Heir Audio’s youngest children have been thrust into the thick of a do-or-die competition. Custom earphone manufacturers are pounding with exceeding energy toward the lucrative – and showy – universal earphone market. I see no end in sight – and to be honest, that is a good thing. Technology handed down from top-flight customs is good stuff. Heir Audio’s 3.Ai and 4.Ai carry the goods inherited from their more expensive, custom siblings.
Several months ago, I accidentally dropped my iPad 3 on the ground as the Smart Cover I was holding detached itself from the tablet. Sadly, the screen got banged up and several inches of scratch marks were made. Thankfully Apple replaced it for free and gave me a brand new iPad – this despite not having the extended AppleCare+ warranty. Now if I had bothered putting on a worthy screen protector, the iPad’s display wouldn’t have been damaged in the first place. Since then, I’ve gone through several brands (mostly the cheap ones), though all of them left much to be desired for one reason or another. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. That’s when I decided to finally skip the junk and try out some of the “premium” screen protectors out there, like the hugely popular ZAGG invisibleSHIELDs. In particular, the invisibleSHIELD Extreme for the iPhone 5 and High Definition shield for the iPad 3/4.
Besides using my iPad 3 for surfing the web, working on TMA articles when I’m on the road or watching movies/TV shows, I love my PDF apps for reading ebooks, documents and magazines. For the longest time, my two favorite have been the ever reliable GoodReader and PDF Expert. However, I recently came across a lesser known app in the crowded genre by Com-Tec-Co - PDF Cabinet - and it’s quickly won me over. Not only is it well designed, but it’s also got one of the most intuitive and easy to use annotations interface I’ve come across.
I remember being slightly concerned that a simple line tracing game would be a bit on the boring side when Neon Mania came out. It actually wasn’t a bad little game, but it seemed to be missing something. I believe that its successor, Neon Blitz, has found that something. I don’t usually care for games with timers, but in this case it gives the game play an intensity that was lacking in the first outing. I still think it could use a couple of extra game play modes, but Neon Blitz took the concept from a decent but ultimately lackluster game to something that can actually become addictive.
I’m not really a fan of electronic golf games. In fact, the more realistic they are, the less interested I am. Mini-golf games, on the other hand, can be quite entertaining given the right dash of something. In the case of Wonderputt, it’s the way the holes are set up. I’m not just talking about level design, either. It’s great fun simply watching the course get created! Let me explain…
Far be it from me to judge, but I honestly didn’t expect a game about a giant rock chucking other rocks with its tongue to really be any good. Enough levels that I’ve lost count later and I’m seriously hooked on King Oddball. The silly premise and cool visuals are enough to draw you in, while the simple mechanics and challenging levels will keep you coming back for more. I’m already a big 10 Tons fan, and this game not only furthers that relationship but it has cemented a place firmly in the top 3 titles of theirs that I like.
If it weren’t for the fact that other publishers release great games as well, I could easily spend my game time just playing titles from Chillingo. The advantage to being latched on to a publisher is that you’re more likely to get a wide variety of game styles to choose from, and in this case we have a one touch platformer with a hero that looks like something out of a little animated segment you might see in between live footage on a kids’ program from the 80s. Growing up with the gaming industry and watching the need of designers to try and cram more buttons and triggers onto a controller, it always amazes me when someone can make a fun and challenging game where you have one control. That’s why I like One Tap Hero so much.
I have to confess that I did not know what type of game Zombie Quest HD was when I agreed to review it, but the allure of undead participants and a quirky board game were too much for me to refuse. I was a bit surprised to discover that it was simply an Othello variant, but then it turned out to be quite an amusing twist on the original. Then it was over, just as I was really getting into it. The changes from its inspiration are welcome additions, but for this game to rise above the rest it at least needs to either expand its level set or make multi-player more than just hot-seat, if not both.
After countless browser reloads on UPS’ tracking page and waiting for the UPS truck to show up, my pre-ordered iPhone 5 (Black/Slate 32GB) finally arrived on Friday afternoon. Upon opening the box like a slobbering kid in a candy store, I was greeted with a familiar looking iPhone, one that was noticeably taller, but not wider. Despite reading all the reviews online and hearing about how it’s 20% lighter, I was still taken aback by just how much lighter it actually felt in my hand. It almost felt like I was picking up an iPhone made entirely of plastic. And the fact that it’s 18% slimmer is also immediately apparent when held. All in all, the iPhone 5′s form factor is just sleek and sexy as hell. Factor in that I skipped the 4S, this was one heck of an upgrade.
In my humble opinion, if ever there was a style of game that shouldn’t be so fun or addictive, it would be the mini-game collection. After all, doesn’t such a design simply mean that the developers couldn’t come up with enough material for a full fledged game? Well, okay, I am being a bit harsh, and I really don’t believe that, but it still amazes me that I fall so easily for this type of gameplay. The latest captor of my time is Tap The Frog 2, and this game is insanely addictive – even though concept wise it’s so simple a little kid could grasp it with ease. I just wish I had the native iPad version, because I find that my overcompensated fingers like the big screen better. Thankfully, the app is remarkably playable on 2x mode on my iPad 2.