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Though I do play my fair share of action games on iOS, I tend to sway more towards the relaxing side of the game spectrum; games that I can use to relax at the end of a long week. When on the hunt for more cool-down games, I came across Macrocosm, a new space-age game that was released earlier this month.
This game is based in space where you play as a blob of dark matter with your objectives being simple: get bigger, don’t get killed by spaceships, and free other dark matter. To find out if this game is both relaxing and exciting, read on for my full Macrocosm review…Design
When you launch Macrocosm, you’ll be greeted with a simple level select screen. Each level is represented by a different text icon, and after selecting a level, you’ll be brought right into gameplay barely any instruction aside from a couple of speech bubbles.
Your character, a black blob of dark matter, is designed well and fits in with the rest of the game. The blob is animated and bubbles when you race around the map finding more dark matter. The spaceships and planets in the game are also designed well, both with minimal yet classy designs that are very pleasing to the eyes.Gameplay
To control your dark matter, you must tap and drag a line for your blob to move along. As you move about Macrocosm’s different maps, you’ll begin to see other blobs of dark matter. You must collect these other blobs by running into them in order to make your blob bigger.
You’re not alone in space, in fact, you have enemies. When collecting dark matter, you’ll run into tiny space ships that will shoot at you. Make sure to avoid these spaceships as, when you’re hit with their bullets, your blob of dark matter will shrink and eventually disappear completely.
Later in the game, you realize that these spaceships, or “forces of evil,” are trying to collect all of the dark matter for themselves, so your objective becomes to find these black dots of dark matter and free them from the forces.The Good
Macrocosm’s design is absolutely beautiful with stunning space graphics and backdrops. I’m also a huge fan of the app’s setting, making for a super calming game that can still provide hours of fun.The Bad
As of now, there’s no instruction guide to lead you throughout the game. This can make first starting to play Macrocosm quite confusing, and may even turn some users away from the game completely. Additionally, there’s no way to return to the main menu mid-way through a game, making it so one must quit out of the app to switch levels.Value
Considering Macrocosm only costs $0.99 and is a universal iPhone and iPad app, I think it’s a pretty good deal right off the bat. Though the game only has five levels, they can take quite some time to work through, especially as you near the end of the game, making for a game that will keep you entertained for hours.Conclusion
Macrocosm may not be for everyone, but I can definitely recommend it to those who want to use the game to settle down after a long day with the game’s floaty controls, beautiful design, and interesting concept. However, those expecting high-action entertainment will be thoroughly disappointed.Related Apps
If you’re looking for more games set in outer-space, you may want to check out Space Shooting, though this game takes on a more action packed feel.
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There is this type of puzzle game that requires players to move characters around on the board in unison in order to get everyone to the correct end point. PAC-MAN Friends uses this type of puzzle movement. It’s fairly complex and interesting, to say the least.
The Nightmare Cooperative is a roguelike game that uses that puzzle movement aspect to keep your party on their toes. You can use your mage to pick up that potion, but watch where your warrior is going or he may fall into the lava pit at the same time. We’ve got a full game review of The Nightmare Cooperative for you today.Design
On the surface, this game looks like a typical top-down roguelike. However, it is much more creative than just a series of pixels on the screen. Each character is crafted with a unique and stylistic look. It’s like playing a piece of art you’d see in Juxtapose or something. The graphics are fantasy, but minimalistic all at once.
Each level of the dungeon consists of a number of chests, potions, health points, and monsters. The dungeons are randomly generated and you’ll never enter the same one twice in a game.
There are plenty of obstacles to keep you from easily sweeping through a room including pillars, fire-shooting towers, and slippery ice blocks. Plus, monsters keep popping up all over the place and pits of lava or acid will open up suddenly. It’s a pretty perilous dungeon.Gameplay
The roguelike design of this game has players looting every possible nook of each level of the dungeon. On any given level there may be three or more chests. As soon as you open a chest, you unleash a monster or flame tower. So, the more chests you loot, the more monsters you bring forth.
Monsters don’t only appear after you’ve looted a chest. They will appear at random location in the dungeon after a certain number of movements. So, if you think you’re being sneaky by not opening a chest in order to avoid monsters, you’re out of luck.
Parts of the floor also open up to reveal lava or acid. You won’t die just by walking into a pit, but you will lose a health point. Your party each has four health points. They also have three slots for potion, which are used to trigger attacks from a distance.
