Wizard Ops Tactics takes the asynchronous multiplayer model established by games like Hero Academy and expands it. It features customizable teams of wizards that battle in eerie magical arenas. Like a game of chess, there are more options here can you would initially think. For some, this game might be the perfect challenge. For others, it might require too much of a time investment.
When the game begins, you are given the chance to go through the game’s tutorial. It’s heavily advised that you do so. While some tutorials are a quick few screens that explain the basics and leave the rest up to you, Wizard Ops Tactics walks you through the game step by step. As you complete the tutorial, you soon see why. Tactics isn’t like the other games out there.
First, wizards are categorized into elemental type, and each type has multiple abilities and attacks. Some wizards will fare better in certain situations than others. Second, each arena has unique environmental effects which could critically affect your game.
Tido is a fun arcade game for iPhone and iPad in which players have to survive for as long as possible by smashing opponents in each level. You play as Tido, an egg stranded in a place where evil chefs are trying to turn him into an omelet. It’s up to you to defeat all the waves of opponents relying only on your reflexes and items you collect along the way.
The game’s opening screen gives you the option of playing in the grass location or on ice depending on which one you prefer. You can also turn on the help tips and choose between a slow, medium, or fast game speed. Once you’ve selected your map, a welcome tutorial describes how to move Tido around and attack the chefs using different gestures.
Each time you hit a chef you’ll be givenn 100 points towards your Game Center leaderboard score and be able to share your top scores with players. Points earned during gameplay can then be used to purchase powerups from the in game store. You can also select whether or not you want to use touch or joystick controls and toggle the game music from the settings menu.
The game’s simple design makes this a game anyone can enjoy playing during their daily commute or break time. The app is compatible with iOS 5.0 or later and costs $0.99 to download from the iTunes app store.
If you’re a parent or a teacher looking for a unique learning opportunity for young children, then look no further than Tiny Tap. Tiny Tap has a two-fold ability, but its primary function is to allow users to take photos and turn them into games. With the ability to use photos saved to the camera roll or to pull images directly from the web, Tiny Tap has virtually no limitations in terms of sparking kids’ visual interest. Users can create custom themed books with pages of pictures, record questions for each page and set static boundaries onscreen to serve as the correct answer “area.”
Tiny Tap takes some experimenting to get acquainted with its abilities and functions, but it’s worth the effort. There are two “sample” books to get you started and spark ideas. Essentially, if you can envision multi-sensory games with simple questions that have single answers, you can create a custom Tiny Tap book. Examples of themes that can be created are body parts, shape identification, starting letter sounds, color identification and so on. The best part is you can use photos of familiar people or objects.
Mojang has announced that the Pocket Edition of its extremely popular sandbox game Minecraft has also reached 10 million downloads, a feat made even more impressive by the fact that the app is being sold for a premium price of $6.99. The original PC version of Minecraft hit 10 million sales back on April 4, but the Pocket Edition was released later, which means it’s hit this milestone total much faster.
Pictorious is a photo sharing startup that is faced with the unenviable task of crawling its way out of Instagram’s gigantic shadow. Today they’re releasing a bevy of updates to their iOS app, which will hopefully help it mount a better challenge against the photo sharing juggernaut.
Pictorious distinguishes itself as more than just an ill-advised Instagram clone with their photo challenges feature. Users can invite their friends to photo challenges on any given topic and earn points and rewards as they upvote or downvote pictures.
Today their update adds branded challenges to the mix, which can be used by companies to create photo challenges for their advertising campaigns. Pictorious has partnered with Popchips for the first of these branded ad campaigns, which challenges their users to build “artwork” with Popchips.
Cut the Rope is one of the most-downloaded apps on the App Store, and its developers, ZeptoLab, have made quite a character out of its lead, Om Nom. The series’ latest incarnation is called Cut The Rope: Time Travel, and it’s available on the App Store (in both iPhone and HD versions) right now.
As you can tell by the title, Time Travel sends Om Nom through a crazy creation off into various time periods, and the biggest innovation in this game is instead of just feeding one candy to one creature, you have two pieces of candy to safeguard through the game’s physics-based puzzles. Om Nom is joined by a period-specific friend in every level, and that friend also has some candy to eat. Additionally, every time period also offers new tools to play with, like chains that need to be cut a specific way, or a time-freezing tool you can use.
