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Like fellow French duo Daft Punk, the Creative Brothers pool their collective brainpower to create stuff for people to play. Rather than an album of disco plunderphonics, though, the developer double-act has released a fun new app called Font Mystery. The game has just received its worldwide release on the App Store and Google Play, and is free to play.
Font Mystery challenges players with recognisable fonts from the spectrum of pop culture, so fans of Logo Quiz will find themselves in familiar territory. There are different categories to choose from, including films, video games, books and TV programmes. You’re presented with a sentence in black-and-white text, and have to use the letters available onscreen to write the answer. The phrases themselves offer a hint – for example, ‘hilarious green disguise’ in familiar wonky typeface for The Mask, or ‘a movie with dinosaurs’ in that iconic tribal font for Jurassic Park. There are additional hints available if you get stuck, and additional difficulty settings if you’re a pop culture buff looking for more of a challenge.
Font Mystery boasts 150 fonts and 200 levels to complete, with various achievements and themes to unlock. Although it’s single player, it’s also the perfect game for casual get togethers, letting you test your friends and family on their knowledge, or getting them to help you out when you’re stuck.
This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.
May Merriment 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.
Don’t you hate it when you’re off doing your own thing, minding your own business, then you get a message out of the blue from someone claiming to have known your father and that he used to run a spy agency? And don’t you hate it when you suddenly have to take over this randomly inherited spy agency? Stupid random obligations.That’s the general idea behind Spy_Watch. An agency your father used to run has been torn apart from the inside, and the only person left is a lone analyst with aspirations of becoming a field agent. You’ll have to train them in the arts of stealth, combat, and charm, while also sending them on missions to earn more money for more training. All in the name of completing missions that help you figure out who destroyed the agency and why.--Rob Rich
Have you ever wondered how much information is transmitted when you go to a new website? Wanted to know exactly what’s being tracked and where the unsecured connections are? If you can answer yes to any of that, then Disconnect might just be your kind of thing. It goes even further if you’re willing to pay a subscription fee, too. The free version of Disconnect offers you a way in which to search for various things or go on specific websites, without being tracked. Starting out, you can simply type in a search and find a website that way, or you can opt to go directly to the site. In both cases, everything is done anonymously with your searches hidden away. Once you go onto a site, you can tap on a seeing eye icon and more details are offered. --Jennifer Allen
Young children are fairly certain to enjoy the colorful and vibrant nature of My Little Pony - Cutie Mark Chronicles. A mixture of storytelling and simple mini-games, the latter might prove to be slightly tricky in places, but it’s all fairly heartwarming stuff.It tells the story of how six ponies, including Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Applejack, came to discover their own unique talents and benefited from a Cutie Mark highlighting what they can do. To you and me, that’s a cute icon on their back such as apples or balloons. Each tale is fairly good at dispensing morals while also reminding kids that everyone has their own talent somewhere. You listen and read through the words with a quick drag taking you to the next page.--Jennifer Allen
You’d be forgiven for mistaking Jurassic World: The Game for Jurassic Park Builder at first glance. Both games involve building or re-building a dinosaur theme park, and both are laden with extinct animals. Aside from general similarities though, this isn’t just a re-skinning meant to capitalize on an upcoming film release. I mean of course it’s supposed to capitalize on the film, but… I’ll just stop myself here. Much has been streamlined this time around. You still have to hatch dinosaurs and clear away the overgrown portions of Isla Nublar, but you won’t also have to spend time and resources removing rocks and other debris after you’ve already cleared an area. You also don’t have to worry about juggling two separate types of food for your critters - this time there’s just one food source that covers both herbivores and carnivores (this is a lot more awesome than it sounds). --Rob Rich
