Remember on the first day of grade school when your teachers would ask you to come up to the front of the room and tell your classmates what you did during your summer vacation? Inevitably, there would be tales of frolicking at the beach, camping at national parks, and other cool activities, but we think 9-year-old Caine Monroy just might have the greatest story of all.
I spent the better part of my twenties pursuing electronic-music rock stardom. Obviously, I failed.
I had some fun along the way, though, which is a rare achievement in a music genre that traditionally splits the duties of creating the music (studio-dwelling producers) and performing the music (fun-loving DJs).
Through trial and error, and many horrible shows, I had a profound realization. The secret to a great show as a DJ or electronic musician is to stop worrying about the audience having fun and focus on entertaining yourself. If an audience can see that you're happy and engaged in something you love, they're more inclined to have fun too.
This same philosophy can be found in the products made by San Francisco-based DJ TechTools. The company made its name by customizing existing DJ products with oversize arcade buttons, letting DJs wail on their gear in a far more expressive way than traditional controls allowed. Since then, the company has evolved its own line of DJ products, which continue to put fun at the forefront of the design. … Read more
If you haven't guessed already, I'm a big fan of platform games. Maybe it's my background of playing games from both the Mario and Sonic franchises or the sheer number of solid platformers in the iTunes App Store, but I simply can't get enough of them. There's just something charming to me about exploring a level, making all the right jumps, and trying to collect all the items to go on to next level.
There have been several popular platform games to come through the iTunes App Store, but as time goes on, I've noticed the genre evolving in interesting ways. Particularly with a few of the newer games, I'm seeing unique types of challenges being added that take the genre to places it hasn't been before.
This week's collected iOS apps are all platformers with something extra. The first uses an interesting foreground/background playing dynamic that adds to the action. The second is a continuous climber with added bonuses that keep trying to get higher and higher. The third offers tons of side challenges and secret areas for those who like to explore.… Read more
Paper Monsters is a polished traditional platformer with some added extras and winningly cute art and sound design.
Paper Monsters will instantly evoke other classic platformers, but in a good way: the play and interface are intuitive (a roaming virtual joystick on the left, a jump button on the right, which you tap twice to double-jump), and levels with collectible coins ("buttons"), warp pipes, enemies to jump upon, checkpoints, and lots of hidden pick-ups and paths to encourage repeat play. As the game progresses through its four chapters, with four levels each, the enemies and environments get more … Read more
The typical DJ booth is awash in buttons, knobs, and faders, allowing for precise control over any music mix. And if you've ever witnessed a DJ in this natural habitat, you know how utterly boring it is to watch.
Enter the MIDI Fighter 3D, a new $249 DJ controller from DJ Tech Tools. Finally, a visually striking controller that requires its user to do more than just twist a few knobs.
In addition to the arcade-style oversized buttons used on the original MIDI Fighter controller, the MIDI Fighter 3D adds an internal gyroscopic sensor and digital compass, allowing you to control MIDI parameters (such as volume, pitch, and effect variations) by tilting or turning the entire device. … Read more
Midway Arcade offers classic games from the '80s arcades and gives you touch-screen options that work pretty well, but it's not perfect. This 99-cent game features Joust, Defender, Rampage, Spy Hunter, Arch Rivals, Root Beer Tapper, and then some other more-interactive games one would usually find at classic arcades, like air hockey, basketball quick-shot games, billiards, and Roll Ball (a skee-ball clone). You have the option to buy two more 99-cent packages of games through in-app purchase. The Adventure Game Pack includes Gauntlet 1 and 2, and Wizard of Wor. The Action Game Pack comes with NARC, Total Carnage, … Read more
Have you ever tried buying an AC/DC album on iTunes? Don't bother. It's not there. Unlike those sellouts, The Beatles, AC/DC is too cool for that crap.
So what better way to honor the world's most tenaciously old-school rock gods than to give them their own pinball machine? I mean, it's about time someone showed The Who, that serious pinball geeks deserve a more rocking anthem than "Pinball Wizard."
One of the great things about having grown up with video games and then writing about iOS apps is that all my favorites seem to eventually be playable on my phone. I wrote about Atari's Greatest Hits some time ago, but even though I liked seeing some of the old classics on my phone, the controls were flawed. Though they were playable, most of the games didn't really live up to my memory of them.
Yes, I know I'm probably looking at my youth through rose-colored glasses, but in this case it's true--the control issues really took away from the games.
Today, another group of classic arcade games were made available on iOS, and this time they might have the control schemes (mostly) worked out. Midway Arcade (99 cents), out today, takes a lot of those classic games from the '80s and gives you some touch-screen options that work somewhat better, though it's still not perfect (Rose-colored glasses again? Maybe). This 99-cent game features Joust, Defender, Rampage, Spy Hunter, Arch Rivals, Root beer Tapper, and then some other more interactive games one would usually find at classic arcades like, air hockey, basketball quick-shot games, billiards, and Roll Ball (a Skee Ball clone). You have the option to buy two more 99-cent packages of games through in-app purchase. The Adventure Game Pack includes Gauntlet 1 and 2, and Wizard of Wor. The Action Game Pack comes with NARC, Total Carnage, and APB.… Read more
Here at CNET we're about to start a three-day weekend thanks to Presidents Day on Monday. If you're lucky enough to have an extra day this weekend, what better way to waste a little time than with a solid new game? There have been a lot of great game releases lately, and this week I've picked games from various genres in the hope that you can find something you like.
This week's iOS app collection is all about new games to play over the long weekend. The first is a physics puzzler sequel that's extremely polished and very hard to put down. The second uses your music library to drive the shoot-'em-up action on screen. The third is a platforming game sequel that truly tests your arcade gaming skills.… Read more
Beat Hazard Ultra is a unique dual-stick arcade shooter that uses music from your music library to create the pace of the game. Each song in your music library has a unique rhythm and flow and as the power builds in a song, Beat Hazard Ultra sends more enemies for you to blow away. Even if you have no music on your iOS device, the game lets you choose from several Internet radio stations to stream the musical backdrop of the game. The graphics are worthy of note, too; this game has so many blinking lights and colors that there'… Read more