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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
Diamond Digger Saga Review

Diamond Digger Saga Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
King's latest is a bit simpler than the usual crowd, but Diamond Digger Saga will still draw some in despite their better judgment.

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Contact Center Review

Contact Center Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Want a simpler, more effective way of juggling how you contact people? Contact Center is that solution.

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Alien Creeps TD Review

Alien Creeps TD Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Alien Creeps TD would be a fun if unremarkable Tower Defense game, but its heavy focus on in-app purchases and balancing issues might put you off.

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The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review

The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It's a little dark, in every sense of the word, but The Journey Down: Chapter Two is a solidly entertaining adventure game.

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How do you make an Endless Running game more than just another Endless Running game? By adding real life prizes to it, of course! That’s the thinking behind StupidFast: a game designed for football enthusiasts, and the brainchild of former college football star and current NFL free agent, Taylor Martinez. It all came about due to his career path changing quite drastically and suddenly.

stupidfast1
“This past season was my senior season. I tore a ligament in my foot and separated my shoulder – both in the first game. I ended up not finishing the season as Quarterback. After the season, I entered into the NFL draft. I did my pro day at Nebraska and waited for draft day,” explained Martinez, “I ended up going to the Philadelphia Eagles. I went down there and they took a MRI and X-Ray on both [injuries]. They said that they weren’t going to take me any more. My dream was crushed and I didn’t know what to do. I decided to make a football app, and this is what I came up with.“

“I [have] been building apps for four years now,” he elaborated, “I love doing it and have a lot of passion doing it… Stupidfast is different than any other app because it allows users to earn rewards and prizes. This concept is the first of its kind and would allow users to compete and earn rewards.”

Taylor’s lined up some fairly big companies too, with the likes of Sol Republic, HobbyTown, Cutter Gloves, Shock Doctor Mouth Piece, and Black Fly sunglasses all currently on board. Martinez also explained how there will be different console games you can win along with other prizes, including a “GoPro Raffle for every time you share a Kamcord.”

stupidfast2Kamcord support should prove quite a hit with StupidFast too, given its fast-paced nature. Players tap as fast as they can to try to run away from the safety, as well as jump over pillars. A stiff arm can also be employed to break the pillars, ensuring there’s plenty to do.

Martinez explained that, “prizes will be won based on your daily high score, best high score, the achievements [via] Game Center, and playing the football game. Inside the game, if you land on a certain number, you will win that prize.”

Achievements are varied, with awards for getting tackled by the safety and knocking your helmet off, falling on your butt when you hit a pylon, falling on your face hitting a pylon, collecting stiff arms, and passing 50 and 150 points in game.

stupidfast3“Every time you break your daily high score you will have a chance to enter into a raffle,” Martinez went on to explain, “Inside the main menu you can click Earn Rewards, and see what prizes you can win that day and what raffles you can enter into.”

Thanks to Taylor Martinez for taking the time to answer our questions. StupidFast is set to be a freemium game with in-app purchases available for more stiff arms, lives, and ad-removal. It’s set for release September 7. We’ll be sure to let you know when it’s out.

Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review

Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Combining simple combat with village building is a potent combination for this charming tale.

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Tiny Tower Vegas Review

Tiny Tower Vegas Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Build a huge tower again but Vegas-style in Tiny Tower Vegas.

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Baseball Battle Review

Baseball Battle Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Simple and cute, Baseball Battle is a fairly fun baseball game for those looking for something light.

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ALONE… Review

ALONE… Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Tough yet satisfying, ALONE... is a challenging endless flyer with some suitably sensitive controls.

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Hyperlapse Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Want to make a great time-lapse video quickly? Hyperlapse is perfect for that.

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Back To Bed Review

Back To Bed Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It looks gorgeous, but Back to Bed is actually a fairly simple and uneventful puzzle game.

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Letter Pix Review

Letter Pix Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Create words to clear the board and guess a photo underlay correctly in this fun but flawed word game.

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Spooklands Review

Spooklands Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
One-touch simultaneously controls your direction and your weapon in this unique arena shooter.

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Foodie Yama Review

Foodie Yama Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Foodie Yama will draw you in for a brief while, and you'll never be entirely sure why.

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We all take plenty of photos, right? That’s the joy of having a reasonably powerful camera in your pocket, thanks to your trusty iPhone and a bevy of similarly useful apps. Wouldn’t it be great to make some money out of those snaps? While your selfies might not garner much attention, there’s sure to be some great shots that will appeal to someone keen to purchase the rights. That’s the thinking behind PicsaStock, an app that allows you to sell your photos to professional creatives around the world.

PicsaStock_logo_darkProving to be remarkably simple to do, you can connect your account to the likes of Instagram, 500px, Flickr, and Dropbox, thereby sharing individual photos with the community in the hope of selling them elsewhere. We had a word with head of Mobile Marketing & Press, Lars Poeck, to learn more.

