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.
The iOS games market generally isn’t defined by the kinds of action titles with pinpoint-precise controls that dominate consoles. That makes it all the more daring when a game on iPhone and iPad attempts to go in such a direction, and even more impressive when one does it well. Quadropus Rampage manages to leap that particular hurdle with relative ease, though the touch screen interface does keep the controls from feeling particularly on point.
Like its predecessors, Gangstar Vegas takes many of its cues from popular open-world action games like Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row, offering plenty of story-driven missions and a large setting to explore. As such, you can expect to drive around in stolen cars, engage in gunfights with random thugs, and perhaps even run over a pedestrian or two. It may not win any awards for innovation or originality, but this robust copycat offers plenty of pick-up-and-play entertainment if you can overcome its unreliable controls.
It's tough to be wowed by a notes app at this point. From Evernote to Drafts, we've tested them all, and surely you have already developed a system that you're comfortable with. But when three of the industry heavyweights form a sort of developer super-group, it's pretty hard to ignore the fruits of their labor. The brainchild of Dave Wiskus, Brent Simmons and John Gruber, Vesper – named for the specialized martini ordered by James Bond in Ian Fleming's first 007 book – is not just another notes app for your iPhone. With a minimal interface and few features, it aims to change your approach to mobile note taking by stripping away the clutter and focusing on finding your thoughts quickly and effortlessly.
We'll come right out and say it: Marvel's Avengers Alliance can be a chaotic mess in moments. First finding life as a casual Facebook social game, this superhero-themed RPG battler gets off to a rocky start, thanks to complex underpinnings that are awkwardly explained and an obtuse storyline that feels utterly disjointed at best. When character interactions aren't dripping with clichés, they sometimes lack coherence altogether. Despite all of this, there's something about the nerdy RPG combat between classic superheroes and oddball foes that still strikes a chord.
A pirate-themed match-three puzzle game on iPhone and iPad? Sure, it's been done before, but rather than sticking to the status quo, Scurvy Scallywags throws all kinds of crazy ideas onto the pile. Combating, collecting, crafting, and combo-chaining your way across the salty seas is a collective task overflowing with quirky pillaging and plundering aplenty, and we'd expect nothing less from Monkey Island series creator Ron Gilbert and his co-conspirators at Beep Games.
A good night's sleep is as important to parents as it is to babies. Whether your child is still in swaddlers or running around at top speed for hours on end, a nice stretch of shuteye can do wonders for refueling his/her body -- and yours. But as for getting a kid to actually lay down for eight or so hours? Well, that's another story. Lullabytes is something of a smart soother for your iPhone, using simple controls, intelligent sensors, and sweet melodies to lull your child to sleep.
If there’s one thing a designer loves more than typography, it’s discovering new colors. Thanks to Adobe Kuler (derived from the Mauritian creole word for “color”), capturing and sharing any shade of the rainbow is now as easy as opening an iPhone app. Much like the Flash-based web version, which is one of the more intriguing services included with Adobe Creative Cloud, Kuler allows designers to play with and save five-color swatches (called “themes”) for later use in desktop applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.
When you begin a game of Stickets, the emptiness of its 5x5 grid is a vast expanse of possibility. You have four shapes, all L-blocks made up of three squares each. These squares alternate in color between three set tones, with the palette randomly ordered. Each L-block, unable to be rotated, can be placed anywhere on the screen as long as there’s room to accommodate its shape, and when placed it plays an ambient tone. Once on the grid, the block is replaced with one of a different color arrangement, with the same rotation. Your sole objective: Make three or more squares of the same color touch so you can clear them from the board. There’s no timer, and the only score is the number of moves you manage to rack up. What do you do? Stickets' total lack of forgiveness generates a brilliant iPhone puzzle experience.