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Ryan Wood

Contributing Writer with the 148Apps Network since March 3, 2010

I currently serve as Chief Financial Officer for a mid sized behavioral health services clinic as my main profession. When I'm not spending my non-work time writing for 148apps, I enjoy spending time with my family and playing League of Legends sparingly. I hold a Master's Degree in Business Administration as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. I've worked most of my career in public service and have only recently switched to the for-profit world. I have a two year old son that takes up most of my time, and I'm completely okay with that. Feel free to contact me at my 148apps email with any questions. Thanks for visiting.

Ryan is not currently writing for the 148Apps Network.
Personal site :: http://148apps.com
Catasplat Review

Catasplat Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Catasplat your way to the gold in this catapult based, splat flinging, trophy earning experience.

Read The Full Review »

It’s hard to believe that anyone who owns an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad has not at one time utilized the music playing functionality that helped make Apple’s pocket sized lineup popular. Music Tempo, by developer Brock Haymond, realizes this. Instead of inventing a new wheel, Haymond has chosen to utilize the already polished iOS music player design, and simply add additional functionality directly to the player.

Through Haymond’s Music Tempo app, tempo change functionality is plugged directly into familiar functionality, providing a much missed feature for performers, workout aficionados, and DJ wannabes alike. The ease of use is only limited to the knowledge base one has with already existing technology.

Features include a tempo change without pitch adjustment, great sound quality that eliminates audio artifacts of any kind, mirrored audio file support to already existing technology on the iOS, and on the fly transcoding for quick and easy use of any file type.

Music Tempo is available on the app store now for $0.99.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-07-01 :: Category: Music

Welcome to installment 1 of my 26 week journey to lose weight using the App Store and all its glory. If you missed the introduction article, check it out here. As of today I can say that the start has been… SLOW. I’ve lost a pound or two, but it fluctuates so significantly that I can’t say I’ve really committed quite yet. I’ve got a meeting set up with the weight watchers people soon, so I’ll hopefully use that as a motivator, as well.

Even though I don’t have a good update on progress for you, I thought it was important to introduce you to the first and most likely the main foundation app I’ll be using throughout the process. As the title of the article might suggest, it is indeed our 5-Star recipient, “Lose It!” First and foremost, Lose It! is free. Both Lose It!’s app and website provide free services to those looking to shed a few pounds.

When Lose It! is fired up for the first time, there are some simplistic set up requirements including current weight, goals, and other general information. Once established these serve as the framework for daily calorie intake, exercise requirements, etc. For myself, I put my goal as 2 pounds a week going down to 180 pounds by the end.

The app itself consists of 5 tabs along the bottom of the screen that divide the program up into useful tools. The first tab is the most important in my opinion; the calorie counter entitled My Day. It’s here that food and exercise for the day are recorded and compiled to see daily and weekly results. Additionally, nutrient information can be tracked by activating the feature within the options menu.

The nice thing about the calorie counter is that thousands of foods come pre-programmed from store brand foods to items on the menu at your favorite chain restaurant. There are obvious limitations in that the app isn’t able to categorize anything and everything ever made cooked prepared etc, but inputting custom foods is as easy as reading the label on the product. I’m finding that in regards to my store brand foods, the app has TONS of items I regularly eat.

The next tab in the app, Log, provides an itemized view of all the food consumed for the day, calorie counts for each item, and a running total versus the budgeted amount. Items can be added or removed, edited, and viewed in more detail all from this screen.

The final three tabs include a friends tab that allows the app to interface with loseit.com’s web enabled content, a goal tab that allows for updates to the goal itself and a place to record weight as it changes, and a comprehensive options tab including the ability to produce reports that show progress.

The issue I have with Lose It! is more or a critique of all calorie counting apps. I have a habit of cooking from scratch and throwing ingredients in without really accounting for their existence. It’s an uphill battle to fix, and I’m doing a lot of guesstimations on calorie levels. Hopefully I can break these habits and use it more precisely.

As of now, Lose It! has become my foundation app. Over the next 25 weeks I’ll be looking at different apps that might work better, replace certain features of Lose It!, or that can be used in combination with Lose It! I plan to do the research on available apps but if the fine readership at www.148apps.com have suggestions, send them to me through the comment section or to me email at ryan.wood@148apps.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-11-21 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

AR Invaders Review

AR Invaders Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
AR Invaders is an enjoyable marriage of the iPhone camera and alien UFO destruction.

Read The Full Review »

Welcome to 148 Pounds, charting my personal journey to pull myself out of obesity and jump into a more healthy lifestyle. Over the next 26 weeks, I’ll be testing apps that will assist me in the journey from overweight to healthy.

