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Carter Dotson

Senior Writer with the 148Apps Network since June 5, 2010

I'm Carter Dotson, freelance writer based out of Chicago. I've been a fan of portable gaming since the days of the black-and-white Game Boy, but now mobile gaming consumes my life. Along with writing about mobile gaming. Which is why you see all these posts below. Also, check out The Portable Podcast, every Tuesday here on 148Apps.

Carter is not currently writing for the 148Apps Network.
Personal site :: http://about.me/wondroushippo

Bonsai Slice Goes Free, and Swings a Bigger Sword with iPad Compatibility

Posted by on May 16th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Bonsai Slice has just started swinging a bigger sword. The game where players use their iPhone or iPod touch with a gyroscope to hack and slash at objects being tossed from all around them, is now universal for the iPod. Plus, the game now has a variety of new objects to cut into little pieces.

You can download Bonsai Slice off the App Store for free.

bonsaiipad1bonsaiipad2

Twitter Statistics App Birdbrain Updated to Version 3, Redesigned for iOS 7 and Now Featuring Graphs!

Posted by on May 16th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Birdbrain, the app for keeping track of Twitter stats, has gotten a big update to version 3.0.

Now, it’s all spiffy-looking for iOS 7, and it’s not just making everything flat, no: pretty much everything’s been redesigned and even given a fresh coat of paint. As well, there’s now graph views to get a more visual look at one’s stats, and a “followers you follow” view to see your mutual followers.

You can download Birdbrain now for $2.99.

birdbrainBirdbrain_v3

Levitar 2 – Vector Review

Levitar 2 – Vector Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Levitar 2 is a game that can be very rewarding - it just requires an extreme amount of patience to master, and a controller doesn't hurt.

Read The Full Review »

Eternity Warriors 3 from Glu Gets Real-Time PVP Combat in Version 2.0 Update

Posted by on May 16th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Eternity Warriors 3 has gotten a version 2.0 update with a big new feature: player-versus-player combat! Now players can take their mighty warriors and battle in real-time against other players from all over the world. Victories earn Arena Points to increase rank and get prizes, including exclusive PVP gear. There’s a worldwide leaderboard, to go along with new tournaments and events.

Check out a trailer for the new PVP update below, available now on the App Store.

via: Our Review
JoyJoy Review

JoyJoy Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Like frantic dual-stick shooters? JoyJoy is the game for you - and its controller support is an added boon.

Read The Full Review »

Hard drive manufacturer Seagate has announced their latest wireless storage product: the Seagate Wireless Plus hard drive. These portable hard drives are available in 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB capacities, and have a battery life of up to 10 hours. Users can connect to these hard drives via wi-fi through the Seagate Media app, which can beam media from the drive via AirPlay.

The hard drives are available now, starting at an MSRP of $149.99.

Seagate-Wireless-Plus-1000px_highres

EA Mobile and Firemonkeys Giving Away Free Gold in Real Racing 3 in Preparation for Big Update

Posted by on May 15th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

EA Mobile and Firemonkeys are saying “Something big is coming for Real Racing 3,” and apparently it’s so big that they want to make sure people are prepared by giving them 10 free gold, worth $1.99. Just visit this site from your iOS device, and it will open the App Store to give you a promo code for your free gold. This is one of the first uses of promo codes for in-app purchases, which typically have been for obtaining paid apps.

No further details are available on just what said “big thing” is that would make this gold necessary, though.

realracing310

via: Our Review

Isolani, the latest first-person shooter from DeNA and Scattered Entertainment, creators of The Drowning, is a curious game. It tries to bring a story-based FPS into the structure of games like Candy Crush Saga, particularly with recharging lives and a linear progression, as opposed to the mission-based structure of The Drowning. David Simard, a producer on Isolani with Scattered Entertainment, took some time to answer questions about the game.


Continue reading DeNA and Scattered Entertainment’s Isolani: Producer David Simard on the Interesting Free-to-Play First-Person Shooter Experiment »

Image Source: Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

Cult of Mac reports that GBA4iOS, the GBA emulator for iOS devices that used some trickery with enterprise ad hoc distribution to make one of the finest handheld gaming systems available to all, is no longer available – due to a DMCA request by Nintendo.

But wait, you may ask “How can Nintendo request the removal of an emulator if emulators are legal?” Aye, there’s the rub: GBA4iOS distributed the GBA BIOS with it, which is copyrighted software and illegal to distribute. Thus was the downfall of this clever circumvention for now. Creator Riley Testut says “the site will remian offline until further notice,” so it could return without the BIOS, but as a student he may not want to risk angering Nintendo’s lawyers again.

