Not anymore: Lego Lord of the Rings is now available for iOS. The $4.99 app brings more or less the same great console experience to your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. The "less" part has to do with the controls: You can use either a virtual set of onscreen D-pad/button controls or learn a system of taps, drags, and long-presses. On my iPad 3, I found the latter both confusing and awkward; the virtual controls are much more precise and familiar. Other than that, LLotR for iOS plays just like the the Xbox version, which I enjoyed immensely with my kids. It features animated (and often hilarious) cut-scenes from the movies, lots of challenging puzzles, and, in an usual (but very welcome) twist for the Lego game series, actual dialogue from the movies.
It's really a shame TT Games doesn't offer these titles for Android, If someone wants to kick off a petition (Grand-Theft-Auto-V-for-PC-style) requesting Android versions, I'll sign, The preciousss makes the move from consoles to iPhones and iPads, And it's a steal at $4.99, I can't say enough good things about TT Games' Lego series, which have blue hexagons and diamonds iphone case brought everything from Batman to Harry Potter to "Star Wars" to life in glorious brick form, And last year's Lego Lord of the Rings was among the best yet, an epic and thoroughly entertaining game version of the entire three-movie series, Of course, you needed a PC or game console to play it..
The other big story, and certainly the one that received the lion's share of the news cycle on Thursday, was the Twitter IPO. A company built upon 140 characters lead to a $14.2 valuation this week, with shares initially priced at $26. Conservatively, as it turns out, as they opened at around $45 and, after a quick spike to $47, closed at $44.90 on the first day of trading. For a few moments, Twitter share prices were higher than those of Facebook, a company that saw its stock price go flaccid on its own IPO day last May. Perhaps that goes to show there's value in brevity.
On the Google side of things, tech pundits and prognosticators have been frothing at the mouth for weeks about four mysterious barges built between 2010 and 2012, The four vessels (cheekily named BAL0001, BAL0010, BAL0011, and BAL0100) raised speculation about floating server rooms that use seawater for cooling, bobbing party havens where Google employees could let loose, and glamorous Google Glass showrooms to showcase the company's wearable future, It's that last explanation that seems closest to the truth, though Google doesn't seem to be quite ready to tell us everything about them, issuing a terse statement that the company is "exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology." And that's it, Maybe Google itself really doesn't know what to do with the things -- or maybe it wants to get in a few more private parties before opening them up to the blue hexagons and diamonds iphone case public..
Speaking of Glass, the headset received its latest monthly update this week, and it finally knows what you mean if you ask for directions to places like "home" or "work." This was a feature curiously absent in the voice recognition before. Google also announced a series of hackathons and developer support meetings to help foster development for the nascent wearable ahead of its expected consumer release next year. We're just a week away from the Sony PlayStation 4 launch, and hopefully you're as giddy as I am about the long-awaited release of a proper new generation of consoles. (Sorry to say that I don't count my Wii U.) This week, Wired got an exclusive look under the hood of the PS4, revealing a predictably densely packed box full of circuitry and a surprisingly small cooling fan. The cooling unit on the Xbox One is considerably larger, which in theory will make it much quieter. We're just a few days from finding out which will be the least-obnoxious presence in your home entertainment center.