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.”
If you actually have one of these unproduced Steve Jobs figurines, maybe don’t sell it. Photo: in icons
Scott Dadich, editor-in-chief of Wired, recently dispatched a chilling memo to his worker bees about keeping their San Francisco hive clean. Among other things, Dadich bemoaned the “dorm room” look of the office.
“It’s an embarrassment,” he opined in his overwrought missive, which was leaked to The Awl. “Coffee stains on walls (and countertops and desks), overflowing compost bins, abandoned drafts of stories and layouts (full of highly confidential content), day-old, half-eaten food, and, yes, I’m going to say it, action figures. Please. WIRED is no longer a pirate ship [emphasis added].”
Whether you work at Wired or not, you have no shortage of options if you’re suddenly in a panic to sell your old nerdy crap (or buy all-new nerdy crap — take that, Mr. Boss Man). While you might be tempted to go straight to Craigslist or eBay, those sites can be unpredictable or leave you vulnerable to murder. Here are three alternatives if you want to ditch your excess junk and prefer to keep your guts where they are.
Anything else is child’s play. Photo: Dillon Markey
Dillon Markey animates one of the hottest Adult Swim programs on television, Robot Chicken. Better yet, he uses an old Nintendo Power Glove to do it.
The Emmy-winning show consists of short sequences of stop-motion animation using action figures of pop culture characters, like Bill Gates or Shigeru Miyamoto, the famed Nintendo game designer. Funny enough, Markey used his modified Power Glove the first time on that specific scene in Robot Chicken.
The Sims 4 is coming to Mac. It’s about time. Photo: EA
I’ve been a huge fan of The Sims franchise since I first laid my hands on the original version back in 2000. Since then, I’ve played every major version, a large number of the expansion packs, and the freemium version for iOS… but never The Sims 4.
That’s because despite having been launched on PC back in September last year, the fourth incarnation of the popular people simulator has yet to make it onto Mac.
Fortunately that’s about to change, since The Sims 4 developers have finally announced that a Mac version of the game is coming next month. Here’s what we know about it so far: