Does not Commute (free) — We were pretty impressed with Mediocre’s efforts last year on their Smash Hit game (no pun intended), so naturally we were intrigued by their latest new title. While a big departure from last year’s game, Does not Commute is fun and interesting in its own right, and its clear that Mediocre has put some nice depth and creativity into it. The premise seems deceptively simple — navigate a car through a town’s streets and obstacles to reach a set exit point on the map — however, the game builds nicely on your prior efforts by replaying each of the cars and routes you’ve previously “driven” with each new task. In essence, this game has you creating your own obstacle course, and how easily you accomplish each route is going to depend largely on how well you did on the prior route, adding a really interesting strategic aspect to the game. A single timer counts down for the entire set of trips in each round, so you can’t take too long for any one trip or you’ll cost yourself time on future ones, and bonus coins on certain trickier routes add time back. Run out of time, and the game is over. In addition to the interesting game play, Mediocre has done a cute job with providing an entertaining and oft-humorous little background story for each commuter at the beginning of each trip.
Pursuit of Light (free) — Casual surrealistic games have become a popular genre on iOS devices, and this new entry from Lemon Jam Studio fits in nicely. Billed as an “action adventure game set in a mystery world,” formed by the dream of a little girl, the game basically sports a simple user interface of tapping on one of two symbols — a moon and a star — to jump the character from one step to the next. As players advance to higher levels, the steps and routes become more complicated, and obstacles begin to appear. The magic to Pursuit of Light, however, is found in the aesthetics of the game; the music and other background noises that play, the shimmering mists of a dream-like state, and the use of color all contribute to a surprisingly immersive experience.
Tiltagon (free) — “Tilt. Fall. Repeat.” is the motto of this surprisingly addictive new arcade title from Noodlecake Studios. Hearkening back to Labyrinth-style ball rolling motion games, Tiltagon requires you to tilt your device to move your ball across a series of hexagons, picking up the target cube on each without falling off. The catch, however, is that each hexagonal platform only remains solid for a few seconds before disappearing, the next platform only appears once you’ve grabbed the target cube from the one you’re on, and you have no idea on which of the six sides it’s going to show up. A variety of different platform styles and moving blocks that try to block your path and knock you off add to the challenge. The game includes two difficulty levels, appropriately named Hard and Hard+ — with the latter setting, making contact with any of the obstacles will cause your ball to explode, requiring an even greater precision of navigation. The game supports both portrait and landscape modes, which actually provide a different sort of play style since the game is entirely based on device orientation and motion. The energetic, club-like soundtrack, varying tile colors, and psychedelic background lighting also contribute to the high-paced action.
Adobe Lightroom for iPhone (free*) — This week’s release of Adobe Lightroom CC was also accompanied by an update to Adobe’s iOS companion apps for the pro photo management software. While the app remains a free download, it still only works for those with an Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription, although you can now sign up for a 30-day trial from directly within the app. The new version significantly improves the cropping tools, with quick adjust, align and auto-straighten modes, and adds rotation support to the iPhone version. Support for TIFF files has also been added.
Keynote ($10) — Apple has had an iOS-based Keynote Remote app for a few years now, so it’s not surprising that the presentation app gets an update that now provides a companion Keynote Remote Apple Watch app which allows users to control presentations right from their wrist.
Microsoft PowerPoint (free) — Microsoft has been making impressive strides in bringing full-featured versions of its Office Productivity apps to the iPhone and iPad, and while all three of the apps got updates this week, PowerPoint was the most interesting. Like Keynote, it adds a PowerPoint Remote app for the Apple Watch that allows users to control their slideshows, easily navigate to previous and next slides, and see elapsed time, current slide number, and the total number of slides at a glance.