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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.
When translating a nearly 30 year old tabletop game like Blood Bowl into a digital format, the folks in charge have to make some decisions. Craft a fairly robust in-game tutorial to ease new players gently into this somewhat complicated quagmire? Or just say “screw it,” assume the target market is going to be almost entirely existing fans of the product, and leave the newbies to sink or swim? Take a guess which direction Focus Home Interactive and Cyanide Studios went with this one. For the uninitiated, Blood Bowl is what would happen if somebody tossed American Football and Rugby into a blender and poured the resulting slurry through a filter made out of the Warhammer fantasy universe. This violent team sport, played by such Warhammer staple races as Orks and Skaven, doesn’t exactly cleave to either of those two inspirations, however. This almost-familiarity players might feel is the entry point where things start getting complicated. --Rob Thomas
The sequel to Episode 1, Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery: Episode 2 is just as pleasant but far too short lived – clocking in at only around an hour. Sure that might be a fun hour of solving puzzles, but it never quite gets going. Jacob and Biggie head off to the Crackskull Mountain to solve the secret of Biggie’s childhood, amongst other things. The writing is suitably witty and entertaining, with a smattering of puzzles to break things up, but that’s the problem: it really is only a smattering. 14 puzzles are all that are available here, and while they’re fun and well designed, they’re not particularly original. --Jennifer Allen
Using the colorful and immensely popular license of Adventure Time comes Time Tangle – Adventure Time, a title that’s keen to avoid being just another Endless Runner, but fails to truly take advantage of its small sense of purpose. Each session involves spinning a wheel to see what kind of activity must be completed. These generally involve either chasing something, collecting something, or beating something up. The controls are the same but the change in objective does help make you think there’s more to Time Tangle – Adventure Time than there actually is. --Jennifer Allen
I demand a lot from my electronics. Since I became disabled and lost my ability to write, I’ve depended on my touch screen devices for everything – especially my college work. Being in an environmental biology program means I’m in the field a lot in many weather conditions. Naturally when it rains I need a waterproof case, but my phone always runs out of juice before the day is out. Most battery cases didn’t offer the waterproofing that I need; until I found iBattz’s new case. The iBattz Mojo Refuel Aqua S Case (what a mouthful!) is pretty spiffy. The case can be used to extend battery life, then when you need waterproofing it takes less than a minute to switch it over and lock it up tight. I’ve been using the case for almost two weeks now and have noticed the good and bad of it. --Jade Walker
It was bound to happen one day, wasn’t it? Yes, Micromon is currently the nearest you’re going to get to Pokemon on your iOS device. Fortunately it’s pretty fun, too. There’s one downfall though, and it’s a pretty obvious one – those pesky in-app purchases that often get in the way of such experiences. First up, Micromon is gorgeous to look at. It doesn’t offer quite as many monsters to capture as a Pokemon game, weighing in at just over 130, but each of them is delightfully animated and appealing. The story within Micromon isn’t particularly gripping, staying quite formulaic, but that’s no great hardship. --Jennifer Allen
I don’t know about you all, but I use my iPhone and iPad to watch Netflix videos all the time. It’s just so handy to be able to pull up a streaming video right before bed or to watch something else while the TV is in use. Well the Slingbox M1 is kind of like that; kind of. It’s also quite a bit different, but no less interesting. The Slingbox M1 essentially lets you broadcast the signal from your cable box to your iOS device and your computer – with the appropriate apps, of course. This means that you can use your iPad as a second screen, watch something on TV without moving to whichever room has the TV in it, or even catch up on local news and sports while you’re out of town. So long as you have an internet connection you can stream the signal from your cable box straight to your other devices. --Rob Rich
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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:
Master of Craft looks to be an engaging game that merges key gaming genres in a tidy package. At its core, it’s all about simulating an economy of crafting. Off the bat, the busy animation of the game easily draws one in, with bright colors and vivid landscapes. If the developer’s goal is to please people that are iffy about the game at the start, it is mostly successful. The rustic vibe combines well with the whimsical representations, and the overall visual feel is that it is playful and serious at the same time. --Tre Lawrence
Suits and Swords is much like Blackjack version of the venerable and well received Sword and Poker. While a good ideas does a simpler game like Blackjack have the legs to support an RPG? Suits and Swords has a rather amusing story. The majority of things and characters in the story are named after card related things. The main character is called Black Jack, he’s a solider or Battle Jack and the villain is an evil disembodied head named Joker. He’s pretty serious.. --Allan Curtis
Super Heavy Sword is a classically styled platformer, which aren’t all that common on the Playstore. Monster Robot Studios have freely admitted that the game is a homage to the astonishingly successful Mario games. Indeed the game feels like a mix of Mario 64 and the original Super Mario Bros. With the big N’s reluctance to bring the overalled plumber to Android, can Super Heavy Sword full the gap? Super Heavy Sword opens with a scene of Pike, the Hero and Lucinda the princess. A bunch of enemies roll in and amazingly don’t kidnap Lucinda but rather begin destroying to land,. Now it’s down to a lone warrior and his girlfriend to stab them all and restore peace. --Allan Curtis
And finally, this week Pocket Gamer weighed in on BioShock for iOS, provided a complete database of Micromon's Micromon, found nine celebrities besides Kim Kardashian with their own mobile games, and found eight games that you wouldn't be able to play if it weren't for some dedicated fans. And it's all right here.