As a quick introduction to my story, I’ve battled weight problems since elementary school, being an overweight child and having it transfer into adulthood. I had a brief period of time where I was able to lose 80 pounds during my senior year of high school and into my freshman year of college, but unfortunately as many who battle with weight issues will attest to, keeping the weight off is hard work.

With the recent birth of my son, I have been continuously attempting weight loss plans that I have been unable to commit to, either from lack of true dedication, time required, or a whole slew of other issues. The reality is that I have to motivate myself in order for any plan to truly work. So here I am, opening myself up to the 148apps world.

I’ll be using 4 main types of apps during this process. The 4 categories of apps include: Calorie Counter/Food Journal Apps, Exercise/Fitness Apps, Healthy Eating Home/Out Apps, and Weight Loss Progress Apps.

Depending on the scope of the apps reviewed, one app may occupy several categories at a time.
During this process, I’ll be trying to review one app a week. Based on the performance of the app, it may replace a “core” app in my weight loss plan, become an addition to current apps I am using, or not fit anywhere that would truly benefit my plan.

In the spirit of full disclosure, it’s my intention to also be actively utilizing other resources to further my weight loss goals. My first resource will be weight watchers, and it’s my intention to take a look at the weight watchers app once I get started there.

So now for the uncomfortable part, the disclosure of current weight and goals. As of today I weigh 328 pounds. Given my height of 5 feet 11.5 inches and my larger frame, my ideal goal is around 180 pounds. As fate would have it, that’s exactly 148 pounds. I wish I could say that was manipulated in some way, but it is not.

Goals are subject to change based on the direction of professionals and my overall health. I’ll be visiting a doctor once this really starts moving to ensure that my weight loss plan isn’t putting myself at risk, and given my lack of experience with weight watchers, I can’t say what they are going to try and put my end number at.

At the end of the 26 week program, the 148apps editorial team will review the progress of this article and the availability of weight loss apps, and the scope of this article may change. I look forward to the journey with the readership at 148Apps, and welcome suggestions for apps or just general tips and advice.

I encourage anyone who has benefited from the app store’s health and fitness apps to share their story as well, in the comments section below!

Red Ball 3 Review

Red Ball 3 Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Red Ball 3 is an exciting physics based platformer that combines proven mechanics with some exciting surprises.

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iD&D Company Spotlight: Level 99 Games

Hello fellow RPGers. After a short hiatus, iD&D is back. This month we take a look at a company who is doing the right thing for RPG players throughout the genres, Level 99 Games. I caught up with the Supreme Overlord of Level 99 Games, Brad Talton, for a quick overview of his company.

Brad’s basis for creating Level 99 Games came from his personal interest in the field of RPGs. “I created Level 99 Games with two ideas in mind: Expression and Immersion. The first is the idea that games are a form of personal expression. RPGs especially allow players to take the game and make it their own by adding content, creating characters, and planning their own adventures.”

Immersion is found much more in their competitive titles, such as the companies recent release of Super Psychic Chibi Fighters 3. “…players want to become immersed in games that deepen and grow the more they are played and examined. For this reason, I try to create games with many layers of strategy.”

Level 99 Games boasts an impressive library of tools and games for various interest levels. For iD&D, of course, we’re especially interested in pen and paper titles. Below is a brief summary of the titles currently available from Brad and his company.

Continue reading iD&D Company Spotlight: Level 99 Games »

iD&D: Gamebook Adventures

Welcome to another edition of iD&D. This month we are switching gears to take a look at a pocket of games that are based on the largely popular pen and paper RPG genre. There is no shortage of games available in the app store that make use of this genre, especially because many credit the original dungeons and dragons as the birth place of role playing games. This month we’re taking a look at the line of Gamebook Adventures available from Tin Man Games.

Currently there are four adventures available in the Gamebook lineup. The four titles are “An Assassin in Orlandes,” “The Siege of the Necromancer,” “Slaves of Rema” and “Revenant Rising.” All four titles use the same background world to build their story base from, which allows for each of the titles to fill in a piece of an overall fantasy world. Each title also offers updated background information on the world itself that helps to deliver an overall flourishing game world.

The Gamebooks are best described as the next iteration in choose your own adventure books. Players (Readers) travel through the story making choices along the way that help to develop the overall direction of the story. At any point one wrong move can bring up an untimely end to the adventure, which only serves to extend the playability of these stories even further.

The true gem, and the reason these are next iteration choose your own adventure books, is the dice component in the overall story. At the beginning of the story players roll dice to determine their Vitality and Fitness scores. These scores are extremely important to the overall interaction of the story because they determine how much health you have, and how agile you are as a player. Additionally, starting equipment is provided that helps to dictate encounters.

