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Call of Duty: Heroes Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on November 25th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: CLASH OF FRANCHISES
Mix Clash of Clans with Call of Duty, and this is what you get.
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It Came From Canada - New Zealand Edition - Call of Duty: Heroes

Posted by Jordan Minor on November 18th, 2014

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.

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.

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.

Skylanders Trap Team Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad only
By Rob Rich on October 6th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar ::
Skylanders Trap Team is a great fit for series fans that are looking for a more portable version, but it can still be something of a money pit.
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Activision Releases New Gameplay Mode for Skylanders Trap Team in Honor of Emperor Kaos

Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 18th, 2014

Activision has revealed the new Kaos Doom Challenge for Skylanders Trap Team. The challenge lets players battle through increasingly difficult waves of Kaos' minions. If using their army of Skylanders and defensive towers, the Portal Masters fail to destroy the minions and Kaos will open the "Mystery Box of Doom," which will is full of gigantic boss monsters!

According to Emperor Kaos, "A recent evil study of a thousand trolls revealed that nine out of ten agree that I am the most powerful and impressive evildoer to have ever conquered Skylands. Naturally, I had every tenth one banished to my "Kaos Doom Challenge" to test the effectiveness of my 100 waves of ultimate evil doom - and they were never heard from again. So let's just say EVERYONE agrees - I am the most powerful and impressive evil doer ever."

With the coming release of Skylanders Trap Team on October 5, it sounds like the Emperor needs a thrashing.

Wipeout 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Lee Hamlet on September 5th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: WIPED OUT
Doing away with the entertaining rag-doll physics of the previous game, Wipeout 2 soon starts to wear thin as each course starts to prompt a sense of deja vu.
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Hands-On with Skylanders Trap Team - Coming to the iPad This Fall

Posted by Rob Rich on August 12th, 2014

Skylanders has always been a bit polarizing among gamers. Some see it as a glorified (and expensive) kids’ toy. Others see it as a somewhat ingenious combination of toys and video games. It’s a bit less of a toss-up with kids, though - kids adore it. And they’re undoubtedly excited about Skylanders Trap Team.

The Skylanders series has been brought to iOS before, but Trap Team is a first. It isn’t just a port that’s been cut back to fit or a completely different sort of game that uses the license: it’s Skylanders Trap Team. You can swap between characters by switching out figures (including all the characters from previous console-only versions), capture enemies in special Trap Crystals, and otherwise do all that Skylanders-y stuff you’d expect. It’s the same game console players will be experiencing, only on a presumably smaller screen. The touch controls work quite well too, although they aren’t entirely necessary (I’ll explain in a minute).

The portal that’s included with the mobile Trap Team starter set is quite nifty. It uses bluetooth to connect to tablets wirelessly, has a simple but brilliant little notch in the side so that you can prop up your tablet (just about any tablet, no less) while you play, and comes with its own bluetooth controller that easily tucks into the bottom of the portal. Perhaps the most impressive thing about all this is that it’s incredibly easy to pair the portal and the controller with your device. If you’d rather not use the included controller, Trap Team also supports third-party mobile controllers. Or, if you find yourself with a surplus, you can also pair two different controllers and play co-op.

“It just works” has been the mantra for Vicarious Visions as they worked on the hardware for the mobile version, and it’s something they’ve pulled-off extremely well. So long as you have bluetooth enabled on your tablet all you’ll have to do is press and hold a button on the portal and/or controller and they’ll simply connect. Disconnecting them is just as easy of course, and if the controller becomes disconnected at any point during play (either on purpose or because it’s run out of batteries or something) the touch controls will pop up and you can keep playing. And if, for whatever reason, you either don’t have the portal or don’t have access to one you’re still covered. When Trap Team isn’t connected to a portal it’s still possible to play through the game using two special digital-only characters (each with their own levels, stats, and abilities).

Skylanders Trap Team will be available in the App Store as a free download on October 5 for the iPad 3 and 4, iPad Mini Retina, and iPad Air. The Starter Pack (includes the portal, bluetooth controller, unlock for the full game, and two figures) will be available on the same date for $74.99.

Tony Hawk and Activision are Bringing Another Pro Skater to the App Store

Posted by Rob Rich on February 27th, 2014

Pocket Gamer reports that, in a recent video on Bloomberg TV, Tony Hawk has confirmed that another game in the iconic is bound for iOS.

There's not much else to go on, really. It's going to involve skateboarding, and Pocket Gamer mentions that the mogul seems pretty "enthusiastic about the project," but that's pretty much it. Although it's a little odd that he thinks there hasn't been a Tony Hawk game on mobile yet, given that Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 has been available since 2010 (and hasn't been updated in years). Maybe what he really means is that it'll be the first game in the series that was developed specifically for mobile?

Regardless, a new game is coming and we'll be keeping an eye out for more details.

Screen shot from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Blur Overdrive Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Blake Grundman on November 12th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FAITHFUL REBIRTH
A console racing game would be hard to do justice on mobile, but Blur Overdrive has just enough old and new to appease both fans and newcomers.
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Call of Duty - Activision Launches New Call of Duty: Ghosts App Providing Users with Second Screen and Clan Editing

Posted by Andrew Stevens on November 5th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Call of Duty is a new companion app from Activision that released alongside the latest title in the series, Call of Duty: Ghosts. It provides special bonuses for those who use it for clan wars, which includes additional solider customization and bonus multiplayer XP. It also lets users join, create, and manage clans. Users can even talk with other clan members through the app's chat feature.

The Call of Duty app also comes with a second screen option that syncs in real-time during all multiplayer game modes. It lets users edit their squad, swap loadouts between spawns, and view post-match results.

For those hardcore fans that just can't get enough Call of Duty, make sure to check out the app to see just how useful it could be.

Blur Overdrive and The Activision Decathlon to Launch on the App Store in November

Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 28th, 2013

Marmalade has a new publishing division called Marmalade Play, which is publishing two licensed Activision titles: The Activision Decathlon and Blur Overdrive.

The Activision Decathlon features 8 leagues with head-to-head play with friends in real-time, along with 10 track and field events to compete in. Blur Overdrive offers up 25 vehicles to race with in over 10 special events. It also has 8 power-ups to use on those who dare get in the way.

Both titles will be available on November 1, though I certainly can't wait to get my hands on Blur's steering wheel!

Skylanders Battlegrounds Brings a SWAP Force Update to the Skylands, Chapter 3 is Now Playable

Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 24th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: TOYING AROUND :: Read Review »

Skylanders Battlegrounds has been updated to include all of the Skylanders SWAP Force characters, which allows you to take them into battle! The update also adds cloud saves so that you can play on all your devices, and a new pirate arena for you to discover!

You'll also be able to go up against the crazy maniac known as mage Vengar as Chapter 3 is now available to play. Now go return to the Skylands!

Lost Treasures of Infocom Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on January 9th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: TEXT BASED NOSTALGIA
Gamers from the 1980s will love this collection of some of the best text adventures of the decade.
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Skylanders Battlegrounds Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on December 20th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: TOYING AROUND
Skylanders Battlegrounds is a new Skylanders game that just feels lacking if not played with the Portal of Power accessory and actual Skylanders figures.
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Skylanders Bluetooth Portal of Power Hardware Review

By Carter Dotson on December 18th, 2012
The Bluetooth Portal of Power makes the iOS Skylanders games more like the console ones, but is it really worth it?
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The Bowling Dead Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on December 3rd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: NOT QUITE BOWLED OVER
Knock zombies over with bowling balls? Check. Pity, it's a pretty shallow affair that requires real money to truly see the benefits.
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