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German Worker Strike Threatens Amazon's Holiday Cheer
November 25, 2013
Workers at Amazon in Germany are striking yet again in an effort to coax the company into better pay and conditions. Hundreds of workers at two Amazon centers, one in Bad Hersfeld and one in Leipzig, walked out on Monday. At the heart of the strikes -- there have been a handful of short strikes by Amazon workers in Germany this year -- is Amazon's classification of itself as a logistics company.
Clumsy Ninja May Tug Your Heartstrings
November 25, 2013
NaturalMotion first wowed Apple fans at last year's September Apple event with a tantalizing demo of a new game, Clumsy Ninja, which was teased to hit iOS sometime during the 2012 holiday season. Santa came and went, and no little kids played Clumsy Ninja. And then boom, Apple reveals Clumsy Ninja as an Editor's Choice app in the iTunes App Store with, get this, a video trailer.
Logitech Outfits iPhone for Gaming Control
November 20, 2013
Logitech on Wednesday introduced its new PowerShell Controller + Battery, a device that's designed to turn users' iPhones into gaming consoles. Compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and fifth-generation iPod touch devices running iOS 7, the PowerShell offers analog off-screen controls along with a battery pack for $99.99. It is now available.
Oceanhorn Taps Zelda's Goodness in All-New iOS Adventure
November 18, 2013
Oceanhorn is a delightfully odd adventure game for iOS, at once fresh and yet heavily inspired by The Legend of Zelda, a classic title from the days when Nintendo ruled video gaming. Beyond evoking fond memories of exploring a wide open land while trying to save a princess, Oceanhorn is interesting because it's on iOS. Success? Definitely. It's a fun diversion.
Duck Dynasty: Battle of the Beards: Redneckify Yourself
November 11, 2013
Duck Dynasty is an American reality television series on A&E featuring a band of redneck family men who sport ratty beards. They became wealthy by making the popular duck call, Duck Commander, and the reality show itself? It's a wild phenomenon -- the fourth season premiere snagged a whopping 11.8 million viewers. When I saw that the show had a No. 1 paid app game, I had to take a closer look.
Obduction Comes Out of the Myst
October 23, 2013
Way back in 1993, a little exploratory puzzle mystery game called Myst was released for the Mac. It took off to become one of the best-selling -- and moodiest -- games ever, expanding to a variety of other platforms. The creators followed up with Riven, and now, 20 years after Myst, they are using Kickstarter to launch a new indie-developed game, Obduction.
Softbank Plugs $1.5B Into Supercell
October 17, 2013
Supercell has closed on a round of funding totaling $1.53 billion. SoftBank and GungHo Online Entertainment, which made the joint investment, will hold 51 percent of Supercell's outstanding voting stock. Supercell creates games for mobile and tablet platforms on the free-to-play business model. Games are free, but in-game purchases enhance the gameplay and help players advance through levels.
Dragon's Lair App Lets You Relive Dirk's Glory
October 14, 2013
One of the amazing things about our new connected world of software development and easy access to consumers is how old-school games can find new life with entirely new audiences through iOS and OS X. Case in point? The Dragon's Lair 30th Anniversary app for iOS. Dragon's Lair is a really old arcade game. Seriously old, as in it was a laserdisc video game. I barely remember laserdiscs.
Apple's Sneak Attack on Gaming Is Now in Play
October 3, 2013
Apple let a silly game demonstration take center stage at WWDC in June, and it released a new framework with instructions on how developers could build physical game controllers. The two together led me to believe that an Apple sneak attack on living room gaming was imminent. Since then, two more elements have risen to the surface, and now I think the sneak attack is well under way.
Cool FPS Nav Doesn't Rescue The Drowning's Sinking Vision
August 5, 2013
The Drowning is an evolutionary new first-person shooter iOS game. It boasts a graphically rich post-apocalyptic world where an ecological disaster has turned millions of people into naked-but-genderless zombie-like monsters with bald skullish heads and claw hands. They try to kill you. You try to survive by shooting them or bludgeoning them when they get too close, and you have to reload.
