on the new iPad. While the campaign proves dull and buggy, the online multiplayer combat is a blast, thanks to varied play modes and added vehicles.
Smell that fresh, pungent aroma in the air? That's the smell of gardening season rapidly approaching. Well, that and pollen allergies. Depending on your location, it might not quite be time to roll up your sleeves and dig your hands in the earth just yet. But if you've got tilling soil, planting seeds, and plotting out your veggie garden masterpiece on your mind, then the App Store has some cool picks to get those green thumbs twitching.
Baseball is the ultimate sport for stat junkies, and Topps Pennant is designed to feed into that obsessive curiosity, serving up 60 years worth of Major League Baseball game and team stats and breaking down box scores into a wickedly attractive little tool. Previously released for the iPad sans the Topps branding, Pennant is back in a brand new universal release that shines no matter which iOS device(s) you rely upon.
We're not sure the world needs another offshoot of Pinterest and Facebook, but the new Springpad is just that: the once-private personal aggregator has gone public, revamping its iOS app and encouraging its users to share discoveries with their social circles. At its core, Springpad is something of a cross between a secretary and assistant. As you go about your day, Springpad collects everything you throw at it -- including bookmarks, article clippings, notes, and photos -- grabbing and sorting your digital paraphernalia via a complementary web clipper.