Galaxy Trucker

No rest stops for the wicked

Mac Format - - RATED | IOS APPS - £5.49 De­vel­oper Czech Games Edi­tion, galaxytrucker.com Works with iPad Ver­sion 1.0.5 Age 9+

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.

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