The game is perma-death, which means that when you die, you lose everything and have to start over. All of the gold you’ve looted and characters you’ve unlocked are gone and you must start from scratch. Fans of roguelike games will appreciate this aspect as it is one of the key features of the genre.The Good
I love the way this game looks. It takes place in a fantasy fiction dungeon with monsters and magicians. However, it has a highly stylized art design that gives it a hip feel.
The game plays smoothly and offers a rich challenge without being too hard. I managed to make it to the fourth world, but never past the first dungeon in it.
I also love that the developers combined a dungeon crawl with a movement puzzle game. Very unique for the genre.The Bad Value
The Nightmare Cooperative costs $3.99. Frankly, I was a bit surprised at the price. The game is very simple, even though it is a lot of fun. It seems better suited to be priced at $1.99. I completely love every aspect of the game though, and think the price is worth it. The replay value is incredibly high since no to games are ever alike and you will want to play it again and again to try to achieve the highest score.Conclusion
Fans of roguelike games will flock to this fun little title. It looks great, plays great, and has a unique twist that others in the genre don’t have. If you’ve never played a roguelike title before, this one is appealing for its puzzle movement mechanics. However, the four-dollar price tag might make some shy away. The game is available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Download it in the App Store today.Related Apps
This reminds me a bit of Sword of Fargoal. Another fun roguelike game I enjoy is Dungelot 2.
Fossil Hybrid HR
Fossil nailed the look of the Hybrid HR. It’s a beautiful hybrid watch with a useful e-ink display, wrapped up in an affordable package. The heart rate sensor and sleep tracking proved to be unreliable, though. If you’re interested in buying the Fossil Hybrid HR, do so for the looks, not for the fitness or health tracking.
It’s 2013. You look down at your Pebble smartwatch and think, “E-ink displays are perfect for smartwatches. Why don’t more companies use these?” A few years later, Pebble is bought by Fitbit, and e-ink smartwatches mostly cease to exist. That is until the Fossil Hybrid HR.
The Fossil Hybrid HR strikes a unique blend of classic analog aesthetics and just enough smart features, making for an enticing package for those who don’t need a supercomputer on their wrist. The Hybrid HR isn’t going to be for everyone. But for a certain type of user, this might be one of the better alternatives to a traditional smartwatch. Read Android Authority’s Fossil Hybrid HR review to find out why.
Fossil Hybrid HR Collider
Fossil nailed the look of the Hybrid HR. It’s a beautiful hybrid watch with a useful e-ink display, wrapped up in an affordable package. The Collider model is geared towards people with larger wrists.
See price at Amazon
Fossil Hybrid HR review notes: I used the Fossil Hybrid HR (Collider HR) for roughly one week, running software version DN18.104.22.168r.v2. It was paired with a Google Pixel 4 XL for the duration of this review.
I used the Fossil Hybrid HR (Collider HR) for roughly one week, running software version DN22.214.171.124r.v2. It was paired with a Google Pixel 4 XL for the duration of this review.
A newer version of this device is now available. The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid brings an SpO2 sensor, Amazon Alexa support, and new watch styles to the table.
Update: June 2023: We have updated our Fossil Hybrid HR review with details on the newly-launched Gen 6 Hybrid, the latest updated software, new pricing details, and new competition.Fossil Hybrid HR review: The big picture
Hybrid smartwatches come in a few different flavors: Some will keep track of your daily activity and nothing else, while others are full-fledged smartwatches with hidden displays. Some devices are somewhere between the two. The Fossil Hybrid HR falls at the smarter end of the spectrum. It offers far more functionality than the Withings Move or Move ECG and fewer smart features than the Garmin vivomove 3.
Just don’t call this an Apple Watch competitor. It’s a smartwatch for people who don’t want the issues normally associated with traditional smartwatches: poor battery life and a step down in aesthetics.
1.06-inch always-on “read-out” e-ink display
Case size: 42 x 13mm
Stainless steel case
Interchangeable 22mm straps
2+ week-long battery life
Multiple time zones
Compatible with Android 5.0+/iOS 10.0+
Optical heart rate sensor
No GPS options (connected or built-in GPS)
3ATM water resistance
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
The screenshots here show a four-mile treadmill run lasting about 35 minutes. Note that the Wahoo Tickr X chest strap readings actually start at around the 24-minute mark after the dip — it began automatically recording earlier than I expected.
