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Jennifer Allen

Senior Writer with the 148Apps Network since September 7, 2010

Jen lives in not so sunny Wales in the UK. She's been playing games of all kinds for the past 20 years. She's a freelance writer and would be utterly lost without her faithful iPhone.

Connect with Jennifer via:
Twitter: @jenjeahaly
Email :: jennifer.allen@148apps.com
Piano Mania Review

Piano Mania Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Learning to play the piano has never been quite so fun, or as simple.

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Pocket Gunfighters Review

Pocket Gunfighters Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Briefly entertaining, shoot-em-up Pocket Gunfighters fails to hook for any great length of time.

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Lost Light Review

Lost Light Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Simple to play and simple to look at, Lost Light is still a fairly enjoyable Matching game, even if it isn't overly exceptional.

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Perils of Man: Chapter 1 Review

Perils of Man: Chapter 1 Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Ignore the dodgy voice acting and enjoy the entertaining adventuring that can be experienced here.

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Dynasty Warlord Review

Dynasty Warlord Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Tap button after button to level up and feel detached from one's avatar in this soulless RPG.

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Glorkian Warrior: Trials Of Glork Review

Glorkian Warrior: Trials Of Glork Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Charming and colorful, Glorkian Warrior is a frantic shoot em up full of reasons to return for more.

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Excalibur: Knights of the King Review

Excalibur: Knights of the King Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Don't expect anything too impressive here, but Excalibur is still an enjoyable, if not altogether memorable, side-scrolling MMO.

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Brushstroke Review

Brushstroke Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Lacking some wow factor, Brushstroke is still a pretty competent photography app.

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NASCAR Manager Review

NASCAR Manager Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A freemium build of a premium title, NASCAR Manager is still as lackluster as it was before, failing to capture the excitement of racing.

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MailDeck Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Stylish to look at and immensely useful, MailDeck will soon be a new favorite iPad email tool.

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Numolition Review

Numolition Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Match corresponding numbers together and clear the board in this simple to play but tactically focused puzzle game.

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Runr Review

Runr Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Not without its issues, Runr is a streamlined running app focused on simplicity and privacy.

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DiceTris+ Review

DiceTris+ Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Keeping it simple, DiceTris+ is an entertaining strategy game but one that lacks that addictive factor.

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bookkeep Review

bookkeep Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Its simplicity is both its strength and its weakness, but Bookkeep will be a handy companion for avid readers not fussed about wanting to share what they're reading with others.

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Doggins Review

Doggins Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
A touch on the easy side and quite short, Doggins is still a charming delight of an adventure game.

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Deadlings Review

Deadlings Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Negotiate various traps and spikes in order to get the zombies away from the Grim Reaper's clutches in this quite fun puzzle game.

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Snip and Chu – The Game Review

Snip and Chu – The Game Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Game & Watch games were once the height of portable gaming. Fortunately, despite their aged looks, they still retain some charm here.

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SHERLOCK: Interactive Adventure Review

SHERLOCK: Interactive Adventure Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A classic murder mystery with plenty of interactive content; what more could one want from a story?

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Running Quest Review

Running Quest Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Playing it safe, Running Quest is a typical Endless Runner with basic upgrade elements and a pricey in-app purchase structure.

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Pahelika: Secret Legends Review

Pahelika: Secret Legends Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Control issues negatively affect this otherwise potentially interesting casual adventure game.

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We at 148Apps can’t help but be fascinated by new developers – particularly new developers who have struck out alone, stepping away from their AAA development days. After all, it’s a big risk so they deserve some attention, right? One of the latest teams to arise from such creative bravery is Mighty Mill: a UK based 2-man and a bit team made up of James Trubridge, director; and Jake Gumbleton, art director; with help from Leavon Archer for sound and music. With plenty of experience under their belts, they’ve just released their first title, Tanuki Forest, so we felt this was the ideal time to learn more. Jake was all too happy to answer our questions.

Jake Gumbleton and James Trubridge.

Jake Gumbleton and James Trubridge.

148Apps: What made you decide to go it alone and set up Mighty Mill?
Jake Gumbleton (JG): We launched Mighty Mill Games, after a decade each in the traditional game development world. There are two main driving forces behind this: Firstly is creative freedom. In larger organizations, the chain of approval is often daunting and you see so many great ideas get snipped away, particularly in the very conservative ideology that many big budget games are constrained by due to the money at stake on them. Working in a small team has always been our favorite work environment. It just breeds creativity and allows ideas to bounce around and grow.

