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Towers & Dungeons Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on December 5th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: TOO CUTE. NO
Build a tower that stretches to the heavens or a dungeon that reaches into the depths of the earth in this free-to-play builder that's high on style, and unfortunately overdrawn on adorable.
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This Week at 148Apps: November 26-30

Posted by Chris Kirby on December 2nd, 2012

This week at 148Apps.com, we got to known iOS developer Lady Shotgun. Jennifer Allen writes, "Doing things a little differently from the rest, Lady Shotgun considers itself as a co-operative of freelance game developers, with the team working remotely from each other rather than through a central office. It might be unorthodox but this team is made up of folks with some extensive experience in the game industry. Uniqueness continues through the fact that Lady Shotgun is made up, predominantly, of female game designers and coders with men forming the minority here."

Read the full interview at 148Apps.

GiggleApps.com headed to work for a review of the unique Grandpa's Workshop. Amy Solomon says, "Grandpa’s Workshop is a fun interactive app which teaches about the tools found in a workshop as well as learning about simple math concepts.
I really enjoy how this app works, as a fun older gentleman walks children through workshop-related activities such as identifying tools, painting different projects or mending broken objects jigsaw style.

Simple math-related activities are also included such as using a tape measure to measure boards, cutting boards into fractions such as halves or quarters, choosing the correct number of screws or other parts grandpa needs as well as a spot-the-difference section involving tools that may be similar or different."

Read Amy's full review at GiggleApps.

Finally, AndroidRundown.com's KickStarter spotlight this week was for the BlueTube Amplifier. Joseph Bertolini writes, "Being a sort of audiophile I appreciate the sound of a classic tube amplifier and I recently just started re-downloading my favorite albums as lossless FLAC files to preserve that original sound quality. Looking around the market today, it is really a sad time for those who really care about the quality of their music as cheap parts are appearing from overseas and there is a resulting flood of bargain Bluetooth speakers and docks on the market. These sound terrible, and combined with the super-compressed audio files that the average user has in their music collection music really has taken a technological step backward at a time when there has been nothing but technological advances. Well, audiophiles and smartphone owners rejoice because I have discovered our savior and it does not come from the likes of Sony or any large corporation. Meet the BlueTube Bluetooth Tube Amplifier, and built out of solid cherry and walnut hardwood it promises to look as great as it sounds."

Read Joseph's full article at AndroidRundown.

Thus ends November, but that means December fun is just getting started. Join us on Twitter, Facebook and now on Pinterest for the latest news, reviews and more. See you next week, true believers.

Pocket Festival Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Angela LaFollette on November 28th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: MUSIC FESTIVAL BUILDER
Gamers work hard to create the biggest music festival ever in this freemium builder, but the gameplay doesn’t stand out enough to make this title a must-have.
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Dino Life Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on October 2nd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: DINO RAISING
Dino Life has few traditional gaming elements but freemium fans will enjoy the variety of dinosaur raising on offer.
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My Singing Monsters Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on September 14th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: A FEW SOUR NOTES
My Singing Monsters is a weird and clever "town" building freemium game, but it's got some serious connection problems.
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Arcane Empires Review

By Rob Rich on August 30th, 2012
Kabam's latest free-to-play is every bit as fantastic as their last one, but that's kind of the problem.
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Clash of Clans Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on August 3rd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: LET SLIP THE CLANS
This social freemium town-builder offers up something a little different for a change: a singleplayer experience.
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Keep Customers Happy (and Play God a Little) in Zooniverse

Posted by Rob Rich on June 29th, 2012

It’s always nice to see something a little different in a market saturated with a bunch of “Me, Too” freemium titles. Chillingo's Zooniverse is one such deviation for a couple of different reasons, not just because of the unobtrusive tutorial. Seriously, it’s incredible how many developers think interrupting the player with pop-up boxes is “good.” *deep breaths*

While Zooniverse is about running a zoo first and foremost, it’s also about keeping the customers happy. These core customer demographics are divided into three main categories: men, women, and children. Each group has its own preferences when it comes to facilities and adorable critters to ogle, so it’s important to find a balance that caters to everyone. Making more people happy means more money, and more money means being able to expand the zoo with more enclosures, animals, and just space in general.