The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music and Wahoo Tickr X recorded the same maximum heart rate of 176bpm at around the 33-minute mark. The Hybrid HR’s max reading was 187bpm, though it’s difficult to tell exactly what time this took place. Fossil’s smartwatch app doesn’t exactly make it easy to see detailed heart rate readings. And no, there’s no web interface either.
Sleep tracking is a bright spot for the Hybrid HR when it tracks your sleep. I’ve worn the Hybrid HR to bed every night since it was sent to me, and it flat-out didn’t record my sleep in the Fossil app one night. Luckily the sleep data was populated in Google Fit, so it wasn’t all lost, but still, that’s… not a good look. Again, Fossil has been notified of this issue.
When it does track your sleep, it does so pretty accurately. Most of the time, it was able to accurately record when I fell asleep and woke up during the night, as well as my light and deep sleep patterns. I have a 14-year-old pug who has to wake up every morning at around 4 a.m. to go outside. Each night I wore the Hybrid HR to bed, it recorded those times I woke up and the times I fell back asleep.
Fossil Hybrid HR (Collider HR): $175
Fossil Hybrid HR (Charter HR): $215
The Fossil Hybrid HR is usually available from chúng tôi and Amazon for ~$175. Depending on where and when you look, this price can dip to as low as $100. It comes in many different styles. Originally, it was only offered in the more masculine Collider HR (our review unit) and the more feminine Charter HR, but now there are many more options to choose from.
All things considered, I think $175 — and especially sales prices below this — is a fair price to pay for the Hybrid HR. It gets you more functionality than a hybrid watch without a display but far fewer features than a Wear OS watch. With that said, the competition is tight, and the Hybrid HR’s competitors shouldn’t be overlooked at this price range.
Fossil Hybrid HR Collider
Fossil nailed the look of the Hybrid HR. It’s a beautiful hybrid watch with a useful e-ink display, wrapped up in an affordable package. The Collider model is geared towards people with larger wrists.
See price at Amazon
Fossil Hybrid HR Charter
Fossil nailed the look of the Hybrid HR. It’s a beautiful hybrid watch with a useful e-ink display, wrapped up in an affordable package. The Charter model is geared towards people with smaller wrists.
See price at Amazon
For starters, if you’re not a fan of the Fossil Hybrid HR’s aesthetics but are still interested in its functionality, consider the SKAGEN Jorn Hybrid HR. It’s essentially the same watch, only designed by the SKAGEN team.
Garmin’s Vivomove 3 and 3S might be $50 more than the Hybrid HR, but they’ll likely get you a more accurate and feature-packed hybrid watch experience. The Vivomove 3 and 3S also have analog watch hands, but they come with hidden displays that only show up when you need them, as well as connected GPS, proven heart rate sensors, and Garmin Pay (if you don’t mind spending extra for it).
Coinciding with the Fossil app update, the company also announced its new Gen 6 Hybrid series, priced at $229. You should arguably wait for its imminent debut before leaping for a Hybrid HR.
Fossil Hybrid HR review: The verdict
Fossil got a lot right with the Hybrid HR — I love the e-ink display, I love the way it looks, and I love the two-week battery life. It’s one of the only watches on my desk that I’m willing to wear every day despite its flaws. A lot of that has to do with the display; e-ink on a smartwatch makes so much sense.
If you look past the beautiful aesthetics, you’ll, unfortunately, find some half-baked features that tarnish the experience. Don’t buy the Fossil Hybrid HR for its fitness or health tracking or ease of use — you’ll be sorry if you do.
You’ll love the Fossil Hybrid HR — as long as you don’t rely too much on its fitness features.
But if you’re willing to spend $200 on a smartwatch and not rely on the fitness features, I think you’ll be happy with the Fossil Hybrid HR. It’s a solid first try for what I think will make for a very successful product line down the road. I’m going to continue wearing mine every day, but I can’t wait for the second or third generation when Fossil makes some hardware improvements. Judging by the Gen 6 Hybrid, the company is moving in the right direction.Fossil Hybrid HR: Hot or not?
So you want to be the CEO of a trillion dollar mining company that has been infiltrated by werewolves? Look no further than The Executive by Riverman Media, a title unlike any other mobile game on the market.
The Executive, normally a $4.99 download from the App Store, has just gone free via IGN’s ongoing Free Game of the Month promotion, marking the first time the game has hone free since its July 2024 debut.Where is this promotion available?
