In Scrap Squad, you are an evil genius bent on world domination by making use of…the world’s garbage! By collecting and sorting items, you will fund your efforts, earn cash and buy upgrades for your collection of humorous helper ‘bots, while unlocking powerful plug-ins like the Mysterioso, Levitator 3000 and Time Warper Extreme. Turn your scrappy team of robots into a well-oiled super mechanized squad of collectors! Build an evil lair that will make you the envy of your sinister friends.
In case you missed our previous coverage (shame on you), Toy Rush is a combination of tower defense and tower offense, with players collecting cards from packs in order to earn toys to send after other players or to earn new defensive towers. 50 solo missions will also be available so that players may hone their skills, and there will be daily challenges to complete for bonus rewards, but the real point behind all of it is to take on your friends in glorious toy-based combat.
Toy Rush should be coming to the US App Store next month for free.
Posted by Stephen Hall on April 14th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Outread, an app from developer Arkadiusz Holko that claims to improve your reading effectiveness through various training methods, has received a huge update that includes a wide variety of new features.
The latest update features eBook support, a built-in directory of classic public domain books, built-in statistics (to see overall and daily reading stats), a new reading mode that aligns the app’s word highlighter to the center, audio cues, and more. Also in version 1.2 of Outread are countless improvements to already existing app features, including a better “chunking algorithm,” a refreshed app icon, and more.
I don’t know about you, but I honestly thought Revolution 60 had gone the way of most other promising-looking games that just sort of fade into obscurity and never see a release. Then I go to PAX East and spend some hands-on time with the demo. I’m very glad I was mistaken.
Revolution 60 is still very much alive and well. But what exactly is it? Well, what I played was a smattering of some rather less than typical quick-time events (tracing shapes, tapping and holding different parts of the screen, etc – all while on a timer), dialogue choices that call to mind the adventures of one Commander Shepard, and an interesting combat system than involves tapping different parts of the screen to move and dodge, as well as positioning to attack an enemy and triggering special attacks.
The story in Revolution 60 will certainly branch (based on choices made earlier and so on), however there are no random encounters and no open world to explore – though there will be some opportunities to explore less expansive areas. Instead, character progression, and even some story development, is tied to how well you perform in combat. If this sounds too restrictive, don’t worry too much; Holiday (protagonist and all around badass action-heroine) will be able to access a number of different skills as she levels-up, which can both give her an edge in combat and help tailor her abilities to your preferred style of play.
Revolution 60 will be coming to iOS within the next two to three months. No price has been set at the moment, but it’s definitely not going to be free or free-to-play.
Posted by Stephen Hall on April 14th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
While there are dozens of apps that make panoramas in the App Store, Cycloramic from Egos Ventures set itself apart by being the first to be able to take these photos by spinning itself on a table using your phone’s vibration. But today, the app is getting even better in a recent update that adds clap activation.
Previously, using Cycloramic could be somewhat hard; you had to balance the phone standing up on the table and try to press a button on the screen to start the spinning photo action. Now, in version 4.9 of Cycloramic, users will be able to start the panorama-taking process with a clap or a whistle. The update also includes the usual “optimizations.”
You can get Cycloramic on the App Store for $1.99.
Despite the fact that Hearthstone seems tailor-made for tablets, there were some challenges in bringing it to the iPad. Namely getting Battle.net to function and needing to tweak the interface a bit. But make it to tablets it did, and it’s coming to the US App Store “Soon™.”
In about a week US iPad players will be able to get their hands on Blizzard’s most desirous card game, but of course there’s more to it than that. Also on the “Soon™” List are Adventures, which are self-contained challenges where players square off against the AI and attempt to defeat special boss characters to win more cards. The first Adventure coming out of the gate (sometime in the hopefully near future, but no specific dates have been given) is the ‘Curse of Naxxramas.’ World of Warcraft players will probably recognize the name, seeing as it’s a fairly well-known raid dungeon.
Last but certainly not least (well, for me anyway) was the news that Hearthstone will also eventually be making its way to the iPhone. It’s going to be separate from the iPad version (so not Universal), but the fact that it’s in the works is enough for me!