Apple took time to update investors on the status of its ecosystem on today’s call, revealing that it has crossed the 45 billion total app download mark, just over four months after it crossed the 40 billion download mark back in January. Apps are being downloaded at a rate of 800 per second, from a total pool of 850,000 iOS apps in total, with 350,000 apps designed for iPad alone.
That 350,000 is the same as the number of total iOS apps reported by Apple as of January 2011, just a year after the launch of the iPad. At the time, Apple had only 60,000 iPad apps, which means iPad-specific titles have seen a 483 percent increase in the intervening years.
Apple also revealed that it has App Stores in 155 countries, covering 90 percent of the total iOS user population, and that it has so far paid out more than $9 billion to developers. That’s a $1 billion increase from the total it reported it had paid out to developers as of mid-February.
Apple now pays out $1 billion per quarter to devs, Oppenheimer said at the close of the call, and $4.5 billion or half of the grand total has been paid out during the past four quarters alone.
If Google is awarded the right to manage the domain registrations for .search, .app, .blog and .cloud, there is now a good chance that it won’t just use them for its own services and will open them up for non-Google properties, too. Last year, when ICANN opened up the first phase of the registration process for new generic top-level domain names, Google accounted for about 100 of the over 1,900 applications ICANN received. Among those were some that referenced Google brands and products like .google, .chrome, .android and .gmail, but Google and many of the other applicants also applied for the right to manage top-level domains with very generic terms like .blog, .show, .earth, .book and .car.
ICANN CEO Fadi Cherhade recently announced that the organization will start recommending the first new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) for delegation around April 23. Currently, however, the question of what to do about these very generic domain names like .book remains unclear.
The companies that get the right to manage the new top-level domains don’t necessarily have to open them up to the public, so these so-called “closed generics” like .art and .music (all of which Google and at least two more companies applied for) are currently the focus of a hot debate among those interested in owning and operating these new domains.
In a letter to ICANN (PDF and embedded blow), Google VP and CIO Ben Fried writes that ICANN should “allow all closed generic string applications to proceed.” In Google’s view, he writes, the new top-level domains will allow for much-needed innovation in this space. He especially notes that “for many users, domain names remain decidedly difficult to use and manage,” so chances are Google will work on lowering the barriers for registering domain names and linking them to users’ sites.
Most importantly, however, Fried also notes that there are a number of terms in its portfolio that “have been identified by governments (via Early Warning) and others within the community as being potentially valuable and useful to the industry as a whole.” Those are .app, .blog, .cloud and .search. Google says it is amending its applications for these domain names, and while it isn’t disclosing the details of these changes, the language definitely makes it sound as if Google will open them up for use outside of Google, too. “We also believe,” Fried writes, “that for each of these terms we can create a strong set of user experiences and expectations without restricting the string to use with Google products.”
So if you are a cloud-based service or an app developer, there is some hope that you – and not just Google – could soon own a .cloud or .app domain to market your products. There is, however, still a chance that somebody else could get the rights to manage these domains and another company may just decide to keep these top-level domains for itself.
Skype for iOS has been updated to version 4.6, with improvements to the experience of making and receiving Skype calls as well as numerous bug fixes.
There’s been a complete overhaul to the UI when making and receiving calls. On first impressions, I wouldn’t say it’s any easier to use than the previous version, but it’s a cleaner look that has an air of freshness to it!
According to Skype’s blog, other major improvements include one-to-one chats appearing in the correct order and the ability to select messages as read in a few taps. Additionally, there have been bug fixes to Voice Over, conversations, file-transfer and account editing.
The update arrived yesterday. If you haven’t already done so, Skype recommends all users update as soon as possible. It’ll be waiting for you in the Updates section of the iOS App Store.
Skype is a free app that lets you make and receive voice and video calls over the internet.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) in conjunction with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is sponsoring development of an iPad app designed to teach US sailors and marines to understand their responses to stress and manage me them using biofeedback techniques. The system will be tested at the Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control in San Diego next month.
Using only an iPad and a heart rate monitor clipped to an earlobe, the person using the setup will play some games specially designed to help personnel learn to reduce stress.
It’s hoped that the training will reduce the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and help service members cope with the challenges of deployment.
An article in Medical Xpress says the program is based on applying past research teaching warfighters stress management techniques. Figures provided by the miliatary say about 21 percent of miltary personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD, which in turn leads to costs of more than a billion dollars in lost productivity and treatment expenses.