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Latest iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad App Reviews:

Final Fantasy Record Keeper Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 27th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SOME OF THE BRAVEST
It’s not exactly the ultimate all-star gathering we might’ve hoped for, but Final Fantasy Record Keeper is a decent nostalgia trip.

Ticklefluff Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 27th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: CUTE FLUFF
Ticklefluff is a Bop-It style game with a cute main character.


ThinkRolls 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Amy Solomon on March 27th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: MASTERFUL SEQUEL
ThinkRolls 2 delivers more elements to use at tools as one explores this marvelous physics-based app.

Adventures of Poco Eco Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 27th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ENTICING
It might not challenge you, but Adventures of Poco Eco will delight you.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends First Words Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Amy Solomon on March 26th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: DIGITAL POP-UP
The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends First Words is an app with a lot of polish as well as content.

Imps in Tokyo Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on March 26th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: IMP-RESSIVELY STYLISH
Imps in Tokyo is a cool and stylish little game that's capable of winning over just about anyone who isn't completely opposed to line-drawing mechanics.


SwapQuest Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on March 26th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: SWAP IT UP
This puzzle RPG nails its mechanics without any real issues, and does a great job of mixing up the action to keep players on their toes.

Compass Point: West Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 26th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: IT’S A WEST WORLD
Compass Point: West is a neat, western take on town building and defense.


Hands-On With Allstar Heroes - A Promising Casual RPG

Posted by Jennifer Allen on March 27th, 2015

Let’s get this out of the way quickly. Allstar Heroes looks a lot like a certain other recent action RPG release, but it turns out that while it’s not yet available here, Allstar Heroes has been around for much longer than that other title. Now that copyright row is out of the way, I can say that Allstar Heroes seems pretty fun.

It’s not out here yet, with a release date being vaguely hinted at sometime next month, but it’s shaping up to be a fairly solid release.

You gather a team of fighters, then go from stage to stage taking out the enemies in your wake. It’s a simple take on an RPG really, as it can be fairly hands-off if you want. Combat is conducted automatically with you able to cast special attacks as and when the power bar builds up. There’s a campaign mode as well as PvP options, giving you plenty to do.

The fun, as always with these kind of games, stems from developing your team. You can do a lot in terms of helping your team level-up, with equipment playing a valuable role in helping your party out. Fill all the equipment slots on one character and these can be combined to make the character more powerful, starting back at the beginning equipment wise but with a considerable stats boost.

And that’s where Allstar Heroes should keep you interested. Evolving your characters and watching as they steadily develop is always a satisfying thing to see. While it would have been good to be able to manipulate the characters more in battle, it’s the kind of lightweight RPG experience that lends itself well to mobile gaming. You can get a lot done in the space of a few minutes, with the only restriction being having an internet connection available to you.

Given its lengthy release in China (it was released there in February, 2014), Allstar Heroes'US release can't be far off. I’ve got a good feeling that it’s going to be a pretty fun timesink when it does come out. We’ll be sure to keep you in the know.

Macho Man and Steve Austin Join the Ranks of the WWE Immortals

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 27th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: BOOM! :: Read Review »

WWE Immortals, by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and WWE, has gotten a superstar update. You'll now have access to Macho Man Randy Savage and Steve Austin. Both characters have two different versions: Macho Man Randy Savage Renegade or Macho King, and Stone Cold Steve Austin Icebound Watcher or Texas Rattlesnake.

The update also adds a new events system that will start with a series of WrestleMania 31 in-game events. You'll be able to battle for the top slot on the leaderboard from from now until April 2 and possibly win exclusive WrestleMania 31 Four-Star Gear, or exclusive WrestleMania 31 Two-Star "Ticket" Gear.

You can download WWE Immortals for free on the App Store now.

Fearless Fantasy is Fantastic for the iFone (it was worth a shot)

Posted by Rob Rich on March 27th, 2015

I actually had my first look at Fearless Fantasy last year at E3, but it was on a PC so there wasn't much for me to talk about. But now that I've been able to play with a pre-release version of the iOS build, there's quite a bit for me to talk about.

