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The four new Apple Arcade games arriving in January 2023 include Episode XOXO by Pocket Games, a creative puzzler dubbed Illustrated and two other titles.New Apple Arcade titles launching in January 2023
You can play more than 200 titles with a single Apple Arcade subscription. Simply hit the Get button on its App Store page to receive a notification when an upcoming Apple Arcade game becomes available to download on your device.
Episode XOXO (January 6)
— Episode (@Episode) January 3, 2023
The game includes five original stories (Little Star, The Royal Bachelor, No Time For Love, The Secret He Keeps, and Road To Wonderland), with more coming via future updates. You can play this game with your favorite MFi-compatible controller.
Episode XOXO is available on iOS, iPadOS, macOS and tvOS [App Store link].
Illustrated (January 13)
Illustrated by BorderLeap blends jigsaw and word puzzles together to challenge your brain. The game includes hundreds of beautiful illustrations, each with a unique story. An early concept sketch comes alive with color with every piece in place. Each illustration comes with hidden words that form a puzzle’s underlying narrative.
You must both solve the illustration and the story to progress to the next level. You can even download any completed full-color artwork as wallpaper on your iPhone. The game includes a real-time multiplayer mode, a set of puzzles crafted for children, over five hours of custom music and other perks.
Illustrated supports iOS, iPadOS, macOS and tvOS [App Store link].
Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! (January 20)
Saddle up for some solitaire in this unique solitaire and horse-racing hybrid from Game Freak, creators of the Pokémon franchise. To increase your chance of winning the race, you must quickly clear cards with sequential numbers.
The more cards you clear, the more energy your horse charges during races. You’ll also use the cards to boost your horse’s performance, level up and learn new skills, breed your racehorses to gain new abilities and so on.
Pocket Card Jockey works on iOS, iPadOS, macOS and tvOS [App Store link].
Squiggle Drop (January 27)
In Squiggle Drop by Noodlecake, you solve puzzles by drawing a single vector shape. This physics-based game has you lowering a bridge, but you’ll need to be creative to solve the levels. In one level, you’ll bring the bridge down using a line with a hook. In another one, you’ll yank it using a big triangle.
There are 100 puzzles to solve, each with its unique objective, and more will be on the way via free updates. Making things even more interesting is the fact that different levels require different problem-solving skills.
The best thing about Squiggle Drop is versatility—each puzzle has multiple solutions, allowing you to replay any level to find a new solution you didn’t try before. If you get stuck, use a hint feature that will tease a potential shape for you to sketch out.
Squiggle Drop works on iOS, iPadOS, macOS and tvOS [App Store link].How to view a list of upcoming Apple Arcade games
Apple may remove some tiles from the catalog due to poor engagement, usually when contracts with their developers expire. Removed titles are available on Arcade for two more weeks. Read: How to use a Nintendo controller on Apple devicesHow to get Apple Arcade for free
Apple Arcade is not a game-streaming service—each title must be downloaded to execute locally on the device. Many Apple Arcade titles support compatible Sony, Microsoft and MFi controllers (iOS 16 also lets you play using use Nintendo’s Joy-Con and Switch Pro) Read: How to switch Apple Arcade users on Apple TV
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In addition to releasing OS X 10.10.3 to the public this morning, Apple has also rolled out iOS 8.3. The update, which developers and members of Apple’s public beta program have been testing since February, includes a number of new features and improvements.
Among those new features is support for Wireless CarPlay, which allows folks with vehicles or head units that support the feature to use CarPlay without dealing with cables. There is also new, more diverse emojis, additional language support in Siri, Safari fixes and more.
Interestingly enough, the new firmware comes just a few days before the Apple Watch is slated to become available for pre-order, but there doesn’t appear to be any new Watch-specific features or changes. There was plenty of that in 8.2, though, which landed in March,
iOS 8.3 is compatible with the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5s, 5c, 5, and 4s; the fifth-gen iPod touch; the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, original Air, mini 2, fourth-gen iPad, original mini, third-gen iPad and iPad 2. Jailbreakers should stay away until we learn of a successful 8.3 jailbreak.
