Run, hop and fight the darkness in Astra, a gorgeous platformer

The controls in Astra are simple, intuitive, and clearly designed for touch screens. Since Hemera moves forward automatically, it’s up to you to help her avoid obstacles and defeat enemies that cross her path. One tap on the screen will make her jump, which means avoiding spikes and enemies (or you can jump on top of them to kill them). If you do a double-tap, Hemera is able to jump higher, which may lead to landing on another nearby planet due to the gravitational pull. While she can’t just float endlessly (gravity works wonders), if Hemera touches a creature or hazard, she will lose a heart. Once all of them are gone, then it is game over and you’ll have to try again. While it’s not too hard overall, it does take a bit of time to get used to, since Hemera changes direction after hitting something.


Astra, like other platformer games, is based on levels. Here, you will find a world map that will reveal stages as you manage to clear the previous one. The goal in each is to help guide Hemera through the darkness by getting her from the starting gate to the end point, which is another gate similar to where you started out from. However, the journey there is treacherous, as there are hungry wolves and other creatures, as well as dangerous hazards and traps to watch out for. Each level is timed as well, so the faster you’re able to collect the daylight and get to the end, the better. Completing a stage quicker and getting all of the sunlight rays means a higher score, so you rank higher on the Game Center leaderboards.


The visual style in Astra is stunningly gorgeous and fairly unique. In fact, from a distance, it reminds me a bit of paper mache, though it is much more neat and clean. The colors used are vibrant and rich, especially since it contrasts so well with the darkness of the space background. While it looks a bit simple, I love how much detail the developer has packed into this gem, especially when it comes to the textures of the planets and the decor itself. Animations in Astra are smooth and fluid, and the game has a relaxing, tranquil soundtrack that is just a delight to hear. The developer has done a wonderful job with Astra when it comes to the visual and audible design.


It seems that these days most of my gaming is done on my , but that’s perfectly all right with me. I always have it with me and turn to it to keep myself entertained and busy throughout the day. While the mobile platform is great for puzzle games, sometimes I just feel like relaxing with a fun platformer adventure, especially when there are unique physics involved. With Astra, I get all of that in a simple package.


Astrå ($2.99) by Pablo Molina Garcia is a space-themed physics platformer that tells the story of Hemera, the goddess of daylight. If you liked games like Astronut, Space Chicks, and Beyond Gravity, then you will get a kick out of Astra.

The Best Time Management iPhone and

Time management is a challenge for just about everybody, no matter who they are or what they do. Even people who take pride in managing their lives like clockwork can be tardy, tend to forget goals and have issues with putting things off. There are numerous different reasons this is true. The biggest reason for it is that, because of tablets and smart phones, we’ve got so many different distractions at our fingertips that are just begging for our attentions each day. In this article we’ll tell you how to use that iphone or iPad as a time management device as opposed to as a time management wrecking ball.

Download Instapaper. Instapaper is a program which can be used on your iPhone, your iPad and even on your desktop. It’s a “read later” application that could save you a lot of time. How often during the day do you run into a useful article or site that you truly want to explore but do not have the time to dedicate to it? How often have you thrown off your whole schedule by reading or taking a look at it anyway because you knew you will not remember it later on? Instapaper integrates with Twitter and other programs to enable you to save all of those links so that you can read it later. The hyperlinks are all saved to one central account. This means that you are able to use any device you want (smartphone, tablet, computer) to catch up and look through them in case you have the time.

Wunderlist is among the better apps. It is a basic to-do list software but it’s not slowed down by lots of complex interfaces or graphics. Each day you can sit down with this software and enter all of the things that you have to do that day. It’s absolutely free. Along with being user friendly, it is easy to sync with numerous devices. All you need to do is train yourself to check this app as often as you check your email and you will see just how simple it is to stay on task.

Everynote is actually handy. It gives you a common location through which you could manage your random thoughts, your downloads, your pictures, your emails and more. It’s not just syncable between devices (like your desktop computer) you can incorporate it with your other programs (like Wunderlist) as well. The major disadvantage is that this software costs money. It’s possible to pay $5 per month for a monthly subscription or you can spend $45 and invest in a year’s worth of service.

Agenda is the must have calendar program. This is true for plenty of reasons but the biggest is that it syncs with both iCalendar (the calendar software many Macs, iphones and iPads use) and Google calendar. This makes managing your calendar a lot easier in case you are an individual with a PC and an iPhone as you just type in your information into one place and then you can access it on any device you want. Plus, it really is pretty.

The assortment of time management programs available for downloading is huge. These are the best of them but a bit of research will generate plenty of others.

Edwin Basko

The Apple Mac Specialist and author