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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. A keen games player for the past 25 years, she cites Final Fantasy VII and Goldeneye as 'life-changing', but is just as comfortable delving into the varied world of apps too. As a freelance writer, Jen has found that sleep is an unnecessary complication in life, and isn't entirely sure what she'd do without her trusty iPhone and iPad.

Connect with Jennifer via:
Twitter: @jenjeahaly
Email :: jennifer.allen@148apps.com
Agents of Storm Review

Agents of Storm Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Agents of Storm might look pretty, but it's a game you've played before. A lot.

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Base Busters Review

Base Busters Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Mixing up two forms of tower defense gaming and collectible cards, Base Busters is a fun mix that's restricted by freemium elements.

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Mmm Fingers Review

Mmm Fingers Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Chasing high scores with just one finger works well for Mmm Fingers.

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Go To Bed: Survive The Night Review

Go To Bed: Survive The Night Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Go To Bed: Survive The Night looks and sounds great, but it's actually quite basic in its execution.

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Tilt To Live: Gauntlet’s Revenge Review

Tilt To Live: Gauntlet’s Revenge Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Frustrating at times, Tilt To Live: Gauntlet's Revenge is sure to hook masochists in.

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PhotoMath Review

PhotoMath Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Solve any printed mathematical equation easily and quickly, thanks to PhotoMath.

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Republique: Episode 3 Review

Republique: Episode 3 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Providing more storyline and more intrigue, Republique: Episode 3 is a fun journey if a little repetitive in places.

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Thieves’ Gambit: Curse of the Black Cat Review

Thieves’ Gambit: Curse of the Black Cat Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Thieves’ Gambit: Curse of the Black Cat offers some intriguing storytelling, even if it does lack the finer features we expect from an iOS adventure.

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TinType Review

TinType Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
TinType offers some very limited photo filtering effects that, while attractive, are all too restrictive.

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Pixelmator Review

Pixelmator Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Pixelmator is a great way to edit and repair photos on your iPad.

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Rival Stars Basketball Review

Rival Stars Basketball Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Rival Stars Basketball is a fun mixture of basketball and card collecting but its energy system will annoy.

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I Am Dolphin Review

I Am Dolphin Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Swim around and eat nearly everything that moves in I Am Dolphin, a fun Ecco-ish kind of game.

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Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch Review

Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch is a sterling release from Tin Man Games, as per usual.

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Sleep Attack TD Review

Sleep Attack TD Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Sleep Attack TD is a tower defense game with a difference - you can rotate the layout - and it's pretty good.

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Super Glyph Quest Review

Super Glyph Quest Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Improving upon the earlier Glyph Quest comes Super Glyph Quest, a compelling Match-3/RPG mashup.

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Jam Messenger Review

Jam Messenger Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Want a very quick way to send push-based messages? Jam Messenger is basic but speedy.

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Bee Brilliant Review

Bee Brilliant Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Want even more Match-3 gaming and fancy a bee based twist? Bee Brilliant is that game. Don't expect innovation though.

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The Silent Age Episode 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Rounding off a great point and click adventure comes The Silent Age Episode 2.

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Squawkin Review

Squawkin Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Offering plenty of ways to communicate, Squawkin is a little quiet for meeting new friends, but it's fine for group collaboration.

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Reshape Review

Reshape Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Match triangles together to form cubes in this fast-paced and twitchy game.

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Starfly Review

Starfly Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Want a slightly different browsing experience? Starfly is a pretty personalized one but it's also buggy.

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Clips Review

Clips Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Making copying and pasting more powerful than usual, Clips is a great way to move stuff around.

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MonSense Review

MonSense Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Organize your finances with the quick and easy to use, MonSense.

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Angry Birds Transformers Review

Angry Birds Transformers Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Transformed in a way you wouldn't expect, Angry Birds Transformers is a quite entertaining auto-runner.

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The Sagas of Fire*Wolf Review

The Sagas of Fire*Wolf Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Offering four adventure game books in one, The Sagas of Fire*Wolf is some serious value for the money.

