Call of Duty makes a lot of money, and Clash of Clans makes a lot of money. So, logically, Activision thinks they can make a lot of money by putting those two things together. With Call of Duty: Heroes, that’s exactly what they’ve done. But will fans of bombastic shooters enjoy a tiny freemium tactics game and vice-versa? We go Oscar Mike to find out in this New Zealand edition of It Came From Canada!

While Call of Duty has gone everywhere from World War II to Vietnam to the near future, Call of Duty: Heroes takes place during the popular “Modern Warfare” era of the series. As the leader of a military base, players fortify their surroundings using the latest and greatest army toys. Bunkers, turrets, and thick walls defend HQ from roaming insurgents as well as other players in online battles. But as you’d expect from a game like this, there’s also a substantial offensive campaign as players engage in real-time strategy missions all over the globe. Successful assaults typically boil down to effective unit composition. Normal soldiers are cheap and easy to mass produce, but only armored soldiers can withstand heavy fire long enough to actually accomplish anything.

call of duty heroes (1)However, all of that is just the Clash of Clans formula that has now proven its success countless times. What does the Call of Duty license bring to the table? Well first off it actually creates this weird incongruous feeling. The detached, rational perspective of an omniscient commander in the sky doesn’t quite gel with the fast, visceral, and up-close cinematic action the series banks on with its tagline, “There’s a soldier in all of us.” Beyond that though, there are times when the game is more than just Call of Duty in name only. The leveling system works as a fine Prestige Mode substitute. The top-notch production values, with detailed visuals and an excellent frame rate, match the franchise’s high standards. Killstreaks and air strikes put players behind a turret and have them mow down targets from a familiar first-person perspective, and players can even enlist heroes from past games like John Price and his famous mustache.

call of duty heroes (2)Even if we have reached peak Call of Duty, the franchise still carries plenty of cache. We’ll see if that carries over to this new mobile spinoff when Call of Duty: Heroes launches everywhere soon.

Boogie for a Cause – Ubisoft Announces the Just Dance Challenge for the Special Olympics

Posted by on November 18th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our Rating: ★★★★½ :: EVERYBODY DANCE NOW :: Read Review »

It’s time to use your dancing skills for a good cause. The Special Olympics has announced that they are holding their first annual Just Dance Challenge to raise awareness and funds. Some of your favorite Youtube celebrities and musicians are lending a hand to the cause, while Republic Records is also offering incentives and giveaways.

The campaign will run from now until January 31, 2015. To participate, you can register at esports.specialolympics.org and play the Just Dance game with your family and friends.

“I’m thrilled that my music can be part of the Just Dance Challenge for Special Olympics,” said international singer and personality Nicole Scherzinger. “As a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics, I’ve seen first-hand, around the world, the transformative power of Special Olympics, and I’m thrilled that millions of people will have the opportunity to help them in their wonderful work – and to do it by dancing!”

You can download Just Dance Now off the App Store for free. For more information about the Just Dance Challenge, visit esports.specialolympics.org.

via: Our Review

New Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night Announced, Original Game on Sale for a Limited Time

Posted by on November 18th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our Rating: ★★★★½ :: I’M ATTACKING THE DARKNESS! :: Read Review »

The Chainsaw wielding card game, Chainsaw Warrior by GameTheNews.net, is coming back in Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night. The new game will have  an upgraded combat system, new weapons, upgrades, powers, equipment, zones, and unique mini bosses.

Steve Martin, the game’s designer at Auroch Digital says: “Chainsaw Warrior will always be, at its heart, a board game. It’s important to us that people who played the original can jump right in and feel at home, but at the same time we want to use this opportunity to build on the challenge and add in some tricks that the digital format opens up for us.”

To celebrate the upcoming release of this new installment, the original Chainsaw Warrior, which was based on the 1987 classic from Games Workshop, is going on sale for 50% off today.

You can download Chainsaw Warrior for $1.99 on the App Store and Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night will be out later this winter.

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via: Our Review

Darkness Reborn is Available Now – Fight a Dragon, Break the Curse, Save the World

Posted by on November 18th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

GAMEVIL’s Darkness Reborn is now available for iOS.

