Flick Home Run is an arcade home-run-hitting game that only requires a flick of your finger to send the ball over the fence, but it definitely takes practice. Unlike 3D home run games like Home Run Battle, in Flick Home Run you have a 2D view of the playing field, with pitches coming from the right and you timing your flick to send the ball as far as you can. The game instructs you to touch a Pitch button in the lower left corner, and when the ball comes into play, your job is flick the ball at just the … Read more
CNET laptop editor Scott Stein returns to The 404 guest seat, and the room is apparently full of onions today as we discuss this short film about a 9-year-old's homebrew cardboard arcade. If you look closely at Jeff's face during this segment, you may even catch a rare glimpse of his upturned frown.
We'll also introduce you to a highly funded Kickstarter campaign for an iPhone and Android-compatible smart watch that goes the opposite direction of traditional e-watches and uses a digital ink display (similar to the original Amazon Kindle) that lets users check messages, play music, and more without the threat of sun glare or unreadable reflections.… Read more
Remember on the first day of grade school when your teachers would ask you to come up to the front of the room and tell your classmates what you did during your summer vacation? Inevitably, there would be tales of frolicking at the beach, camping at national parks, and other cool activities, but we think 9-year-old Caine Monroy just might have the greatest story of all.
I spent the better part of my twenties pursuing electronic-music rock stardom. Obviously, I failed.
I had some fun along the way, though, which is a rare achievement in a music genre that traditionally splits the duties of creating the music (studio-dwelling producers) and performing the music (fun-loving DJs).
Through trial and error, and many horrible shows, I had a profound realization. The secret to a great show as a DJ or electronic musician is to stop worrying about the audience having fun and focus on entertaining yourself. If an audience can see that you're happy and engaged in something you love, they're more inclined to have fun too.
This same philosophy can be found in the products made by San Francisco-based DJ TechTools. The company made its name by customizing existing DJ products with oversize arcade buttons, letting DJs wail on their gear in a far more expressive way than traditional controls allowed. Since then, the company has evolved its own line of DJ products, which continue to put fun at the forefront of the design. … Read more
If you haven't guessed already, I'm a big fan of platform games. Maybe it's my background of playing games from both the Mario and Sonic franchises or the sheer number of solid platformers in the iTunes App Store, but I simply can't get enough of them. There's just something charming to me about exploring a level, making all the right jumps, and trying to collect all the items to go on to next level.
There have been several popular platform games to come through the iTunes App Store, but as time goes on, I've noticed the genre evolving in interesting ways. Particularly with a few of the newer games, I'm seeing unique types of challenges being added that take the genre to places it hasn't been before.
This week's collected iOS apps are all platformers with something extra. The first uses an interesting foreground/background playing dynamic that adds to the action. The second is a continuous climber with added bonuses that keep trying to get higher and higher. The third offers tons of side challenges and secret areas for those who like to explore.… Read more
Paper Monsters is a polished traditional platformer with some added extras and winningly cute art and sound design.
Paper Monsters will instantly evoke other classic platformers, but in a good way: the play and interface are intuitive (a roaming virtual joystick on the left, a jump button on the right, which you tap twice to double-jump), and levels with collectible coins ("buttons"), warp pipes, enemies to jump upon, checkpoints, and lots of hidden pick-ups and paths to encourage repeat play. As the game progresses through its four chapters, with four levels each, the enemies and environments get more … Read more
The typical DJ booth is awash in buttons, knobs, and faders, allowing for precise control over any music mix. And if you've ever witnessed a DJ in this natural habitat, you know how utterly boring it is to watch.
Enter the MIDI Fighter 3D, a new $249 DJ controller from DJ Tech Tools. Finally, a visually striking controller that requires its user to do more than just twist a few knobs.
In addition to the arcade-style oversized buttons used on the original MIDI Fighter controller, the MIDI Fighter 3D adds an internal gyroscopic sensor and digital compass, allowing you to control MIDI parameters (such as volume, pitch, and effect variations) by tilting or turning the entire device. … Read more
Midway Arcade offers classic games from the '80s arcades and gives you touch-screen options that work pretty well, but it's not perfect. This 99-cent game features Joust, Defender, Rampage, Spy Hunter, Arch Rivals, Root Beer Tapper, and then some other more-interactive games one would usually find at classic arcades, like air hockey, basketball quick-shot games, billiards, and Roll Ball (a skee-ball clone). You have the option to buy two more 99-cent packages of games through in-app purchase. The Adventure Game Pack includes Gauntlet 1 and 2, and Wizard of Wor. The Action Game Pack comes with NARC, Total Carnage, … Read more
Have you ever tried buying an AC/DC album on iTunes? Don't bother. It's not there. Unlike those sellouts, The Beatles, AC/DC is too cool for that crap.
So what better way to honor the world's most tenaciously old-school rock gods than to give them their own pinball machine? I mean, it's about time someone showed The Who, that serious pinball geeks deserve a more rocking anthem than "Pinball Wizard."
One of the great things about having grown up with video games and then writing about iOS apps is that all my favorites seem to eventually be playable on my phone. I wrote about Atari's Greatest Hits some time ago, but even though I liked seeing some of the old classics on my phone, the controls were flawed. Though they were playable, most of the games didn't really live up to my memory of them.
Yes, I know I'm probably looking at my youth through rose-colored glasses, but in this case it's true--the control issues really took away from the games.
Today, another group of classic arcade games were made available on iOS, and this time they might have the control schemes (mostly) worked out. Midway Arcade (99 cents), out today, takes a lot of those classic games from the '80s and gives you some touch-screen options that work somewhat better, though it's still not perfect (Rose-colored glasses again? Maybe). This 99-cent game features Joust, Defender, Rampage, Spy Hunter, Arch Rivals, Root beer Tapper, and then some other more interactive games one would usually find at classic arcades like, air hockey, basketball quick-shot games, billiards, and Roll Ball (a Skee Ball clone). You have the option to buy two more 99-cent packages of games through in-app purchase. The Adventure Game Pack includes Gauntlet 1 and 2, and Wizard of Wor. The Action Game Pack comes with NARC, Total Carnage, and APB.… Read more