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Midnight Rises uses video game tricks to supercharge comics

Charlie (left) and Cromax, a hyper-evolved Cro-Magnon and chief engineer on the Joplin. Photo: Mike Choi/Industrial Toys

New comics app Midnight Rises introduces Charlie (left) and Cromax, a hyper-evolved Cro-Magnon and chief engineer on the science spaceship Joplin. Photo: Mike Choi/Industrial Toys

Mike Choi, a talented, experienced comic book artist, was drooling.

We were talking on the phone about Midnight Rises, a new digital comic app that explains the rich sci-fi backdrop of Midnight Star, an upcoming first-person shooter for mobile devices from Industrial Toys.

Choi had just had some teeth pulled, and was still kind of loopy when we got to chat with him and two other Industrial Toys execs, President Tim Harris and CEO Alex Seropian (you may know him as one of the co-founders of Bungie Software) about their first iOS app, a re-visioning of what visual storytelling can do.

Most digital comics are just a reformatting of traditional print comics to fit on a touchscreen. Midnight Rises goes further, using the tricks of video games to tell a comic-book style story.

“We hate motion comics,” said Choi. “This was way more work than just turning the canvas on its side.”

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Sentient-toast simulator I Am Bread kneads its way on to iOS

This bread has legs. No, not really. It's a metaphor. Photo: Bossa Studios

This bread has legs. No, not really. It’s a metaphor. Photo: Bossa Studios

Yeah, you read that right – this is a video game where you play as a piece of bread on an epic journey to become an actual piece of toast.

I Am Bread has been out on Steam Early Access since December of last year, and now the developers at Bossa Studios have let it slip that the game will indeed come out on iOS, as soon as they finish up the PC/Mac version.

If you’ve seen the massively viral hit game Goat Simulator, you’ll immediately have a sense of how this one plays out. You’ll hit various keys on your keyboard or buttons on your controller, and move a slice of oddly movable bread around, trying to find some way to toast yourself. Here’s a quick video to visualize it.

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See geezers recoil in horror at Grand Theft Auto V’s ultraviolence

They're gonna cancel my insurance! Photo: React/YouTube

They’re gonna cancel my insurance! Photo: React/YouTube

The Grand Theft Auto series is known for its violence; you’re usually cast as a thug or criminal of some sort, and set loose on a rampage across an open world landscape, able to steal cars, beat up civilians, and even gun down the cops.

Watch as these older folks do just that in Grand Theft Auto V, reacting to the crazy violence with fear, loathing, and a little bit of evil joy.

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SimCity: Complete Edition is a glorious, city-building time suck

Lose yourself in a city of your own making. Photo: Electronic Arts

Lose yourself in a city of your own making. Photo: Electronic Arts

I launched SimCity: Complete Edition last night at around 8 p.m. I played around with my new city, getting a feel for the controls, zoning for residences, commercial ventures and industrial centers.

I zoomed in and out to get up-close and bird’s-eye views of my own private Idaho (well, Squifton, if we’re being literal). I checked out the various data views, gave my city police buildings and power, water and fire departments. I added parks, more residential areas, roads and even created a neighboring city — a sleepy little hamlet that purchases power and water from the main city. Just a quick little foray into a game that I’ve been itching to play.

When I glanced up at the clock, it was three hours later.

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Elder Scrolls Online is coming to consoles, Mac without a subscription

Now you can join in the fun on console or Mac/PC without a monthly fee. Photo: Bethesda Softworks

Now you can join in the fun on console or Mac/PC without a monthly fee. Photo: Bethesda Softworks

The Elder Scrolls Online is a massive online role-playing game that lets you join up with your friends to explore the vast realm of Tamriel, the world featured in various high-fantasy games like Oblivion and Skyrim.

Bethesda Softworks has just dropped the subscription model from its award-winning massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, and is bringing the massive virtual world to current-generation consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as updating the PC and Mac versions of the game to The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.

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Malkovich, Paxton get Call to destroy zombies

Hollywood types are lending more than just voices to the latest crop of video games. Photo: Activision

Hollywood types are lending more than just voices to the latest crop of video games. Photo: Activision

It’s true — Hollywood has fully exported its heroes to the newest media kid on the block, video games. It wasn’t enough for Martin Sheen to play the chain smoking Illusive Man in 2008’s Mass Effect 2 , or Kevin Spacey to turn in a star performance in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Now John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, Rose McGowan and Jon Bernthal lend their voices and likenesses to the sci-fi-tinged military shooter for the new Exo Zombie mode that comes with the new downloadable content pack “Havok,” available January 27.

Here, they’ve even made a video to show you.

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Get Wii-style bowling with an iPhone and Apple TV

Now all you need is a wrist strap. Photo: Anuj Tandon

Now all you need is a wrist strap for your iPhone. Photo: Anuj Tandon/Rolocule Games

To get the fun of virtual bowling without a Wii, look no further than Bowling Central, a magical iOS app that lets you swing your iPhone around to send a virtual bowling ball slamming into all the pins at the end of the lane.

The game is powered by Rolocule Games’ motion-tracking technology, called “rolomotion,” which lets you swing your iPhone like a Wii remote. The gaming company’s two founders wanted to create a Wii Bowl-style experience, only with an Apple TV and an iPhone, and they won a 2014 Edison Award for their solution.

“We worked really hard to get the motion gaming controls right,” Rolocule’s Anuj Tandon told Cult of Mac in an email, “and getting the perfect controls took time. Not only … can you give accurate direction to the ball, but by twisting the wrist, the ball can be given a spin, just like real bowling.”

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Robot Chicken and Power Glove: a match made in animation heaven

Anything else is child's play. Photo: Dillon Markey

Anything else is child’s play. Photo: Dillon Markey

Dillon Markey animates one of the hottest Adult Swim programs on television, Robot Chicken. Better yet, he uses an old Nintendo Power Glove to do it.

The Emmy-winning show consists of short sequences of stop-motion animation using action figures of pop culture characters, like Bill Gates or Shigeru Miyamoto, the famed Nintendo game designer. Funny enough, Markey used his modified Power Glove the first time on that specific scene in Robot Chicken.

Check it out in the video below.

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5 new iOS games you should play right now

You'll want to take a break from work with these amazing iOS games. Photo: Stephen Smith

You’ll want to take a break from work with these amazing iOS games. Photo: Stephen Smith

There are tons of new games out every week, and it’s hard to decide which ones to purchase, let alone which free games to download. We’re here to take some of the guesswork out of your decision, though, as we’ve scoured the best games that have come out so far this year.

From time wasters to deep strategic gems, this list will have you gaming in no time. Grab your copy of these five great –and brand-spankin’ new — gaming experiences today and you can thank us later.

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3 kiddie games that grown-ups will love

LittleBigPlanet 3 is made of smiles. Photo: Sony

LittleBigPlanet 3 is made of smiles. Photo: Sony

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (read our review) isn’t the only adorable game we’ve had our eye on this month. An assortment of recently released and equally endearing titles are available on every platform you might own. And the best news is that they’re so good you don’t have to worry about anyone catching you playing them.

Here are three fun ways to get your cute on without anyone laughing at you.

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