If you approach Trials Frontier as a Trials game (capital “T”), then you’re in for disappointment. Although the game broadly echoes its console counterparts, its soul has been ripped out and replaced with the festering guts of a stinking freemium business model, and then spray-painted in mobile-friendly colors and cuteness. Yes, this is still a physics-oriented bike-balancer, set across ludicrously difficult-to-traverse tracks, but it lacks refinement and elegance.
The years haven’t always been so kind to Rayman. After a series of popular games in the late '90s, Michel Ancel’s limbless hero spent the better part of a decade on Ubisoft's backburner, ceding the limelight to the publisher's other blockbuster franchises. Rayman Origins — originally released for consoles in 2011 — is finally available for Mac via Feral Interactive, however, and it's a spectacular return to form. In brief, Rayman Origins is one of the best side-scrolling platform games of the past several years.
Over its last two iterations, the Assassin's Creed series – primarily known for letting players climb on historically significant landmarks and get stabby in different time periods – has increasingly become known for something unexpected: 18th century sailing and naval combat. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, with its focus on Caribbean piracy, embraced wooden ships to the point of making them central to gameplay and plot — and now we have spinoff Assassin's Creed Pirates, which is set entirely aboard them.
In spite of its title, you won’t find hooded killers or acrobatic climbing in Assassin’s Creed Pirates (at least not at first). In fact, its main character, Alonzo Batilla, seems to never even leave his ship. Instead, this upcoming spinoff focuses entirely on piracy and simple naval battles, letting players explore a quasi-open version of the Caribbean in a story set around the same time as the latest entry in the series, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
Unlike its comparatively breezy predecessor, Rayman Fiesta Run has teeth. The mechanics haven’t significantly changed, and the game is still as amusing and beautifully presented as before, but a revised level progression and brutally precise platform action make for an absorbing and terrifically challenging experience. Even if you’re not the type to play and replay stages for high scores or collectables, Fiesta Run will pinpoint your perfectionist streak and make you leap and lunge until every last glowing Lum is in hand.
Ubisoft, the Europe-based publisher known for properties such as Rayman, Splinter Cell, and Assassin’s Creed, recently revealed a new spate of upcoming games--including several that are making their way to iOS and other mobile platforms. If you want to pillage the high seas, pull off some insane stunts, or engage in some classic platforming action, Ubisoft may have just what you're looking for.
Prince of Persia has been through more permutations than most game franchises, but even though three radically different visions of its characters and universe have appeared on platforms ranging from the Apple II to current game consoles, the originals still hold up reasonably well. Well enough, in fact, that a remake of the first game (Prince of Persia Classic) was ported to iOS last year, and it's been followed by a similarly styled remake of its 1993 sequel, Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame.
Serious question: Do Apple TV owners really want to watch cable television shows on their little black boxes? Sure, it might be convenient to log into HBO Go and catch up on an episode you missed, but it's just as easy to set the DVR to record the darned thing in the first place. There's a lot of hoopla about this -- including our first item in today's recap -- but we confess, we don't get it. Let's see some more streaming services like Amazon Instant Video or VUDU before more TV apps, Apple!
Back when it was first released on the Nintendo DS in 2009, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes' highly engrossing mix of match-three puzzle gameplay and RPG combat made it the surprise sleeper hit climbing its way onto year-end best games lists. While the low-resolution original was spectacular on its own, the fact that Clash of Heroes on iOS is a port of the updated HD console version is even better news for puzzle nerds.
If you've yet to play the excellent iOS game, Rayman Jungle Run, now's a good time as ever to give Ubisoft's auto-runner a try. A just-released update adds an entirely new world to the game, offering 10 new playable levels.