All Posts By Rob Thomas

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Rob Thomas

with the 148Apps Network since October 20, 2011



Connect with Rob via:
Game Center: ShadowPraxis
Twitter: @ShadowPraxis
Email :: rob.thomas@148apps.com

Five Nights at Freddy’s Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Can you survive five nights as the new night watchman of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza? Be warned: the resident animatronic mascots are a bit... buggy. Good luck!

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Scuba Dupa Review

Scuba Dupa Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Scuba Dupa is cute and simple fun, but you're going to have to part with a bit too much sunken treasure to make it worthwhile, unfortunately.

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applepay03Broken livestream be damned, Apple barreled bravely forward with their highly anticipated press conference today in California. One of the biggest announcements to come out of it was the reveal of the new Apple Pay virtual wallet service.

applepay01Relying on an NFC chip mounted inside the top edge of both the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay will allow consumers to do away with all of the fumbling around with silly, outdated ideas like cards, IDs, and security codes. Working in combination with the Touch ID sensor located in the Home button, Apple Pay will theoretically make the payment methods stored in your stolen phone useless to thieves – unless they get the bright idea to begin lopping off fingers, I suppose. But even if that should be the case, there’s no need to cancel your cards on your way to the hospital as payments from the device can be shut off via Find My iPhone. Pretty nice to not have to deal with that whole hassle, I would say.

applepay02Apple Pay integrates with Passbook and can import the credit card that users already have on file with iTunes. Using the iPhone’s camera, they can also snap pictures of their other cards to add them to the options on file as well, but apparently the credit card number itself is stored on neither the device, nor Apple’s servers. Instead, each transaction will be authorized by a one-time use unique transaction number and a dynamic, shifting security code. Let’s hope this calms fears of trusting cash to the cloud in the wake of last week’s leaked celebrity selfie disaster.

Starting off, Apple Pay will work with all three of the major credit card providers (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover), as well as pretty much all of the major U.S. banks, totaling 83% of the consumer purchase volume. There are also deals in place for a growing number of retailers, restaurants, and other folks who want your money to use Apple Pay as it launches. McDonalds, Panera, Whole Foods, Walgreens, Staples, and more are already involved, with Disney, Chipotle, Sephora, Nordstrom, and others due by the end of the year.

applepay04Apple Pay is only available with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and is due to roll out in the U.S. this October, with the rest of the world still to be announced. Provided they can actually suss out the security issues, I have to admit this does sound like a pretty neat idea. A growing number of retailers have NFC readers at their point-of-sale and it certainly beats having to fumble with your ID when that one store decides to ask for it when a dozen others never bother.

What do you think? Are you ready to abandon your actual wallets just yet and trust that your iPhone’s battery won’t die during a particularly long day out? Let us know how you feel below.

Swipe & Slash Review

Swipe & Slash Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Oh, nevermind. Just another Threes! clone. What? Y-you mean Swipe & Slash is actually a fun RPG-lite dungeon hack using Threes! as a combat engine? Oh, well why didn't you say so?

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PickCrafter Review

PickCrafter Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
For a short time, PickCrafter will have you under its strange spell. Thankfully, it doesn't last and you can get back to doing more productive things in life, like watching paint dry.

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Little Frights Review

Little Frights Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Little Frights' charming visuals can't quite scare away the frustrating controls in yet another zombie-based game.

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Fire in the Hole Review

Fire in the Hole Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Seafoam's Fire in the Hole looks like a bright, 8-bit throwback, but there's not enough booty to make this a compelling voyage.

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Addnum Review

Addnum Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Simple, fast, and fun. Addnum is a free number puzzler that doesn't disappoint.

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Invaders! From Outer Space Review

Invaders! From Outer Space Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It's a shame that Invaders! doesn't offer deeper gameplay, as this retro-inspired remake's presentation is dripping with nostalgic flavor.

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Ultra Drift Review

Ultra Drift Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Ultra Drift is fine in concept, but the execution runs head-first into the wall. And so will you. Over and over again.

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MZR Review

MZR Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
How quickly can you escape from MZR's neon mazes of doom? Why not find out for yourself?

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TourStar Review

TourStar Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
When The Ramones sang "Touring, touring/It's never boring," they clearly weren't referring to TourStar. This shallow sim tempts with swag, but instead, is just a drag.

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Cubic Castles Review

Cubic Castles Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Some ridiculously frustrating camera issues aside, Cubic Castles is a pretty neat, voxel-based crafting game that sports serious future potential.

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Assault Vector Review

Assault Vector Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
While this hex-based warp ride is fine in theory, Assault Vector is a bit too simple to be enjoyable for very long.

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InnerList Review

InnerList Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
InnerList can assist in creating a bit of order out of your personal chaos, provided it's not TOO chaotic.

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Zombit Review

Zombit Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Pixels? Check. Zombies? Check. Oh, wait. We forgot to include an interesting game. Darn!

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Vertical Cliff Review

Vertical Cliff Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Who would have thought a game about descending sheer surfaces could be this gripping?

