Metro Reviews: Rocket League, Big Bang Theory, Star Wars

Here’s my Metro Reviews for the week of July 13th

The Science of TV’s the Big Bang Theory
Kindle/iBooks/Kobo
Dave Zobel
Where exactly is Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment in real life? This amusing guide tries to solve the fan question while lightly explaining science from the show such as Occum’s Razor, the gravitation prowess of bullies, and Sheldon’s favourite number. Peppered with Caltech extras, it’s a surprising delight.

bigbangtheory

Rocket League
PS4/PC
Rated: Everyone 10+

On a soccer field a rocket car delivers a sports experience that almost feels first-person. You can race to the ball with enthusiastic acceleration and then use boosters to actually perform the athletics of kicking, jumping, sliding (drifting) about the grass, and leaping sideways for sudden bodychecks. With a great deal of practice you can even double jump into the air to intercept a ball or drive right up the walls and along the domed ceiling. Whatever your preconceived notions might be for a game called Rocket League, throw them away.

Using cars as players means you have a very clear sense of progress. During seasons you can upgrade your tires and engines and customize the body and paint job. As you learn to master the kicks and fancy moves, you can trick out your car to the position you want to play on the team, to be a better stryker or goalie.

Whether you’re playing with others online or in a simulation with the computer, the physics combined with the way your skill can improve consistently creates opportunities for close-saves, dramatic steals, and unbelievably near-misses, captured with opportune slow-motion replays and novelty views like the ball cam.

I was expecting a party game that, under the pretense of playing soccer, indulged in rocket-power demolition and destruction, but instead the big surprise is that cars can capture the sense of sport where you’re drawn into a competition of skill and awareness to what’s happening on the field, and battling a nagging sense that the forces of luck and chance are always toying with you. This is likely to become one of the year’s best sports titles.

rocketleague1

Star Wars
iPhone/iPad/Android
Free
The official companion for all things Star Wars includes animated GIFs, weather forecasts (feels like Endor), a Selfie Cam, and an Augmented Reality lightsaber. Among the novelties are useful news feeds and factoids, all smartly presented in slick, Lucasfilm style.

starwarscomp

PillPack
iPhone/Apple Watch (US-Only)
Free
A very handy medication minder that organizes prescriptions by dosage and time while creating clever reminders based on your habits and location, meaning it will catch you if you leave home before taking your pills.

pillpack

Tender
iPhone/Android
Free
By swiping through shared images you can quickly filter through thousands of sous vide recipes, tapping ones of interest for instructions, timers, and social tools. From Passover salad to cannabis butter, the results are both artful and unexpected.

tender

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