Oh well, there’s always jailbreaking or Android, right?

GBA4iOS

via: Cult of Mac source: Riley Testut on Twitter

Did you read our Overkill Mafia preview coverage of the soft launch the other day and say to yourself “I can’t wait to play that!” Well, the good news is that you don’t have to wait, as the game will be available worldwide later tonight (typically around 11pm EST, 8pm PST) for free. Bust out the 1920s greatest firepower on some mooks and rule old-school Chicago with an iron fist and an itchy trigger finger.

Smule has announced their new Smule Pass service for unlimited access to music and features across several of their music apps. Users of Sing! Karaoke, Magic Piano, AutoRap, and Guitar! can buy a subscription in one app and get unlimited song access and storage, pro studio effects, and the ability to upload Sing! tracks to Smule.com.

Right now, all existing and upcoming purchases of VIP subscriptions in each individual app will get the Smule Pass for all four apps for the life of their subscriptions. It’s not possible to purchase a “Smule Pass” per se – we’ve reached out for clarification on how future purchases will work.

Update: According to a Smule representative, anyone who buys a VIP subscription in an app and has the app linked to their Smule ID will get the Smule Pass, enabling access in the other apps.

MagicPiano

dEXTRIS-5Frank Condello is the solo developer behind Chaotic Box, now well-known for dEXTRIS, which has surpassed one million downloads and become one of his most popular games. Condello has been at work on the App Store for years now, but this stands as one of his biggest releases yet. Condello was gracious enough to take the time to answer some questions about dEXTRIS, and what it means for him.


Continue reading dEXTRIS Creator Frank Condello of Chaotic Box Discusses the Game’s Creation and Why it’s Free with Ads »

Platforms Unlimited Gets New Character and Armageddon Mode, Because it Really Needed to be Harder

Posted by on May 14th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

XperimentalZ Games has released the first big update for their ultra-challenging endless platformer, Platforms Unlimited. The big new addition is the Armageddon mode, which is a new endless mode that’s really hard. I mean really hard relative to the game itself, which is already pretty challenging, so this is totally brutal. As well, the main character is now no longer just a block, but a goofy-looking blue dude who smiles, blinks, and everything, unaware that death awaits him again and again.

The new update for Platforms Unlimited is available now.

PlatformsUnlimited-Armageddon

GoodReader 4 Review

GoodReader 4 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
GoodReader is an excellent utility for any iOS device, it's just not necessarily a required update for current users of the app.

Read The Full Review »

Dudeski Goes Free for a Limited Time – Conquer Shred Lord Mountain Without Paying Shred Lord Prices

Posted by on May 13th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Dudeski from Chicago-based Static Oceans is free for a limited time – possibly only for 24 hours – as part of an AppGratis promotion. The game is totally 100% free as beer, with no ads or IAP to get in the way of becoming the master of Shred Lord mountain. The game’s recently been updated to perform better on a variety of devices, and to fix some pesky bugs. Go get it for free while you can!

via: Our Review source: Touch Arcade

Krosmaster Arena, the online version of the board game from Anakama and Japanime Games, is getting a mobile version coming in early 2015. This miniatures-based board game has had its online version available via browsers for some time now, but now mobile players will be able to play from anywhere. As well, it will allow players to bring in the figures they already own into the mobile version of the game.


InnoGames has announced their new cross-platform strategy-MMO Rising Generals, designed with the help of Bruce Shelley of Civilization and Age of Empires fame. Built around player-versus-layer combat, players will command planes, tanks, and armored automobiles in worlds that will span 40,000 players each. The game will be cross-platform between iOS, Android, and browser, with support for the same account on different platforms for those who aren’t loyal to one electronics company.

A beta for Rising Generals is scheduled for summer 2014.

RisingGenerals-4

Craneballs is returning to the Overkill well that has helped put them on the map. Where previous games in the series were futuristic alien-shooters, this one takes place in a past version of Chicago, where violent, fedora-wearing, gun-toting criminals roamed the streets shooting at each other and innocents occasionally getting caught in the crossfire. Thankfully such a world no longer exists: there are far fewer fedoras now. So, with the game currently soft-launched in Canada, I made sure not to put ketchup on my hot dog for this edition of It Came From Canada!

