Very few educational math apps have recognizable characters, but the newest such iOS edutainment game from JumpStart features animals from the Madagascar series of animated films. Madagascar Math Ops balances education with fun by rewarding good math skills with an Angry Birds-like physics game, in which you hurl the penguins – who are wearing jetpacks – at obstacles in order to free the other animal characters.
Pairing Disney's biggest original iOS hit with the company's most iconic character, Where's My Mickey? XL delivers another breezy physics puzzler that challenges you to guide a stream of liquid to the cartoon mouse. Skillfully utilizing a classic Mickey Mouse aesthetic with animated cut-scenes, the game maintains the winning gameplay formula that propelled Where's My Water? and licensed follow-up Where's My Perry?, though a lack of challenge makes it less memorable than expected.
The original Kingdom Rush is one of the App Store's most enticing time sinks – an original tower defense affair that delivers countless hours of challenging entertainment and remains atop the crowded genre on iOS. Kingdom Rush Frontiers, available in separate iPhone (reviewed) and iPad releases, makes little effort to reinvent the formula. It's the same core strategic experience that we loved last year, albeit with fresh terrain and tower upgrades, plus a couple of light twists along the way. And considering the immense quality of the original, it's tough to argue with that approach.
Previously only available on the iPad, Evomail's iPhone client gets a running start with a simple, beautiful UI that feels right at home on the smaller screen – so much so that we wonder why the iPad version came first. Its interface is filled with visual flourishes we love about this new generation of email clients, with circular avatars, smooth animations, and crisp fonts that make it a joy to use, but a few stumbles stop it from being as good as it can be.
Although Spotlight lets you find apps and files with ease, it doesn’t let you do a great deal with them. Additionally, it’s a closed system that you can’t extend and can barely customize. By contrast, Quicksilver can put your entire Mac at your fingertips, through a pane-oriented command system utilizing an object/action/argument structure.
Waldorf is a German synth company with a pedigree that dates back more than a couple of decades, and specializes in a branch of sound generation called "wavetable synthesis," which blends sampled sounds and synthesized filters together for slick sonic goodness. Its new iPad app, Nave, is a bold monster, with tons of deep programmability, and a thick, gorgeous sound that truly rivals hardware synths that cost more than the highest-capacity iPad.
A computer may still be the desired platform with which to have a true multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) experience, but when you’re on the go and have a hankering for some genre action, your phone is quickly becoming the next best option. No stranger to online games, Zynga is the latest developer to throw its hat in the mobile MOBA market with Solstice Arena, a free-to-play title that provides the ideal balance of portability and strategy without skimping out on what makes the style of play so fun to begin with.
Worms has been a staple of the PC gaming scene for almost 20 years now, and during that time, its various sequels and spinoffs have made the rounds. It was only inevitable that the franchise would grace the Mac once again, which it recently has in the form of Worms Revolution – Deluxe Edition on the Mac App Store.
You'd think it would be a simple task to make a great game based on the latest Superman film, what with all its high-flying action and superhero awesomeness. Sadly, Man of Steel is a bland, repetitive, and weak (though ultimately competent) Infinity Blade knock-off, minus the exploration. You'll fight one Kryptonian after another, going through a Story Mode of loosely-connected scenes based on events from the movie, all while leveling up your skills along the way and watching a handful of neat comic-style cut-scenes that hint at the presence of a plot.
Our kids may have been able to unlock our iPhones since before they could walk, but that doesn't mean they're actually gaining anything by using them. There are countless cartoon and character apps to keep them occupied, but sometimes we want them to learn and create while they're having fun. Montessorium's "Intro" apps have always struck a keen balance between education and entertainment, but its latest entry, Intro to Colors, might be the best to date. With a vivid, interactive interface inspired by the Montessori color tablets, Intro to Colors just might turn your child into the next Picasso.