Posted by Rob Rich on December 23rd, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Batman’s back (well, technically he’s just getting started) in an all-new prequel comic for the iPad. Batman: Arkham Origins – A DC Comics MultiVerse Graphic Novel takes place right before the start of its console brethren and follows Mr. Wayne’s exploits as he attempts to clean up Gotham City the only way he knows how: by kicking people in the face.
Arkham Origins is no mere digital comic, however. It’s actually one of DC’s special MultiVerse stories. What does that mean exactly? Well it’s basically a Batman Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, complete with animations, sound effects, and background music no less. Readers will be able to make choices as they read along; some of which may even bring a premature end to the Dark Knight.
A preview of the first chapter of Arkham Origins is free to sample, with the rest available for $0.99. If you’re interested you can continue to pay for each new chapter as it comes out, or even prepay for the remainder of the collection (8 issues total) for $14.99.
Batman: Arkham Origins will be making its way to the App Store this fall around the same time as the console version, October 25th. It’s a free-to-play brawler in which players take control of Batman while going up against some of DC Comics’ most deadly villains, and players will be able to progress and upgrade their character along the way.
For those who plan on getting the console version as well, they’ll be able to access exclusive content that isn’t available to anyone else. So that’s something that may be worth looking into, whatever it may be.
“We created an integrated gaming ecosystem between the Batman: Arkham Origins mobile and console games, which delivers rewards and unlocks that provide greater experiences for players,” said Ed Boon, Creative Director, NetherRealm Studios, in a press release. “The mobile game goes hand-in-hand with what is offered on the other platforms.”
Having trouble making sense out of the overwhelming number of apps released each week? Have no fear! Just look to 148Apps for the best app reviews on the web. Our reviewers sift through the vast numbers of new apps out there, find the good ones, and write about them in depth. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Want to see what we’ve been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.
The Caped Crusader is back in brick form for a new adventure, this time on iOS. As someone who’s had an on-again off-again relationship with LEGO games in the past I was curious to see how a mobile release might hold up. Turns out it holds up very well. Like, ridiculously well. In fact, LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes is hands-down the best LEGO game I’ve ever played. Yes, including ones on consoles. All the wacky villains that should be stuck in Arkham have gotten loose. Again. Now they’re terrorizing Gotham. Again. And this time Joker has managed to team up with Lex Luthor. The two are such a handful that Batman has to enlist the help of other heroes, including Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and a whole lot more. There’s a conventional virtual stick and buttons setup and a surprisingly intuitive touch interface to pick from. No matter their preference, players will be bashing everything in sight to collect studs (the world’s currency), reconfiguring piles of bricks into new contraptions, finding tons of secrets, and doing just about everything else they could expect to find in a big screen LEGO game. –Rob Rich
Is it possible to make something great even better? When it comes to Robot Unicorn Attack 2, the sequel to the popular endless runner where a unicorn jumps and dashes through multi-tiered levels, collecting fairies and smashing stars, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” First off, Adult Swim Games enlisted PikPok on the title, and as a studio well-known for their fun games and high production values, it was a perfect choice. It’s immediately apparent that this game is absolutely gorgeous. The level of detail in the animated backgrounds, the galloping unicorns, and just everything is absolutely astounding. New elements like Giants that can kill the player if their solar beam attacks aren’t avoided add a splash to the familiar experience. –Carter Dotson
Impressively nearing its 100th anniversary, The Thirty-Nine Steps is still a tremendously gripping thriller courtesy of John Buchan. With various cinematic adaptations, it’s easily accessible, too. Now, we have this iPad adaptation, part interactive story, part simple game, to enjoy. It’s quite good too, although slow-paced and not without its problems. Following the story of Richard Hannay, a man framed for murder in 1914, it’s a great mystery full of intrigue and riddles. Readers don’t get to change the outcome or events within the book but they do get to interact with objects, start up conversations and open doors. The latter is a little gimmicky, invoking gestures to perform the required action, but the rest feels like an enhancement to getting into the story. –Jennifer Allen
It’s almost wrong to fault GoComics. As a free app, it does mostly anything could want from it, in terms of content. As a paid app (via an in-app purchase subscription), it eliminates one of its main irritants: the adverts. For a comic fan, it’s an ideal addition to their collection, even despite its issues. GoComics is, essentially, a portal of many of the most popular comic strips out there, as well some great up-and-coming artists. There’s plenty of space for political cartoons, too, sensibly categorized according to their political leanings. It’s immediately easy to dive straight in and find one’s favorites, with the likes of Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts and Garfield playing a prominent part in the appeal. Just tap on their name and the latest strip comes up, along with a calendar that enables users to go back to any date they so choose. It’s fast to browse and easy to lose plenty of time to. –Jennifer Allen