As stated earlier, the setup is very similar to past entries in the series in that this is a shooting gallery game. Players are in a stationary position, trying to take out enemies as they come in. The left thumb is used to move the gun by dragging around the screen, and there are fire and reload buttons in the lower-right corner. This is a Prohibition-era setting, so all the weapons are based on that time period, like a Colt 1911. Don’t expect any high-powered assault rifles here, but perhaps a tommy gun or two.

OverkillMafia-ICFC-06The meat of the game is the level-based progression, where players must survive multiple waves of enemies without dying, earning cash along the way. There are hundreds of levels promised, and interestingly enough, no energy system. At least yet. Right now, it’s possible to play to one’s content.

Along with the fixed levels, there are also reputation battles – such as the game’s endless mode, which also serves as a kind of asynchronous play where players attempt to get higher scores by lasting as long as possible, with more powerful enemies coming in as time goes on. Leaderboards track who’s doing better than whom. This is where buying better clothes comes into play: they grant character upgrades but also reputation multiplier bonuses. These bonuses naturally make it easier to get higher scores. They also serve as lives since every time the player ‘dies’, their multiplier lowers.

OverkillMafia-ICFC-04Guns can be upgraded with cash, with wait timers for upgrades to be delivered that can be skipped by spending liquor. Liquor is earned occasionally through level-ups, though there’s plenty to spend it on – including health and power boosts in the game itself. The game steadily gets harder, and it’s easy to see where the desire can be cultivated to spend real-world money on more cash and liquor to be more powerful; at least to catch back up to the game’s increasing difficulty.

It will be interesting to see how well people take to another entry in this series, and to one with a different theme than the ever-popular “shoot aliens” motif. And of course, will this make money? Time will tell. I imagine this one will be available worldwide soon enough, but it’s difficult to tell sometimes with soft-launched games. Some take months despite feeling ready, others feel half-baked but are soon available everywhere.


EndlessTV Turns Web Videos into TV Channels

Posted by on May 13th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

EndlessTV is a series of apps that are designed to make internet video into an experience more like watching TV. Fire up one of the EndlessTV apps, like the Sports app, and start watching sports videos – with different video ‘channels’ available to watch, sourced from different internet video providers, set to an endless playlist, so there’s always something to watch, with the ability to change channels and videos on a channel at will.

There’s the main EndlessTV app and various apps dedicated to different categories as well, all available to download for free.

endlesstv

Warhammer 40,000: Carnage Review

Warhammer 40,000: Carnage Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Warhammer 40,000: Carnage is a very straightforward action game that knows it, and maximizes the strengths it has.

Read The Full Review »

Dynamite Jack, from Galcon and BREAKFINITY creator Phil Hassey, is getting a new free version on May 22. This version will be the same as the paid version, but with ads. Every time that players continue they will see ads, though it’s possible to buy ad-free continue packs: 50 for $0.99, 250 for $2.99, or unlimited for $4.99, which is the same as the full version.

Yael Cohen, founder of the “let’s not mince words” Fuck Cancer organization, has announced a new app help caregivers get the people they’re taking care of the actual day-to-day help they need. StandWith will allow caregivers to help dole out tasks like getting groceries, picking up the kids from school, and anything else that needs to be done. These tasks can be assigned to friends, family, and acquaintances, with people able to be brought in by Facebook, email, and Google+.

The app is currently in closed beta, with signups available on StandWith‘s site..

StandWith

source: FastCompany

Anthill Gets New Antology Campaign and Limited-Time Sale Price

Posted by on May 12th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Image & Form Games have unveiled the latest level pack for their strategy game Anthill, entitled Antology. This pack contains eight new levels and a new endless mode called Ceaseless Mayhem. The level pack is available for $0.99 as an in-app purchase, but the base game is currently on sale for free for those who haven’t checked it out yet.

anthill7

The Sims FreePlay Celebrates Milestone Like a Rich Child by Getting Horses

Posted by on May 12th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Like a child’s fleeting fantasy, EA Mobile is celebrating a momentous occasion by getting a pony. With The Sims FreePlay having reached 100 million downloads worldwide, the game now has horses. Players can feed, groom, and ride 6 different breeds of horses in their new stables, all part of the Saddle Up update. Also, on May 22, there’s going to be a unicorn. Tina Belcher couldn’t be happier.

SimsFreeplayHorses

Panzer Tactics HD, bitComposer Games’ upcoming World War II turn-based strategy game, has had its price and release date announced. The iPad version will cost $8.99 and release on May 22. This updated version of the DS original will boast three campaigns, over thirty missions, and over 150 total units across the land, sea, and air.