Here are the release notes:
Simplified Chinese keyboard
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth fixes
Fixes an issue where you could be continuously prompted for login credentials
Addresses an issue where some devices disconnect intermittently from Wi-Fi networks
Fixes an issue where hands-free phone calls could become disconnected
Fixes an issue where audio playback could stop working with some bluetooth speakers
Orientation and rotation fixes
Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented rotating back to portrait after having rotated to landscape
Improves performance and stability issues that occurred when rotating the device between portrait and landscape
Fixes an issue where device orientation appeared upside down after pulling the iPhone 6 Plus from your pocket
Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented apps from rotating to correct orientation after switching apps in multitasking
Addresses issues that caused group messages to sometimes split
Fixes an issue that sometimes removed the ability to forward or delete individual messages
Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented a preview from appearing when taking a photo in Messages
Adds the ability to report junk messages directly from the Messages app
Adds the ability to filter out iMessages that are not sent by your contacts
Family Sharing fixes
Fixes a bug where certain apps would not launch or update on family members’ devicesFixes a bug that prevented family members from downloading certain free apps
Increased reliability for Ask to Buy notifications
Fixes an issue where Maps could come up as a black screen
Fixes an issue where the UI could be incorrectly rotated
Fixes an issue where the keyboard could appear on the CarPlay screen when it shouldn’t
Improves reliability of installing and updating enterprise apps
Corrects the time zone of Calendar events created in IBM Notes
Fixes a problem that could cause web clip icons to become generic after restarting
Improves reliability of saving the password for a web proxy
Exchange out-of-office message can now be edited separately for external replies
Improves recovery of Exchange accounts from temporary connection problems
Improves compatibility of VPN and web proxy solutions
Allows use of physical keyboards to log into Safari web sheets, such as for joining a public Wi-Fi network
Fixes an issue that caused Exchange meetings with long notes to be truncated
Fixes an issue where using the back button in Safari causes VoiceOver gestures to not respond
Fixes an issue where VoiceOver focus becomes unreliable in draft Mail messages
Fixes an issue where Braille Screen Input cannot be used to type text in forms on webpages
Fixes an issue where toggling Quick Nav on a Braille Display announces that Quick Nav is off
Fixes an issue keeping app icons from being moveable on home screen when VoiceOver is enabled
Fixes an issue in Speak Screen where speech will not start again after pausing
Other improvements and bug fixes
Introduces a redesigned Emoji keyboard with over 300 new characters
iCloud Photo Library has been optimized to work with the new Photos app on OS X 10.10.3 and is now out of beta
Improves the pronunciation of street names during turn-by-turn navigation in Maps
Includes support for Baum VarioUltra 20 and VarioUltra 40 braille displays
Improves the display of Spotlight results when Reduce Transparency is turned on
Adds Italic and Underline format options for iPhone 6 Plus landscape keyboard
Adds the ability to remove shipping and billing addresses used with Apple Pay
Additional language and country support for Siri: English (India, New Zealand), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia),
Swedish (Sweden), Thai (Thailand), Turkish (Turkey)
Additional dictation languages: Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) and Hebrew (Israel)
Improves stability for Phone, Mail, Bluetooth connectivity, Photos, Safari tabs, Settings, Weather and Genius Playlists in Music
Addresses an issue where Slide to Unlock could fail to work on certain devices
Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented swiping to answer a phone call on the Lock screen
Addresses an issue that prevented opening links in Safari PDFs
Fixes an issue where selecting Clear History and Website Data in Safari Settings did not clear all data
Fixes an issue that prevented autocorrecting “FYI”
Addresses an issue where contextual predictions did not appear in Quick Reply
Fixes an issue where Maps did not enter night mode from hybrid mode
Resolves an issue that prevented initiating FaceTime calls from a browser or 3rd-party app using FaceTime URLs
Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented photos from properly exporting to Digital Camera Image folders on Windows
Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented an iPad backup from completing with iTunes
Fixes an issue where remaining time on timer would sometimes incorrectly display as 00:00 on Lock screen
Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented adjusting call volume
Well, readers, it is officially my favorite time of year – Halloween. A time of costumes, jump scares, and horror movies. And as soon as I move that calendar page to September (definitely not too early) I dust off some of the best horror games around once more. From the good, old fashioned classics to some of the newer kids on the block, we’ve rounded up the ultimate games list for your Halloween horror nights.
The Best Games Of 2023: 10 Games We’re Looking Forward To The Most
Best Horror Games
Dead By Daylight
Release Date: 14th June 2023
Platform: PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, Windows
Developer: Behaviour Interactive
Genre: Quickplay, Survival, Co-op
Buy Here: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Featuring all your favorite horror villains, this co-op survival game brings the kind of heart-pumping adrenaline boost we all love. Work with a group of friends to try and evade the killer for as long as possible, fixing generators to secure your escape. Or, play as the killer as wipe out everyone before the dawn approaches.
