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Jordan Minor

Senior Writer with the 148Apps Network since August 19, 2011

Wordsmith. Northwestern Alum. Fan of video games. Fascinated with the internet.

Connect with Jordan via:
Twitter: @JordanWMinor
Email :: jordan.minor@148apps.com
Personal site :: http://www.JordansOB.blogspot.com
Angry Henry And The Escape From The Helicopter Lords: Part 17: The Re-Reckoning Review

Angry Henry And The Escape From The Helicopter Lords: Part 17: The Re-Reckoning Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Angry Henry And The Escape From The Helicopter Lords: Part 17: The Re-Reckoning lives up to its name.

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Fish & Shark Review

Fish & Shark Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Fish & Shark's beauty is only scale deep.

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Who Wore it Bests? answers the call of the wild and looks at two games with gun-toting animals: Crazy Dogs and Armed Beasts.

If you go to a casino, you might make a lot of money. If you run a casino, you’re guaranteed to make a lot of money. The choice seems pretty obvious. So while waiting for your shady real estate deals to move forward, get prepared with Tiny Tower Vegas, the latest follow-up to the smash hit sim Tiny Tower. We become mini casino moguls in this latest edition of It Came From Canada!

Tiny Tower Vegas will feel instantly familiar to fans of the original. Players build their gambling empire floor by floor while keeping customers happy and business flowing. New floors need new employees, and players can choose between who the best person for the job is and who is the most affordable. Customize the tower by putting pyramids or Greek statues on the roof, changing interior décor, and even sprucing up the elevator design. Players can also upgrade the elevator’s speed since they’ll be operating it by hand quite often to get guests where they want to go. And it’s all presented in the same great, low-key pixel art style.

tiny tower vegas 1tiny tower vegas 2But of course, the Las Vegas setting comes with its own demands – even if this seems based on new, classy, family friendly Vegas instead of old, seedy, good Vegas. While some new floors will be the occasional taco bar in need of restocking, the gambling is where the real action lives. Players can try their luck on slot machines and earn extra cash alongside customer revenue. Once the hot streak ends, would-be pit bosses can check up on how their “bitizen” guests are doing by reading the “BitBook” social network, or just sit back and watch the fireworks – the only things brighter than the massive glowing signs.

tiny tower vegas 3tiny tower vegas 4Current Tiny Tower players shouldn’t expect Tiny Tower Vegas to completely reinvent the wheel after its soft launch phase. It’s got some new ideas, so it’s not just a reskin, but it’s so close to the original it’s more spin-off or expansion pack than sequel. But you can decide for yourself once it fully launches.

Defenders of Suntoria Review

Defenders of Suntoria Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Defenders of Suntoria is a solid tower defense game, but it leans a little too much on freemium upgrades.

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The Phantom PI Mission Apparition Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The Phantom PI is an exceedingly clever and well-crafted adventure game.

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It Came From Canada: Epic Skater

For all the hate that it gets for being a pastime for slackers, skateboarding really does require a lot of skill. All those flips and spins take real athleticism, and there’s all the jargon to memorize. Fortunately for us less extreme individuals, Epic Skater makes things a lot simpler by handling all that pesky “moving” business. We check out this upcoming endless runner – or skater, rather – in this edition of It Came From Canada!

Epic Skater always starts with its kid hero bursting out of a dusty old classroom to go skate in the big city. But from there, the game randomly strings together its environments to create a slightly different experience each time. Certain sections will become familiar, but changing the order keeps players on their toes, and their toes on the board. The different backdrops are also lovingly detailed, whether it’s the giant “Epicwood” sign or the various restaurants players skate by after emerging from the sewers. And it’s all brought to life in a colorful, fast-paced, 3D cartoon world.

epic skater 1As an endless runner, the only goal is to make it as far as possible without stumbling over an obstacle. But what’s the fun in that? The real goal is to get as high a score as possible using the game’s fairly robust, Tony Hawk-style trick system. Swiping or holding down on the screen in various ways will trigger all kinds of unique flips, spins, and jumps. Players can chain moves together through manuals, or if their timing is really precise, hop right onto a grind rail in the background. The game gets quicker the longer it goes on, and soon players will be leaping over massive gaps at breakneck speeds. They might even start to worry for the kid – especially after watching some of the gnarly failure animations.

epic skater 2Between runs players can use the coins they’ve gathered to upgrade their board, or buy boosters at the start of each round. With real money they can also buy energy drinks to continue a failed run without losing any points. But as far as freemium elements go, that’s pretty inoffensive. Plus, by paying attention to the achievement system players can earn most of the experience they need to take their skater to the next level without crutches.

