In theory, an app-based social media platform for creating shareable stories — by stringing words, animated images, and audio together — sounds pretty cool. NARR8 aims to do all of this and more, but it fumbles the process so badly that the intriguing idea alone won't warrant your time. The overall quality of the available reading content through the app (both user- and developer-generated) is lacking, and building your own stories is an unintuitive process rife with unnecessary hoop-jumping and technical issues.
When it comes to comic books, characters like The Avengers, Superman, and Wolverine get all the headlines, but for more than 70 years, Archie and his pals in Riverdale have been hanging out, having fun, and addressing everyday issues in the long-running family-friendly series from Archie Comics. And on July 18, iOS users will get to experience the escapades of Archie and friends firsthand when Archie: Betty of Veronica arrives in the App Store worldwide.
Fancy yourself a comic book fan? If you've always dreamed of weaving together your own comics and image-heavy stories, but don't have the motivation (or ideas) to pursue the real deal, Halftone 2 for iPad can scratch that itch and then some. With more flexibility and features than its predecessor, this greatly improved follow-up lets you create elaborate and hilarious comics from your camera roll almost effortlessly – if you're willing to drop some green on in-app purchases, that is.
One of the first mediums to take advantage of the new distribution possibilities of the internet was the cartoon strip. After decades of being held down by content limitations or simply keeping the number of professional cartoonists to a minimum, artists were able to bypass syndicated networks. In this newly artist driven industry, and thanks to intelligent link-sharing, webcomics were able to form networks entirely their own, as well as creating their own merchandise to help drive in revenue. For such a forward-thinking industry, it was a shame that they seemed incapable of putting together a worthwhile dedicated app, until now.
I got a demo of Smith Micro's Manga Studio 5 earlier this week, and came away impressed -- rarely does one application pack in so many advanced features for professionals while still remaining accessible to hobbyists. No wonder it's the industry standard software for creating not just manga (traditional black-and-white Japanese comics) but also graphic novels, web comics, and comic books.
When the world has gone to hell, scavenging bullets and supplies is the only thing left to do in the fight to stay alive against an endless mob of mindless, flesh-eating atrocities that roam the decimated streets. The Walking Dead: Assault delivers a stylish action-focused take on survival in the zombie apocalypse that pays homage to the original comics, all while cooking up something a little different than what we've seen from other series tie-ins.
The App Store has an originality problem. Too often, developers ape the exact themes and mechanics from top-selling games, creating a sea of never-ending cartoon birds and temple chases. But despite the incredibly familiar mechanics driving Marvel's new Avengers Initiative, there's no denying the satisfying crunch of a Hulk fist smacking a Skrull. Sure, it's a bit of a knockoff, but the best examples of imitation lead to great new ideas.
Sometimes, a video game's narrative, mechanics, and platform complement each other in such a seemingly perfect way. While Telltale's Walking Dead: The Game is far from the first adventure game to shine on iOS devices – the same developer has other titles on the App Store, in fact – few have emerged as splendidly. The Walking Dead is emotionally charged, wonderfully paced, and a fine example of why the adventure genre is such a concise fit for the iOS hardware.
If you’re a fan of animated DreamWorks feature films such as the Madagascar, Shrek or Kung Fu Panda series, Ape Entertainment has released a free, universal iOS app that brings those characters to life in a whole new way.
The summer movie season kicks off in earnest this weekend with The Avengers, the monstrously hyped, years-in-the-making Marvel Comics adaptation that pulls together the storylines of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Black Widow, and surely many other familiar faces. If you're planning on waiting on line for a midnight screening, or just want to catch up on the heroes' adventures before seeing the film in the near future, here are eight apps starring members of The Avengers that'll get you pumped and prepped for the movie ahead.