Become the warrior cursed by an evil dragon in this action adventure game and fight against the forces of chaos and evil. You can even join together with your friends to explore dungeons or defeat other players in live 3 v 3 combat and raid the World Boss in parties of up to 6. Darkness Reborn has a ton of items and achievements to collect as well.

You can download Darkness Reborn for free on the App Store.

The Latest Dropbox Update Brings Accessibility Improvements

Posted by on November 18th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

An update has arrived for Dropbox‘s iOS app, with accessibility improvements being the main focus of this new version.

The update brings a new welcome tutorial, with clearer identification of its contents and VoiceOver support added. Photo titles are now properly announced, with thumbnails that are also more descriptive. Passcode lock can be enabled and disabled more easily, with the passcode field and digits now easier to select. Finally, a new button to close out the ‘More Actions’ menu has been added for VoiceOver, making it easier to get back to other areas of the app. Dropbox claims that this is just the beginning for accessibility improvements, with more set to arrive via more updates in the future.

Dropbox is available to download from the App Store now for free.

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source: Dropbox

MOGA Rebel Hardware Review

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Made by: MOGA
Price: $79.99

Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: ★★★★½
Usability Rating: ★★★★☆
Reuse Value Rating: ★★★★☆
Build Quality Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Bottom Line: The MOGA Rebel isn’t very portable, and the digital pad doesn’t feel super sturdy, but it shines rather brightly once you’re actually using it.

It seems like I’ve been looking for a portable (and worthwhile) MFi controller for ages. The Phonejoy is almost perfect, but it’s only currently available as a regular bluetooth controller. MOGA’s Ace Power is relatively compact, and it can charge your iPhone in a pinch, but it doesn’t feel particularly durable and you need to take the phone’s case off (assuming you use one, like many people do) to connect it. Funny, then, that something even less portable like the MOGA Rebel has quickly become my preferred iPhone controller, despite its issues.

141112-01_3qtr_HEROThe Rebel is far more conventional-looking than many recent MFi controllers. It’s about the same size and shape as a typical console controller, and it features the same general layout – left and right analog sticks, a digital control pad, four shoulder buttons, and four face buttons. It means it’s a bit more of a hassle to carry around (it’s not exactly pocket-size), but the tradeoff is a far more ‘normal’ feeling controller that works for both the iPhone and iPad.

I think MOGA might have also made some adjustments after the somewhat lukewarm reception of the Ace Power. While the Rebel does feel pretty light when compared to a typical console – or even PC – controller (because there are no motors for force-feedback vibrations), the plastic looks and feels a lot more sturdy. I’m not super-enthusiastic about the digital control pad, though. Due to its circular shape it can be difficult to get the intended direction to register properly, and I’m decidedly not a fan of the way it ‘clicks’ when you press it.

MOGA_and_iPadUsing the Rebel with an iPad is simply a matter of propping the tablet up and syncing the two devices. Then you can play any compatible games on your iPad as though it were a small TV. Using it with an iPhone is another matter. There’s a small section in the middle of the controller that flips up, revealing an extendable clamp that will hold your device in place nice and snug. And as an added bonus, you can leave the iPhone’s case on (!!!). I do wish there were a few more degrees to the clamp’s rotation, though. I tend to tilt my controllers up a bit when I play, which means my iPhone ends up tilted forward a bit too much, so I have to decide between having to hunch in to see better or keep my wrists in a less than ideal position while I play.

Another issue I came across rather unexpectedly was the Rebel losing its connection with my iPhone. At home it works totally fine and I’ve yet to have any issues, but when I took it with me when I left the apartment it had a tendency to only connect for about 30 seconds or so and then drop out. Constant reconnects and resettings didn’t fix the problem, either. I think (emphasis on think) there might have been some sort of signal interference, since I tried again when I got home and everything was fine, but it was pretty odd and very irritating all the same.

Despite those hiccups, I actually really like the MOGA Rebel. I probably wouldn’t take it along on a commute, but for vacation/around the house use it’s pretty darn impressive no matter what iOS device you want to use it with. Seriously, I’ve been playing Monster Hunter Freedom Unite with it and it’s been fantastic.

Apps Are Us

 

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.