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Starship Turret Operator Guy Review

Starship Turret Operator Guy Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Starship Turret Operator Guy--besides having a great name--casts players in the unlikely role of a guy. Who happens to operate a turret. On a starship. Surprise!

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Blood Bowl Review

Blood Bowl Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Blood Bowl fans, rejoice! Your favorite fantasy bloodsport is now portable, thanks to iPad. But a huge caveat emptor is in effect for the uninitiated.

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Fraud Tycoon Review

Fraud Tycoon Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Fraud Tycoon is a half-baked, messy, promotional tie-in that does their sponsor no favors whatsoever.

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Hexiled Review

Hexiled Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
In space, no one can hear you... spell? Hexiled is a neat concept for a word scramble puzzle, but it doesn't go too far beyond the basic premise.

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Star Admiral Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
While this new digital CCG may feel a bit familiar, Star Admiral offers a sci-fi twist and galaxy's worth of solid gameplay for free.

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For the first time since its release (which has thankfully been a much shorter window for iPad players than their PC counterparts), Blizzard’s wildly successful Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft CCG is sporting some brand new content: the single player “adventure” mode, Curse of Naxxramas. Based on the World of Warcraft raid dungeon of the same name, Naxxramas is divided up into various themed quarters: the Arachnid, Plague, Military, and Construct Quarters, and ending with the Frostwyrm Lair. Naxxramas’ Arachnid Quarter opened up this week and I brushed back the cobwebs to peek inside.

Hearthstone: Curse of NaxxramasThe three challenges of the Arachnid Quarter come in the forms of the Spider Lord Anub’Rekhan, Grand Widow Faerlina, and the giant spider Maexxna – sure to give anyone with arachnophobia a severe case of the creepy-crawlies. Each boss has their own special 2 mana “class” power, from summoning minions (Anub’Rekhan), to sending random minions back to a player’s hand (Maexxna), to firing randomly assigned magic damage based on how many cards the player is holding (Faerlina). There are also Heroic versions of the same fights, where the dungeon bosses start off with a massive 45 life to the player’s paltry 30 – while also sporting enhanced versions of their powers. Summoning a 4/4 minion for 2 mana? Yeah, that seems incredibly well-balanced. Good luck!

There are also two Class Challenges, where players are pitted against Naxxramas’ bosses with pre-built class-specific decks. Rogue and Druid are the two classes on offer this time, with the Rogue facing Faerlina while the Druid takes on Maexxna. Other Class Challenges will unlock as the weeks roll on, of course. It would be nice to see these with their own Heroic variants too, but in some cases that could get dangerously close to overkill.

Hearthstone: Curse of NaxxramasAll of the battles in this wing of Naxxramas feel fresh and interesting. The new graphics for the playing area feature fun little interactive elements and there’s a ton of new voiceover work, including new lines for plenty of existing Hearthstone cards. In particular, the running commentary between matches from Naxxramas’ resident Lich Lord, Kel’Thuzad, is funny – almost at odds with the presumed tone of the new area. Then again, Hearthstone has never been afraid to be light and goofy. A lot of the new cards on display bank heavily on Battlecry and Deathrattle effects (SO many Deathrattles!). Also, with a number of new Beast subtype cards, Beast-themed Hunter decks have just received a huge boost.

The other wings of Curse of Naxxramas begin opening, one by one, starting next week with the Plague Quarter. Each wing costs $6.99 (with bundles available at a discounted price) or 700 in-game gold – but, sadly, no bundles), so you’d better start farming those daily Quests for gold now. However, keep in mind Quests only advance via Play or Arena mode – time spent in the depths of Naxxramas doesn’t count toward their completion. So what are you waiting for, adventurer? Get back out there and sling some cards!


Elfcraft Review

Elfcraft Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
I feel like forging elements is really more of a dwarven gig, but Elfcraft is still an enjoyable (if ultimately forgettable) puzzle experience.

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Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon Review

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Smash your way through Space with Marvel's cosmic misfits, the Guardians of the Galaxy. Just be prepared for some galactic grinding.

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Magic 2015 Review

Magic 2015 Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Don't let the price tag fool you. If you're not willing to pony up a ten spot, your time in Magic 2015 is going to be short-lived indeed.

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Storm Casters Review

Storm Casters Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Storm Casters is a cute, fast-paced action-RPG dungeon crawl, but there are a few dark clouds in its sky to take note of.

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HexSweep Review

HexSweep Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
HexSweep has lush, stylish neon visuals but not a lot on offer for the free version alone.

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Desert Fox: The Battle of El Alamein Review

Desert Fox: The Battle of El Alamein Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Yet another excellent entry from Shenandoah Studio, Desert Fox: The Battle of El Alamein may be priced a bit steep, but it’s a well-executed package that functions as both entertainment and interactive history lesson.

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Transformers: Age of Extinction – The Official Game Review

Transformers: Age of Extinction – The Official Game Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Get your motor running. Head out on the highway. Then slaughter endless hordes of robots with your giant robot axe, if you can stay awake.

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