iOS App Review: Plague Inc

Plague Inc [$0.99] is a strategy title from Ndemic Creations with a pretty dark goal: launch a disease somewhere in the world and slowly infect the population, eventually infecting the entire world and eradicating humanity.

Sure, it’s just a video game, but there’s something about it that gets under your skin. First it’s fascination as you watch your creation spread and the number of infected skyrocket, then a sense of awe and sadness as that number slowly begins to reflect the number of deceased by your own doing.

It can be unsettling playing Plague Inc, but also hugely satisfying due to the many different ways you can go about accomplishing your goal. You control the evolution of your plague, its resilience, and the manner in which it spreads by way of various upgrade trees.

There are 7 different kinds of plagues in the game, and as Ndemic has revealed there’s a special new plague called the Neurax Worm coming in the next update. If you’re curious what this worm does, well, it burrows into the brain of its host and is able to take control over their bodies. Sounds pretty unpleasant.

The Neurax Worm option will come with new infection behaviors and new options for evolution. Since it can control the minds of its hosts, a new feature called Trojan Planes allows you to get a host to fly to the country of your choosing and begin infections. There will also be more ways to win besides just eradicating humanity, and new graphics and sounds to accompany the Neurax Worm.

There is a tiny catch: you’ll have to have beaten the game on Brutal difficulty in order to unlock the new Neurax Worm content for free. Alternately, you can purchase it for 99¢. Seems like a good idea, offering a paid expansion pack but having the ability to earn it for free by accomplishing a goal in the game. I like that.

Whether you buy the new expansion or not, there is still a ton of stuff in this update that all players will receive, including new events and achievements, an improved interface, better graphics and AI, Twitter and Facebook integration, and a host of other tweaks and fixes.

Plague Inc is one of those strangely compelling titles. There’s not a ton of interaction while you’re watching your plague overtake the world, but the choices that you’re given and how you utilize your resources are crucial for success.

If you think you can live through the guilt of murdering billions of people through devious and likely painful ways, then make sure you check out Plague Inc and keep an eye out for the Neurax Worm update which has already been submitted to Apple and should be coming soon.

App Store Link: Plague Inc

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Best Football iOS apps: Essential 2012-13 season downloads

Looking for the best football apps for your iOS device? These are the apps to help you follow the new 2012/13 football season on your Apple iOS device.

1. Live Score Addicts

The slickest football scores app on the App Store already covers over 400 leagues and has been tracking the Premier League action since last season. As well as offering video highlights during and after the match, Live Score Addicts now offers live tables, starting line-ups, match statistics and key head-to-head information. The push notification service will let you know as soon as the matches kick off and when the goals begin to pour in.

Platform: iPhone, iPad and Android | Price: Free | LinkLive Score Addicts iPhone app now I Live Score Addicts iPhone review

 

2. Sky Go

Sky’s live TV app gives you access to Sky Sports 1 and 2, bringing you all the Premier League football action you could want. Oh, and there’s Sky Sports News – so you can keep on an eye on all the transfer deadline day drama.

Platform:  iPhone, iPad, Android | Price: Free | LinkDownload Sky Go iPhone app now

3. FourFourTwo Football Stats Zone

After taking care of stat-related matters at the EUROS, the Opta Sports-powered app turns its attention back to the Premier League providing the same detailed insight into tracking match data. From pass completion to player influence, you’ll be able to share it all on Twitter and Facebook so you can back up your booze-fuelled assessment that Mario Balotelli spent more time sulking than he did trying to get into dangerous positions in the box.

Platform: iPhone | Price: Free (no-in app purchase required) | LinkDownload FourFourTwo Football Stats Zone iPhone app now

4. ESPN Goals

Whether a Saturday night out means missing Match of the Day, or you are desperate to see the action on a Saturday, ESPN Goals delivers, well, goals, and a whole seasons worth of them. There’s also live stats and goal updates, but this app is all about getting access to the goalmouth action quicker than you can sink that last pint, and now it’s free.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone 7 | Price: Free | Link::Download ESPN Goals iPhone app now

5. MatchPint

Trying to find the perfect place to watch the season opener? This pub finder app will help you find the perfect place to watch the game, letting you know how many screens are available, whether the sound will be turned up and even if the food is up to scratch. So you don’t have to pack an extra round of sandwiches in your bag that day…

Platform: iPhone, iPad | Price: Free | LinkDownload MatchPint iPhone app now I MatchPint iPhone review

6. New Star Soccer

One of the biggest iOS gaming hits of 2012, this simple but epic uber-addictive footie sim is like Football Manager, Sensible Soccer and Be A Pro mode from FIFA all beautifully moulded into a Spectrum-esque touch romp that you will truly struggle to put back down. In-app purchases will make the beautiful game go longer, but it is well worth the money.

Platform: iPhone, iPad | Price: Free | Link: Download New Star Soccer iPhone app

7. Sky Sports Live Football Score Centre

When you can’t enjoy the Saturday afternoon’s entertainment with Stelling, Le Tiss and the rest of the boys, you can stay up to date with live results from every match in England, Scotland and from across Europe.

Platform: iPhone, iPad and Android | Price: Free | Link: Download Sky Sports Live Football Score Centre iPhone app now

8. FIFA 12

Until FIFA 13 lands, this is still comfortably the best footy sim to get on your iPhone. Sporting sharper graphics (courtesy of the new Retina display), refined virtual controls to make it easier to play on a touchscreen, instant replays now means you can re-live the most memorable sweeping counter-attacking moves or simply pulling off a Cruyff turn.