Of course if you do have an iPad you can just grab Hearthstone once it releases on the App Store in about a week.
The good folks at Sesame Street recently released their very first interactive magazine app, dubbed Sesame Street S’more, and it’s available right now. In the ‘magazine,’ your child will find a variety of fun activities inspired by the world of Big Bird – including games, stories, puzzles, rhymes, reward badges, and “S’more!”
In the app, your child will learn many skills, including ABCs and 123s, listening skills, coloring, creativity, and self-expression. The magazine app also features Elmo, Grover, Ernie, Big Bird, and other Sesame Street stars, kid-friendly music and videos, read-aloud narration, and multiple learning levels.
You can download Sesame Street S’more on the App Store right now for free. Subscriptions cost $3.99 for single issue, $2.99 for an automatically renewing subscription, or $15.99 to get every episode for the year.
I’m sure plenty of people were a bit dubious when Hitman GO was announced for iOS. I’ll even admit that I had my doubts. However, I was quite pleasantly surprised when I managed to see it in action.
Hitman GO is certainly not your typical Hitman game. It’s also not the kind of Hitman game I think most of us were expecting. It’s actually a puzzle game in which players must figure out how to move Agent 47 so that he can avoid guards and either exit the level or take out his targets. The entire game has this spectacular diorama/board game aesthetic, too.
The really interesting thing is how Square Enix Montréal has managed to incorporate so many of the series’ most notable mechanics (stealth, disguises, dual pistols, etc) into such a drastically different setting. And it all looks like it works surprisingly well. If that weren’t enough, there’s also going to be a special unlockable level designed around one of Bloody Money’s most memorable missions: Curtains Down.
Hitman GO will be releasing on the App Store this Thursday, April 17, for $4.99.
So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iOS devotee to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just check out the Reviews Archive for every single review we’ve ever written.
Power Grounds is probably best described as a minimalistic take on a Roguelike, to the point that it’s more like a puzzle game than anything else. I’d stick to calling it just a puzzle game, but alas, Power Grounds was borne out of something called the Seven Day Roguelike (7DRL) Challenge. The constraints on the creation of Power Grounds are very apparent (hence why I insist it’s more like a puzzle), but they result in a game that has such a laser-like focus on what it is supposed to be that it succeeds in being a very simple but very satisfying experience. Power Grounds takes some of the basic tenants of Roguelikes (randomization, permanent death, turn-based movement) and applies it onto a largely monochromatic grid. Players take control of a stick-wielding hero that is tasked with progressing through six rooms of enemies and obstacles – without dying – to beat the game. To do this successfully, players have to develop a strategy of movement as well as a strategy for unlocking the game’s power-ups. –Campbell Bird
Wind-Up Knight 2, Robot Invader’s sequel to the game that put them on the map, is an auto-running platformer where players must jump, attack, roll, and use their shield to take out enemies and avoid hazards. This is not an endless runner, this is a platforming game where movement is automatic, and it’s freemium (with IAP to unlock the full game) versus an endless runner with consumable IAP so players should go in expecting something quite different from everything else that’s out there. The items that can be bought with the game’s coins (which can be bought with IAP as well) do provide help, but they’re not squarely necessary at all. –Carter Dotson
Offering that “just one more go” mentality, BREAKFINITY is a brick busting game in the vein of Arkanoid but with a difference. That difference being that it’s effectively endless. It’s a nice twist on the usual format. After all, how often does one ever complete an Arkanoid-style game, anyhow? Usually, it’s a classic example of enjoying the journey rather than seeking out the destination. Each level of BREAKFINITY is relatively quick to complete, mostly because the objective isn’t to clear all the bricks. Instead, it’s to create a gap and hit the top wall of the screen in order to progress to the next stage. Once that happens, the level changes around but the format stays the same. –Jennifer Allen
