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Blake Grundman

Contributing Writer with the 148Apps Network since August 16, 2010

Mild mannered programmer by day; gamer, podcaster, and writer by night. Blake is a staff writer for 148Apps, as well as the Managing Editor at GamesAreEvil.com. He also co-hosts and produces the EvilCast Recap podcast with fellow gaming junkies Ross Polly, Keri Honea, and Chris Nitz.

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Email :: blake.grundman@148apps.com
Personal site :: http://www.gamesareevil.com

Launch Center Pro Becomes Even More Professional

Posted by on June 12th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Just when you thought the rave reviews for Launch Center Pro had started to die down, Contrast Apps goes and infuses their fantastic quick-launch hub with even more awesome features. For example: have you ever wanted to express yourself purely in GIF form? Well now you can, using the app’s build in Giphy search functionality.

Additionally, there are now location-based events that can be set up to occur on command, users can scan in barcodes and QR codes, and even notification sounds can be customized for specific events. The ultimate tool has somehow managed to get even better.

Launch Center Pro is available now as an iPhone focused app for $4.99.

via: Our Review
Twisty Planets Review

Twisty Planets Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Sometimes even the best ideas can't survive lackluster execution.

Read The Full Review »

Soccerinho Teaches Players to ‘Bend it Like Beckham’

Posted by on June 11th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

There was once a time in nearly every person’s life when they enjoyed partaking in childish shenanigans. A perfect example of these events include things like pickup games of football in the yard, involving all of the neighborhood kids. Well now, thanks to the new game Soccerinho, you can relive these childhood memories – only with a different kind of football.

Featuring a collection of soccer-centric mini-games, Soccerinho will take players on an atmospheric adventure back to the streets of Prague, long before the days of this World Cup madness. The title’s 84 levels should offer more than enough ball bending fun to keep players busy for the foreseeable future.

Soccerinho is available now as a Universal app for $4.99.

The Inner World Solves the Mystery of the Price Cut

Posted by on June 11th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Thanks to the work of studios like Double Fine, the point-and-click adventure genre has been revived on virtually every platform that offers games. A recipient of this good faith is German developer Headup Games, and their recent offering, The Inner World.

In celebration of being crowned, “Best German Game” at the German Computer Games Award 2014, the puzzler has now been marked down from $4.99 to a paltry $0.99. If a title is considered good enough to represent the best that an entire country has to offer, it has to be worth spending a buck on, right? Sounds like it is time to investigate what mysteries this “Inner World” has in store.

via: Our Review

It looks like Agent 47 is at it again. Fresh off of his Editor’s Choice garnering first iOS outing in Hitman GO, everyone’s favorite assassin is back for more bloodshed.

This time around the ubiquitous manslaughter machine is placed behind the scope of a sniper rifle in the aptly named Hitman: Sniper. Though the details are rather scant as of now, you can bet that we will be hear quite a bit more about the title over the span of E3 week. Oh, and spoiler alert: the game will probably feature players shooting a person or ten. But don’t worry, the targets have undoubtedly done something heinous to deserve their strategically-placed hot lead injection.

You can look forward to checking out Hitman: Sniper for yourself when it hits the App Store later this year.

Republique Snags “Free App of the Week” Honors this Week

Posted by on June 5th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

It seems like just yesterday indie development studio Camouflaj successfully Kickstarted their freshmen iOS release, République. Since then, not only has the title successfully released its first two chapters, but yesterday it was elevated to the status of Apple’s “Free App of the Week.”

Now, it is worth noting that the actual free portion of the game only consists of the base download, which includes the first chapter, but it should be a great way to give everyone an initial free taste. Each of the additional chapters will be available for $4.99, or a discounted season pass total of $14.99.

Republique_In_Game_H

via: Our Review

Terminator1984movieposter“I’ll be back…” Never did we think that this vague warning would apply to our humble iOS devices, but just like Sarah Connor, the T-800 has us in its crosshairs. Glu Mobile is proud to announce that they are partnering with Skydance Productions to bring a free-to-play interpretation of the Terminator universe to iOS in Summer of 2015.

Planned to coincide with next year’s reboot of the film franchise entitled “Teminator: Genesis,” the game will prominently feature mainstays from the series’ existing mythos. It should be exciting to see if Glu can live up to the challenge of breathing new gaming life into this tried and true property. Luckily they should have plenty of time to make it happen. So until then, “Hasta la vista, baby.”

via: Image Source: Wikipedia

Multimedia on iPad is hit or miss when it comes to producing quality presentations. Luckily ScrollMotion has our back. Fresh off of being highlighted at Monday’s World Wide Developers Conference, the team is proud to announce their next innovative tool: SmartStudio.