Currently, Epic Skater is only available in countries like New Zealand as part of its soft launch phase. But expect it to shred its way onto App Stores everywhere soon.

Revolution 60 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Revolution 60 is a bold, cinematic action game with ambition to spare.

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Things have changed in Berk, the fantasy Viking village of DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon series. Dragons and Vikings, once mortal enemies, now must learn to live together in peace. Dragons: Rise of Berk lets players manage dragon-Viking relations first hand, and here are some tips for keeping everyone happy and prosperous.

Reign of Fire

dragons4
Obviously, dragons play a pretty big role in a game named after them, and they’re good for much more than just flying and fire-breathing. Here’s how to put them to work.

  • To get started, level up Toothless by feeding him tasty fish. Once he’s strong enough, you can then send him out to search nearby islands for more dragons eggs. Get a Whispering Death on Bashem or maybe a Scauldron on Unlandable Cove.
  • After hatching an egg, place your new baby dragon wherever there is room and feed them until they level up and reach adult size. You can also train dragons by sending them to the academy for a few minutes.
  • Adult dragons can independently perform many tasks around Berk, and as they grow they learn new skills such as how to gather resources like fish and lumber. Having more dragons at your command also increases Berk’s ability to expand.
  • As you progress, tons of new dragon breeds become available to search for, including some limited time offers. Also, by helping characters from the movies their personal dragons, like Astrid’s Stormfly, can be yours.

    Continue reading Dragons: Rise of Berk – Tips, Tricks, and Strategies on How to Train Your Dragons »
  • A Life Worth Dying For Review

    A Life Worth Dying For Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    A Life Worth Dying For is a fascinating portrait of a serious subject.

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    Zombie Puzzle Panic Review

    Zombie Puzzle Panic Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Zombie Puzzle Panic puts some pretty neat undead twists on Match-3 puzzling.

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    SBK14 Review

    SBK14 Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    SBK14 technically marvels, but lacks soul.

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    Thought evil dragons were just a myth? Well they’re back in Dungeon Gems. And even though the game will seem quite familiar to fans of Puzzles & Dragons, it still has intricacies of its own to master. So gather an elite team of elemental heroes to take down the monsters one dungeon at a time. Here’s how.

    Fight Fire with Fire, or Water, or Wood…

    dungeongems_05dungeongems_04

  • Basic attacks are launched by matching elemental gems like a puzzle game. You don’t even need to match three, just one will suffice. However, longer combos create more powerful attacks. Some even create special gems that clear a single element from the board, including new ones that cycle in to replace the old, doling out a massive assault.
  • Each element has different strengths and weaknesses. Fire beats wood but is weak against water while light and dark both beat each other. Be sure to target enemies by touching them so attacks can have the most impact.
  • Some enemies have longer waiting periods between turns. Check the number next to them and use any extra turns you may have to deal more damage or heal yourself by linking heart gems.
  • Defeating enemies grants you action points. These can be used to activate special skills or link separate elements together for huge, multi-elemental attacks.


    Continue reading Dungeon Gems- Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Fighting Elements with the Elements »

  • Tanks vs Aliens Review

    Tanks vs Aliens Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Tanks vs Aliens provides plenty of retro shooter thrills.

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    It’s an advergaming assault on Who Wore it Best? as Grindcore and LINGsCARS compete to see which is the best interactive brand engagement.

    It Came From Canada: Bio Inc.

    Bio Inc. is an evil game. It can make players feel legitimately guilty. It’s not only about killing, but killing as subtly and fiendishly as possible. It’s about death as inevitability. After blackening our hearts and poisoning our souls, we’re here with the autopsy in this latest edition of It Came From Canada!

