Apple's Arizona facilities took the spotlight on Thursday as export documents revealed the company's newly purchased inspection tools are intended for "device displays" -- although no one knows for sure if they are intended for the fabled iWatch, the next iPhone or something else entirely. While you ponder that latest rumor, here are a few slices of other news from yesterday that are a little less tinged in speculation...
Thor is one truly badass warrior, but even his trusty hammer, electrifying moves, and a gaggle of armored cohorts to summon into battle can't quite save his latest jaunt from feeling a bit rickety around the edges. On a visual level, Thor: The Dark World is certainly an attractive-looking top-down brawler, which sends you through beautiful 3D environments to smash up evildoers and demonic beasts. Unfortunately, pushy microtransactions and shaky combat break the spell early on.
Marvel's latest Thor adventure hammers its way into movie theaters this Friday, but the folks at Gameloft are already taking iOS and Android gamers all the way to Asgard with an official game based on the new film.
Brightly colored Spandex and match-three puzzling might seem an odd pairing at first, but digging into Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign yields addictive super-villain smashing fun in abundance. Between collecting virtual comic book covers to unlock new heroes and leveling up your posse with RPG-style enhancements, this free-to-play battler hits the nerdy sweet spot without going overboard in the in-app purchase department.
We'll come right out and say it: Marvel's Avengers Alliance can be a chaotic mess in moments. First finding life as a casual Facebook social game, this superhero-themed RPG battler gets off to a rocky start, thanks to complex underpinnings that are awkwardly explained and an obtuse storyline that feels utterly disjointed at best. When character interactions aren't dripping with clichés, they sometimes lack coherence altogether. Despite all of this, there's something about the nerdy RPG combat between classic superheroes and oddball foes that still strikes a chord.
After utilizing an open-city design for its premium Iron Man 2 movie game – complete with the requisite array of screen-cluttering virtual buttons – Gameloft opted for something simpler, swifter, and certainly cheaper for the next tie-in. Released in advance of the latest live-action Marvel Comics romp, the free-to-play Iron Man 3 sends Tony Stark soaring ahead through multiple locales, with alternating sequences that find him swiftly dodging traffic and aerial obstacles, zapping waves of foes, and even fighting through narrative-led boss battles. Blazingly fast and initially quite fun, this gratis game easily warrants a download from fans, though the thrills are short-lived.
Monday wound up being a rather brisk day for tech news, with the removal of AppGratis from the App Store continuing to make headlines. T-Mobile also finally provided some much-needed official support for existing iPhones and Marvel even returned with its free #1 promotion -- but you'll need to act quickly, because that deal turns into a pumpkin again at midnight tonight. Read on to find out more!
Keeping up with comic books has been utterly transformed by apps like Comics by Comixology, as you no longer have to hit the comic shop weekly to snap up new issues, wait for graphic novel compilations, or read on your computer screen. Nearly every new notable comic is right there on day one, ready to be purchased and read wherever you please in sparkling digital quality. Marvel Unlimited acts as a complementary kind of service, eschewing new releases and individual purchases in favor of all-you-can-read access (via subscription) to much of the publisher's deep archive of books older than six months. It's a novel and promising approach, though where and how you can read the offerings are current roadblocks to its success.
No, it wasn't just you: Digital comics provider ComiXology has gone public with its epic fail for the Marvel #1 promotion, which left eager fans unable to download content, assuming they could even purchase it to begin with. The company plans to make good on the more than 700 free comics sometime in the near future, so read on to find out how to be notified when that goes down.