SOLVING ACTIVE GEOLOCATION ICON PROBLEM IN iOS 7.1

iOS 7.1 Geolocation icon static

Apple released iOS 7.1 for iPhone and iPad couple of days ago and since then the Internet was bombarded with this peculiar problem of geolocation/geofencing icon staying in the status bar despite closing all active apps that might be using location services.

After updating my iPhone 5S to iOS 7.1, I found that the geolocation icon in the status bar would just not go despite closing all apps that used location services. Though not causing any serious usage issues, seeing that tiny arrow was very irritating.

Turning to the Reliable MacRumors forum for all Apple related queries, two gentlemen, legacyb4 (Unfortunately no profile link) and C DM from the forum helped me resolve the issue.

To solve the problem, the trick is, first you need to identify the apps causing the problem. To do this, close all the applications from the multitasking screen and go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Here, you’ll find a complete list of applications that ask for permission to access your location. Typically, there will be some apps that you have allowed the access and some that that are already off. You need not bother with the apps that are already off.

To identify the apps, you will need to turn each app off and on to check the apps causing the issue. Once you’ve identified the apps, head over to Background App Refresh (Settings > General > Background App Refresh) and switch off Background Refresh for those particular apps.

Summary:

1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services
2. Identify Apps causing geolocation icon to stay in the status bar by switching each app off and on.
3. Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh
4. Switch off Apps identified in step 2.

While you might not be using the app and its closed from your multitasking screen, the App is refreshing in the background and actively using your location to provide updates from your local area. However, following the above steps should solve the issue.

FONTA – DESIGN YOUR IMAGES WITH BEAUTIFUL TEXT [APP REVIEW]

Fonta is a small yet powerful image-designing app available on iTunes App Store that adds beautiful text to your images that is easily customisable. App developer ThirtyFive Inc. claims Fonta will turn your images into gorgeous text based designs.

An image with text created on Fonta by ThirtyFive Inc.

The app supports over 60 fonts and a wide variety of shapes and frames that can be easily resized and repositioned according to the user. Apart from a wide collection of fonts and shapes, the app also supports sharing capabilities to a wide variety of social networking apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Apple’s native messaging app and even 3rd party messaging app WhatsApp too.

View a tutorial on Fonta by clicking here.

Initially, getting the hang of various features of Fonta can be a little tricky but learning a bit about the app from its tutorial videos can make you a pro in no time. The only drawback of the app is that in case you decide to save the image to your gallery, it will change the format of the image to .jpeg/.jpg and currently supports an image resolution of 640 X 640 only.

The app is available for $0.99. However, recently, the app was also available for free and can be downloaded from here [direct link].

E-CIGARETTES: Clever Marketing or Wonder Cure


E- Cigarette is the tool to help people kick the nicotine addiction. It looks like a cigarette and glows like one. The electronic cigarette is an individual nicotine vaporizer. The most harmful thing about smoking real cigarettes is the tar and other chemicals that you consume while smoking. E- Cigarette is supposed to be healthy and safe compared to the real butt. The real question is, are e-cigarettes really a wonder cure or there is just clever marketing behind it?

The pressure to kick the butt is intensified due to smoking bans in many developed countries and also the family pressure as awareness increases. This nicotine addiction is toughest addiction to give up. Many products are available in the market as alternatives to cigarettes. There are nicotine patches, nicotine gums, prescribed drugs which are widely available, but these have not been very successful and not much written about. The latest smoking cessation way is the e-cigarettes, made in China. Also called the e- cigs have been named electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

They look like the real thing in size and its looks but are longer or shorter than cigarettes. Some call the e-cigs as ST, which stands for smokeless tobacco. But ST has chew tobacco and snuff. E-Cigarettes are also commonly known as Nicotine inhalers, Smokeless smokes, Vapes, E-puffs. The e-cigarette has an atomizer and when you take a drag on any electronic cigarette it will activate a sensor that will set in motion a heating element in the tube which is the atomizer. Inside the electronic cigarette there is a cartridge which has liquid nicotine. The other end of the e-cig has a LED light which acts as a mode indicator. This stuff glows when the device is in use. The heating element in the cigarette turns the nicotine into vapour with is taken in by the smoker. The liquid nicotine is available in many flavours like chocolate, cinnamon to strawberry.