As the stories progress players will undoubtedly find themselves needing to fight their way through to the next pages. Encounters are randomized based on the current equipment scores. For example, I started the game with a dagger with a score of 2 and a leather jerkin with a score of 2. A goblin jumps out of the bushes without any armor on and holding a battle axe. The goblins armor score is 1 and his attack score is 4. The scores determine the number of die rolls each combatant gets to make, and then those die rolls are compared against the opponents rolls to determine the results.

Each story, while being based in the same world, is self contained and provides hours of entertainment depending on how many poor choices a player makes. Thankfully there are a number of bookmarks that allow the story to be started from a specific part of the story. Using a bookmark allows the player to begin from a specific point in the story, rather than the beginning.

The following story summaries are taken directly from the iTunes store descriptions from Tin Man Games. While there is no real order requirements, the overall fantasy world story truly develops from game to game, so my recommendation would be to start from Gamebook Adventure 1 and work your way numerically.

Gamebook Adventures 1: An Assassin in Orlandes

Set within Orlandes City, nobles are being systematically murdered by a ruthless assassin no-one seems able to catch. Finding yourself thrust in the middle of a large conspiracy, you must make decisions that may put yourself and one other most precious to you in great danger. Can you locate the Assassin in Orlandes before it is too late?”

Gamebook Adventures 2: The Siege of the Necromancer

“Set in the coastal town of Myr, you have returned home after a long Summer in the mines of Durath Tor to find your hometown besieged by strange creatures. A dark presence has taken over the town and you are the only one who can rid the stronghold of Erid Buul, the mysterious new Lord and his ghastly cohorts.”

Gamebook Adventures 3: Slaves of Rema

“Cruelly taken from your homeland of Orlandes, you find yourself in a far off land at the mercy of a gladiatorial arena. Somehow trying to find a way to escape overseas, can you also unravel a potentially dangerous mystery that puts two nations on the brink of war?”

Gamebook Adventures 4: Revenant Rising

“The mighty city of Falavia, the military backbone of Orlandes, is under attack from an army led by a man claiming to be a God. How did this come to pass you ask yourself? You’re sure it all started as some innocent adventure in search of treasure but somehow it turned into a nightmare. Also, why are people staring at you strangely? It’s not as if you look like you’ve recently been brought back from the dead or something. Oh yes, that’s right. You remember now… ”

148apps has a limited number of promo codes available for distribution. Leave a comment about Gamebook Adventures and enter yourself for a chance to win a promo code for one of the four adventures.
Thanks for reading the December edition of iD&D. Everyone have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

$5.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-02-08 :: Category: Games

$5.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-06-07 :: Category: Games

$5.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-09-13 :: Category: Games

$5.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-12-09 :: Category: Games

Far be it from me to interfere with the fun of office hi-jinx, but I’ve never understood the fun of sitting on top of a scanner and scanning one’s crack. However, there are plenty of you who find this to be an amazing time, and now there is an app store tool to train for that office party extravaganza.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it (or drunkenly take the dare), is to see how many scans you can get before time runs out. When I say time runs out, what I mean is, “before you fall over in a drunken stupor or get caught by the jack hammer that is management and end up using that butt scan as an attachment to your resume.”

I seriously enjoy the concept of this game. A simple butt scan game is fun and quirky for the same reason any fart, burp, or various other society shunned action game is. However, being marketed as a training for the big day, the office party, makes it even more fun. Rather than just enjoying butt scanning for butt scanning sake, butt scanners can map out the best plan, practice it, and perfect it.

Depending on how well this takes off, I wouldn’t be surprised to see every cubicle gifted with a pair of sweet cheeks this year. Practice makes perfect!

Disney launches four new apps

Disney had a busy App Store morning yesterday when it released four new apps. Well, three brand new apps and one very important update.

The update moves the hugely popular Radio Disney app, with over one million downloads, into the world of iOS4 functionality. This update brings multitasking support allowing users to run their radio in the background while interacting with other apps. Radio Disney, as always, is a free ad supported app that allows users to request songs, learn of local Radio Disney events, and send shout outs to Radio Disney and the on-air personalities populating its airwaves.

In new apps, Handy Manny is making an appearance on the app store for the first time in two separate apps geared towards the preschool crowd. These first ever Playhouse Disney apps are Handy Manny’s Workshop and Flicker’s Flashcard Fiesta. For $2.99 each, preschoolers, parents and caregivers can enjoy the unique experience these apps deliver on any of the iOS platforms. As an added bonus Wilmer Valderrama, the voice actor of Handy Manny, provides his voice for the app as well.