The promo codes for The Executive are available on a first-come, first-served basis to any gamer in the following 57 countries: United States, Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil Canada, Chad, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Vietnam.How can I redeem this offer?
Step 1: To grab your free download, first visit IGN’s promo page using Safari on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Mac.
Step 2: Now tap on the red Get Free Game button below the splash graphics.
Step 3: Your promo code should appear on the screen. Tap it to redeem your free copy of The Executive.
Tip: Alternatively, manually paste the code into the Redeem section of the App Store on the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, or iTunes on Mac and Windows PCs.How can I bypass regional restrictions?
If your country isn’t included in this promotion, feel free to use an anonymous proxy web tool such as SmartHide Online Anonymizer, which doesn’t cost a dime and can help you bypass regional restrictions.
Choose the US Anonymizer option on the SmartHide webpage, paste the IGN promo URL into the text field and tap the Begin Browsing button.
SmartHide should fool IGN into believing you were visiting their website from the United States and allow you to claim your free download. If you get the message that this game is redeemable only through a US App Store account, just create yourself one to download this freebie.Who the heck is Riverman?
Riverman Media is two brothers, Jacob and Paul Stevens, who have dedicated their lives to the art of 2D game making.The Executive highlights
The Executive will have you fighting the werewolves over the course of 120 hand-crafted levels to save your company and your city.
120 levels, hand-crafted one pixel at a time. No randomly generated endless filler.
Dozens of abilities and skills to learn
Battle enemies and execute stunts in every level
Over 50 unique enemies, each with their own intelligence, strengths, and weaknesses
Invest in your mining company and earn money continuously
12 Menacing bosses that will require your strategy and skill to defeat
Universal app: purchase it once, play forever on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
12 Challenging achievements
High-definition Retina graphics for all supported devices, Retina HD graphics on iPhone 6 Plus
Built on Riverman’s proprietary animation system, the game animates large, hand-drawn 2D sprites with an unprecedented amount of smoothness and detail.
Check out the teaser trailer for The Executive below.
If you can’t see the embedded video, watch it on YouTube.
As mentioned, the game features a high-speed combat system, timing-based running, platforming, a bunch of moves and upgrades and a simple mining company simulation for earning money.
“The fighting engine evokes a cross between Street Fighter II and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, with controls designed from scratch to be ideal for touch screens,” Riverman boasts.
The platforming segments require precise timing, similar to Elite Beat Agents but with an emphasis on visual timing instead of musical rhythm.
“Both of these mechanics are brought together by the SP bar, which allows you to execute gesture-based special moves like flame kicks, health restoration, and even morphing your character’s arm into a silver spike to impale foes,” as per release notes.Availability
The Executive, a 432-megabyte download, requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 7.1 or later. The game is localized in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
5G is a welcome force, especially for cloud dependent digital businesses practices
The 5th generation of wireless technology is set to redefine business networks with its widespread application in multiple areas of communication and data processing. 5G is a welcome force especially for cloud-dependent businesses, thanks to its key benefits such as low latency, high speeds, and greater capacity. Cloud computing is an integral part of IT infrastructures today and the rollout of 5G is set to accelerate digitization in modern enterprises.
The combination of 5G and cloud computing can yield multiple benefits for enterprises in terms of quicker collaboration and increased productivity. 5G can change the cloud computing landscape by adding new architectures and technologies such as Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC), Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN), and others. This article will help you gain a deeper understanding of 5G technology and its implications for cloud computing.What is 5G and why is it important?
5G is an improvement to the current cellular technology characterized by greater bandwidth and speed. With the world moving towards digital platforms and virtual business practices gaining momentum, 5G technology is set to further revolutionize communication. Cloud computing is the key to healthy IT infrastructures in organizations and 5G technology plays a pivotal role in empowering businesses with real-time data ingestion capabilities. A 5G network allows for enhanced synchronization across different systems. Conducting business operations virtually requires high-speed data storage and transfer capabilities and 5G technology is an effective solution to the latency issues encountered by enterprises today.What is 5G cloud computing?
