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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.

Connect with Blake via:
Game Center: Grundy The Man
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Twitter: @grundytheman
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Email :: blake.grundman@148apps.com
Personal site :: http://www.gamesareevil.com
Gangstar Vegas Review

Gangstar Vegas Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It is always unfortunate when bugs derail what could have been a great game.

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World War Z Review

World War Z Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It may not be a deadly good time, but it can certainly be a great time sink, pending your bar for frustration is high enough.

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Wordy Review

Wordy Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It is always exciting when a developer thinks outside of the box. The problem is when there isn't enough original content to justify a full release.

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Kingdom & Dragons Review

Kingdom & Dragons Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
How well do the brawler and city building genres go together? About as well as one might expect.

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Epic Review

Epic Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
While this may not be a truly epic kingdom, there is unquestionably more than enough depth to more than justify a free download.

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CandyMeleon Review

CandyMeleon Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Who could say no to a Chameleon that is this cute? Feed his sweet tooth and you will see just how fun it can be!

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Running with Friends Review

Running with Friends Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A game may look and play identically to other titles on the market, but this is one that manages to somehow charm it's way past that.

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Fort Defense Review

Fort Defense Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Setting sail in the name of tower defense just ends up feeling like more of the same.

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Big Win MLB Review

Big Win MLB Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
You wouldn't think that baseball diamonds and competitive trading cards would have so much difficulty co-existing, but this is far from the Upper Deck days of old.

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The House of the Dead: Overkill­ – The Lost Reels Review

The House of the Dead: Overkill­ – The Lost Reels Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Crude, rude, and sometimes just downright distasteful, The Lost Reels brilliantly toes the line of acceptability, while still delivering solid on-rails shooter action.

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Fornax: Space Scroll Shooter Review

Fornax: Space Scroll Shooter Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Sometimes even the most promising of ideas can be derailed by a few bad development decisions.

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Fangz Review

Fangz Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Vampires are fun to blow to bits once or twice. Too bad that is all there is to do.

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Cut the Rope: Time Travel Review

Cut the Rope: Time Travel Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Who knew that there was candy in the past? This sugary treat is well worth consuming.

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Crafty Crates Review

Crafty Crates Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Style over substance isn't always a great trade off.

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Vendetta Online Review

Vendetta Online Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Finally, a hardcore PC MMO experience finds its way to iOS.

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9 Innings Pro Baseball: 2013 Review

9 Innings Pro Baseball: 2013 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Baseball simulation meets trading cards, with a little bit of diamond action mixed in for good measure.

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Duke Nukem II Review

Duke Nukem II Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Time is not always kind to classic games. This sadly, is one of those cases.

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Star Wars Pinball Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Flippers meet lightsabers in this fantastic first installment.

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With Real Racing 3’s stateside release right around the corner, we figured it might be fun to take a look at the game’s extensive lineup of vehicles and pick out a few of our favorites. When a game has over 40 real-life vehicles to choose from, the competition is bound to come down to the wire. So in no particular order, we present to you the five hottest rides of Real Racing 3.

Porche 918 Spyder Concept

Planned for release in September of 2013, this beauty accelerates from 0-60 in a mere three seconds, can stop on a dime and starts out at a beefy 200mph. The most remarkable thing about this piece of motorized madness is that it in real life it burns up the track with Porche’s first ever hybrid, 580 horsepower engine, buoyed by the aid of two electric motors outputting a healthy 243 horses apiece. But be warned, this beast is going to set you back almost $850,000 in in-game cash, so start saving your pennies early and often.

Pagani Huayra

If there were ever a car that epitomized high speeds and sleek design, this bad boy would take the cake. Its twin V-12 engine manages to produce a staggering 730 horsepower that to start top out at 222mph, but when upgraded can exceed 230mph. The Italian produced dream machine is also highly touted by the good folks over at Top Gear, having crowned it the fastest street-legal vehicle in the program’s history, completing their coveted track in 1:13.8. As mind blowing as that may be, it also comes with a bit of sticker shock as well, because it will set you back 1.35 million big ones to park this in your in-game garage.