Sega Releases Coin-Collecting and Dragon-Battling RPG Hybrid, Dragon Coins

Posted by on May 12th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Sega has announced their new game, Dragon Coins. This takes the coin-collecting gameplay popularized by titles such as Coin Dozer and mixes it with RPG battling. The coins that players drop onto a pile to try and collect go toward charging attacks to take out enemies, with upgrades for being a better battler. And of course, dragons are all throughout the game, because who doesn’t love dragons?

Dragon Coins is available now for free.

Image via Pocket Tactics

Image via Pocket Tactics

Transport Tycoon, the mobile version of Chris Sawyer’s classic simulation game where players help manage an empire of planes, trains, and automobiles, recently received a big update with new levels, scenarios, music, and general improvements. With that in mind, Chris Sawyer took some time out to answer some questions about the game, and give his thoughts on gaming now.

148Apps: What was the impetus behind bringing the Transport Tycoon back now in 2014?
Chris Sawyer (CS): The latest mobile and tablet platforms were perfect for the game with their power, high resolution screens, and touch screen interface. It just made sense to bring the game to these platforms.

transporttycoon04148Apps: Did mobile change the way that you approached the gameplay of Transport Tycoon?
CS: We set out to keep the complex and detailed gameplay as unchanged as possible because that’s what’s at the core of Transport Tycoon, and the technology in modern mobiles and tablets allowed us to do that. We improved the user experience with the touch screen interface and enhanced display of the game world as well as other in-game information.

148Apps: What is the one aspect of the 1994 game market that you think 2014 needs?
CS: A reliable way for players to find the good games amongst the not-so-good. In 1994, the information about new games was quite limited, but also very thorough. By reading magazines, you could find out which games might appeal and which were worth spending money on. Nowadays, there are so many games being sold (or given away) and marketed in so many ways, it’s very difficult for the good games to shine based on merit rather than clever advertising or social media manipulation.

transporttycoon11148Apps: Conversely, what would the 1994 market be improved by something in 2014?
CS: Back in 1994, there was only one way to publish games, which was selling boxed products through a publisher and distributor. Now there are dozens of ways of publishing games and most of them mean a more streamlined and cheaper distribution channel.

148Apps: Free-to-play is obviously a huge deal now, but Transport Tycoon has launched at a premium price. Why was this chosen?
CS:Transport Tycoon always was and still is a premium game. It is a game with considerable detail and depth of gameplay, and making it free-to-play with in-app purchases would have ruined the depth of the game. We wanted players to be able to become immersed in the gameplay and not be faced by frustrating restrictions or demands for payment while playing.

148Apps: Has the premium price worked out for the game?
CS: It is working out for the game, but it’s proving a challenge as we’re perhaps the first to try publishing such a detailed strategy game as a fully-paid app. We have also published a free Lite version with limited gameplay, which helps a lot too. The Lite version allows players to get a feel for the game before moving towards purchasing the full version. We’ve also found that keeping the game well-supported is important. The development team is continuing to fine tune and enhance the game with regular updates and support for players.

148Apps: iOS versus Android, what do you see as the biggest difference between the overall worlds of games on each platform?
CS: The main difference is the distribution model on each. iOS is considerably more controlled and streamlined and Android is less controlled, but each has their own benefits.

Thanks to Chris Sawyer for his time.

$6.99
Released: 2013-10-03 :: Category: Games

2-Bit Cowboy Review

2-Bit Cowboy Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
2-Bit Cowboy has a lot of great ideas, but they just never quite pay off.

Read The Full Review »

L2Code Releases New Apps to Teach Javascript and jQuery Programming Languages

Posted by on May 9th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

SparkNET has released two new apps as part of their L2Code series that uses apps to help teach people how to code various programming languages. L2Code jQuery and L2Code Javascript will help users make their own web pages, with Javascript being a great entry point for doing things like making games.

L2Code jQuery and L2Code Javascript are both available now, for $4.99 and $2.99 respectively.

l2cjqueryl2cjava

N-Fusion, developers of Deus Ex: The Fall and Air Mail, have released screens and a trailer for their upcoming game Space Noir, published by Unity Games (the publishing arm of the popular 3D engine). N-Fusion promises to mix the standards of space combat with the noir aesthetic usually reserved for hard-boiled detective stories.

Space Noir is planned to release this summer for PC and for tablets.


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