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New Publisher Allstar Games Heads West with Upcoming MOBA, Allstar Heroes.

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 5th, 2015

Allstar Games has announced its first mobile title designed for western audiences, Allstar Heroes. The game will be a massive online battle arena (MOBA) that offers dozens of heroes for you to collect and pit against your opponents. As each hero has a different set of powers, you can create a complex strategy in choosing who goes on your team. Will you be able to save the world from the encroaching darkness? Only time will tell.

There is no official release date as of yet, but Allstar Heroes looks like it will be a blast.

GAMEVIL Announces the Upcoming Launch of Mark of the Dragon

Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 20th, 2014

Mark of the Dragon, by GAMEVIL, puts you in the saddle of your very own army of dragons. Build your kingdom as you organize your army and eventually lead the charge against your enemies lands. You can control your troops or go first-person as you storm the castle on the back of your dragon.

Mark of the Dragon has over 130 dragons with different characteristics and players can level-up their favorites with specific classes. Mix and match in breeding to create the very best dragons to ride to battle.

Mark of the Dragon will be available worldwide on the App Store this November.

Disney Animated is the Be-All-End-All Disney App for Your iPad

Posted by Rob Rich on August 8th, 2013
iPad App - Designed for iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: ENCYCLOPEDIA FANTASIA :: Read Review »

Disney's animated films will always have a special place in movie history. And a special place in many a heart as well. It's is probably why Disney Interactive, in collaboration with Walt Disney Animation Studios and Touch Press, got together and created Disney Animated.

This isn't just a big eBook about Disney movies; it's an interactive chronicle of all 53 (fifty three!) of their feature length animations, from "Snow White" to "Wreck-it-Ralph." In other words it's something no iPad-toting Disney fan should be without.

• Read about Disney animation in a way you never could before, and work with Disney characters and technologies via sophisticated interactives.
• Reveal work-in-progress animation steps and visual effects layers beneath animated scenes.
• Zoom in on concept art, painted backgrounds, and storyboards to see intricate details as never before possible.
• Rotate treasured artifacts from the locked vaults of The Walt Disney Animation Research Library as if they were in the palm of your hand.
• Swipe through a complete timeline of every Walt Disney Animation Studios feature film, with animated clips from your favorite characters and recently uncovered trailers.

Transformers: Legends Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on April 30th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: LESS THAN MEETS THE EYE
Despite the focus on giant transforming robots, this online CCG isn't all that exciting.
Read The Full Review »

Zuko Monsters Review

Posted by Jordan Minor on February 12th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Goodbeans
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.5
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Controls Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar


There’s no getting around this: Zuko Monsters is a freemium copy of Pokémon. It’s easy to see why a developer would seek to ape such a successful franchise. After all, just look at how often Nintendo keeps trotting it out. However, while Zuko Monsters is a well-crafted imitation, the blatant-seeming copying combined with the typical freemium annoyances make the whole thing feel a little shady to me.

The set-up will be instantly familiar to anyone with even a passing knowledge of Pikachu and the gang. Players take control of a young man on a quest to explore the world while capturing and training Zuko Monsters in hopes of becoming a master. Zuko Monsters are cute, super-powered animals with pun-filled names like Elaphly and Werewood. By battling each other they level up, learn new skills and evolve into higher forms. Strategy comes from knowing type effectiveness, like how fire is weak against water, and knowing when an enemy monster is weak enough to capture. Aside from some awkward touch-based attacks, the gameplay is no less addictive here than it was on the Game Boy 15 years ago. That includes its competitive multiplayer mode.

While the lack of originality seems like it would be Zuko Monsters' biggest issue, the developers actually pull it off fairly well. There are only around 30 monsters but they each have unique, clever designs and the world itself has a cheery, faux-anime art style that really pops. Even the music gives battles a surprising amount of tension.