Once upon a time, those who wanted to see whether a new color suited a particular room in the house were restricted to using paint samplers on their wall and being confined to having to redecorate at some point very soon to hide such things. That day has passed – kind of – with apps like TapPainter emerging to make the process much simpler. Admittedly, nothing is going to quite beat the tactile process of painting things on the actual wall, but TapPainter does a decent job of demonstrating what can be achieved. All the user needs to do is either import or take a photo directly of the room before getting to work. This is where, in the case of my rather lackluster iPad 2 camera, things get fuzzy. I found it a much smoother process to take a photo with my iPhone 5 before importing it that way, but mileage is going to vary here depending on what iPad users have. –Jennifer Allen
We’ve looked at other devices that allow for the expansion of available storage on iOS devices, but none have done so in such a elegant and portable way as the Mophie Space Pack. On the surface, the Space Pack looks like any other Mophie battery case. But on the inside are additional smarts and storage to keep up to 32GB of media. This is facilitated by a special app from Mophie called Space. –Jeff Scott
Other 148Apps Network Sites
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:
Okay, I admit it. I really didn’t want to have a go at Golfy Bird. I mean, it is from Noodlecake, yes, which is almost always a positive. Still, it sounds suspiciously like The App That Was Pulled that we deign not mention by name. Frankly, the clones that popped up were somewhat depressing, and I even winced at real birds for a spell. I was wrong. Golfy Bird is its own person, and it’s somebody that might be very easy to like, and even fall in love with. –Tre Lawrence
Mark my words… There might be a zillion RPGs, and countless board games, and twice as many hidden objects games… no matter the time frame, or the medium of gaming, there will always be a place for arcade action gaming. Always. Mikey Hooks, which comes to us via platform heavyweight Noodlecake Studios and BeaverTap Games, is just one of those games, and I admit that I had pretty much decided to like it at first glance. –Tre Lawrence
Nice to meet you, SideSwype. The playing area is a 5×5 grid, with space for 25 squares of different colors. if filled all the way. The sparse white background is a great counterpoint that highlights the coloring of the squares, and the smooth animations are just what we’d expect from a game that uses gestures as the main form of movement and problem-solving. –Tre Lawrence
And finally, this week Pocket Gamer cautiously checked out Rollercoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile, took a stab at a Clash of Clans clan war, spent some ker-azy money in Crazy Taxi: City Rush, put together an epic guide to FTL, and checked out some games at Birmingham-based expo, Rezzed. It’s all right here.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 11th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Tocomail is an interesting app geared towards the parents of kids that have access to email. The app sports a kid-friendly interface, personalized email addresses, and more premium features that help manage who and what their kids interact with electronically.
Now the app has added another feature: the ability to apply a bullying recognition filter to incoming emails. The filter looks for key words and contextual phrases, and when email messages containing such are found they are quarantined for further attention from parents/responsible adults, at which point it can be released to the child or disposed of.
Tocomail is available in a free iteration on the App Store; the aforementioned premium features are available for $2.99/month or $29.99/year via in-app purchase.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 11th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Hunter Island, a laid-back RPG from NTT Resonant, is being offered for free for a limited time.
The game is all about catching and maintaining creatures to do online battle against other players. The elements are fairly engaging, and the in-app purchase system is designed to streamline the improvement process.
Developer Wizards of the Coast has announced that its new game for iPads, Magic 2015 — Duels of the Planeswalkers, should be available in summer of 2014.
The game is the latest installment in the Duels of the Planeswalkers franchise, and puts the player at the center of the mythical Magic Multiverse.
Fans attending PAX East in Boston this weekend will have the chance to be the first to demo Magic 2015 — Duels of the Planeswalkers in the Magic: The Gathering booth, #462. Additionally, visitors to the show will have the opportunity to earn an exclusive Garruk Wildspeaker Pinny Arcade pin (while supplies last) by demoing the new game or participating in other in-booth activities.
Posted by Rob Rich on April 11th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A while back Rodeo Games released Warhammer Quest, and it was good. Quite good, in fact. It garnered a fair amount of praise even before releasing new campaign DLC. And now it’s been chosen as Apple’s App of the Week.
