All items in the category "Reviews"

Full category list for displayed posts: Gaming, Newsstand, Reviews, Top stories

Toss a Lifeline to stranded astronaut in new Apple Watch game

Taylor is uneasy about your directions. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Taylor is uneasy with your decisions. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

How do you keep a jaded gamer engaged on the small-screened Apple Watch? Strand a young astronaut on an alien moon and ask that gamer to keep the doomed traveler alive.

That’s exactly what happens in Lifeline, which is simply the best game I’ve played on the Apple Watch so far.

Read the rest of this post »

Meet the Stromer ST2, the best electric bike on the road

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The ST2 electric bike from Stromer will put a big smile on your face. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Oh. My. Gosh. The Stromer ST2 electric bike is so much fun, it should not be street legal.

Two weeks ago I had zero interest in electric bikes. I’ve ridden traditional bicycles my entire life and I love them. The very idea of an electric bike was repellent — even in a hilly city like San Francisco. Hills and exercise are the entire point.

Then I test-rode the Stromer ST2.

Three seconds in, I’m laughing like a madman as the ST2 takes off like a rocket. I spend the next 30 minutes flying up and over the hill where I live, laughing like a loon and having the time of my life.

Now I’m a convert. The ST2 is the best electric bike on the market. It performs like a champ, has a ton of high-tech features (including an iOS app), and actually looks cool and not ridiculous.

Best of all, it’s a screaming blast to ride.

Read the rest of this post »

Lust List: Gear that will take your adventures over the top

Bloodborne offers the most fun you can have being terrible

Bloodborne

It’s not, you know, pretty pretty, but Bloodborne’s grim Gothic setting does have its charms. Photo: Sony

Bloodborne’s village of Yharnam is a dangerous place. It’s full of werewolves, trolls, giant pigs and a host of other terrible beasts that want to kill you. And they can. And they will. But that’s all part of the fun.

Yharnam is a towering, Gothic, often claustrophobic place with buildings piled on buildings and dead ends everywhere. It isn’t a vacation spot, and it isn’t here to make you happy. It exists to give those who venture within exactly what they deserve, for good or ill. The village rewards those who take their time, study their enemies, and plan their moves carefully. And it punishes those who rush or are otherwise careless.

If you want to survive Bloodborne, you must be careful and learn everything you can about both your own and the monsters’ capabilities. This might take a while, but it’s a game in which progress really feels like progress, and you have nobody to blame for failure but yourself.

Read the rest of this post »

12 biggest surprises after a week with Apple Watch

The Apple Watch keeps surprising us. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch keeps surprising us. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Far from being a superfluous device strictly for hard-core Apple fans, the Apple Watch is a surprisingly delightful and useful device.

Now that we’ve spent enough time with the latest gadget from the mothership, we’re noticing quite a few sweet little positives (and a couple negatives) about Apple Watch.

Bottom line: The more you use this thing, the better it is.

Read the rest of this post »

4 episodic games for players who love cliffhangers

Don't worry; we'll resolve all of this next week. Photo: Capcom

Don’t worry — we’ll resolve all this next week. Photo: Capcom

You don’t always have to sit down to an epic, 100-hour slog to get your gaming in. Developers are delivering plenty of great bite-size, episodic games that (usually) release one part at a time.

If you’re looking for something you can play in installments, here are four great places to start. These games are all fully released, so you won’t have to wait for the next episode if you can’t stand the suspense. This is great if you’re like me; I watched all of Breaking Bad in a week once it was all up on Netflix. That’s just how I roll.

Read the rest of this post »

Apple Watch review: Futuristic, fun and fan-flipping-tastic

Apple Watch is a great early adopter device. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch is a great early adopter device. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch is the most confounding device to come out of Cupertino since Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone. Is is it a watch? Is it a tiny computer on your wrist? It’s both — and it’s so much more.

After four days playing with the Apple Watch, we’ve found it to be far more futuristic — and far more fun — than we could have imagined. (It’s even more impressive if you’ve tried any of the other smartwatches on the market.)

Apple Watch isn’t without its disappointments, though. If you’re still unsure whether to shackle yourself to Jony Ive’s fabulous timepiece, here’s our take on what works — and what doesn’t.

Read the rest of this post »

Have no fear! Watch these superhero shows to prep for Daredevil premiere

Daredevil

As far as secret identities go, Daredevil’s cover as a blind lawyer is pretty solid. Photo: Netflix

Marvel’s new show about blind superhero Daredevil swoops into your Netflix queue this Friday, and the looming arrival of “the man without fear” got us in the mood to watch some other comic-inspired TV shows and movies. To make it interesting, however, we’re avoiding the obvious Marvel and DC characters and focusing on lesser-known and original characters.

Here are a few more metahuman stories to help you get your fix of “BIFFs!” and “POWs!” Be sure to tell us some of your favorites in the comments.

Read the rest of this post »

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 squishes action and horror into a game sandwich

Resident Evil: Revelations 2

Hey, Barry’s back! Photo: Capcom

The Resident Evil franchise has suffered a bit of an identity crisis in recent years, straying from its survival-horror roots toward something considerably more action-based. The latest entry, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, tries to have it both ways by splitting its four-chapter tale between two storylines. One features two frantic survivors struggling for resources, and the other has you playing as a heavily armed man of action.

It seems like mixing these two extremes would end up diluting them both, but somehow developer Capcom managed to take the best of both play styles and create something distinctive, harrowing and still damned scary.

Read the rest of this post »

Lust List: This bag’s for the dogs, plus more great stuff for gear hounds