Disney Mobile Studio Tabulous is releasing the final of the four apps, with its follow up Lady Gaga Revenge 2. Fans familiar with Tap Tap Revenge will recognize the style of play. This version includes smash hits from Lady Gaga including Bad Romance and Alejandro, including eight additional never-before-tapped Gaga tracks. Social Network connectivity through Facebook, Twitter, and email has also been introduced into this game. Pick it up for $4.99.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-08-28 :: Category: Music

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-11-09 :: Category: Games

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-11-09 :: Category: Games

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-11-09 :: Category: Games

iD&D: Dice Rollers Part 2

In this, our exciting conclusion to last month’s Part 1 of Dice Rollers iD&D special, we’ll be taking a look at another 3 dice roller apps. Last month we showed you Pip, Mach Dice, and Quick Roll; three apps with various levels of power. This month we will be jumping in with the same methodology. Lets begin.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-08-30 :: Category: Games

Perhaps the most simplistic, and arguably the least polished, of the apps today is Multi Dice Roller. The reason I included it in the list is the unique way it goes about handling the process of dice rolling. It strips out the graphical interface, does away with complex settings, and takes a basic button push approach to getting the desired result. Multi Dice Roller offers two separate methods of rolling. The first, classic method, allows the user to adjust the total number of dice being rolled, and then the user presses the corresponding die to see the total. It’s as simple as that. The second tab is called Dice Pool, and rather than give totals on the die, it allows for thresholds to be set, and success or failure to be made. Set the target roll, set the number of dice making an attempt to meet that target, and when the specific die is clicked a number of successes, or critical failure for 1, will be displayed.
Who Multi Dice Roller is for: This unique approach to dice rolling is best suited for a niche group of people who find this type of rolling to be beneficial.
Who Multi Dice Roller is not for: Anyone wanting aesthetic rolling should stay away from this app. Its versatility is extremely limited as well, so those needing a more powerful dice roller are better off looking at one of the other options.
Issues: Multi Dice Roller is a unique spin on dice rollers, but really fails to outperform many of the others at a comparable cost. It’s included because of its stand out approach to rolling, and there isn’t enough individuality in the app store.
Recommendation: Multi Dice Roller isn’t an expensive app, but its use is extremely narrow. Don’t expect a lot of developer support either.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-05-13 :: Category: Games

RPG Calc, by Razeware (The makers of Battle Map), makes the list because of its simple and straightforward design. RPG Calc takes the visual representation of the rolling dice out of the equation, and instead makes use of a calculator for rolling purposes. Enter an equation into the app and with a shake of the ipod or a push of the equals sign the answer will be displayed on the screen. Need to take that answer and do further rolls? With the press of a button the answer is added into the next set of calculations automatically.
Who RPG Calc is for: This app is the next step in versatility. This is an excellent app for the dice roller who needs a big jump in programmability of rolls without a lot of duplication.
Who RPG Calc is not for: RPG Calc sits in an awkward position in this list of dice apps. It’s a great app, but it offers too little to really appeal to the hard core user, while offering just enough to possibly set itself above the casual user. Its powerful calculation tools are well designed, but aren’t something you can’t find with more tools somewhere else, and the lack of graphic representation may push some individuals away.
Issues: The limited screen size makes it impossible to display each and every dice roll when dealing with larger calculations, so unless you are only concerned with the end total, it becomes difficult to make good use of.
iPad differences: RPG Calc is a universal app, but using RPG Calc on the iPad improves the game app in several ways. First and foremost is the increased screen size, which allows for more versatility in seeing rolls. Additionally there are added features in the calculator including parenthetical statements, a D(variable) calculation, and a recent rolls list. While this doesn’t completely take the place of detailed history or pre-programmed rolls which are offered by other apps, it certainly opens up its use to a wider audience.
Recommendation: RPG Calc takes the graphical nonsense out of the equation, providing a straight forward experience. If this appeals to you, there is a good argument for trying out RPG Calc.
Side Note: RPG Calc comes free with Battle Map, so you’ve already been using, or have used, this app if you purchased our first month’s iD&D app.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-08-20 :: Category: Games