So basically Rodeo’s critically acclaimed and (arguably) best tactical RPG to date is currently free. Totally and completely free. You’ll still have to cough up a few bucks for the extra content of course, but I mean come on. FreeWarhammer Quest. Download it!
Posted by Stephen Hall on April 10th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Captain Bubblenaut from indie developer Dean Tate is a fun arcade game featuring one-finger “slide the ground” controls. The goals of the game include eliminating all “erflings” and making your father “Admiral Pop” proud. The game features 30 achievements and Game Center leaderboards, more than 4 different terrains, charming music, and more.
Recently, Captain Bubblenaut received a humble update that brings the game to the larger screen of the iPad. Luckily, for you, the game is now universal meaning you don’t have to repurchase the game to play it on iPad. The update also includes support for iOS 6 and new menu music.
You can get Captain Bubblenaut on the App Store for $1.99.
Posted by Stephen Hall on April 10th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Feed Me Oil 2 is a great puzzle game from Chillingo, publishers of other iOS favorites Cut the Rope and the Anomaly series. In the game, you have to channel oil into monsters in a wide variety of environments, using many tools and techniques to get the slippery substance where you want it to go.
The game was recently updated with an all-new chapter for you to explore. You can “collect the eggs tucked away in your favorite Feed Me Oil 2 puzzles” to unlock this chapter, according to the update notes. Chillingo has also changed all the gross oil to be “delicious molten chocolate” for a limited time.
You can grab Feed Me Oil 2 at its new, lower price of $0.99 on the App Store.
Evergreen Studios has announced that its upcoming game, Tales of Honor: The Secret Fleet, will be available for iOS devices via the App Store on April 24.
Timed to match the time period of the recently released ‘Tales of Honor: On Basilisk Station’ comics, the game follows the action of a newly minted naval academy cadet looking to save the day. For fans of David Weber’s Honor Harrington, it should be a real treat.
Evergreen senior executives Scott Kroopf and Richard Browne are eager to the game hit the App Store. “Tales of Honor: The Secret Fleet is the next phase in the expansion of the Tales of Honor story world,” says Kroopf. “Now gamers can discover the unique battle tactics and enjoy the military authenticity of the Honorverse. The game, like the recently released comic, is intended to function as a standalone experience, yet we’re designing them to be complementary. Our goal is to make it easy for fans of all types to explore the rich universe that David Weber has created.”
Tales of Honor: The Secret Fleet will be available for free. The second comic issue of Tales of Honor: On Basilisk Station will be available in comic stores and digitally on Comixology.com on April 30.
For more information, please visit www.tales-of-honor.com.
It is a beautiful thing when bite-sized games from the console space transition to iOS successfully. A perfect example of this phenomena at work was Hello Games’ fantastic reinvention of the Joe Danger series last year. Now it seems that Zen Studios wants to get in on the action, as they’ve put the finishing touches on a port of their console and PC tower-defense/action hybrid title, Castlestorm. They were kind enough to give us an early look at the game, and much to my shock I learned that not only is it great fun, but it may actually prove to be better than its console predecessor.
Everything you loved about the original game is back again, and this time it’s being aided by an extremely intuitive touch interface. The previously arduous process of twiddling control sticks to try and line up a headshot is a nightmare that can be left in the past. Launching projectiles are now as simple as tapping on the screen where the shot should land. But sometimes a catapult just isn’t enough to fend off the enemy’s attacks on the castle. In these cases, you have the option of spawning defensive ground troops or jumping into the fray yourself in the form of super-powered hero characters. These death-dealing beasts specialize in hand-to-hand combat, with a side of magical abilities mixed in for good measure. Anyone who is familiar with the control scheme of a traditional 2D brawler will feel right at home showing these “Knights of the Square Table” the error of their ways.
Though some may sink hours into the actual combat component of Castlestorm, others may find it just as enjoyable to custom design their own fortress. The easy to grasp quasi-drafting tool makes tweaking and tinkering with the perfect blueprint just as fulfilling as topping the adversary on the field of battle.