Forgotten Memories is a good survival horror game on the wrong format. It’s creepier and more atmospheric than Lost Within, as well as a lot tougher, but it suffers due to its uncomfortable combat and an old-fashioned save system that struggles on mobile. There’s the almost formulaic setting of a woman waking up in a strange place and attempting to piece together what’s going on. While it could feel cliched, you’re too busy being unnerved by mannequins and encountering strange people to think too much about it. Often, Forgotten Memories feels more like an adventure game than regular survival horror, with plenty of exploration and doors to unlock. There are puzzles too, keeping you involved in all its goings on. Lighting is frequently restricted with a flashlight/torch that offers limited battery life and requires you to wait to recharge at certain points. It adds to the atmosphere well, proving quite unsettling at times. In particular, who wants to sneak around amongst a bunch of mannequins? You’ll be consistently nervous and rightly so. --Jennifer Allen
Cube Koala is one of those puzzle games that's almost too easy to understand, but somehow takes its simple concepts and creates nightmarishly difficult levels around them. Games that have similar design philosophies include Super Meat Boyand Escape from the Pyramid. Make no mistake though,Cube Koalais not just an also-ran in this category of super-difficult games. It's remarkable because of how pure and intense its brand of difficulty and level design is.So, how simple is it to play Cube Koala? Players control the cube-shaped Koala through the use of only two buttons. One of these buttons rotates the game environment 45 degrees clockwise, while the other button does the reverse. As a koala trapped in a tesseract full of traps that include spikes, fireballs, and other deadly traps, players must use the force of gravity to flip the koala and reach the exit door. --Campbell Bird
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It’s a tough life. I’ve whined about the first world problem of having to keep up with too many devices. Review units, old retro devices, rooting toys… they add up. When it comes to review units, I’m loathe to use my personal cloud networks with them, so I tend to do data transfer locally via flash storage. It’s easy to, say, take a picture via an SD card and move the SD card to a new device. Yes, there are more efficient ways to do this, but stubborn people think differently.--Tre Lawrence
I have a problem.Come to my house, and you can see the manifestation. It isn’t always my fault. Blame the device makers for sending devices to review. Or my need to tinker with retro devices (trying to get my T5 to tether to an M8 is a worthy endeavor); Probably has at least a little bit to do with the fact that full-powered devices give me a high. In any case, when it’s all said and done, one issue inevitably arises.So many devices, so little time. --Tre Lawrence
In a world gone electronically amok, it is refreshing to see accessories aimed at kids… the type of gear that harnesses the power of mobile electronics in relatively atypical ways. Back in the day, we could have jamborees with some charcoal and paper.It feels like the Crayola Trace & Draw is a system that hearkens back to those days, while being firmly planted in the present.--Tre Lawrence
All this, plus our hands-on experience with The Knights of Pen & Paper 2nd Edition.
[Still trying to decide if it's worth revisiting the park? Check out our Jurassic World review]
You’ve probably already got a huge and incredibly popular theme park in Jurassic Park Builder. That’s great, but Jurassic World: The Game is a slightly different beast. This time around you’ll be spending a lot more time in the Arena, and will have to keep your dinos fighting fit because of it. And that’s exactly why we’ve gone and put this little guide together.
So if you find yourself in need of some tips for raising or want some pointers in the Arena, we’re here for you.
Jurassic Park Builder Updated with a New Dinosaur Battle Arena, Allows Users to Manage and Battle Their Dinosaurs
A new update has founds its way onto Jurassic Park Builder, where players can now experience the new Dinosaur Battle Arena. This feature allows players to select dinosaurs to use when fighting opponents, and it lets them feed the dinosaurs, level them up, and strategize with multiple moves. There are also rewards and medals to earn, along with new missions for users to experience in the Jurassic, Aquatic, and Glacier parks.