The game has been around for a few years now, but it never feels old. They are constantly adding new villains and new maps to play through. And, since you’re always playing with a new group of people, the game is always changing.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
Release Date: 24th January 2023
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft
Genre: Survival, Shooter
Buy Here: PS4, Xbox One
Taking one of the classic horror game series and giving it a new spin, Resident Evil 7 is the most immersive game in the series thanks to the first-person perspective. They managed to keep in everything that makes these games great – terrifying bad guys, micromanagement of resources, exploration, and shooting; and then added in a new viewpoint to up the horror aspect.
The puzzles in this version are generally much too simplistic for most players, but the deadly encounters and quick-thinking shoot outs more than make up for it.
Five Nights At Freddies VR: Help Wanted
Release Date: May 28th, 2023
Platform: PS4, Microsoft
Developer: Steel Wool Studios
Genre: Survival, Exploration
Buy Here: PS4, PC
An absolute classic horror game is now available in VR – as if it wasn’t scary enough, to begin with. Can you survive Five Nights at Freddy’s? Probably not. But, you’ll have a hell of a time trying to. Get ready for jump scares aplenty as you try and hide from animatronic creatures that are somehow running loose at a pizza place.
If you’re brave enough to play through this on VR, make sure you get someone filming your reactions because they really are priceless. No matter how unshakeable you think you are, this game always gets you.
Release Date: 4th September 2013
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, OSX, Linux
Developer: Red Barrels
Buy Here: PS4, Xbox One
Man of Medan
Release Date: 30th August 2023
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows
Developer: Supermassive Games
Genre: Co-op, Exploration
Buy Here: PS4, Xbox
The newest release on our list, Man of Medan has already become a fan favorite for its story-driven horror survival style. The fact that it’s a co-op game as well really adds something special. When you play in a two-player co-op, you can only communicate with your fellow player through the in-game dialogue options. This really limits what you can share with each other as you explore the abandoned ship the game is set on.
While the story in this game can be a little slow to get going, overall it proves an enjoyable and scare-inducing experience for players and their friends.
Release Date: 7th October 2014
Platform: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer: Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive
Buy Here: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Horror fans the world over will remember the first time they saw the classic Alien movie – it was, and always will be, a classic. Following on 15 years after the movie, you take the role of Ripley’s daughter as she joins an expedition to find the Nostromo on a salvage mission.
Just like the movie, we don’t get to see the monster itself for a long time, amping up the tension to the max. They even have the option of using audio recognition to make it even tenser, allowing the alien to react to any noises you make in real life.
Release Date: 1st July 1999
Platform: Playstation, PS2, Xbox, Dreamcast, Windows
Genre: Retro, Exploration, Survival
Buy Here: Playstation, PC
We’re digging deep into the archives for this one, but when I asked the team about their favorite horror games, this one came up a lot. A perfect mixture of Resident Evil and Jurassic Park, Dino Crises gives us gore, tension, and dinosaurs aplenty.
The storyline sounds odd on paper, but when you play through the game, it does a great job of sweeping you along with it. You’re searching for mad scientist Professor Kirk on an island infested with dinosaurs to see if his experiments have any relation to everything that’s happening.
It was hard to narrow down this list, there are so many great horror games out, and some great ones yet to be released. But, every one of these holds a special place in my heart while they make it race at a million miles an hour.
As originally promised, Apple today released the public version of macOS High Sierra.Installing macOS High Sierra
Apple’s latest and greatest operating system is available as an over-the-air update via the Software Update mechanism on any Mac running an older macOS version. The standalone macOS High Sierra installer can be grabbed at no charge from Mac App Store.
This lets you create a USB install drive to install macOS High Sierra to multiple machines without redownloading, as well as perform clean installs and keep a copy of the installer safe for troubleshooting purposes.
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Apple provides a nice tutorial detailing the steps for upgrading to macOS High Sierra.
The system requirements for macOS High Sierra are the same as those for macOS Sierra:
MacBook or iMac (late 2009 or newer)
MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini or Mac Pro (2010 or newer)
MacBook (late 2008 aluminum or early 2009 or newer)
Mac mini (early 2009 or newer)
MacBook Pro (mid/late 2007 or newer)
Mac Pro (early 2008 or newer)
Xserve (early 2009)
iF your Mac runs macOS Sierra it can run macOS High Sierra, too. To see your Mac’s model year and other underlying hardware information, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu.
