Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 13th, 2015 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
CARROT Hunger, the new calorie counter from Grailr LLC, is mean, judgmental, and dedicated to punishing you for over eating. If you’re looking for a way to shame yourself into losing some pounds, look no further than this hysterical app. CARROT Hunger makes it easy to track your food intake with a UPC scanner and large database. CARROT will show you how much exercise you will need to do to work off the calories of your chosen food, and the app gives you an avatar that will get chubby if you don’t keep in shape.
To keep your avatar’s figure as well as your own, you can log activities to help burn the fat. The app works with iBeacons, so if you stick one to your fridge CARROT can point out when you start looking to graze. If you do decide to ignore CARROT, the app will punish you with fullscreen ads, embarrassing tweets, and bribe requests.
You can download CARROT Hunger for free on the App Store to start your calorie counting harassment.
How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we’ve been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.
One of the first comics I can remember buying with my own money as child, purchased from a newsstand near my great-grandmother’s apartment, was an issue of Marvel’s Contest of Champions. Contest of Champions was groundbreaking in a couple of different areas: it was Marvel’s first publication released in a “limited series” format, and it was also one of the first attempts to blatantly strip out any attempt at more nuanced story arc by instead offering three issues of heroes clashing against one another in page after page of epic battles as cosmic puppet masters tugged at their strings. Despite revisiting the concept a couple of times in intervening years, nothing ever quite captured that same spectacle that my five year old self felt while leafing through those pages. However, Marvel and Kabam are dragging the old chestnut out of mothballs again in the form of a head-to-head fighting game. And despite a couple of issues, it’s actually not the worst licensed game I’ve seen. –Rob Thomas
How lucky do you feel? Area 777 is heavily dependent on luck, so you’d better hope that you’re a naturally fortuitous person. Thanks to that dependency, it’s not overly gripping. Even when it eventually introduces new chip types it feels like too little, too late. The concept behind it is that it’s part slot machine, part tower defense game. In reality, it’s almost all slot machine with a hint of tower defense. Each level consists of a slot machine, with enemies slowly making their way across it in order to cause you damage. You have to hit the spin button and, mostly, hope that the reels line up and you take them out along the way. There is some element of strategy in there, mostly through the acquisition of chips, but it’s fairly basic. These chips frequently correspond to an element, such as fire or ice, thereby allowing you to set the enemies on fire or freeze a reel in a particular position. It’s helpful but hardly enough to make you feel fully in control of the game. –Jennifer Allen
SimplePlanes gives players all the tools they need to build airplanes from scratch. But successfully making use of those tools means wrapping your head around all the different parts and physics that, presumably, actual engineers need to consider. The game tries to help ease players in with its extensive manuals explaining the difference between an airfoil and a fuselage, but absorbing that data takes time and practice. There are a few convenient shortcuts, like the ability to mirror the plane so players won’t have to waste time sculpting the perfect wing twice. But like Minecraft, the best rewards – whether it’s a speedy biplane or functioning VTOL aircraft – will come to those with the patience to literally construct them piece by piece. –Jordan Minor
Luna League Soccer is the kind of soccer game that you’ll dive into for a few minutes here and there, but not exactly think too deeply about. It’s an arcade sports game through and through, meaning it takes seconds to master. On the left of the screen you have a floating joystick, while the right offers a contextual button that enables you to shoot, pass, tackle, or switch players depending on what’s going on during the match. It’s very simple to pick up, with each team bringing their own special moves to the fold. –Jennifer Allen
The graphics are pleasantly glitzy; the several environments showcase the developer’s penchant for being able to highlight artistic perspective and use of lighting and corresponding virtual colors. The animations are cool, and one can almost taste the kicked-up dirt. When the optional sound effects are tossed in, it’s hard not to appreciate the complete package of sights and sounds. When it comes to gameplay, off the bat I liked that I could get into the nitty-gritty with a minimum of interactions. As noted, this is mostly about destroying other combatants without being destroyed, and the tool at hand is a heavily weaponized truck on big wheels. The controls are virtual in nature, with buttons for shooting, accelerating, braking/reversing, and steering – the last of which can be switched to tilt or arrow control. With this, and after one picks the format (multiplayer vs single player), it’s off to the races. –Tre Lawrence