Lars-Poeck_Foto
148Apps: Where did the inspiration for PicsaStock come from?
Lars Poeck (LP): Before PicsaStock.com we founded YourPainting.de. This is a global gift franchising for customized photo paintings. During this process, we realized the complicated licensing process for photography. We also learned about a huge demand for authentic pictures – by agencies, bloggers, websites and even big brands. But these photos are hard to get. This is a strange situation. We all “produce” pictures like this everyday – everywhere. Each smartphone comes a high-tech-camera – right in your pocket. You are able to do even night shots or long exposure pictures with some photo apps.

So we invented PicsaStock.com as a marketplace and community for authentic photography. Sure, we keep an eye on good quality content. But as you [can] see on platforms like VSCO Cam, 500px, Instagram, or Flickr: there are millions of brilliant photographers out there that do even more than selfies or cat pictures. Some don’t have the slightest idea that they can earn money with their photography. We give them 50% of the sale price. So we invite them all to sell their photography. Our app also comes with features like a nice gallery mode [and] a special color search technology, so you can skip through your own gallery and discover brilliant pictures by other photographers with the app.

articleBlue and Yellow Colour Search
148Apps: How many people are currently using the service?
LP: We are a very young company. [Note: The company was founded in February 2013, with the site launching in September 2013 and the iOS app following in February 2014] At the moment we have around 25,000 users and photographers on our platform. Some upload hundreds of pictures, some just want to give it a try and upload a few pictures. But it’s amazing to see this growing every day. In our company, we all have a passion for photography. So every morning when we arrive it’s amazing to skip through the new pictures that people from all over the world uploaded on our server.

148Apps: How many photos have been purchased since the site was launched?
LP: At the moment we don’t release these numbers. But before I started at PicsaStock, I tested the service by myself and sold 10 pictures with the app. At the moment, we have 1 million approved and curated pictures and photos. Every day we get thousands of new ones. Sure, we can’t accept all of the pictures in terms of keeping up the quality standard. But it’s amazing how many people out there really know how to take a good picture – not only with their smartphones. As a tip for new users: The better you tag and name your pictures, the easier it is for others to find them.

Photographer Wisslarenedit your photos
148Apps: How is the service currently funded?
LP: As we launched in September 2013, we were supported by an investment from Slamdunk Capital and other early stage angel investors. Now we [have] some more business angels on board.

148apps: Are there any plans for an iPad app for the service?
LP: I love the iPad and the tablet size for displaying photography. You can use our app on iPad but it’s not optimized yet for the tablet. We’ve just launched our Android app and plan some feature updates for the current iPhone app. But sure, tablet apps are something we are discussing more and more often.


Thanks to Lars for taking the time to answer our questions. The PicsaStock app is available now from the App Store.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2014-02-11 :: Category: Photography

Appointment With F.E.A.R Review

Appointment With F.E.A.R Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Ever wanted to be a superhero? Appointment With F.E.A.R is a fine way to live that dream.

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Camu Review

Camu Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
With a focus on taking a good selfie, Camu is a well-rounded if simple photography package.

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WhatWatt Review

WhatWatt Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Want to know how much your devices are costing you to run? WhatWatt goes some way to making that process simpler.

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Superhero Workout Review

Superhero Workout Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Want a workout with a kind of story tied into it? Superhero Workout is what you're after.

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Star Wars: Commander Review

Star Wars: Commander Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It's a lot like Clash of Clans, but the use of the Star Wars license means you don't mind so much here.

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Max Gentlemen Review

Max Gentlemen Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Max Gentlemen seems pretty quirky initially but that appeal wears thin soon enough.

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Doctor Who: Legacy Review

Doctor Who: Legacy Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Doctor Who: Legacy is an ok match-3 puzzle game, but it lacks some much needed personality, despite that great license.

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Darium-Update-KeyArt
The recent update of Battle Command! has been quite a significant one, adding a new way of working together and sharing resources through a player-driven economy. The update adds a new resource in the form of Darium, which can be used to produce specialized troops and weapons. The unique part of this is that you can only gain the resource by working together and sharing other resources with your alliance mates. It’s a new twist on a familiar format and has the potential to change a lot within the F2P empire building landscape.

Because of that, we took the time to talk to Lead Producer for the game, Greg Mueller, to learn more about how such a significant inclusion came to be.

Darium-Laser-Screen-PvP-4
148Apps: How did you come up with the new resource sharing system? What was the thinking behind it?
Greg Mueller (GM): Players in Battle Command! are very engaged with their Alliances. We have a boosting mechanic where players can send free production boosts and building speed-ups to their Alliance mates. This is a very popular feature in our game with close to 1 million boosts sent per day. We know players enjoy interacting with their Alliances, so we designed this new system to add even more depth and interaction to the Alliance play. We also wanted to give players a way to uniquely contribute to their friends in the game so we added the three resource types that can be shared. This way you might have Diamonds and I have Amber and we both benefit by sharing those with one another.

