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Arron Hirst

with the 148Apps Network since March 26, 2009

Hey, I'm Arron. I'm a 23 year old freelance writer and graphic designer from Cheshire, UK who is very much tuned into the app space. Straight out of college I founded RazorianFly - a web-based publication aimed at providing its readers with the latest from Apple, and the technology industry. The publication now attracts 80-100K unique readers per month, generating over 100K page views per month. When I'm asked for a review, I ultimately look for the design, presentation and clarity that product offers (or could offer) to its intended audience. If it doesn't cut it - I'll tell you straight.

Arron is not currently writing for the 148Apps Network.
Personal site :: http://www.razorianfly.com

Sure .. we’ve seen rally-type games before, but what you probably haven’t seen is one that just looks this good. Below is the first teaser trailer from Pixelbite Games of their debut App Store application, Deliverace. Imagine a classic top-down racing game like Neo Drift Out .. and then times it by ten!

I have to say, if this teaser video does depict anywhere close to what we can expect from Deliverace’s actual gameplay quality, I’m pretty excited. I think this one could be a pretty big hit.

With no word on pricing yet, it’s hard to tell just how much of a hit this will be on its debut. But, with 3D graphics like the above .. I think we’re in for quite a visual treat. According to the studio Deliverace is set to hit our iPhone screens ‘Early 2010′ – and considering its the start of March already, I can’t see the release being too far away, can you?

Fox Vs. Duck

Fox Vs. Duck

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Fox Vs. Duck is a race of survival. Very much centered around the notions of life and death, the game portrays these natural events in a highly minimalistic way. With its addicting gameplay and a very unique art style, Fox Vs. Duck is definitely worth your time. Or is it?

Read The Full Review »

Tilt to Live

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Tilt to Live is a fast paced tilt-based action title in which the overall aim, is to try and stay alive for the longest amount of time possible. Stunning visuals, tight integration of leader boards via AGON Online and 27 awards to collect throughout makes Tilt to Live a winner

Read The Full Review »

rehearsal

Are you in performing arts? All those scripts for all those different individual scenes can get messy and hard to keep organized, right? Today, we got a tip off from from one such developer Rip Tide Games, who over the last few months have been working with a bunch of big Hollywood names, including Heroes actor and long-standing techie David H Lawrence XVII, on developing an application to solve the problem of managing and rehearsing scripts for theatrical and film production.

Released yesterday, Rehearsal allows users to import industry standard script files, in both Microsoft Word and .PDF formats, and then treat them just as they would on their PC or Mac. Once you have a script open you can manipulate it, highlight it and completely block out lines which aren’t in your current part. As well as this, the app offers options to add comments, photos and audio clips to your script, meaning you can get your scene just right. Once you think you’ve got the hang of it, the app allows you to record the part, and allow you to play it back to yourself, while the script scrolls automatically for you.

Continue reading Rehearsal – The App For Learning Your Lines »

pvz_logo_stacked_rgb

We all love PopCap Games and their latest critically claimed tower defense game Plants vs. Zombies. You may remember that we reviewed the game recently, and we knew it was going to be popular. Exactly how popular in as far as sales though remained a mystery … until today. The company has announced that within the first 9 days of the game being available on the App Store, Plants vs. Zombies saw a staggering 300,000 downloads, placing the title right up there with Bejeweled® 2, another of PopCap’s well-loved smash hit iPhone games.

What’s even more staggering though, is the amount the company have managed to gross from the iPhone flavor of the game. In an official press release issued today, the company announced Plants vs Zombies for iPhone (and iPod touch) had already grossed above 1 Million US dollars. Alongside this announcement, PopCap was also quick to reveal that its flagship product Bejeweled® 2, adored by Facebook users and iPhone lovers across the world, is officially now the first ever paid application to have reached 3 Million unit downloads on the App Store.

It also notes that despite huge success of its other App Store titles, this hasn’t affected sales of its other apps, stating Bookworm™ and Chuzzle™ two other PopCap branded titles, consistently remaining in the top 100 paid applications on the store.

Time to open that champers PopCap, eh?

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-02-15 :: Category: Games

Dizzypad

Dizzypad

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Continuing Nimblebit's strong track record, Dizzypad is a one-tap platformer. Described by many as "Koi Pond meets Doodle Jump", this game requires a huge amount of timing and skill as you make that all important leap from floating lily pad to floating lily pad.

