All items tagged with "Reviews"

Greed is good in coin-pusher RPG Dragon Coins

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Have you ever experienced that giddy feeling of good fortune when a slot machine starts pouring out quarters, or a winning poker hand lets you put your arms around a big pile of chips and pull them towards your side of the table? Dragon Coins, a combination arcade “coin-pusher” and casual RPG, recreates that feeling every time you play.

Dragon Coins by Sega
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone and iPad
Price: Free

It’s a dangerous precedent. Dragon Coins literally piles on the treasure when you’re on a roll, emulating the psychological appeal of casinos. As long as you are able to put the game down from time to time, or grind out low-level battles to earn extra experience, you probably won’t end up mortgaging your home or draining your kid’s college fund to pay for this game.

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Tiny gadget cures MIDI of its cable addiction

Photo: Jim Merithew, Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew, Cult of Mac

Getting your MIDI keyboard connected to your iPad or Mac can be a frustrating experience. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got the right wires that connect to your output device of choice, and then you’ve got to make sure you never ever lose them.

PUC by Zivix LLC
Category: Music & MIDI
Works With: iOS, OS X
Price: $129

Hopping onstage for a gig at the local brewpub can be a frightening experience if you’ve lost that one special cord that goes from your keys to your Ableton Live setup on your Mac, and missing out on a recording session because you can’t find that special 30-pin adaptor for your iPad is just a pain in the butt.

The folks behind the excellent JamStick, Zivix, have your answer, then, with a cool-looking little round gadget called a PUC that connects any MIDI keyboard or other capable device to your iPad, your Mac, your iPhone, your PC — you name it, if it’s got Wi-Fi and can run a MIDI app, you can use the PUC to send your MIDI performance to it.

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Review roundup: Best waterproof iPhoneography cases

Review roundup: Best waterproof iPhoneography cases

This week we check out the best iPhone cases for using underwater. And seeing as the only reason to take an iPhone underwater is to snap pictures, we’re looking specifically at the camera capabilities.

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A Dark Room lights up your iPhone with a big heart and open world

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Great games don’t always need amazing graphics and sound, but they do need a strong premise and a lot of heart. A Dark Room, an outstanding text-based adventure game with minimal graphics, starts off as a simple survival story and eventually blossoms into a full-on Fallout-style role-playing game (RPG).

A Dark Room by Amirali Rajan
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone and iPad
Price: $.99

Much of the joy of playing A Dark Room is watching it unfold in surprising new ways. The game starts simply — you’re alone in the dark with a single button to press to start a fire. Eventually, new buttons appear so you can perform actions like collecting wood, and a character called the Builder shows up to help you form a shelter.

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Minimal Bezl iPhone corners offer maximal protection [Review]

Minimal Bezl iPhone corners offer maximal protection [Review]

Bezl by Bezl Design
Category: Cases
Works With: iPhone 5/S
Price: $20

Who’d have thought that four tiny stick-on plastic corners could make such a great iPhone “case?” Yet the Bezl, a case so minimal it doesn’t even have room for vowels, is one of my favorites. That might not be surprising for someone who avoids cases altogether, but they’re pretty useful for something so tiny.

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Review roundup: Best MacBook docks

Review roundup: Best MacBook docks

This week we look at docking stations for the MacBook. Docks let you stow your laptop out of the way. With its lid closed, and yet still use its brain to power a monitor and hook up to a mouse and keyboard.

Some docks are simple dumb stands, others offer hookups that the modern MacBook lacks, like HDMI and Ethernet ports.

Let’s take a look at three of the best.

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Incipio Atlas ID, A Great All-Round (And Underwater) iPhone Case [Review]

Incipio Atlas ID, A Great All-Round (And Underwater) iPhone Case [Review]

Atlas ID byIncipio
Category: Cases
Works With: iPhone 5/s
Price: $90

Summer’s (nearly) here! And that means we are forced outside to use our devices in places that remain inhospitable to our iPhones and iPads.

The Incipio Atlas ID is a slimline waterproof iPhone case that lets you keep using the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID scanner, even while it’s in the case.

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Pelican Voyager Provides Rugged Style With Less Added Bulk [Review]

photo: Jim Merithew, Cult of Mac

photo: Jim Merithew, Cult of Mac

Sometimes you just want an iPhone case that protects that beloved all-encompassing communications and gaming device from the vagaries of your crazy life, for sure.

Voyager by Pelican ProGear
Category: iPhone Cases
Works With: iPhone 5/5s
Price: $50

There are numerous options for those of us who tend to the “drop our gear constantly” school of gadget ownership, but most of them end up being incredibly bulky and difficult to use. Some even provide a screen guard that is less than touchable, as it were.

The Voyager series for the iPhone 5 and 5s, however, aims to provide similar drop, screen, and debris protection as many of these other cases, all for a more affordable price.

I took the case out for a spin to see if it could, in fact, protect my iPhone 5 without trouble, and whether the added bulk is worth the trade off in protection.

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

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 10.02.19 PM

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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Weatherproof Braven 710 Is Loud But Lacking [Review]

Weatherproof Braven 710 Is Loud But Lacking [Review]

710 byBraven
Category: Speakers
Works With: Anything with Bluetooth
Price: $170

Braven’s 710 Bluetooth candybar speaker has a lot going for it. It’s the same size as my favorite pocket speaker ever, the Braven 650. It’s made of aluminum, it has the same battery-sharing tech as all the other Bravens, and it even fixes some of my complaints about the 650 – it has proper buttons for volume and play pause.

Hell, it’s even waterproof. But there’s one thing that isn’t quite so good. It doesn’t sound as good as the 650. Not by much, but enough that you should still buy the 650 – unless you want to use it in the shower.

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