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4

Though it may sound odd to say, the Aventador is a bargain relatively speaking, clocking in at only $597,700. Without question, it is one of the crown jewels of Real Racing 3’s S Class. Originally put into production back in 2011, the vehicle’s availability is extremely limited, with only 4,000 ever planned on being produced. The in-game model has a top speed of 217mph, and a 0-60 in an impressive 2.9 seconds, making it one of the highest performing cars under three quarters of a million dollars.

McLaren F1

Originally dubbed as, “…The finest driving machine, yet built for the public road,” this extremely specialized vehicle was one of the most beloved and coveted sports cars ever produced. Despite production on the model ceasing way back in 1998, it is still thought by some to be one of the most perfected pieces of machinery on the planet. The $1.25 million price tag not only reflects the car’s rarity, but also its performance as well. Starting out with a 234mph cap speed, you can only begin to guess how high it can go with the help of a few, albeit expensive, part enhancements.

Koenigsegg Agera R

Last, but most certainly not least, this Swedish supercar begins to blur the lines between vehicle and rocket. Don’t let its sleek exterior fool you, because this slice of heaven is just as much about performance as it is about perception. Holding an impressive six different land speed records, this is the type of finely tuned excellence that can accelerate to 300kmh in only 14.53 seconds. Needless to say, but a top speed of 273mph is not going to come cheap. In fact, it is so expensive that it can only be purchased using 800 in-game tokens, not even cash! To put that amount into perspective, it would cost $99.99 in real life money to purchase 1000 race tokens, so watch your wallet. Perfection comes at an extremely hefty price.

Don’t worry, this is just the tip of the gas-guzzling iceberg. There will be plenty more affordable hot rods awaiting you when Real Racing 3 launches later this week. Until then, keep those engines revving, gearheads!

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,” a young child was enchanted by the Star Wars Universe. In more recent history, that same boy came down with a chronic case of pinball addiction. So you can only imagine how the child rejoiced when learning of Zen Studios’ intentions to meld their passion for pinball with Lucas’ brainchild. If you haven’t read between the lines yet, allow me to clarify that the aforementioned child was me, cleverly shrouded as an adolescent, in hopes of hiding the fact that I am a grown man rendered shamelessly giddy by the proposition of my beloved Star Wars bleeding into my favorite past time. Oh well, so much for that.

Much to my glee, the good folks over at Zen Studios invited me to get some early hands on time with their newest masterpiece: Star Wars Pinball. The base install will be its own stand-alone pinball hub, consisting of a healthy collection of three tables at launch, set to the themes of The Empire Strikes Back, everyone’s favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett, and the animated Clone Wars franchise. Before moving on to the meat of the preview, it is worth mentioning that each of the tables will also be available for individual purchase in the Zen Pinball 2 hub as well, but there are special features associated with the specific Star Wars Pinball app that you wouldn’t want to miss out on.

Trying to please Star Wars fans has become an increasingly difficult task over the decades. With that in mind, the creative team at Zen has taken every necessary precaution to make sure their tables are the definitive embodiment of the franchise, only featuring a steel ball. Lightsabers, sound effects, and even reasonably similar sound-alikes have been brought in to re-create seminal moments of the series. There is no greater example of this than the Empire Strikes Back table. Players have the opportunity to relive the most important scenes of the film, all while still playing an authentic pinball game. Everything from downing Tie Fighters to dueling Darth Vader are on the list of highlights, so it is certainly not to be missed.

Boba Fett is a character from the Star Wars mythos that has taken on a life of his own. A relative bit character in the original trilogy, fans have clamored to know more about the mysterious masked man. Drawing heavily upon his actions freezing Han Solo in carbonite and the resulting events on Tatooine, the Boba Fett themed table follows the notorious bounty hunter in his manhunts across the galaxy. Featuring a set of bounty missions that can scale in difficulty depending upon the user’s confidence, this is sure to once again be a fan favorite.