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Kingdoms will always be in peril and brave heroes will always be needed. However the format in which they do their “fighting evil” thing can vary wildly. In Pixel Kingdom they do so by meeting the approaching hordes head-on in a three lane defense. And they look so freaking adorable doing it, too. Pixel Kingdom is a fairly straightforward lane defense game for the most part. Players have a stock of various units they can produce and three lanes to produce them in. They’re all “paid for” by a mana pool that fills up over time, which can also be upgraded to fill faster by using more mana. Units are mostly of the melee/ranged attack varieties but there are a number of variations in-between to unlock and play around with. But what would the heroes be without their monsters? The various hordes of evil contain monsters both big and small. Some can knock heroes back, some weave in and out of lanes, and still others can slow a hero’s movement. Thankfully players have access to a cache of special equipment that can be purchased to make their heroes much more formidable. Assuming they have the coin to pay for it all, of course. --Rob Rich
The future is a very bleak place in indie adventure game, Gemini Rue. Clearly taking inspiration from some sci-fi greats such as Blade Runner, as well as a plethora of film noir, the game tells the story from two different perspectives. One part of the adventure follows a time-travelling assassin, Azriel Odin, as he attempts to find his missing brother, while the other part tracks an amnesiac man called Delta-Six, as he finds himself trapped in a hospital with no clue as to what exactly happened to him. And, of course, their fates overlap in a twisting narrative that will stick in one’s mind for a while to come. At its most basic, Gemini Rue is an adventure game full of the need to tap on items and combine them in some way. Really, though, it’s interactive fiction. The puzzles are hardly taxing, although I did find them interesting. Using more than just a combination of items, players have a communicator that ensures they can contact characters, as well as check their notes and conduct a form of research. It’s a small yet attractive feature, that gives players a sense of control far beyond simply offering up a list of objectives. In typical adventure gaming style, players have a choice of icons to determine how to interact with others, including the ability to look, use, talk or kick. --Jennifer Allen
Touch Press has been publishing astonishing digital books for iPad for as long as the platform has existed. With their earlier apps, like The Elements, The Wasteland, The Barefoot World Atlas and The Sonnets, the company shows a knack for taking a subject many consider dry or academic and turning it a multimedia feast that engages not only students, but anyone with even a passing curiosity in the subject matter. With The Orchestra, the team has raised its own bar, creating much more than a than a digibook. The Orchestra takes users on an exclusive tour of the UK’s Philharmonia and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen’s interpretations of eight classical pieces from composers like Hayden, Mahler, Stravinsky, and Beethoven in unparalleled fashion. The app is a two-part affair. The home screen guides users to the performances first. Each orchestral work is presented with several videos focusing on key musicians/instruments and on Salonen’s baton. These videos can be rearranged with intuitive gestures to focus on whichever appeals at the moment. Below that, users watch the score scroll by in sync. One can view the entire orchestration, a curated score that focuses on key instruments in the piece, and for those who don’t read music, there is a graphical representation using color-coded bars. --Lisa Caplan
In an App Store full of countless derivations of the same handful of genres, sometimes all it takes for a game to stand out is to just execute on one of those genres really well. That’s what Black Operations does and that’s why anyone interested in mobile real-time strategy should give it a look. Specifically, Black Operations is a 2D sidescrolling strategy game. The playfield is a linear plane with two bases on each end; to win, players must overcome what is essentially a tug-of-war battle to overthrow the enemy’s HQ. It’s a simplified take on real-time strategy that’s been proven successful on mobile phones, consoles, and pretty much anything without a mouse. However, Black Operations does throw in a few new elements to liven things up. In most games like this once a unit is spawned they march forward and attack until they die. Here, though, players use intuitive multi-touch gestures to tell soldiers to move out, retreat, or stay put. This opens up new tactical possibilities like having units rally around a newly-capture watch tower or drawing enemies out by sacrificing individual soldiers. --Jordan Minor
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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:
In PICME, my son’s likeness is used to create a boy character who delivers a piano to a friendly lion named Juno, who claims to be able to play, yet in reality needs to practice a great deal to be able to make true music with this instrument. There is much that I really appreciate in this interactive storybook. First, two distinct versions of this tale are included – a movie as well as a storybook, and although the plot of this story remains the same, I especially appreciate how the video is not just a straight animated version of the book. It is also a different yet related experience which adds more characters and nuances that work perfectly in this movie. The book, however, is a little more simplistic, making a nice, tight narrative that I equally appreciate. --Amy Solomon
I would like to introduce readers to a trilogy of dinosaur apps from the Ansel and Clair series of educational applications. I am a huge fan of these apps, as Africa and Paul Revere’s Ride, and now the dinosaur time periods have each been visited by Ansel, a travel photographer from the planet Virtoos and Clair, a Virtoosian robot companion in order to gather photos to teach about these moments in history back on their home planet. There are three sections broken up into different times, specifically the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous, that each goes back to explore the world, learning about the unique dinosaurs what differenceates each of these periods seen in the landscapes of each of these apps, such as the Triassic period which was less green and more barren than the other periods of time --Amy Solomon
My son and I loved this first app – a children’s interactive application allowing one to explore five different truck and car-themed activities, as seen here in the review of this app. More Trucks includes four new scenes that children will also have fun with. Nice children’s narration will explain how these sections work, and parents and children alike will enjoy the familiar nursery rhyme-themed classical music that Duck Duck Moose is known for. These sections are uniformly bright and colorful, including the same stylized looks that fans have come to expect from these applications. --Amy Solomon
I’m a sucker for retro games. There is just something charming about going into the past with today’s hardware. I get especially teary-eyed when 8-bit graphics appear. Kairosoft’s Ninja Village is that type of tearjerker that I’m talking about. Set in ancient Japan, it it is a city simulation set during the period of feudalism. It’s craftily set as a unification adventure that involves ninja clans, so in one swoop, I was getting some awesome backstory angles to work with.
