Babylonian Twins is a tough, old-school puzzle-platformer with great graphics and unusual, unforgiving gameplay.
The game is an enhanced revision of a Commodore Amiga game developed in Iraq in the early '90s that was never published due to economic sanctions and the collapse of Commodore. Given its history, Babylonian Twins feels like a time capsule from that era of gaming, in ways both good and bad: Nostalgic gamers will love the long and intricately designed levels, but tricky twitch controls (made trickier by the touch interface) and a lack of modern checkpoints to save your progress can make the game … Read more
One of the first games I downloaded when I got my iPhone 3G was Let's Golf and I couldn't believe how good it looked on the small iPhone screen. I was a big fan of Hot Shots golf on PlayStation 2, the console game that Let's Golf seems to be largely based upon, so seeing the familiar graphics and gameplay on the iPhone screen was truly a delight.
Though it has successfully resisted pressure to install a mandatory "panic button" on users' home pages, Facebook has permitted the U.K.'s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to build an app for its platform that members of the social-networking site can use to report online abuse directly to CEOP or seek advice about potential dangers of the Web.
Called ClickCEOP, the app has been released following negotiations and eventually a partnership with Facebook. On Tuesday, U.K.-based Facebook members between the ages of 13 and 18 will see an ad on the site that … Read more
Facebook announced Wednesday that it's beginning to institute a new interface that will pop up when users connect their Facebook accounts to third-party services--one which the social-networking company says will bring more "transparency" (yes, that word again) to how much information its nearly 500 million users are sharing across the Web.
Consequently, when a third-party application that connects to Facebook asks a user for permission to do so, it has to stipulate exactly what parts of a user profile it'll be accessing: photos, friend list data, basic public information, and so forth. This is something that … Read more
Though it's taken a little longer than we expected, Barnes & Noble has announced that this summer it will launch PubIt, a new DIY publishing option for independent publishers and self-publishing writers to distribute their works digitally through BN.com and Barnes & Noble's e-book store.
The new service will compete with Amazon's pioneering Digital Text Platform (DTP), which many writers have turned to for distributing their works to the Kindle and other devices that run the Kindle Reader software. Sony, too, has a DYI option for its Reader Store, and Apple is now allowing self-publishers to … Read more
Looking for 5 minutes of fun? Then look elsewhere, because this week's new iPhone/iPod games are likely to consume considerable chunks of your time. You've been warned!
Babylonian Twins -- The Quest for Peace in Ancient Iraq: If you like running, jumping, puzzle-solving platform games (I know, are there any other kind?), you're sure to get a kick out of Babylonian Twins--a gorgeous, charming platformer with one of the most interesting backstories I've ever read. The game's launch price: $2.99. Oh, and don't miss Babylonian Twins HD for iPad ($4.99).Giant Moto: Its name notwithstanding, this is a perfect little motocross game. Choose a track (there are six now; the developer promises more), then a color, and then decide if you want to ride solo or race against three AI riders. Giant Moto is all about jumps, turbo boosts, and scoring the best time. It's reminiscent of the Nintendo classic ExciteBike--but a lot purtier, to be sure. Well worth 99 cents.
N.Y.Zombies: A must-have for fans of Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil, and other zombies-run-amok games, this first-person shooter offers an endless onslaught of blood, guts, and gunplay. There's a plot, too, for those who like zombie-whompin' with a purpose. N.Y.Zombies' launch price is $1.99, but there's a free lite version if you want to test the undead waters. … Read more
As I mentioned in last week's write-up of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, not all the hot gaming action these days is on the iPad. Developers continue to crank out some mighty slick titles for the iPhone and iPod Touch, as evidenced by these five compelling newcomers:
1. Above Jumping games (like the terminally addicting PapiJump) are ideal when you've got a few minutes to kill--er, jump. Above (above) takes the platform-jumping genre to a new, um, level, as your tireless briefcase-wielding hopper ascends ever skyward. A techno soundtrack and lush, scrolling backgrounds help keep the action interesting. … Read more
Microsoft just closed the door on Firefox development for its new Windows Phone 7 Series. It didn't overtly discriminate against Firefox developers. Instead, it did what we increasingly see platform owners like Apple do:
Microsoft set up rigid development parameters that favor its own technology over alternative approaches.
I don't think Microsoft did this because it's evil. I suspect it simply wants to create an Apple-like experience where everything "just works" because the experience is tightly controlled.
But that doesn't make the decision wise. And it's not actually consistent with Microsoft's past, … Read more
For its Xperia X10 smartphones, Sony Ericsson designed a new user interface from scratch. Called the User Experience Platform (or UXP), it sits on top of the Android OS for the Xperia X10, X10 Mini, and X10 Mini Pro.
Last week, Nicole Lee and I took an in-depth tour of UXP with George Arriola, Sony Ericsson's head of human interface design, at the company's lab in San Francisco. On the whole, we liked what we saw. UXP is clean, easy to use, and attractive, and we like that it lets the basic Android framework shine through.
For the … Read more