Iron Man 3: The Official Game
The Temple Run series broke industry records by challenging you to keep running through a jungle. Iron Man 3 takes that same challenge to the skies. Using simple tilt-and-swipe controls you must dodge, bank, and shoot your way through an endless assault of jets, drones, missiles, and armored bad guys.
The graphics are red-hot amazing. They include a detailed 3D model of Iron Man that is worth downloading just for a look at alone. As you unlock speed upgrades and new armor suits, the game’s chase takes on a sense of acceleration that you’ll feel in the seat of your pants.
To distance itself from Temple Run (which is made by different people) Iron Man 3 includes brief shooting sequences, boss battles, and quests. Every day there’s one special quest that will bring in a super villain or challenge as a special goal. You never stop flying, but these little change-ups help bring some sense of story or plot.
The game uses the dreaded Free-To-Play system which means the game will be delayed while armor suits are repaired or upgraded. You can skip these by using “Stark Credits” which are sold in bundles up to $99.99. If you have kids interested in playing this game, make sure to switch off in-app purchases to avoid these costs.
Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek, Sherlock) stars in this audio-only game about a derelict spaceship drifting towards the pull of a black hole. His task is to be the guiding voice to you, the ship’s lone survivor. With a pair of headphones you can hear sounds around you matched to specific directions; a sensor beeping ahead and to your right, some severed cables sparking dangerously behind and to the left, the reverberating steps of your feet on cold metal below, and well, perhaps something rather nasty salivating its chops behind you. This being a space thriller, you quickly learn that the danger isn’t that you’re alone on a derelict space ship, but that you’re very much NOT alone.
Swiping the screen lets you turn your head to focus on noises while tapping it lets you take steps towards them. How fast you tap the screen translates to how fast you move. Sometimes you’ll need to sneak quietly past ominous things, sometimes you’ll need to run for your life.
The Nightjar is masterful in creating different soundscapes, of giving you the sense you’re walking on solid floors or slipping along gooey sludge, of entering rooms that are large and spacious to small areas that are claustrophobic. There are ladders to climb and tools to use, all so convincing you’ll be amazed at what you can do when you can’t see a thing.
Cumberbatch brings a great deal of enjoyment to his role as the whispering voice in your ear. He feeds you one set of information while the ship’s computer delivers another and the game finds both humour and suspense in playing the two voices against each other.
Like all video games there are levels that can be tricky to get through, and it’s easy to feel extra frustrated at playing blind, but it’s worth pushing through because you are in good hands and the adventure is heart-pounding fun right to the end.
MMA Champion George St-Pierre and leading app designers Zolmo have created a home fitness app that uses instructional videos to monitor and adapt to your needs. You feed it your workout results and in response it selects an exercise from its library of 500 videos to match. If you find you’re not quite ready to tackle push-ups, for example, the app will respond by directing you toward assisted push-ups instead.
With just an empty space for him to work barefoot in, George St-Pierre does an admirable job of demonstrating each exercise, making it easy to follow while avoiding the need for special equipment. His clips are streamed with no option for download, so although the app promotes its use anywhere, you’ll need a place with Wi-Fi access.
There’s no fighting focus, it’s about strength, agility, injury recovery, and nutrition. What could have been very intimidating given St-Pierre’s discipline comes off as very approachable instead.
Encouragement comes in the form of statistics and velocity graphics aimed at helping you understand the benefits of each specific exercise and the gain of finding a routine.
Most interactive fitness programs lead with routines aimed at women. They focus on aerobics, yoga, and a slimming of the legs and posterior. Exercises aimed at strength, agility, and tighter stomachs for men tend to find their way in as an afterthought if at all. A really good fitness app for men has been sorely needed for a while and Touchfit meets that need well. Way to go, George.