What ultimately brings down Zuko Monsters isn't its Pokémon elements but rather its freemium mechanics. Far too often progression involves sending some monster to do some lengthy task that players can speed up with real money. Real money is also needed to revive fallen monsters once the initial cash players are given is spent. Players can even just pay for the best monsters outright which kind of defeats the purpose of a monster catching game.

Zuko Monsters is a mostly innocuous knock-off that’s still too exploitative to be considered great. However, it's not bad and for any iOS owners looking for a Pokémon fix there really aren’t too many legal alternatives.

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iPoe 2 - The Interactive and Illustrated Edgar Allan Poe Collection Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on December 7th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: BE VERY AFRAID
Another collection of interactive Poe stories is making the rounds. Best not read them alone in the dark.
Read The Full Review »

Magimon Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on December 6th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: PLAY ON MUTE
I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was. To endure obnoxious sound effects and music is my real test, to figure out what exactly happens in a battle is my cause.
Read The Full Review »

Zenforms: Protectors Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on October 9th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: GIVE IT TIME
This monster-training RPG has some very clever ideas but it's far from complete and could use more than a few adjustments.
Read The Full Review »

Geomon Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on September 25th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: REDUCE
On the surface Geomon isn't all that different from other monster catching and training games. What a difference a GPS makes.
Read The Full Review »

Jump to Medieval - Time Geeks Review

By Rob Rich on September 24th, 2012
The Time Geeks are back and ready to mess with history once more, this time via a collection of time-management games.
Read The Full Review »

Little Masters Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on September 13th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: HURRY UP AND WAIT
It's not exactly what I was expecting, or hoping for, but it gets the job done.
Read The Full Review »

Mobbles Review

Posted by Rob Rich on June 12th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Developer: Mobbles Corp.
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


My neighborhood is apparently playing host to a menagerie of monsters. That’s okay because they’re of the cute and cuddly variety, but there sure are an awful lot of the little buggers hiding out around here. Good thing I can use Mobbles to catch them. Then pet them and love them and call them George.

Mobbles is an interesting combination of location-based and monster-collecting and raising gameplay. As long as there’s space available, a player can wander around just about anywhere and try to track one (or several) of the little suckers down. If they can get within a certain real world distance, they can attempt to catch it. If successful, they have a new little buddy to feed and shower with attention. This is where the second half of the game comes into play. Each little critter can be fed, bathed, played with, and put to bed. They each also have their own to-do lists that will reward bonus gems (used for buying stuff) or love (used to level-up a given creature) that run the gamut from tickling a specific number of times to simply feeding at a specific time of day.

Every creature in Mobbles has a distinct look (always cute), and every creature also has its own basic personality. Although for my money Gummy is about as adorable a cartoon iOS “thing” as I’ve ever seen. Having to put them to sleep once they get tired from too much activity, typically for about a half an hour, can actually be seen as a good thing since it prevents people from spending way too much time poking virtual cartoon monsters. And the features that constantly unlock for each Sploon, Gummy, Runka, and so on can be a major driving force to keep players invested.

Though they may be cute and numerous, and full of un-lockable wardrobe options, Mobbles can also be a bit of a let down for someone who doesn’t know what to expect. Finding, collecting, and trading monsters typically lends itself to training and battles as well, but those are two features that are decidedly not present here. This is not a battle game, it’s a virtual pet game. It’s important for anyone interested to understand that as there’s very little in the way of action, which can be a huge disappointment if it’s not expected.

So long as people know what they’re getting into, they’re bound to enjoy Mobbles. It’s an entertaining and family-friendly game designed to get everyone out of the house for a bit while they go looking for new specimens, not a collect ‘em, train ‘em, battle ‘em affair. Given the sheer amount of cute on display, I’m inclined to be okay with that.

iPoe - The Interactive and Illustrated Edgar Allan Poe Collection is Ready to Spook Unwary iOS Users

Posted by Rob Rich on May 14th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Once upon a Friday evening, as I sat here, email reading,
Over a many quaint and curious letter of reviews implored,
While I perused, nearly napping, all the while my fingers clacking,
Pausing not their steady tapping, tapping on my old keyboard.
“ ‘Tis a slow night,” I muttered, “little use for my keyboard;
Only spam, and nothing more.”