The story so far has been every bit as weird and it seems on the surface, thanks almost entirely to the oddball characters. What's impressive is that it all works. It's not just silly for the sake of silliness. Okay, well, it might be but it's actually pretty funny, and not in a "so awful it's good" sort of way, either.

The incredibly weird visuals struck me as a little off-putting at first, but once I got to see everything in motion it became very endearing. A lot of these enemies behave in extremely strage ways that you might not expect, and many of the combat animations are a combination of cool and surreal.

Combat mechanics and overall sructure are what really make Fearless Fantasy stand out on iOS, though. The story is broken up into several individuals levels, which are themselves made up of a set number of encounters. These encounters can be played (and replayed) on one of three different difficulties, and as you'd expect the rewards go up as the challenge increases. It's not just that enemies absorb and deal more damage, though - as you move from Casual through Normal and eventually on to Veteran the combat itself will get harder, with more complicated inputs required for both attacking and defending.

But oh, the combat. It's easily my favorite part of Fearless Fantasy so far and almost as easily my favorite approach to combat out of any iOS RPG I've played. When an enemy attacks, you'll have to perform a sort of mini-game where you'll be tapping on circles as the rings surrounding them close in or swiping through arrows in a specific pattern. The thing is, the harder the difficulty the more mobile these symbols are - to the point where you'll need to start familirizing yourself with the types of attacks most enemies like to use if you want to avoid failing to block.

Attacking works much the same way as defending, only if you mess up you deal less (or no) damage. What's great is that as each of the three characters gains more powerful abilities, they'll be able to string together longer chains of attacks for even greater potential damage. It also means that the mini-games get more complex, creating a cool synergy between a character's actions on-screen and your actions... on-screen. Whatever, it works really well and it's cool.

Fearless Fantasy hasn't graced the App Store with its presence yet, but you can be certain we'll let you know when it does. This is definitely a mobile RPG to keep an eye on.

WWE WrestleMania Tags into the App Store

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 26th, 2015
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Are You ready to rumble? The official WWE WrestleMania app, by World Wrestling Entertainment, is now available. Now you can get all your WrestleMania info in one place before anyone else. The app offers details on superstar signings, interactive venue maps,event schedules, WrestleMania Superstore hours, stadium information, and more. You can also watch the latest video highlights from WrestleMania.

You can download WWE WrestleMania for free on the App Store.

Bio Inc's New Expansion is Infecting the App Store

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 26th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Bio Inc., by DryGin Studios, is the real time strategy game where you infect a human body with the worst virus your evil brain can design. Recently, the game was updated to add a whole lot of new features. Now you can play the new “Lethal” difficulty, which chakllenges even hardcore players. If you aren't quite there yet you can still enjoy the “Specialized M.D” section with its 6 new stages.

DryGin has also added 25 new boosters such as Economics, Diseases, Risk Factors, Recovery, and Environmental. You'll be able to buy these boosters with Bio Coins that you earn by playing the game. And if you manage to beat all the levels you'll be in for a benevolant treat - you can change your dark hearted ways and try to save John Smith on the last stage. This time an AI is infecting the poor sod and it is your job to try to stop it. Can you heal him in time?

Bio Inc. has a bunch of other features added in this new expansion. You can download it now for free to experience them all.

The Monocular Minion is Here! Despicable Me: Minion Rush Gets the Carl Update

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 26th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: MOVIE MAGIC :: Read Review »

Despicable Me: Minion Rush, by Gameloft, is introducing a new runner to the mix in their latest update. Now you can play as Carl, the prankster minion. Carl has a few new abilities to play with, includingrunning at a higher speed from the start. Gameloft has also added Eduardo's House as a new area. You'll be able to race through the infamousEl Macho's home and find secret areas.

Carl is also all ready for April Fool's Day. You'll need to collect Chili Peppers, Piñatas, and Fireworks to play pranks on the Minions, get awards, unlock funny gags, and progress the story!

You can download Despicable Me: Minion Rush for free on the App Store.

