FIFA may be the undisputed king of football games on the console, but when it comes to mobile gaming, it's a totally different ball game.
Gameloft will be hoping that Real Football 2013 (also known as "Real Soccer 2013" in the U.S. store) can take advantage of FIFA 13's delayed arrival to the Play store this year, and amass as many downloads as possible, but how does it compare to its rivals?
When you launch Real Football for the first time, you can choose to take control of a club from a number of leagues across the world. Pro Evolution Soccer fans will no doubt be glad to see the return of teams such as 'Man Red', as Gameloft hasn't acquired the rights to the names of most of the teams available.
Sidescrolling / top-down space shooters are nothing new - but really good ones are still, like any good game, worth pointing out. I went into Sector Strike, by Clapfoot, with high hopes - they made the now-Android-classic Tank Hero. And while Sector Strike is a pretty good game, odd control choices, repetition, and in-app purchases make this free-to-play title a short and predictable love affair.
Sector Strike plays like almost any other spaceship sidescroller: you shoot enemies continuously with a bunch of lasers and other sci-fi age goodies that come out of the front of your craft like the contents of a psychedelic new year's party popper.
I panned the Note 10.1 in my review. It was subtitled "An Embarrassing, Lazy, Arrogant Money Grab" and, for my conclusion, I took a picture of it in a trashcan. I did not like it. It had erratic performance, a squishy, creaky back, and a bunch of gimmicky features that didn't work. Now, I've got a Note II!
I'm happy to report the Note II is not as crappy as its bigger brother. It's much more solidly built in comparison, really fast, and god help me, some of the TouchWiz features are actually good. They greatly improved the split screen app feature of the Note 10.1, and I think Samsung has finally found their huge, differentiating software feature that they've been searching for.
As we all know by now, Google purchased Motorola in August of 2011 for a whopping $12.1 billion. Nerds rejoiced, analysts balked, and the general public didn't really notice or care. But Motorola's newest wave of handsets - the excellent Razr M and the new Razr HD/ Razr Maxx HD - aren't the result of Google ownership. They were already in the pipeline, so they're products of the old Motorola.
I'm happy to report that the analysts' skepticism was unfounded. The Razr M hinted that Motorola was already on the right track before being acquired; the Razr HD confirms it. Although it has some silly software flaws, it's one of the most lovable devices I've used in ages.
Despite the fact that tens of thousands of games are available on Android, most of them are easily placed within genres that have been around for decades, or they simply copy the conventions of mobile-friendly games (tower defense, runners, physics games, etc). IT's refreshing to see a game like Sumioni: Demon Arts, which combines traditional platforming with the kind of touch-enabled gameplay mechanics that's only been possible for a few years. It's a shame, then, that it has to come from a PlayStation Vita port... with the high price tag that usually accompanies console games.
The artistry on display in Sumioni, lifted from Japanese sumi-e paintings (with "oni" meaning "demon" in Japanese, creating a crude quasi-pun in the title), is undeniably attractive.
Readers of a certain age might remember pumping quarter after quarter into arcade machines back in the day. Maybe one of those arcade games was the classic shooter known as Zaxxon. Now 30 years later Zaxxon is back as a fast-paced tunnel racer that requires some quick reflexes. It's easy for a reimagining of classic titles to go off the rails, but how does Zaxxon Escape fair? Let's see.
There's not much of a backstory here; you are in a space ship and have to get out of Zaxxon's asteroid city through a series of randomly generated tunnels with an explosion hot on your heels.
In an age where everyone wants wireless everything, we're slowly seeing more traditional products integrate Bluetooth and Wi-Fi into their feature repertoire, particularly since the start of the smartphone revolution. Today, we're talking about speakers. Specifically, some pretty crazy looking ones called the Spinnakers, made by a company called Edifier.
I reviewed Edifier's Prisma 2.1 BT speaker system in August, and was thoroughly impressed with what $130 got you in terms of raw sound. The Spinnakers, though, are a tad pricier. And, by a tad, I mean a little less than three times as much, at $350 ($330 on Amazon).
As a parent, I'm terrified at the thought of my kids driving. We're still at least seven years away from that, but it's still something I think about almost daily. It's becoming all too common to hear horror stories of how someone lost of loved one due to things like using email, texting, or other cell phone usage while driving. I'm hoping there's a better solution than we have now before my babies get behind the wheel, but for those who are going through that very thing right now, Scosche has a solution. Not just any solution, either - one that should actually work.
Every once in a while, we have one of those moments in our lives when we try something for the first time, and we think to ourselves "I'm going to remember this moment - the moment when I discovered this thing." Be it food, some sort of gadget, a television show, or a musical artist, it's the kind of thing that sticks with you, at least for a while.
And when it comes to smartphones, there haven't been too many devices that really gave me that feeling. The iPhone - for just changing the shape of the industry. The Nexus One, as the first Android "superphone," and my personal introduction to the OS.
Iron Jack 2 is a mashing-up of multiple kinds of genres; it combines platforming with some physics-based gameplay and places them inside a familiar "beat levels, get three stars" box. You play as a lone spaceman whose job it is to collect fuel energy. Once enough energy is collected,a level can be exited and completed.
This sounds simple enough, right? We've seen many games use this formula to great effect, making its players jump through increasingly difficult hoops in order to get that vaunted three-star score, and a place on leaderboards. It's a great way of encouraging replayability: instead of having to concentrate on making every level fun, you just make it competitive, instead.