Apple’s patent cover a Wikipad GameVice-style accessory capable of attaching to your iOS device. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
What is it with Apple and the gaming-related patents as of late?
Just weeks after the publishing of an Apple patent showing a concealed gaming joystick capable of being hidden in future iPhones, today the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office has revealed another Apple invention related to a snap-on gaming controller for iOS devices.
As with the joystick patent, the idea here is to allow gamers to fully capitalize on the present golden age of iOS gaming, without having to block parts of the screen using their fingers for multitouch controls.
If you want Minesweeper in your Notification Center, better grab it fast. Screenshot: Cult of Mac
Although it’s a Windows game, I’ve never met anyone without a sweet spot for Minesweeper, the addictive little puzzle game that Microsoft debuted in Windows 3.1. Sadly, though, it never came to the Mac.
But if you love a good game of Minesweeper, we’ve got some great news. You can now play it right within Notification Center. Better act on it soon, though: Apple has a tendency to pull interesting iOS 8 widgets like this one.
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.
The home of the future, today. Cover design: Stephen Smith
Fresh off his deep dive into CES, Alex takes on home automation and how HomeKit may just change everything, making the dream of an easy, ubiquitous home future a reality. Rob takes a look at a new game that turns your Apple TV into a motion-controlled gaming console, Buster shows us how the Apple Watch has already won the war for your wrist, Luke builds his own fun with a shoebox full of maker-kit for kid-friendly iPad gadgets, and Lewis spends a little time in Microsoft’s holographic future.
If you enjoyed The LEGO Movie, you’ll love its official iOS game. Photo: LEGO
With their rise, fall and ascent to global cultural dominance, Apple and LEGO are not entirely dissimilar as brands. I’m not sure whether their similar philosophies toward business have any bearing on my appreciation for both companies, but I do know that I absolutely loved last year’s LEGO Movie.
Having recently been robbed of an Oscar nom, fellow LEGO Movie fans can at least get some of their brick-fix today thanks to the news that The LEGO Movie Video Game has arrived on iOS — giving you a chance to play what is a very fun game on your iPhone or iPad.
Are you ready to play games on your Apple Watch? Devs certainly hope so. Photo: NimbleBit
2014 was a landmark year for quality iOS games and, while we’re fully expecting to see more great titles for iPhone and iPad in 2015, it’s also clear that devs are keen to leap on the Apple Watch as soon as possible.
With that in mind, longtime iOS developers NimbleBit have announced that their upcoming word-game Letterpad will absolutely, 100 percent definitely, be coming to Apple Watch — and they’ve even released some mockups showing how it will look on Apple’s eagerly-anticipated wearable debut.
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.
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.
Fed up of iOS games? Why not create your own! Photo: Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time isn’t just a popular kids’ show, it presents one of the richest and most surreal animated landscapes I can remember seeing on a TV show.
In other words, it’s perfect for sparking and unlocking young people’s imagination and creativity.
That’s the concept behind the newly-launched Adventure Time Game Wizard, which lets you use your iOS device and a few sheets of paper to draw and play your own video game levels. And much like Adventure Time itself, it’s really quite addictive.
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.”