In 20 or 30 years, how will you feel about the downloaded music, movies, and books you buy today? With physical media you may have written notes on the books' pages or spilled coffee on them. You might remember the day you accidentally ripped page 202 of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," or lent an LP or CD to a friend who put a small scratch on "OK Computer." I have literally hundreds of LPs I bought in the '60s and '70s, most of which I never replaced with CDs. Just holding the LP jacket … Read more
One Taiwanese Web site is jumping into the iPhone 5 rumor fray with the claim that Apple is testing an iPhone prototype that has a slide-out keyboard.
The lack of a physical keyboard is one of the last remaining gripes many have about Apple's revolutionary iPhone. Many longtime BlackBerry users refuse to switch to the iPhone due to their apparent love of tiny keyboards. But all this could be moot should this rumor pan out.
The Large Hadron Collider, CERN's particle accelerator straddling the border of Switzerland and France, is due to shut down for a major upgrade later than expected, after managers concluded the current rate of operational improvements could reveal new physical phenomena.
The LHC is a mammoth tool best known for its search for the Higgs boson--or more likely, some believe, a suite of them--and its other probes of the bizarre realm of subatomic physics. By colliding particles in two high-energy beams of protons, or more recently lead ions, physicists can re-create conditions present near the Big Bang.
Currently the … Read more
Last October I called Chillingo's Cut the Rope the best game since Angry Birds. And it appears the world agreed with me, as evidenced by its current number-three spot on the iTunes Top Paid Apps chart.
If you're looking for the next big thing in Cutesy Physics Puzzlers (or CPPs, as I like to call them), look no further: it's Cover Orange.
Weird title, I agree, but it's the literal explanation of the gameplay. In each level, you must shelter (i.e. cover) one or more oranges against the "poison rain" that pours in … Read more
Reckless Racing is just plain fun, taking some gameplay ideas from old classic console games like RC Pro-Am, and adding in modern graphics and physics to make a racing game that is a blast to play and looks great on the iPhone 4 Retina Display.
The game delivers on two major counts: graphics and controls. Reckless Racing is absolutely dazzling, with vibrantly colored cars and tracks that are just shy of photorealistic. And you get to choose from five different control schemes--everything from basic left/right-gas/brake buttons to an onscreen steering wheel, to accelerometer steering. We're partial to … Read more
Angry Birds Lite is an addictive physics-based puzzler with a lot of personality. It's so easy to pick up and play, it's hard not to recommend this game to every new iOS device owner.
You're helping a bunch of birds as they wreak vengeance upon a crew of smug little egg-stealing pigs. Basically a one-player, turn-based artillery game, Angry Birds has a dead-simple interface: you just pull back on a slingshot to launch birds one at a time, with your finger position determining the speed and trajectory of each bird. The only other interaction comes when new … Read more
Links from Tuesday's episode of Loaded:
Microsoft is expected to show off new tablet computers at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show
Dell is acquiring Compellent Technologies to focus more on cloud storage
Google launches TeachParents.org to help you give the n00bs in your life simple computer tutorials
A new study shows that Americans spend as much time online as they do watching TV
Another study shows that sales of physical disc media will fall by $4.6 billion by the year 2014
The R2-D2 headphones are the perfect gift for the Star Wars geek in your life
That's right: Om Nom is back, still hungry for candy, and still adorable as can be. The game serves up 75 25 new levels and immediately lives up to its name. Holiday Gift is absolutely free. You don't even have to own the original.
Update: My bad. The game has 25 new levels, not 75.
Just in case you don't, Cut the Rope works like this: Little green monster Om Nom has a sweet tooth that rivals, well, mine. In each level, a piece of candy is attached to a series of ropes you slice with your finger.
To complete a level, you need to figure out which ropes to cut, and when, to swing the candy into his mouth--collecting as many stars as possible in the process.
Holiday Gift is packed with Christmassy touches, like stockings that teleport the candy from one spot to another (I won't spoil any of the others). It probably goes without saying that if you liked the first Cut the Rope, you'll love Holiday Gift.… Read more
Ragdoll Blaster 2 Lite is a free 18-level preview of Ragdoll Blaster 2, the much more polished follow-up to physics-based puzzler Ragdoll Blaster.
The interface of Ragdoll Blaster 2 is a lot like its predecessor, but with a brand-new skin. You're still using your touch screen to aim and fire rag dolls from a cannon, but the earlier game's graph-paper-sketch aesthetic has been swapped out for a more realistic, steampunky backdrop, with a cute musical score, cartoony sound effects, and higher production values throughout.
The object of the game is the same: each level has a red-and-white, bullseye … Read more
The PlayStation 3 doesn't have many marquee exclusive games this fall, but one its most-anticipated and delayed games has finally arrived on store shelves: Gran Turismo 5. The PS3 update to Sony's long-running hyperreal car franchise has endless vehicles and unparalleled physics, but can it compete with the faster, more action-packed racing games that have flooded the market since?
Scott: As racing games have evolved over the years, physics has gotten more impressive, controls tighter, speeds faster, and presentation positively hyperkinetic. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is the perfect example of the adrenaline-rush racer, a drift-crazy takedown-fueled game filled with rage and competitive social leaderboards. It's three shots of espresso mainlined in your eyeballs, and a heck of a lot of fun.
Gran Turismo, once the proud owner of the best-racing-gaming-ever title, is a different sort of car game altogether. If Sony's new Gran Turismo 5 were a war shooter, it would be The Thin Red Line of video games. Realism, patience, focus--and education. It's a meditation on automotive technology. No running from one event to another--instead, smooth jazz and a series of menus that look like they were taken from a car dealer's wall calendar. Is it uncool? Compared to games like Need for Speed, yes, but is that the point? GT5, a game that Polyphony has been developing for as long as the PlayStation 3 has been released, is a living car catalog, and as its name broadcasts, a "driving simulator."
To that end, it's also the only game of this generation brave enough to have you race a Honda Civic at 55 miles an hour. This game's not afraid to go slow, if slow means realistic. Speeds vary greatly--in bonus NASCAR races, the hyper pace feels shocking. Switch to a kart-racing mode, and the experience shifts again. Racing old Volkswagen minivans around the Top Gear test track is completely absurd, yet faithful to the experience. Braking is clumsy but necessary, just like driving a real car. … Read more