Deep into my malaise drifting, long I sat there, fading, staring
Doubting, seeking apps few mortals ever dared download before;
Then my boredom was disbanded, by the news of an app branded,
A collection handed to a more than willing App Store.
I noticed when I checked the store. And I found, it offered more.

Not content with mere wording, these three stories feature moving,
Not just moving but reacting, with a touch we’ve seen before.
The Tell-Tale Heart,” said I, “has piqued my interest.
“As has The Oval Portrait and The Masque of the Red Death.
Let’s see if interaction makes them better, better than they were before.”

iPoe, with interactive stories, still is sitting, still is sitting
Lurking in the category for books found on the App Store;
And we all can start the reading of this dark and twisted dreaming.
And the price is of a number that in dollars orbits four ($3.99);
And my goal for this here story has been met with much fervor
Download it from---The App Store!

The Mooniacs Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jason Wadsworth on June 30th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: NOT SO ALIEN
This may not be the most inventive or unique physics game out there, but it is a strong new entry in genre.
Read The Full Review »

Book Crawler Review

Posted by Gianna LaPin on May 18th, 2011

Developer: Jaime Stokes
Price: $1.99
Version: 3.3
App Reviewed on: iPod Touch 4g
iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarstar

Those of us with extensive book libraries, or even casual book lovers who like to keep track of their literary adventures, have just been given a brand new reason to love our iOS devices. Book Crawler, by Jaime Stokes, is a full-featured book cataloging program packed with thoughtful features. For starters, Book Crawler offers several powerful ways to get books into the application. Hardy souls can input the books manually, filling in nearly two dozen input fields by hand. The more impatient of us will be happy to hear that we can also search and add through Google Books or opt to make use of the built-in ISBN scanner camera on our iOS device. Book Crawler comes with zbar by default, but suggests that users download pic2shop as an alternative. I tried both and had much better luck with pic2shop. If you accidentally scan the wrong barcode (there can be as many as 5 on a single book), a helpful error message will set you straight. Users planning on adding a large number of books at once should check the Settings screen on the home screen for the “batch input” field, as it provides a smoother data entry workflow. Any book with a ISBN/ASIN number, even Kindle books, can be cataloged.

Once a book is recognized via manual or scanned input, it is added to the collection. Depending on the data source some fields may be empty, including fields the app expects to be filled in by the user, such as the star rating. Book Crawler offers an almost obscene number of ways to tag, filter, sort, categorize, flag and otherwise hack and slash a literary collection. Besides the option of user-defined tags and “smart” (self-populating) categories, users also have two completely undefined custom fields, an undefined off-on switch, a decimal field, date field, and a URL field. This kind of extensibility should make it accommodate any bibliophile’s arcane classification system.

Once we get our books in to Book Crawler, it gives us some handy options for getting them out. For example, it lets bookworms share books with the world via Twitter (using the #bookcrawler hashtag) and Facebook, as well as through boring old email. It integrates with the Goodreads review service and lets users see if that particular book is stocked at the local library, via WorldCat (which mysteriously didn’t pick up on any library closer to me than 70 miles away, so YMMV).

Once there’s about a dozen books in the app, it’s time to start looking for the backup and export options, which Book Crawler has in spades. It’s flexibility in this regard almost makes me overlook the fact that it has no companion desktop application for easy data entry, although any literary cataloging system worth its salt would probably generate (and ingest) a CSV if you asked it to. I was pleased to see that the app natively syncs to Dropbox.

Overall, Book Crawler’s user interface is nearly watertight, making it a delight to use. There’s one particular sequence of screens which tripped me up a few times (I couldn’t find the “Home” button) but other than that I have no complaints. I see a bright future ahead for Book Crawler and hope its developers will consider the addition of companion web-based, or desktop, app for data entry and backup purposes.