Crafting homemade costumes and prepping for nocturnal adventures to forage for sweets is a favorite youthful tradition every fall, and Double Fine's charming Halloween-themed role-playing game is well timed to get us all in the spooky spirit. Costume Quest expertly captures the sense of imagination and wonder that made trick-or-treating with friends back in the day such a blast. But far more than a grand fetch quest full of tooth-rotting bliss and crazy getups, this cartoonish romp throws giant robots, goblin warriors, and supernatural shenanigans in to sweeten the pot.
"Level 22" is not a glamorous name. It’s generic. It doesn’t inspire excitement. Without context, it could mean practically anything. So it’s the perfect way to reference a floor of an equally generic corporate tower, which also happens to be where you work. The trouble here is that it’s a weekday, and after a night of heavy celebrating for your birthday, you’re not at your desk. If the boss finds out you’re late, you’re fired. How do you keep your job? If you’re a fan of Hideo Kojima’s classic, quirky stealth-action series, Metal Gear Solid, you probably already know that your only recourse is to sneak all the way back up to your desk on the 22nd floor through increasingly complex scenarios.
Say whatever you will about Siri's effectiveness, but at least she's got a sense of humor. That's even more apparent with the latest update, which adds some snarky responses whenever you say, "Okay, Glass," the voice command prompted associated with Google Glass.
Getting any serious medical procedure done can be a terrifying experience, and we can only imagine what goes on once you're put under on the operating table. While Amateur Surgeon 3 taps into our worst surgical nightmares in horrifying ways, it's as hilarious as it is grotesque. Removing organs with a chainsaw and pizza cutter, suturing cuts with an office stapler, and cauterizing wounds with a Zippo? That's par for the course with this wildly imaginative and comical – if somewhat gross – take on pressure-cooker medical mini-game scenarios.
There's no denying that Ms. Splosion Man – a port of the 2011 console original – is an incredibly well-designed platformer. Its 50 lengthy levels are filled with inventively demanding puzzles, it's built around an incredibly fun gameplay mechanic (the heroine explodes to jump or attack enemies), it looks great, and it exudes a constant stream of goofy charm. So it's a shame that on iOS, an otherwise fantastic experience is hamstrung by a couple of key problems.
Handily poking fun at classic spell-flinging RPGs, Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet delivers a very silly iPad fantasy adventure full of tongue-in-cheek antics and self-referential humor. It blends side-scrolling brawling with puzzle-like spell mixology in a fun and fresh way that's not lacking in chaos or comedy. Cobbling together all manner of elemental wizardry – to blast inventive foes swarming in from all directions – gets a bit hectic in the heat of battle, but it's a craziness that's fueled by creativity as you piece together spells on the fly.
Truth can sometimes seem much stranger than fiction, and Lie Swatter puts that idiom to the test in an amusing, quick-hit comedic trivia game. Developed by Jellyvision, the studio behind the hit You Don't Know Jack series, Lie Swatter serves up a series of seven statements in a certain category and challenges you to pick out the fibs. Do so while leaving the factual notes intact and you'll earn a stack of points in your turn-based competition with an online foe. Actually selecting the incorrect statements from each bunch is often much tougher than it seems, however.
When an earlier incarnation of You Don't Know Jack hit the App Store last year, it captured the look and spirit of the long-running trivia favorite -- including the risqué subject matter and abrasively hilarious narration -- but its single-player-only approach eschewed the multiplayer mentality that made the series such a beloved institution. Luckily, Jellyvision went back to the drawing board and came back with an inventive asynchronous take on the formula, which near-perfectly recreates the fantastic feel and flow of the bigger versions in mobile-friendly, bite-sized chunks.
If the last of the 2012 Presidential debates haven't completely fatigued you, head over to the App Store and grab an iPhone app that will add a bit of levity to the heated political season -- no matter who you're voting for.
After skewering the relationship between kids and their iPads, author David Milgrim is back with a new book promising to shed light on the relationship tech fans have with their gadgets -- including Apple's own Siri.