Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 3rd, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Nickelodeon has released a new ghostly update for SpongeBob Moves In. Lord Poltergeist and his ghost crew have invaded Bikini Bottom and it is up to you to help SpongeBob scare off all of the ghosts with some creepy cooking. You’ll be able to complete tasks to unlock exclusive decorations and costumes.
Download SpongeBob Moves In now for $3.99 on the App Store.
Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 3rd, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Marvel Puzzle Quest, by D3PA, is celebrating its 1-Year Anniversary with the inclusion of the new Thor: Goddess of Thunder. She will be a a legendary 4 star character reward for Season VII and will be available October 17. This is her first video game appearance, making it a landmark event.
Starting October 8, players will be able to earn Devil Dinosaur – the character who looks like a big, red Tyrannosaurus Rex – and play in special in-game events. For New York Comic Con fans you can check out Marvel Puzzle Quest at Booth #347. D3PA will be offering hands-on demos and a free raffle for prizes, and new users that download the game now through October 18 will receive bonus Iso-8 resources.
Now is a great time to check out Marvel Puzzle Quest for free on the App Store.
I’m an iPod Touch owner, and I think it may be time for me to admit that my device’s time is almost up. But firstly, a little bit of back story for you:
My first iOS device was a 2nd generation iPod Touch, which is long ago enough for it to not have had a camera or microphone. My second iOS device was a 4th generation iPod Touch, with my current device being a 5th generation device. Putting it bluntly, I’m a fan of the iPod Touch.
To me, the iPod Touch was Apple’s accidental handheld console. Sure you can purely use it as an iPod with a camera if you so wish, but to someone like me, it was (and still is) my gateway into iOS gaming at a much cheaper cost than an iPhone – one that also just happened to fit into my pocket. The fact that I could access the wide variety of iOS games through a relatively cheap device (compared to other iOS devices, anyway) is the reason I’m here today, on a site devoted to iOS apps.
Once upon a time the release of an iPod Touch was a yearly thing, with the tech in the device just below that found in that year’s iPhone. The 4th and 5th seemingly started the pattern of a new device every two years, meaning this year should’ve bought on the release of the 6th generation. The September 9 iPhone 6 announcement event has long since come and gone however, and the world is seemingly nowhere nearer to seeing a six next to the iPod Touch name.
If you sit down and think about it though, in this day and age the iPod Touch is an unusual thing. It’s the size of the phone and does almost everything you’d expect from a modern phone besides be a phone: it has a touch screen, two cameras, a microphone, and the ability to run apps. To be fair, that’s also everything the average person would likely expect from a modern tablet as well. And therein lies the rub.
I can understand why Apple seems to be no longer supporting it. In the past year, the hardware giant released four iOS devices – the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, and the 2nd generation iPad Mini. Four devices, all varying in price and size, and each with their own niche to cater to. Within those devices, there’s something there for pretty much everyone. You want a phone-sized device to play your iOS games on? Fine, go get an expensive contract and get an iPhone. You want a device devoted to running apps? Fine, go get an iPad or iPad Mini with their bigger screens and better resolutions. You want both? Before, the answer to that question was the iPod Touch. Now, I think Apple would much rather you gave them more money and bought an iPhone and an iPad.
This time next year, we’ll likely see the release of iOS 9 and the end of support for the generation of devices that used the A5 chip – including the 5th generation iPod Touch. As much as I hope Apple will announce a new iPod Touch next year, part of me knows that the brand is effectively a dead parrot at this point. And as much as I want to nail it to a perch, it’s already pushing up the daises and has joined the choir invisible.
So, farewell iPod Touch. The iPhone minus the phone. The iPad Mini but even smaller. The accidental handheld console. You will be missed.
Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 3rd, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The Flintstones : Bring Back Bedrock, by Ludia, is now available on the app store. Meteors have destroyed the Town of Bedrock and it is up to you to rebuild. And there are a ton of classic characters to play with while you do: Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Bamm-Bamm, Pebbles, Hoppy, Dino, and Baby-Puss.
As in the cartoon, all of the technology in Bedrock City is dinosaur based. You can collect over 100 of these “Gizmosaurs,” from the Mammoth Vacuum to the Pterodactyl Jackhammer, along with a huge amount of items that you can use to customize the city. The Flintstones : Bring Back Bedrock will also let you visit your friends’ cities and check out their progress.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on The Flintstones: Bring Back Bedrock game, which promises to elate generations of players who love these Hanna-Barbera characters”, said Alex Thabet, President and CEO of Ludia Inc. “The Flintstones cartoons remain one of the top television family favorites and we are proud to bring the characters to brand new platforms! Gamers are in for hours of fun.”