Read The Full Review »

Just days after purging the App Store of all applications which contained ‘sexual content,’ Cult of Mac is reporting that an unnamed developer is claiming that Apple has introduced an ‘Explicit’ category for applications submitted through iTunes Connect. The new category reportedly appears alongside the usual suspects of games, business, reference, utilities and more.

It’s no secret that over the past week, Apple has received huge backlash from both developers and users about the decision to clean up the store. Not surprisingly, most of these developers have apps which contain the ‘sexual content’ in question. Its still unclear if Apple is about to make a complete u-turn on its recent decision, but due to the reaction they’ve received so far, I’d say its not entirely out of the realm of possibly that Apple could be gearing to re-approve all previously purged apps again if developers re-submitted them under this new found category. If Apple does introduce this category in the future, it will likely house apps which contain or endorse age 17+ content.

While not confirmed, personally I think this move could be a step in the right direction for the store. While we all know Apple can be a little strict when it comes down to general App Store policy, at least potentially segregating this adult content which is deemed explicit into its own category, could dramatically improve the current App Store navigation experience for users of all ages.

Catacombs

Catacombs

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Catacombs is a dual stick dungeon crawler based on that of Atari's Gauntlet. While is doesn't contain any hint of 3D visuals and isn't generically immersive in that sense, the game has a visual style which is both familiar and popular among the lovers of this genre.

Read The Full Review »
Artist Colony

Artist Colony

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Artist Colony is a simulation type RPG which is similar to the SIMs. Playing the role of various virtual artists, you explore a vast immersive creative environment aiming to restore its condition to its former glory, all the while leveling up and gaining inspiration for the tasks ahead.

Read The Full Review »

From the same people that brought you the well-loved frantic shooter MiniSquadron, MrFungFung has today announced their next title – Fox vs. Duck. From the teaser trailer released below (the only piece of info currently available on the game), it seems we might be in for a tap, drag and avoid game here.

Described as poetic with addictive and hypnotic gameplay, the game focuses on the two main contrasted factors of life. Prey and Predator .. Life and Death. Quite obviously at this point, the game has two characters, a fox and a duck. It seems to me that the aim of this game will be to play as duck and ultimately avoid being killed by fox, by dragging duck around the virtual pond.

“It’s an experience that is like nothing else in the App Store. Expect the same high levels of quality, polish and intuitive controls that we used in MiniSquadron, for an unrivaled experience in gaming.”

The official site for Fox vs Duck is FoxVsDuck.com and according to the studio, the game is set to hit our screens sometime this March. Exact pricing is yet to be announced.

Osfoora

Osfoora

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Osfoora is the new Twitter client on the block, which clearly takes some of its initial inspiration from Tweetie. While good, the app could benefit from some UI jiggling, as currently its not as user friendly as it possibly could be.

Read The Full Review »
eBuddy Pro

eBuddy Pro

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
eBuddy Pro is the premium version of the FREE eBuddy client offered by eBuddy. As a result, eBuddy Pro comes with no ads and a tonne more features. I think the app could benefit from a few more user customizable options, but other than that the app is great for what it was designed for, connecting you to your friends and family.

Read The Full Review »
Drawn Blood

Drawn Blood

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Drawn Blood is a simple point and shoot side-scroller with playful and rather artistic visuals. While good, the game could benefit from more weapons and enemies, and is clearly still a little buggy.

Read The Full Review »
Atomic Web Browser

Atomic Web Browser

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Atomic Web Browser features a number of aspects which really make it look and feel like a desktop browser on your iPhone. While it probably won't be the choice of the visually picky, the app offers many features and user configurables which are not yet present in the iPhone's native browser, Mobile Safari.

Read The Full Review »
Tehra Dark Warrior

Tehra Dark Warrior

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Tehra Dark Warrior is a fantasy-based RPG slasher set in the times of knights and dragons. While the game is immersive visually, I found gameplay to be quite stagnant and highly repetitive.

Read The Full Review »
PositionApp™

PositionApp™

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
PositionApp™ allows developers and consumers alike to visually see the ranking status, rise and fall increments and more of each app they own in the store - and all on the move. This app is pure genius.

Read The Full Review »

With valentines day fast approaching us this coming Sunday, iPhone game publisher i-Play have announced that their latest title, Dream Wedding Day, will be going on sale this weekend only.