I can’t hope to include, in a comparison such as this, the feature list that Dicenomicon offers. It would take this fairly long article and springboard it into a 10,000 word essay. This is the advanced programmer’s dice app. Detailed background options, detailed UI adjustments, dice color and texture adjustments, physics changes, lighting changes, custom dice, character sheets, pre-programmed information from various gaming systems, if/then statements, built in PDF viewer, the list goes on and on.
Dicenomicon is feature heavy and the learning curve is intense. If you can master it, however, the possibilities are endless. The feature list is so heavy there is currently a Dicenomicon manual being developed by the creator, which is far from done, but can be checked out on the Dicenomicon web board here.
An app with the kind of feature list that Dicenomicon has deserves its own review, and in the future I’ll look into doing so. For now, check out the extensive list of features on the app store page, or check out the website here.
Who Dicenomicon is for: Advanced users. People willing to take the time to put ultimate power in their finger tips. Creating a character sheet inside Dicenomicon that works intuitively with the dice roll features, adding in the variables on its own, adjusting for hit chance and calculating EVERYTHING, based on predesigned formulas, is only one possible use of Dicenomicon. However, Dicenomicon can be used in a simpler fashion as well. There are drag and drop elements available for Dicenomicon for the simple user. Really though, why would you purchase a 32in HD monitor and hook it up to a top of the line Alienware system to surf the internet. Thankfully, power is sometimes cheap to obtain, and at $4.99, that’s a lot of bite for not a lot of investment.
Who Dicenomicon is not for: The light user, the casual gamer, the clinically sane (just kidding); it’s a power hungry app that requires an advanced user who is ready to take the time to use it to its full potential.
Issues: I was aware that a new update was coming for Dicenomicon so I delayed my review until now. These might be simple bugs as a result of the new patch, and a quick fix will take care of them, but I cannot get into some of the more advanced features of Dicenomicon without crashing the system right now. These include the extremely important role macro settings.
Recommendation: Be ready for the intimidation that is experienced when opening an app like this. I haven’t even begun to touch the feature list that Dicenomicon has, but it’s heavy. If you want the ultimate, this is it, and it comes at a pretty affordable cost. Don’t go this route if you want something simple. There are better, more straight forward options.

Time to step up to the plate folks. Next month is up in the air in regards to focus. I’ve got three different ideas for next months feature, and your input will help guide that decision. Are you looking for an all in one game manager? Want something a little lighter, say just a character sheet guide? Or we can take it a complete 360 and check out some of the best games for those that are pen and paper RPG enthusiasts. Shoot me an email, post in the comments, send me a twitter message, it’s up to you! Until next time, keep on gaming!

iD&D: Dice Rollers Part 1

Welcome, readers, to another edition of iD&D. Last month we took an epic journey through the inner workings of the app store map power house, Battle Map. Our review took readers through the powerful tools that Battle Map offers, and showed the versatility of customization and real time interaction through the external monitor options. Check out the newest update for Battle Map in the app store now.

This month, we’re taking a dip into the wide world of dice rollers. They come in all shapes and sizes, from bare bones options to the extremely customizable and programmable options. There are tons of dice rollers out there, so we’ve decided to take a closer look at 3 different apps this month, three different apps next month, and provide a comparative analysis of each of these 6 apps. Well, I’m “die”ing to get into this month’s article so let’s jump right in.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-12-02 :: Category: Games

Pip, from Mystery Coconut Games, offers beauty in a simplistic package. Pip is, simply put, a dice roller. Pip includes the standard 7 dice that are required in a d20 game: d20, d12, d10, d8, d6, d4, and a percentile. These are dragged onto the “table” from a side menu showing each of the 7 dice. Only the color is customizable. It’s like having a dice bag filled with as many of the standard 7 as you could ever need.

Pip uses an actual table that is rolled by shaking the iPod or iPhone. The physics engine powering Pip does a great job of emulating the actual movement that dice would make if shaken in a specific way. Pip offers multiple tables as well. These tables can be scrolled through with a swipe of the finger, offering some versatility in its simplicity.

Who Pip is for: Pip shines at the basic users must have dice roller. Its basic design and intuitive control structure make it an absolute asset in games.
Who Pip is not for: Pip isn’t for a complex player looking to calculate complex equations in a single roll. There is no “d20-4” options, so you’ll be doing your own math if you use Pip.
Issues: Pip’s drag and drop display is somewhat cut off on my 3rd gen iPod, making it difficult (but not impossible) to drag the percentile from the menu to the table.
Recommendation: If you’re looking for a simplistic dice roller, you cannot find a better option than Pip.
Side Note: In case you were not aware, a pip is the dot usually found on 6 sided dice that come with games such as monopoly. True to its name, Pip (the app) keeps the dots on 6 sided die. Good show!

