I have never been a big fan of keeping a ToDo list. It always felt that it takes more time to write things down to do later, than actually doing them, thus wasting valuable minutes and attention span. But that was until I became a project manager. Once the burden of several complicated projects fell on me simulain, I noticed more and more that unless I jot things down, I tend to forget them occasionally. But we’re in the iCentury, right? So when simple jotting is not enough, enter the various Task keeping apps and more specifically – Pocket Informant (Calendar & Tasks).
Whenever people speak about a city-simulation game the first one that comes to mind is, of course the SimCity franchise: SimCity™ Deluxe (ChiffaN’s SimCity™ Deluxe review, shigzeo’s SimCity™ review). And stunned by EA’s glory, they often forget that the SimCity franchise, while the best known, is far from being the only city-building simulation out there.
Last autumn, a game so deceptively simple took the App Store by storm. I’m talking, of course, about Canabalt – the one button game where you control a guy fleeing for his life across the tops of buildings in the midst of an alien attack. One year and big publisher later, enter Mirror’s Edge, a title that takes the same basic concept to a whole new dimension. It had a long and winding road to the iPhone, debuting as one of the first major iPad games nearly 6 months ago.
Despite the prominence of the RPG genre on the App Store, an inquisitive mind quickly discovers that about 70% are Action/RPGs ported from other mobile devices, with a few originally developed for the platform. The other 30% are split between the classic cRPGs like Undercroft (TMA Review), the Diablo-clones with Dungeon Hunter (TMA Review) in the lead and, very rarely, classic console jRPGs like the famous FINAL FANTASY series. It seems the latter has just got a massive upgrade with the release of Crimson Gem Saga – a port of a highly acclaimed PSP title.
I have to confess I missed the original SimCity when it came out back in 1989. Thankfully, I didn’t miss SimCity 2000 and remember spending ages on it, watching my bustling city grow and prosper. Well, it seems I will have many more sleepless nights with my iPhone now that Electronic Arts has released SimCity™ Deluxe on the App Store.
Star Wars is definitely one of the pillars of science-fiction. The original trilogy revolutionized how the general public perceive the genre and has left it’s trail in almost all areas of life – be it toys, CCGs, books or videogames. Even on the iDevice the franchise has left quite an impression, with Star Wars The Force Unleashed and the recent Star Wars: Trench Run being the most noteworthy titles. And now they have been joined by arguably the best Star Wars game on the iDevice to date in the form of a Tower Defence – Star Wars: Battle for Hoth.
From a technical standpoint puzzle games are fairly easy to put together, because they don’t require a lot the visual trickery that many other game types do in order to be interesting. On the other hand, developers have to be careful because it’s all too easy to make their game feel just like all the other puzzle games. Even when you do come up with an original idea, making enough diverse levels is no easy task. So if you’re interested in seeing all of this done correctly, look no further than Helsing’s Fire. The concept is unique, the level designs are well executed, and the aesthetics are quite pleasant. Helsing’s Fire is yet another excellent publishing pick by Clickgamer.
So who’s ready for another great week of new iPhone / iPad releases? Me too, but this week wasn’t quite as spectacular as some in the past. We did get some remastered lovin’ in the form of Monkey Island 2 Special Edition for both iPhone and iPad, and The Last King Of Africa from Benoit Sokal was also released, so adventure game fans have plenty to do. If you’re into FPSes, there’s a new contender in Archetype that promises intense 5 on 5 combat action. And for RTS fans there’s The Gravedigger, a quirky new entry that lets you pit a priest and his faithful followers against a disgruntled gravedigger and his legion of the undead.
We’re still in that phase where a lot of notable games are simply ports from one device to another, but overall this week has been a lot more interesting than the last several. There wasn’t a whole lot of “big news” this week, though I do find the 19.99 price tag for Bridge Island HD kind of interesting, especially since the game doesn’t come from one of the “big players”. It’s good to see that others are trying to help raise the bar on iDevice prices, and I hope it does well for them. Something notable to me was the release of 1942: First Strike, as this was one of my favorite vertical scrolling shooters when I was a kid, and I still refer to it on a regular basis when writing reviews of SHMUPS.
A little while back, we did a tutorial on how to read your old (non-epub) ebooks using iBooks. It featured Calibre, a powerful (and free) software that can easily manage and convert all your ebooks to the epub format. At the time of writing, Stanza, my preferred ebook app, had yet to receive a dedicated iPad version and thus, iBooks was essentially the only e-reader on the device. Well now that Stanza has received a recent update to make it a universal app (along with some other new and much welcomed features), we’ll be taking a look at how to transfer your existing ebooks collection onto the popular e-reader app on your iPad.