Online quizzes are a big deal these days. They’ve always been fairly popular but the rise of Buzzfeed, Playbuzz, Zimbio, and so many other places has really strengthened our love of answering a bunch of questions to figure out what animal/TV show character we are. It turns out such structures can be used for good as well, such as in the case of Hi.Q – Health IQ. It’s an app that offers you thousands of health-related questions, devised by experts, and can therefore teach you some valuable facts. Dive in and you’ll immediately notice that Hi.Q – Health IQ is stylishly laid out. Looking like it’d easily fit into a lifestyle magazine, each quiz is clearly described along with an attractive photo to further sell its purpose. Some quizzes may offer a lot of different questions but they rarely take too long to complete. Each time you answer a question the answer or an explanation is shown, meaning you’re constantly learning. –Jennifer Allen
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If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:
Ninja. Running. Swords. Enter Amazing Ninja. Side-scrolling action is the name of the game. Our protagonist martial artist runs aggressively from left to right, looking to avoid or confront different obstacles on the left. The ninja is stick-figurish in appearance, is armed with a sword and has enviable ups at speed; jumping and slashing are his only means of recourse. Tapping on the left side of the screen invokes jumping; on the right causes a slashing motion. The first type of obstacle are the blue-colored “deserters” that are seemingly fleeing the very conflagration that our hero is eager to get to. These terrified soldiers can be dangerous in their haste, and can end a run by making contact. Slashing the deserters has dire consequences, and as such, our boy has to jump over the blues. –Tre Lawrence
We get pitched a fair amount of accessories to take a look at, and, frankly, some are very, uh, unique. Not all work, either; some are ambitious, but might have a fatal flaw. Or two. Or seven. In any case, mobile accessories can be interestingly varied. I’d like to say I am open-minded, and I do feel like a decent assessor of product, but every now and then, I am surprised. But hold a sec; let’s talk about the Olixar Light Bulb Speaker. The name says it all: it’s a light bulb that doubles as a bluetooth-enabled speaker. The review package MobileFun sent us highlights the unit; in hand, it is mostly white, with a gold mid-section. It is more streamlined than “regular” bulbs, but also weighs a bit more. It sports LED light too, and emits 3W light (which the distributor says is equivalent to 50W from a standard bulb. It screws into regular receptacles (the package comes with an adapter piece for European light sources) and works the same way. Turn on the switch, and it bathes the room in bright, warm light. It functions well upright and upside down. –Tre Lawrence
The past couple of years have definitely been the years of the streaming media unit. All the big players have a hat in the Big C, and with good reason: we like content. Lots of it. Enter Fire TV, the still-relatively-new offering from Amazon. Amazon provided us a gaming bundle package to check out, containing the black unit, black remote, power cables, batteries, and the optional bluetooth gamepad (one should ensure one has HDMI cable). It’s fairly svelte, a bit smaller than one would guess, coming in at 4.5 x 4.5 x 0.7 inches and just under 10 oz. It has a quad core processor and 8 GB of storage, and supports output of 720 x 1080p up to 60fps. Specs aside, there is little to dislike about Amazon Fire TV. It looks good, and is a veritable source of content. It has a lot of the go-to programs that can be downloaded to it: Netflix, WatchESPN, Pandora, Crackle, Showtime Anytime (based on provider) and, of course, Amazon Instant and Amazon Music, among other offerings. Setup is easy, and the included control is definitely a huge positive. On its own, as a streaming accessory, it holds its own against the competition. –Tre Lawrence
Also this week, Pocket Gamer reviewed Gunbrick and Sol Invictus, played Metamorphabet and Need for Speed: No Limits, and figured out how to play PS4 games on any Android device. All that and loads more, right here.
And finally, AppSpy kicks 2015 off by giving you the definitive rundown of the best Nintendo-esque games on mobile, showing you the first gameplay video of Need For Speed: No Limits, a world exclusive look at Team17’s Flockers, and much more. Join us, won’t you?
Getchoo Creations has confirmed that they will be releasing Hipster CEO 2 late next month.
As the original Hipster CEO nears 100,000 downloads, the sequel aims to be bigger and better than before.
The sequel will feature simplified and easier to understand gameplay along with the ability to compete online against other hipster companies. You’ll be hacking competitors websites, creating rumors, and investing in friend’s startups.
It will only be a matter of time before we’re all saying “I was playing Hipster CEO 2 before it was popular.”
Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 12th, 2015 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Indie studio FrozenShard has released their newest game, Monster Battles: TCG. Similar to Pokemon, Monster Battles lets you collect, train, and battle hundreds of monsters from around the world.
Each monster has a unique name and personality and you can evolve them into more powerful versions. Currently there are 120 unique cards with more than 200 Monsters. FrozenShard plans to add more every month.
You can check out Monster Battles: TCG for free on the App Store.
Mission Europa, the first-person role-playing game where you take on a search and rescue mission on the titular ice moon, is getting a sequel.