Platform: iPhone, iPad and Android | Price: £3.99 | LinkDownload FIFA 12 iPhone app now
 

9. Football Manager Handheld 2012

To the dismay of wannabe wags everywhere, Football Manager steps out onto hallowed iPhone turf every much as addictive as the PC and MAC versions. A new real world stadium finder means you can find you way around the San Siro or Alexandra Stadium, home to the mighty Crewe Alexandra.

Platform: iPhoneiPad | Price £6.99 | LinkDownload Football Manager Handheld 2011 iPhone app now

10. Live Football on the TV

Making sure you know everything there is to know about fixtures on the box whether it’s Premier League action, a European match or even a reserve game,  this app will ensure armchair fans never miss a game that is being televised in the UK. Our condolences go out to football-hating spouses everywhere.

Platform: iPhone, iPad | Price: Free | LinkDownload Live Football on the TV iPhone app now
 

11. iFooty World Plus

From the Bundesliga to the deepest depths of South American football, get league tables, post match results, minute by minute commentary and find out whether the other Ronaldo is still doing the business in front of goal.

Platform: iPhone, iPad | Price: £1.99 | LinkDownload iFooty World Plus iPhone app now

iOS App Of The Week For July 11, 2012

Every week, we will handpick an app from the past seven days that we believe is a must-download for your iPhone or iPad. These apps will always be from various categories, but they are chosen because our own staff members love it and have been using them daily. So here are this week’s picks! Enjoy!

Layout

Create beautiful framed pictures with Layout, our App of the Week.

Our App of the Week is Layout, which will definitely appeal to anyone that loves to frame their photos, such as with Diptic and PicFrame.

With Layout, users are able to arrange their photos in a grid, and the photos can be imported from you Photo Library, Facebook, Instagram, and even Flickr. Enhance your images with the built-in filters and effects to truly make your images stand out from the crowd. For even more customization, you can adjust the saturation and contrast, or even add some fun stickers and captions — these are great for cute family photos.

When your piece is done, you are able to share your Layout with friends and family through email, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. Layout also features iCloud sync, so you can store your projects and work on them from different devices — pretty nifty, right?

For $2.99, this is a great buy, and our staff has been loving this app! So make sure to try it out for yourself.

10 iOS Only Games

It’s about time to download some awesome new and all-time-favorite games from the App Store! Well, we have even more cool ones in store for you below. What’s more exciting about this is that these are the iOS-exclusive games that can only be found on the Apple platform (at least for now). So, if you just got a new iOS device and you wanna show your friends some cool games, this is it.

Snoticles

This awesome 5 star game earned our top spot! Help Snoticles battle against Blots, a weird-slimey-looking enemy. Each Snoticles has its own unique ability, and solve each game with Angry Birds-like mechanics! Super addictive! The new update comes with more than 50 levels to play along the ride!

 

MinoMonsters

Looking for a Pokémon fix on iPhone? There you go. Train your monster, finish the mission and earn perks and achievements as you go! Even capture some wild ones as you dive in the adventure. Feed, pat and treat your monster as if it was your real pet! If you haven’t read our review, make sure you do!

Home Sheep Home 2

I find it amusing when Chillingo (the parent company of Angry Birds) didn’t release this game on other platform. Nevertheless, if you happen to watch and love Shaun the Sheep on Disney Channel, you’ll love this game. Join Shaun and his friends as they journey along 40 levels of caverns, and evade the guards! Use each sheep’s unique abilities at its potential to win!

Tap The Frog 2

Following the success of the original Tap The Frog, version 2 contains loads of exciting new challenges. Help him rise through the ranks to become a Frog King, and possibly earned his sweetheart (aww). Simply make the frog jump, paint, and pop each mission and bash away your thumbs and fingers! Even replay each level as many times as you’d like to get more stars! Addictive!

Batman Arkham City Lockdown

While not exactly new, each update delivers truckloads of new stuff you should put your hands on. Using the same engine that brought you Infinity Blade II, fight the enemies along the way with simple swipe, dodge, jumps and defends completely similar to the original Unreal iOS game! Choose from several Batman skins and powerups to achieve maximum pleasure!

Woody Woodpecker

Just don’t get annoyed by its voice, brace yourself for the hilarious racing game of all time! Pick among 5 Woody Woodpecker characters, ride those slopes, and gain momentum with just a tap to produce a rocket-high flying adventure! Each character has their own abilities such as acceleration, top speed and powerups. Very easy game for some minute to kill.

Bike Baron

With over 300 crazy challenges to tackle on, there’s no shortage of fun as you speed up your bike along the ridiculously-looking circuit and earn coins and achievement as you finish each mission! You can even create custom levels and share it with everyone! This is what happens when you put the developers of Minigore and Angry Birds’ composer in the same seat: pure magic!

Rage HD

While there’s a separate SD version of the game, there’s no reason to deny this console-like game in pure HD. This intense first-person shooter puts you in a game show called Mutant Bash TV; as in killing mutants, pick ammos and cash to win. While the level is pretty much limited to Easy, Medium and Hard, there’s no reason not to play this game on your downtime!

The Creeps

An all-time-favorite tower-defense game sets you in the world where there are Creeps living in your closet! Defeat the (weird) things that bump in the night with blasters, glue bottles, flashlights and boomerangs! Now the update comes with boatload of new levels to play, so if you’re into some soft of tower-defense game (in this case, defend the kids’ bed), you’ll love this one.

dream:scape

A hauntingly-beautiful game, oh wait, it’s not a game: it’s an immersive interactive experience, an explorable novel that makes you the character. Help Wilson reconstructing the past via the Dreamscape of his memories, and reveal buried secrets and mysteries along the way. Recommended with a headphones on, solve each piece thoughtfully as you progresses the game. [Not recommended for iPod touch, iPhone 3GS, and first generation iPad]