Come to the Ear Monsters Ball
July 29, 2013
When I stumble upon a fresh and creative app, particularly an app that pushes humanity forward in cold dark universe, I take a closer look. One such app is Ear Monsters: A 3D Audio Game. Monsters from a parallel dimension have created wormholes to invade our universe. They quickly become invisible in our world, but luckily for us, they don't realize we can still hear them.
Nvidia Shows Dazzling Detail in Next-Gen Project Logan Demo
July 26, 2013
Nvidia demoed the first processor from Project Logan, its next-generation CUDA-capable mobile processor, at the Siggraph conference and exhibition this week. The processor uses the efficient processing cores from Nvidia's Kepler high-performance computing architecture. Nvidia's CUDA, combined with Kepler, effectively lets mobile devices perform tasks that would previously have required PCs.
Limbo Is Dark, Moody, Gory - and Irresistible
July 15, 2013
Some games on iOS are original creations -- designed for the touch interface and ready for fun -- while others are ports from previously released PC or console games, giving these popular-yet-obscure titles a whole new audience and life on iPads and iPhones. Enter Limbo, first released in 2010 exclusively for the Xbox Live Arcade. Playdead later ported it to PS3, Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
Google May Crash Game Console Party
June 28, 2013
Hard on the heels of the arrival of the Ouya video game console earlier this week, Google may be looking to get into the action. In fact, the company is currently working on an Android-powered console of its own, according to a Friday report. Apple is reportedly working on something similar as well. "There are too many screens to deal with," said IDC's Lewis Ward.
Watch for an Apple Sneak Attack on Living Room Gaming
June 20, 2013
Despite all the cool updates Apple promised to bring the world at its Worldwide Developers Conference -- iOS 7, OS X Mavericks, a new Mac Pro -- the most tantalizing new possibility wasn't described at all: games. Gaming. An Apple-made gaming console. A new vision for living room gaming delivered via home WiFi and an Apple TV. What suggests Apple might be going in that direction now?
Little Inferno Gleefully Ignites the Deep Dark Pyro Within
February 4, 2013
From what I've seen of humanity, there's a little pyro locked inside most of us. Maybe it's a universal longing to chase away the darkness with warmth and light, or maybe it's just a genetic quirk coded into our DNA from the days of the Ice Age when cooking up a wooly mammoth meant survival. Or maybe we just really like to see things burn.
The Room Holds One Maddeningly Fun Puzzle After Another
January 21, 2013
Sometimes thousands of user reviewers really get it right: The Room has nearly 100,000 reviews in the App Store with an average ranking of 5 out of 5 stars, which is a feat that grabbed my attention. Hence, I promptly downloaded The Room. But what is The Room? It's a moody, atmospheric mystery puzzle game set inside of a room, set inside of a safe, set inside of a pointy box inside the safe, and so on and so forth.
Hundreds Uses Basic Physics to Grow Puzzling Circles of Delight
January 7, 2013
It's not so often that I notice a newly released game or app rocket to a high-profile position in the iTunes App Store, but Hundreds, a puzzle game, seemingly debuted in the App Store as an Editor's Choice for the iPad version. Supposedly, the game is designed for people ages 2 to 222, so I figured it ought to work for a guy whose fingers are slow and mind only incrementally faster.
Fans Willing to Pony Up for M&M's Tasty Advergame
December 17, 2012
Those delectable M&M's characters seen in commercials are making their way to the iPhone. An advergame app titled "M&M's Brand Chocolate Factory" recently became available on iTunes for $0.99. While many M&M's commercials involve the six characters in social situations trying to avoid being eaten, the new game has the group -- and all M&M's -- in peril of being dropped into hot milk chocolate.
Xbox SmartGlass: Not Quite the One, But Worth a Date or Two
November 26, 2012
I've been watching Microsoft's Xbox 360 transformation from online gaming console to living room media center for years, so when Microsoft's Xbox SmartGlass app showed up earlier this month, I had to give it a whirl. My personal Xbox 360 use is fairly limited to playing a few games here and there as well as assisting small children as they attempt to play games.
