Playing to the powerful pull of both puzzle solving and card playing, Chip Chain mashes up match-three puzzles with poker aesthetics in an inventive way that's highly addictive, yet accessible to folks who have no clue what a royal flush is. While the gameplay itself has very little to do with the actual game of poker, it scratches a different kind of itch that carves out common ground between card sharks and casual players alike.
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.
Flea Symphony is the new iOS game from The Odd Gentlemen, which previously developed the Victorian-styled Xbox Live Arcade puzzler, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. Like Winterbottom, Flea Symphony seems delightfully preoccupied with a bygone era, but its gameplay feels surprisingly fresh. In each level, you need to save the fleas flying out of the bells of musical horns by catching them in basket. The trick is figuring out how to do it in time to a set percussion beat.
Produced by the same creative geniuses behind the wildly popular ThumbJam app, DrumJam is a fully-featured iOS beatbox and drum sample collection, which includes a wide variety of programmed rhythm styles that span a range of world music. It also features an interface that provides both instant gratification and loads of musically useful results, which can then be used in actual music-making endeavors.
In its past life as My Xbox Live, Microsoft's companion app allowed Xbox 360 users to lightly interact with friends, view their created Avatars and Achievements, and have a mobile way to stay looped in on the home console gaming service. Following a radical transformation, the new Xbox SmartGlass goes beyond mere surface-level synergy to become both a touchscreen input device for the console and a second screen for expanded game and media experiences.
The latest game to offer yet another take on the popular Angry Birds-style bombardment genre, Super Dragon is a goofy game of hurling fireballs and avoiding falling debris in order to regain your missing chompers. This funky physics puzzler stars a superstar dragon named Smokey, who is hellbent on recovering his lost teeth -- but getting them back is trickier and occasionally more aggravating than you might expect, thanks to the unpredictable laws of gravity.
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.
The Compact Disc recently celebrated its 30th birthday, but for most people, digital files stored on a Mac (or streaming from a cloud) have completely replaced plastic discs shoved inside a stereo. But despite recent improvements to the speakers inside many late-model Macs, they're still lacking when it comes to listening to your favorite tunes. Palo Alto Audio’s Cubik is a pair of desktop speakers built to wring as much sound as possible out of your files, without hogging much space on your desk
Amidst a hectic day, you may only have spare moments to catch up on the latest world headlines and developments. Rather than serve as another gateway to point you towards lengthy web stories, Circa News does the heavy lifting for you, scouring through various news sources' pieces to deliver brief and carefully curated summaries that share only the essential bits.
My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic shines right out of the gate, but it loses its gleam when you hit the inevitable paywall. The core of the game -- building and expanding a town -- is fun and compulsive, while the repetitive mini-games are short enough to be only slightly annoying after prolonged play time, plus Gameloft pulled out all the stops in presentation. But your progress gets heavily stilted if you don’t shell out for in-app purchases, and it appears impossible to finish the story without spending big money.