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If you are looking for the best reviews of kids’ apps and/or Android apps, just head right over to GiggleApps and AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews these sites served up this week:
It will come as no surprise to readers that I am often asked to recommend apps to family and friends, especially for those in grade school, as iTunes seems filled with apps for toddlers and those in preschool, but it can be harder to find apps for older children. Parents looking for an interesting, thought-provoking app for this age set should take note of Escape From Tokeru, a puzzle game that includes an interesting back story, beautiful illustrations and moody, ambient background music. –Amy Solomon
Gappy’s First Words is a new interactive universal app that re-enforces early spelling and reading comprehension from the developers at Spinlight Studio, a favorite developer of mine these apps are consistently rich with details and nuances at a level of quality making these application stands out from others. Meet Gappy, an interesting bunny-like character with large ears and big teeth, and help Gappy hop her way home, filling in the gaps of word puzzles along the way – stylized as a bridge of sorts where pieces of this crossing are missing and need to be completed with correct letter tiles. Success will earn users new details that can be added to Gappy’s house such as new windows, fence or chimney. –Amy Solomon
Cheesy Chess is a creative and fun mouse-themed logic game with heavy chess elements. This app reminds me a lot of the slider puzzles I had as a kid where plastic tiles will ultimately make up an image but needed to be slid within this puzzle, keeping in mind that only one piece can be moved at once. Here, imagine a mouse king who needs to progress through this slider puzzle at the top center to leave this board, but the other puzzle pieces need to be moved out of his way to do so. –Amy Solomon
Mountain Sheep’s arcade hockey game Ice Rage has finally made its way to Android thanks to Herocraft – is this game a slap shot goal or power play where the team with the advantage does not score? I’m not too well-versed in hockey. There are no power plays or penalties or icing here, as it’s all about one-on-one hockey action. It’s really more akin to air hockey instead of ‘actual’ hockey in any way. Players can check the opponent to get the puck, and when they have it, it’s possible to hold down on the one virtual button on screen to charge up and aim a shot. Matches last one just minute in most modes, so it’s perfect for fast sessions. There’s plenty of crazy action that goes on here, with arrow angles and tough shots to make. Just because it’s arcade hockey doesn’t mean that some degree of precision is unnecessary! The arcade ladder made with temporary character upgrades is a fun diversion, and the later difficulties with things like manual goalie control help out as well. There’s a crazy set of characters to play as, including Enviro-Bear. Bear is playing hockey, how can this be? –Carter Dotson
For the over-21 crowd there are not many things that spice up a good night with friends than sitting back and mixing up a few bar favorites. The obvious caveat is that not everyone is a trained bar tender and a poorly mixed drink can put a damper on a good night. Amazingly there are machines that will mix drinks automatically, but those have a large footprint and, besides being expensive, are cumbersome and hard to clean. Besides, what is the fun of making a good lemon drop if some machine pumps one out automatically. So, get a glass that has all those recipes on the side measured out by volume. Well, the problem here is that there can only be 6-7 mixtures tops, and there are hundreds of drink recipes in the world. Also, those do a poor job at measuring solids like sugar or salt. The answer is The Barman, an ingenious KickStarter project by John Gallagher of Sewell, New Jersey. –Joseph Bertolini
Jones on Fire is a fun little runner that will probably have folks doing a double take due to the unique look of the playing characters. It looked very, uh, Lego-ey. And somehow, that wasn’t even the best part. Folks like me who grew up as fans of the iconic chiidren’s building blocks, or have played console games based on their form (like Stars Wars or Batman) will understand. The simplistic block figures were endearing, and I thought they blended well with the unique background. The sharp colors added to the overall experience, with walls of fire retaining a menacing look even while contrasting with localized burns on the ground. I liked the little graphical things, like the look of the game store, decked out with green text and fireman’s pole. The entire atmosphere was almost as enjoyable as the game action itself. –Tre Lawrence
In the last few weeks, I’ve noticed an interesting trend among my young cousins. No longer do they want cuddly toys or regular action figures from Santa. This year, it’s all about iPhones and iPads–a marked change from the increasingly distant days when I was a kid. Given the importance of such devices this Christmas, we thought we’d take a look at just how apps are invading the toy aisle and offer a few ideas for festive presents.
