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Pokemon GO update: Take me to your leader

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 24th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

The Team Leaders in Pokemon GO have had it pretty easy up until now. They show up when players reach level 5, make their cases for joining their respective teams, and that's pretty much it. Light work, as Floyd Mayweather might say.

Niantic's latest update for the game changes that situation and turns every Team Leader into a consultant of sorts. Can't blame them for that, as there's money to be had in that field, or so I'm told.

They still don't have to commute or work out of an office, but here's what you need to know about the Team Leaders' new duties and the new update in general.

5 places where Pokemon GO is still number one

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 22nd, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

In the U.S., the bloom is off the Pokemon Go rose ever so slightly. It's still doing great, sitting atop the top grossing chart as it has for some time, but it's no longer among the top 10 free apps in downloads, possibly because darn near everyone who wants it already has it.

But while it may no longer be the all encompassing phenomenon it was in July and early August in the United States, it's as big as ever in some other countries -- maybe even bigger, if that's possible. Let's take a quick look at five places where Pokemon GO is still the unquestioned number one mobile game.

How to avoid getting banned in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 15th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

You may have heard people talk about a mythical "fate worse than death" before, but here's something that definitely fits that bill: getting banned from playing Pokemon GO -- forever.

We're being tongue in cheek while saying that, but it's happening more and more often. As reported by various media outlets over the last few days, Niantic has been issuing permanent bans to some Pokemon GO players for what it says are violations of the game's terms of service. To be fair, most people never read the TOS for, well, anything, but some of the issues the developers have pointed out are clear.

Things like using bots are actions that only the most passionate believers that users should be able to do whatever they want with software tend to defend. Other violations pointed out by Niantic are less obvious and have already been the subject of some debate within the Pokemon GO community.

But the rules are the rules, and all we can do is roll with them. In the interest of keeping you in the game, here are three things you shouldn't do if you want to avoid the banhammer.

Pokemon GO update: Nearby feature returning soon?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 8th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

It's hard to remember one aspect of a popular mobile game that's caused as much hand-wringing as the 'Nearby' tab in Pokemon GO. Just in case you're one of the (very) few people who hasn't played the game or followed its coverage, the tab was supposed to offer a way for players to have an easy reference for which Pokemon were nearby and approximately how far away they were.

The phrase "supposed to" is the key there. It never functioned as intended thanks to what gamers dubbed the "three-step glitch," causing all the Pokemon to appear as if they were an equal distance from the player. Instead of fixing it, Niantic deactivated the feature altogether in one of the game's first updates, causing a predictable overreaction from some of the more passionate Pokemon GO enthusiasts.

The thing is, they had a bit of a point, in the sense that when paired with Niantic cutting off support for third-party tracking apps, gamers were left without a way to even know which Pokemon were around, much less hunt them down. The latest Pokemon GO update doesn't offer a fix, but it does provide a roadmap for how the developers might proceed.

Did Pokemon GO make Pokemon harder to catch?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 3rd, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

There's been a lot of buzz going through the Pokemon GO community this week after the game received several small updates in the span of a few days. Most of the attention focused on the fact that Niantic removed the infamous three-step tracking feature that was supposed to tell players how close Pokemon were -- but didn't, as it never worked right.

While the debate over that change will likely continue to rage on, something else may have been slipped into the game without quite as many people noticing. Namely, it might now be harder to catch 'em all because it's harder to catch them at all.

Pokemon GO update: 3 things you need to know

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 1st, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

Forget big, splashy content additions for the time being. Pokemon GO received an update over the weekend, and it mostly came with a whimper instead of a bang.

That's not to say it wasn't welcome. The update, which hit both iOS and Android, fixed one of the more annoying things that didn't work with the game for most of its existence, made a key activity simultaneously easier and more difficult, and introduced some unintentional humour (we think) into the mix.

Why you should never power up Pokemon in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 28th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

There's no question that candy is dandy in Pokemon GO. You need big quantities of it to evolve your Pokemon, and when combined with stardust, it can be used to power up your favorite pocket monsters as well, making them more formidable for the gym battles that await you.

But the dilemma facing many players is which of those purposes is best suited for your candy. Since it only takes a single piece to power up any Pokemon, using it that way doesn't seem too wasteful.

As it turns out, the consensus from people who have been playing Pokemon GO nonstop since launch is that even a single piece of candy devoted to powering up Pokemon is probably a piece of candy wasted. Here are some compelling arguments for why you should rarely, if ever, power up your Pokemon.

Win every gym battle in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 26th, 2016

Let me know if this scenario sounds familiar. You've got a Pokemon GO gym battle within easy walking distance, and you've visited it many times. Maybe you've even dropped one of your Pokemon there to help defend the place and reap the benefits.

Inevitably though, one of the other teams always comes and beats up your squad, flying its colors proudly. And since the Pokemon they leave there are impossibly tough, there's not a darn thing you can do about it.

