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This Week at 148Apps: July 27-31, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 3rd, 2015

Winding Down July With 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.


NINE

NINE is an appealing and convenient twist on the typical To-Do list format. Focused on providing visual reminders rather than text based ones, you simply snap a photo of something then tag it and you have an instant reminder to do or buy something. It’s a nice idea.Much of NINE’s convenience comes from its flexibility. Rather than being tied into dull lists reminding you of what you need to do, you can use it to remember things you want to buy come pay day, or simply as a visual list of things/people you love. Recipe ideas can be formulated through taking snaps of foo that inspires you. It’s all pretty varied in terms of what can be accomplished. --Jennifer Allen


To-Fu Fury

Somehow making an incredibly boring kind of food fun, To-Fu Fury isn’t the most original of physics puzzle games, but it is solidly dependable. You control a sentient piece of Tofu as he has to leap around various platforms, dodging spikes, collecting gems, and even fending off aggressive enemies. Each level is relatively brief but it’s quite challenging. You can drag the Tofu around, fling it across the screen in an Angry Birds style manner, or you can crawl along the ground with a pinch of two fingers. Various challenges arise, such as the need to carefully get around spikes, learn to ricochet off metal plates, and also negotiate tricky moving platforms. --Jennifer Allen


Baffles Classic Puzzles

Baffles Classic Puzzles reminds me a little of the puzzle books that my parents would give to me on a long journey to keep me busy. They’d be simple-looking logic puzzles but often they’d take a while to figure out. This game is just full of those, and that’s a good thing. Offering 76 puzzles in all, with a further 24 coming soon, there’s no shortage of challenge here. Each puzzle is offered to you with a description of what needs to be accomplished, along with some historical context, explaining the origins of the puzzle. Baffles Classic Puzzles takes its inspiration from many different eras, including ancient Rome and China. --Jennifer Allen


In Churning Seas

In Churning Seas is a physics-based puzzler in which players attempt to assemble randomly-shaped crags into an island that successfully persists above a constantly rising sea level. The difficulty in making high quality physics-based puzzle games is in balancing the inherent challenge of the mechanics and tools with the physics. In Churning Seas makes an interesting, though perhaps not entirely successful, attempt at striking this balance while providing a really excellent atmosphere and general aesthetic.Controlling In Churning Seas is easy enough. At the start of any game players have a randmoized base island to start from, a rising sea below, and random shapes appearing above for them to tap to drop into their desired place. The goal is to piece together enough shapes and have them hold together long enough to reach new heights. Along the way players may hit a specific height goal, which provides the benefit of locking the other pieces in place to create a more stable structure to continue building off of. In the event that players need some stability when a height goal is out of reach, they can double-tap a limited amount of blocks to lock them in place as well. --Campbell Bird


Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

There’s a reasonable argument against the need for HD remakes as it is. Do we really need to return to so many old games, all for the sake of some shinier graphics? Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition really reinforces that concept by somehow disrupting some of the key visual and audio flourishes of the original. Throw in the fact that the game is often quite obtuse, and the past doesn’t seem so great any more. The foundations are pretty solid, at least. Ritualistic killings are occurring in New Orleans, and it’s down to struggling author, Gabriel Knight, to figure things out. True Detective fans are going to like this. At least they will until they realise that Gabriel is a fairly obnoxious womaniser. Arrogance is fair enough at times, but this character takes it too far. --Jennifer Allen


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


inStream SeptimusB 7 Port USB Charging Station

As we like to say, more mobile devices, more problems… power problems to be specific. Even as batteries get better, there is always a need to keep our power units powered.Yeah, one can plug in a charging peripheral to every outlet at work or at home, but then, one needs to walk all over the place to retrieve them. It’s just better to have all of them in one place, especially for those of us with a healthy helping of OCD.And then, here comes the wordy inStream SeptimusB 7 Port USB Charging Station.Alrighty.--Tre Lawrence


Zero Punctuation: Hatfall

If one must know, Zero Punctuation: Hatfall is a story of loss and redemption. Sometimes, folks get really attached to headgear, and this game tells the tale of a dude driven mad by loss.Oh dear.At first glance, one might be a bit dazzled by the sharp yellow background; we don’t get a lot of colors, but that is okay, as the game works with the color contrasts within. Visually, it works.--Tre Lawrence


NU2S Smartphone

There are many reasons folks dabble into Android.Love of the OS, appreciation for the extended Google ecosystem… even a hyper anti-Apple sentiment get cited as reasons. Critically, one can enjoy the diversity of product as well as as apps availability across carriers.One element that increasingly becomes part of the device ownership narrative is price; the ability to get a device at just about any price point is, well, priceless. And, to be fair, we are not talking about just anything at any price; we expect quality, even when we pay what might be considered a good price for an Android smartphone. Now, obviously, the ability to have OEMs battle to bring the best devices to market at the lowest cost is a function of the Android landscape, but we’re not complaining.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus news, game guides and even more reviews than we can share here!

Angry Birds 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on August 3rd, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FRUSTRATINGLY GOOD
Angry Birds 2 is a great sequel, when you're able to play it.
Read The Full Review »

Yep, it's True - Angry Birds 2 is Officially Out on the App Store

Posted by Rob Rich on July 30th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FRUSTRATINGLY GOOD :: Read Review »

The not exactly rumors were true and the birds are back. Angry Birds 2 has come to the App Store and the world will... well I suppose it'll still be the same, but now we have more bird-flinging options!