Yes, the game came with retro looks, down the pleasant (for me) shaky movements and blended color. I liked the detail the developer put into creating a fun-looking environment. The gameplay was a potent mix of civilization simulation and domination principles. Frankly, I really enjoyed the intricate nature of this title. Its game engine was pretty cool, and a lot of thought seemed to have been put into the basic logic. I was responsible for training and upkeep of my ninja warriors. A key component of this was the ability to manage my non-infinite resources. First, I had to do stimulate basic commerce to increase my funds; villagers needed food, and food also brought valuable cash when sold to merchants. I was able to build industry like farms and also able to build infrastructure for my growing clan. --Tre Lawrence
I realize that I am not the only person who misplaces their wallet, but I find it hard to believe that there are people on this earth who lose theirs more consistently than I do. For years I have been casually looking into different ways to help me organize my life, and there are a few products on the market that allow the user to remotely find their missing, tagged items. Obviously, the problem here is that these products, for the most part, are separate items and are just as prone to being forgotten and misplaced as the wallet itself. So why not put the device on the smartphone? Everyone has one and if implemented well enough it can work as a symbiotic relationship. Fortunately for all of humanity there is a project floating around on KickStarter right now that might be the world’s solution to the endless struggle to keep tabs on arguably the two most important items in the average person’s life. Called SmartWallit, this ambitious startup has developed a product that will ingeniously alert its owner if either the wallet or phone gets left behind. --Joseph Bertolini
The Jurassic Park franchise was the quintessential morality tale. It’s what we needed in the 90s: a reminder of the dangers of mankind subverting nature. Dinosaurs are interesting, and having a zoo full of them would be exceptionally cool, but only bad things could happen in the end. Keeping prehistoric beasts as confined pests is rarely a good idea, especially the carnivorous ones. Jurassic Park Builder, a game from Ludia Inc, is just the type of title that can fix melancholy. It put me in charge of developing theme park populated such as the one on the novel and movie it derives it name from. It was a park simulation with a twist. I was tasked with building and expanding space, as well as making sure my livestock flourished. The originating story was close to the original; I found dinosaur DNA fortuitously trapped in amber, and was able to create viable eggs with the DNA. From then on, it became a matter of suave management of resources. I got to pick whether I wanted terrestrial animals or aquatic ones. I also had to feed the creature based on defined diets. --Tre Lawrence
I think this will be my Weird Week. I have no idea why, but most of the games I’ve picked out ended up being somewhat unconventional to say the least. Of course I tend to like offbeat stuff so it’s fine. And if you don’t, well this is as much your list as it is mine, so feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below!
Jurassic Park™ Builder I played the crap out of Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis back in The Day. Despite being a derivative theme-park building game in a genre that, at the time, was full to bursting it was actually really cool. I know this isn’t exactly a mobile port of the same game, but it’s darned close what with all the park maintenance and dinosaur escape potential. Plus it’s totally free, so there’s that.
Lunik Swings The slightly children’s book illustration style is what first caught my attention. Then it was the absolutely crazy levels that defy any sense of logic or physics. At the very least this is bound to be the most beautiful looking iOS game about a kid on a swing ever. And since checking it out doesn’t actually cost anything there’s no reason not to satisfy that curiosity.
Bubble Witch Saga Okay, yes, total Puzzle Bobble/Bust a Moove knock off, but it’s also pretty. It also allows players to buy special power-ups. There are even social elements (i.e. compare scores to friends) thrown into the mix. And with over 150 levels and more added weekly, this is one free puzzlegame that should be relevant for quite some time.