We also wanted to be there to see our kids grow up. We read somewhere that most men’s dying wish is that they had spent more time with their kids when they were young. We both have children that have been born during [the] making [of] Tanuki Forest. Mighty Mill hopefully allows us to be with them when it matters the most in those early years. We get to play with our kids and experience all their firsts while still making our business work and grow for us.

148Apps: Where does the name Mighty Mill come from?
JG: We are based in Long Eaton near Nottingham, England, and the place used to be a big textiles town so it is full of mills. Naming a company is harder than making games. The mills in Long Eaton are not actually windmills, but shhhhhh!

148Apps: How did the idea for Tanuki Forest come about?
JG: Tanuki Forest has shifted a great deal since we began on it. It actually started as a brave experiment in asymmetrical multiplayer on the iPad but in the end it just was not fun enough. The aesthetic of the game comes from my fetish for Japan and Studio Ghibli in particular. A few years back I was lucky enough to go to Japan and visit both Nara and the Ghibli museum. It all had a big impact on me, which really came out in the aesthetic and feel of Tanuki Forest. Nara is so brilliant. The deer there have free reign. My wife and I had breakfast in our room one day with deer munching on the grass outside the open window. It was amazing.

I love character design and wanted to develop a main character who was super appealing. I still do not know what he is exactly.

tanukiforest148Apps: What are the most significant differences between working on an AAA project compared to something of Tanuki Forest‘s size?
JG: I think specialization is the single biggest factor. Working with a very small team, you just have to do everything so you are constantly forced outside of your area of expertise. There are bits that you love to do but there also lots that you would really prefer not to! Having so little manpower also forces you to make some pretty hard decisions about what you can attempt to do.

The thing we enjoyed the most is the speed that you can iterate at. During our prototyping phase you get to say “what if we do ‘x’?” and then just do it right away. It allows you to really iterate fast and is great fun.

148Apps: What challenges did you face during development?
JG: The hardest challenges are the decisions where you have little expertise but the results will make or break the success of the game. Our two hardest things to decide were: do we go with a publisher, and should the game be paid or free. We have opted for no publisher and to go free.

Tanuki Forest is very charming and quite understated for an infinite runner, and although our revenue will have to come from IAP we have nothing to aggressively drive this in the game. Our sincere hope is that people who love the game will spend a little money in the shop. This decision was so hard for us to make as F2P has a real stigma to it for an indie dev. I hate games that constantly bug me to buy stuff! In the end we felt that it was the right way to go for Tanuki Forest as it is an infinite runner. Larger future projects will probably be done on the paid model.

tanukiforest2148Apps: What’s next in the pipeline?
JG: We have piles of game concepts just waiting for us to add water and watch them grow. Some of these contain robots. We have our fingers crossed that Tanuki Forest will be a first step towards a very exciting future.


Thanks to Jake for taking the time to answer our questions. Tanuki Forest is out now and is free to play. There really is no reason why it’s not worth downloading, as it is rather charming.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2014-03-06 :: Category: Games

Tanuki Forest Review

Tanuki Forest Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
With plenty of charm and not many reasons for cynicism, Tanuki Forest is a delightful change of pace for the Endless Runner.

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Bowl With Me Review

Bowl With Me Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Offering a fun bowling experience amongst friends, Bowl With Me is a little simple but still offers some fun times.

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Permanent Review

Permanent Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
In need of more flexibility, Permanent is still a useful and user friendly spreadsheet tool.

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Fishton Review

Fishton Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Build up a fishipedia with this simple to play and quite satisfying casual fishing game.

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Cloud Breaker Review

Cloud Breaker Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A simple concept, Cloud Breaker is fiendishly challenging. Even for those used to the brick-busting genre.

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Loggr Review

Loggr Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A very simple tool for those wanting to log various statistics of their lives, Loggr has potential despite its lack of features.

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Hypersleep Review

Hypersleep Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
An ambient sounds alarm clock, Hypersleep's strengths lie in its sounds rather than its features.

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The Voyage Review

The Voyage Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Not quite as gripping as one would hope, given its handful of issues, The Voyage still remains mostly fun for those looking for a Layton style fix.

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God of Light Review

God of Light Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Suffering from some control issues, God of Light is still quite the delight for fans of light manipulation puzzles.

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