Now that music is in the cloud, the embarrassment of riches can lead to decision-making paralysis. What do I listen to now? Services like Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio can play you never-ending stations, but require fees, and the Genius Mix feature in iTunes is limited to music you actually own. Which is why Songza is my new jam.
Ever since I was first introduced to the tabletop fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering in high school, I've spent countless hours of my existence tapping mana, flinging spells, and sending hordes of bizarre beasts onto the battlefield. The Duels of the Planeswalkers spinoff series did a great job of reviving the classic wizard dueling strategy on consoles in recent years, but Magic 2013 is the first installment to hit a portable device, and it's absolutely fantastic on iOS.
Originally released in 2008 on the PC, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition offers a complex solo role-playing experience, made all the more engrossing by the rich, dangerous world it takes place in. It tells the story of Geralt of Rivia, a gifted warrior who belongs to an order of magic and alchemy-aided monster-hunting mercenaries known as Witchers. While on a mission, Geralt is seriously wounded. He wakes years later in the Witchers’ fortress, with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Before his compatriots have time to give him the most basic of information, the fortress is attacked by a group of bandits who steal the secrets to the Witchers’ inhuman powers.
We’ve all been there: Awaiting a loved one’s arrival at the airport, only to discover that his/her flight is delayed. Never again fear such predicaments, because Just Landed has been cleared for landing on your iPhone. Combining GPS-based location services with up-to-the minute flight data, Just Landed knows exactly where you are and how long it will take to get to the airport. Run errands, have a bite to eat, or watch TV from the comfort of home, and the app pings you when it’s time to head to the airport.
Riding high off of the smashing success of the Temple Run and the theatrical release of Disney/Pixar's Brave, Temple Run: Brave blends the properties for a sharp-looking take on the former's speedy running approach, and aims to attract new players with a family-friendly resin. The beautiful update doesn't come without some issues, though, as the $0.99 price tag raises the barrier to entry ever so slightly over the free-to-play original.
Remember Lloyd Dobler’s classic line, “I gave her my heart, and she gave me a pen”? Poor Lloyd. Maybe if Diane Court’s lame parting gift was a pen with integrated iPad stylus, some of that heartbreak would have been ameliorated. But they got back together by the end of the movie, so I guess it’s OK.
We reviewed Mission Workshop’s Vandal backpack last year, and while we were impressed by the fact that it could carry a lot of stuff, we were not happy with its lack of protective padding for a MacBook. This time around, we appreciated how the VX Small Rucksack includes a little more structure for your stuff, but Mission Workshop missed the boat on the laptop padding once again.
No matter how far technology advances, some things manage to stick around. For Virtua Tennis Challenge, that means doing its best to convince the player that it's not just Pong in a fancy new package. While the graphics are impressive and Sega's modern offering serves up more game modes than the 70's classic, it also falls short in some areas where even the simplest of games have excelled.
Billed as the "Ukulele of the Future," the cleverly named Futulele does indeed deliver on its high-tech premise. This easy-to-use ukulele simulator lets you rock out Hawaiian-style, whether you're keen on busting out your best Tiny Tim impression or strumming more serious four-string grooves. As a virtual instrument, Futulele does a good job of emulating the real deal -- right down to the way you hold your iPad on its side like an actual ukulele to play.
The word “visceral” is thrown around the games industry an awful lot, but in the case of The Darkness II—a gore-filled shooter more than happy to cover your vantage point in digital viscera--the term actually works.