Eye Drops from Upstairs It looks retro and it’s completely ridiculous. I’d say I’m sold if this game actually cost anything. I mean if nothing else the idea of trying to get eye drops into a man’s eyes from several stories up by way of some kind of elastic arm is pretty unique. It also seems crazy enough to be fun in short bursts.
Epic Raiders A line-dragging RPG with loads of loot, plenty of character classes, full customization options for every single character in the party, some pretty darned impressive visuals, and a cost of zero. Yup, it’s got my attention. Oh, wait, it also has online multiplayer (PvP). Why are you reading this and not downloading it already?
Dédale Free Every now and then it’s nice to play a game that isn’t exciting. Or rather, sometimes playing a relaxing game can be just what a person needs. And while a game about guiding a music-loving butterfly through 100 handcrafted levels (and an infinite number of procedurally generated ones) might seem weird, it’s also relaxing. Simple, intuitive, mellow, and free. I like the sound of that.
In celebration of Universal's 100th anniversary, Fuse and Beach Cooler Games (with licensing from Universal) announced a new content update for its simulation game about the movie industry, Universal Movie Tycoon. The update includes new movie content, gameplay enhancements, quests, and better controls.
The new movie content added to the game is Snow White and the Hunstman. Players will be able to build and explore the set of the movie along with the 35 other blockbuster films available in the game.
Universal Movie Tycoon, like other "tycoon" simulation games, give players control to build and supervise over a particular setting, the movie industry in this case (specifical Universal Studios). Players work on building sets and creating movies like ET, The Mummy, and Jurassic Park. Players add buildings to the sets (over 15 studio buildings to use) and add decorations, roads, and more.
Universal Movie Tycoon is $0.99 and is a universal app.
Feeling a bit of deja vu? That’s because it was less than a week ago that Jennifer Allen posted that Telltale Games had released episode four of its Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space series, Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Ep 4. Now the fifth installment of the popular series has been released, Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Ep 5. These guys are just rapid-firing releasing games about Sam and Max.
This episode is hot and dangerous because Sam and Max are dealing with none other than Hell and Satan himself. The dynamic duo try to bargain for Bosco’s soul and try to escape from the corporate wasteland known as Hell.
The game, of course, features popular mini-game “Whack da Ratz” where users can compete for top scores in the Freelance Police Hall of Fame.
It’s the end of the week and there are all kinds of great-looking games and apps to give a shot over the weekend. Let’s call this a sci-fi/fantasy week because all of three of the games in this week's five have either a sci-fi or fantasy theme. We also have some filter-applying photo apps.
DOFUS: Battles 2
This is the sequel of the tower defense I reviewed a little less than a year ago, DOFUS: Battles. DOFUS: Battles remains to be one of my favorite tower defense experiences on iOS. The games are based on the world from popular MMORPG, DOFUS. “Towers” are characters that can be leveled up and equipped and placed on the game board to defeat waves of enemies. DOFUS: Battles 2 is a reverse tower defense; the characters are attacking, not defending. I’ll definitely be playing this one over the weekend. DOFUS: Battles 2 is available in an HD version as well for the iPad (my preference).
Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Ep 4
Those with a great memory may feel a bit of deja vu when looking at this app. Didn’t Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space already show up in Five for Friday recently? Yes it did. A little over a month ago, Telltale released Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Episode 2 this is Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Episode 4! Two months and three episodes! This is the same developer behind the Back to the Future and Jurassic Park games.
Camera apps that apply filters are getting popular. iStriper applies a unique filter to photos. The app takes a picture from the camera roll and “cuts” it into strips of varying sizes to create an artistic looking result. Distance, thickness, and color can be customized and photos can be exported via Facebook, Twitter, or email.
Another photography app that adds filters has been released this week, B&W Lab. While most of these filter apps provide a variety filters (like Instagram), B&W Lab focuses on black & white style filtering. There are twenty black & white presets in the app, but users can also customize the saturation, contrast, brightness, gamma, and more. Photos can be shared within the app via Twitter.
Hero Mages is a mix between an RPG, strategy, and card game. Players command a party of three champions and fight in multiplayer or campaigns with various dice and cards to represent spells. Multiplayer can be played with up to 8 players all over the world in free-for-all, team, or cooperative games. Hero Mages was developed by D20Studios, a one-man development team.