While the previously released Castlestorm console outing clocked in at a reasonable $9.99 purchase price, the iOS iteration implements an entirely free-to-play monetization structure. Both coins and crystals can be purchased using real cash, earned through normal gameplay or awarded for logging in to play on a consistent basis. Coins are used to level-up the abilities and stats of either the hero characters or each type of projectile in your quiver. Crystals are used to unlock more substantial elements, such as entire campaigns.
What I’ve played was a very solid sneak peak of things to come. Hopefully the final product lives up to the promise of this preview. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for our full review.
IceFlame LTD, the development house behind soccer and car racing mashup Soccer Rally, has just announced the publish date for Soccer Rally 2.
Like the original this new iteration is likened to polo, with players using souped-up vehicles to advance the game ball. The game sports both single player and multiplayer modes, with multiplayer games allowing for different sports balls to be used. Cars can be customized, and thee is plenty of in-app content to be purchased.
Soccer Rally 2 is due out, for free, on the App Store on April 24.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 10th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
SHAPE has placed its messaging app IM+ Pro7 on sale for a limited time.
IM+ Pro7 is a cross-platform offering that gives users the ability to pull in chats from other messaging services (like Facebook, Twitter, ICQ, Skyme, AIM, etc) and serves as a universal base on mobile devices.
We reviewed IM+ Pro7 not too long ago; it is available on sale for $1.99 on the App Store.
The problem with Carousel, the new app from Dropbox released today to organize, present, and share photos isn’t the app itself, it’s what it’s built on.
Carousel is a fantastic app for mobile presentation of photos. Quick and easy to find old photos and show and share them. It’s really one of the better cloud photo apps I’ve tried. The real problem is that it’s build on Dropbox, which is a service created for cloud storage of documents and not for media. And that service is still priced for documents and not media.
Let me back up a second. Dropbox is an amazing service. I’ve used it and paid for it for years. But I’ve never considered it a great place to store photos, video, or other media files. The problem is that is is really expensive right now. In a time where Google is charging $10/month for a terabyte, and Flickr gives every user a free terabyte for images, Dropbox is charging 10x what Google is, and without upgrading to a business plan users can’t even get more then 500GB in an account (for $50/month).
Media piles up quickly. Especially so with photos since every reader of this blog likely has a camera with them at all times of the day, every day. I myself have well over 700GB of images that I’ve stored up from 10+ years of digital photography. I’ve just now started scanning old family photos and there are thousands of those waiting to be completed. All in all I’ll probably need close to a terabyte for just my images to store a “lifetime of memories.” And that doest even count the birthday, vacation, and all the other special occasion videos. This type of media is easier and easier to take and edit, but they will also fill up a Dropbox account very quickly.
So for now, Carousel is a great app, if you have a few hundred photos, but it doesn’t really fit the first selling point that Dropbox is touting it as, it doesn’t allow a lifetime of memories. That is unless you don’t have a lot of memories.
I think Dropbox will be forced into dropping their prices soon. Perhaps they are ready to do it now but didn’t want to take the focus away from the new features. Cloud storage is a commodity, and Dropbox is way overpriced right now.
Posted by Rob Rich on April 9th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Looks like today has been a big day for Dropbox. Not only has the cloud storage service announced new features for Dropbox and Mailbox, but it’s also revealed an all new photo gallery app called Carousel.
First off, ‘Dropbox for Business’ is now available for all users, and can be connected to their personal Dropbox in order to give them full access to all of their files whenever they need them. A new “auto-swipe” feature has also been added to Mailbox that will learn from your actions and start to perform them automatically – things like sorting emails into specific folders, muting conversations at certain times of the day, etc. It’s basically Skynet, only instead of trying to wipe humankind off the face of the earth with an army of machines it helps to keep your inbox organized. Finally there’s Carousel, a new photo gallery app that automatically organizes your photos, makes private sharing a breeze, and backs everything up so you won’t have to worry about losing any precious memories.