OVERVIEW: Apple’s new HEIF/HEVC media formats in iOS 11 & macOS High Sierra
Some features require a more powerful Mac. For instance, playback of 4K HEVC video requires a Mac running a sixth‑generation Intel Core chip or newer. For the full list of features supported across different Macs, check out Apple’s official macOS Feature Availability webpage.
For the security content of macOS High Sierra, seeApple’s support document.Key new features in macOS High Sierra
One of the biggest updates, macOS High Sierra brings many new features to Mac users.Apple File System
macOS High Sierra brings the new Apple File System (APFS) to your Mac. APFS is the successor to HSF+, the company’s longtime file system on Macs, and is also the default file system in iOS, watchOS and tvOS.
While there were no big issues with HSF+, it wasn’t build for modern storage like SSDs. APFS was built not just for today’s storage needs, but storage needs of the future as well.
OVERVIEW: What to know about transitioning to APFS
APFS comes with built-in encryption out of the box that makes securing your Mac easier than ever. Your data is now more protected with perks like automatic system snapshots, making recovering data easier and backups (like Time Machine) better than ever.
APFS is fully designed for 64-bit architecture.
One of my favorite features is the speed and efficiency.
APFS can help you save space in various ways, especially when duplicating files. On a traditional drive, copying a file or folder literally makes a copy. On an APFS drive, however, only one copy of the file exists on the disk and all of its copies are referenced.
As a result, duplicating a file on an APFS drive no longer takes up any additional space. Plus, APFS can literally copy a half a gigabyte or larger file instantly and gather the size of a folder with almost no delay. By speeding up common file operations, APFS makes your Mac more responsive than before.Safari 11
Safari 11 in macOS High Sierra is faster and more responsive than before.
Autoplay blocking is another favorite feature.
Ever land on a site that autoplays a video with sound? Safari now stops that cold.
You now have the options of stoping all videos, allowing all videos, or just pausing those that contain audio. This is a super handy feature that has worked very, very well in my testing.Photos
Of all the apps in High Sierra, Photos has seen the biggest improvements.
There’s now a wealth of new features for amateur and pro photographers alike. You can organize your library quicker with all-new filters, a new persistent sidebar lets you sort media by type, Memories now include over a dozen new slideshow types and more.
Plus, Photos now comes with built-in support for animated GIFs.
The editing experience has received significant improvements and a brand new layout.
The Edit view now provides precise curve-based editing, several new professional filters and the ability to open images directly in a third party app for more in-depth editing. And with all-new Project Extensions, third-party apps can make various project-based features available to Photos, like creating print products, websites or slideshows.
And last but not least, macOS High Sierra brings support for HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265, which is the latest standards-based video compression technology) and HEIF (High Efficiency Image Coding) formats that can cut storage consumption in half.
Of course, a more powerful Mac will deliver better HEVC performance. Apple says that encoding and editing of 4K HEVC content requires a Mac with a sixth‑generation Intel Core processor or newer, like the latest iMac and MacBook Pro models.Tidbits
There are many, many other under-the-hood enhancements in macOS High Sierra.