Although, using this as a sort of excuse to have a full-blown app sale, the studio has also announced that two of their hugely popular titles, Paradise Quest and Fast & Furious The Game will also be going on sale at the same time. Each of the games are set to drop to $0.99 from their original price, through to Monday, February 15th.

Continue reading Paradise Quest, Fast & Furious The Game, and Dream Wedding Day On Sale This Weekend Only! »

Radio ShackBeginning later this month, and as part of its ongoing mobility strategy, RadioShack have announced that they will be offering both the Apple iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in a limited number company-owned stores across the US. The stores carrying the device will include stores located in both the Dallas-Fort Worth and New York City metropolitan areas. The company says that it expects to introduce the iPhone into all of its stores in the US, nationwide by the end of the year.

RadioShack is a chain of electronics retail stores, and as of 2008, it had 4,653 company-owned stores, 688 kiosks, 8 service centers, and 1,408 dealer outlets. RadioShack reported net sales and operating revenues of $4.81 Billion.

DoubleTake

DoubleTake

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
From the creator of the App Store hit Sneezies, Retro Dreamer debut DoubleTake, a visually playful take on pair matching. While good looking, the game didn't seem to have all that much substance.

Read The Full Review »

DD1

Ever played one of those fantasy-based board games? If so, you’ll probably like this. It’s not often you come across a truly unique concept for an iPhone app, but these digitally interactive RPG books from Big Blue Bubble definitely caught my eye today. Starting off with Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and announcing today the release of the second in the series, Fighting Fantasy: Deathtrap Dungeon, Big Blue Bubble have launched an interactive book-like experience which is sure to delight fans of the modern fantasy genre.

Described by the studio as part book part game, and based on the 1982 fictional genius of Steve Jackson (and later Ian Livingstone), this interactive series takes the player down in the dark twisting labyrinth of Fang, where unknown horrors await you. Devised by the devilish mind of Baron Sukumvit, the labyrinth is riddled with fiendish traps and bloodthirsty monsters, which will test your skills almost beyond the limit of endurance. Countless adventurers before you have taken up the challenge of the Trial of Champions and walked through the carved mouth of the labyrinth, never to be seen again. Should you come out of the labyrinth alive, you will be wealthy beyond your dreams.

The game’s features are listed as follows:

• Tap the on screen buttons to flip pages (No papercuts!)
• Shake to roll the 3D dice using the accelerometer
• Inventory items selectable via touch-screen
• Game-save feature allows you to retrace your steps
• Includes both original illustrations by Ian McCaig and digitally re-mastered versions
• Integrated iPod music library access

There are three more books to come in the series. These include; Citadel of Chaos, Creatue of Havok and City of Thieves, although no release date has been disclosed yet.

Continue reading Fighting Fantasy: Deathtrap Dungeon. The Second In A Series Of Interactive Book Offerings from Big Blue Bubble »

Tetryon

Tetryon

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Tetryon is a fun take on match-3 bringing with its immersive visuals and solid game play. While it does try to be match-3, some of its in-game restrictions and methods make for much more interesting and challenging gameplay.

Read The Full Review »

Screen shot 2010-02-08 at 21.10.21

Popcap Games is known all over the world for a wide array of flash-based games. From the incredibly successful colorful match-em’ Bejeweled, to the marble-smashing Zuma, Rocket Mania and Bookworm. Their portfolio of games is, all in all, quite impressive. Today though, Popcap Games announced via their Twitter stream that their well-loved plant-munching, zombie-infested tower defense title Plants Vs Zombies, which is available for both PC and Mac, is coming to iPhone February 15th.

The game involves using a variety of plants including potato mines, peashooters, cattails and hypno-shrooms (to name just a few), to repel an army of zombies led by “Doctor Zomboss”, a giant machine with zombie commanding it. The homeowner, along with a neighbor (called Crazy Dave), must defend the homeowner’s house during day or night, in the front yard, the backyard, and even on the roof!