Darium-Screenshot-PvE-1
148Apps: In what way do you expect it to change how players interact with each other and play the game?
GM: This update will definitely add even more emphasis to being in an active Alliance. Players will be sharing more, chatting more, and helping out their friends in a variety of meaningful ways. It takes the social aspect of the game beyond simply chatting or donating troops. With this new Darium resource players will also be able to build six new offensive and defensive weapons, each of which adds a new layer of strategy to the game.

Darium-Screenshot-PvP-5
148Apps: How balanced is it? Will players now be pretty much expected to be part of an alliance in order to be successful?
GM: The vast majority of our mid- to high-level players are already in Alliances, so most players won’t have to change the way they play at all to enjoy this new system. We’ve spent a lot of time play testing this both internally and in public beta to make sure we keep the game balanced for players who choose not to join an Alliance.

Darium-Pulsar-Screen-PvP-3
148Apps: How will the story-arc be affected by this new resource and gathering method?
GM: The Darium update comes with its own original story. The update introduces a new class of units and defensive structures that all look, feel, and act very unique. We had a lot of fun with the story and artwork to make these new units feel powerful and mysterious and fun to use.


Thanks to Greg for taking the time to answer our questions.

Battle Command! is out now on the App Store.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-11-11 :: Category: Games

Hanx Writer Review

Hanx Writer Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Miss writing on a typewriter? Hanx Writer replicates that experience pretty well on your iPad.

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BoxPop Review

BoxPop Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Move from tile to tile to clear the board in this slightly too simple and easy puzzle game.

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Breakdown Buddy Review

Breakdown Buddy Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
There's a good idea here, but Breakdown Buddy isn't as useful as it tries to be.

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Forks Over Knives Review

Forks Over Knives Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Want some tasty new recipe ideas but want to keep it healthy? Forks Over Knives is the ideal app for you.

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Tap Sports Baseball is a pretty simple game to learn, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy game to master, by any means. To start your batting career off well, we thought we’d give you the heads up on some handy tips and tricks.

Hey Batter-Batter:
Curious to see what we made of this whole “tap to bat” management sim? Check out our Tap Sports Baseball review!

Timing

baseball2baseball3

  • Learn when to hit the ball. It’s not always every time the ball comes at you.
  • Sometimes you should let the ball go. Recognize what the pitcher is doing and whether that means there’s going to be a strike or ball up ahead.
  • Miss the curveballs till you get your timing spot on. It’s all too easy to get a foul ball early on.
  • Turn the sound up and listen for the sound of the ball hitting the ground to know it’s coming in low. If it is, don’t bother swinging for it.
  • Learn when to hit early and when to hit late. It’ll change the trajectory quite significantly. Swinging later tends to place the ball on the opposite field while swinging early focuses on power.
  • As in real life, right handed batters tend to do better against left handed pitchers, and the same occurs in reverse.

Statistics are Important

baseball6baseball7

  • If your player has a low hitting or power score, and there’s a runner waiting on first, bunt to get that runner across. You’ll sacrifice one out but it’s often worth it.
  • Consider the speed of your runner when running for a base. 6 or higher and you’re fine, but lower than that and you should play it safe.
  • If your pitcher is getting tired, the game will let you know. Acknowledge those prompts, sub him in exchange for a new relief pitcher. You don’t get to control the pitcher directly so take advantage of this limited power that you’ve been given. Tired ones will just make mistakes.

General advice

baseball5baseball1

  • Keep an eye on everyone’s stats. Hitting dictates the batter’s ability to make contact, while power tells you how far they can hit the ball. Speed is how fast they can run to base, and bunt indicates how well they’re going to bunt. Adjust your strategies accordingly.
  • You’re given bonus games occasionally. Use them. There’s no reason not to and they’ll often help you progress faster.
  • You can earn free gold by watching videos. Do this as much as possible as you probably don’t want to spend real money unless you have to.
  • Plenty of things can be purchased but focus on upgrading your pitching and hitting coaches, as well as the other coaches available. Buying a free agent might seem tempting but focusing on coaching means the whole team benefits rather than just an individual player.
  • Remember you can’t help with defense/pitching, so focus on those upgrades as that’s where it’s really going to count.
  • Have plenty of games going on at once. Not everyone plays very often, or sometimes at all, so it’s more fun that way to ensure there’s always something to do. More importantly, advancing to the league playoffs depends on a certain number of wins so you want to work towards those as quickly as possible.

    FREE!
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Released: 2014-08-13 :: Category: Games

Tap Sports Baseball Review

Tap Sports Baseball Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Tap Sports Baseball is briefly fun but lacks some important features.

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Quest – Web Browser Review

Quest – Web Browser Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Being simple and streamlined means that Quest - Web Browser is a handy way to just browse the internet, free of too many options.

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