Compass Point: West - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Staking a Claim on the Frontier

Posted by Rob Rich on March 26th, 2015

[Wondering if it's worth dramatically pushing the swinging doors open on this saloon? Check out our review]

You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you if you want to turn your little patch of dirt into a bonafide frontier town, and Orville Driller and his cronies aren’t exactly rolling out the welcome mat. But don’t worry, even the toughest hombres need help every now and then (okay I’m done with the old west jokes, I swear).




Getting Started

  • Be mindful of Gold and Goods limits - Starting out, you’ll only be able to hold a maximum of 2,000 of either resource. It sounds like a lot, but it’ll fill up quickly. Try not to let your earnings go to waste.
  • If you’re about to exceed the limit, spend it - Successful attacks on Orville’s occupied territories will always yield Gold and Goods, so if you’re really close to the maximum you should try to spend some of either (or both) before continuing on. Build or upgrade stuff if you can, but if that’s not an option you can also clear out trees and rocks.
  • Watch videos when able - There’s a covered wagon with a film strip icon over it that sometimes appears on the road. Tap it and you’ll be prompted to watch a video. You definitely want to watch, as once you’re finished you’ll be able to pick a random card from a group of four. These can include diamonds (used to speed things up), sidekicks, workers, or even piles of resources.
  • Use Jakob Ammann to keep things moving - The basic version of his card will take up to 15 minutes off of one upgrade, which is great for when you’re starting out and things don’t take hours to finish.
  • Use William Wealth when you need a cash boost - The basic form of William nets you 500 Gold, so use it if you’re a little short. Make sure you remember that resource limit, though!

The seriously addictive Trivia Crack is headed to Apple Watch

Posted by Simon Reed on March 26th, 2015

Etermax has announced that Trivia Crack will be playable from your wrist just as soon as the Apple Watch launches.

In fact, Apple itself requested that Etermax bring its popular quiz app to the Apple Watch after being impressed by its performance in the App Store charts.

Trivia Crack is minimalist by design, which makes it a perfect fit for the App Store’s cozy screen size.

You’ll still be competing with a friend or stranger in one of the six categories of science, entertainment, art, geography, sports and history, to see who has the most trivia knowledge stored inside their head.

A question will pop up on your watch along with a series of answers. It’s up to you to select the right one, then it’s your opponent's turn.

This back and forth continues until the round ends and the player with the most correct answers wins, adding the character associated with that category to their collection.

Yes, Trivia Crack will be fully playable from your Apple Watch so from now on you can leave your iPhone in your pocket where it belongs.

Over 140 million players have downloaded Trivia Crack since launch, and the app currently holds the top spot in the App Store charts in 25 different countries, including Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands.

You can play right now for free by heading on over to the App Store [download], Google Play [download], Windows Phone Store [download], and the Amazon App Store [download].

Snail Games has officially launched Taichi Panda on iOS and Android

Posted by Simon Reed on March 26th, 2015

Taichi Panda has officially launched on iOS and Android today with an expansion, the Teumessian Update.

Featured in the update is Taichi Panda’s first magic class, Teumessa, the fox mage, who will appeal to those who like fighting from a distance.

The new location, the city of Atlantis, offers higher levelled players the chance to continue the story with three new chapters. The level cap has also been raised so you can continue your progression.

An outfit system has been implemented that allows you to equip new costumes on your characters, changing their visual appearance and increasing their stats.

PvP battlers can now participate in three new modes - Seabed Scramble, a 3v3 domination-style battlefield, Decathlon, an increasingly challenging ten round face-off against opposing challengers for prizes, and Guild Wars, a guild versus guild mode.

The Teumessian update also features a ton of new pets, gear, and systems.

Best described as a dungeon crawling action RPG, Taichi Panda features fast-paced combat, four upgradeable characters, different co-op and PvP modes, and a 12 chapters of single player story.

Taichi Panda has been in soft launch since January but has finally been released in most regions today, along with the Teumessian Update.

It is available now from the App Store [download] and Google Play [download] for free.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.