GoatPunks

 
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GoatPunks is kind of a hard game to wrap your mind around, but let’s try anyway. Players control a goat (naturally) competing for domination on a mountain full of other player-controlled goats. They can earn a few points by knocking opponents off of their perch or collecting rabbits that pop up and grant various abilities. But the real jackpot comes from making it to the top and staying there until the end. However, heavy are the horns that wear the crown, and although top players can try to defend their position by raining thunder and fire on their foes below, get usurped and they’ll tumble all the way back to the bottom where they started. With all of that nonsense, GoatPunks has the potential to be a silly fun multiplayer party game, but the execution is lacking – or maybe it’s just on the wrong platform. The game encourages the quick tactical thinking and local good-natured trash talk of something like Super Smash Bros. but dragging around the goat from block to block feels sluggish and indirect, while silent online matches against strangers are alien and lifeless since it’s hard to tell if anyone even knows what’s going on. Reaching the top of the mountain only to get bumped off at the last minute should be this huge, dramatic reversal, but instead it just becomes an endless series of anticlimaxes set to music that sounds suspiciously “borrowed.” –Jordan Minor

XCOM: Enemy Within

 
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Enemy Unknown was (and still is) a fantastic reimagining of one of the greatest PC strategy games of all time. But Enemy Within is better. This new iteration isn’t a sequel, but rather a kind of rerelease with extra content. However, it’s not simply a few new maps and some new hair styles. Enemy Within boasts a lot more additions than just maps – although it does have those, too. There’s a new human faction to fight against that goes by the name of Exalt, and they exist purely to muck-up your operation. In order to deal with them, you’ll need to send one of your agents to infiltrate several of their numerous cells – then send an extraction squad in after them to collect vital information. Once you’ve completed enough of these missions, you should be able to narrow down the location of the radical faction’s HQ and can shut them down for good. But be warned: Exalt has access to many the same goodies that your own soldiers do, which means you’ll need to change up your tactics. –Rob Rich

Candy Crush Soda Saga

 
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Had your fix of Candy Crush Saga and you’re still desperate for more? Well, Candy Crush Soda Saga will be perfect for you then, as it’s a lot like the previous game. It offers up a few new game modes to try out, but ultimately it’s more match-3 gaming done well – albeit with plenty of opportunities for monetization. As before, you’ll be matching candies to gain points and work towards the next stage. There are bottles of fizzy drinks, too. Hence the name, and the new mode: Soda. Soda involves matching up bottles with candies in order to release purple soda up the screen, eventually freeing some candy bears. The same method of playing might apply, but the fact you have a slightly different aim does make a difference. –Jennifer Allen

Super Secret Service

 
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Super Secret Service makes a great candidate. From its first speech to election night it says and does all the right things. But like most politicians, it can’t keep every fantastic promise it makes, and by the time the next voting day comes around it probably won’t deserve a second term. If all of those metaphors didn’t make it obvious enough, Super Secret Service is rather political. Specifically, the game is about protecting the President of the United States using an endless supply of expendable secret service agents, each with their own names and birthdays. Reactionary radicals and hoodlums in hockey masks are trying to throw things at the POTUS and ruin his big speech, so by tapping the screen, agents will leap in to take the bullet. –Jordan Minor

This Is My Car: Mechanics for Kids

 
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This is My Car – Mechanics for Kids allows children a chance to peak under the hood of a car as they scroll their vehicle through different stations, allowing them to peel back the exterior and interior layers of their car that include technical information delivered in a well thought-out manner that they will appreciate. As my son – now six years old – becomes older, his questions about the way things work such as the engine of a car or its brakes become more and more complex. Although my husband and I feel capable of explaining such concepts, I appreciate being able to use this app as a tool to explain in detail the inner workings of vehicles – now with visuals that my son can easily follow. –Amy Solomon

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:

AndroidRundown

Dragon Quest

 
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If you’re in to old school RPGs and you haven’t played the first Dragon Quest, then you’re in for a treat. Ah, the first Dragon Quest. Although I did not play it when I was young, I did manage to pick the game up later on. And as a RPG lover (especially turn-based ones), I loved what I saw and played. Now I that game is out on Android (for a very cheap price, I might add), I is time for everyone to relieve one of the classic and leading RPGs of all time. Well, if you’ve got the time, that is. –Wesley Akkerman

