Star Wars: Jedi Challenges for the iPhone and iPad just got a cool update that lets you play holochess without Lenovo’s Mirage AR headset. The new update takes advantage of ARKit and your iPhone or iPad’s camera so you can play in your livingroom, or anywhere else you have enough room to walk around the virtual holochess board. Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is free, and the new holochess mode requires an ARKit-compatible iPhone or iPad.
The followup to the side scrolling adventure game Alto’s Adventure, Alto’s Odyssey, is available a day early for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
Yesterday it was Rainbrow, and today it’s Nose Zone, the latest game to take advantage of the iPhone X’s facial tracking. In Nose Zone you point your nose to control an onscreen dot’s movement to destroy boxes. The more boxes you zap before time runs out the higher your score. It’s easy to learn and taught me just how bad I am at aiming with my nose. Nose Zone is a free download at Apple’s App Store.
Want to play computer games on your big screen TV? Valve has a slick little box that’ll stream what you’re playing to your television.
Nathan Gitter has the coolest use for the iPhone X facial scanning camera outside of Animoji and it’s called Rainbrow. That’s a new game where your eyebrows literally control how you move an emoji up and down the screen to collect stars. You have to avoid objects like cars and eight balls while trying to beat your previous high scores. You move by raising or lowering your eyebrows, and we found the game works much better when you aren’t wearing glasses. It’s simple to learn and is challenging enough to keep your interest, plus you get great looks from people who have no idea why you’re making faces at your iPhone. Rainbrow is a free download at Apple’s App Store.
If you can’t get enough Stranger Things ahead of Season 2’s premiere, there’s a game for you.
LEGO and Star Wars are a pretty awesome combination, and one of their newest games takes that to a wonderfully fun new level with a virtual reality experience. The game is called The Last Jedi 3D Experience and it lets you build ships the Resistance and First Order use in their battle for control of the galaxy. The game plays in a web browser so you don’t need to install any special apps, and if you have Google Cardboard or View-Master VR for your iPhone it’s over-the-top cool. The Last Jedi 3D Experience is free and you can check out the game at the LEGO website.
The update also includes some bug fixes, improvements to the game AI, improvements for other civilizations, and adjustments to game balance.
Feral Interactive announced Friday that Formula One 2017 will be released on August 25th, with a same-day release for Mac and PC. The game, created by Codemasters, offers a stunning Formula One racing experience. In addition to the trailer below, Codemasters released a 26 minute, unedited gameplay video that is just unbelievable. The game features a Research 7 Development tree, the ability to tune the cars, a career mode, and off-track activities. The game will be available through Feral and Steam for US$59.95, with a Mac App Store version coming later for $49.99. System requirements haven’t published, but are likely to be steep. If you’re a racing game enthusiast, it’ll be worth it.
Disruptor Beam launched a new gameplay trailer for The Walking Dead: March to War, a strategic multiplayer war game coming to iOS and Android, According to the company, it takes place “just before Volume 20 of [The Walking Dead] comics, All Out War.” Players will build up their bases, recruit survivors, and fight against other factions. It looks great, too! There’s more gameplay info in the company’s blog post.
Get ready for a new Futurama fix because Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow is coming to the App Store on June 29th. The iPhone and iPad game teams up the TV show’s voice actors, writers, and animators for what they’re calling new episodes rolled into a video game. The developer, Tinyco, has a teaser video out featuring the heads of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Stephen Hawking, and George Takei that also shows off a little of the game play. Like we said when we first heard about the game, shut up and take my money.
Nintendo released Super Mario Run 2 for the iPhone and iPad just in time for the weekend. The update for the Mario runner game lets you unlock more levels without paying by completing a Bowser challenge, adds new Yoshi colors for Toad Rally and makes it easier to win rally tickets, and improves overall game play. You can download Super Mario Run for free, and unlocking all of the levels costs US$9.99 as an in-app purchase.
Aspyr announced Thursday that it will be bringing InnerSpace to the Mac. InnerSpace is an exploration game where players, “soar through the skies and dive through the oceans, and the secrets of Inverse will reveal themselves.” Players can also uncover artifacts throughout the game world that upgrade your vehicle and reveal clues about past civilizations. I’m writing about it today because I think it’s gorgeous. Initially crowdfunded through KickStarter, Aspyr is partnering with the developers to bring it to both PlayStation 4 and Steam (for Mac and Linux). Pricing hasn’t been announced, and the game is expected later this year.