Even the Touch Bar system shortcuts have received a boost in High Sierra with the addition of all-new buttons for AirPlay, NightShift and Picture-in-Picture while watching a video.Roundup: 100+ features in macOS High Sierra
The following new technologies and features in macOS High Sierra make your Mac more reliable, capable and responsive whilst laying the foundation for future innovations.Core OS
Metal 2 has been optimized for battery
It powers virtual reality (VR) rendering and external GPUs in High Sierra
Used throughout the system, it enables smoother animations for things like Exposé
It’s faster than before, thanks to precompiled shaders, fine-grained resource ldntrol, multithreading support and the ability for your Mac’s GPU to take more control of the graphics and compute pipelines
Metal’s Performance Shaders bring deep support for GPU-accelerated machine learning used in speech recognition, natural language processing and computer vision
New Core ML framework provides easy integration of machine learning models into apps, supporting features like face tracking, face detection, landmarks, text detection, rectangle detection, barcode detection, object tracking and image registration
Media & VR support
Support for the lossless FLAC audio format in QuickLook
Support for the H.265 video format, also known as HEVC, that delivers up to 40 percent smaller video files than H.264, the current standard for video compression, at the same visual quality
HEVC enabling high-quality video streaming on networks where only HD streaming was previously possible
Support for the new HEIF image format with up to 2x smaller files than JPGs
Support for external GPU enclosures (currently limited to external displays) on any Mac with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity for VR content creation and increased performance in apps that use Metal, OpenCL and OpenGL
Apple File System
APFS is more efficient than HFS+ and saves you disk space
Helps protect data from power outages and system crashes
Keeps your data secure with native encryption
It supports taking snapshots of system files, which makes backups easier
Copying files/folders and getting a folder size is instantaneous
Specifically built for flash storage
64-bit architecture makes APFS ready for tomorrow’s new storage capabilities
Existing drives can be converted to APFS with Disk UtilityFinder
Task Icon in the Finder now allows you to Clean Up and Clean Up by type
Toolbar changes: QuickLook’s eye icon is now removed and the order and spacing of icons has been modified slightlyMail
Saves up to 35 percent of disk space
Top Hits puts the messages most relevant to your search at the top of the message list, based on the mail you’ve read, the senders you reply to, your VIPs and more
The more you search, the smarter it gets
Split-screen view with inbox on one side and composer on the otherMessages
Messages notification can now be marked as read, not just replied to
Messages now saves your entire message history in iCloud to save space on your Mac and let you access all your conversations and attachments when you sign in to a new deviceNotes
Add tables to your notes: type in cells, make edits and move rows and columns
Your most-used notes can be pinned to the top of Notes
Text search now highlights words in your notes
View documents scanned with Notes for iOS 11Photos
Photos is now more responsive
Support for HEIF images, HEVC videos and animated GIFs
Always-on sidebar with your albums albums and organization tools for sorting media by type (selfies, Live Photos, bursts, etc.)
Expanded Import view shows all of your past imports in chronological order
Navigation on the Photos tab: Photos, Moments, Collections & Years
New toolbar buttons: Auto-Enhance, Rotate and Favorites
Rotate and favorite batches of images right from the toolbar
Details button has been removed from the bottom
“Live” label on Live Photos has been relocated to the top-left side
Filter photo collections by your favorite criteria
Selection counter keeps track of what you’ve selected, allowing you to drag and drop collected images into an album or export them to the desktop
Memories enhancements: All Memories and Favorites tabs, play a slideshow from a Memory, block Memories and get info on a Memory
Memories curates your photos and videos around several new topics: babies, pets, outdoor activities, performances, weddings, birthdays and sporting events
New editing layout with tabs across the top for Adjust, Filters and Crop
Support for editing depth-of-field Portrait photos
New Compare button while editing photos to see the original image
New filters: Vivid, Dramatic Warm, Dramatic Cool, Vivid Cool, Vivid Warm, Mono, Silvertone and Noir
Fine-tune color and contrast on your photos with curve-based editing
Selective Color adjustment lets you make any color within a defined color range more saturated
Adjust the hue, saturation and luminance of one hue without effecting the rest
Process photos in external editors like Photoshop or Pixelmator and have the changes automatically saved back in your Photos library
Video effects for Live Photos: Loop (turns your Live Photo into a looping video), Bounce (plays the action forward and backward) and Long Exposure (creates a DSLR‑like effect that blurs water or extends light trails)
You can now trim, mute and select a key photo for each Live Photo
Support for Apple’s new Project Extensions allows developers to bring project-based features to Photos for things like ordering framed prints, creating web pages, exporting slideshows and using other publishing services like Animoto, ifolor, Shutterfly, WhiteWall and Wix
People album now uses larger thumbnails and more accurate groupings
Named and recognized faces stay in sync across devices if you use iCloud Photo LibrarySafari 11
Increased power efficiency
Additional web standards support and performance optimizations in WebKit
Intelligent Tracking Prevention:
Identifies cross‑site tracking data and automatically removes it
