We Are Your App Authority
Week-in and week-out, look no further than 148Apps for the best app reviews on the web. Our reviewers sift through the vast numbers of new apps out there, find the good ones, and write about them in depth. 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. Want to see what we've been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.
The original Splosion Man was a fantastic platformer that was pretty much universally loved. Then Twisted Pixel pulled a Ms. Pacman with the sequel by shifting the color palette, slapping a bow on top, and creating a game that managed to completely outshine the original. And now the platforming tour-de-force that is Ms. Splosion Man has come to iOS, completely making a mess of things in the process. I mean that in the best possible way. With her volatile soul-mate captured, Ms. Splosion Man sets out to perform a one woman rescue. This walking, talking explosion gets around via the usual means (i.e. a left/right virtual slider and a tap-to-jump control scheme) only jumping is actually the result of “sploding.” Basically she can move left and right, and ‘splode up to three times before needing to recharge but there are a number of elements to each stage that add quite a bit of complexity to the mechanics. Elements such as the health bar tying in to ‘splosion energy, so taking a hit means no jumping for a second or two whereas taking that same hit with no juice means a trip back to the last checkpoint. --Rob Rich
Stone Age: The Board Game is about taking control of a tribe to collect resources and build a village that has the most powerful chief. It’s based on the award-winning board game, and lets players take on 3 AI opponents or battle it out with friends and family through pass-n-play or online multiplayer. It’s completely redesigned for mobile devices, and the impressive graphics and responsive gameplay make it an excellent port. After gamers select their preferred mode, it’s time to choose a color. Players must then place their workers on the board in the preferred areas to build huts, collect cards and gather natural resources. There are four types of workers: village, resources, building and boat. The areas and placement of workers is often limited and sometimes blocked as gamers take turns. --Angela LaFollette
Magicka was something of a big deal when it exploded onto Steam back in 2011. Unfortunately it was only available for PC so lots of Apple folks missed out. Because of this, all the element combining and exploding bodies is totally new to me. I suppose that’s a good thing because Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet is probably the most fun I’ve ever had with an iPad. Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet is a prequel to the PC original. One of four colorful-robed wizards gets cursed, resulting in their mere presence acting like a magnet for all manner of nasty critters. Naturally the other three wizards aren’t to happy about this, to say nothing of the poor sod with a target on his back, so they all set out to get rid of the obnoxious thing. A task that will most likely leave the countryside in ruins after all is said and done. Let’s just say these wizards aren’t exactly careful where they aim. --Rob Rich
If I had a dollar (or, in my case, a pound) for every time I was informed about a new and exciting social networking app, I’d be quite a bit richer than I am now. Admittedly, I’ve never counted but it happens a lot. All too often, such new apps come with a plethora of promises of new ideas that are rarely that revolutionary. I’m quite impressed by Mobli, though. While I’m not the right person to determine if it’ll topple the might of Facebook and Instagram, I do believe it has enough about it to deserve more attention. The app offers a familiar but effective interface, quite like Instagram‘s. A bar on the bottom dictates which section one is looking at, whether it’s the user’s feed, popular content from around the network, private messages and notifications or the user’s own profile. The feed section is the most interesting, given that it combines individual users that are being followed, as well as the hashtags that the user has decided to keep track of. It was always pretty easy to find new content to look at with simple options to love, comment, repost or share with others. Those latter two go a long way to encouraging others to check out new content. --Jennifer Allen
Other 148Apps Network Sites
If you are looking for the best reviews of kids' apps and/or Android apps, just head right over to GiggleApps and AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews these sites served up this week:
Happy Easter, Little Critter is a lovely interactive storybook – a nice title for Easter that includes optional child-read narration and the ability to tap to see and hear objects labeled accordingly. This is a simple story starring Little Critter, his family and friends as they spend the day doing Easter activities. I always enjoy these Little Critter titles developed by OceanHouse Media as Little Critter is a relatable character for children, here waking up early to see if the Easter bunny has come to his house, starting Easter Sunday with all the festivities. --Amy Solomon
Yummiloo Rainbow Power, from the developers at Night and Day Studio, is an absolutely delightful universal, top-notch interactive app that teaches about healthy food choices in a way most charming. When first exploring this app, one will watch a short introductory video that I found hugely impressive, with great looking, bright and colorful animation and music to rival the opening scene of any highly regarded children’s television program. Presumably computer-generated, this video includes animation at its height of quality, including the details of the fresh foods shown in this scene – rich with realistic details, such as showing the tender delicate flesh of raspberries and other fruits, making this animated video, as is true of this application in general, a love letter to produce. --Amy Solomon
I am delighted to inform readers that a new app in the ABC series by Peapod Labs has been released – ABC Farm. This series has a long list of titles, from ABC Music to ABC Food, that each teach children about different themed objects with the use of photos, videos, interactions and narrated fun facts, also incorporating the use of the alphabet to organize these words into a menu for easy access to favorite words. This new app, ABC Farm, includes a wonderful new element, as this app is now bi-lingual as Spanish can be heard with the tap of a button – not only the word of focus spoken in either Spanish or English, but the narrated information section as well, which includes the text one can also read along with. --Amy Solomon
Super Monsters Ate My Condo! is a whimsical game from Adult Swim games. It’s a two-minute color-matching sprint that forced me to combine quick wits and finger dexterity to keep the gang of hungry, freaky monsters happy by tossing them condos from a stack of multicolored structures. In a subtle ode to Tetris, I couldn’t afford to let the stack get too high, or the peeved monsters would topple the unnatural high-rise, ending the game. It had some interesting backstory for each monster (blue, green, red, yellow). Most of the source material had to do with nuclear exposure and/or experiments gone wrong. Either way, these little nuggets (along with a detailed How To Play section) helped flesh the gameplay out a good deal. --Tre Lawrence
Everyone could use some help being more organized; it is not a secret. An amazing percentage of the clutter that will build on an average desk are objects that are only there temporarily, such as a phone, keys, or wallet. There are hundreds of desk organizers that are available for purchase either online or at any store with an office section, but there are generally cheap and crudely constructed. At the least, a majority of them are overdone and attempt to do too much which might not be a problem for most people, but for those who are looking to add a little minimalist flair to their desk these obtuse organizers tend to get in the way. Over in KickStarter land there is a budding and promising new project that aims to deliver a precisely crafted organizer that also is pleasing on the eyes and might even garner a few compliments. This project is called Station, and it aims to clear the clutter in the most minimalist way possible. --Joseph Bertolini
It’s a rough, tough mobile world. Thankfully, more and more tools are sprouting up to help us keep abreast of all the data. As our financial lives become increasingly electronic, the tools we keep to track them must keep up.
Saving Made Simple Finance App is a nice budgeting tool that allows everyday people to keep a finger on finances, even while on the go. The app got straight down to business. It opened up with with a pop-up request to create a goal. The goal menu opened up to entry dialogues such as those for title, amount, deadline and reminder. I randomly picked a goal amount to save, and after confirming the target date and such, it gave me all sorts of stats: dollar amount/percentage of target amount accumulated, and a monthly “payment” that will effect reaching that goal. It was all tidily presented, with the information easily accessed and manipulated. I liked the potential detail; if I so wished, I could get weekly, fortnightly or even daily cash estimates for each goal entry. I could also toggle automatic entries (credits and debits) to the head amount. --Tre Lawrence