“Several plants are nocturnal, like mushrooms, having a lower sunlight cost and are ideal for nighttime levels, but will remain asleep during daytime levels unless startled by a coffee bean. In the “back yard” levels that includes a swimming pool, seeds must be planted atop lily pads on water spaces, while on the roof levels, all seeds must be planted in clay pots. The various plant abilities range from firing projectiles at zombies, turning zombies against each other, quickly exploding and wiping out an area of zombies, and slowing down zombies through a high defensive value. Certain plants are highly effective against specific types of zombies, such as a magnet-shroom that can remove a bucket or another obstacle being used for defense from a zombie’s head.”


Continue reading PopCap Games Announces Plants Vs Zombies for iPhone. Hits February 15th. »

Screen shot 2010-02-08 at 13.02.50

The App Store is known for its sales, and just like December and the holiday discount, February is no different, at least for London UK-based mobile development studio Origin8. Developer of “The Sentinel” series, Origin8 have announced “February Freebie Fever,” a sale which will see the company drop the price to FREE on one of it’s App Store hits. Every Friday in the month of February, Origin8 will make one of their App Store titles absolutely free for the busy weekend period.

The sale comes as Sentinel: Mars Defense is about to turn a year old on the 19th February. The sale has already started with Car Mania becoming free last Friday up until today. Details of future weekend deals will be announced via the company’s various social networking accounts on the day of the sale.

“The Sentinel: Mars Defense anniversary provides us with a great excuse to spread some love to our players, and it’s a logical point for us to take a look back over an exciting year. Our aim is to develop games that stand out for their high quality and we want to get them into as many hands as we can. The iPhone as a gaming platform has grown spectacularly over the past year – many current players won’t have owned an iDevice at the time of the original Sentinel release, so we’re giving them a chance to catch up with our back catalogue for nothing.”

Continue reading Origin8 Launches App Store “February Freebie Fever” Sale »

Bills ~ On Your Table

Bills ~ On Your Table

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Bills ~ On Your Table is a gorgeously designed bill-manager. With free push notifications and offline sync the app provides the user with the necessities for bill organization.

Read The Full Review »

Screen shot 2010-02-04 at 13.12.13

You may remember towards the end of the year, Apple introduced a new online system which allowed you to preview information for both singles and albums in its current iTunes back catalogue, using its official iTunes URLs, without the need to physically launch iTunes. Then, as we noted, later in the year they also added the ability to actually listen to 30 second audio snippets of these products, effectively moving the iTunes catalogue online. This system became more commonly known as iTunes Preview.

Following on from the music-centric previews added to iTunes Preview, Apple has today quietly activated the same system for all of its App Store URLs associated with its application catalogue. So, what does this mean? Well, this means you can now fully preview applications, including the application’s icon artwork, its accompanying screenshots, pricing information, App Store ratings, customer reviews, release date, seller and more, directly within your browser without ever needing to open iTunes. This, of course, comes alongside a “View in iTunes” button which then takes you directly to the product stated on iTunes. The new page replaces the old page which featured a simple dialogue box which asked if you wished to launch iTunes.

…™

…™

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
...™ is the third in the series of ustwo's '48hrapp' app fest. Combining tilt, stylish monotone visuals, and social features to boot, ...™ makes for quite the addictive experience

Read The Full Review »

202821-ipadcam

Even though an iSight camera (or its accompanying UI) wasn’t shown off last Wednesday’s iPad media event, speculation has now fallen to if the iPad will ship with one. These rumors started when Steve showed the device to the media. For a split second (around the 9:24 mark on the video podcast), you’ll see the studio lights catch what appears to be a concealed hole in the top center of the iPad’s new bezel. Sure, we’ve been here before. This could be a number of things, an ambient light or proximity sensor for one.

Granted, this “evidence” is pretty sketchy, and probably likely to be debunked, but it gets better. Mission Repair today started to receive replacement Apple iPad parts of which it posted some shots of on their blog. Among the parts was the iPad’s outer frame .. and guess what? It has a molded slot which fits the iSight camera part, perfectly. The photo shows the iPad’s outer frame (top), an Apple Macbook iSight unit (middle), and the Macbooks inner frame (bottom).

Wired reports the iPad simulator seeded as part of the iPhone OS 3.2 SDK still features a “Take a Photo” OS action, when adding a contact’s photo to Contacts.app, for example. There’s even speculation that the reason Apple didn’t show the camera at the event was due to its then unfinished supporting UI. This image posted by Shaun supports the rumor, suggesting that Apple didn’t just leave in the same UI from iPhone OS, but that it has been modified to look and feel dedicated to the iPad, although as you can tell, it’s far from final.

