Poker has kind of taken the country by storm over the past several years. It’s made its way into all manner of media, obviously including video games. So what makes this particular digital rendition of card-based gambling worth checking out? Quite a lot, it turns out.
All of the expected options are available in World Series of Poker, such as Texas Hold ‘Em and even Omaha Poker, but there’s a slew of more social-oriented features that are actually pretty awesome. Every player has an account that automatically tracks virtually every aspect of their games; thus helping them to better understand their own play style through statistics as well as allowing them to show off their skills with a number of different trophies such as special tournament rings.
It’s easy to tell what a player needs to work on (i.e. too much folding, not enough folding, etc.) at a glance, but what’s also cool is that really good players can gain access to a special league of games that are only available to others that have earned the same honor. In other words, seriously good poker players won’t have to worry about finding themselves in a game full of casual players. It’s also easy to find, invite, and join games that are already in progress. Each game is represented with a table, and players have only to tap an open seat to invite a buddy or two. And it’s just as easy to join a game.
I wasn’t able to procure any pricing information, but World Series of Poker will be available on the App Store “soon.”
It feels like it wasn’t all that long ago when Samurai Bloodshow (the rest of the title is too confusing so I’m leaving it off) managed to take me completely by surprise. The combination of strategy, card collecting, and over-the-top arterial spray brought a huge smile to my face. And now Sega is poised to do the same thing to me all over again. Albeit without the surprise since I know what’s coming this time around.
Alexandria Bloodshow is the official sequel to that other fantastic genre mash-up. This time players can take control of two separate armies – the Egyptians and the Greeks – as they attempt to collect, cut-up, and conquer. With the requisite art styles (Greek pottery, Egyptian hieroglyphics) to match of course. All the engrossing card gathering and deck building is still on offer, now with a whole new set of units to strategize with. Over 120 in all, actually. And with the two selectable armies, five difficulties, and seventeen stages it makes for a total of 170 campaign levels to conquer. And that’s not even taking the two player versus mode (via WiFi or Bluetooth) into account.
Alexandria Bloodshow is available on the App Store now, and it’s only $0.99. Okay, it’s actually free to download but it’s $0.99 to unlock the full game. Not a bad deal.
Doubtless most people these days carry around one or two club cards. Virtually every single retail and grocery store in existence uses them and they’re a great way to save some money with (typically) no initial cost. The only problem is having to dig out a given card at the register. I myself sometimes get annoyed with flipping through all the little tags on my keyring to find the right one. 1Card exists specifically for this sort of thing.
The app lets users to store and organize a number of different membership cards in one non-physical place. Even better, it can accommodate virtually any card because it allows for barcode scanning/copying with the iPhone’s camera. Assuming the company in question doesn’t already have a listing on the app in the first place. But the handiness doesn’t stop there. 1Card also displays promotions and coupons associated with a selected card with the push of a button, and another push or two can bring up a store’s phone number or even location on a GPS map (via the tracknose website).
1Card is already sitting in the App Store, just waiting to be used by disgruntled card-carriers. And much like the memberships cards most of us have no doubt accumulated, it doesn’t cost a thing.
Now, I’ve never been a huge card game enthusiast. That is to say, the kind of card games that use playing cards. Because of this, I have absolutely no idea how to play Hearts. I am a fan of turn-based multiplayer iOS games, however. Seeing as there are a good deal of iOS users who have similar tastes in their multiplayer, and a good deal of people who actually do know how to play Hearts, this seems like a kind of natural progression.
Hearts Tournament from Trivial Technology was designed to juggle multiple games simultaneously. Up to 30 in fact. Best of all, players can mess around with their own single player games while waiting for their friends or random opponents to take their own turns. Along with all the card-slinging goodness are leaderboards to dominate and challenges to complete in order to earn special items, achievements, and more.
Hearts Tournament is available on the App Store now for $0.99. Hearts fans should feel free to dive right in and start juggling dozens of games immediately.
Hanukkah is almost here! In less than two weeks, the Festival of Lights will commence…but have you thought about Hanukkah cards yet?
Inevitably, buying (or making) a dozen or more holiday cards feels superfluous and even a little silly. Should you really be spending this much money on cards? And what if you’re giving a digital gift, like a gift certificate—is a physical card necessary? E-cards are cool, but let’s admit it; most websites make mailing digital cards a hassle.
Happy Hanukkah is yet another app attempting to bridge this dilema. It’s almost an e-card app, in that you’re sending a pretty picture instead of a few lines of text, but the image is embedded and thus requires no clicking through to an outside site.
The app contains over 70 different cards to choose from, featuring dreidels, menorahs, hanukkiahs, and (naturally) the words, “Happy Hanukkah!” From the Happy Hanukkah app, you can pick which image to use, and then drop into into an email. Then, you can add a bit of personalized text above the embedded image if you want to before sending the virtual card on its way.
Simple? Certainly, but that’s the aim of Happy Hanukkah anyway.
The below video showcases some of the different images included in the app. If it appeals to you, check it out on the App Store for $0.99. Now if only it could buy presents for you, too…
Following our report on the launch of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Square app and payment service for iPhone, Visa and DeviceFidelity have joined the iPhone payment market with a solution named In2Pay. This time, enabling iPhone uses to make contactless payments with their device rather than receive them.
