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Which iPad Manual Rules The Roost?

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This story first appeared in Cult of Mac Magazine.

In Apple’s drive toward simplicity, one of the things which fell into the category of “things we can do without” were physical paper manuals.

While the Cupertino company does offer a 140-page online User Guide — which provides a passable intro to using your iPad (and currently has the advantage of being one of the few iOS 7.1 guides around) — Apple’s refusal to create manuals has fostered a cottage industry with rival products.

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Stickman Impossible Run Is An Addicting New iOS Challenge [Video Review]

While many apps in the app store claim to have impossible gameplay, only some present true gamers a real challenge. The app Stickman Impossible Run is an endless runner that boasts tons of tough difficulty modes. Tap to help the stickman jump from platform to platform without dying as the speed gradually increases. Do you think you have fast enough reflexes to top the high-score charts?

Take a look at the video and see what you think.

Rough Rider Bag Will See You Through The Coming Apocalypse [Review]

Rough Rider Bag Will See You Through The Coming Apocalypse [Review]

Rough Rider by WaterField
Category: Bags
Works With: Anything
Price: $335

WaterField’s Rough Rider is just about the best looking leather bag I’ve hung over my shoulder. It’s also the toughest. And it’s also one of the heaviest. So you see, the bag may be perfect for you, or it may not.

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Everything About Taijitu Is Relaxing — Even The Difficulty [Review]

Taijitu

Taijitu is a game about balance and serenity. It will level you out, calm you down, and relax you … up, I guess.

Taijitu by Particlemade
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $1.99

I’m not sure which direction relaxation goes.

Anyway, the game. It’s laid-back, and you’ll like it. It has all the colors, and the music just made me nod off for like 20 minutes. But that’s good, really. Kinda the point.

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Twelve South’s BookArc Möd Is A Gorgeous Mid-Century MacBook Stand [Review]

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Some materials have integrity. Consider aluminum, Jony Ive’s material of choice, and then compare it to plastic. Under the skin, plastic feels wholly artificial, a lump of congealed and polished chemicals; in feel and smell, there’s something unnatural and slightly impure about it. But aluminum feels clean. It has texture. It isn’t just a facade: It is true to itself, right on down through.

BookArc möd by Twelve South
Category: Stands
Works With: Any MacBook
Price: $80

Another material with integrity is wood. It is true to itself, from the veneer to the grain. It has texture. It is clean. And it has history. Wood actually picks up the oils from your hands, and develops a patina. And because of its innate qualities, wood pairs exquisitely with Jony Ive’s chosen material of integrity: aluminum.

Which brings us to Twelve South’s latest product, the BookArc möd. An organic, well-crafted version of the accessory maker’s popular BookArc stand, it is a laptop dock that offers every bit as much integrity as the MacBook it is meant to house… both different and complementary at once.

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Invade Earth And Score High In Arcade Game Captain Bubblenaut [Video Review]

The idea of aliens invading earth is a theory that has been created and expanded upon for many years. In the app Captain Bubblenaut the invasion comes to life as players help guide an alien as he obliterates Erf and all erflings standing in his way. Drag your finger across the screen to help guide Captain Bubblenaut to victory. How many erflings do you think you can destroy for a spot on top of the high-score charts?

Take a look at the video and see what you think.

MonsterCrafter Pro Offers Creativity, Battle, And Questionable Pet Ownership [Review]

Monster Crafter Pro

I have a really random PlayStation 2 game on my shelf called Magic Pengel: The Quest for Color. It came out in North America in 2002, and it was basically a game in which you drew your own Pokémon and then made them fight.

MonsterCrafter Pro by Naquatic
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free (promotional price)

Animal-abuse undertones aside, it was at least an interesting concept, and MonsterCrafter Pro follows in that same proud, if morally gray, tradition. But instead of drawing your murder-pets, you build them out of Minecraft blocks.

It’s a weird game for sure, but it has its charms.

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Exploring Epic MMO Elder Scrolls Online [Feature]

(photo Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac)

photo Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

Elder Scrolls Online is a new massively multiplayer role playing game by Zenimax Studios and Bethesda Game Studios that attempts to compete with the behemoth of the premium subscription MMO, World Of Warcraft, on its own turf in the fantasy genre. While the base gameplay is fairly similar — go on quests, fight bad guys, level up, game with thousands of other players — this new MMO has a lot that’s unique to offer gamers.

What Elder Scrolls Online brings to this competitive gaming genrea is a long history of games set in fantasy world Tamriel, beginning in 1994 with The Elder Scrolls: Arena and continuing through three the present day with four sequels: Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim. There’s a ton of lore and backstory here, as much as any high-fantasy Tolkien-esque novel you might read, and this deep infusion of fictional reality — as well as the action gameplay style of the original single-player games mentioned above — is a solid asset in Bethesda’s favor.

Reviewing any MMO is a massive undertaking itself, and so we decided to dig in deeper than we usually do to give you a better sense of the world of the game, filtered through the eyes of a new Elder Scrolls Online player.

Here’s what we came up with.

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Use Strategy Or Get Stumped By New Puzzle Game Sinkers [Video Review]

A good challenge every now and then is great to keep your mind fresh and alert. While many developers release new games every week, only some are able to give players the difficulty their minds ask for. Sinkers is a new strategy puzzle game where players have 20 moves to try and obtain the highest score removing colored cube like bits from the screen. With bits turning hollow and players having to sink them to keep moving, do you think you can play well enough to top the high-score charts?

Take a look at the video and see what you think.

Time Gap Crams Every Free-To-Play Game Into One [Review]

Time Gap

Ambition isn’t a bad thing, but it can get in the way.

Time Gap by Absolutist
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free

Time Gap is a free-to-play title that tries to be all free-to-play games at once. It’s mostly a hidden-object game with a plot about the ghosts of famous historical figures guiding you on a mission to discover where all the people of Earth disappeared to, but along the way, you’ll also play minigames like the ones you tab over to during the day instead of working.

It does all of these things capably enough, and it’s an interesting compendium with a lot of variety. But in the end, it’s a free-to-play game, and it is free-to-play as hell.

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