Update: The tab button that hides and shows the dice panel can actually be dragged up and down, showing access to fudge and average dice, as well as a delete all button. With the additional dice options and the ability to scroll through the dice, my main issue with Pip is cleared up. Thanks to Coconut Games for clearing that up for me.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-08-13 :: Category: Games

Mach Dice takes the general ideas evident within Pip, and splashes in a few additional options. Graphically Mach Dice is a bit less appealing, though respectable in its own right. It’s the options that really help set Mach Dice up as the next step in dice rolling needs. Aesthetic options such as d6 edges, numerical or pip display, and background colors are mixed in with such utilization options like tilt and shake sensitivity, labels on d10 and d3 (Fudge or standard), and how the physics work.

Perhaps the key difference between Pip and Mach Dice is the ability for Mach Dice to add variables into the equation. A very basic screen can be brought up allowing for d(variable) to be added or subtracted from ability scores, etc. or from other d(variable) rolls. Mach Dice offers five different tables, with differing backgrounds and arrows to scroll between. Each table can have a different set of dice on it, and a history list shows a seemingly endless set of previous rolls.

Who Mach Dice is for: The users who need a little more versatility than Pip, while being ok with a step down in graphical design. The inclusion of the variable sided die with added modifiers is a big jump from Pip. FUDGE gamers will find the required dice in Mach Dice’s options.
Who Mach Dice is not for: With added features comes added interaction. Where Pip has a simple drag and drop interface, Mach Dice requires equations to be input into the system to work properly.
Issues: Changing the color of dice is somewhat forced into the input screen. It’s an extremely distracting method to change the color of dice. Also, I’ve had instances where one of the tables come up without any graphics at all, and I can only see the top and bottom interface bars.
Recommendation: Mach Dice isn’t as crisp an experience as Pip, but still offers additional versatility without sacrificing simplicity. It’s an extremely cheap option at $0.99, and really is a great choice for the individual looking to gain an added level of customization. It’s by far the simple option for any Do-It-Yourself Gaming System (FUDGE) gamer.
Side Note: The developer recently updated Mach Dice to include the FUDGE dice, and based on his blog posting on his website, plans at least a few additional updates in the future. Support = Win!

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-12-22 :: Category: Entertainment

Quick Roll is the first feature powerhouse app on the list, and is dangerously close to becoming my must have companion for all of my gaming adventures. Quick Roll throws the graphical representation of Pip and Mach Dice out the window, and frankly I think it’s a great decision. Five tabs separate the different screens available in Quick Roll including a pre-programmable roll tab, an attack tab, a roll history tab, a profile tab, and a free form tab. These features work together to make a truly winning app.

Who Quick Roll is for: Quick Roll is for the guy with multiple characters, multiple rolls, complicated character sheets, and a need to get everything under one nice umbrella app.
Who Quick Roll is not for: Quick Roll steps out of the realm of graphics and into the realm of power. It’s a lot of versatility, and if you can’t see yourself using it to its full potential, I would recommend sticking with a lighter roller.
Issues: The attack tab is good in theory, but is limited in customization making it difficult to use for people with multiple attacks w/ differing damage rolls.
Recommendation: Quick Roll provides me with everything I need, without offering me things I don’t. It’s not pretty, it doesn’t have a physics engine or a nice graphical roller, but it fits my needs. If you need power without beauty, get Quick Roll. Its slick design will keep you happy for a long time.
Side Note: Quick Roll takes a lot of up-front work, especially if you

Next month we will conclude our two part special on Dice Rollers. We will be taking a look at Multi Dice Roller, RPG Calc, and the powerhouse Dicenomicon.

Is there a dice roller that you use that’s not on this list? Let us know what it is? What do you like about it? How does it compare to the above apps?

If you ask me, tossing your iPhone around like it’s a Hot Potato just sounds like a bad idea. That is of course, unless you’re sporting a heavy duty case. For those of you who don’t have Iron Man equivalent armor for your Apple product, Famingo has provided the solution.

Through WiFi, up to 9 devices can toss a virtual potato around without putting any real risk to the device itself. With the flick of a finger, the potato is sent to another persons device, and the person left with the potato is out of the game. Points accrue that can be used to challenge members within your “network” of friends.

The whole concept behind Hot Potato is simple, quick, fun multi-player games. Matches don’t require much work to start up, especially if everyone has already set up their individual accounts, and the matches are quick and high intensity. Bonus points are gained by quick flicks and sending it to different targets each time.

Score tracking and game history are both available through famingogames.com, making this a fun, safe, competitive match of Hot Potato. The major set back comes from having to get a group of friends who all have an iPod, iPhone, or iPad. I don’t have that luxury with my group of friends, but for those of you who do, Hot Potato stands to offer quick high intensity fun.

Real Racing on Sale For First Time Ever!

