Courtesy of Rovio
If you don’t have a smartphone, you should get one. According to legitimate scientific research you'll probably never hear of, people who don’t have smartphones are more likely to develop “Complete Anachronism Syndrome” than people who do have them. The have-nots are also more apt to smell like muskrats.
You know what else? There’s no good reason not to have a smartphone. You can give whatever excuse you want, from “I don’t need one” to “a smartphone killed my grandpappy” to “I enjoy smelling like a muskrat.” Whatever your logic, it’s wrong. Scientific research has proven that, too.
Here are some excellent reasons why every sane adult should have a smartphone. One: the digital camera is extremely useful for documenting the idiocy of your fellow humans. Two: GPS can get you to and from practically any pub in the world. Three: there are plenty of apps to distract fidgety kids. And four: smartphones are the new frontier for innovation and awesomeness in the game development industry.
Those last two kind of go together, Techeye has learned the hard way. Our own offspring, who is fast approaching his fifth birthday, is absolutely obsessed with mobile games.
Courtesy of Disney Mobile
Released in late March, “Angry Birds Space” marks the Finnish developer’s first migration away from the original title’s gameplay. It feels familiar – the pigs still steal eggs, the birds still wreak horrible vengeance – but the game’s new take on physics is refreshing. Levels comprise null-gee environments, mini-worlds with gravity, and entertaining mixes of the two. The game is also surprisingly useful for explaining the concepts of atmosphere, gravity and orbits to a kid.
It’s available for iOS, Android, PC and Mac. There are two versions: free (with ads) and premium (zł.3, no ads).
Another popular title is “Where’s My Water?”, from Disney Mobile (www.disney.go.com). The game’s threadbare plot revolves about a sewer-dwelling alligator named Swampy who wants to have a bath. Unfortunately the water mains in his sewer appear to have been designed by MC Escher.
That’s where the player comes in – you have to create a path for the water to flow to Swampy’s bathtub. It quickly gets complicated, with elaborate puzzles involving purple poison and green acid. And pink duckies.
Impressively, no matter how byzantine the puzzles get, the solution is always fairly intuitive. Even young Whippersnapper Techeye can figure many of them out, although to be honest he’s a weird kid. He’s convinced that Swampy is a smurf, for example. An alligator smurf.
Courtesy of Noodlecake Studios
The last game we’re going to review this week is “Super Stickman Golf” from Noodlecake Studios (www.noodlecake.com). Although it isn’t as high-profile as “Angry Birds Space” or “Where’s My Water?”, and the graphics harken back to the Age of Atari, the game is fun. Don’t expect an authentic golf experience – this is a one-club game (hint: it’s not a sand wedge). Still, there are dozens of courses and power-ups to offer variety.
“Super Stickman Golf” is available for iOS and Android. It’s free to play, but you can get power-ups using “golf bux,” an in-game currency. Multiplayer is also an option, apparently, but we haven’t tried it because our offspring is always gleefully hitting into the water hazards. It may be time to get him a smartphone of his own soon.
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