The Flintstones : Bring Back Bedrock is available for free on the App Store.
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, by Glu Games, has recently been updated. Now players can travel to romantic Italy and plan their dream wedding. Other additions include new clothing and items, such as wedding gowns, tuxedos, and (of course) wedding rings. And of course new clothing and other in-game items, new quests for you and your spouse, free gifts, and video messages from Kim Kardashian West herself.
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is also now available for Facebook users.
“I really enjoy engaging with my fans through Facebook and Instagram, that’s why I’m so excited that Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is now available on Facebook,” said Kim Kardashian West. “I continue to be so proud of this project and hope my fans enjoy the fun updates coming soon!”
You can download Kim Kardashian: Hollywood for free on the App Store.
If you’re eager to sink your teeth into a meaty space-based strategy game, you may want to check out AstroNest, which is now available to download from the App Store worldwide following its soft- launch in Canada.
Open AstroNest for the first time, and you’ll be asked to choose between two different nations: The Federation of Terra and The Alliance of Neos – each of which offer unique bonuses. The former offers increased gold income and fleet production, for example, while the latter sports better mineral production and research.
Your aim in AstroNest, then, is to strengthen your nation and prepare them for war. The universe in which you reside houses a prosperous element known as Cosments, and you’ll have to fight opposing nations for it.
Don’t expect battles in AstroNest to be a walk in the park. Strategy is a big focus here, and you won’t survive for very long if you don’t think about upgrades, expansions, and anything else that will ensure you stay one step ahead of your opponents.
You can research brand-new beam and missile weapons for your various crafts, for example, or spend your time developing new engines and armour plating, as well as fleet formations. You can even enhance your current tech to make it stronger, and work on.
As you progress through AstroNest, you’ll be required to upgrade buildings, such as residential facilities and energy plants; and recruit heroes to take up positions within your community, such as fleet captain.
As soon as you reach Level 10 in AstroNest, you can access a new area of the game named War, which allows you to compete against other real-world players from the opposing faction for control of the universe. Hit Level 30, and you can join a Raid mode, too.
Based on the feedback the developer of AstroNest has received so far, players love the game’s sci-fi graphics and detailed scenario. AstroNest’s dynamic strategy gameplay is also a big hit among those who’ve played the game.
You can download AstroNest and form your own opinion right now – just head on over to the App Store [download]. It’s free, so you have nothing to lose.
This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.
Strap in for some news, brother! SEGA Networks has announced that the multiple-time World Wrestling Champion Hulk Hogan is taking over Crazy Taxi City Rush for the month of October.
The month-long Hulkmania Takeover event will feature a Bay City full of Hulkamaniacs, giving players a chance to hire Hulk Hogan as a driver and earn bonus cash for every smash, crash, and pick-up. As players use him they will fill their Hulkameter, unlocking unique Hulk Hogan-themed customizations for their taxis that, along with some bragging rights, add a ride bonus.
Alongside this event, the update also brings full controller support, the ability to share stills of taxis, and the ability to share video via Kamcord.
Crazy Taxi City Rush is available to hulk out download from the App Store now for free.
Dead Trigger 2, by Madfinger Games, is having a new ITHACA Tournament Tour. The tournament will visit London, Paris, Berlin, Prague, and Moscow, and offers real prizes for the winners in the form of in-game currency. The tour will feature the new ITHACA shotgun and M1 Garand. Players will have 3 attempts and only their best score counts. Can you reach the top and win the first place prize of $500,000 of in-game cash?
The Dead Trigger 2 ITHACA Tour has already kicked-off today, and ends on Sunday, October 5, at 11:59pm PDT. You can pick up a copy of Dead Trigger 2 for free on the App Store now.
Swann, the DIY security company, is releasing SwannOne for iOS. The app connects to a range of kits that provide the user with full control over their security system.
The app will provide video monitoring, sound alerts, notifications of sounds like a baby crying or breaking glass, smoke, and fire and carbon monoxide detection. Users can also lock and unlock doors remotely and monitor alarms, temperature settings, and turn appliances on and off with smart plugs.