Ideas for Babies and Toddlers
Fisher Price offer plenty of great ways of integrating iPhones or iPads with your kids’ playtime. The Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case turns devices into a form of 21st century rattle. Noisy beads keep them interested, while a mirror means that baby can take a look at themselves. There’s peace of mind too, as the case can withstand drool, teething and a certain amount of throwing around. It comes in iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad varieties.
The Apptivity brand continues from there, too. There’s a Storybook Reader, which turns an iOS device into a book that can be turned just as easily as a conventional tome.
For the more active baby, there’s the Gym, allowing babies to hone their motor skills in conventional ways, while also playing peek-a-boo with the Fisher Price app.
Finally, there’s the Monkey, with its cuddly toy nature combined with the power of some fun iOS games for the youngster.
Toddlers can enjoy the fun of Dora the Explorer Let’s Play Backpack, which lets kids place a toy backpack on an iPad in order to unlock new activities to learn logic, Spanish and many other important skills.
Toy Vehicles for the 21st Century
Remember as a kid how much fun it was to play with toy cars? Disney and its AppMATes toys have brought that up to date. Disney Cars2 AppMATes come in two varieties: Lightning McQueen/Holley Shiftwell and Mater/Finn McMissile. In both cases, kids place the car on the iPad screen before taking it for a spin around Radiator Springs. It’s perfectly safe for the screen, too, thanks to the rubber contacts, although doesn’t work through screen protectors.
For the Scientific Child
iTikes offers a great range of toys that turn iOS devices into more educational tools. The Map Explorer uses a form of Augmented Reality to help kids interact with a world map, as well as learn about the Solar System, dinosaurs and animals.
Other toys such as the Microscope, Keyboard and Canvas offer a similar mix of educational fun. It’s all helped by the fact that kids don’t require an iOS device at all times to enjoy the toy.
Of the many great things about Christopher Nolan’s final Batman blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises, Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer’s bombastic, sensational score is certainly one of the greatest. Zimmer, who previously brought musical life to films like Gladiator, The Last Samurai, and Pirates of the Caribbean, helps create a Gotham City that feels almost real. Reality Jockey is looking to finish the job with The Dark Knight Rises Z+, an “augmented soundtrack experience.”
Similar to the developer’s work on the Inception soundtrack, another Nolan-Zimmer collaboration, The Dark Knight Rises Z+ takes sounds from the real world and filters them through the sounds and music of the film to immerse the user in an altered reality. Alongside its atmospheric audio effects, the app features a BAT flight simulator, commentary with Nolan and Zimmer, and an extended “Origins” soundtrack with new, exclusive songs.
Enter Gotham before it turns to ashes. The Dark Knight Rises Z+ is available now for free on the App Store. The Dark Knight Rises is in theaters now.
Seriously, it’s hard to go an entire day without some movie tie-in or other on the iOS App Store. Today’s odd adventure is a little app called TDKR: Gotham City’s Most Wanted. The app brings a familiar face masking mechanic to the world of the soon-to-be-released film from Warner Bros., The Dark Knight Rises. Say it with me, now, “I’m Batman.” No, say it grittier.
The final chapter of Chris Nolan’s ultra-gritty Batman saga is coming to theaters July 20, and to promote the movie, the devs have created an app that allows you to put your face in a Batman-flavored mask. You can become Batman, Catwoman, or villain Bane using the iPad camera, then share your image via Facebook, Twitter, Email, or the “Worldwide Fan Activity Map,” interestingly. Maybe it’d be good to know where other masked folks are hanging out?
It’s odd that Warner Bros. decided to only release this on iPad, as it seems like the perfect fit for a camera enabled iOS device like, oh, say, every iOS device. Anyway, it’s available now for free on the App Store.
Comic book fans are having an awesome year. The Avengers has come and gone, demonstrating just how fantastic Marvel comics are. Next up, we’ve got the darker worlds of The Amazing Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises.
Courtesy of Gameloft, we’ve just been sent a pretty cool trailer for The Dark Knight Rises iOS game in preparation for its release this summer around the same time as the movie.
While we don’t have many details about the game, the trailer is looking pretty neat with a vibe that will be very familiar to players of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City for consoles and PC. Combat seems set to play a major role here and there’s a suggestion of free roaming gameplay, also. Hopefully, there’ll be gadgets aplenty in the full release later this year.
We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on all the latest developments but for now, enjoy the trailer!