Captain America: The Winter Soldier is dominating the box office rankings, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is due out in a couple weeks, and X-Men: Days of Future Past is just around the corner. Big superhero movies often also mean big superhero games, and the genre’s improved significantly since the last time we took a look in early 2012—many of the games listed then were barely decent. Some stinkers have still come in the last couple of years, but mostly we’ve seen an array of solid-or-better games based on comic heroes. Here’s a selection of seven enjoyable iOS games where you can battle crime and wield some powered-up muscle.
Some game studios have big weekend sales going on featuring tons of titles for the holidays. We've grabbed a select sampling, but you should definitely be checking out the full catalogs for the range of deals. So don't wait around for a six foot bunny to bring you goodies this weekend. Check out what Mac|Life's found for you.
From the moment the App Store launched, The New York Times has been at the forefront of the digital newspaper revolution. There's been a constant stream of apps and subscriptions, but for the most part, its initiatives have revolved around an unimaginative repackaging of the paper. With NYT Now, the Gray Lady seems to have figured out a formula that may pay off. Rather than delivering a rich stew teeming with every subject it has to offer, the app serves as sort of a greatest hits package, aimed at casual readers who might not have such a ravenous news appetite.
Taking a cue from social networking services like Foursquare and Apple's own Find My Friends, Facebook has started releasing a new service for its iOS app that will announce when your friends are in the general area. It's called Nearby Friends, it's optional, and it's meant to facilitate impromptu group activities and social events.
It's all but a given now that the next iPhone will come in two larger screen sizes, but that extra real estate raises the important question of how Apple plans to handle the resolution. As a user named "Pi is exactly 3" on The Verge's Apple forums notes (via Cult of Mac), it'll likely remain the same if past history proves anything.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is the biggest release this week, following its Mac version by just a few weeks, though Hitman Go, Unpossible, and Yomi are also standout options, along with a handful of potential others we’ve highlighted. And Gameloft’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 game is still supposed to launch anytime now, but it’s not yet on the App Store as of this writing—so maybe it’ll pop up later on.
Family Guy made its name on TV by being simultaneously derivative and edgy; it riffed on The Simpsons’ formula of an animated nuclear family with a drunken, lovingly-dumb father, but its gags went further or weirder. And it did it well. So you might have reason for thinking that Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff—which takes its cues from The Simpsons: Tapped Out—might also push boundaries and poke fun at conventions. You’d be sadly mistaken. The Quest for Stuff is a shallow, money-grubbing, cynical, and downright boring freemium city builder with few redeeming qualities.
With a gorgeous interface and a good developer pedigree, we had high hopes for Scanbot. There's a clean, simple aesthetic that runs through every screen, helping you capture and organize your documents with ease. The priority here is speed, as Scanbot's foolproof interface can attest to, but it doesn't come at the expense of professional features, including high-resolution output, a low-light indicator, and automatic edge detection. Our final products weren't always perfect, but the powerful cropping tool and one-touch enhancer fine-tuned things nicely.
Wherever Word travels, Excel cannot be far behind—and at long last, Microsoft has allowed the number crunching favorite to follow the money trail straight into the App Store with a touchscreen version built just for iPad. Microsoft Excel for iPad ends years of suffering with less-powerful third-party solutions that have been all too happy to encroach in Redmond’s absence. Like Word, Excel for iPad is in most respects a superior effort over the venerable Mac application, offering an impressively clean user interface that doesn’t skimp on features.
Nearly six years into the life of the App Store and we’re just now getting a realistic, licensed Major League Baseball simulation—but R.B.I. Baseball 14 doesn’t resemble the feature-crammed, richly complex affairs seen on home systems. Instead, it pulls both inspiration and its moniker from a popular ‘80s/‘90s console franchise, and grounds its gameplay in the simplicity of that era while modernizing only the visuals. The result is expectedly very accessible and easy to get into, but also skimps on a lot of things that make baseball video games enjoyable and worth playing more than a couple times.