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.
I feel a bit lazy picking out today's free app from the App Store's front page, but this one was too cool not to share. ArtCircles helps you discover classic and current artwork on your iPad in a dynamic way. Rather than forcing you through aisles of unrelated works, artCircles lets you pick your virtual art walk by curator (featured artists, musicians and designers), words, or colors. It's like picking out your music playlist by mood.
Sunside Games' Crow puts you in control of the titular bird soaring above majestic environments and diving into on-rails combat segments. An admittedly gorgeous game, Crow's lavishly detailed environments and haunting audio design earn it plenty of points in the presentation department, but it suffers from stale gameplay that never really gets off the ground.
Back when the Mac first came out, when screens were only black and white, when graphics had no transparency, no gradients, not even textures, we had pattern fills. They were rudimentary tools for giving 2D, black-and-white graphical objects some flair. Phased out from just about every software product by the mid 1990s, those patterns persisted in FileMaker Pro and became emblematic of the long-neglected interface tools known as the “design surface.” With version 12, FileMaker finally ditches the ’80s patterns and gives users the tools for making good-looking databases in no time at all.