Keeps helpful cookies intact
Increases privacy and makes webpages load faster
Page zoom level
Auto Reader mode
Autoplay Blocking stops those pesky videos with audio from playing automaticallySiri
Revamped Siri app icon appears in the Dock, Touch Bar and elsewhere
Siri’s listening interface has been revamped
New option in accessibility preferences for typing to Siri
Siri features requiring Apple Music:
Siri learns your preferences to offer music recommendations tailored to you
Siri as your personal DJ: ask your personal assistant to make a playlist, play something mellow and more
Get answers to music trivia such as album notes, songs, albums and artists
Siri’s more natural voice sounds much better than before with more changes in expression, intonation, and emphasis based on what she’s sayingSpotlight
View flight path on a map and current flight information like departure and arrival times, terminals, gates and delays
Spotlight now presents multiple Wikipedia entries, where applicableiCloud
Share a 200GB or 2TB iCloud storage plan with your entire family (requires Family Sharing) so that each family member can store their own photos, videos, documents and more
Share any files stored in iCloud Drive with a link
Compatible third-party apps can work right within iCloudMiscellaneous
New macOS High Sierra wallpaper
Share a 200GB or 2TB iCloud storage plan with your entire family (requires Family Sharing) so that each family member can store their own photos, videos, documents and more
Share any files stored in iCloud Drive with a link
Compatible third-party apps can work right within iCloud
Take Live Photos during FaceTime calls and save it automatically in your Photos library, with both participants receiving a notification that the photo was taken
Universal Clipboard now works between Macs, not just between macOS and iOS
New Touch Bar controls: AirPlay, Night Shift and Picture-in-Picture when playing videos
Lock your Mac’s screen from the Apple menu
The Volume menu bar item is split into two buttons
Bilingual input support for English and Japanese input
Improved video captioning for Japanese
Hindi is now available as a system language
New San Francisco Arabic system font
The Info button inside of Disk Utility has moved to the right
Swift 4 brings efficiency and stability to Mac apps
It is a major release, don’t you agree?Will you update to High Sierra?
macOS High Sierra is a very impressive release, especially knowing Apple has put a lot of effort into optimizations for power users and pros that depend on their machines day in and day out.
What are your favorite improvements in macOS High Sierra, and why? Will you be updating your computer to the initial High Sierra release or wait for a 10.13.1 update.
The iPad’s versatility is what makes it an evergreen device. Whether you’re using the iPad for work, learning, playing games, or just media and entertainment, this device can do it all. This is why it’s not much of a surprise that the iPad is an excellent gaming device as well. Don’t believe me? Try out this list of the best iPad games!
1. Clash Royale – Editor’s choice
Additionally, the gameplay is fun and relevant, even if you’re not someone who plays card and deck-building games. It’s easy to get into the mix of things but nuanced enough to offer a serious challenge. Don’t expect to master this game anytime soon.
All you need to do is choose the right cards based on your strategy. After building your card deck, head into PvP battles and climb up the rankings!
The only issue with the game is that it may be quite difficult for beginners. The learning curve for this game is steep.
Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $0.99)
2. Dead Cells – Epic RPG action
Whatever I tell you about Dead Cells won’t do justice to how brilliant this game genuinely is. It combines hectic combat and exploration with the platforming elements of roguevania games. Furthermore, it sprinkles difficulty that will remind you of the Dark Souls PC games.
With everything together, you get an RPG game with a surprising amount of depth for an indie RPG. Moreover, every time you die in-game, the levels procedurally generate to create a new level for traversal and exploration. This helps keep the gameplay fresh. For the best gaming experience, play the game with a good controller.
However, it’s not a game that I’d recommend to beginners and casual RPG players. The exceptional difficulty can get frustrating.
Price: $8.99 (In-app purchases start at $3.99)
3. Asphalt 9: Legends – For the racing aficionados
If there’s one racing game that almost every smartphone user has heard of, it’s the Asphalt series. That shows how pervasive this game has been in the mobile gaming community.
With Asphalt 9: Legends, that too playing at maximum settings on an iPad, you can truly wonder at how far mobile gaming has come. Forget that Asphalt 9: Legends is one of the best racing games you can play today. You’ll just marvel at how gorgeous this game looks on the iPad.
That’s not to say that the gameplay won’t hold your attention. Asphalt 9: Legends features over 150 cars and 185 tracks strewn around real-life locations. Moreover, the developers frequently add updates to the game as well. Basically, there’s no end to content in this game!
Unfortunately, the game is littered with microtransactions. You’ll have to pay for many in-game items.
Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $0.99)
4. Hearthstone – Engaging card battles
The game also features a mode that brings in RPG elements, adding a different kind of content to an already varied repertoire. Besides, there’s plenty of depth in the gameplay. You might even take hours to understand its basics. However, once you understand the essentials, this game will be addictive.
There are so many characters and card permutations to explore that you’ll find yourself playing this game for days on end. Moreover, its PvE and PvP battle modes are legendary in the mobile gaming scene.
