Touchscreens have allowed a whole new era of innovation in mobile gaming and so far it's been pretty great. Sometimes, though, you just need buttons. There are a variety of companies out there trying to create the right solution and this isn't even the first review I've done on a third-party controller. With a unique grip to hold your smartphone, though, this one actually seemed like it stood a fighting chance of not disappearing into the nearest drawer.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.