This next evolution of the ScrollMotion platform is a web-based tool that can be used to create great new multimedia presentations using simple drag and drop gestures. Better yet, the tool helps integrate seamlessly with other forms of traditional media such as PDFs, videos and even charts.

If huge organizations like Campbell’s and General Electric are already on the ScrollMotion bandwagon, why aren’t you?

Supercell Storms the App Store With Boom Beach Update

Posted by on June 3rd, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a free-to-play invasion goes and messes up everything. Supercell‘s tower defense entry, Boom Beach is extending the action the high seas with new submarine themed missions.

Along with the underwater shenanigans comes a fresh new defensive building, the Shock Launcher. Oh, and remember the northern region of the in-game map? Well now it is covered in ice, which completely changes the battle strategy for each match.

Lastly, a bevy of visual and performance upgrades help put the cap on this fantastic batch of enhancements. So hunker down and get ready for invasion. This battle is far from over.

boombeach3-600x338

via: Our Review

Pizza Boy Update Brings a Hot Slice of Retro to iOS

Posted by on June 3rd, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Did you order delivery? Released way back in 2010, Pizza Boy was one of ACNE Play‘s earliest forays on iOS. Now, more than three years after its initial release, it’s getting a hearty new injection of challenge.

Featuring a completely new world, the game has been rebalanced to help recreate the difficulty curve that the 16 bit era was best known for. Additionally, the update includes a new boss battle, an augmented soundtrack, and campaign conclusion. This is the perfect way to close the book on this long lost iOS gem.

Pizza Boy is available for $1.99 on the App Store.

A Swarm Forms Around Hive’s WWDC Week Sale

Posted by on June 2nd, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Have you ever heard of a boardless board game? Though the concept may seem a smidgen crazy, that hasn’t stopped the insect-inspired tile game Hive from not only succeeding in physical form, but also making the jump to iOS back in 2012.

Well just in time for WWDC, developer Gen42 Games has announced that they are treating the $0.99 price point to a heavy dose of insecticide, resulting in a temporary free price cut. Get on this while you can, because this swarm will only be around for a limited time.

Hive2 Hive1

The Lords of Midnight Turns Thirty – Chilli Hugger Celebrates with the Gift of a Sale

Posted by on June 2nd, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Who knew that iOS games could be so old? The classic strategy/adventure game Lords of Midnight actually turned thirty years old yesterday. Yes, you read that right. THIRTY YEARS OLD.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Chilli Hugger Software, the team behind the game’s port, will be putting the usually $4.99 game and it’s sequel Doomdark’s Revenge on sale for a mere $0.99! Both titles have received solid four star reviews and have a legacy that outlives a good portion of the iOS gaming audience. It looks like now is as good a time as any to see what all the hype is about.

30-years

via: Our Lords of Midnight Review source: Via TheLordsOfMidnight.com

Soccer Rally 2 World Cup Update Adds International Appeal

Posted by on June 2nd, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Just when you thought it was safe to return to the pitch, Soccer Rally 2 developer IceFlame announces a new World Cup-inspired update. The aptly titled “World Championship” patch allows for players to pick their allegiances, and play under the colors and shield of their favorite nation. Each of the fifty included international teams will be ranked as per their current standing going into the festivities in Brazil and will act as a compelling backdrop for the game’s tournament mode.

But that is not all, because this interesting twist on gameplay will also apply to all multiplayer modes as well. Keep your eyes peeled to the App Store for this free update coming on June 5.

Soccer Rally 2 is available now as a Universal app for free.

via: Our Review
Drawn to Life Review

Drawn to Life Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Who knew that porting a game from Nintendo DS to iOS was so tough?

Read The Full Review »

At this point, everyone is more than familiar with Gameloft‘s extremely successful Modern Combat series of first person shooters. That’s why it’s huge news to hear that the next installment will be renewing the focus on multiplayer.

According to a battle-hardened birdie that just whispered in our ear, the core four multiplayer modes of Capture The Flag, VIP, Free for All, and Team Battle will all be returning. Each mode will allow for up to twelve players on a map at any given time. Along with the use of leaderboards and special in-game events, there will be a new persistent squad system in place. These glorified “clans” will allow players to group up with friends to share in the Team Battle action. There will even be squad chat functionality baked in on day one.