    Remember the villainous virus from Osmosis Jones that took pride in killing people as fast as possible? That’s basically Bio Inc.’s premise. Players dive into the body of some unsuspecting sucker and try to end their life quickly and efficiently. It’s like Trauma Center in reverse. At the start of each round, players hop between different body systems, like the brain and the skeleton, harvesting minor bacteria like resources in a strategy game. From there, they use the points they’ve acquired to unleash new ailments like the flu and insomnia. As new symptoms take their toll, players can climb further up the tech tree discovering even stronger ways to cripple their victim’s heart or immune system defenses. They can even unlock bonus risk factors to buff their attacks like making the victim smoke or eat junk food.

    bio inc 1

    But as in real life, killing in Bio Inc. isn’t that simple. Eventually the victim will go to the doctor and start receiving care. Once that happens, their recovery meter will start to go up. As the player’s attacks become more vicious and more systems start to fail, the doctors start working even harder and recovery increases faster. The game then becomes a race against time to murder the mark before the doctors can save them. Players can even use downright abhorrent sneaky tricks like making the doctors go on strike and halt recovery.

    What’s most diabolical about the game though is how its deep strategic elements make players thoughtfully plan out their dirty deeds. Target one system aggressively or spread out the infections? Pepper the body with little diseases or save up points and release The Big C? Each new victim also has specific traits like high stress or a family history of genetic deficiencies. Exploiting these facts is crucial, especially on higher difficulties. Players can even name their targets for maximum meta cruelty.

    bio inc 2

    The horror inherent to the premise is only slightly blunted by a few funny voice clips accompanying each new development. Upping the victim’s age to over 60 sounds especially, hilariously painful. But beyond that, the game pulls no punches while forcing players to watch their victim’s body slowly breakdown through the harsh, clinical interface.

    Bio Inc. isn’t available yet, so fortunately we have some time to brace ourselves for the complete extent of its malice. Once it fully launches though, it just might spell the end for our current age of innocence.

    G.O.A.T. Review

    G.O.A.T. Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    G.O.A.T. is pretty good, but it's not the greatest puzzle game of all time.

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    Miniverse Review

    Miniverse Review

    iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
    Miniverse's biggest treats are unfortunately out of reach.

    Read The Full Review »
    Bricks Review

    Bricks Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    This twisted take on Breakout deftly avoids being too minimal for its own good.

    Read The Full Review »
    Globber’s Escape Review

    Globber’s Escape Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Its inspirations are obvious, but Globber's Escape's frantic arcade gameplay still delivers.

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    BladeSmith Review

    BladeSmith Review

    iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
    BladeSmith's sharp ideas are dulled by borderline incomprehensible presentation.

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    Minimo Review

    Minimo Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Is there room for one more Flappy Bird clone?

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    Pi-Pi-Ee Review

    Pi-Pi-Ee Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Pi-Pi-Ee successfully balances simple rules with strategic depth.

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    ViCTOR: Virus Eradicator Review

    ViCTOR: Virus Eradicator Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    This game needs a check-up of its own.

    Read The Full Review »
    Stickman Soccer 2014 Review

    Stickman Soccer 2014 Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Stickman Soccer 2014 is a good but plain take on the beautiful game.

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    Who Wore it Best? goes searching for a fresh spin on the match-3 puzzle game and two challengers emerge: Spin It and Perplexity. But who prevails?

    Phantom Flower Review

    Phantom Flower Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Classy art direction can't hide Phantom Flower's fun but fleeting gameplay.

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    Outernauts: Monster Battle Review

    Outernauts: Monster Battle Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    A harmonious mix of F2P features lead Outernaut's simple monster battling to victory.

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    Delivery Outlaw Review

    Delivery Outlaw Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Adult Swim's physics trial racer is good, but mostly wheel-spinning.

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    Ruzzle Adventure Review

    Ruzzle Adventure Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    This ambitious puzzle game sequel is a ruzzingly good time.

    Read The Full Review »
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