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Nightmares from the Deep: Davy Jones Review

Nightmares from the Deep: Davy Jones Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
It's business as usual for the last installment in the Nightmares from the Deep series, but it's a fun ride.

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Tiny Troopers: Alliance Review

Tiny Troopers: Alliance Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
With a Clash of Clans style flourish, Tiny Troopers: Alliance asks you to build a base and destroy everyone else's.

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Monsu Review

Monsu Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Endless running with a collectible card kind of focus works well for the charming Monsu.

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Beatbuddy HD Review

Beatbuddy HD Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
While its puzzles might not be exceptional, Beatbuddy HD's musical score and visual style are pretty great.

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iBooks and the Kindle app do a great job of ensuring that there’s always something new to read while you’re on the move. They work well in complementing the traditional physical book. There’s still room for more interactive and animated fare though, such as in the case of Black Jack – an app that declares itself the “World’s First Moving Novel.” Released in episodic chunks of new chapters every Monday and Friday, it’s an interesting new direction to take for the medium. We took the time to chat to its Emmy-winning author, A.R. Witham, to learn more.

blackjack1blackjack2
148Apps: Why not release the book at once rather than chapter by chapter?
A.R. Witham (ARW): It’s an old-school method of building suspense; Charles Dickens released A Christmas Carol in installments, and I thought that was an interesting way to tell a story that isn’t done much in the 21st century. Black Jack has a very vintage feel to the texture of the pages and animations… a vintage release schedule felt perfect for the story.

148Apps: What’s the reaction to the episodic content been like? Has it been as warmly received as hoped?
ARW: The response has been amazing. People love Jack, but for me, their enthusiastic reaction to the side-characters has been the most unexpected surprise. People love Django and Fuji and Valerian and the villains far more than I expected. I’ve gotten drawings of characters from fans, and that kind of reaction is something I really never anticipated.  

148Apps: What challenges have there been in converting the novel to a more interactive format? Has it affected how the novel has been written at all?
ARW: There were 3 Big Rules to building the Black Jack app: 1) The story had to be good enough to pack a whollop without the animations and effects. 2) None of the animations could interfere with the text; if they didn’t help the readers immerse themselves in the storytelling, they were cut. 3) The book had to feel completely unlike any reading experience anyone has ever had. Once I established those guidelines, it became a great puzzle to solve.

148Apps: Do you think this is the future for novels? Or is there still a place for the traditional format?
ARW: I pray traditional novels never die. We all have loved them too much to let them go away. If paper-and-binding is on the decline in favor of screen-reading, I’m okay with that, but a pure tale constructed only with words is the foundation of storytelling; it will always exist, even if it’s just an old man sitting at a campfire telling ghost stories. Digital formats such as the iPad offer a playground for artists to explore the edges of the map and that’s what we are doing with Black Jack. Once you read the first two chapters, you begin to realize there are incredible moments waiting for you. Nobody’s done a book like this before – that’s the fun part.

blackjack3blackjack4
148Apps: Do you think it’s a method that would work for all genres or does it particularly lend itself to fantasy/sci-fi?
ARW: Oh, I could see Divergent, Hunger Games, Neil Gaiman, or Harry Potter working very well with the Moving Novel format, but I think also think Raymond Chandler’s detective thrillers, Cormac McCarthy’s Southern Gothic style or Stephen King’s horror stories could all be a fun ride with a little emotional push at the right moments.

148apps: What’s next after Black Jack?
ARW: By day, I’m a Creative Director, and currently working on launching the brand-new CBS affiliate in Indianapolis in 2015, so that may take a bit of time. For Black Jack, I’m working with the next story in the series, tentatively titled “Red Rover.” And at night, I’m just reading new stories. It’s always fun to find something new.


Thanks to A.R. Witham for taking the time to answer our questions.

Black Jack: A Moving Novel is available now on the App Store for the iPad. It’s currently priced at $5.99 for the full novel, with the first two chapters available for free.


FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2013-12-04 :: Category: Books

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