A great deal of critters ranging from woodland to aquatic, and even prehistoric and outright impossible, can be housed in the many available enclosures. Once an animal is settled in, be it through a purchase or breeding, players have to make sure to keep it well fed. Starvation won’t result in horrible complex-forming consequences, but it will cause the creatures to stop earning cash. So, you know, don’t be a jerk and keep them well-fed.

The burning question of what happens with a mouse is bred with a hippo (a Hippopotamouse) will finally be answered for free later this summer.

Happy Squirrels to Plant Roots in the Near Future

Posted by Rob Rich on June 29th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: TOWERING :: Read Review »

When the squirrel god - god of squirrels? I’m a little fuzzy on the specifics of this particular theology. No pun intended - sees a lone bushy-tailed critter dragging itself through the desert, he bestows it with a special acorn that creates a rather large tree. This tree becomes an oasis and eventual home to other wayward squirrels; constantly growing to make room for even more denizens. It’s similar to Tiny Tower, no doubt, but Chillingo's Happy Squirrels is much more than a simple re-skinning of a familiar concept.

As the tree grows and floors are added, players are able to choose what rooms they would like to create from a total of 25 different options. These rooms can earn nuts, the game’s main form of currency, at different rates and with different caps on how much they can hold. Each chamber can also be upgraded up to five times, with each iteration able to earn even more, faster. These munchies can be used to purchase new rooms and otherwise expand the tree. Potions, the other form of “kinda” currency, are needed to speed things up if players don’t feel like waiting X-number of hours for construction to finish. Or they can be exchanged for more nuts. Whatever the situation demands.

What really sets Happy Squirrels apart is its level of interactivity. At any time the iOS device can be jostled or titled in order to make the tree’s occupants jump or slide around, respectively. A number of other cosmetic interactive touches such as doorbells to ring, as well as a couple of acorn-earning mini-games, make it feel like there’s always something to do while waiting for the workers to finish their tasks.

Happy Squirrles will be setting up shop for free sometime this summer.

Roblade Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on June 18th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: A ROUGH DRAFT
The potential is there, but this arena brawler with robust robot customization needs some streamlining.
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Airline Tycoon Deluxe Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on June 15th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: CIRCLING THE RUNWAY
This iOS port of a PC classic could've used a lot more time in the shop. I mean a LOT more.
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Blocksworld Makes All Inner Children Squeal with Glee

Posted by Rob Rich on June 12th, 2012

Everyone’s messed around with building bocks in some form or another at some point in their life. Everyone. It’s kind of a universal thing. Which is a big reason as to why I’m somewhat amazed that very few people have attempted to merge the concept with interactive design. It’s one of those ideas that doesn’t seem obvious until someone comes up with it. And Boldai came up with it.

Blocksworld is, in essence, a set of virtual building blocks. Structures can be cobbled together, tiny people can be crafted, and all manner of impossible creations can appear with a few taps and flicks. But simply creating a thing is only the beginning. Once that mutant frog or towering skyscraper is complete, it can be brought to life or used as an asset in an animated movie or even video game. This is because it’s more than just a sandbox, it’s an incredibly easy to use toolset for creative types.

Any iOS user can open up Blocksworld and create whatever their imagination can come up with. Then they can use it to create their own action movie or turn it into a game, then they can share it with the world on the official website. Or Twitter and Facebook, of course. The tools are rudimentary but the sky is indeed the limit.

Blocksworld is still in beta but is expected to release later this summer. There’s no official word on pricing yet but users will be able to purchase additional content packs (prices also TBD) in order to bolster their creative arsenal.

BraveSmart Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on June 7th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: DRAG-N-BUILD
Building homes for wayward Scotts isn't exactly easy, but it sure is fun.
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Dungeon Village Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on June 5th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: RP-GLEE
Even after game development, feudal Japan, malls, alien worlds, indie racing, and even high school, Kairosoft still manages to find new territory to cover.
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Bridge Constructor Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Kevin Stout on May 28th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: COMPLEX
Bridge Constructor is a physics and architecture game where players construct bridges to help rebuild an island civilization.
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