Yup, the government is still shut down, and good luck trying to sign up for Obamacare, since the bugs are still being worked out of that website. But fear not: Our Tuesday recap promises to improve your MacBook battery, save you money on video plugins or a new smartphone and even make your Yahoo! account more secure, so who needs the government's help, anyway?
Hunting never felt so base and inhumane as in Deer Hunter 2014, the latest in a long line of titles that has evolved progressively far from its moniker and expanded now to include endangered animals. The core shooting and weapon upgrading experience is actually very well executed, albeit easy – assuming you can look past the ethical blunder is blasting near-extinct creatures – while its rapid-fire mission structure across three exotic locales makes for some compulsive gaming. However, there’s little by way of deer or realistic hunting on offer.
Where’s My Water? is Disney’s best-known original mobile smash, with a couple of successful spin-offs following since, so naturally a proper sequel couldn’t be far behind. Where’s My Water? 2 might seem like a sure thing, as such, but it sadly squanders the well-earned respect of its predecessor. Its few new ideas simply aren’t enough to justify a fumbling attempt at injecting free-to-play hooks.
The seemingly blissful union of Adult Swim and developer Pik Pok has resulted in some wonderfully weird iOS affairs, including Robot Unicorn Attack 2, Monsters Ate My Condo, and Extinction Squad – and Giant Boulder of Death only continues that trend. Kicking off with the titular stone seeing its beloved counterpart carved into a statue of a military dictator, the game finds you indiscriminately rolling forth for vengeance through soldiers, spiked barricades, and innocent wildlife alike.
It's always awkward when you reach that on-the-fence moment where you're pretty sure you hate the game you're playing, but you just can't seem to stop plugging away. That sums up my experience with Star Wars Force Collection pretty accurately. As a huge Star Wars nerd, I appreciate the sight- and sound-driven homage to a galaxy far, far away found throughout this virtual collectible card game. The actual game itself, however, is on shakier ground than Luke's X-Wing parked in the swamps of Dagobah.
Sometimes licensed games leave you scratching your head in confusion at their bizarre muddling of a beloved pop culture franchise. Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM Pocket adapts a popular trading card game based on the Yu-Gi-Oh manga and anime series into an entirely different trading card game, just barely managing to string together something moderately enjoyable in the process. Battling wits with virtual and real opponents is both fun and challenging, but there’s not enough depth to keep you interested for long.
Those of us in the United States are recovering after an extended Labor Day weekend, but there was plenty of tech news that just could't be contained by the unofficial end to the summer season. There's a lot of ground to cover, so let's dive in and get right to it, shall we?
On home consoles, Madden NFL 25 celebrates the series' titular anniversary with yet another quality entry built around a strong, refined core. Irritatingly, on iPhone and iPad, the game of the same name is by and large a nightmare of free-to-play roadblocks, initially limiting access to most of the on-field plays, charging in-game coins for some of those that are available, and requiring slowly-replenishing energy to even play the game. But the saddest part is that such limitations surround what's ultimately not a very good representation of the sport.
Flipping the script from Hutch Games' earlier Smash Cops entries, Smash Bandits spotlights the raucous fun of the getaway, tasking you with creating as much chaos as possible for the TV cameras while evading destruction via aggressive police cruisers. What begins with knocking over orange cones and slamming into cop cars soon turns into commanding a speedboat or briefly manning a tank as this free-to-play affair shows more of its open-city offering. And while the freemium design does limit the action a bit, it thankfully doesn't ruin the fun.
It's been an awfully long time since there was a new entry in the Ultima series, and even longer since the venerable RPG franchise was on an Apple platform. Its reappearance on iOS – as a free-to-play game, no less – might seem like a low-key comeback for a property that once helped pioneer computer role-playing games, but underneath its casual-looking exterior lurks a fun (if simple) dungeon-crawling MMO.