Many researchers from Stanford have said that vapours from these e-cigarettes are complex mixtures and is not pure nicotine. The inhalation of such complex mixtures might not be safe. There also unexpected side effects of these smoking products like, exogenous lipoid pneumonia which is a chronic inflammatory reaction due to glycerin-based e-cigarettes. There is no proof that e-cigarettes really are effective for nicotine addiction.

They have been marketed very strongly as safe alternatives but these products may have the risk of nicotine poisoning and addiction. So it is still undecided if it really is a wonder cure or just a marketing tactic.

This novel product means different to different people. For some it is a great alternative, for regulators it is a mystery, for medical professionals they are more on the better side and for manufacturers it is way to cash in. But one thing is for sure, they are here to stay approved by regulators or not. Earlier even cigarettes were considered a remedy for stress and concentration but we all know better. The e-cigarette may take the same path once its effects are studied and understood. In the meanwhile the big company manufacturers are making big bucks and customers feel they are kicking the nicotine addiction.

Thank you, +Neha Malegaonkar!

SWITCHING FROM A PC TO MAC? HERE’S HOW TO GET STARTED



So you’ve just decided to take the leap and jump on the Apple bandwagon by buying a mac. You open it; try to configure it but eventually end up getting frustrated because you’ve always been a PC guy. Fret not; this will be the only guide that you’ll need to become a pro Mac user.
GETTING STARTED

Firstly, getting used to a mac is not difficult at all. If you’ve decided to make the switch, you sure as hell can master a Mac device in no time.

This guide assumes you’ve done the initial startup and you are now trying to find your way through the Mac OS X User Interface. Also, since the new Macs come pre installed with the latest Mac OS (OS X Mavericks), all instructions will be based on the latest OS.

Apple ID

Firstly, if you don’t have an Apple ID, get one immediately. Safari comes pre installed so head over to the Apple website or click here. You’ll need it to sign in to a few Apple services like iTunes, iMessages, FaceTime, etc. which are quite essential if you plan to enter the Apple ecosystem and if your friends and family are already using Apple products.

Dock – The Mac’s start bar

What the Start Bar is to the PC, Dock is for the Mac. The dock is nothing but the row of icons to the bottom of the screen.

System Preferences – Configuring your Mac to your needs

What the control panel is to a PC, System Preferences is to a Mac. To change any Mac related setting/preference (these words will be used alternatively from here onwards), the ‘system preferences’ is the go to area. By default, this is the gear like icon in the dock.

Here, you’ll be able to configure you’re your display, trackpad, configure your network, Date/Time, Mails, add/delete printers and a number of other things.

How do I right click on the trackpad?

If you’re used to a Mouse/Trackpad with right and left click, you’ll find the iconic rectangular glass trackpad of a mac quite annoying. However, there is a very easy solution. Head over to system preferences < Trackpad < Point & Click (tab) < Secondary click, change ‘Click or tap with two fingers’ to ‘Click in bottom right corner’. The trackpad now behaves in a similar manner to a PC trackpad with the left mouse button on the bottom left and the right click on the bottom right corner.

To learn more about the various gestures of the trackpad, you can see all the settings with an example on the right side of the system preferences screen. To configure the settings, you can further explore the system preferences.

Resizing the Dock

System Preferences < Dock < Adjust Size.

Alternately, scroll your cursor to the line lying flat in the dock (right side of the dock) till you see the cursor change to ns-resize type cursor. Press and scroll up or down to adjust the size of the Dock.