However, like every other freemium game, you’ll have to deal with plenty of microtransactions.
Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $1.99)
5. Call of Duty: Mobile – Frantic multiplayer shooting action
You know that a game has outplayed its competition when it has surpassed the creator of the game mode itself. With Call of Duty: Mobile, you get everything that games like PUBG offer, but with much faster gameplay and typical Call of Duty warfare. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best shooting games you can play today.
There are multiple game modes, such as Team Deathmatch and Search and Destroy, apart from the Battle Royale mode as well. You get to customize the looks of your avatar and the guns that you use in most multiplayer modes. The game’s content is updated every month, with new objectives and rewards to compete for.
Lastly, if you’ve played the older Call of Duty games, you’ll get references from fan-favorite characters such as Captain Price. Perfect for adding a tinge of nostalgia to the elegant gameplay, isn’t it?
The game’s security patches need to be better, however. Users have reported players hacking and destabilizing the game’s dynamics.
Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $0.99)
When Minecraft was released at the tail end of 2011, people were surprised. How could these pixel art aesthetics and rudimentary gameplay win over the hearts of gamers who were getting into a new generation of consoles? The answer was simple – freedom.
Minecraft, as a game, offered a level of freedom to players that they hadn’t seen before. If you wanted a more typical challenge, you could play the Survival mode, with limited resources and your only objective being survival. If you wanted to just sit for hours and build something worthwhile, you could do that in a different mode.
With Minecraft, only your imagination is your limit. With community support spanned worldwide, you get a huge number of mods for the game. Some of these mods are complete games themselves!
With the larger iPad screen, playing Minecraft will be an amazing experience. You should definitely try it out. Just be mindful of the mod installation system, however. It’s quite a complex process and can damage the game if not done correctly.
Price: $6.99 (In-app purchases start at $0.99)
7. Among Us! – A pop culture phenomenon
Among Us was released back in 2023. However, it found popularity after the global pandemic forced lockdowns worldwide. People were looking for a way to interact with their loved ones, even through gaming.
That was when Among Us came to the rescue. Almost immediately, its unique premise gave rise to the player count and multiple copycat games. Essentially, you’ll play the game online with friends and strangers globally. In a match, one person is the imposter, while the other players have tasks to complete on their spaceship.
The imposter’s job is to sabotage the repairs and kill the other crewmates. If the imposter succeeds in this without raising suspicions about themselves, they win the game. All the other players will have to decide and eject one of the members whom they deem to be the imposter.
It’s a fun game about deduction and betrayal that will keep you occupied for ages! While the game itself is excellent, its online community hasn’t received rave reviews.
Price: Free (in-app purchases start at $1.99)
8. The Battle Of Polytopia – Minimalist strategy game
The Battle of Polytopia could be one of the most elegant and aesthetic games you play. It has a minimalist art style that truly resonates with plenty of players.
In terms of the gameplay, this is a strategy game that presents a surprising amount of nuance and depth. The game puts you in the shoes of a ruler tasked with expanding their civilization. On the way, you’ll face plenty of trials and tribulations.
The turn-based strategy gameplay allows you to dive deep into the consequences of your in-game decisions. Moreover, you can play this game offline as well. Due to this, it can be a perfect traveling companion when you’re bored.
The game has a few issues due to the steep learning curve, though. If you’re a complete beginner, you might find some parts of the game overtly difficult.
Price: Free (In-app purchases start from $0.99)
9. Genshin Impact – Gorgeous visuals
When you play games like Genshin Impact on your iPad, you genuinely realize how far technology has come. Stunning visuals were only available in console and PC gaming before this. With technology today, you can play beautiful games like Genshin Impact and explore an entire virtual world.
The game features over 40 unlockable characters and multiple areas to explore. Each area is riddled with tasks and NPCs to engage with. Moreover, there’s a deep gameplay system that involves multiple in-game elements. As the player, you search for your missing sibling in the beautiful but challenging world of Tevyat, fighting enemies, gathering resources, and exploring as much as you can.
This seems like an oversimplification of the refined JRPG gameplay that Genshin Impact brings to the table. Regardless, there’s plenty to explore in this game, and it comes with multiple events that you can complete for exciting in-game rewards.
The game requires you to put in hours of grinding, however. This mechanic can get a tad frustrating at times.
Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $0.99)
10. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Classic – For nostalgia’s sake
This is one of the retro games remade for the iPad. To be fair, it’s an excellent remake of a classic SEGA game and is one of the best free iPad games you can play today!