Editor’s Choice and 5-star rated Real Racing is finding itself on a week long sale beginning September 30. The 40% off sale will bring Real Racing down to the low price of $2.99 for a limited time. For those of you unaware of the racing powerhouse, you can find our glowing review here.

Those of you well versed in the beauty that is Real Racing understand what it means to get such a great app for such a low price. Even if you own it, don’t forget about the 6-person local multi-player mode. Snatch it up for a friend through the gift-an-app program and introduce someone else to this racing giant.

Firemint is celebrating this sale by offering their Twitter and Facebook communities a chance to win promo codes for free copies of Real Racing. Send a tweet or like them on Facebook and your set. (Full Contest Details).

In case you need additional convincing, Real Racing took, among other things, Best Game Graphics, Best Racing Game, and an honorable mention as the best app of 2009 in the Best App Ever Awards last year.

Fiona’s Flowers HD Review

Fiona’s Flowers HD Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Fiona's Flowers doesn't break the mold, but it does lots of already established themes really well. Fans of this genre are going to find a great title, while people who have played and are over the Diner Dashish games might find it fairly repetitive.

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The Hero HD Review

The Hero HD Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
The Hero HD comes packed with a new control style for the iPad and upgraded graphics. At its low price point, its hard to not recommend if you enjoyed The Hero.

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GTA: Chinatown Wars HD for iPad Review

GTA: Chinatown Wars HD for iPad Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
There isn't much to say about GTA: Chinatown Wars that hasn't already been said. The upgrades in the HD version of this great game include lighting affects, an updated control scheme, improved graphics, and the same amazing game that Rockstar games released for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

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Black Tie Adventure Review

Black Tie Adventure Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Platform games aren't exactly a common game in the app store. Black Tie Adventure is a platform game that does a great job of filling that gap. With 32 stages, it's a full experience that is well worth the $2.99.

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When you learn about major events in U.S. History, especially events such as Pearl Harbor that occurred quite some time before your own birth, it’s with a certain amount of disconnect that you absorb all of the information delivered. There’s an understanding of the severity of the event, the lasting effects such an event has, and a general acceptance of how it changed U.S. culture for years to come. Text books can’t really convey, however, the true effect a major event has on the psyche of an individual who has been through that specific historical event. .

September 11, 2001 changed that for many of us. I was in high school when the planes hit, safely observing from my northeastern Ohio classroom. I don’t know anyone who died that day, or anyone who was directly affected. I can only express the realization I came to that day. My grandkids would be reading about September 11th in a text book, and would only be able to study the event, never really fully grasping the profound impact it had on our society.

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum released an iPhone app this year that offers all of us a chance to remember the event, and visualize some moments through the eyes of witnesses directly affected by this event. Three different options are available that provide a look into this tragic day: Tour, Explore, and Timeline.

For those of you taking a trip to New York or currently living there, the tour feature of this app provides you with a step by step walking tour, complete with directions and movies at each location to help bring you into the moments when the planes hit the buildings. First responders, rescue workers, and those in or around the area on that day share their stories as you walk through seven specific areas around Ground Zero. The movies in the tour section are powerful, and are beneficial to watch even if you aren’t in the New York area.

The other two tabs in this app, Explore and Timeline, help the user recount the events of that day and what’s planned for the future. Pictures and events are mapped out in a fairly straightforward fashion, and overhead views of what the current construction, and finished product, will look like in regards to the memorial and museum.

These features are all available offline. Online features include additional photos in the explore section of the app. For non-U.S. visitors, a free wifi hotspot map is included with the app to help you utilize the full potential of the app on your WiFi enabled iOS device.

Opinions on the relevance of this app, whether it’s in poor taste or not, and if it really offers a realistic look at the events of September 11th will be up to the user to decide. Walking tours using the iPhone as a guide are a great concept, and more apps should follow this kind of on-demand tour approach for other tourist heavy areas. Personally, if it helps my kids or grandkids get a better sense of an important historical event, I’m all for it.

For more information on the 9/11 Memorial, please visit national911memorial.org.

Star Fighter X2 for iPad Review

Star Fighter X2 for iPad Review

Star Fighter X2 is another addition to the huge gap of non-board game single device multi-player games. While it's lack of depth limits its staying power, the gap it fills may solidify it as a must have for single device multi-player game fans.

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Danger! Dodgeball HD for iPad Review

Danger! Dodgeball HD for iPad Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
If you can dodge a wrench... well congrats. You don't need to in order to enjoy Danger! Dodgeball HD. With intuitive motion controls and a fun all around premise, Danger! Dodgeball HD is a sure bet for some good ole fashion school yard fun.

