No rest stops for the wicked
It’s often said that Brits are obsessed with the weather, but the people who say that usually live in stable, predictable climates. The reason we Brits are so minutely concerned with the weather is that it changes so much and so quickly; you can never quite tell from one hour to the next what the weather is going to do! Or rather, you can’t unless you have Dark Sky. Whereas even the most innovative weather app usually just builds on top of one of the same few weather sources, Dark Sky uses multiple sources and some custom algorithms to give genuinely disconcertingly accurate predictions of when it will rain. It can send notifications when it’s about to rain (customisable if it’s heavy or light); if it’s chucking it down you can check if it’s going to keep raining or whether, if you just wait two minutes, it will stop so you can walk from, say, the car to the supermarket without getting drenched. What’s more, it was recently updated to include an iOS 8 Notification Centre widget, so whatever I’m doing on my phone, I can just swipe down and check the next hour’s weather.
Dark Sky isn’t the only weather app I use; I prefer Weather Line (also powered by forecast.io) for longer-term forecasts, and I still occasionally fire up Matt’s favourite, Partly Cloudy, especially to get a quick snapshot of the rain that’s coming over the next week – but Dark Sky is the one that I use the most, thanks to its creepily accurate minute-by-minute rain forecasting. This aim of this board-gameturned-app is to build a space ship from a set of cards, then fly that ship on missions against your friends while making the most money (and not being destroyed). It starts with everyone building their ships at once, which means taking component cards and fitting them together, balancing weapons, power, engines crew and other vital equipment. All the pieces come from one shared pile, though, so you’re competing, grabbing good parts and trying to fit them into your ship. Then you take the ships out, where hazards and opportunities abound – from pirate attacks to cargo grabs. It’s a brilliantly constructed game, full of the dark pleasure of seeing your friends come to misfortune and great lastditch drama. We do think it can be a bit opaque in places, and its pace can be a bit high, but this is a hugely fun iPad board game. Matt Bolton
Frantic fun, full of schadenfreude and dramatic turnarounds. Essential for iPad board game fans.