Futurama is back! Or, it will be thanks to a new game that’s coming from TinyCo. What we know right now is the game is called Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow and it’s coming soon. TinyCo is working with the animators from the Futurama TV series, and Matt Groening—the guy who created Futurama and The Simpsons—says he loves it. The game developers say we’ll have more info in the “near future,” which we assume comes sooner than Fry’s defrosting. Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow will be available for iOS and Android, plus you can keep on top of the latest announcements by signing up at the game website. And seriously, shut up and take my money.
My free time over the weekend was taken up by a new iPhone and iPad game that just came out called Hidden Folks, so now I’m ruining your productivity, too. It’s a clever hidden object game with it’s own charm thanks to the hand-drawn graphics and sound effects that are clearly some guy who decided his mouth is a complete foley studio. His ba-doo-be-doop, skrintch, and pop sounds are important to the game, as are the little animations. Tapping objects triggers actions sounds and actions. Sometimes that’s clearing away a bush or moving a boat, and can reveal the elusive objects and characters you need to find. Hidden Folks is great for a quick diversion or a couple hours exploring new levels. You can get it for your iPhone and iPad at Apple’s App Store for US$3.99.
Get ready for Pokémon GO Gen 2 and 80 new monsters because Niantic plans to give us more characters we gotta catch by this weekend. The new monsters come from the Pokémon Silver and Pokémon Gold video games, so if you’re tired of the gobs of characters already available you’ll have plenty more to keep you roaming around your neighborhood. Niantic also rolled in new evolutions and Evolution items to collect, new berries, new avatars, and more. The updates are free, unlike the time we’ll all spend hunting for Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile.
You may known of my penchant for tower defense games, but I also have a not-so-secret love for arcade scrollers. The good news for your time-sucking pleasure is that I found a new one called Photon Strike. It’s a solid vertical scroller for iPhone an iPad (I played on iPad) with good graphics and fast action. In fact, it’s very fast. It’s similar to others in the genre. You have to steer your ship (with your fingers), firing as long as your finger is on the screen. Waves of enemies fly around the screen, and you have to shoot/avoid them. Powerups are available throughout each level, and you get credits for each enemy you destroy for buying upgrades. It’s free to download, but for real-world cash, you can get yourself a whole heap of credits. You can also watch videos for free credits. Every five waves there’s a boss at the end. It’s ad-supported, but the ads go away with any purchase (the ads are not obnoxious). That said, this is the kind of game where I’m happy to pay to unlock ads to directly support the developer.
OK, Nintendo fans, you have another game to take up your free time: Fire Emblem Heroes. The fantasy-based role playing game (RPG) puts you on a quest to save heroes from different worlds and stop the Emblian Empire’s evil rule. The game is based on the Fire Emblem game franchise and pits you in battles and duels as you explore. Unfortunately, you’ll need an active internet connection to play, just like Super Mario Run because Nintendo seems to think we’re all clever hackers out to steal their game. Fire Emblem Heroes is a free download for the iPhone and iPad, and it includes some in-game purchases.
I found a new tower defense game called Defense Zone 3 Ultra HD. I love the tower defense genre. I’ve written up the Kingdom Rush franchise many times, for instance. Defense Zone 3 is similar, but it uses photo realistic graphics with modern and slightly-futuristic weaponry and enemy soldiers, tanks, and aircraft. Mindless hordes of enemies rush headlong down a path, and your job is to stop them. in some ways, it reminds me of a tower defense game crossed with Galaga/Galaxian. One of the things I like is that it’s difficult. I personally “need” to get through every level without losing a single health point (letting an enemy through), and that is frankly tough. There are only eight maps, but each one is long. Very long. YMMV, but I enjoy lengthy scenarios where I get to keep building and improving my defenses. This game is US$2.99—there are in-app purchases for boosts, too, but I enjoy the challenge of getting through these games without such boosts. I’ve already played this one for at least 10 hours, and it’s burning a hole in the back of my mind even now. Map 4 is killing me. One last note, it’s a hybrid app for iPhone and iPad, but I can’t imagine playing it on an iPhone. Maybe a Plus, but I love this game on my iPad Pro (9.7-inch).
Check out Kult of Ktulu: Olympic. It’s a textual narrative game, but what hit me were the gorgeous graphics backing up the narrative. Players take on the avatar of a young girl named Elena on a ship crossing the Atlantic in the early 20th century. Elena is investigating the Kult in a world built from H.P. Lovecraft imagery. I haven’t played it yet, but it looks lush and delicious. It’s currently in the App Store as a free download with in-app purchases. It’s in Google Play, too, if that’s your poison.