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.
There are so many different ways to interact with our photos on iOS, we barely need our Macs anymore to create refrigerator-worthy projects. Just about anything can be done on our iPhones and iPads, with countless filter, layout, caption and effects apps each opening wonderful worlds of creativity at our fingertips. Tiles - Photo Framer, the latest entry into the collage fray, brings enough to the table to set it apart from the crowd. Neat, modular frames keep your project clean, but Tiles still gives you the freedom to make your work your own, with a fun, gesture-based interface that offers boundless possibilities.
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.
CloudClipboard is a clever app designed to save whatever you’ve copied into the memory of your iOS device or Mac (using that version of the app) and sync it effortlessly through your iCloud account to all your other devices, be it iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The way it works is really simple: copy something – be it text, a URL, image, or a web-clip (part of a section of a webpage you can copy) – and then switch to CloudClipboard and that content is automatically added to it.
Most image editing apps for iOS are built to enhance photos or add artistic flourishes such as filters and frames, but what about using text to get your message across? Swipe makes it fun and easy to adorn your pictures with type and quickly share them with the world. The app is a model of simplicity: Merely swipe your finger across the screen wherever you want to add text, tweak to your liking, and then whisk the results off to most anywhere you’d like.
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.
Back when it was first released on the Nintendo DS in 2009, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes' highly engrossing mix of match-three puzzle gameplay and RPG combat made it the surprise sleeper hit climbing its way onto year-end best games lists. While the low-resolution original was spectacular on its own, the fact that Clash of Heroes on iOS is a port of the updated HD console version is even better news for puzzle nerds.
Bit Dungeon brings together The Legend of Zelda’s top-down dungeon stomping, Diablo’s loot lust, and the unforgiving difficulty of roguelikes within a slick retro-style quest. Fresh from developer Kinto Games, this hack-and-slash action RPG distills the allure of classic gaming into an addicting mobile adventure. Between the simple mechanics and incredible challenge, you may find Bit Dungeon's stat-building pull difficult to resist, even if a couple of issues rear their head at times.