So Google dropped two items, two pricey items, out into the public sphere recently. Only one of which is for sale for anyone, while the other is still in test mode. Meanwhile we've got some serious review love this week. So if you want our take on the email app du jour and more, you've come to the right place.
Taking a break from the bubbly and colorful tones of Beat Sneak Bandit and Bumpy Road, Simogo's latest iOS game veers off into much darker territory, offering a completely different yet equally rewarding experience. While it starts off innocently enough, Year Walk quickly spirals out into an enthralling puzzle adventure steeped in haunting imagery and supernatural mystery. It keeps you guessing at every turn, but locks you in its grasp with smart challenges and heavy atmosphere. The best part is that your detective work doesn't stop once the end credits roll.
You don't have to be a great artist to have a good time fiddling around with DrawQuest. This goofy little social art app for iPad encourages you to draw something new everyday by giving you a prompt to follow, and then pitting you against other artists to see who can come up with the most clever sketches. It's a cool way to jump-start your creative spirit, but the real fun comes from sharing your creations with the game's thriving community and voting on your favorite doodles.
A sense of mystery can be a strong force that connects you to a place. Kairo relies heavily on mysteriousness, and a thick layer of atmosphere too, to draw you deep into its minimalistic realm. For such an empty place, the blocky architecture and dark corridors hold a lot of intrigue. Who built them? What happened to the people here? Why am I here? These and other questions pop up as you explore and solve abstract puzzles during your colorful trek through this desolate landscape. It's a journey that's strangely compelling, despite a distinct lack of excitement.
In the past, Kairosoft has brought us cartoonish simulations of what it's like to be a video game creator (Game Dev Story) or shopping mall proprietor (Mega Mall Story), among many others, but its latest iOS affair has you catch and train various elemental critters and then use them to explore your surroundings. While all this may sound a lot like a Pokémon game, you’ll soon realize that Beastie Bay is a civilization management game first and a monster-catching game second.
You awake surrounded by water, with only a faint glimmer of land on the horizon. Slowly wading in that direction, you then find yourself on an island inhabited by vibrant trees and small animals, all of which look like they were spawned by some mythical pairing of an Apple II with a modern 3D graphics card. As you wander the terrain, each nearby element adds to the overall soundscape, creating fractured electronic music from your exploration. After some time, night falls and the trees start to dance, while a large swirl of lights in one location heralds the unknown. Do you dare step in and see what happens?
God games typically thrive on giving you the power to mold vast civilizations however you see fit. Unsurprisingly, juggling too many moving parts can sometimes be more stressful than fun. To that extent, Pixel People lets you lord over an adorable pixelated city realm, but it never quite lets go of the reins to give you complete control. For some, this streamlined take on SimCity-style games will be a welcome change of pace.
Since its early beginnings as a game platform, iOS has seen its share of racing titles. Amazingly, each year seems to find some developer upping the stakes with smoother controls and exciting, new features. Table Top Racing is not one of those games. More like a plodding journey into an almost forgotten time when Micro Machines were still interesting, Table Top Racing is a great-looking game without much substance.
For pyromaniacs on the mend (or rise), Little Inferno might seem like a dream come true, as the oddball iPad app allows players to burn more than 100 distinct digital items within a virtual fireplace free of soot and real-world ramifications. For everyone else, the simple and repetitive act of buying items and using your finger to set them ablaze might initially seem pointless, but a mysterious back story, ample style, and a dollop of humor keep this compelling curio interesting long enough for it to show what's beyond the somewhat banal interactions.
It's tough to believe that Wave Trip would exist in a world without Sound Shapes. Like that brilliantly experiential PlayStation 3 and Vita platformer, Wave Trip merges music-making with a new take on a well-worn gameplay style, with both allowing users to create and share their own stages using the existing level elements on a simple grid-based layout. The similarities extend into music styles and visual design, but using that framework with a side-scrolling runner makes it feel like more than just a noteworthy imitator, with a stronger focus on skill creating a much different overall tone.