“The smart home is an unstoppable trend which we intend to be at the forefront of through continuous research and development. We understand the needs of our customers, and we are going to deliver exactly what they want – a complete and affordable security-centric smart home solution driven from one app,” says Geoff Wanless, CTO of Swann. “Our system uses the latest wireless technology, including Wi-Fi and Zigbee to ensure that it is easy to use and inter-connectable.”
You can check out the SwannOne app when it’s released on the App Store soon, and can see a full range of Swann kits on their site.
Monsu looks to be a cute and cuddly little runner/platformer from Angry Birds alum Boomlagoon. I was able to get my hands on it for a bit and I can confirm that it is, in fact, cute and cuddly. It’s also got a lot of cards to collect and equip, which is a bit different for the genre. Good different, form what I’ve seen.
In between choosing a card to bring into battle, smashing houses while collecting coins, and generally laying waste to those who would oppose me, I had the chance to speak to Boomlagoon’s CEO, Antti Sten, about the interesting hybrid.
148Apps: Would you say Monsu is a runner/platformer with card collecting elements, or a card collector with platformer/runner elements? Antti Sten (AS): It’s like a platformer, endless runner, with this card-collecting aspect. Basically you get to collect 40 different cards, and you can equip three of them at a time. All of them bring this really cool visual and helping aspect to the game, so you can run with these companions and buddies that make it like a whole different experience depending on what cards you choose.
The core game is the runner, of course. You can play the game without the cards but you can’t play it without the running.
148Apps: What was it like to hybridize two very different genres? Were there any particular challenges? Anything easier than you’d expected? AS: We thought we’d have trouble figuring out what the cards would be, because we wanted each of them to be richer than some power-up. There are some like that but most of them are really game-changing. It went pretty smoothly, really. We had a few challenges with other mechanics, like for example the social mechanics. We currently have leaderboards and you can share with other players, but we’ve been trying to figure out what would be the most convenient features to include.
148Apps: Where did the idea for a runner/card hybrid come from? AS: It’s always hard to say specifically when the game idea was born. At one point we were trying to figure out how to make a different kind of endless runner – we had all kinds of ideas, like what kind of controls could you have, should there be attacking – and at one point we started to wonder “What if it was more like a platformer?”
Of course with platformers you’re thinking about Super Mario Brothers, and one of the key aspects of that game is that you can get these power-ups that really change the way that you play the game; for example, when you get the fire flower you play totally differently than when you get the star. We wanted to create something like that with Monsu‘s cards. And of course we went overboard and now we have around 40 of them.
148Apps: Did you learn anything from the development of Angry Birds or Noble Nutlings that helped with the development of Monsu? AS: Simplistic UI is always something that we want to have – let users get straight to the game, and not have too many screens to handle. And of course there’s the graphical style, which we’ve carried over from previous games.
148Apps: I imagine the climate of the App Store has changed a bit since releasing Angry Birds and even Noble Nutlings. Do you think that may have changed the way you approached Monsu? AS: Yeah, I guess that one of the things that really has changed for us is that now we require much more depth. We wouldn’t want to publish a game with just like one mechanic and X amount of challenges or levels, so there has to be some kind of progression – something to fiddle with. That’s one of the things that’s going to be very different from Noble Nutlings.
148Apps: Have there been any trends or reactions you’ve seen in the App Store lately that have you concerned about how Monsu will be received? AS: The genre itself – really casual, easy to play games – there aren’t many that have been all that successful. If you look in the App Store, the Top Grossing games based on revenue are usually like casino, resource management, and licensed games, which Monsu is not. But Monsu is a fun game, and there’s always been room for these types of games!
Thanks to Antti Sten for his time. Monsu is available to download on the App Store now, for free.
Readdle has released a new update for PDF Expert 5, with a ton of new features. They have integrated the ability to use Zoom Writing on the iPad, which lets you zoom in on the page you are writing on and follows you as you move along the page.
PDF Expert 5 also has AirTurn support. AirTurn Bluetooth pedals allow you to turn pages of documents hands-free, which is great for musicians whose hands may otherwise be occupied rocking out.
Readdle has also improved the bookmark function, added iCloud Drive Support, and included the ability to lock the app with Touch ID instead of using a passcode.
You can download PDF Expert 5 for $9.99 on the App Store.
iBooks and the Kindle app do a great job of ensuring that there’s always something new to read while you’re on the move. They work well in complementing the traditional physical book. There’s still room for more interactive and animated fare though, such as in the case of Black Jack – an app that declares itself the “World’s First Moving Novel.” Released in episodic chunks of new chapters every Monday and Friday, it’s an interesting new direction to take for the medium. We took the time to chat to its Emmy-winning author, A.R. Witham, to learn more.