The game follows the journey of the titular Sonic with his friends, Tails and Knuckles, as they try to stop Dr. Eggman and his nefarious plans. The platforming elements of the game bring back the challenging difficulty that you’d find in older games like these.
Regardless of the difficulty, it’s an immensely fun game to play. After you complete the main storyline, there are other modes to play, such as Time Attack and Hidden Palace Zone. You can also play the game online to score the maximum points and move up the world rankings.
Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $1.99)
Anirban is a literature post-grad who delves in philosophy and postmodern novels when not writing on tech and gaming. His love for research is only trumped by his love for chai and heavy metal.
Alien: Isolation is now baby friendly? Car surfing? Sir Paul McCartney is a hologram? That must mean it’s time for another episode of your favorite weekly gaming wrap-up, Missing Pieces.King me
It finally happened! Thanks to some pretty incredible Black Friday bundles, the Xbox One finally outsold the PlayStation 4 last month. It’s the first time Microsoft’s console has outsold Sony’s in nearly a year, bringing an end to a pretty incredible streak on Sony’s part.
Of course, Sony’s console is still the overall leader with approximately 13 million consoles sold compared to the Xbox One’s 10 million.Bated breath
Another month, another promise that The Last Guardian is still on its way. This week Kotaku translated an interview Dengeki Playstation conducted with Fumito Ueda, wherein he said, “Talks with Sony Computer Entertainment on The Last Guardian have been ironed out, and we’re making progress under completely new conditions. I’m also working on some other things that I’ll hopefully be able to show in time if progress is smooth.”Elite: Dangerous Expectations
It’s no big secret I’m a fan of Elite: Dangerous and its space exploration/trade, even in its current beta form. I’ve written numerous articles about the game, I’ve spent hours strapped into an Oculus Rift flying spaceships around—it’s great.
The Elite: Dangerous launch trailer conveys nothing about why the game is good. It is all pre-rendered CG and combat and it looks like the beginning of the third Star Wars movie. If you think this is what Elite: Dangerous is like, you’re going to be sorely disappointed when you spend an hour mindlessly flying your ship across empty space to open a new trade depot.Baby mode
Alien: Isolation added two more difficulty options this week: Novice and Nightmare. The former is for critics who thought the game was too hard, the latter for psychopaths who thought it was too easy. In Nightmare mode, even your motion tracker is broken.
I’m never going to play it, but check out this gorgeous retro poster Sega made to show off the new mode:
Also in Alien: Isolation news, Creative Assembly told AVPGalaxy that discussions are swirling about a sequel.Patch 4
According to Ubisoft, a major patch is coming on December 15 that should fix the lingering issues with Assassin’s Creed: Unity. You know, a month after release.A league of their own
Twitch bought GoodGame this week, a talent agency that works with esports teams. Under the terms of the deal, Twitch now manages Evil Geniuses and Alliance, two of the major teams in the esports scene.
First of all, it seems shady for Twitch to own a stake in something that it broadcasts, like Comcast owning a TV station. (Oh wait.) But second of all, why the hell is buying an e-sports team a priority for Twitch over, I don’t know, bolstering its server infrastructure?Auctioneering
Last night Valve announced the first ever “Holiday Auction,” which would allow players to clear out old inventory items in exchange for gems, and then those gems could be used to bid on game codes from now until December 18 (the rumored start of the Holiday Sale).Just because
Switching tack, if you’re still curious why I’m so excited about the prospect of a Just Cause 3, I recommend looking at this screenshot:Los Santos living
Ever since GTA V HD came out, there’ve been some incredible fan videos highlighting different aspects of the world. I showed off the underwater wildlife documentary a few weeks ago, but this “Los Santos By Night” video by The XXI is just as deserving:I want to hold your hologram
In much dumber news, that awful song Paul McCartney wrote for Destiny is now a full-fledged music video, complete with a holographic version of the man himself:
Words fail me.Loss of a legend
And for our final piece of news this week, industry legend Ralph Baer passed away this week. Baer was best known for inventing the home console—he created the “Brown Box” in 1966, which later went on to be sold as the Magnavox Odyssey.More reading
It’s a reviews bonanza as I furiously try to clear out my backlog before the year ends. This week we had “racing game” The Crew, puzzler The Talos Principle, make-me-sad game This War of Mine, and family-friendly The Last Tinker.
Also this week:
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