Shortcuts

Being a PC user, you’re probably used to a lot of shortcuts. Mac too has shortcuts to do the same job, as you would require in a PC. However, the catch is, you’ll have to re-learn all these shortcuts. And as with any learning process, it takes time. Keep in mind; the command button (⌘) is the key to all shortcuts. This guide is an excellent place to start learning all the Mac shortcuts.

Airdrop

Remember the good old days when phones came equipped with Bluetooth for file sharing? Airdrop is a similar technology, with the only difference being that files are transferred using an ad-hoc network created by your iDevice when you click the Airdrop tab in the Finder’s sidebar.

This technology, though brilliant, does come with its own set of shortcomings. iOS 7 introduced Airdrop in iPhones and iPads (subject to iPhone and iPad model) and here is where I still fail to understand why Apple didn’t allow file transferring between its iOS devices and Mac devices. 

Unfortunately, you cannot transfer files from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac device via Airdrop and you are still stuck with file transferring through the traditional iTunes method.

Another drawback of this technology is the lack of support of the file types. This means, if you’re in a meeting and wish to share files with all or any particular attendee, you need to be careful of the file type you wish to transfer. You can share images or videos but you cannot transfer files made in Microsoft Office (which include Word, Excel, Powerpoint) or .mp3/music files. So what file types are supported by Airdrop? For the little time that I have used Airdrop for testing purposes, apart from images and videos, I have only been able to transfer a .txt file successfully.

Launchpad

Launchpad is the iOS style view of the Apps on your Mac. Here, you can find additional apps like Airport Utility, Activity Monitor (much like the Windows Task Manager), etc.

To access the Launchpad, you can either click on the Launchpad icon in the Dock, or pinch 5 fingers on the Trackpad as a shortcut. To exit, press the ‘esc’ button.

Mission Control

This gives you a look at all the open Applications on your mac. However, the functionality is not limited to a bird’s eye view of all the open applications. For multitasking, you can have multiple windows and each window can have its own set of open applications. This feature is extremely handy if you connect your Mac to multiple screens.

To open a new window in Mission Control, hover the cursor to the top right corner of the screen and press the ‘+’ button. To remove a window, simply hover the cursor over the window icon on the top center of the screen and press the ‘x’ symbol to close.

OTHER TIPS AND TRICKS

Hide/Unhide a file in Mac

Open terminal (Finder < Applications < Utilities < Terminal) and type the following command to hide a file of folder:

chflags hidden PathOfFileToHide

To unhide the file, type the following command:

chflags nohidden PathOfFileToUnhide

To determine the path, simply drag the file from the location to the terminal.

External Hard Disk Compatibility

If you’ve been using external hard disks on your PC to create backups of all your important data, it is possible that your external hard disk has been formatted as NTFS file storage system.

Why can’t I copy my data from my Mac to the external hard disk?

To check, connect your hard disk, right click anywhere in the blank area just as you would on a PC and from the drop down menu, click ‘Get Info’. Under the general section of the information window, check for the format of your hard disk. If it reads NTFS, you are most likely to only copy from the hard disk to your mac and not vice versa. This is because you only have the permission to read from the hard disk and no write permissions.

To check the Read/Write permissions, open the ‘get info’ window of the external hard disk and scroll down to the ‘Sharing and Permissions’ section. Here you can find out if you have Read/Write permissions. If it says Read only, don’t worry; the Tuxera NTFS has got you covered.

How do I make NTFS format read/write on a Mac?

Download Tuxera NTFS for Mac by clicking here. You may or may not wish to subscribe to Tuxera’s newsletter service. Once downloaded, install the application. All installation packages end with .dmg, similar to PC’s .exe format for executable files.

Once the installation is done, you may need to restart your system. After restarting, Tuxera NTFS icon will be visible in the System Preferences app. Head over to the ‘Get Info’ section of the external hard disk. Under the ‘Sharing and Permissions’ section, you will now see read and write permissions enabled.