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Simon Graham and the Extraordinary Timepiece Book 1 HD for iPad Review

Simon Graham and the Extraordinary Timepiece Book 1 HD for iPad Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Simon Graham and the Extraordinary Timepiece Book 1 HD is a solid addition to a growing genre in the app store. With a $1.99 price tag, and a lite version, there's no reason not to give this game a shot.

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A steak timer for the true steak enthusiast

I still remember all you can eat steak night at the local Ponderosa. My cousin and I would chomp down four or five steaks each before we were both ready to burst at the seams. What we were eating was just a shadow of what steak is supposed to be, however.

Early in 2010 I took a vacation to Chicago. During my stay I visited a high end steak house, the Grill Room. This was my first interaction with how great “real” steak was. Our waiter (are they called waiters at steak houses?) brought out a huge plate of meat to display to us, explaining what each piece of meat was, how it was prepared, and the methods of cooking. It was at this visit that I learned “real” steak places won’t prepare steak past medium.

Steak Grilling Timer & Recipes is a grill timer for steak that provides much of the information I learned at a “real” steak house. Multiple steaks can be added, with each being allowed unique cuts, thickness, and cooking levels. Each steak timer can be started separately, to ensure that all of the steaks get done at the same time. Setting up each steak for cooking is the easiest process I think I’ve experienced in an app on the iPhone. The app even takes into consideration preparation on a gas grill, a charcoal grill, or inside.

Steak Timer is much more than a timer, however. Each cut of steak has a laundry list of facts, including how it was cut, cooking techniques, and the various forms that particular cut comes in. Recipe information can be searched through for individual cuts as well, ensuring multiple preparation techniques for each cut. Did I mention all of the above is available without an internet connection?

For those with an active internet connection, additional features are available. A Steak-Enthusiast blog is available directly inside the app, and Kansas City Steak Company runs a monthly drawing for a $75.00 gift card that can also be accessed directly inside the app.

If you’re a steak lover, you owe it to yourself to check out this free steak timer and database from Kansas City Steak Company. It doesn’t provide endless amounts of information, but provides the most important information that any steak lover would need, each time steak is for dinner. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to return to my daydreaming about the masterpiece of a dinner I had at the Grill Room in Chicago again.

iD&D: Battlemap


Welcome, my fellow masters of geekdom, to a new monthly special running here at 148apps entitled iD&D. Each month you’ll find me, your friendly resident Dungeon Master, offering you info on some of the best (or worst) apps available in the app store that make it easier (or harder) for us to do our job. Don’t worry players; you’re not left out either. There are plenty of apps, including one that’s part of today’s article, for you as well.

Additionally I’ll be asking you, the reader, to provide us with some information each month that I will provide to the readership in the following months article. For example, this week’s question will be a survey on people who use an iDevice to enhance their pen and paper experience. Check out the end of this article for more details.

Caveat: I play the majority of my games using the Advance Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 gaming system. I’ll be referring primarily to Dungeons and Dragons (3.5), but unless otherwise stated, expect the majority of apps in this section to be universal in application. For those apps specifically for the fourth edition game system, I’ll be running smaller mini-campaigns to get a feel for their usefulness. If there may be variances from system to system, I will do my best to point them out.

Well, if I knew the 148apps lawyers, I’m sure they would be elated with me right now. As for me though, I’m anxious to get into our first article.

Continue reading iD&D: Battlemap »

Escape from NOM Review

Escape from NOM Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Escape From NOM, while not providing anything exceptionally new to the app store, certainly has a winning combination of fun, humor, and challenge. With 30 free levels, a level designer, and facebook connectivity, trying this game out is a no brainer.

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OmniSketch Review

OmniSketch Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
OmniSketch is a powerful procedural art tool that provides a lot of bang for the $1.99 price tag. Even the untrained artist can find some enjoyable features in OmniSketch.

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Set Pro HD Review [Updated]

Set Pro HD Review [Updated]

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Set Pro HD, while being good in theory, executes poorly in this overly simplistic card game. A multi-player mode that's sure to put your iPad in danger only helps to increase the disinterest I have in this game.

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Weber’s On The Grill Review

Weber’s On The Grill Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Weber's On The Grill is a great database of recipes available offline, while carrying a hefty price tag for information that is regularly available for free online. Depending on your need for offline portability, the price might be the stopping point for this app.

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Rafter HD Review

Rafter HD Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Rafter HD is an upgraded version of the original Rafter, with 30 more levels to boot. This iPad upgrade is as cheap as they come, and the additional content makes it well worth it.

Read The Full Review »
Twang Review

Twang Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Twang is fun to use, but isn't much more than a novelty product. The small screen of the iDevice limits its use for anything except the occasional YouTube video.

Read The Full Review »
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