The development blog for Ryan Mitchell Games has posted a video preview of some of the work that has been done for Mission Europa 2. The game looks like it has some pretty nice visuals so far, and plenty of explosions. There’s no word yet on when we can expect M.E. 2, but until then you can wet your appetite with the video below.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 12th, 2015 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
24me, the well-regarded, award-winning personal assistant utility, recently received an update that adds a Procrastination Fighter tool: a smart algorithm that studies the user’s traits and helps find times in which overdue tasks might be performed.
The update brings:
* Procrastination Fighter: 24me finds the right time during the day to help you with overdue tasks.
* Personalized Calendar – choose your own photos to be displayed on the calendar.
* New repeat rules – weekdays / weekends.
* Temperatures for today and tomorrow on the Task list next to the forecasted weather.
* Completely redesigned Settings and new Smart Alerts menu.
* Bug fixes and performance improvements.
We had an opportunity to review an earlier build of 24me a while back, and mostly liked it. The app is available for free on the App Store.
Set in a city garden littered with junk and unloved cast-offs, each chapter of super-powered playtime begins in the Playworld treehouse, a crafting hub in which the game’s themes are realized. Players must defeat playful enemies on the ground in intense moment-to-moment action, jumping back to the real world to craft new tools and gadgets to level up their powers. Would-be heroes must then take to the skies to overcome their greatest challenge yet. Armed only with their imagination, the player must skip between two worlds to save them both in a Hollywood blockbuster-styled game of their own creation.
Playworld Superheroes has been teased before, but now we get to see a fresh trailer with a bit of gameplay while we wait for its release – which should be fairly soon.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 9th, 2015 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
The award-winning, turn-based, simultaneous tactical game that is Frozen Synapse is now available for the iPhone.
The game boasts a bunch of interesting features that mimic the desktop experiences. Players get turn-based gameplay, single and multiplayer scenarios, social networking integration, Youtube video export, email notifications, an electronica soundtrack, and more – now in a convenient travel size.
Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 8th, 2015 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The stick figures are back with revenge in their hearts. In Tesla Wars II, by Pavel Tarabrin, you’ll need to construct Tesla towers to combat the oncoming waves of enemies.
The sequel to the popular stick figure zapper includes 80 unique levels and 3 difficulties, as well as a new survival mode. You can challenge your friends on Facebook to see who can do the best against the onslaught. To combat the stick men you’ll have access to 6 types of auxiliary turrets and 13 special attacks, including a nuclear bomb.
You can download Tesla Wars II for $0.99 on the App Store.
Mad Catz Interactive has started shipping the TRITTON Swarm Wireless Mobile Headset. The new headset uses Bluetooth to connect two devices simultaneously, such as your iPad, iPhone, computer, and console games, while also being able to switch to answer calls automatically on your phone when needed. It also includes wireless surround sound based on the same tech that goes into the missile warning systems by an F-16 Falcon jet fighter. The advanced sound system lets games have the edge by being able to more accurately pinpoint enemy movements and team mate positions while they play.
The TRITTON Swarm is available in iridescent Blue, Red, Green, and Black colors for $149.99 on the Mad Catz website now.
Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 8th, 2015 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
PAKO, the car chase simulator from Tree Men Games, will be receiving a big update soon.
Now you’ll be able to race around 3 new maps as you avoid being caught in one of the 5 new vehicles. You’ll also be able to update the look of your car at the new printshop, which will let you change its color. And if you have a particularly awesome chase you’ll be able to post it for your friends to see via the Everyplay video sharing function.
The update has already been submitted to Apple and should be available very soon. Meanwhile, PAKO is on sale for $0.99 for a limited time, so download it and start running.
Hey there, amateur virtual pilots:
Are you wondering whether or not it’s worth getting this invested in a plane construction sim in the fist place? Check out our SimplePlanes review!
Building planes in real life is complicated, so it only makes sense that constructing your own flying machines in SimplePlanes is complicated, too. The game does a lot to explain its depth to would-be engineers, but it can still get a little overwhelming. So are here are some simple tips for building better simple planes.
Yellow monkey Studios, the crew behind HUEBRIX and Finger Footie, is bringing a new gaming adventure to iOS called Socioball.
It looks like a sort of cross between one of those step-by-step programming games and something akin to golf. If golf involved getting a ball to some sort of teleporter pad, that is. Okay so it’s a bit odd, but it does look pretty interesting.
Socioball is scheduled to drop on the App Store next week on January 15.
Concrete Studios has announced that NHL Target Smash, an officially licensed NHL target shooting game, will be making its way to iOS this week.