Kids Can Mix, Match, and Catch with Tatadada MixMatch

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 25th, 2015
iPad App - Designed for iPad only

Tatadada MixMatch, by Tatadada Ltd, is a mobile version of the classic game ofmix & match. The game uses brightly colored creatures to train your children'spattern matching skills and hand-eye coordination.

It's aimed at children around age 5 and uses simple swipe controls to make it easy for them to play. They'll be able to select and combine pieces to find solutions, or create their own creatures.

Tatadada MixMatch is available on the App Store for $3.99.

Stormblades - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies to Slice & Dice Your Way to Victory

Posted by Jennifer Allen on March 25th, 2015

[Not sure if Stormblades is for you? Check out our review]

So, you’ve downloaded Stormblades and you want some tips on how to be the best warrior out there. Never fear, for we’ve got you covered.


General Tips

  • Timing and rhythm is everything when it comes to earning the most points in this game. Practice is the best way to learn timing.
  • Conversely, if you just want to progress and work your way through the levels, slash like crazy at everything. This is a particularly good tactic early on, so you can unlock the second sword quickly.
  • Once you’ve unlocked that new sword, it’s the ideal time to learn to anticipate so you can parry blows. You do this by swiping in the opposite direction of the attack coming at you.
  • Remember to go nuts when the enemy is vulnerable. It’s the ideal time to inflict a ton of damage.
  • Learn your enemy’s attack patterns. They’re fairly clear to see and simple to fight against.
  • Double tap to dodge a charged attack. These hurt, otherwise!

RakEM is a New Private Messaging App That Wants to Save You From Text-Regret

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 25th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

RakEM, byRaketu Communication, is amobile messaging app that allows users to hold instant messaging conversations privatly while knowing their information is not being stored by a company.RakEM uses server-less, device-to-device direct technology and "self-mutating encryption algorithms" to protect your texts. The app also allows you to erase texts that you have sent. This can be a big deal for people who text while angry (or otherwise impared). Not only do the texts get erased from your phone, but from the recipient's as well.

"Other messaging apps have promised security, but we've all read the stories about images and messages that have been unwittingly exposed," said Greg Parker, president and CEO of Raketu, in a press release. "With security breaches making headlines almost daily, people want assurance that their communications are private and protected. And that, should they have second thoughts about something they sent, they can delete with confidence from devices. Raketu's technology makes this possible."

You can downloadRakEMon the App Store for free to start texting without worry.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends Helps Kids Learn Their First Words

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 25th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: DIGITAL POP-UP :: Read Review »

The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends First Words byStoryToys Entertainment is a visualdictionary for pre-schoolers based on the popular books by Eric Carle.

The app acts like a 3D pop-up book with over80 words to learn in English,French, German, or Spanish. The book also features a quiz at the end to let kids see how well they learned thier new words.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends First Wordsis available now for$2.99.

2K is Celebrating Spring With Some Pretty Big Discounts on Some Even Bigger Games

Posted by Rob Rich on March 25th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BELLATOR IN MACHINA :: Read Review »

Today might not be the first day of spring - although you would think it's still the middle of winter with the snow we've been getting in NYC - but 2K is still celebrating the changing of the seasons with a pretty impressive sale.

There aren't all that many price drops to go around, but I think the quality makes up for the lack in quantity. Or just XCOM. Just XCOM being on sale is enoguh. The rest is gravy.

Here's what you can get, and for how much:

Does anything on that list tickle your fancy? Personally I'd jump on XCOM if I didn't already own it (like three times over).

This Week at 148Apps: March 16-20, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on March 24th, 2015

Spring Roars In At 148Apps

How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we've been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.


