When iOS 4.2 was released, I didn't update my iPhone right away. I waited until I was back from Thanksgiving vacation, where I could sync my iPhone on my home computer. Once I got home, like any responsible iPhone user, I backed up my iPhone first then hit the update button. From there it went through its usual process of downloading the update, some rebooting of the phone, and the rest of the updating procedure. Everything seemed to be running smoothly until the end. That's when I got an error (1013) and my iPhone went into recovery … Read more
Super Laser: The Alien Fighter is a fast-paced, vertically scrolling 2D shooter in the spirit of arcade classics like Raiden, Xevious, and 1942.
You pilot a small ship that never stops shooting, maneuvering through tight formations of enemies that attack throughout the game's seven frenetic levels--all of which end in boss battles of increasing epic-ness. The game gives you four different choices for controlling your ship: Touch (you just place and move your finger wherever you want your ship), Relative (like Touch, but you can place your finger anywhere on the screen, e.g., beside your ship), Joypad (a … Read more
Space Miner Blast is a slimmed-down arcade version of one of our favorite games on the iPhone called Space Miner: Space Ore Bust. The original game included a storyline in which you tried to keep your uncle's space-mining company afloat by mining various sectors of space and using the ore to make money so you could upgrade your ship. Though we still recommend the original as a more involved and unique game, Space Miner Blast takes the basic gameplay mechanic (flying around and shooting asteroids) and makes it into a fun challenge on its own.
Space Miner Blast tasks … Read more
A couple weeks ago, I showed you a sneak preview of one of the most surprising iPhone games ever, Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner, which combines seemingly traditional space combat with augmented reality (AR) for a decidedly unique "Star Wars" experience.
Hey, iPhone gamers, I received a press release just yesterday that plenty will be excited about: Real Racing 2 is coming soon for the iPhone. As one of my favorite games for 2009, the original Real Racing might be the best in its class for graphics, gameplay, and realism (as the name suggests) among auto-racing games on the iPhone.
Though there is no information beyond the announcement (here is Firemint's cryptic info page), I'm personally hoping for new tracks, new cars, and maybe even an accelerometer-based motorcycle racing mode. I admit that last wish is probably far-fetched, but it never hurts to dream, right? It almost seems impossible to improve upon the original, so I'm excited to see what Firemint will add in the sequel.
Though I can only guess at a release date, the timing of this press release seems to suggest that we could have this product on our iPhones in time for the gift-giving season. I'm crossing my fingers!
This week's apps are both arcade games: an advanced Astroids-like title and a game where you play as a man-eating giant worm.… Read more
The big Apple iPhone news this week involved a new app approved in the iTunes App Store called Skyfire Web Browser (link will open iTunes). This new Web browser's claim to fame is that it can display Flash content by using an interesting workaround. The browser sends Flash content to its own server, converts it to HTML5, then streams the content back to your iPhone. Jessica Dolcourt wrote about Skyfire's shaky launch here.
Apparently, within 5 hours, Skyfire's servers were overloaded (imagine that!) as people swarmed to a new way to view Flash on the iPhone. To be honest, I haven't run into many problems with not having Flash, but I definitely hope that Apple and Adobe or someone can come to an agreement so any smartphone user can get ALL the Web content available.
As of right now, Skyfire is still available at the iTunes App Store, but I have to wonder how it could not know there would be an onslaught of traffic and prepare accordingly. It also makes me wonder if it's really worth the trouble.
What do you think? Are you content waiting for developers to convert everything to HTML5 (if that's even possible)? Should Apple just throw caution to the wind and make it so Flash works (and open the platform to those alleged dangers)? Let me know in the comments!
This week, get cooking with chefs from the Food Network and play a fun arcade baseball game.… Read more
The Apple event on Wednesday was largely about the next iteration of Mac OS X (appropriately named Lion). But an interesting development came when Steve Jobs introduced the new Mac App Store, which will become available to Snow Leopard users in about 90 days.
Much like the iTunes App Store, the Mac App Store will let you purchase Mac apps and install them quickly on your computers. And as it does with the iTunes App Store, Apple will take a 30-percent cut of the sale price, leaving developers 70 percent. But Jobs was careful to point out that the Mac App Store will not mimic the closed system of the iTunes App Store--it will simply be another option to bring apps to your Mac. But do we really believe him?
It seems to me that creating the Mac App Store is Apple's way of testing whether the market will tolerate Apple getting a piece of the action on software developed for the Mac, just like it does with iPhone apps. We can be pretty sure that several developers will submit their apps right off the bat, if for no other reason than for the exposure that an iTunes-like experience can provide. But what Apple might be banking on is that once the software submissions gain momentum, the larger players may no longer have a choice but to submit their software to the new system. Am I just being paranoid?
While we certainly can't be sure what Apple hopes to achieve with the Mac App Store, this sort of soft launch makes me think there's something more going on here. Let me know what you think in the comments.
This week's apps include a 3D third-person soccer game and a new arcade space flier with a fun single-player mode.… Read more
Buganoids is a free arcade game with 8-bit graphics, old-school sound and gameplay, and a circular range of movement reminiscent of classic stand-up tube-shooters like Tempest and Gyruss.
Buganoids' schtick is simple and addictive: you move clockwise or counterclockwise around the "surface" of a planet, shooting into the interior to take out advancing enemy bad guys--in this case, menacing little bees, birds, turtles, and centipede-type creatures, which emerge from holes in the planet's surface. The game's interface is explicitly styled after a stand-up arcade game: under the main screen, you press photo-realistic buttons to rotate left … Read more
In 2007, Konami teamed up with Ubisoft to release the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game on Xbox Live Arcade. The move prompted a number of requests for other licensed Konami arcade beat-'em-ups like The Simpsons and X-Men. Three years later, one of those requests is being granted.
Konami announced today that 1992's X-Men arcade brawler will be released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3's downloadable game services later this year. It will mark the first time the game will receive a home release on any platform.
As in the original arcade game, players will get … Read more
MadMaks is a promising robot-combat arcade game with chunky old-school graphics, fun controls, and a short solo campaign.
You start the game controlling a maneuverable but relatively wimpy tank--a "Frogamo Mak"--and you can opt for good accelerometer controls (tilting left and right to steer, and forward and back to move) or a somewhat clunkier virtual directional-pad. You change weapons and shoot using touch-screen buttons, as you travel across a 3D sandbox terrain, destroying and defending various targets (all as cute as your Mak, with similar cartoony eyes) to accomplish varying objectives over 10 unlockable levels. As you … Read more