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Wrath of Cheese Review

Posted by Rob Rich on December 17th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Common Extract
Price: $3.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


Behold the power of cheese. Everyone probably thought those commercials were cute, but they speak of a dark truth. Cheese is indeed powerful, but it’s almost too much to be contained. It isn’t just able to train humans or tantalize Santa Claus; it can start all out wars.

Some poor soul pilfered some cheese, and an entire army has been dispatched to reclaim it. Players must guide their soldiers through over twenty levels of castle defending goodness. As with other games in the genre, both forces occupy opposing ends of the screen and must overwhelm the other in an attempt to smash up their base. Cash required to summon units builds up steadily over time, and occasionally can be collected from the base/shrine in a large sum for some much-needed assistance. Magic spells that can be upgraded with skill points earned through victory can heal or hurt as well. What really sets Wrath of Cheese apart from the majority is the ability to place units anywhere, even right next to the enemy base, for a cost.

It’s interesting to note just how refreshing the ability to place soldiers anywhere on the field can be. It changes the formula up quite a bit while still maintaining a fair bit of balance by requiring more cash for more distance from the home base. In other words it’s not easily exploited but can be useful under the right circumstances. Of course the enemy can do this as well, so it’s important to save up a little cash just in case they launch a sneak attack (i.e. drop a bunch of units close to the player’s base). And believe me, they will.

Although I think dialing back the metrics of this placement mechanic wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s just that placing a unit near the base can range in cost by almost 100 gold depending on how close to the veeeeeeeeery edge of the screen they are. I understand that those few feet can make a difference, but I feel like some kind of alternative would be nice. It’s also unfortunate that a lack of planning, thus leaving one open to a sneak attack, often means the difference between winning and losing. It’s fair to give players a challenge but sometimes these cheap shots can be virtually impossible to come back from.

Wrath of Cheese is a castle defense game that mixes things up a bit to great effect, for the most part. It could use a little bit more balancing in places but it’s still a quality time waster. One with a rather impressive soundtrack, no less.

ABC for the Little Scientist for the iPad Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on September 22nd, 2011
iPad App - Designed for iPad

ABC for the Little Scientist for the iPad is a nice, interactive letters app with a science theme. Like other apps such as this, ABC for the Little Scientist consists of letters a to z, each illustrated with its own interactive page where one can tap the letter or word in question to listen to narration, here of either a male or female voice as well as to look for interactive hotspots. I like the fact that this app uses unique words not typically found in apps like this but instead tackles more complex ideas such as “connection” as in internet connection, this page including a roaming satellite and the earth from a view in space. A version for iPhone is also available.

This is a fun app with a good use of animations and bright colors. I like that the phonic sounds are also offered here as many times these letter sounds are not included within apps such as this and the addition of lower-case letters is nice as well, but be aware that the narrators, although speaking clearly, do not sound like native speakers of United Sates English; “z” is also pronounced “zed” within this application. Such issues did not overly throw me but may be a concern of some parents looking to use this app based on the inclusion of phonics sounds.

Although each page contains some nice animated images, I think the interactions used here could have gone a step further, as I would have liked to spin the globe used in the “connection” page with a finger as well as to move the kaleidoscope image instead of simply watching the details morph on their own. Also, some of the word choices are a bit of a stretch for this science theme, but are still interesting choices for kids to learn about.

Well-done moments do exist here as well, as I enjoy tapping the “temperature” page to raise the temperature of a snowman, ultimately melting him as one can watch the level rise on a thermometer or the intriguing view of “universe” as one can use a finger to move the planets around the sun to a very nice effect. There is also a nice moment where children can tap characters used to demonstrate “occupation,” changing their skin tones to varies races and ethnicities - a nice touch.

I do think kids will enjoy this app, especially those fond of this genre of alphabet application, as will those parents looking for slightly different words than normally found among this style of app, possibly creating some interesting conversations about science-related topics as well.