Adding multiple files to a folder

This is a neat little trick that I learnt recently. To add multiple files to a new folder, select the files that you wish to move to the new folder. After selecting, press ^ + ⌘ + N i.e. Control + Command + N.
Alternately, you can also select all files to be moved, right click and select ‘New Folder with Selection (number of items)’.

Cut/Copy/Paste in Mac

By now you must have figured out that a Mac’s working is significantly different from a PC and moving files from one destination to another in a Mac is no different.

Fortunately, to copy and paste files, Mac uses the traditional Command (⌘) + C and Command (⌘) + V shortcuts.

To cut a file and move it from one destination to the other, a small trick is involved. Copy the file(s)/folder(s) and you normally would with the Command (⌘) + C shortcut. To paste, press, Command (⌘) + Option/Alt (⌥) + V. This will move the file from one location to the other, aka, cut files from one destination to the other.

Taking Screenshots

To take a screenshot of the entire screen, use the following shortcut:

Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + 3

To take a screenshot of a particular area of the screen, use the following shortcut:

Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + 4

The cursor changes to a crosshair with cursor position information. Drag the area that you want to take a screenshot of and when you’re done selecting the area, screenshot will be taken.

For both the shortcuts, as soon as a screenshot is taken, you will hear a clicking noise similar to the ones found on a smartphone’s camera app. All screenshots are saved on the Desktop.

Alternate Dock Effects

Apart from the Genie and Scale effect to minimize an open window, there one more effect that is hidden which is called the ‘suck effect’. To activate this effect, open Terminal (Applications < Utilities < Terminal). In the terminal, copy paste or write the following line:

defaults write com.apple.dock mineffect –string suck

To activate this effect, you must restart your dock. In order to do so, after writing the above command, hit enter/return and type:

killall dock

Press enter/return. The dock will disappear momentarily and then reappear. You should now have the ‘suck’ effect activatedwhile closing or opening applications from the dock.

You might have noted a genie effect while minimizing or maximizing the screen of a particular application. To see the genie effect in slow motion, press Shift (⇧) while minimizing or maximizing the application’s window.

Switching between open Applications

To switch between open applications in a Mac, the shortcut is similar to a PC, i.e. Command (⌘) + Tab.

Backspace in Mac

Anybody who has been a PC user is definitely used to the backspace key. However, as you might have noticed on an Apple keyboard, there is no backspace key. There is only the delete button which doubles up as the backspace. In order to use the delete button as backspace, use function (Fn) + delete.

Keep in mind; the backspace key has multiple functions in Windows. On a Mac, it is only limited to typing purposes. Backspace has no functionality in the Finder window.

Viewing (scrolling through) multiple photos in Mac

Mac has an inbuilt preview app to view photos. The problem is, the preview app is worst of its kind! While you might want to look at all pictures in a folder at once, this is not possible in the preview app. As an alternate, click one of the photos on the folder and press spacebar. This way, you can scroll through all the photos of that particular folder using the direction keys.

These are just a few of the tricks that I have learnt so far. Having used a Mac device for only 2 weeks, I’m getting the hang of it quite easily. Do you have any tips or tricks to share? Let me know in the comments section!

MOVIE REVIEW – WE’RE THE MILLERS



RATING – 7.1/10

GENRE – Comedy, Crime

DIRECTOR – Rawson Marshall Thurber

Spoiler Alert: Parts of the story may be revealed.

PLOTDavid Clark, played by Jason Sudeikis is a small time drug dealer. Due to one of his neighbor, Kenny (played by Will Poulter), David finds himself in a street fight trying to protect a teenage girl (Casey, portrayed by Emma Roberts) from a group of thugs. Soon enough, the thugs are after David and rob him off his weekly earnings and the remaining pot.

David now owes a lot of money to his boss, Brad Gurdlinger, played by the famous Ed Helms who shot to fame with the Hangover series. Brad wants David to go to Mexico and bring a truck load of Marijuana (literally).

