XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Mobile game is no 'lite' version
Firaxis Games took one of its biggest recent releases to the small screen last week by making a full version of the triple-A title available on the iPad and iPhone. But this is no "lite" version or clunky mobile remake — for its mobile debut, Firaxis has rebuilt the game from the ground up. The game is almost exactly like the full title that came out for consoles and PCs last fall, meaning it provides all the hours of deep game play and dramatic alien invasion action of the original title. And the title translates well to the touch platform, though getting the right camera angle or elevation can sometimes lead to unexpected results.
Overall, the game is a smooth experience and a good representation of what more-serious mobile gaming can become. But there are caveats. The file itself is huge — over 3 GB — and can eat up a lot of your storage space. And the game's $20 price may be far too steep for those who don't yet see their iPad or iPhone as a primary gaming device. "XCOM: Enemy Unknown" on iOS is a good game and a hopeful step for gaming, but by no means an impulse app purchase. $20, for iOS devices.
App tailors event lists
Summer means long days and warm nights ripe for planning all sorts of activities. With Applauze, developers aimed to provide their users with a fairly complete list of events around them, tailored to their interests. The app is strong on picking good suggestions — it can scan your music library, for example, to figure out what kind of music you may be into. And it also has an easy-to-use interface that lets you find events that are right for you, whether concerts, plays or sporting events.
Users can buy straight from the app by entering their credit card and also invite other people to events with them. You can even chat easily with friends whom you're attending an event with, to facilitate coordination. The app could, however, use a few more features for sorting — particularly by price — to have it go above and beyond other event-suggestion apps out there. Free, for iOS devices.