Pixel Press Floors Will Turn Sketched Levels into Playable Games Through Augmented Reality

Posted by Carter Dotson on April 29th, 2014

Pixel Press Floors has a lofty goal: to make it possible to turn sketches of video game levels into ones playable in their platforming game app, done through the magic of augmented reality. Download and print the Floors Sketch Guide and Sketch Sheets, follow the instructions for layouts and objects in the levels, and if properly done, it'll be turned into a level that can be played in the app. It's also possible to draw levels in the app itself.

Check out the trailer below, and the PixelPress Vimeo channel for more videos on how it works. Pixel Press Floors will be available on April 30.

GDC 2014 - Seebright Reveals New iOS Virtual/Augmented Reality Headset

Posted by Rob Rich on March 25th, 2014

Virtual Reality was a major theme at GDC this year, but Seebright’s prototype head-mounted display (HMD) stood out to me for one very important reason: it’s not a gadget-filled headset, but rather a frame to hold your iOS device and turn it into an affordable, self-contained VR headset.

The device is still in the preliminary stages, and as such will undoubtedly be seeing some deign tweaks in the future, but what I was able to see during my hands-on demo was quite promising. Using special software, the iOS device will display two separate images at slightly different angles. Once it’s placed into the headset interchangeable mirrors (one for a translucent heads-up display and another for a more solid image meant for gaming) reflect the images back to the user’s eyes and create the 3D image. What’s more, it’s able to use the device’s own motion tracking technology in order to allow users to look around in their virtual environment.

Personally I’m quite interested to see what Seebright does with their prototype in the coming months. The combination of accessibility (due to pricing) and the fact that it use preexisting iOS technology certainly opens it up to all manner of possibilities.

Table Zombies - Now You Can Eat Dinner Around the Zombie Apocalypse

Posted by Rob Rich on February 21st, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

I've killed many a zombie, both in video games and board games, but never in a combination of the two. That's the sort of vibe I'm getting from Table Zombies, though; it's like a weird hybrid of video and table top game in the form of augmented reality. What's currently available is more of a demo level than anything, but there are plans to add even more levels and zombies in the future.

Playing Table Zombies will require a bit of work - you'll have to print out the various markers yourself - but once everything is ready you'll be able to set it up on your dining room table or your desk and start blasting away. Or you could just spin the board around and marvel at the tiny hopeless battle from different angles as it unfolds.

You can download the Table Zombies lite version/demo now, for free.

Ingress - Google's Augmented-Reality Game to Make its Way to iOS Next Year

Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 16th, 2013

All Things D reports that Ingress, the augmented-reality game from Google, will be coming to iOS sometime in 2014. The game is currently available on Android and has hundreds of thousands of players every month. The game uses the world around you as players from all over join one of two teams to uncover clues about a mysterious technology. It also forces players to explore and collaborate with strangers to earn points.

D:COM - MISSION ALPHA Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on June 28th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: MECHA IN MY POCKET
D:COM - MISSION ALPHA has a more complex title than it does gameplay, but it still makes for some decent no-frills fun.
Read The Full Review »

IMAG•N•O•TRON Brings The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore to Life with AR

Posted by Lisa Caplan on July 9th, 2012

Moonbot Studios, known for publishing some of the best digital books for iOS, has gone outside of the box before with their print and digibook hit The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, turning it into an Academy Award winning short film. Now they are merging print and digital publishing technologies in an innovative new way, with IMAG•N•O•TRON.

You'll need the hardcover book, which costs around $10 and is well worth owning if you have young readers at home. Just hold an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with a camera over the book and amazing things happen. Moonbot promises you’ll “Get swept up in a storm! Transport to another world! Play music! Fly!”

It also been called a “wonder of the ages,” so if you get a chance to check it out, we’d love to know if that’s a fair statement. We think it might be. Moonbot, it seems, can do no wrong in the App Store, and this book in particular is dear to many, both the young and the young at heart.


Tic Tac Adds New Microgame To Its Augmented Reality App

Posted by Kevin Stout on May 30th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Tic Tac has made an update to their minty augmented reality app, Tic Tac Viewr, to mark the launch of their new flavor, Fruit Adventure. The update adds a game to the AR app, Whack-A-Tac, with a fruity theme.

To play the game, players point their iOS devices at a Tic Tac pack (with the Tic Tac Viewr app open) and scan the label. The game instantly begins. Players tap fruits, avoid stinky stuff, and avoid "forbidden fruit."

The Tic Tac Viewr includes up to 20 microgames and more "tongue-in-cheek" tips for their Shake It Up campaign. Users can scan Tic Tac boxes, various types of ads, and the Tic Tac Facebook page with the AR app to access the microgames and tips. For users that don't feel like going out into the world to discover Tic Tacs ads, they have convieniently provided all of the ads on the Tic Tac Facebook page ready to print out and be scanned.