To-Fu Fury Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on July 30th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: TASTY TREAT
To-Fu Fury isn't revolutionary, but it is a satisfying physics puzzle game.
Read The Full Review »

Surprise! Angry Birds 2 has Been Confirmed for Later This Month

Posted by Rob Rich on July 16th, 2015

With all the forewarning of a bird crashing through a cement wall, Rovio has announced that Angry Birds 2 is officially coming. Not only that, but it's due out at the end of this month.

Heroki Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on July 13th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CHARMING
Heroki is a charming action adventure game with a couple of niggles.
Read The Full Review »

Angry Birds Are Invading Other Genres Again. This Time it's Match-3 With Angry Birds Fight!

Posted by Rob Rich on June 12th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Oh Angry Birds. You're quite possibly the most tenacious flock of oddly-shaped avians the world has ever known. The series has been branching out into things that don't involve hurtling tiny feathered animals into pigs wuite a bit lately, and now Angry Birds Fight! has hit (punf absolutely intended) the match-3 genre.

Angry Birds Fight! looks to be inspired by combat-centric puzzlers akin to Puzzle & Dragons and the quite recent You Must Build a Boat. In other words, rather than matching stuff to earn a high score, you're matching stuff in order to charge up attacks and pluck the tail feathers of your opponents. Fights earn experience, new items, and coins that can be used to buy new items - all in the name of unlocking more birds and customizing your own personal flock. Whether it's in solo challenges or against other players in real time multiplayer, you'll be able to dive in and start puzzle-brawling.

If this somewhat odd departure for the series sounds like your cup of tea, you can download Angry Birds Fight! right now for free.

We've Assembled the Top 11 Apple Watch Apps for The Avengers

Posted by Rob Rich on April 28th, 2015

Now that Earth's mightiest heroes have undoubtedly gotten their hands on their own Apple Watches (I mean they do have at least two major technophiles on the team), it's time to figure out which apps would benefit which superhero the most. Sorry Ultron, this list is for goodguys only.

Avengers, do the thing!

Rovio Explodes With Exciting News About Angry Birds Fight!

Posted by Jessica Fisher on April 14th, 2015

The angriest of avians have gone to wreck havoc in Japan.Angry Birds Fight!is a cultural mash-up pf a match-3 that's due out this spring. You'll be solving puzzles and challenging other players from around the world.

Rovio hasn't given a specific date for release, but you can expect to be saying Ohaiyo toAngry Birds Fight! soon. In the meantime, they've released two videos for the game on youtube - including a music video fromTempura Kidz.

Let's Get This Angry Party Started! Angry Birds Go! Gets New Party Mode.

Posted by Jessica Fisher on April 9th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BIRDTASTIC :: Read Review »

There is a new local multi-player feature for Angry Birds Go!, by Rovio Entertainment. Now you can play against your friends in a head-to-head challenge on WiFiconnected mobile devices. Rovio plans on developing the feature to be able to include more players, so that whole groups could race against each other.

"In trying to make friendly multiplayer happen in our games, there was no question that Angry Birds Go! would be the perfect fit. Anyone who played console games as a child remembers the excitement when playing with a group of friends. This is our goal with Angry Birds Go!" said Wilhelm Taht, Head of External Products at Rovio.

You can download Angry Birds Go! for free on the App Store.

Attack the Light - Steven Universe Light RPG Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on April 6th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: A LIGHT RPG
This charming game is a near-perfect mobile RPG experience, even if you aren't familiar with Steven Universe.
Read The Full Review »

Four Years of 148Apps, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love iOS Games

Posted by Jordan Minor on March 24th, 2015

There's a good chance that, unless something crazy happens, this post is the last thing I'm writing for 148Apps. I feel odd writing a personal essay for a website with no real “community” to speak of, but if you invested four years of your life into something wouldn't you want to say a few words when it's all over? Besides, it's not like I haven't done it before. In fact, if you care at all about how working here has improved my career as a young games journalist, the thoughts I expressed in that post are pretty much the same thoughts I have now. So the rest of this piece will be other post-mortem musings.

This Week at 148Apps: March 9-13, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on March 16th, 2015

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!

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


Five Nights at Freddy's 3

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


Sid Meier's Starships

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

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


Robot School-Programming for Kids

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


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

Magic Cat Story

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


LIMBO

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.

Finally, this week Pocket Gamer has more tales from GDC, a review of Sid Meier's new strategy epic, the latest on Five Nights at Freddy's 3, and an elegy for PlayStation Mobile. RIP, buddy.

Angry Birds Stella POP! Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 13th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: TOUCH ABOVE
Angry Birds Stella POP! offers some fun twists on the bubble shooting formula, but it suffers from some big difficulty spikes.
Read The Full Review »

100 Million Piggies Can't Be All Bad. Rovio Celebrates Bad Piggies' Popularity with a New Update

Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 26th, 2015
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: EXTREMELY CRAFTY :: Read Review »

Rovio is celebrating 100 million downloads of the (quite apparently) popular Bad Piggies with a new update.

Bad Piggies is the Angry Birds spinoff that lets you play as the pigs as they build vehicles from scrap and try to navigate their way through levels without being blown up. It's getting a new Sandbox level called Little Pig Adventure and a new part called the gearbox, which allows you to make your inventions travel in reverse.

There are also some new achievements to collect, so download Bad Piggies for $0.99 and start building.

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