This deceptively simple puzzler can prove quite addictive
It sounds simple enough – just slide the gaps in the on-screen lines to allow red and blue balls through to their matching coloured areas (fire and water) to complete each stage – but puzzler Orph soon increases in complexity and offers an addictive challenge. Multiple balls and lines make your task akin to juggling as you try to keep some balls contained while allowing others through, and you also have to account for balls colliding and changing trajectory. Later levels introduce switchable coloured lines that only allow matching balls through, plus balls that can be tapped to enable them to pass through lines for three seconds. Completing a stage in faster time earns you up to the maximum three-bar ratings, adding an incentive to replay levels. This is probably just as well as there are currently only just over 50 levels.
Meet the smartwatch that can boast a 30-day battery life
We love seeing emerging manufacturers make us stand up and take notice of them and Vector is certainly doing that with the Luna smartwatch. Out of the box you’re greeted with a stainless steel unit that’s the ideal weight without being too bulky. It doesn’t sit completely flush to the wrist, but this is a common problem with larger framed smartwatches, rather than a specific issue with Vector.
There are no rear sensors built in and apart from a small charging port, it’s a truly minimalist piece that oozes class from top to bottom. The rear sensor isn’t the only omission here, as there’s no coloured display, no touchscreen and no Android Wear to use. It’s a smartwatch, without the smarts. Instead, the Luna takes a more minimal approach to wearables, offering the core functions of a smartwatch, but nothing more. All of this is controllable through the accompanying app, which is easy to use and customisable at will. That said, without the app, the Luna is fairly redundant, so you’ll need your phone with you at all times.
Despite its title, mythological mash-up Gods of Rome features gods and heroes from both Ancient Rome and Greece – not that the story matters that much as they all get to beat the living daylights out of each other in one-on-one combat. Still, it adds to the atmosphere, as do some spectacular 3D visuals – which explain the vast data download (around 500MB) required upon launching.
The fluidly animated fighters battle it out on some sumptuous backdrops, including Mount Olympus. Fortunately, the touch controls are kept simple. A tap or swipe on the right of the screen results in a light or medium attack, while a long press charges up your character’s heavy attack. Holding the left side causes your hero to block most enemy attacks, while swiping left will make them jump back to avoid heavy strikes. It works well and requires some skill to defeat the more powerful foes. In addition, you can unleash a special attack when your rage meter fills up.
Take to the skies in this addictive endless flyer
Endless flyer Mad Aces proves amazingly addictive despite the simplicity of its design. As your character – selected from an expanding roster of Aces as you unlock them – heads towards the right of the screen, you move them up or down to any of three vertical positions to avoid the hazards ahead. While you can just smash through stone blocks without harm, hitting spikes results in instant death. To help you out of a tight spot – if you’ve flown into a deadly dead end, say – collected fireballs can be used to blast through hazards. Although extra characters can be bought with real cash, the IAPs are purely optional and the game is littered with collectable coins, as well as awarding you free gifts every so often – plus 20 coins from watching video ads. With its cute Crossy Road-style visuals and that just-one-more-go factor, Mad Aces is well worth a test flight.
Does Moto’s second-edition smartwatch have the wow factor of its original incarnation?
For a long time, the Moto 360 was the one smartwatch that we could really get behind and recommend to readers. In our eyes, it was the first well-built, robust and genuinely stylish piece of Android wrist wear that we had come across, but it still had its issues. While the market for smartwatches has drastically changed since then, we can’t help feeling rather excited to see what Motorola has included in its second-generation 360 device.
Customisation has always been at the heart of the Moto 360 range and that continues here. If you opt for the base model, you’ll find the design is nearly identical to the original. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it still remains chunky at 11.4mm. What is new is the choice of size variants, with the 46mm option being one of the biggest smartwatch screens we’ve seen. It looks big on the wrist, perhaps too big, but the smaller 42mm is there for those who want something daintier. That said, this is a quality design from top to bottom. It isn’t as fancy as its competitors, but it feels good and the stainless-steel chassis offers no flex. We highly recommend you take the time to consider the type of strap you purchase if you buy one of these, as the base Horween-leather strap is a little flimsy. However, Motorola’s expensive bands have always been good so you’ll find something better if you don’t mind splashing the cash.
Shoot and share your videos with private groups using this app
Vidku enables users to create and share 17-second videos. Compared to rivals such as Snapchat and Vine, however, it gives you greater control over who they’re shared with, including the ability to un-share with individual recipients at any point. When shooting your short video, you can pause midway and flip between front and rear cameras, so there’s some scope for creativity. While you get to watch a preview of the video before sharing, there are no editing facilities, so if you’re not happy you’ll just have to shoot it again. You then add a thumbnail picture and title before sharing with selected friends or a private group.
It’s a promising concept, but you’ll need to add Vidku-using friends – via username, contacts or Facebook – to get started. You can also create your own private (friends-only) groups.