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Tech review: Video games, apps that morphed into movies 

Although it fell flat at the box office,

Although it fell flat at the box office, "Super Mario Bros." is considered the first movie based on a video game. Photo Credit: Newsday/Nintendo

Among the best picture nominees at Sunday’s Academy Awards are movies based on books (“BlacKkKlansman,” “If Beale Street Could Talk”); comic books (“Black Panther”); and other movies (“A Star Is Born”). Video games have also been a source for movies. These apps started as games that ultimately spawned movies — although none were Oscar-worthy.

Super Mario Run

(iOS, Android; free)

The 1993 film “Super Mario Bros.” is considered the first movie based on a video game, although it was a dud with critics and at the box office. But Mario, who first appeared in Nintendo’s Donkey Kong in 1981, still has legs, as Super Mario Run shows. The game was one of the most popular apps of 2017, and remains in the Top 40 on the action game charts today.

Assassin’s Creed Rebellion

(iOS, Android; free)

The Assassin’s Creed franchise began as a video game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2007, and the movie of the same name was released in 2016. The Assassin’s Creed Rebellion mobile game features characters from the video game and the movie, and this role-playing strategy game has a plotline that is deeper and more interesting than the movie.  

Lara Croft: Relic Run

(iOS, Android; free)

Lara Croft made her first appearance in the wildly popular Tomb Raider video game in 1996, and her cinematic exploits made her a natural for a Hollywood film. In fact, there have been two "Tomb Raider" films: 2003 and the 2018 reboot. It took a while to get a decent mobile version, but the recently updated Lara Croft: Relic Run features excellent graphics and is true to the spirit of the original game.

Angry Birds Classic

(iOS, Android; free)

While console and PC video games have been a source for Hollywood for decades, 2016’s “The Angry Birds Movie” was the first film based on a mobile game — a clear indication where gaming is headed. There have been numerous Angry Birds sequels, but the 2009 original, now called Angry Birds Classic, remains a benchmark for clever gameplay.

Spirits move them

For college students, binge drinking is often accompanied by binge posting. A study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that young adults ages 18–25 often used “social media and alcohol concurrently, even while intoxicated.” Snapchat was the most popular venue for drinking and posting, and an increase in drinking by others sometimes followed these “glamorized alcohol images.”

— PETER KING

Hot and spicy

McCormick is turning to a hot technology to spice up its food product development. The 130-year-old spice maker says artificial intelligence technology, which will be provided by IBM, will help it “learn and predict new flavor combinations” by crunching data consisting of hundreds of millions of consumer likes and dislikes. McCormick says its first AI-enabled products will be Recipe Mix flavors for chicken, pork and sausage.

— PETER KING
 

Apple and Netflix?

Apple has about $130 billion in cash, and JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee has an idea where the tech giant might spend it. Chatterjee said Netflix, video game developer Activision Blizzard Inc. and consumer electronics maker Sonos would be strong strategic fits. Chatterjee noted ,the prospect of such deals was speculative but they would insulate Apple “against often-seen disruptions in the technology landscape.”

— BLOOMBERG NEWS

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