In order to improve his chances of bringing pot to the country from across the border without getting noticed, David hires a broke stripper, Rose, played by Jennifer Aniston as his wife, Kenny as his son and Casey as his daughter. Are they able to do the job or is there a twist in the tale?

REVIEW – Well this movie is definitely a onetime watch. Despite the fact that the movie doesn’t have much going on in the story department, the actors and the director have done a good job at keeping the interest of the viewers.

Jennifer Aniston though old looks hot in the role of a stripper and does complete justice to her role. Jason shows that acting comes naturally to him and he looks perfect for the role of a pot dealer and later on as the man of the house.

FUN FACT – During one of the scenes, the RV in which the Millers are travelling requires to turn on the radio. The crew set up the FM to play the opening credit song (I’ll Be There for You – The Rembrandts) from the hit 90’s sitcom, FRIENDS. This sure brought back a lot of memories for Jennifer Aniston who was a big part of the sitcom.

DISCLAIMER: This review is ONLY a personal opinion about the movie. It is NOT a paid (cash or kind) review of the movie, OR endorsed by any person (living or dead) associated to the movie in any way.

The promotional poster image is a property of its respective owner(s). Image has been used only for illustrative purposes and I do not claim ownership of the content of the image.

MOVIE REVIEW - INSIDE MAN



MOVIE REVIEW – INSIDE MAN

RATING – 7.6/10

GENRE – Drama, Suspense, Crime, Thriller

DIRECTOR – Spike Lee

Spoiler Alert: Parts of the story may be revealed.

PLOT – Dalton Russell played by Clive Owen plans the perfect bank robbery; a robbery in a Manhattan Bank that belongs to Arthur Case, played by Christopher Plummer. As soon as Dalton and his associates enter the bank, they shut the door and take the bank employees and other present in the bank as hostage. Keith Frazier, portrayed by the famous Denzel Washington is sent in to negotiate with the robbers. However, his mind is preoccupied by corruption charges levied against him.

Between all this, the chairman/owner of the bank (Arthur) has something very close to his heart that needs to be protected at all costs. To do so, he ropes in a broker, played by Jodie Foster, who has links with even the mayor of the city. What happens between the robbers, detective and the broker when they enter high stake negotiations? What is of such high value that Arthur is willing to protect at all costs? Does the robbery plan work out perfectly or are the cops/detectives able to spoil their party?

REVIEW – First off, this movie probably has the funniest and most inappropriate credit music! But once you get past the opening credits, the story by first timer Russell Gewirtz is gripping and does a brilliant job at unfolding the plot at the correct time. At no point could you predict what is going to happen next. The movie does complete justice to its genre.

Spike Lee has done a commendable job at capturing the essence of the script and has brought out the best of each and every actor, no matter how small their role is.

My verdict, this movie is a must watch for its brilliant story line that is clever, cunning and keeps tossing surprises every now and then. 

DISCLAIMER: This review is ONLY a personal opinion about the movie. It is NOT a paid (cash or kind) review of the movie, OR endorsed by any person (living or dead) associated to the movie in any way.

The promotional poster image is a property of its respective owner(s). Image has been used only for illustrative purposes and I do not claim ownership of the content of the image.

PLANNING TO BUY AN IPHONE 5S OR 5C IN INDIA? Here’s what you’ll need to do this time around (Launch date and final pricing)

With the India launch of Apple’s most awaited flagship product, iPhone 5S and 5C just round the corner, Apple has decided to spice things up a bit and bring uniformity to the process of how an iPhone is sold.

This time around, you will not be able to go to your local dealer and buy the phone outright. Instead, Apple has decided to follow a pattern that is more common in the west. Apple will hold a special event across the country to sell iPhones on the 1st day.

Here’s what you need to do in case you’re planning to buy an iPhone 5S and 5C on launch day –

1. You’ll need to stand in a line, wait for your turn and pray that you’re one of the lucky ones to get the iPhone of your choice (keeping in mind the colour and storage capacity).