Announced today, the In2Pay solution allows iPhone users to make “contactless transactions” by positioning their iPhone in front of a contactless payment terminal. In order to use the service, the iPhone must be housed within DeviceFidelity’s protective case, which uses microSD technology. The case is said to allow “mobile contactless capability” to the iPhone and is compatible with the 3G and 3GS models.
In a press release, Visa says: “By placing a removable In2Pay microSD into the protective case, iPhone users can take advantage of In2Pay’s secure contactless capabilities where contactless transactions are offered. They range from buying goods in retail stores and at unattended kiosks, to transit ticketing, and even securely accessing buildings and computers networks.”
Trials of the service are scheduled to start during the second quarter of this year.
The service builds on Visa’s payWave technology for contactless transactions and uses the DeviceFidelity In2Pay technology to make use of any mobile phones with a microSD memory slot. This suggests that the iPhone may not be the only device Visa is aiming In2Pay at. The iPhone, of course, does not currently support microSD and therefore needs a casing to house the microSD card.
“The more than 200,000 apps on the App Store are an integral part of iPhone users’ lives.” said Amitaabh Malhotra, COO, DeviceFidelity. “With our In2Pay solution, we want to give both iPhone users and app developers the power to do even more, by putting the convenience of interactive secure mobile transactions, right at their fingertips, anywhere they are.”
The In2Pay case is apparently designed to stay attached to the iPhone and offers a micro USB slot for charging and syncing their device.
It will be interesting to see how the service will be priced by Visa when it comes to roll out the service and, whether or not the DeviceFidelity case will be free or part of a subscription package. While the additional case could be seen as a benefit to some, many iPhone users dislike the idea of any housing that adds weight or thickness to the device and others preferring specific cases.
We’ve been closely following the buzz surrounding Square, the latest tech startup from Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder and Chairman of Twitter and now it’s live worldwide with its app available on the App Store.
Square is an ingenious app and payment service that allows anyone from a single user to businesses to accept credit card payments anywhere using just an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Those who sign up to the free Square service available at Squareup.com will receive a free card reader that plugs into the audio jack of your device and allows for cards to be swiped. Card details can be entered into the app manually if no reader is present. Receipts and photo verification are included with the service so users are sure of secure transactions with signatures signed on the iPhone screen.
In an open letter on the Square website, Jack Dorsey said:
“Square intends to bring immediacy, transparency, and approachability to the financial world. We want to enable all people to accept payments instantly, with access to all the information they need, in a way that feels amazing and engaging.”
This service will come as a great benefit to smaller businesses or mobile vendors who no longer need to put complex payment systems into place to complete transactions on the road or in person. Square is also keen to point out that, while attractive to the business market, the service is ideal for personal use too and uses the example of a man selling a sofa to his friend using his iPhone and Square.
The environmental benefits of the service are also clear with no paper bills or receipts created from any transaction. Square also points out that it can inform businesses of its repeat customers meaning loyalty cards may be a thing of the past.
So what’s the catch for this free service? It seems there really isn’t one. By comparison to other payment services, Square is a very reasonable option with no contracts or monthly minimums. Square takes a small percentage of each transaction, currently 2.75% +15 ¢ with the card present and 3.5% +15¢ when the card number is keyed in. That’s it!
Of course, a service like Square may take a little time to grow but, if it’s as easy to use as is promised and continues to offer the environmental and financial benefits it does currently, we could likely see Square becoming the default payment service in stores around the world.
After all, it’s not like Mr Dorsey’s other company is doing badly right now.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted April 17th, 2009 by Billy Miller Our Rating: :: AVERAGE
In a couple of the cases I was genuinely surprised how well the software worked. Text that I could barely make out was interpreted perfectly. Conversely, perfectly legible text in standard fonts was not transferred at all.
If you like difficult games, you'll love Crossbones. This card-matching game might have a pirate's tenderness when it comes to serving up its learning curve, but once you learn how to play, it's a fast-paced, thrilling card game that requires some mental agility.
Melody Match is a new twist on the classic card-matching game using—you guessed it—sound clips instead of flash cards. Some of the melodies are real treats for the ear, and the game uses a variety of themes, ranging from snippets of Bach and Mozart to upbeat Brazilian tunes to traditional songs like Yankee Doodle.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted February 5th, 2009 by Gary Lucero Our Rating: :: AVERAGE
The Touchmaster series is generally quite good on the Nintendo DS platform, and while the games here are also good, there isn't as much variety present. Furthermore, while the games Midway has included aren't all that exciting, if you are a puzzle fan you'll definitely find something here to like.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted February 3rd, 2009 by Gary Lucero Our Rating: :: RECOMMENDED
MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition includes updated properties which are far more expensive than those in the classic game. It takes some getting used to not having Boardwalk and Ventura, for example, but Instanbul and London serve as suitable substitues. The game loads quickly, looks great, and generally plays great. Includes modes for one player, multiple players by passing the iPhone around, as well as wifi multi-play (on the same router).
Bloodmasque -ActionRPG- hit a new milestone by reaching half a million downloads. To celebrate, Square Enix has made the game available to download for free until midnight on December 16. Users can also enjoy the new special holiday edition of the Hunter’s Gauntlet where players pursue Rudolf the Red and Holly Mistletoe.