Triposo Updated for iOS, Revamps the App and Makes it Easier to Find Things to Do Locally or Anywhere in the World
Triposo, having reached the 7 million downloads mark, has launched an update that overhauls the app's interface and the way people use it. It's designed with an iOS 7 friendly interface, and makes it easy to find things to do, food to eat, and drinks to drink in your city, or wherever you choose to search for around the world, with offline maps available for when internet signals aren't available.
You can download Triposo now for free.
Sensorly, in participation with Phone Scoop, has released their new speed testing app to see how fast your phone is. While a speed testing app is nothing new, this app is also part of PCMag's Fastest Mobile Networks project. Speed tests will serve as crowdsourced data to go alongside PCMag's dedicated tests.
Sensorly is available now for free.
Outread, an app from developer Arkadiusz Holko that claims to improve your reading effectiveness through various training methods, has received a huge update that includes a wide variety of new features.
The latest update features eBook support, a built-in directory of classic public domain books, built-in statistics (to see overall and daily reading stats), a new reading mode that aligns the app's word highlighter to the center, audio cues, and more. Also in version 1.2 of Outread are countless improvements to already existing app features, including a better "chunking algorithm," a refreshed app icon, and more.
You can get Outread on the App Store for $4.99.
The good folks at Sesame Street recently released their very first interactive magazine app, dubbed Sesame Street S'more, and it's available right now. In the 'magazine,' your child will find a variety of fun activities inspired by the world of Big Bird - including games, stories, puzzles, rhymes, reward badges, and "S'more!"
In the app, your child will learn many skills, including ABCs and 123s, listening skills, coloring, creativity, and self-expression. The magazine app also features Elmo, Grover, Ernie, Big Bird, and other Sesame Street stars, kid-friendly music and videos, read-aloud narration, and multiple learning levels.
You can download Sesame Street S'more on the App Store right now for free. Subscriptions cost $3.99 for single issue, $2.99 for an automatically renewing subscription, or $15.99 to get every episode for the year.
Feed Me Oil 2 is a great puzzle game from Chillingo, publishers of other iOS favorites Cut the Rope and the Anomaly series. In the game, you have to channel oil into monsters in a wide variety of environments, using many tools and techniques to get the slippery substance where you want it to go.
The game was recently updated with an all-new chapter for you to explore. You can "collect the eggs tucked away in your favorite Feed Me Oil 2 puzzles" to unlock this chapter, according to the update notes. Chillingo has also changed all the gross oil to be "delicious molten chocolate" for a limited time.
You can grab Feed Me Oil 2 at its new, lower price of $0.99 on the App Store.
IFTTT (If this Then That) is a service for connecting your favorite web applications and platforms together and pushing information between them. One of those platforms that is critical to the way IFTTT works is iOS, and today the service's mobile application was updated to version 2.0.0.
In the latest version of IFTTT, you'll find a bunch of new features including iPad compatibility; you can now manage and create recipes from the comfort of your tablet. Also packed into this update is the iOS Notifications channel, which allows you to send triggered actions straight to your iOS device. Lastly, the update includes a new iOS Photos channel that works when you're in a specific area.
You can get IFTTT on the App Store for free.
Stitcher Radio is Completely Remade in New Update Including New Front Page, Redesigned Player Controls
Stitcher Radio is a well-known and well-reviewed app that lets you listen to your favorite news, comedy shows, talk radio shows, podcasts, and more - when you want them. The app has long been available for iOS, but recently received a massive update that changes almost everything about it.
Version 4.0 of Stitcher Radio includes a new front page, which brings new episodes of the shows you love to the forefront of the experience, redesigned player controls with a new mini player, a last player feature that lets you pick up where you left off, a new design that brings the app inline with iOS 7 design philosophy, and more.
You can get Stitcher Radio on the App Store for free.
Commonly found on the App Store are dozens (or even hundreds) of apps that accomplish the same task. And that being the case, it’s awesome when you find a new app that is unique — or mostly unique — in the problem it tries to solve. Pocket Wine Pairing is a new app from Wine Paradigm that fits this scenario; it tries to help you find wine to make your dining experience the best it can be, and tells you what wines would go best with the food you choose to eat.
The app features a “Do’s & Don’ts” section depending on the type of food you’re eating along with a “Quick Guide To Food Types,” which gives you a quick look at how to pair each food type with wine.
You can get Pocket Wine Pairing on the App Store for free.