Jabra Stealth Bluetooth Earpiece

 
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I really, really wanna get down to the nitty-gritty with this one: what’s up with the Jabra Stealth Bluetooth Earpiece? Yes… it’s sleek, as the retail unit Jabra sent us shows: different shades of grey with orange accents, gently-sized at 2.57 x 0.61 x 0.95 inches and 0.28 ounces. Coverable micro-USB port, bluetooth 4.0, NFC and A2DP support, plus retail packaging that also contains micro-USB, earhooks and eargels. There is a dedicated button for Google Now, as well as an answer/redial button incorporated towards the rear and LED. Pairing it with a device is easy and intuitive after the requisite pre-charge. –Tre Lawrence

Circle

 
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If you still can’t get enough of Flappy Bird clones, then here’s another one for ya. When it comes to games that look and feel like Flappy Bird… Well, you got a lot of choice. When you look back at the game, it is actually quite unbelievable what that game did. It did not only make one guy very rich (by mistake?), but it also gave life to a new genre, we’ve called the ‘one button gameplay’ here on Android Rundown. If you can’t can enough of those games, here is another one. –Wesley Akkerman

This week was all about the guides, as Pocket Gamer laid out the steps to complete sci-fi adventure Space Age, comic book puzzler Framed, and those awesome new levels for Monument Valley. All that, plus XCOM, Anki Drive, and iPhone 6 vs Nexus 6, right here.

And finally: What is AppSpy? Is it a website about video games? Is it a state of mind? Is it an energy beverage? It’s all those things (except that last one), and we’d love for you to come pay us a visit. This week we’ve been talking about playable Angry Birds cakes, that new Borderlands game, and endless amounts of golf.

United for Wildlife, a collaboration between seven of the world’s largest conservation organizations including WWF-UK and the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Finnish game developers Rovio, most famous as the creators of Angry Birds, have announced a partnership in an effort to help prevent the extinction of the Pangolin. Pangolins live in tropical regions of Asia and Africa, and all eight species are being threatened by illegal poaching.

From now until November 23, players can take part in a special tournament within Angry Birds Friends, ‘Roll with the Pangolin’, where they’re tasked with freeing illegally captured pangolins. Rovio has also created a series of videos featured The Duke of Cambridge, President of United for Wildlife, describing the situation they face and the activities the group of charities is carrying out, with these available to watch from within the Toons TV channel within all Angry Birds games.

Indie games development can be tough, especially when you’ve got a good idea for something but you’re not quite sure what way to take it. Having heard about Booya Squad, a Wisconsin-based team keen to turn their childhood comics into a mobile card battler, we wanted to learn more about their journey.

logoBooya Squad is a joint effort between Mike Bloom and his brother-in-law, John. They’re currently working on a social card game called Mario Italiano Four Families, but the story starts much earlier than that. Based on a comic book world they created over ten years ago, it’s been a long time coming. In that time, they’ve had to juggle big moves across country, raising a family, job changes, health issues, and many more challenges. The team’s blog explains the full story, such as how Mike skipped on a regular sleep pattern in order to get work done, but we also had a chat with him to learn the pertinent details behind everything.

148Apps: How much have various free internet resources helped you in your quest to go into game development? What would you recommend to other aspiring developers?
Mike Bloom (MB): We used the internet to learn how to do everything we needed to know. When we started, we were very naïve to the amount of knowledge and skills we would need to complete the game. So as we progressed through the project we often came upon an obstacle where we needed to learn or come up with something. So we would Google it or search for it on YouTube. We were constantly amazed that if we dug deep enough into these sources, we would always find exactly what we needed. The trick is to use different search phrases. We did this for everything from balancing stats, building a clean UI, all the way to marketing methods.

The idea here is to not be scared to start down the development path because you don’t know how to do everything you will need to do, or better yet you don’t even know what is all needed. Since we went in half blind, we just found the answers when we needed them, and that was actually fun. It was like, oh we have to do that? Well, I’ll do that one, learn the skill and put it to use right away.

Continue reading Booya Squad and the Long But Satisfying Path of Indie Development »

Lastest Update Adds a New Text-to-Speech Feature for GoodReader

Posted by on November 17th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our Rating: ★★★★½ :: STILL GOOD :: Read Review »

GoodReader, by Good.iWare Ltd., is one of the top document management apps out there. In its latest update, Text-to-speech for PDF and TXT files has been added.