2. In order to be eligible to stand in a queue, you’ll need a token (image below) from an Apple authorized reseller which costs Rs. 5000.

3. Once you get the token, you are now eligible to buy ONE iPhone 5S or 5C. Keep in mind, the 5000 that you paid to the reseller will NOT be adjusted when you purchase your phone.

Yes, you will be entitled to complimentary food and beverage with this token.

4. In order to get your token money back, you’ll need to go back to the reseller and reclaim the token amount from them.

In case you are unlucky to buy a phone on the 1st day, worry not. Resellers should get supply after a few days.

LAUNCH DATE AND PRICING

The iPhone 5S and 5C will be available in India in Apple’s 3rd wave of international launches, i.e. 1st November. The 16 GB base model of the 5S will be priced at Rs. 53,500 while the 5C will be somewhere between Rs. 42000 - Rs. 44000 for the 16 GB model.

Remember to keep that token with you safely. If you misplace the token, you cannot get the token amount refunded. Will you be lining up to buy the latest and greatest from Apple?

TOP 10 GAMES YOU MUST PLAY IN 2013-2014





The latter half of 2013 has been creating quite a buzz in the gaming world. Top game developers have released games that have taken the gaming industry by a storm and have been extremely successful in minting money and breaking all previous records! Others plan to release their games in the coming months and over the next year. With a plethora of games being launched and scheduled to launch soon, which ones are worth killing (literally)? Let’s get right into it!




Call of Duty – Ghosts





TYPE: First Person Shooter (FPS).

This game is the 10th in series for the Call of Duty franchise. Apparently, after a nuclear like strike, USA is no longer a super power. It has left the economy and infrastructure crippled, reducing the country to a vulnerable developing nation. 10 years on, the federation of super powers which includes South American countries invades USA and captures many states. However, Special Forces from each and every part of the country join hands to free themselves from the clutches of the Army Forces of these so called nations with super powers.

The game includes a main character as always but this time around the story also includes an Alsatian (German shepherd) dog as a playable character that comes in handy during stealth based operations. This is quite reminiscent of Will Smith’s I Am Legend.


RELEASE DATE: All over the month of November 2013 for all major platforms.



Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell - Blacklist





TYPE: Third Person Shooter.

Splinter Cell’s iconic character Sam Fischer find himself fighting the enemies of the United States of America. Military base in Guam, where Sam and his old friend Victor Coste are posted is destroyed by a terrorist group that call themselves ‘The Engineers’. However, Sam and a few others are able to escape these attacks. According to this terrorist group, the attack on the military base is the first of many deadly attacks that have been planned and the entire list is called, of course, the ‘Blacklist’.

The president orders them all the people who escaped from the base at Guam to form the ‘Fourth Echelon’ and respond to these threats.

This time around, the game features a new gameplay mechanic by the name of Killing in Motion, where Sam, the main character, can mark a group of targets that he would want to kill. Once marked, Sam moves into action, quickly killing all the marked enemies. Also, if you play this game with the Xbox 360’s Kinect peripheral, you can even make noise by speaking and distracting the enemies and then eventually gun down the targets.


RELEASE DATE: All over the month of August 2013 and 1st week of September 2013 for all major platforms.



GTA V





TYPE: Open world action adventure.

Well, who hasn’t been waiting for this game? One of Rockstar’s most awaited game of the year was launched recently and was received a lot of love which is quite evident from the sale record that the game broke. It was able to earn $800 Million in the first 24 hours after the game was released and a whooping $1 Billion within three days, making it the fastest selling game in the history. Previously, this record was held by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 franchise that managed to hit the $1 Billion mark in two weeks after the game was launched.

