Summertime: the days are long but the months are short. We rounded up a slew of summer-appropriate, kid-friendly products in “Boredom Busters”, and you could win a prize package containing the Widge, the Woogie, the Helo TC Assault, the G-Go speaker, and more!
Last year's iOS release of The King of Fighters-i mirrored its console counterparts, bringing the franchise’s popular 3-on-3 action to your pocket. The King of Fighters-i 2012 is essentially the deluxe version of that game, including a dozen more characters, a time attack mode, and online multiplayer battles. But truly successful fighting games require rock-solid mechanics and controls, and sadly, it's in these facets that Fighters-i 2012 stumbles, though it tries rather hard to stand tall.
Yahoo! isn't exactly the first name in search engines these days, but with Axis, the Web giant has returned to its roots in a big way. If Steve Jobs put the Internet in our hands with the iPad, the App Store's first "search browser" puts websites at our fingertips with a sleek, intuitive interface that turns browsing on its head.
Word Off is like a sleazy used car salesman shilling a fine product. The underlying game may be sharp, tense, and original, but it's mired in a scuzzy business model. At its core, Word Off presents a smart mix between a word game and a strategy title. You play on a board comprised of hexagonal tiles, each containing a letter, and begin with a cluster of occupied spaces in one corner while your opponent starts with the same in the opposite corner.
LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias sounds like it could be a Pixar film: using the power of the wind, a boy goes on a quest to find his missing mother in a faraway land. Exploration and puzzle-solving make innovative use of that wind, letting you move a finger across the touchscreen to “draw” the path of a gust, which the young protagonist Toku can use to jump, move objects, or otherwise interact with his environment, to name a few abilities.
Given the popularity the Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure console game -- which uses toys with built-in RFID chips to interact with the digital characters -- it's disappointing that the series' iOS debut is a simple gallery-style shooter, paired with the kind of persistent challenge progression done best in the excellent Jetpack Joyride.
Offering only nine pre-set filters, no digital zoom, and two flash options (fully on or off), KLIK by Face.com is by no means a great camera. But what this social media camera app does offer is facial recognition software that learns and grows smarter with every use. And while it lacks fancy editing options, it does the job it sets out to do with remarkable skill.
The Smart Baby Monitor actually took longer to arrive than my baby did. Announced at CES in January 2011, it only started shipping at the end of February 2012, but it’s every bit the bundle of joy I hoped it would be. An Apple-esque marriage of form and function, Withings’ sleek design and tight iOS integration doesn’t just give parents peace of mind, it raises the bar for luxury iPhone accessories.
Polymer's about as basic a puzzler as they come, requiring players to slide tiles into place to assemble large, amorphous shapes. The larger the shape, the more points are rewarded. Simple, right? But there's a catch: entire columns need to be shifted around, making a game of Polymer more like futzing with a Rubik’s Cube than simply swapping tiles.