I still think it’s a mini miracle that Rockstar Games managed to compress the gang-banging goodness of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas onto a device thinner than a deck of cards and capable of fitting in my pocket.
That’s exactly what happened last year, however, and courtesy of a new update, the game’s remastered, high-resolution graphics now look pristine on your brand new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus thanks to the addition of native-resolution support for Apple’s next-gen handsets.
If you’re looking for a fun puzzle game to play over the weekend you can do a whole lot worse than RGB Express, Apple’s “App of the Week” which has gone free in the App Store.
Arriving on iOS one month ago, the game is a charming strategy title in which you play the route planner for a fleet of trucks, responsible for plotting their paths through increasingly complex neighborhoods, always ensuring that every home receives its package.
Starting off simply but getting increasingly complex as the game goes on, it’s an entertaining challenge, spanning 200 levels in all, that’s sure to appeal to the kind of iOS gamers who also enjoy titles like Blek.
First arriving on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) way back in 1992, Final Fantasy V is one of the greatest RPGs ever made — and thanks to a new update by Square Enix, its iOS port is now more playable than ever.
Following on from Apple’s Handoff feature for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, the update similarly encourages you to pick up play on whichever iOS device is closest to you with a new iCloud save syncing feature. What this means is that game data saved using iCloud can now be shared across devices, so you can enjoy working through Final Fantasy V on an iPad at home and an iPhone while on the move.
Gotta catch ‘em all. Photo: The Pokémon Company International
The Pokémon Company International just took another step towards iOS domination with its free-to-play game, Camp Pokémon, now available on the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. This new game will let children of all ages explore Camp Pokémon, learning to become a Pokémon trainer.
This is a big step in the right direction for Pokémon video game players, since Nintendo has as yet refused to put it’s incredibly lucrative Pokémon RPG games on any platform besides its own. However, The Pokemon Company owns the rights to the card game; they can put it on any platform they choose.
“Kids will have a blast exploring Camp Pokémon as they immerse themselves in the Pokémon universe in a fun, interactive setting,” said The Pokémon Company’s J.C. Smith. “Parents will love watching their little campers participate in fun activities and create memories at the virtual Pokémon island.”
The messy way to make fruit salad. Photo: Columbia Pictures
It’s not just the Macintosh which turned 30 this year. Another beloved franchise many of us were introduced to as kids, Ghostbusters, also ushers in its fourth decade with… an update to Halfbrick’s fructose-slicing iOS game Fruit Ninja?
That’s right, the game which we first reviewed all the way back in 2010 has received a ghostly update which enhances the already fun title with some neat new visual effects and a great haunted soundtrack.
Instead of a ninja blade, the update means your fruit chopping is now carried out using the Ghostbusters’ proton packs, while true to the movies there’s even the possibility of “crossing the beams” to create an explosion that will turn every melon, pineapple and orange into instant fruit salad.
Same-day release on Mac, PC, Linux, and console! Photo: Aspyr
Handsome Jack, the erstwhile villain of Borderlands 2, had to start somewhere. It’s not easy taking over an entire corporation, let alone a whole planet.
His story begins much more humbly, however, with Jack working as a programmer at Hyperion Corporation. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, in some part at least, aims to tell the story of this psychopath’s rise to power.
What’s even better is that this newly released game, available on all the consoles and PC on Steam, is also available for Mac thanks to the tireless efforts of the best Mac game publisher around, Aspyr.
That means that if you rock a Macintosh computer as your main gaming device (and why not, it’s a fantastic machine!), you’ll be able to shoot your way across the moon of Hyperion, floating through the air with every low gravity jump and using new awesome weapons like the ice and laser weapons.
Check out the trailer below, starring Mr. Torgue High-Five Flexington and Sir Hammerlock, for more hilariously over the top details.
Flinging skulls, collecting taxes, like you do. Screengrab: Clutch Play Games
Picture this. You’re a disembodied skull with stretchy brain parts. You use this elasticity to fling yourself around the afterworld, Angry Birds-style, in order to collect taxes from the deadbeats who reside there.
Sound like fun? It is, oddly enough. While Skullduggery may be one of the odder platforming games you’ve played, it’s as challenging and action-packed as anything out there. Once you’ve wrapped your, ahem, head around the control scheme, you’ll find yourself flying through level after level with glee.
Check out the launch trailer below to get a sense of what we mean.
Of course you’re gaming: 67% of US households do, and we do so on a record number of platforms, as well. There are two capable console generations from each of the big three (Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo) and iOS and Android devices galore. 40 percent of gamers are female, and the gaming industry brings in about $10.5 billion annually, according to the ESRB, the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
Here then, are the best new games we’re having tons of fun playing right now, one from each major gaming platform around. Click through the images above to see more in each category.