Playing for any one of the 30 NHL teams, players take their own created hockey legend through multiple seasons of match-ups against the opposition while aiming to shoot well and score high in order to make their way to the play-offs and achieve the ultimate goal of winning the coveted Stanley Cup. Along the way, players are also able to unlock a virtual arsenal of custom equipment including ‘The Reaper’ and the ‘Frost Edge’.
NHL Target Smash is set to arrive on the ice App Store this Thursday.
LyteShot Inc. is cooking up some very interesting tech. They have unveiled their Kickstarter campaign for the LyteShot platform – a open cloud-based interactive mobile gaming platform. The system includes the LyteShot mobile app system, the Lyter handheld device, and the LytePuck sensor that each users wears. They are also developing glasses to be used as a head-up display so that in-game information will be easily transmitted to players.
The Lyter handheld becomes your stylus in the real world. As you take actions with it, the handheld transmits data to the LytePuck sensor and connects with your mobile device through the LyteShot app. With this set up you can do all sorts of things in-game such as attack your enemy, give first aid to a team member, or use items you find. The hope is that this technology will open up a world of interaction for mobile gamers.
Lyteshot should be launching with 2 games so far:
Assassin, which uses the classic rules of Assassin; a game commonly played on college campuses. Players get times and boundaries to find and eliminate their targets in. The app includes special functions such as respawning, late entry, a cool-down clock, penalties, and private or public options to make the game much more advanced.
Besieged is a roleplaying game where teams of players must find and defend territories using traditional fantasy roles such as warrior, wizard, or ranger. You get experience points as you play that will allow you to level-up and advance your character to get better powers and abilities.
The LyteShot platform looks like a pretty cool system for developers to work with. You can check out more info on their official website.
In Gameloft‘s upcoming Dragon Mania Legends, your goal is to become the best dragon breeder in all of Dragolandia. Hatch, raise, and train your adorable baby dragon for battle with invading Vikings. There are over 100 species of dragons to breed and you’ll be able to test out their strength against other players in the Arena.
You’ll start out on your own island, building up a training ground for your dragon, but when your dragon is ready to fight you can start exploring the many areas available to you. Dragon Mania Legends looks like a cute addiction to the Gameloft catalog.
Adopt your baby dragon when Dragon Mania Legends launches tomorrow.
Atari has announced the new Atari Fit: a fitness app that uses games to encourage you to work out. The app includes more than 150 exercises, including full-body circuit workouts, running programs, and custom routines. You can workout on your own or challenge yourself against your friends to see who can rack up the most points, which can then be traded in for classic Atari games like Pong, Centipede, and Super Breakout.
Atari has also partnered with Walgreens so that users can utilize their Balance Rewards to allow them to spend their loyalty points from within the app.
“We look forward to welcoming Atari into our Balance Rewards for healthy choices program,” said Adam Pellegrini, Vice President of Digital Health, Walgreens. “Atari’s knowledge of gamification will bring a new dimension to our program.”
The Atari Fit is compatible with many fitness devices such as the Fitbit, and works in conjunction with other apps like Google Health. With the gamified workouts, multiplayer options, online leaderboards, and social media sharing options, the app aims to help you shed those winter pounds and get you back in shape for summer.
Need for Speed No Limits, by Electronic Arts, will be coming out this year for iOS. You’ll be able to compete against some of the toughest crews in Blackridge City in some action packed street racing. The game features real-world cars and an advanced customization system.
You can check out Need for Speed No Limits in AppSpy’s hands-on video below.
Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 6th, 2015 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Gutenbergz Inc. wanted kids to learn more about technology, so they created Gadgetarium – an Interactive Children’s Book About Technology. The app was fully funded through a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and has just been released for iOS.
Gadgetarium takes children, 6 years and older, through the history of technology; from the creation of the wheel to radios, microscopes, and more. The inventions can be viewed as 3D models that can be played with to learn more about them, and users are guided through their discoveries by a boy and his pet pug.
Gadgetarium also offers the ability to mix different gadgets to create new inventions to help foster curiosity and creativity. You can pick it up for $1.99 on the App Store.
Fact Magazine reports that a Kickstarted project is now available that brings together album art, djay 2, and touch technology to create an interesting result: the ability to manipulate the iOS-loaded software via physically touching the album cover itself.
The cover in question belongs to DJ Qbert’s new album, Extraterrestria. Using Bluetooth, one can use the interactive art (which looks like turntables) to control Qbert music or other songs on one’s device using the djay 2 app.
We reviewed djay 2 quite a while ago; and it’s currently available for $9.99 on the App Store. Extraterrestria itself will be shipping out to backers first, but some vinyl copies will be available to the masses through Thud Rumble.