Take It Easy

The single player side of the game is divided into a few different modes - each with a different challenge in mind. For the most part, your goal is to gain as many points as possible. Each board consists of a series of hexagonal shapes and you have to place down tiles to create lines and rows of numbers. Each tile looks a little like a small pipe layout and the most points are gained for combining these to good effect.Classic mode simply requires you to gain as many points as possible, with satisfaction gleaned from a job well done. Puzzle mode has a bit more going for it than that, requiring you to meet a particular score in order to progress to the next level. Obstacles can get in your way, such as locked tiles that can’t be moved, but you can also be aided by wild card tiles, too.--Jennifer Allen


Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager

The nearest that pretty much any of us are going to get to exploring space is through a game. Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager takes a different route to the usual space based games, concentrating on the management efforts on Earth in order to make it possible. And thanks to some overly-wordy tutorial screens it’ll seem more more complicated than it actually is. Once you’ve cracked the surface though, you’ll soon see that Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager is a game focused squarely on Resource Management rather than anything more lofty. One of those key resources is the value of time. Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager is broken up into various seasons. Each task, such as building a new unit or working towards improving upon a rocket design takes a number of season to complete. A lot of the time, you’re going to be assigning tasks before hitting the ‘end season’ button and waiting for a report back to see how well it all went. --Jennifer Allen


Real Steel Champions

The first Real Steel game was a surprising hit, so what’s less surprising is that there’s a sequel - Real Steel Champions. It’s a very simple fighting game that’s mostly a cover for a plentiful supply of freemium elements, but it’s not without some merit. In a structure not unlike games such as CSR Racing, you’re following a series of levels in order to unlock new stuff and generally profit. Each level is a fight between you and another robot. You control your robot through movement buttons and a few action buttons, allowing you to inflict heavy, light, and special attacks. You can interact more so with those special attacks, by hammering a finger to the screen. Don’t expect too much depth though, Real Steel Champions is a game more about levelling up your stats than actual fighting skills. --Jennifer Allen


The Hero of Kendrickstone

The Hero of Kendrickstone is a particularly meaty adventure game book app, and one that is asking for multiple replays. Weighing in at an impressive 240,000 words, it isn’t a title to skim through. That alone means that it’s easily worth its $2.99 asking price.You play a young hero, as they find their way in the world, gain employment from various dubious sources, and discover the world. There’s a main plot line involving you rescuing the city of Kendrickstone, but it’s not the only thing you can achieve here. Instead, you feel like an adventurer with plenty of options at hand. Such freedom is refreshing. --Jennifer Allen


David Wiesner's Spot

Few apps transcend age barriers as David Wiesner’s Spot does - a picture book without words and a wonderful piece of artwork developed for the iPad for children and their adults, young and old alike. Many readers will know the work of David Wiesner, a three-time Caldecott winner known for his fantastical wordless picture books that I greatly admire. Here, David Wiesner’s Spot is also reminiscent of the Zoom books by Istvan Banyai - books that begin with a close-up of a detail and with the turn of each page the image one sees becomes zoomed back to show a bigger picture.Here, one begins the journey of Spot with the ability to enlarge the image of a ladybug large enough to look inside its center spot, bringing you into a world where one can zoom the pages closer and closer with the use of a fingertip, diving into the brilliantly detailed worlds of five distinctly different stories. --Amy Solomon


Other 148Apps Network Sites

If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:


AndroidRundown


Sony Xperia Z3v

For Android smartphone aficionados, every OEM has something about it. We do associate things to different OEMs — some good, some bad. Personally, I love being able to see unbranded hardware and more or less guess who makes it based on some design cues. Since Android is blessed wit device makers that have backgrounds in varied consumer electronics ventures, it’s interesting to see how their Android smartphones extend the brand.Sony definitely has a rep in consumer electronics, and its Xperia line is the embodiment of that reputation in te personal computing space. Specifically with the Sony Xperia Z3v, one of its latest devices, Sony shows us how even the sleek can get, well, even sleeker. --Tre Lawrence


Goats on a Bridge

So what happened to the billy goats after the fable? That’s the story Goats on a Bridge tries to tell.Goats on a Bridge is a new game that re-imagines Three Billy Goats Gruff in the essence of a platform puzzle and race game.The idea is fairly easy, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t start off by mentioning how it looks. It packs a vivid visual punch, with bright colors that are seemingly made to underscore the gameplay. The animations are not too complex, and invoke a playful air. --Tre Lawrence

Finally, we have Nintendo doing the unthinkable, a cool new SHMUP, and a rubbish looking movie. It's all kicking off on AppSpy.