Despite sharing the name and much of the content from one of the year's most prominent Nintendo 3DS games, the iOS version of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is not quite the same experience. Rather than serve up a smattering of classic songs from the entire core Final Fantasy role-playing series, complete with story elements and familiar cinematic clips, the App Store release pairs the tap-and-swipe rhythm formula with a free-to-play shell that lets you pick and pay for exactly the tracks and characters your want. But trying to compare the two directly proves a losing proposition both for players and creator Square Enix.
It's beginning to look a lot like the week before Christmas, which means most of us are in a mad dash to scratch off all of the names on our gift lists before the fat man comes sliding down the chimney next Tuesday. If you're ready to take a little break and gift something for yourself, you might want to hit the App Store in search of some freebies to kick back and relax with, or get your first official peek at what RIM has in store for us with BlackBerry 10 next year.
Robots for iPad is equal parts creepy and cool, and it's one of the most informatively fascinating apps you'll find on the subject of artificial intelligence. Bursting at the seams with well over 100 real-world robots that range from freakish human lookalikes to quasi-sentient kids toys, this exhaustive app is a repository of incredible information about the history of our mechanical pals. Each entry features detailed photos, historical rundowns, tech specs, neat factoids, and embedded links to related articles about the robotic creation in question.
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.
You may need a computer to play popular MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) titles like League of Legends or DotA, but the genre is starting to make inroads on other platforms. The first mobile MOBA of its kind, Heroes of Order & Chaos successfully brings the feel of the genre onto iPhone and iPad without sacrificing too much of what makes the game approach so much fun to begin with.
It's easy to lose perspective on a game like Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, particularly for those of us who enjoy lavish first-person shooters on consoles or computers. Gameloft's military shooter series seems content to mimic the immensely popular Call of Duty series from other platforms -- and Zero Hour boasts some serious parallels with this year's Black Ops II -- but despite its lack of ambition, the franchise delivers a big and entertaining mobile shooter at a fraction of the cost. And Zero Hour really does improve on the formula in small, but meaningful ways.
HERE Maps is powered by NAVTEQ mapping data, which Nokia trumpets as a “world-class” product used in 90 percent of in-car navigation systems worldwide. While that may be true, we found it little more accurate or helpful than iOS 6 Maps, despite HERE covering more than 200 countries, many enhanced with user-published community maps. And beauty may not be everything, but Apple runs circles around HERE Maps in the looks department.
Perhaps you've prepared a meal from an app that made you say "wow," but when is the last time a cooking app itself elicited that response? Panna is a dazzling vision of what's possible when such an app takes the form of a specialty magazine – complete with glossy production values – rather than a barrage of images and steps. Every bimonthly digital issue contains a dozen recipes from top celebrity chefs, each presented through a series of well-shot, high-resolution videos.
For most of us, either time or money is scarce; for many, it's certainly both. Yoga classes often come at $20 a pop and require an hour and a half of commitment. If you're a new or busy yogi, give Yoga Studio a try. This inexpensive app has quickly become one of my favorites for fitness
You'd think app developers would eventually hit a wall where they simply ran out of new features to add, but that doesn't seem to be the case with Camera+, which just pushed out another great update for both iPhone and iPad.