| Cult of Mac

Celebrity nudes, iPhone 6 event details and the rest of this week’s hottest Apple news

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Trusting the Internet can be one of the silliest things you can do, especially when it comes to private matters. While what you do within the comfort of your own circle deserves to stay within its parameters, sometimes things don’t play that way.

Some celebrities found that out the hard way this week when their “personal” photos were hacked from their iCloud accounts and leaked online. With the world frantically sharing the photos left and right, this has turned all eyes toward Apple and the security of its cloud operation.

Rovio CEO steps down as Angry Birds profits plummet

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Angry Birds developer Rovio has a new CEO, who hopes to restore this freemium title to its previous glory.
Photo: Rovio

Are we seeing the collapse of freemium game makers as the monster money spinners they were a year or so back?

Following the recent news that the recently-public Candy Crush Saga maker King had posted a disappointing quarter in terms of revenue, now the CEO of Angry Birds dev Rovio has announced that he is stepping down for similar reasons.

CEO Mikael Hed says he is “passing the hoodie” to new CEO Pekka Rantala, who recently joined Rovio after serving as head of Finnish drinks maker Hartwall.

“It has been an amazing ride and in the coming months I will be very happy to pass the hoodie to Pekka Rantala, who will take Rovio to the next level,” Hed noted in a statement. “Pekka is known to be a great leader with experience building successful global consumer brands. I will continue to play an active role and will support Pekka in any way I can to ensure Rovio’s continued success.”

Angry Birds become Transformers in new action-packed Comic-Con trailer

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The Angry Birds are, ahem, transforming yet again in this new trailer from Rovio and Hasbro, released to coincide with San Diego Comic Con this week.

You’ve got the red bird cosplaying as a voice-less Optimus Prime, running his way through an island-style world, smashing through crates, and then finally facing a giant, laughing pig-bot Deceptihog. It doesn’t get much better than this. Check out the video below.

Deceptihogs and Autobirds mash it up in upcoming Angry Birds Transformers

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Birds disguised as robots in disguise.
Birds disguised as robots in disguise.

If you haven’t gotten enough of disgruntled avians from Rovio’s hit series Angry Birds, what with last week’s Angry Birds Epic or the well-received Angry Birds Star Wars mobile games, then this news is for you.

Rovio has teamed up with Hasbro to mashup its own quirky mobile gaming franchise with yet another pop-culture phenomenon, the Transformers. And not the Michael Bay hyper-CGI movies, either. This looks to be a full-on 1980s cartoon take on the “robots in disguise” theme, complete with birds disguised as robots that can turn into cars and airplanes.

Sigh.

Dear Rovio, don’t make this Angry Birds movie

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Do you have what it takes to cash in on Angry Birds?
Take all the butt-kicking action of the King of Iron Fist Tournament, add Jon Foo, and what could go wrong? Well, just about any animated character is a better actor than Foo. And the draw for the game — with combat action in the round — is kind of a given, you know, in an actual film.
Jean-Claude Van Damme stars in this adaptation-lite of the relentlessly brutal game. The film includes a few comic interludes to really horrify anyone watching it.
Confession: There was many a cheap thrill to be had with the epic PlayStation game upon which this film was based. Hooked up to a halfway decent stereo, the haunted-house aspect with the tense music and fright factor got me. Every. Single. Time. The movie? Less of a jolt and more one long, boring buzz. The franchise holds the record for most film adaptations -- evidently they’re still trying to get it right.
Another multi-fighter mega-flop, this one offers equal opportunity for bad moviemaking. It stars Holly Valance, Devon Aoki and Sarah Carter as gals out to win a martial arts contest.
Even Angelina Jolie, whose eye-popping curves perfectly embody everyone’s favorite archaeologist/adventuress, couldn’t save this. And neither could Daniel Craig. The movie made a vast, glittering pile of cash, so they made another one that was panned even more harshly than the original.
The draw of the game was partially due to using real actors as opposed to drawings -- that's why there's a huge cult of them.
Usually you don’t think of games as having great plots (like porn?) but the later iterations of Prince of Persia actually did. Epic journeys, curses, trials to overcome, etc. -- Joseph Campbell probably would have approved. Shame about the movie. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the prince and Ben Kingsley as the baddie. It made a ton of money but also made your life pointlessly shorter by 116 minutes.
I’ll have a super-size dose of whatever the guys who green-lighted an entire movie based on the adventures of two Italian-American plumbers in Brooklyn had. Sure, there are floods and romance and dinosaur bones and villains to be fought. But the movie was a super bob-omb, even though the best costume award it won means we’ll be seeing variations on the amiable Bob Hoskins' Mario outfit for many Halloweens to come.
This is one of those straight-outta-Japan offerings that you either get or don’t. I never got it. The game or the movie. The animated film about a dystopian future besieged by aliens won plaudits for its amazing animation, fruit of a team of 200 and four years of effort. But the movie tanked, bringing Square Pictures down with it.
Director John Moore brought the story of cold-case detective Max Payne on a mission to life in this “neo-noir action” flick. It’s only loosely based on the game, and Mark Wahlberg fits the lead role about as well as a pair of too-old Calvin boxers with crenelated elastic.

Angry Birds is coming to a big screen near you. Rovio Entertainment is taking the epic battle of birds-versus-pigs from your iPhone to the cinema, in 3-D, and launching it into the wide, wide world in July 2016.

We’re aflutter with anticipation: Can they actually make a movie based on a video game worth watching? It’s happened time and time again that our favorite living room brain-cell killer was transported to the land of plush seats and buttery popcorn only to disappoint.

Most video games turn into celluloid duds even though we stupidly paid to see them; Rotten Tomatoes gives Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within only a 44 percent approval rating. The rest go down from there.

In the gallery above, you’ll find a brutal rundown of the best of the worst video game-cum-movies that Rovio should watch — as a reminder of what not to do.

Word Monsters Is New Head-To-Head Word Puzzler From Angry Birds Developers [Video Review]

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The hit bird slinging game Angry Birds has found its way on devices everywhere. While the Angry Birds series has brought developing company Rovio so much popularity, their branch company Rovio Stars aims to share the spotlight. The newest application from Rovio Stars is Word Monsters, a game that combines competitive head-to-head gameplay with word puzzles and monsters. Do you think you can beat all your friends and top the high score charts?

Take a look at the video and find out what you think.

This is a Cult of Mac video review of the iOS application Word Monsters – Rovio Stars Ltd., brought to you by Joshua Smith of TechBytes W/ Jsmith.

Yep, Angry Birds Go Sure Is A Kart Game [Review]

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The inevitable fate of all popular mascots to eventually end up in a go kart. Take a look at Mario, Crash Bandicoot, Sonic, and many other iconic video game mascot characters and you’ll find they’ve all squished themselves into a car at some point. Well, now the Angry Birds are, too.

Angry Birds Go by Rovio
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free

Angry Birds Go is a free-to-play karting adventure full of repetition and cool-down meters. Unlocking aesthetically pleasing carts means putting in real money, and your spirited birdy racers get tired after a short while. Beyond that, Go is a completely average racer.

Angry Birds Gets Electrifying New Update, Now Has Almost 500 Levels

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Few companies are better at keeping their games updated than Rovio, who’ve released more updates for its Angry Birds games than one can count. Add another grain of sand to the beaches of infinity, then, because the bird-vs.-pig physics strategy game has just gotten a new update, adding 30 levels to the core game as well as giving the bomb bird a new electric power.