And to whet your whistle that much more, here are a couple of screenshots of what can be expected when the Modern Combat 5 launches, later this summer.

image001
image002

Take Back the Night and Much More In Real Racing 3′s Newest Update

Posted by on May 29th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Racing after dark is nothing new for fans of the European Le Mans Series. The endurance competition’s preeminent track, Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans, has been included in the most recent update for Real Racing 3, along with the ability to relive the sunset from behind the wheel.

Speaking of behind the wheel, there are a trio of new Le Mans vehicles being added into the game, including the Porsche 919 Hybrid. Plus, the aforementioned Porsche can be unlocked for free!

Last, but most certainly not least, the newest patch includes the ability to connect bluetooth controllers to your iOS devices and play split screen for up to four players. Fire up your engines, because the checkered flag is about to drop.

Real Racing 3 is available now as a Universal app for free.

rr3night

via: Our Review
Mother of Myth Review

Mother of Myth Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Dungeon crawling invades Greek mythology in this entertaining action RPG outing

Read The Full Review »

PDF Expert 5 is Now a Universal App – has Also Been Updated with a Few More Features

Posted by on May 29th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

After six long months of work behind the scenes, PDF Expert 5 developer Readdle is excited to announce that their previously iPad-exclusive application is now making the jump to iPhone. Better yet, the new iPhone version is just as powerful as it’s larger screened brethren, only at a fraction of the size. Best of all? The universal upgrade is a completely free for all existing PDF Expert 5 owners.

Aside from everything that already makes the application so great, the new update also includes a bevy of performance enhancements and new features such as the introduction of a continuous scroll mode and on-the-fly calculations for LiveCycle design forms.

PDF Expert 5 is available now as a Universal app for $9.99.

via: http://www.148apps.com/?p=214926
Robot Tsunami Review

Robot Tsunami Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Breaking bots sound like fun, until you are asked to do it again - for the 20th time.

Read The Full Review »
Devil Hunters – Dark Adventure of Heroes Review

Devil Hunters – Dark Adventure of Heroes Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Hack and slash is the name of the game, minus a few key ingredients.

Read The Full Review »
Neighbourhood Necromancer Review

Neighbourhood Necromancer Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Just when you thought it was safe to venture outside, a teenager gains control over the undead.

Read The Full Review »
Racer 8 Review

Racer 8 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Cars and puzzles, who knew they would go together so well?

Read The Full Review »
Monster Die! Die! Die! Review

Monster Die! Die! Die! Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Just when you thought tower defense had run out of ideas, they dump a new idea on gamers. Although it probably hadn't been tried for good reason.

Read The Full Review »

As with any good trilogy, all good things must come to an end. Sadly, this is also holds true for Zen Studios’ epic conclusion to their trifecta of pinball DLC packs. The aptly named Star Wars Pinball: Heroes Within releases for iOS on April 29, but we were lucky enough to get a hands-on look slightly before the masses. Will this be the strong finish that the game deserves, or will it end up feeling a bit more like “Revenge of the Sith,” than “Return of the Jedi?”

IMG_0406Leading off the pack is the most predictable in the pipeline: “Episode IV: A New Hope.” This brings a close to the trio of tables focused on honoring the original films in the franchise, and boy does it send things off in style. Fans of the “Empire Strikes Back” adaption included in the game’s base download will find the design of a central loop ramp rather familiar. That said, flanking ramp layouts make this outing appear far more symmetrical, with the exception of the additional left ramp. The main tweak to Zen’s existing formula is the ability for players to channel their inner Bambino and call their shot, so to speak, and select which ramp they would like to use for their post-launch skillshot. As per Zen’s usual mantra, the feature is nothing game changing, but it is just different enough to keep things fresh. Other highlighted elements include the return of mini-games involving a Tusken Raider or two, a slew of missions inspired by the plot of the groundbreaking film, and even a mini Death Star trench run. Considering that this film is where the magic began, it surprisingly also acts as a strong final act under these circumstances.

IMG_0417After dedicating a table to one specific film, it only seems appropriate to follow that up with a table focused the Droids that have incidentally appeared in every installment of the franchise. The core plot revolves around R2-D2 trying to get the Death Star plans safely into the hands of “Old Ben” Kenobi. Flanked by his trusty companion C-3PO, the duo navigate their way across the massive deserts of Tatooine. In the process, they come in contact with Jawas, sabotage and escape from a sandcrawler, and aid several other droids in need. Every aspect of this fast-paced ramp-heavy layout oozes personality and stays true to the series’ narrative – 3PO never shuts the hell up. But that is a good thing, right?