Maybe we’ll see another event at the end of March, just before they launch the Wi-Fi iPad model. “One More Thing?” .. Or could this be a design choice for a future iPad model? I’m sure we’ll find out soon!

Screen shot 2010-02-02 at 18.25.51

Just under a week after Apple’s media event, iPhone OS 3.1.3 is now available for both iPhone and iPod touch. The update comes after Apple released iPhone OS 3.2, which is iPad exclusive, to developers in its ADC network. As expected by many, this new update includes no new features however it does come packed with a few security fixes.

Including:

– Improves accuracy of reported battery level on iPhone 3GS
– Resolves issue where third-party apps would not launch in some instances
– Fixes a bug that may cause an app to crash when using the Japanese Kana keyboard

The update is compatible with all iPhone and iPod touch models, and is available for download from iTunes right now.

As you probably already know by now, last Wednesday Apple unveiled to the world its new “tablet computer” – the Apple iPad. Shortly after the event came to a close, like always, Apple issued registered developers of it’s ADC network the next beta of the iPhone OS SDK. Version 3.2. Now among trivial changes, like this version of OS only being compatible with the iPad, one change has been uncovered which is slightly confusing.

If you’re not familiar with VoIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol, the technology allows for telecommunication using the internet. Take a service like Skype, for example. It uses VoIP to connect its millions of users to other users around the world at very little, or no cost at all. Ever since the introduction of the iPhone SDK, Apple has stood by the fact that its partnering mobile networks, AT&T in the US and O2 in the UK, weren’t so keen on the fact that developers could (if they wanted) use VoIP to circumvent monthly call plans. So, Apple being Apple and wanting to keep relations sweet put a restriction on the iPhone SDK stating that use of VoIP over a 3G data connection was prohibited.

Late Wednesday night though this all took a turn around – for the better, with the introduction of the iPhone OS 3.2 SDK Beta – as now, this SDK does support VoIP over the iPhone’s 3G network. In fact, a few applications, such as iCall and Fring, are already supporting this new rule, ultimately saving you money on phone calling through local and international ad-supported calling. This all leaves me to ask myself one question .. What must AT&T, O2 and the other mobile networks selling iPhone call plans around the world, think of this move? Did they sanction it? Maybe they believe they’re going to make so much of a killing off 3G pre-pay plans with the iPad this Spring, that they don’t care about loss of revenue in regards to call plans on the iPhone?

Continue reading iPhone OS SDK 3.2 Beta Lifts VoIP Over 3G Restriction. AT&T and O2 Say “Wahh?!” »

Screen shot 2010-01-29 at 20.29.07

A while ago I gave you the heads up on WordCrasher. Developed by Kevin Ng who has consequentially worked with gaming outfits such as EA and RockStar Games, WordCrasher is Kevin’s first debut app for iPhone. Colorful and fast-paced WordCrasher is a letter match-up title which sees you matching letters in any way which suits you. With its various challenging game modes and graphically exciting UI, it’s not surprising that the game, having launched, is currently sitting at number 2 in the iTunes UK charts for the gaming category ‘Word Games’.

Yesterday though, to my surprise, Kevin dropped me a note that he actually had a full version of WordCrasher up and running on the iPad simulator. He was kind enough to give me some insight into the process of taking WordCrasher from the iPhone to the iPad. Talking to Kevin a little further, he was able to tell me that the physics simulation is up and running at a decent speed, and that the game is responding to the touch events. He has not tried hooking up the sound yet, however, but he explains that basically it is possible to play a game of WordCrasher natively on the iPad, (albeit through the simulator).

There were not too many changes necessary to make the game work on iPad due to similarities in the SDK (iPad runs iPhone OS 3.2), but the real work will be making iPad WordCrasher a stand-alone game which takes advantage of the format, rather than just a straight port. Using the iPad simulator, a lot of work can be started in creating high fidelity graphics for the big screen, but many of the UI and gameplay decisions will have to be held back until I can get my hands on the hardware itself. There are other issues to consider too though, such as whether OpenFeint will step forward and support the iPad, which is in my opinion likely, but I haven’t heard anything from them.

Continue reading Word Crasher for iPhone Could Be Headed to iPad! Kevin Ng Gives an Insight Into Developing for iPad. »

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