Apps: Air Stylus, Amazon Instant Video 2.7, Assassin’s Creed Pirates 1.4 + Transformers: AoE
Avatron Software’s Air Stylus ($20) enables the use of an iPad as a pressure-sensitive, wireless drawing surface for your Mac. Users can draw or paint directly onto the iPad screen using one of many popular graphics programs, and the screen becomes an extension of the computer desktop through the free Air Display host software. Air Stylus has garnered mixed reviews from users thus far, but digital artists may want to take a closer look.
Amazon Mobile’s free Amazon Instant Video has updated to version 2.7. The app also now gives users the ability to stream the first episode of some TV shows for free, and Prime customers also have access to a number of full seasons of certain popular HBO shows, including The Sopranos and The Wire. Video playback controls have also been tweaked, allowing for one-touch play/pause and 10-second skip forward/backward, as well as an episode-skipping feature for TV shows.
In Ubisoft’s new “Freedom Update” for Assassin’s Creed Pirates ($5), the game gets a new chapter — La Isla de la Juventud. Players must try to destroy the jail fortress to free the slaves in the new level. Version 1.4.0 also lets players customize their ships. A new daily reward system has been added, and Ubisoft claims naval fights are more dynamic and balanced now after the update.
Based loosely on the new movie, Mobage’s Transformers: Age of Extinction (free) lets users control a team of Transformers in both their vehicle and robot modes, running down streets filled with obstacles to jump over or destroy. The animations of the robots are surprisingly cool - you shift from robot to car form effortlessly, as do your opponents. Gameplay is pretty simple: either slash at enemies up close with a melee weapon, or shoot projectiles at them from a distance. The game is all about trying to defeat a certain number of enemies before your life bar runs out. Every time you start a level, you temporarily deplete a limited amount of credits, which get regenerated during play ... or of course can be paid for, along with upgrades to your Autobot. Grimlock the Dinobot is notably a playable character, accessible after you start the game with classic hero Bumblebee.
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