As it stands, 2013 isn't looking like a particularly stellar year for games based on the Aliens franchise. Alien vs. Predator: Evolution is not quite the high-profile disaster that Aliens: Colonial Marines was on other platforms, as it does a valiant job of creating a longer-form brawler for iPhone and iPad – but the game is sadly plagued with consistent crashes and occasionally infuriating mechanics. Somewhere under the problems, there may be a really enjoyable title here. But without some polish, Evolution will remain a mediocre allusion to a beloved old PC game.
It's surely difficult to craft the follow-up to the most spectacular iOS racing game ever produced, and doubly so when ditching a price point for a divisive free-to-play model. Electronic Arts attempts both with the anticipated Real Racing 3, and largely succeeds on both fronts, delivering a hugely impressive free racer. You've never played a free mobile racer that's half as robust or refined as Real Racing 3. Building upon the fantastic previous iteration, the game pumps even more gloss and detail into its simulation, providing a great sensation of speed and realism as you blast through real-world tracks in licensed super cars.
Gun Bros 2 is Glu Mobile’s latest take on the twin-stick shooter formula, which maintains much of the same action-packed approach as the original while adding new elements. Unfortunately, nearly everything added here has sullied the Gun Bros experience, and feels misdirected and actively anti-consumer. In the game, you'll make your way through arena-style levels filled with oncoming waves of enemies, which you can dispatch using the two virtual sticks that respectively let you move and fire weapons.
Budgeting isn't fun. Crunching numbers and tracking expenses is dull, tedious work we try to avoid at all costs, but it's a necessary fact of life — especially when you've got a couple of car bills and a mortgage. BUDGT understands our pain. With a delightfully simple interface and deceptively powerful money-managing tools, BUDGT will keep a close watch on your daily expenses — so long as you're willing to spend a little time with it each day.
Taking a break from the bubbly and colorful tones of Beat Sneak Bandit and Bumpy Road, Simogo's latest iOS game veers off into much darker territory, offering a completely different yet equally rewarding experience. While it starts off innocently enough, Year Walk quickly spirals out into an enthralling puzzle adventure steeped in haunting imagery and supernatural mystery. It keeps you guessing at every turn, but locks you in its grasp with smart challenges and heavy atmosphere. The best part is that your detective work doesn't stop once the end credits roll.
As anyone who works with audio for a living can attest to, the human ear frequently plays tricks on the mind. For example, is it really possible to hide secret messages inside music recordings? If all things audible fascinate you, then you’ll love a new iPad app dedicated to demystifying this and other “auditory illusions.” The San Francisco-based Exploratorium recently followed up their debut Color Uncovered app with a new offering called Sound Uncovered. The free iPad-only app is billed as an “interactive book,” which allows the user to participate and learn from all kinds of acoustic phenomena around us that’s equal parts fun and educational.
We have dozens of ways to take notes on our iPhones, and while some have exquisite, minimal interfaces, others are feature-rich powerhouses that try to mimic desktop functionality on a mobile device. Write for Dropbox wants to be everything at once, and it comes as close to succeeding as any app we've ever used. By utilizing a nifty three-panel interface – with a tool bar, document list, and main writing window – Write deftly uses every inch of real estate at its disposal, with oodles of sharing options and one of the most powerful virtual keyboards we've ever used.
For many, the prospect of "inbox zero" seems impossible – the unicorn of modern communication. Mailbox understands this struggle to stay atop the constant deluge of digital correspondence, and sees the problem not as a matter of personal effort, but rather perception. As such, rather than resemble typical mobile email options, Orchestra's new iPhone app takes its inspiration from the to-do list, challenging users to clear their inboxes like checking tasks off when completed, with a handful of breezy actions used to facilitate the process.
You don't have to be a great artist to have a good time fiddling around with DrawQuest. This goofy little social art app for iPad encourages you to draw something new everyday by giving you a prompt to follow, and then pitting you against other artists to see who can come up with the most clever sketches. It's a cool way to jump-start your creative spirit, but the real fun comes from sharing your creations with the game's thriving community and voting on your favorite doodles.
Meeting new people can be extremely awkward, especially if you're not particularly good at remembering names and contact info, or interact with a lot of fresh faces. Luckily, if you have a short memory and an iPhone, Evernote Hello is about to become your new best friend. Powered by the company’s cloud-based sync service, Hello makes it easy to remember who, what, when, where, how, and even why you met someone, tucking all of this information neatly away and organized in a slick timeline.