Despite Scott’s best efforts, I still really enjoy tower defense games. Especially on iOS:
You remember Curiosity? Peter Molyneux promised long ago that whoever breaks the last cube in that app will be granted a “life-changing” experience. Well that winner has finally been announced and Mr. Molyneux describes the prize in only a way Molyneux can:
They Might Be Giants, or TMBG for those who are lazily inclined, released an app about a week ago. It has fairly standard stuff, essentially it holds five of the most recent/popular tracks from TMBG and connects you to their social media fan base. For any TMBG fans, it definitely deserves a place on your home screen, and it’s free. Also, what’s pretty cool, is the artwork in the app was developed and hand-stitched by Hine Mizushima.
In other news, you may have heard that the App Store got a little to pornoriffic recently with the 500px photo sharing app and then Apple subsequently removed it. Now, this app has returned into the fold after being cleansed of all boobs. But the real question is what has actually changed? Apparently they added a “Report” button to each image so people could flag any potential problem, and what’s more, Apple raised the rating of the app to 17+. Co-founder of 500px, Evgeny Tchebotarev, drew a correlation between their app and the Vine, who also has had issues of porn popping up when it shouldn’t. The Vine, however, still enjoys a 12+ rating on the app store. Lest we forget, Apple can pretty much do whatever it likes on it’s own app store, fair or not.
Source: The Verge
Regardless of what you man think of Mr. Ashton Kutcher, it is a rather interesting direction they are taking, and he’s still a dead ringer for Jobs as a young dude. With that said, Woz claims that this scene never really happened, citing that the relationship and motivations among the two of them were quite different. But he also added that “I’m embarrassed but if the movie is fun and entertaining, all the better.”
I knew virtually nothing about Wave Trip until a few minutes ago… now I really want to see how the ratings on this pan out… it’s currently $1.99 on the App Store. Observe:
Now children as old as 4 years old can experience the joys of weaponry with the new NRA: Practice Shooting app, now available for all. This app includes gun safety tips, different state gun laws, and various “educational materials.” The app itself is free with an option to “upgrade” your various weapon for $0.99. And really, the only part of this that makes this a game is just a point-and-shoot gun range. This really isn’t a political statement of any sort but age 4… 4?!
In fairness, most media outlets are focusing on the fact that the age range for the app is quite low, and not much else. I’ve heard the argument be made that this was not an intentional choice made by the NRA to have that age on the app store, but rather a function of the content in the game itself when submitting to the store. It isn’t a “violent” app in the sense that you are not shooting live targets, and there is no horror content or bad language. Which, if that is the case, then (at least) it exposes a flaw in the submission process to Apple. Many stories have risen stating a lot of folks learned to shoot quite young, usually depending on which state you were born in. And while I would think gun safety education would be of the utmost importance if you had firearms in the house, children or not, this app probably isn’t the way to do it.
Here’s the headline, “Apple Working On a Less Expensive iPhone.” at least according to the Wall Street Journal this afternoon, and then Bloomberg shortly after that. Citing sources “familiar” with the idea, we should expect it by the end of 2013. Bloomberg went even further, claiming that the phone would be between $99 and $149. So far I would put this in the “rumor” column of your life until we get something a little more definitive, also keep in mind that rumors about an affordable iPhone have been around since early 2011. Giving a statement like that is much like someone saying that Apple is making a new iPhone. To my response, well yeah, at least in some form or another. There. I have just provided you with the relevant information here and I didn’t need 1000 words to do it. Promotions all around.
In other news, apparently Walmart is feeling the need to provide you with iPhones that aren’t under a data contract through a pre-paid provider called Straight Talk. And the actual plans that they are advertising are much lower than any typical iPhone plan among the major carriers:
Pricing for the Straight Talk no-contract plans include:
$45 – No Contract Monthly Plan with Unlimited Nationwide Talk, Text, and Data.
$60 – No Contract Monthly Plan with Unlimited Nationwide Talk, Text, and Data PLUS Unlimited International Calling to more than 1,000 destinations in Mexico, Canada, India, and in other countries.
The only financial catch is that the actual phone is much more expensive.
- iPhone 5 will be available in black and white for $649 for the 16GB model only
- iPhone 4 will be available in black and white for $449 for the 8GB model only
In the long run this will save people money, and I have no love my carrier (Sprint), so any opportunity to dump them would be quite welcome. My hangup here is I had never heard of Straight Talk before, though they’ve been around since last year, and I’m not sure of what to think about their coverage. I did find a review of Straight Talk on the iPhone via 9to5mac and it seems competent enough. Feeling brave enough to try it? Let me know.
From the looks of this, I will be driven delightfully mad by this game.
You could call Zynga’s story a meteoric rise to prominence, especially with their net revenue in 2011 being about 1.14 billion dollars. And in the same breathe that I say that, you could also say that Zynga meteor is now plummeting. For those unaware, Zynga rose in the ranks mostly because of FarmVille, and most of that was driven through Facebook. Seldom is the person who hasn’t seen the Facebook spam… my God the spam. At some points, Zynga was responsible for as much as 10% of Facebook’s revenue. In 2011 Zynga filed to be a publicly traded company, original offering was at $10 a share. Today, you can trade shares of Zynga stock for $2.39. Now, as a way to save money via cost-cutting, Zynga is dropping support for eleven of their games. For those of you still invested in any of these, I’m sorry to say that your time investment in virtual goods and virtual currency is now meaningless. As you may expect, there are a few “villes” on this list:
- ForestVille – Pulled from app stores
- Indiana Jones Adventure World – Shuts down January 14th
- Mafia Wars 2
- Mafia Wars Shakedown – Pulled from app stores
- Mojitomo – Pulled from app stores
- Treasure Isle
- Vampire Wars
- Word Scramble Challenge – Pulled from app stores
This also comes in the wake of mass layoffs and office closures. While I don’t think Zynga will be going away tomorrow, the issues that they have been facing seem to be indicative of problems with their general business model in the longer term. If nothing else, I truly hope the employee’s who bet on Zynga remaining a top apps contender find gainful employment soon. This isn’t mean to sound inflammatory, but does anyone in our community still play these titles anymore? Or ever?
Chillingo, the developer responsible for games like Cut the Rope and something called Angry Birds (couldn’t find much on that one), has just released a new game entitled Potshot Pirates. The title alone peaked my curiosity and I may pick this one up soon. From the preview alone, it looks as though it’s a 3D version of a hybrid Angry Birds/Implode game with pirates. There isn’t much of star-rating consensus as of yet, but so far the reviews are strong. Currently it costs $0.99 on the app store and will most likely deliver more than $0.99 worth of fun.
I may do a preview of this one soon, be on the look out!