March Roars In At 148Apps
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.
Angry Birds Stella POP! could have so easily been yet another bubble shooter; like Bust-A-Move but not as good. It very nearly is but it manages to circumvent such issues by offering a few moments of originality that help it to stand out on its own. It’s pretty tough though, which I suspect is linked to the fact that you can buy your way to success. As is customary, things start out fairly easily for players. You use a slingshot mechanism to throw bubbles upwards, dragging a finger back and releasing the bauble. It’s distinctly Angry Birds like, which makes sense. That brings with it a fairly good physics engine, ensuring you’ll never feel cheated by a shot. --Jennifer Allen
What sets this third installment apart from the first and second games is that it quite honestly feels like more of a game now. The original Five Nights at Freddy’s was something of a trailblazer (and is still super creepy) despite being rather simple, while the sequel was more involved but to the point of being messy and overwhelming. This time around there’s only one animatronic stalking the halls, which may make the game sound like a cakewalk but that’s definitely not the case. You’ll be able to keep tabs on “Springtrap” using a CCTV system much like in previous games, but now you can trigger audio clips to try and lure it into different areas (i.e. away from you). Trouble is the electrical systems are old and unreliable, so your audio, video, and even the ventilation may cut out at any time. --Rob Rich
A game of Starships begins much like any of Sid Meier’s other simulations. You toggle settings like map size and overall difficulty, then you’re dumped into the galaxy to start expanding your empire. Although rather than picking a nationality you can choose between one of three factions (each with a different bonus that will give them an edge in certain situations), then between one of several leaders (also each with their own bonuses). On your turn you’ll be able to manage your conquered planets (i.e. build cities, planetary defenses, etc), spend resources to research new and improved technologies, upgrade your fleet of starships, and stop by unconquered planets to complete tasks and gain influence. And any decision you make can have a pretty significant effect on your progress. --Rob Rich
Card Crawl is a card-based dungeon crawler that plays an awful lot like Solitaire. Although it doesn’t sound like the most exciting premise for a game, it’s surprisingly fun and challenging. The premise of Card Crawl is kind of fascinating because its card game inspiration is fully acknowledged within the world. Players aren’t dungeon crawling really, but instead are facing off against a monster in a game of cards at a pub. However, the card game being played is a representation of the hero as they battle through a deck of cards full of the things one might find in a dungeon. Players have to choose where to place three of four randomly dealt cards before being able to reveal three more. Cards in this deck can be gold, weapons, shields, potions, or (of course) enemies. In terms of where to put these cards, players can equip item cards into one of their two hands or stow it away in their bag, while enemies are dealt with by using weapon cards on them, using equipped shields, or taking damage directly to their character card. The goal is for players to clear all cards in the deck, while never losing all 13 of their life points. --Campbell Bird
I can remember the very early days of learning BASIC in the library of my grade school. It was taught by an elderly librarian who struggled with this concept, knowing only slightly more than her newcomer students as she copied what she read from her teacher’s manual and the rest of us took turns typing in lines of code to move a curser around the screen, creating a crude, low resolution square. The effort that it took to produce this basic shape seemed like time not well spent as this was before computers were such a mainstay of life. This led me to believe at a very tender age that coding was a chore not to be bothered with. Fast forward more than thirty years and I am happy to say that techniques for teaching coding have improved immensely. My first grade son, who is taught coding in school, has really taken to a new app, Robot School, that impressed me in many ways. I admire the loose narrative this app provides. It stars R-obbie the Robot, who after surviving his spaceship crash, needs to collect energy from batteries to have the fuel needed to make the trip back home. --Amy Solomon
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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:
At first glance, it is a colorful production. The developer does not hold back with regards to making it look as vivid as possible, and the artwork is a cheery affair, with cute characterizations and spirited animations that don’t ask the player to take them too seriously. With regards to gameplay, the developer is smart enough to have a walk us through the game. there is an Evil Wizard about, content with changing people to animals. The idea is to free the captive folks, and this is done by smashing blocks. --Tre Lawrence
The environment is a huge element in the game; the stark coloring is curiously intriguing, with different shades of white and black blending in and out to create a delightfully murky 2D environment. The dark colors are pervasive, and hide all sorts of hindrances and helpers in their depths. The animations are smooth, and convey action themes in a reasonable matter. The gameplay itself is easy to understand; in a nutshell, one guides the character (using virtual controls) from left to right. This is, of course, easier said than done, because there are times one has think how to get through an obstacle to clear egress — and at other times, one needs to avoid lethal traps that end the run. The game gently gets one going with simple puzzles, and it’s not hard to glean the basics of advancement/survival. --Tre Lawrence
And watches? Who needs 'em? Check out the best trailers, video previews, and reviews of the week over on AppSpy.