IMG_0430What would a last look at Star Wars be without something dedicated to the most important Jedi and Sith? The Masters of the Force table manages to do just that by bringing together the likes of Yoda, Count Dooku, Qui-Gon Jinn, Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, and several others, all in the name of reliving the biggest battles throughout the series. Oddly enough, most of the combat reenactments take a more simplistic and “old school” approach, employing what amounts to cardboard cutouts of the combatants that double as targets to either hit or avoid, instead of utilizing the resource-intensive fully rendered characters found across the other offerings in this collection. In another interesting side note, the way that the Jedi Holocron is used to capture the ball and transition between alternate modes loosely harkens back to the magnetic trunk in the classic Bally/Midway table, “Theatre of Magic.” It is hard to put a finger on why, but this decidedly more grounded table feels like something that the Zen series has been missing for quite some time and is a welcome deviation from their current design philosophies.

IMG_0427Bringing the collection to a close is none other than everyone’s favorite “scruffy looking nerf herder,” Han Solo. If there was ever a quip, mannerism, or action that the character was known for, most likely it will be featured on this table. Han teams up with his infallible protector Chewbacca to relive the many moments that made him an amazing anti-hero and cultural icon. Of course, the Millennium Falcon is prominently on display in the top middle of the playfield and can even be taken out for a minigame test flight, bobbing and weaving through an asteroid field. Heck, the player even has the opportunity to engage in a shootout in the Mos Eisley Cantina! Guess it is high time to find out who really shot first.

As has always been the case with Star Wars Pinball, each environment is lavishly populated with nods to the lore that will no doubt please hardcore and casual fans alike. The voice acting continues to be fantastic, once again breathing life and credibility into the Force-inspired experience. It’s a good thing that this is the last pack of DLC, because topping Heroes Within would be a tall order. No Jedi mind tricks are needed here, because each table’s midichlorian counts are off the scale.


via: Our Review
R.B.I. Baseball 14 Review

R.B.I. Baseball 14 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
What was old is new again, as the MLB attempts to taking baseball gaming back to its retro roots. Too bad nothing has changed since 1986.

Read The Full Review »
Cosmic Mechanic Review

Cosmic Mechanic Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Creatives folks love the opportunity to have their wits tested, but there isn't enough variety to make the mind quake.

Read The Full Review »

It is a beautiful thing when bite-sized games from the console space transition to iOS successfully. A perfect example of this phenomena at work was Hello Games’ fantastic reinvention of the Joe Danger series last year. Now it seems that Zen Studios wants to get in on the action, as they’ve put the finishing touches on a port of their console and PC tower-defense/action hybrid title, Castlestorm. They were kind enough to give us an early look at the game, and much to my shock I learned that not only is it great fun, but it may actually prove to be better than its console predecessor.

IMG_0365Everything you loved about the original game is back again, and this time it’s being aided by an extremely intuitive touch interface. The previously arduous process of twiddling control sticks to try and line up a headshot is a nightmare that can be left in the past. Launching projectiles are now as simple as tapping on the screen where the shot should land. But sometimes a catapult just isn’t enough to fend off the enemy’s attacks on the castle. In these cases, you have the option of spawning defensive ground troops or jumping into the fray yourself in the form of super-powered hero characters. These death-dealing beasts specialize in hand-to-hand combat, with a side of magical abilities mixed in for good measure. Anyone who is familiar with the control scheme of a traditional 2D brawler will feel right at home showing these “Knights of the Square Table” the error of their ways.

Though some may sink hours into the actual combat component of Castlestorm, others may find it just as enjoyable to custom design their own fortress. The easy to grasp quasi-drafting tool makes tweaking and tinkering with the perfect blueprint just as fulfilling as topping the adversary on the field of battle.

IMG_0364While the previously released Castlestorm console outing clocked in at a reasonable $9.99 purchase price, the iOS iteration implements an entirely free-to-play monetization structure. Both coins and crystals can be purchased using real cash, earned through normal gameplay or awarded for logging in to play on a consistent basis. Coins are used to level-up the abilities and stats of either the hero characters or each type of projectile in your quiver. Crystals are used to unlock more substantial elements, such as entire campaigns.

What I’ve played was a very solid sneak peak of things to come. Hopefully the final product lives up to the promise of this preview. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for our full review.

Star Horizon Review

Star Horizon Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Lost in Space? Nothing helps to solve that problem like a fully-armed space vessel.

Read The Full Review »
500 Years Act 1 Review

500 Years Act 1 Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
This space opera is a fun exploration to partake in, but then the actual combat starts.

Read The Full Review »
Tank Riders 2 Review

Tank Riders 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Another enjoyable gaming experience is cut short by a free-to-play implementation that leaves something to be desired.

Read The Full Review »
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