Apple's new Podcasts app is a testament to the tremendous evolution the medium has undergone since its humble iPod beginnings. Having long outgrown its iTunes tab, it was inevitable that Apple would develop a standalone app to mark the podcast's maturation into a legitimate form of entertainment. Expectedly, the universal app looks great, though it's not quite as functional or bug-free as desired.
Early iOS tower defense favorites like geoDefense and Fieldrunners proved that the strategy sub-genre could shine on a touch screen, and Kingdom Rush only continues that trend with a fantastically well-produced affair that's bursting with challenge, content, and excellent presentation. Following an iPad-exclusive release earlier this year, Kingdom Rush comes to iPhone and iPod touch with a standalone native version, which offers the full original experience albeit for smaller screens.
Our iPhones can do amazing things, but time after time we find ourselves running through the same repetitive taps and swipes to accomplish simple tasks. Launch Center Pro attempts to streamline automation with a unique tap-and-slide interface that offers centralized control over the various actions found within hundreds of apps.
Putting a fresh spin on iOS racers, Slingshot Racing ditches traditional steering and gas controls and simply lets you tap the screen to grapple onto nearby pillars and whip around turns. As such, timing and momentum take center stage in these looping, steampunk-themed environments, with a variety of play modes included across distinctive tracks.
Favs is an app nobody should need. You should be able to flag favorites on social networks and almost instantly find your curated content at a later date, no matter how far into the past it was defined. But back here on Planet Reality, favorites rapidly disappear from view, becoming difficult to find once they’re more than a few days old. And if you engage with several social networks, you have the added complication of remembering which one you should start searching in.
This one's for the baby boomers: Centipede has returned, and if you played it as a kid you’ll feel right at home with this updated iOS edition. Like the 1980’s Atari arcade classic, the object in Centipede: Origins is to clear the screen of insects and arachnids of various types, which are trying to encroach on your territory by moving in various patterns down the game screen. However, the developers have modernized this version a bit, making it more accessible for casually paced play while adding a basic leveling system for weapons and power-ups.
Can anyone truly be a filmmaker? Francis Ford Coppola famously predicted such a future in the documentary Hearts of Darkness, and developer John Clem seems to agree, having created the CinePro app for this very purpose. The video-shooting iPhone app offers a more robust tool set than Apple’s own Camera app, but while the price is fair, some bugs make for a cautious recommendation.
The design philosophy behind many free-to-play games seems to be latching onto players’ bank accounts and doing as much damage as possible. This is usually achieved by limiting essential resources, or by holding the shiniest, most powerful items behind a fat price sticker. This is all fine and well, so long as the core mechanics remain fair and engaging. That's not the case with Monster Paradise.
It's far too easy to sit down with the intention to get lots of work done only to wind up wasting half of the day away checking e-mails, playing games, fiddling with random junk, and being bogged down by other myriad distractions. 30/30 offers a great alternative to having your boss or significant other standing over your shoulder to crack the whip when you have important tasks that need tackling. This simple, attractively designed task manager lets you plan out your day into neat and tidy blocks of time, then helps keep you on track.
A follow-up to the popular Tiny Tower, NimbleBit's Pocket Planes offers a charming, well-presented take on airline management that kept me hooked for hours, ferrying passengers and cargo from one place to another in planes of varying capacity, range, and speed.