Posted by Stephen Hall on April 9th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Flying Hamster brags that it has almost 2 million players worldwide, and I don’t see any reason to doubt that as the truth. After all, this game is about flying hamsters. It features 6 unique worlds, 35 different enemies, and 8 “freaky” weapons that you can find throughout each level. Additionally you can control the game in four different ways, allowing the player to use either on-screen controls or the accelerometer.
Flying Hamster and its HD version were both recently updated with support for 4-inch screens, iOS 7 game controllers, and Game Center. But the best part about the recent update is that both games are now completely free to download. Head over to the App Store and grab one (or both) of them now.
Frozen Synapse, a popular turn-based strategy game from renowned developer Mode 7, will become a universal app and arrive on the iPhone and iPod touch at some point later this year, according to a report from Pocket Tactics. You can get the game on the iPad right now, however, and that version has received a plethora of great reviews.
Notably, the game’s user interface is jam-packed on the PC version and it’s already clunky on the iPad; there’s just a lot of buttons and options that make the game work. It’s hard to imagine Mode 7 being able to fit all of the game’s buttons on such a small screen.
We’ll see how it works on a 4-inch (or 3.5-inch) screen when Frozen Synapse is released for the iPhone later this year.
Posted by Stephen Hall on April 9th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
R.B.I. Baseball, known as the most popular Baseball game to ever be released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, has received a reboot via the modern smartphone. The original game licensed players from the MLB, and the same is true for R.B.I. Baseball 14, which features 480 of the current lineup of players. You can play the game, with visuals just slightly better than its predecessor, in a variety of modes including season, postseason, and exhibition.
The game features all 30 MLB teams, and you can play an entire 9-inning game in just 20 minutes. It also features easy-to-use “classic” controls, allowing you to control the game with what is basically just two buttons. The game is also very realistic, featuring players whose appearance and abilities are based on real stats. Finally, there is unlockable in-game content such as legacy jerseys that you can unlock by playing season mode.
You can get R.B.I. Baseball 14 on the App Store for $4.99.
In upcoming game Warhammer 40,000: Carnage from Roadhouse Interactive, you play a lone Space Marine who has to battle tons of enemies with countless weapons while traveling through the game’s dark fantasy worlds. Sound awesome? The game’s “exceptionally rich” universe immerses you in action as you build alliances with friends but also fight battles with the game’s terrifying evil creatures.
The game features over 50 levels, the ability to build countless in-game items through an intricate crafting system, the ability to upgrade your weapons, a leaderboard for competing with other players worldwide, and highly accessible controls.
You can expect Warhammer 40,000: Carnage to launch in the App Store sometime in May.
A new action game from Shortbreak Studios called Hellraid: The Escape is scheduled to be released soon, porting the upcoming sibling game for PC (simply called Hellraid) to iOS. In the game, a sorcerer has imprisoned your soul, leaving you to wonder who you are yourself, and how you could possibly rid the world of this evil. The game is a high-quality and well-developed game with great graphics, and hopes to be a fun experience as well even on top of its frightening story premise.
The game has a plethora of features, including a wide variety of challenging puzzles, the graphics quality of its PC brother, a world that’s free to explore, intuitive controls, Game Center achievements and more. Hellraid: The Escape will also support play on a TV via AirPlay or an HDMI cable. The game will have free updates released over time and will not feature any in-app purchases.
Hellraid: The Escape will be available in the App Store for iPhone and iPad on May 15 for $2.99.
As reported by Touch Arcade late yesterday, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff was released on the App Store for a short while in New Zealand, probably as the result of a mistake. It was quickly taken down and Fox apparently went all nuclear about people showing the game. Trying to erase history, just as their news channel loves to do, the Fox lawyers decided that it never existed and filed copyright claims and take down notices against the people who are likely the biggest fans of the Family Guy franchise.
Being ever so brave and handsome, our good friends over at AppSpy decided to throw caution to the wind and stream the game anyway. Fight the power! And all that. Things turn ugly almost as soon as they start the stream…
The game is officially released tomorrow — which means it will likely be out at the usual time tonight. But with this fiasco, who knows. We are still trying to decide if we want to even further cover a game with such a hostile company behind it.