Oquonie revels in obfuscation. On the surface, it’s a simple isometric arcade adventure, of the type enjoyed by gamers since the likes of Knight Lore and Head Over Heels on ancient 8-bit systems. Taking the role of a dopey-looking cartoon bipedal dinosaur in a suit, you amble about a maze-like office complex, bumping into photocopiers that bestow you with cards and simultaneously spew gibberish via a series of cryptic glyphs.
Decades of fascinating and enlightening documentary work by filmmaker Ken Burns form the core of his self-titled app, which draws on close to four hours of footage compiled from documentaries covering a huge breadth of material relating to American history. While we’d have liked to have some longer clips included, careful, almost meticulous design and curation underpins everything. Only the 13-scene, 31-minute innovation playlist is available free, though; the rest of the videos and the other five playlists are locked behind a $9.99 in-app purchase.
Radiohead has long been known for its compelling collaborations with animators and video artists, which have resulted in cool music videos, performance projections, and graphics. Now the band has now extended its interest into the iOS world with PolyFauna, a strange sonic tour through a decidedly eccentric audiovisual realm. It’s not a game – there's nothing to win, nor a final destination – but rather a wacky piece of interactive art that is deceptively simple to navigate and oddly soothing, even for those who are not usually turned on by Radiohead’s expansive, moody musical stylings.
Whatever your gaming style, we've got some hot titles for you. And most of them are free or barely a buck. And if you're a music maker, we can hook you up with some DJing apps too, and everything is on sale.
Last week was a little quiet for App Store releases, but consider this a fine bounce-back, thanks to very alluring originals like Tengami, Oquonie, and Second Chance Heroes, along with the anticipated Bug Heroes 2. We’ve already got reviews of a couple of these titles up, but be sure to keep an eye out for more in the coming days, and then check back next Thursday for an all-new list of notable games to consider.
It’s hard not to look up at night sometimes and wonder what’s out there, off in the world of unimaginably humungous stars so far away that they appear as mere specks of dust to our eyes — or even just in our planet’s backyard, over on the Moon or Mars. The universe is infinitely vast, and despite millennia of insights from studying the skies as well as the Earth, we’ve barely begun to unlock its many incredible secrets. With these eight apps, you can gaze at the cosmic beauty of the universe and pick up some juicy factoids about the planets, stars, cosmos, and everything in them.
Sonico’s iTranslate is great for quickly converting text to other languages while on the go, but it’s less handy for actually holding a conversation with someone speaking a different tongue. Thankfully, the developer has just refreshed its companion app, which harnesses the power of voice as well. The all-new iTranslate Voice 2 has been updated stem to stern for iOS 7, headlined by universal support that allows it to run natively on the iPad for the first time. Unlike other apps touting so-called iOS 7 improvements, this major update actually delivers them on at least two fronts.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the last 2D entry in the "numbered" Final Fantasy series, so it's hardly surprising that Final Fantasy VI has followed its predecessors in getting an expensive, visually overhauled iOS remastering. What is surprising is how engrossing it still manages to be, two decades past its prime and with a strange, purist-infuriating paint job. Final Fantasy VI's leap to touchscreens is hardly flawless, but it's nonetheless impressive, and it's an easy way to slip into a true classic of '90s console role-playing games.
Unresponsive controls or a sloppy touch-based interface can often hold back a fighting game from shining on your mobile device. Fright Fight is one iOS brawler that looks a lot like Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series, but offers its own simplified combat system and unique touches that together offer a well-rounded experience without the need for a controller. You may not pull off extravagant combos along the way, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be having fun bashing baddies in online showdowns.
Facebook's at it again. Today the social media giant acquired the popular messaging app WhatsApp for a whopping $16 billion, according to the SEC filing that popped up earlier today. Broken down, that's $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook stock, a possible $3 billion in restricted stock. (That would actually bring the total up to $19 billion. Yeesh.)