148Apps: Why not release the book at once rather than chapter by chapter? A.R. Witham (ARW): It’s an old-school method of building suspense; Charles Dickens released A Christmas Carol in installments, and I thought that was an interesting way to tell a story that isn’t done much in the 21st century. Black Jack has a very vintage feel to the texture of the pages and animations… a vintage release schedule felt perfect for the story.
148Apps: What’s the reaction to the episodic content been like? Has it been as warmly received as hoped? ARW: The response has been amazing. People love Jack, but for me, their enthusiastic reaction to the side-characters has been the most unexpected surprise. People love Django and Fuji and Valerian and the villains far more than I expected. I’ve gotten drawings of characters from fans, and that kind of reaction is something I really never anticipated.
148Apps: What challenges have there been in converting the novel to a more interactive format? Has it affected how the novel has been written at all? ARW: There were 3 Big Rules to building the Black Jack app: 1) The story had to be good enough to pack a whollop without the animations and effects. 2) None of the animations could interfere with the text; if they didn’t help the readers immerse themselves in the storytelling, they were cut. 3) The book had to feel completely unlike any reading experience anyone has ever had. Once I established those guidelines, it became a great puzzle to solve.
148Apps: Do you think this is the future for novels? Or is there still a place for the traditional format? ARW: I pray traditional novels never die. We all have loved them too much to let them go away. If paper-and-binding is on the decline in favor of screen-reading, I’m okay with that, but a pure tale constructed only with words is the foundation of storytelling; it will always exist, even if it’s just an old man sitting at a campfire telling ghost stories. Digital formats such as the iPad offer a playground for artists to explore the edges of the map and that’s what we are doing with Black Jack. Once you read the first two chapters, you begin to realize there are incredible moments waiting for you. Nobody’s done a book like this before – that’s the fun part.
148Apps: Do you think it’s a method that would work for all genres or does it particularly lend itself to fantasy/sci-fi? ARW: Oh, I could see Divergent, Hunger Games, Neil Gaiman, or Harry Potter working very well with the Moving Novel format, but I think also think Raymond Chandler’s detective thrillers, Cormac McCarthy’s Southern Gothic style or Stephen King’s horror stories could all be a fun ride with a little emotional push at the right moments.
148apps: What’s next after Black Jack?
ARW: By day, I’m a Creative Director, and currently working on launching the brand-new CBS affiliate in Indianapolis in 2015, so that may take a bit of time. For Black Jack, I’m working with the next story in the series, tentatively titled “Red Rover.” And at night, I’m just reading new stories. It’s always fun to find something new.
Thanks to A.R. Witham for taking the time to answer our questions.
Black Jack: A Moving Novel is available now on the App Store for the iPad. It’s currently priced at $5.99 for the full novel, with the first two chapters available for free.
Tapbots has updated their Twitter client, Tweetbot 3, to make use of the new features of iOS 8. They’ve optimized it for iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as added interactive notifications so you’re always up to date on your twitter activity. The update also comes with 1Password and Share Sheets Support.
Tweetbot 3 is available for $4.99 on the App Store, and the new update is live now.
At the base of the campaign is a new maze pack for Ms. PAC-MAN and PAC-MAN, titled the ‘Hope Maze’, with all purchases of the $0.99 pack going directly towards supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. In addition, the in-game interface in both games will be going pink for the month of October.
NBCF Founder and CEO Janelle Hail had this to say on the campaign:
We are very excited about our new partnership with Bandai Namco and the Ms. PAC-MAN Pink Ribbon Campaign. By encouraging their gamers to Join the Pac, we can reach more women than ever with our message of hope. The funds they raise will allow us to provide early detection services for women in need in all 50 states.
Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man are both available on the App Store now for $3.99, with the ‘Hope Maze’ available as an in-app purchase in both games for $0.99.
6 Wunderkinder’s To-Do List and Task app, Wunderlist, now supports Dropbox.
To synch your Dropbox files to Wunderlist, just tap the paperclip icon in the Detail View, select Dropbox, and choose your file. With Wunderlist you can Assign, Comment, and prioritize your Dropbox files and they automatically update across all your systems.
You can pick up the newly-updated Wunderlist for free on the App Store.