WWE WrestleFest piledrives iOS today, XBLA, PSN, and PC later in 2012

Pinch me because I think I’m dreaming.

Do you mean to tell me that THQ has developed a modern-day update of the 1991 Technos arcade game WWF WrestleFest and filled it with a roster of current and classic WWE superstars? [Read more...]

Eufloria HD iPad Review

Eufloria HD iPad Review Screenshot

Eufloria HD is an iPad port of last year’s unique PC and PS3 real-time strategy game by developer Omni Systems LTD. Unlike some titles that migrate to the iOS after launching elsewhere, this isn’t a quick and dirty port. All the controls have been redesigned completely to support the iPad’s touch screen interface. So how does it play? [Read more...]

Angry Birds flings into outer space March 22

Apparently Angry Birds aren’t content with conquering all of Earth. They’ve now decided to go where no bird has gone before and venture into the depths of space in the appropriately titled Angry Birds Space. The official website teases a March 22 release but doesn’t specify what platforms it will launch on. You can assume it will show up on every device under the sun eventually because the Angry Birds juggernaut appears to be unstoppable at this point.

All silliness aside, this is a clever idea and will likely make a trillion dollars. Kudos Rovio, you did it again. Have I mentioned how nice you look in that suit today?

Go retro with the iCADE 8-Bitty

iCade 8-bitty iOS

File this under “Brilliant Idea I Wish I Thought Of”.

The makers of the awesome and adorable iCade iPad Arcade Cabinet have unveiled a new controller for you to play iOS games with, the iCade 8-Bitty.

Looking something like a mutated NES controller, the 8-Bitty features a d-pad, four face buttons !?!, select, start, and two shoulder buttons. If you look closely you can see the 1970′s era woodgrain trim around the side of the controller. Nice touch.

Powered by two AAA batteries, The 8-Bitty works wirelessly with the iPad, iPhone, and Android devices and is compatible with the full list of games that support the iCade cabinet. Look for it to be released sometime “later this year” for $24.99, exclusively through ThinkGeek.com.

I will definitely be picking one of these up for my Temple Run fix.

Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Episode 1 iOS Review

Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space iPad Screenshot 1

Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space is an iOS port of 2007’s point-and-click adventure series from the masters of the genre Telltale Games, makers of Back to the Future, Monkey Island, and Puzzle Agent. Did the twosome successfully make the transition to your iDevice? Let’s find out.

For the uninitiated, Beyond Time and Space is the second season of Sam & Max, Steve Purcell’s lovable dog and rabbit detective duo. Sam is the straight-laced pooch in a suit and Max is his wise-cracking rabbit sidekick. Together they fight the evils of the world, often with humorous dialogue and jabs at pop-culture. This is a review of Episode 1, with the other four episodes that complete BT&S arriving later. If you’re worried about playing through Season Two of Sam & Max without experiencing the first season, don’t be. For whatever reason, Season One isn’t available on iTunes and although the stories are loosely connected, they can be enjoyed independently.

The plot of Episode 1 “Ice Station Santa” begins with an ancient pagan god sending Sam & Max a murderous war robot as a present. If that sounds crazy to you, then buckle up because that’s only the beginning. Along the way you’ll meet a cast of characters that includes a boxing rat, some sweatshop elves, and the aforementioned robot who only speaks in pop lyrics. That’s just a fraction of the zaniness but I don’t want to risk spoiling any of the fun as it’s best to experience it naturally. Just know that the story is as solid as we’ve come to expect from Sam & Max.

As with all Telltale iOS games, the controls have been expertly migrated to the iPad / iPhone and couldn’t be more intuitive. Dragging your finger across the screen moves Sam where you want him to go and tapping on an object interacts with it. It’s a simple interface, point-and-tap, and to quote Apple “it just works”. An icon at the bottom lets you quickly cycle through interactable objects further simplifying things. You won’t have to fight with the control scheme to enjoy this game.

Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space iPad Screenshot 2

Also stress-relieving is the fact that it’s impossible to die in Sam & Max. Exploration and experimentation is the heart of the gameplay and you won’t be penalized for it. Any challenge comes from solving the puzzles and situations the characters get into using your mind to advance the adventure. This gives the game a laid-back pace based on trial and error. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that Sam & Max is easy, it’s not. Often you’ll cycle through every item in your inventory trying to figure out what to do next, wondering what could possibly be done. When something finally works, you feel like the smartest man alive. That’s a huge part of it’s charm, it makes you feel like a genius. An adjustable hint system is provided in case you’re completely, though I recommend leaving it on the default setting and toughing it out.

Visually, Beyond Time and Space is gorgeous, looking strikingly like an interactive cartoon. In fact, I had someone ask me what I was “watching” while playing this game. It’s that impressive. The voice acting is also stellar with Max delivering comedic lines at the rate of a machine gun. In addition to the story, Episode 1 also features a ‘Whack-Da-Ratz’ shooting mini-game (based on Whack-a-Mole) and a Sound Board with funny lines of dialogue. Both are entertaining enough, but not likely to take up much of your time once you’ve finished the game.

The Verdict
Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space is another outstanding point-and-tap adventure from Telltale. What it does, it does perfectly. If you’ve played any of the other Sam & Max games then you know exactly what to expect, a hilarious, off-the-wall adventure full of lively characters and devilish puzzles.

If you’re new to this series then this is a fine place to start. iOS devices are practically custom-made for these games and it’s ideal for stop and start mobile gaming. While Telltale typically charges more than the usual rock-bottom iOS prices, they’re worth every penny as you’re getting a polished three hour experience worthy of your time.

Review Score: 9 out of 10

App Store Link: Sam & Max Beyond Time & Space Episode 1 – $6.99 (Universal)

Sam & Max The Penal Zone (iPad) is also available on iTunes.