This may just be and update to Bungie’s Halo franchise, but Destiny ($59.99) is currently the best multiplayer first-person shooter out there. The game is drop-dead gorgeous on the new generation of consoles; I can't get enough of the beautiful environments on Venus, Mars, and the Moon. It’s got solid controls, fantastic single-player content, an entire community of players to team up with or battle against, and a ten-year plan to keep the thing surprising new fans and old. If you’re not playing this, you’re not in the loop.
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition ($39.99) is the ultimate smash and grab loot-fest out there, with perfectly balanced multi- and single-player gameplay, containing all the goodness of the original game and all the expansion packs. It’s gorgeous to look at, controls like a dream, and allows up to four players to sit on the same couch and kill all demons. It’s a ton of fun, and well worth the purchase on a console like the PlayStation 3, which still kicks all kinds of ass for gaming.
All-multiplayer, all the time. That’s Titanfall ($49.99), where you get to play as a giant mechanized robot intent on smashing and exploding all your enemies until you reign supreme on the battlefield. You'll fight in six-on-six matches across post-apocalyptic outer space colonies, and the fast-pace of the endless action will have you shouting for more as you run up a wall to flip around and deliver a devastating final blow.
This is a gorgeous, painterly environmental puzzler where you have to control two brothers out looking for a cure for their critically ill father. Each puzzle you come across in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ($14.99) will take your A-game ingenuity to figure out which brother to move where. It's beautiful and wordless, making this a perfect game for those contemplative afternoons.
Retro-platforming at its best right here, with Shovel Knight ($14.99) from indie dev Yacht Club Games. It’s a classic action adventure game with an 8-bit art style. You’ll play as the Shovel Knight, a tiny little knight with a huge quest: to save his beloved (trope!) and defeat the evil enchantress. It’s fun, fast paced, and a great way to spend time with Nintendo’s TV console.
Don’t Starve: Giant Edition ($14.99) is a whole new DLC package that came to Mac/PC players for free. Now it’s on the Vita, and — if you've purchased the game on any other Sony console, you can get it for free there, as well. There’s nothing better than just barely surviving in a barren land on the best portable device out there. Make sure you feed your little character, and avoid the hounds if you can.
Square Enix’s finally put out an all-original title, Bravely Default ($39.99), has everything you love from the RPG genre, with turn-based battles, cute in-game characters and sweepingly beautiful cut scenes, job-based classes, and more. Give this one a try if you’re itching for some new RPG action with a classic touch.
This one is weird, philosophical, and immensely satisfying, even though the full episodic arc isn’t finished. Currently in Act III, Kentucky Route Zero ($24.99) tells the story of a group of emotionally broken people trying to find their way back to some sense of normalcy. It’s a mythical journey across and underneath the highways and deserted towns of America, and you’ve got to play it to believe it.
It’s time to learn how to play the hottest new gaming genre and e-sport, the massively online battle arena (MOBA). This is Valve’s serious competition for League of Legends, and it’s a doozy - players spend hundreds of hours learning and mastering this game, and you can watch full-on bouts on sites like Twitch and YouTube to better your own game. Plus? It’s free to play, so you can’t go wrong here. Be prepared, though: DoTA 2 (free-to-play) isn’t a casual game.
This free-to-play gem from Colorado-based indie mobile developer Backflip has you hiring and leveling up heroes and sending them along on quests to defeat monsters or other players in various dungeons on the eponymously named island. It’s fun to play in bursts, sending your heroes out to complete time-based quests and bring back gear, armor, and other loot. Epic Island (free-to-play) has a sweet crafting system and an online battle arena that lets you beat up other players from around the world.
Telltale Games is getting quite a reputation for their gritty, dark adventure games based on comic books, like The Walking Dead and the award-winning Fables comic by Bill Willingham and published by Vertigo. The Wolf Among Us ($4.99 per episode) tells a procedural murder mystery set in New York with the magical creatures of fairy tale come to horrifyingly realistic life. Bigby (Big Bad) Wolf is the sheriff, and he must battle his dark nature to uncover the truth behind a grisly murder in Fabletown.
Reaper (free-to-play) is a great little action game for your Android-based smartphone or tablet: become the Black Swordsman and battle your way through wave after wave of magic and monsters, grabbing quests and leveling your little guy up with better skills, weapons, and armor. It’s the best fun I’ve had on an Android device all year.
Promising to combine the most fun bits of every racing game ever into a standalone title, the forthcoming mobile game from developer League of Monkeys is basically an excuse to just do donuts… over and over again.