I’m alright at serving, and I can usually return, but if anyone smashes at all or puts any spin on the ball, I fold faster than a laundry robot. I still like the idea of table tennis, though, which is why I’m glad we have video-game versions.
And Table Tennis Touch, which is out now for all of your iOS devices, is easily the best one I’ve ever played.
Monument Valley is what would happen if Fez and The Room (the game, not the movie) took place inside of M.C. Escher’s sketchbook.
Monument Valley by ustwo Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $3.99
It has a vibrant, interesting world full of impossible geometry, mysterious accusers, and bothersome crows. It’s a puzzle game and a jumpless platformer, and it’s endlessly amazing and mind-boggling to behold.
It is also one of the easiest games I’ve ever played, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check it out.
The cosmos has a bunch of ways to kill you, and in Out There, one of them will probably succeed. And it’s just as well, really, because I have it from a reliable source that it’s lonely out in space.
Out There by Mi Clos Studio Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $3.99
But if you insist on surviving, you’re in for a challenge because this game is as cruel and random as life itself. You play the role of a lone astronaut who wakes up from cryosleep to discover that your circuit’s dead, and there’s something wrong. And now, you’re stuck in uncharted territory with limited resources.
It’s up to you to get the stranded hero across the map, but it’s not at all easy.
Developer Frogmind has just updated its award-winning iOS game, Badland. The update is the conclusion to the Day II story-based levels, with 10 new levels and 30 new missions to accomplish, along with seven new Game Center achievements.
The final tally, then, of levels in Badland is now 80, fully double what the game started with back in April.
The App Store is full of things that play white noise or some ocean sounds to punch your ticket for the Sleepy Train to Snoozeville, but I haven’t seen one as good-looking and versatile as Relaxia. It has six noise “themes” with about eight sounds in each; you can play multiple files at once and adjust their volumes to make your own custom mix of sleep fuel, and you can set a timer so it’s not still playing in the morning.
Because it would really be awful if you woke up, thought it was raining, and then it wasn’t.
Cocktail Academy is a new app for people who would like to make their favorite drinks themselves or try some new ones without embarrassing themselves in front of their friends. It has directions to create 110 cocktails and even includes video tutorials in which international-award-winning bartender Giancarlo Di Niso shows you exactly what to do (spoiler alert: It involves a lot of measuring and shaking and/or stirring). You can search for drinks several ways including alphabetically and by percentage of alcohol, and the app even lists caloric content for each concoction for your dieting convenience. Grog, for example, has 186 calories, and I never realized I was curious about that until just now.
Developer Gaijin Games’ Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien quickly became one of my favorite games this year when it launched for consoles and PC back in February. It had a lot of personality, precise gameplay, and was just challenging enough to keep you on your toes but not enough to be frustrating.
Bit.Trip Run! by Gaijin Games Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $3.99
The iOS port, Bit.Trip Run!, keeps the original’s levels, fantastic graphics, and entertaining narration from voice actor Charles Martinet (the voice of Nintendo’s Mario). So it’s mostly the same game. But it drops the necessarily accurate button controls in favor of taps and swipes for the mobile platform, and that really cuts the game down a few notches. I’d almost say that it makes it unplayable, but that’s not quite the case.
But it does take a great deal of patience to play well.
It’s a little hard to describe what exactly Device 6, the new project from developer Simogo, is, exactly.
Device 6 by Simogo Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $3.99
It’s kind of a visual novel. It’s also kind of a puzzle/escape game. But it’s also its own unique animal, a challenging artistic experiment unlike anything I’ve seen before. It will confuse you, impress you, and ultimately provide one of the most memorable experiences the App Store has to offer.
Everybody loves the circus, right? You know, except for the animal abuse and the crowds and the terrifying clowns? The rest of it’s alright, though: Trapeze artists and human cannonballs and food that makes you wonder why we ever bothered inventing food before we had batter to dip and fry it in.
Ring Run Circus by Kalio Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $2.99 (launch sale; reg. $3.99)
It’s in the spirit of the good parts of the big-top experience that we have Ring Run Circus, a self-described “ringformer” (like a platformer but with rings) by developer Kalio. It’s a two-button affair where you control one of three acrobats who skate around the surfaces of giant rings to pick up a key and take it to the lock to release the celebratory, end-of-level confetti.
It sounds simple, but its controls belie an intricate, complex puzzle game with impressive variety and challenge.