Archangel's foundations are simple but strong. Shaken from your thousand-year slumber by the yammerings of demon neighbors, you slap on armor and get to the business of shutting them up. Your groggy attacks as you recall your moves yield one of gaming's best excuses for learning new skills within the early minutes, but it ultimately means little as most hints of a story vanish before the primal impulse to hack and slash. It's faux-Diablo on a touch screen, in short, and the concept usually delivers.
Most notable stealth-action games — including Metal Gear Solid, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, and Mark of the Ninja — make sneaking about and leaving enemies undisturbed merely an option, also providing the ease and capability of dealing out death as desired. Not so in the first episode of République, which follows Hope, a teenage girl held captive for possessing revolutionary materials within the school of a totalitarian regime. Aside from wielding the occasional pepper spray bottle or a one-time-use taser, she’ll need to creep around every corner and stay totally unseen to avoid being recaptured. And unlike in the average stealth affair, you’re not even directly controlling her actions.
If you’ve ever played “What would you take to a deserted island?” the response probably included any number of practical, real-world items needed for basic human survival. In our case, 1Password would rank squarely near the top. Compatible with web browsers such as Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, and now Opera, 1Password acts as a secure central depository for logins and passwords, as well as credit cards, reward programs, and even personal identities, providing websites one-click access to sensitive information.
Depending on your perspective, free-to-play games might either be the best or worst thing to happen to the mobile platform – but whatever your take, it's hard to deny that the approach comes with notable compromises. Dead Trigger 2 is a fairly engrossing first-person shooter with a lot to offer in regards to comfortable controls and enjoyable blood-spattered gameplay, but you'll quickly find yourself sitting around doing nothing in order to avoid throwing money into the works.
Backyard Monsters: Unleashed expertly adapts Kixeye’s popular Facebook game for iOS, putting you in charge of a horde of deadly fiends as they build a mighty fortress and wage war on neighboring clans. The beasts are on the scary side of cute, morphing sweet and colorful character designs into something out of a nightmare — which rather adheres to their particular brand of destruction.
Confused demonyms notwithstanding, Romans from Mars is a fairly straightforward iOS offering from Sidekick Games: waves of green-skinned centurions are attacking your ramparts and you, a lone ballista operator, are tasked with holding them off. The Roman deity Jupiter supplies intermittent spells — an earthquake here, a lightning bolt there — but the bulk of Romans from Mars consists of launching huge arrows as quickly and accurately as possible against increasingly complex hordes of aliens. Unfortunately, it devolves into mindless tapping, while the free-to-play approach makes upgrades prohibitively expensive before long.
With a laser pistol in one hand and a glowing sword in the other, charging through long corridors filled with killer robots, oozing slime creatures, and alien freaks sounds like a good time. It is — at least to an extent — in Echo Prime. This sci-fi brawler from Robot Entertainment (Hero Academy) is a high-energy tap-fest that balances smart controls and formidable challenge. The satisfaction that comes from cleaving through droves of foes in a successful run dampens during longer play sessions, however, due to intense repetition that'll leave your wrists aching.
Newly exclusive to iOS 7, iMovie 2.0 is a big leap forward for mobile video editing. Apple nixes the movie theater motif of earlier versions in favor of a more streamlined UI here, making it easier than ever to create slick projects complete with slow motion, titles, and transitions. And unlike earlier versions that sometimes behaved sluggishly, iMovie 2.0 offers 64-bit support for the iPhone 5s and upcoming iPad models, accomplishing every task with breakneck speed. The app even eliminates older pain points with audio: Fade ins and outs are now adjustable, and audio from video clips can now be detached or inserted on its own.
Ember is the successor to the five-year-old LittleSnapper, and in classic Realmac style it offers powerful tools in a finely crafted interface. At its core, Ember helps you collect and organize images, whether they are screenshots destined for documentation, or inspiration you’re collecting for your next website design. Built around a clean, smart file browser and an excellent set of organizational tools, Ember is a bit of a niche product, but if you need its feature-set, the $50 price tag shouldn’t be a deterrent.
Accessing files on the Mac has been a work in progress since the beginning of OS X. For proof, just look at the evolution of Finder windows and the Dock. Falling somewhere between those familiar fixtures, Desktop Shelves offers a new way to help keep digital clutter at bay.