Crazy Taxi Is a Wild Pedestrian-Terrorizing Jaunt
October 23, 2012
Back around the turn of the millennium, Sega had itself a bona fide hit in Crazy Taxi, a driving game that has players picking up fares around a city that looks a lot like San Francisco and getting to their destinations in as little time as possible. What began as an arcade game was ported to the Sega Dreamcast and then to various other platforms, most recently iOS.
Zynga Aims to Keep 'Em Down on the Farm
September 7, 2012
Zynga rolled out "FarmVille 2" on Facebook this week -- but if fans were expecting an enhanced version of the same familiar game, they were in for a surprise. The two versions have little in common. For starters, "FarmVille 2" is the first Zynga game to be built entirely in 3D. The theme is also different: In "FarmVille 2," players journey to the countryside to reinvigorate their old family farm.
'Bastion' Blends Monster-Smashing Fun With Great Color Commentary
September 4, 2012
The action role-playing game "Bastion" has been around on the Xbox 360, PC, Mac and a few other places for a while now, but I failed to notice or care until I stumbled upon it in the App Store on my iPad 2. It has fighting action, so that's good. I'm a sucker for hammers, pistols and bows. It has a lush and vivid landscape. Fantastic. And yet none of this sparked me to download and buy.
'TheEndApp': When the World Ends, the Fun Starts
July 23, 2012
I'm definitely not an iOS gamer, but I do look for a good diversion every now and then. My latest: "TheEndApp." The premise: The world as we know it comes to an end and you've got to run around an urban wasteland collecting duct tape as you go. Why? Presumably duct tape can fix anything.
Beautifully Dark Design Makes Up for 'Crow's' Gameplay Shortcomings
May 21, 2012
Every two or three months, an iOS game manages to snag more than a brief glance and actually inspires me to buy and download it. "Crow" is one of those games. The icon for the game implies a lot -- it's got a wicked darkness to it, is slickly designed, and it evokes the idea that there's trouble somewhere.
'Soulcaliber': A Beautiful Mashy-Slashy Mess
April 24, 2012
Action games can be tricky to pull off on iOS. Everything's done through a touchscreen, so you don't have as much tactile feedback -- there are no buttons under your fingertips to let you feel exactly where you need to touch at precisely the right moment, while your eyes are busy with the screen.
'Arkham City Lockdown': The Bat Is Broken
April 10, 2012
Typically when I review an iOS or Mac application, I'll give it a rating somewhere between one and five stars. Star ratings tell you nothing about the concept behind the app, how well it's executed, or how practical it is. They're just shorthand for "good," "meh" and "digital sewage."
'Angry Birds Space HD' Soars Into Orbit
March 27, 2012
The "Angry Birds" franchise is one of the App Store's biggest success stories. When it debuted almost two and a half years ago, its developers hit on a potent formula for casual gaming profits. Make it colorful, make it work nicely with a touchscreen, and make it really easy to figure out.
'Infinity Blade II' Carves Out a Plot This Time Around
December 13, 2011
I never beat the original "Infinity Blade." I liked the game, thought it was worth the money, spent many a joyful moment slashing away at a never-ending parade of uglies. But come on, that game was kind of hard. You're trying to kill a God King, and that's not an easy thing to do, even for a thirtieth-generation sword-swinger.
'Blood & Glory' Delivers the Goods but Might Bleed Your Wallet Dry
December 12, 2011
When I stumbled across the iPhone and iPad game "Blood & Glory," I instantly got the feeling that it was like "Infinity Blade," the popular fantasy slasher fighting game. That alone wasn't enough to pique my interest, but when I saw that it was free, sported lush graphics, and had an eye-popping 43,000 customer ratings with a five-star average, I had to download the 111 MB beast and take a look for myself.
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Ekata Pro Insight Identity Review
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None of the above. Social media is useless to my company.
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