You know what they say about idle hands. With the holidays barreling down at us full speed and the lull of winter setting in, keeping busy with fun and interesting new crafts is a great way to stave off the seasonal doldrums while also saving on those credit card-busting shopping sprees. If you fancy yourself the creative type, now is the perfect time to start a new project. Why not grab some of these inventive apps to inspire your artistic side?
Playing to the powerful pull of both puzzle solving and card playing, Chip Chain mashes up match-three puzzles with poker aesthetics in an inventive way that's highly addictive, yet accessible to folks who have no clue what a royal flush is. While the gameplay itself has very little to do with the actual game of poker, it scratches a different kind of itch that carves out common ground between card sharks and casual players alike.
Flea Symphony is the new iOS game from The Odd Gentlemen, which previously developed the Victorian-styled Xbox Live Arcade puzzler, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. Like Winterbottom, Flea Symphony seems delightfully preoccupied with a bygone era, but its gameplay feels surprisingly fresh. In each level, you need to save the fleas flying out of the bells of musical horns by catching them in basket. The trick is figuring out how to do it in time to a set percussion beat.
In its past life as My Xbox Live, Microsoft's companion app allowed Xbox 360 users to lightly interact with friends, view their created Avatars and Achievements, and have a mobile way to stay looped in on the home console gaming service. Following a radical transformation, the new Xbox SmartGlass goes beyond mere surface-level synergy to become both a touchscreen input device for the console and a second screen for expanded game and media experiences.
The latest game to offer yet another take on the popular Angry Birds-style bombardment genre, Super Dragon is a goofy game of hurling fireballs and avoiding falling debris in order to regain your missing chompers. This funky physics puzzler stars a superstar dragon named Smokey, who is hellbent on recovering his lost teeth -- but getting them back is trickier and occasionally more aggravating than you might expect, thanks to the unpredictable laws of gravity.
My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic shines right out of the gate, but it loses its gleam when you hit the inevitable paywall. The core of the game -- building and expanding a town -- is fun and compulsive, while the repetitive mini-games are short enough to be only slightly annoying after prolonged play time, plus Gameloft pulled out all the stops in presentation. But your progress gets heavily stilted if you don’t shell out for in-app purchases, and it appears impossible to finish the story without spending big money.
A time to gather together with loved ones, scarf down gluttonous volumes of deliciously cooked foods, and give thanks for all of the great things happening in your life, Thanksgiving is a wonderful once-a-year opportunity to gorge on the spice of life. With lots of family, food, and fun also comes a lot of hard work and more than a little craziness both inside and outside of the kitchen. We aim to make your turkey day smoother one with this selection of helpful apps for planning, prepping, cooking, and keeping everyone happy during this festive holiday.
On consoles and PC, Need for Speed: Most Wanted recently returned the enduring racing franchise to glory, delivering a huge open-road experience in which players can explore, compete, evade police chases, and test out dozens of licensed rides. Expectedly, the universal iOS take is less robust; it finds the middle ground between its much larger (and pricier) brethren and the series' past mobile entries, delivering a portable racer that impresses on many fronts, yet doesn't fully satisfy.
Nearly everyone likes roller coasters, so you can hardly blame Nutty Fluffies’ carnival-prize stuffed animals for wanting to ride when their theme park is closed. Of course, this being an iOS game -- one made by the studio behind the Xbox 360’s physics-defying Trials series -- it's more than a breezy day in the park for the animals. You must guide them safely through each track by swiping to move the train and collect hearts, but the safety regulations seem nil, so coaster cars can (and will) go flying off the track if you hit a bank too hard or put a little too much speed behind a jump.
I've spent at least a solid hour each day for the past couple weeks poking at a giant virtual cube, chipping away thousands of tiny blocks, one at a time, until my hands get tired. And you know, for the life of me, I can't explain why I keep at it. I know it's not likely that I'll be the one "lucky" person to reach the center of the cube and capture the mysterious, life-changing thing that its creator purports is awaiting within. It might take months, and maybe even years for that to happen. So why are thousands of other players like myself addicted to the repetitive cube-poking grind? That's the grand mystery of Curiosity: What's in The Cube.