Tiny pinpricks of hate-filled light peek out from the darkness of the Scott Games website. Freddy looms with the text “I am still here.” Is Scott Cawthon teasing us, or is it a sign that Five Night at Freddy’s 3 is on its way?
Well if you try to save the terrifying image of Freddy from the website the name that comes up is “fnaf3.jpg.” Also, auto-responses for emails about Five Night at Freddy’s 3 say:
“Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is in production! Please do not email me asking any questions about it; NO questions about FNaF3 will be read or answered!”
So it looks like it is only a matter of time before we’re quaking in our security guard boots as the animatronic horrors of the most haunted pizza restaurant ever try to stuff us down their mechanical gullets once again.
Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 5th, 2015 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
GoodReader, the PDF reader for iOS by Good.iWare Ltd., has updated to include VoiceOver compatibility. This new feature will help support iPhone and iPad users with visual or reading disabilities, as well as busy users who would rather listen to a PDF while taking care of other tasks. It even allows users to control the speed and language a PDF is read in.
This new feature is a big upgrade from the old text-to-speech function, which only read highlighted text instead of the whole pdf. It also reads window names and menu details, making it easier to navigate and find just the information you need.
You can download GoodReader 4.8.1 on the App Store for $4.99.
It seems that Apple users are unsatisfied by Apples lack of information about how much storage the iOS 8 operating system takes up. The Huffington Post noted that on Tuesday, December 30th, Apple was slapped with a class-action lawsuit by its users. iOS 8 takes 1.1 GB of space and it needs 5.8 GB to install wirelessly, so people with 8 GB and 16 GB devices end up losing about 23% of their storage space just to the system. In order to combat the quickly filled storage space users will have to buy extra space through iCloud, netting Apple a tidy profit.
According to the lawsuit:
“Using these sharp business tactics, Defendant gives less storage capacity than advertised, only to offer to sell that capacity in a desperate moment, e.g., when a consumer is trying to record or take photos at a child or grandchild’s recital, basketball game or wedding. To put this in context, each gigabyte of storage Apple shortchanges its customers amounts to approximately 400-500 high resolution photographs.”
You can read over the lawsuit posted by appleinsider here.
MacRumors reports that users in European countries such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom are now able to return unwanted purchases from the App Store within 14 days of the purchase. It’s a rather bold change, which is most likely due to the new consumer protection laws that were rolled out in the region earlier this year.
So long as you submit your return within the 14 day deadline and did not opt to forfeit right to cancellation, your you will get a full refund for the item. You don’t even have to give a reason why. Unfortunately you cannot return iTunes gift cards once you have redeemed their code, but all in all this is a pretty significant change in the App Store’s return policies.
The changes haven’t caught on in the United States yet, but who knows what the future may bring?
Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 5th, 2015 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Playdek and Stone Blade Entertainment have released of an in-app expansion for Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, called Realms Unraveled. The expansion features the Dual Factions mechanic that lets heroes join more than one faction at a time. This gives them the abilities of both and, paired with the Multi-unite mechanic that lets heroes of the same faction unite, you can build some devastating card combos. The expansion also comes with 14 new cards, including new transforming heroes, constructs, and monsters, to add to your Machiavellian strategies.
“Some Ascension fans call Realms Unraveled their favorite expansion ever,” said Joel Goodman, CEO, Playdek. “We hope you will try it and see if you agree.”
You can download Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer for free on the app Store. Realms Unraveled can be bought in-game for $2.99.
Posted by Ellis Spice on January 5th, 2015 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The latest update for D3‘s Marvel Puzzle Quest has arrived on the App Store, bringing in a new episode and mode into the popular match three title.
In the latest episode, ‘Enemy of the State’, a mission in Japan gets ambushed by The Hand, with Wolverine reprogrammed to join them. In order to stop The Hand from carrying out their plan, Elektra, Captain America, Iron Man, and more will have to fight to get him back. Meanwhile, the new Survival mode challenges players to battle their way through waves of enemies, with rewards given out for getting past certain waves.
Marvel Puzzle Quest is available to download from the App Store for free.
Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 23rd, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Real Boxing, by Vivid Games S.A., has taken the fight underground. In this newest update you’ll be able to fight in the caged arena of the Underground Tournament, where street boxers from all over the world are ready to challenge your boxing skills.
The update also comes with 40 new items and boxer customization options such as hats, facial hair, pants, and more. Deck your boxer out in suitable street fashion and earn yourself a badass reputation.
Real Boxing is available on the App Store for free.
It’s the end of the year, so it’s time for some arbitrary internet awards! In this wrap-up episode of Who Wore it Best? we present our winners for the best, worst, and flat-out weirdest cloned games that graced the App Store in 2014.