The last, but certainly not least of the trio of tables takes place in the fairly recent Clone Wars animated franchise. Tom Kane, the narrator from the television program and film reprises his role, informing the player of their immediate activities throughout the action. Of the three tables in the set, this is by far the biggest opportunity to run up the scoreboards. A big key to success is managing to chain together long combos, thanks to the fluid layout heavily favoring ramp play.

No matter what your level of appreciation is for the Star Wars brand, you will find something to appreciate in these tables. Even those that don’t like the franchise will still find plenty of fantastic pinball shenanigans to enjoy, because they are simply awesome tables to sit down and pick away at. We look forward to seeing what other tables are waiting in the wings for the coming months. Stay tuned for our full review of Star Wars Pinball, coming soon.

Bring Interactive Creations To Life With Minecraft Papercraft Studio

Posted by on February 18th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Designed by 57Digital, the same team behind 2011′s Minecraft Explorer, Minecraft Papercraft Studio is the key to rendering Minecraft digital avatars in the third dimension, via paper. Using this new app, you can print out diagrams to bring the characters to life with only a pair of scissors and some glue.

Flick Champions Winter Sports Review

Flick Champions Winter Sports Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
If you thought winter sports were boring before, boy do you have another thing coming.

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Versu Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
It is about time someone brought the interactive novel back to life. Linden Lab may have something special on their hands.

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Versu Hopes to Redefine Interactive Storytelling

Posted by on February 12th, 2013
iPad Only App - Designed for iPad

Remember grade school recess, trolling the library, looking for interesting new books to read? Who needed all of that pesky social interaction when literature was the only friend that a kid could ever want? A bastion of that glorious reading joy was the widely consumed Choose Your Own Adventure series. Nothing could better engage the creativity of a youth’s inquisitive mind while simultaneously boosting their reading comprehension and decision-making skills. All these years later, Linden Lab is attempting to put an interactive spin on the genre with the introduction of their upcoming digital fiction platform, Versu.

Despite drawing a heavy influence from the popular book series, Versu prides itself on being far from a standard, “Choose Your Own Adventure,” experience. While there are plenty of similarities between the two forms of media, the interactive nature of Versu renders it a far more flexible storytelling medium than its print-shackled counterpart. The scripted interactions available in the narrative change every single playthrough, thanks to an AI system that reacts to the player/reader’s decisions in real-time. Additionally, if there are multiple non-playable characters in a given scene, their dialog options and reactions will also play off of each other, creating a far more realistic group dynamic.

Overall, the storytelling mechanics of the application are fairly straightforward. There are a series of actions that can be pursued at any given point, which will in turn effect how other characters feel about the player controlled avatar. Both dialog options and other physical actions are then triggered as a result of each decision. It is amazing to see how differently stories can play out, especially when replayed while controlling a completely different character in the scene. In another interesting touch, there are certain narratives where a diverse variety of characters are available to use as both NPCs and the reader controlled avatar. The selection of a separate cast can even influence how a given plot will play out.

As was previously alluded to, this is not just a collection of three interactive stories, but rather an entirely new literature platform. Versu has a store available at launch with an additional story that can be purchased, as well as the promise of many more to come. Even more exciting is Linden Lab’s announcement that they will eventually release authoring tools to the general public. It is going to be fascinating to see how other authors can put Versu’s unique toolset to work for their storytelling purposes. Be sure to keep an eye out for its launch, later this week.

PinWar Review

PinWar Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Pitting two opposing forces against each other for pinball supremacy sure sounds like fun. Luckily, it actually is.

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Early Bird HD Review

Early Bird HD Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
More of the same has never looked so good, yet played so repetitively.

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Ghostbusters Review

Ghostbusters Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Finally, a game worth carrying the Ghostbusters name.

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Tito’s Shell Review

Tito’s Shell Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Who wouldn't want to help a poor little defenseless turtle find his shell?

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Baseball Superstars 2013 Review

Baseball Superstars 2013 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Gamevil has once again proven why they develop the most downloaded baseball title on mobile.

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NFL Quarterback 13 Review

NFL Quarterback 13 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Another annual release of a tricky franchise to manage, NFL Quarterback 13 attempts to bring enough to the table to warrant a purchase.

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