The latest GTA features 3 playable characters that go by the name of Michael, Franklin and Trevor. However, protagonists in a GTA are not what gamers care for while playing an open world game like the GTA. All they care is the open world that they can play in. The city, the roads, the traffic, the public, the cars, the shops and the things they can do in a free roam mode. And boy does the GTA V provide all of that and a bit more! This time around, Rockstar has gone berserk with the level of detail that they’ve put into this generation of GTA. The beautiful, jaw-dropping picturesque landscapes is like a perfectly baked cake and the ability to go scuba diving, mountain biking or base jumping is like an icing on that cake.


RELEASE DATE: The Game was launched on 17th September 2013 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and there have been rumors that the PC version of GTA V will be released sometime earlier next year.



Tom Clancy’s The Division





TYPE: Third Person Shooter (Largely Multiplayer).

Ubisoft has again come up with a story line that sounds similar to the Splinter Cell franchise. The story revolves around a disease that was spread supposedly on a ‘Black Friday’ and causes the US government to shut down within 5 days. A Strategic Homeland Division (SHD), also known as ‘The Division’ is employed to save whatever remains from the aftermath of the disease.

The game’s major feature remains multiplayer gaming where groups can team up against each other.


RELEASE DATE: The game will be launched somewhere in the fourth quarter of 2014 and will be available for Windows and the freshly introduced Xbox One and PlayStation 4.



The Last of Us





TYPE: Third Person Shooter.

This is another game that revolves around the theme of a science experiment gone wrong in the United States of America. Joel, the game’s main character is a single father to a twelve year old daughter named Sarah. In the wee hours of his birthday, a fungal pandemic breaks out in USA and starts taking lives. In an effort to escape to safer grounds, Joel loses Sarah.

Twenty years later, the nation is still struggling to cope up with the massive destruction and loss of life. Joel, who now lives with Tess and makes a living by smuggling life saving drugs and weapons and ammunition for safety is caught in a sticky situation when they find a 14 year old girl named Ellie who is immune to the harmful radiation must be ‘smuggled’ to a research centre where doctors can conduct tests to study her immunity pattern and on that basis, create immunization drugs.

The game is set across various seasons (winter, summer, spring and autumn) and each season has been beautifully crafted. Detailing is immaculate and gives a deep insight into how one can survive on basic necessities in difficult situations.

Sales figures speak volumes of how well the game has been received by the gaming community. The plethora of awards that the game has won in such a short span only adds to the case as to why one must play this game.


RELEASE DATE: The game was released worldwide on 14 June, 2013 with an exception being Japan where the game was released almost a week later, i.e. on 20 June, 2013.



Murdered: Soul Suspect





TYPE: Third Person Action Adventure/Super Natural Detective Thriller.

This by far has been the most interesting story that a game can ever have. Murdered: Soul suspect is a detective investigating his own death. Sounds weird yet interesting at the same time, doesn’t it? The game creators kill the lead character of the game, detective Ronan O’Connor within the first five minutes of the game. However, he rises from the ashes like a phoenix to investigate the story behind his killing. He has no interaction with the real world but as a ghost, he does possess a lot of super natural powers that can be used to fight demons along the way and gather information.

The game draws similarity from Rockstar’s detective thriller LA Noire that featured Ryan Gosling as the game’s main protagonist, but that is where the similarity ends. The game is creative director Yosuke Shiokawa take on Bruce Willis’s Die Hard and the whole team at Airtight Games has done a brilliant job of making his vision a reality.


RELEASE DATE: The game is rumored to launch somewhere in early 2014 for all major platforms.



Ryse: The Son of Rome





TYPE: Third Person Action Adventure.

Ryse takes us back in time to the Roman era and a gladiator type setting where we, the game’s main character that goes by the name of Marcus Titus, is a Roman infantry’s commander. Since a child, Marcus has only dreamt of being a chief of the Roman Army. The tagline of the game describes the story as, ‘an epic tale of revenge spanning an entire lifetime’.

The game features over 100 assassination moves and a superior level of difficulty with each passing mission. The graphics from the trailers suggest that a lot they have been given a lot of attention and the smallest of details have been taken care of. While the story is not based on any real events, developers have tried to draw a lot of inspiration from actual Roman war era.

