A big week for stories about Apple competitors. There's a real rogues' gallery of names here from Google to Samsung from Microsoft to Amazon. And if you're a fan of the actor Christian Bale, then you're in for a treat. Meanwhile, it's not too early to start thinking about your summer vacation. All that and more beneath the fold.
The original Dungeon Keeper series on PC turned the tables on old-school fantasy conventions. Rather than being the do-gooder hero, you instead took the role of a dark overseer tasked with carving out a vast subterranean realm and populating it full of insidious traps, not to mention evil minions primed for slaughtering virtuous warriors. Opening the floodgates and sending the good guys to their doom was a great change from the norm, which made for lots of fun and oft-hilarious moments. Dungeon Keeper on iOS — a free-to-play reboot of sorts — streamlines things enough that it's a different beast from its predecessors, but the series' trademark humor and absorbing lair crafting remains blissfully intact.
For all of its strengths, Fightback is a game that feels tuned to reward in-app purchases more than strategy or skill. Ninja Theory, the studio behind the '80s-tinged brawler, is known for big console projects like last year’s Devil May Cry reboot and 2010’s Enslaved: Journey to the West. Those games were great — underrated, even — which is why Fightback’s shortcomings come as such a surprise.
Romancing socially awkward elves might be on the outs in this free-to-play spinoff, but Heroes of Dragon Age for iOS nevertheless manages to capture the spirit of BioWare's beloved dark fantasy series from consoles and PC. However, the familiar music and faces merely amount to a pretty show. Strip away the ambiance, the lore, and the heroes, and this could be any one of the better collectible card games crowding the App Store these days.
In a development that should come as a surprise to no one who follows the struggles for exclusivity on gaming consoles like the Xbox 360 and PS3, Apple allegedly paid EA a "truckload of money" to delay the release of Plants vs. Zombies 2 on Android. The news comes from gaming website Giant Bomb, which overheard it from Frank Gibeau, head of EA labels, during a town hall meeting earlier today.
Yoga apps dominate the health and fitness scene in the App Store, but gaming giant Electronic Arts – best known for action-packed titles like Battlefield and Madden NFL – is something of an unexpected contender in this space. Despite the surprise launch, however, Yogify is an excellent option that makes it easy to pick a target and focus your workout, with various class bundles allowing users to customize the experience to fit their needs.
It's surely difficult to craft the follow-up to the most spectacular iOS racing game ever produced, and doubly so when ditching a price point for a divisive free-to-play model. Electronic Arts attempts both with the anticipated Real Racing 3, and largely succeeds on both fronts, delivering a hugely impressive free racer. You've never played a free mobile racer that's half as robust or refined as Real Racing 3. Building upon the fantastic previous iteration, the game pumps even more gloss and detail into its simulation, providing a great sensation of speed and realism as you blast through real-world tracks in licensed super cars.
We generally agree with the old axiom that it’s best not to judge a book by its cover, but in the case of the Real Racing 3, we’ll make an exception. It’s got 46 real, licensed cars, real-life tracks including Spa, Laguna Seca, Brands Hatch and more, and some of the most realistic graphics we’ve seen on iOS. It’s also the third game in the series, but you might have figured that out already. Who says truth in advertising doesn’t work?
There's never been a better time to be a Mac gamer. Over the last few years we've witnessed the birth of Mac games on Steam, the opening of Apple's Mac Store, and now, EA has rolled out the final version of its EA client to Mac OS X. All in all, Origin is a decent service with a lot of potential, assuming the library expands.
There are tons and tons of app sales going on starting today and lasting all weekend long (and sometimes a bit less than that), but we grabbed a couple from the larger shops who are doing blanket discounts and some smaller highlights in there too. With all the shopping going on today, we figured you'd take your time to getting around to checking out the best app sales, so here you go. Cut yourself another slab of pie, fire up the App Store, and get ready for some deals.