Ristar, Twitch, and other awesome apps of the week


Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend everyone!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Remember the innocent joy of gaming in the 1990s? You can relive it this weekend, courtesy of two rereleases of forgotten console gems from the decade of Nirvana and dial-up internet.

Those are just two of the picks we’ve highlighted for this week’s “Awesome Apps” roundup. We’ve also got a great update to an iOS email client and a livestreaming app for Mac.

Check out our choices below.


Gmail iPhone
Don’t be fooled into clicking dangerous links.
Photo: Google

Gmail’s iOS app got a useful update this week, introducing anti-phishing security checks. This means that the app now automatically detects suspicious links in your emails, and warns you that they might be dangerous when you tap them.

The feature has been available on the web version of Gmail for some time, and arrived on Android back in May, but now it’s landed on iOS — and very useful it is to. You still get the option to proceed if you determine everything is safe, but the fact that Google will chime in with its own (very possibly correct) opinion is certainly sure to save a scam victim or two.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: Free
Get it from: App Store


Nineteen years after it arrived on the first-generation PlayStation console, the final installment in Taito’s 1990s trilogy of awesome scrolling shooters arrived on iOS this week.

For those who haven’t played it, RayCrisis is a vertically scrolling shooter with a high tech theme. You play the role of a (good) computer virus, with the enemies being the computation antibodies, which are programmed to stop you breaking into the Skynet-style Neuro-Computer Con-Human supercomputer system.

RayCrisis comes with both the original version and a special version fine-tuned for mobile devices. In addition to iPhone and iPad, you can also play it on Apple TV.

Available for: iPhone, iPad, Apple TV
Cost: $9.99
Get it from: App Store


Twitch livestream
After months in beta, the full version of Twitch’s Mac client is here!
Photo: Twitch

After several months in beta, game streaming platform Twitch’s desktop app for Mac finally shipped for Mac this week.

The app includes all the features you’d expend to find in Twitch’s web browser version, such as voice and video calling. However, it also includes a few features that you’ll only find in the app version. The big one is the presence of a Dark Mode, designed to make it more comfortable on the eyes to watch streams at night by reducing the amount of bright light.

There are also text and voice rooms, and the ability to manage your calls without alt-tabbing. Going forward, the plan is to add cloud storage to let you access your save data from multiple machines.

Available for: Mac
Cost: Free
Get it from: Twitch


Originally arriving on the Sega Genesis in 1995, Ristar is a side-scrolling platformer that’s something of a forgotten gem of the genre. While it received good reviews, it came out right at the end of the Sega Genesis’ lifespan, just as Sega was shifting to its Sega Saturn console. As such, it looked more like a nod to the video games of yesteryear than it did the new frontier of gaming which was promised by the next generation of consoles.

Fortunately, you’ve now got a chance to reappraise it, courtesy of Sega’s Sega Forever collection of iOS ports of classic games. If you like titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog, you’ll likely get a kick out of Ristar — which dials back the focus on speed in favor of innovative ways to utilize the hero’s stretchy arms.

Available for: Mac
Cost: Free (with in-app purchase to remove ads)
Get it from: App Store


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