The only downside to this game is that since this game is published by Microsoft Studios, it will be an Xbox One exclusive and game play will be enhanced by adding Kinect support.


RELEASE DATE: The Game is scheduled to launch on 22 November, 2013 on Xbox One only.



Assassin’s creed 4: Black Flag





TYPE: Third Person Action Adventure.

This game has carved out a great niche for itself over the years. The latest version of the game offers a perfect intake into the life of a pirate. You roam around the Caribbean islands (Havana, Kingston, Nissau and Bahamas to be precise) exploring and looting goods.

The developers have promised a 60:40 ratio or Land to Sea exploration. The trailers and gameplay videos suggest beautiful landscapes and beaches and ‘unique’ places to explore. The action sequences during fights are a treat to play and the developers, Ubisoft have done a brilliant job of bringing realism to the game.

As for the new features, players will now be able to captain a ship named Jackdaw that will transport the player and his battalion from one place to another. The Jackdaw will be upgradable throughout the game and can be easily accessed whenever required. As a captain of a ship, it is only fair to monitor threats and this time around, you are also given a spyglass to keep an eye on distant enemy pirate ships. Apart from these new features, you can also hunt sea animals for food and even get tipsy when you drink a lot while merry making.


RELEASE DATE: The game is scheduled to launch in the last week of October starting with Wii U, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and all over the month of November on all other major platforms.



Watch Dogs





TYPE: Third Person Shooter

This is probably the most anticipated game of the year. And why shouldn’t it be? It’s backed by a brilliant story line that is exciting and makes you want to be in Aiden Pearce, the game’s lead character.

Ubisoft has been busy churning out some the most scintillating games this year around. I wrote about Watch Dogs earlier this year as it seemed to be the most exciting game for 2013. So far it has lived up to the reputation as the release date closes in.

Watch Dogs is all about how technology is a boon and a bane at the same time. Aiden engages in data warfare and hacks into the city’s central operating system (ctOS) that is linked to each and every resident of the city and contains all their personal information. Using this, Aiden can hack into their lives if need be and solve the objectives.

Examples of advantages of hacking into ctOS include transferring funds, jamming radio signals, tracking movements of people far away by hacking public cameras, blocking traffic by engaging roadblocks or even tweaking traffic signals to create pileups. Bottom line being, while technology makes our work easier, it makes each and every person’s life so vulnerable.

The plot is so good, Ubisoft has even considered making a movie based on the game that will see Ubisoft collaborating with Columbia Pictures and New Regency for production of the game while Sony and Fox Studios will handle distribution in US and Worldwide respectively.


RELEASE DATE: The game will be releasing all over the month of November, 2013 and will be available on all major platforms.



NFS: Rivals




TYPE: Racing

Who is not familiar with the NFS franchise? But that seems to be the problem this time around. Electronic arts announced Rivals that seems to be draw similarity from their 2010 game, NFS: Hot Pursuit. However, that is no reason not to play the latest version of the Need for Speed franchise. It still has a lot to offer and the most exciting being the return of Ferrari after 11 long years.

As for the game, you can play as the bad guy and a cop engaging in high speed chases. Both modes of the game (as a racer and a cop) have their own set of challenges, risks and rewards and this is precisely what the entire game revolves around. There are 11 gadgets that you can upgrade in a car that range from EMPs, Shockwaves and the ability to call in a roadblock. The game features a whole new level of weather dynamics that give you sense of reality and makes the environment more alive.


RELEASE DATE: Rivals releases on all major platforms all over the month of November, 2013.

There are a lot of games that I wish I could include in this list but unfortunately they don’t excite me enough. I just want to buy these games and play them all day long till my hands tire or my consoles burn!

What games are you looking forward to playing this year and the next? Let me know in the comments section if you would like to add any game to this list or any must have game that I might have missed.