When you’re viewing a document you can use the “Speak” command and the app will read specifically selected portions of text or the whole document. You can control the language, speed, and use the controls to pause, resume, skip, and rewind. GoodReader also now supports Dropbox’s business accounts, has had a few bugs fixed, and expanded the versatility of bookmarks.

You can download GoodReader for $4.99 on the App Store.

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via: Our Review

Liber Primus Games has announced the upcoming launch of Narborion Saga, a fantasy adventure story. In the game you play as a hero who must discover the secret of his heritage as the one true king of the land.

How you rule your country is up to what class you play in the game – fighter, mage, or priest. As you explore the world you’ll gain fame points that eventually determine your royal popularity. Narborion Saga will have dynamic storytelling, virtual dice, side quests, and mini games to keep the player wanting to discover every scenario.

You can register on the Narborion Saga website to get 350 gold coins in-game that can be exchanged for equipment, spells, or weapons when you download the interactive book at launch.

Narborion Saga will be released later this month for free.

It looks like Overkill fans will have to wait a little bit longer for Overkill 3. The mobile shooter by Craneballs has been pushed back into next year as the developers wanted to take an extra few months to refine the game and release something more polished.

One of the issues that led to the decision is the tutorial. Craneballs is working hard on creating a guide that can stand up against the 30 levels that are included. The all-new level design is also a stumbling point. Creating so many non-repeating levels is taking longer than anticipated, but the extra effort going into making them means getting a better product. They are also planning on doubling the number of levels and bosses to give you more bang for your buck.

Craneballs has been listening to their fans as well. By request they are adding more realistic blood spatter, enemy-hit animations, and bigger explosions. They’re also adding live-event cooperation missions so that you can play with your friends as a team. The teams that top the leaderboards will be rewarded with fame and in-game prizes.

So while Overkill 3 may be delayed until February of 2015, there will be even more to look forward to when the game is finally released.

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BOO!
Want to know how we felt about spreading all these ghostly heebie-jeebies? Check out our Haunt the House: Terrortown review!

Haunt the House: Terrortown is a supremely cute action/puzzle game that’s all about a ghost on a quest to shut some humans up. Permanently. Players take control of a little ghost that makes itself as scary as possible in order to drive away the loud and obnoxious folks that are partying near its clock tower. Humans are sometimes a bit too stupid to realize when they’re being haunted, so this guide will help players clear the area of all objectionable presences as quickly as possible.


 

Getting Started

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  • Use small taps to dart from place to place – Learning to control your ghost is vital for a haunting job well done. If you’re restricting yourself to a single area, use small taps to move from place to place. That way you can explore your surroundings calmly and efficiently.
  • Hold down to zip from scene to scene – On the other hand, if you’re wanting to travel from one scenario to another lickety-split, hold down on the screen to barrel through an area at top speed.
  • Possess a bell in the clock tower to change your ghost’s appearance – Once a person is dead, they take up residence in one of the tower’s bells. Your ghost can possess these bells to take on the inhabitant’s visage.


Continue reading Haunt the House: Terrortown – Tips, Tricks, Strategies, and Cheats for a Silent Night »

The Sandbox Gets an Update (Again) With New Campaigns and Elements

Posted by on November 14th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our Rating: ★★★★½ :: CREATE, DESTROY, REPEAT :: Read Review »

The Sandbox, by Pixowl Inc., is a popular crafting game that’s reached 13 million downloads. The game was recently updated to include two action oriented campaigns.

As Arnold, you must fight your way through new enemies such as the Mummy, Grunt Soldier, Slime, or even a Predator. Using 13 new elements, you cant lay traps, build armor and weapons, and jump around to survive the onslaught.

As always The Sandbox is free to download on the App Store.

via: Our Review

Phoenix Online Publishing has released a Collector’s Edition for their bestselling point-and-click horror adventure, The Last Door. The game has been favorably compared to a H.P. Lovecraft style tale with its creepy retro visuals and otherworldly horror.

The Collectors Edition compiles all four chapters into one set and adds new puzzles, scenes, and stories. Phoenix Online has also enhanced the graphics and remastered the sound.

You can download the first chapter of The Last Door: Collector’s Edition for free now, with chapters two through four available for just $2.99 as an in-app purchase.

via: Our The Last Door Review


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