Given the amount of data processed by enterprises on a daily basis, ultra-fast transmission rates are the need of the hour. 5G cloud computing, in simple terms, is transmitting data at a higher speed. 5G technology will be a core ally for the cloud in achieving data storage and transmission goals with comparatively fewer resources. 5G technology results in improved functionalities for cloud computing.How does 5G transform cloud computing? 1. 5G enables faster streaming of data and analytics 2. Streamlined operations with high speeds and reliability 3. Enables edge computing with enhanced remote system performance
Cloud computing linked to a 5G network opens up possibilities for edge computing. Any backhaul latency associated with central data centers can be addressed with edge computing. Edge computing enhances remote system performance by reducing bandwidth usage, network congestion, and processing larger volumes of data by means of localizing data storage.4. Enhanced Artificial intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities
The use of 5G technology will result in improved competence in artificial intelligence technologies. While cloud computing enables businesses to leverage key technologies like AI and NLP, the support of a robust 5 G-powered network will be significant to unlock the true potential of these technologies. 5G will equip the cloud environment with the required level of data transmission for these technologies to work effectively.5. Better security systems
Alongside facilitating a smooth transfer of data, 5G powered cloud can also help enhance security and prevent cyber attacks. Enterprises can better recognize and prevent cyber-attacks which is crucial in today’s era. Plus, the remote work culture and growing virtual business practices necessitate the implementation of top security measures that can be achieved with 5G-powered cloud computing.Conclusion Author:
Sumana Iyengar, CEO & Co-Founder, Goavega Software Pvt. Ltd)
Game studios use AI in multiple ways to enrich their releases, and its use is only set to grow in the future.
AI has played a major role in pushing games to where they are currently. Game studios use AI in multiple ways to enrich their releases, and its use is only set to grow in the future. Here are 5 ways AI is changing game development.Pathfinding
Games these days have engaging storylines and sophisticated worlds as standard. Players expect highly textured environments that both entertain and challenge them. For instance, players routinely take in-game characters on long exploratory journeys, in a bid to explore the limits of the game’s universe.
the act of coding an in-game character’s navigation
, is an important game development task. Given the open nature of the average game’s universe these days, developers must take several factors into account when plotting a character’s path.
For instance, if a user decides to take their character exploring in the middle of a main quest or task, how will the character interact with other characters nearby? How will they navigate their terrain, and how will the status of the primary quest affect the path they will take between in-game waypoints?
AI models these complex scenarios and is embedded into most gaming engines. This way, the game’s logic changes in real-time and can accommodate almost any decisions the user makes. The result is an engaging experience that feels almost like the real world.Object Detection
While navigating an in-game universe, characters will
stumble upon in-game objects
. Users can detect objects pretty easily. For instance, a vehicle can be used to navigate from one point to another. However, the in-game character is just a piece of code and might struggle to identify every variation an object presents.
For instance, from a coding perspective, a fully functioning, pristine vehicle is different from a damaged one that can still travel short distances. A user might decide to “walk” to the next destination or use the damaged vehicle. To execute the latter task, the in-game character must identify the damaged vehicle as a candidate for a task and engage with it in an expected fashion.
If the character misidentifies the damaged vehicle as a tree and refuses to drive it, users will not hesitate to point out these flaws. AI is being used to create intelligent in-game characters that are more likely to correctly identify objects and their variations.Character Design
For instance, a character that can convincingly express just one emotion isn’t going to play a convincing role in a storyline with emotional depth. AI, in the form of deep learning algorithms, can now process in-game mechanics and display appropriate emotions. These algorithms also inform character actions, voices, and dialogue.
The result is
an immersive experience that gamers will never forget
.Engineering Complex Game Scenarios
Games are becoming more open-ended, with in-game character choices driving the narrative. Coding these possibilities beforehand, while anticipating how one choice affects another, is a highly complicated task. In most cases, it’s impossible to accurately predict which way the story ought to head.
AI is coming to the rescue and is playing a part in creating Finite State Machine (FSM) models for game development. FSM models allow developers to code multiple scenarios into a single package and let the game engine compute and choose the ideal path to take. Thus, developers can give gamers almost infinite freedom and let AI do the heavy lifting when processing in-game logic.Game Analytics
As game codebases grow more complex, reviewing code and fixing errors is a tough task. There are many nooks and crannies in games these days, and locating the source of an error is close to impossible, given the vast areas developers have to search.
AI is being used to conduct code tests quickly and isolate errors and potential breaks in code. These days, games are platform-agnostic. An error on desktop might not show up on mobile or vice-versa. Isolating platform-specific errors is a tough task, and AI is coming to the rescue.
Gaming analytics powered by AI isolate incidents and prevent faulty code releases. This gives developers timely alerts to act upon, and prevent major flaws in their releases.Many Applications
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