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This Week at 148Apps: August 24-28, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on September 1st, 2015

The Apps of August With 148Apps

How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we've been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.

Lara Croft GO

When you start playing Lara Croft GO, you’ll feel this urge to go quickly. After all, it’s Lara Croft. You’ve spent years rushing through tombs with her, right? That’s probably the worst thing you could do while playing Lara Croft GO. It’s a turn-based puzzle game where you need to carefully plan each move and, often, many moves ahead. It works remarkably well. Each level offers a grid based layout. You swipe to move Lara around, with her automatically climbing up things as and when an opportunity arises. In turn, if there are moving obstacles such as a circular saw, they move every time that she moves. The trick here is timing and planning ahead in a way that means you don’t get trapped or killed. Early levels introduce this concept relatively gradually, but you’ll soon find yourself having to scout ahead with a level before truly committing to something. --Jennifer Allen


PAC-MAN 256 isn’t anything like other Pac-Man games. From the makers of Crossy Road, it’s an endless take on the usual Pac-Man format. Instead of running around a maze you’re running upwards, collecting dots, munching up power pellets, and dodging ghosts. It’s a format that works but could do with offering you some more reasons to keep on playing.Dispensing with virtual buttons, PAC-MAN 256’s control scheme is centered around swipes. At first, this might seem a little inaccurate but it soon proves quite straight forward and feeling a lot more natural than a virtual d-pad. As you progress, the maze grows in front of you, keeping you on your toes. Ghosts are easy enough to spot but you have to plan ahead in order to dodge their trajectory. Each type has their own personality too, meaning that some might follow a set path, while others home in on you, making things much trickier. --Jennifer Allen

Galactic Keep

Galactic Keep is easily one of the strangest role-playing games I've played in a long time, mainly due to its strange art style, deep sense of exploration, and unapologetic dedication to the experience of tabletop gaming. As it was developed over the course of six years, Galactic Keep is a labor of love that's both profoundly fun and interesting despite sporting its fair share of peculiarities and flaws. Playing Galactic Keep is closest to what it's like to play a Dungeons & Dragons campaign but with more dice, one character, and a completely unfamiliar set of rules and lore. At the outset, everything is overwhelming to the point that it would be off-putting if it weren't all so intriguing and mysterious. Keeping that in mind, players can expect to die early and often in the game's current module. Over time though, they can upgrade their characters, find loot, and start wrapping their mind around everything. --Campbell Bird

Green Eggs and Ham - Read & Learn

The follow up to The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham - Read & Learn continues that charming trend, being immensely appealing to young and old. In no time, you’ll want to read through this with your child and odds are you're both going to enjoy that time a lot. As before, Green Eggs and Ham - Read & Learn offers up a mixture of reading, interaction, and simple gaming. Following the beloved story of Dr Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham, it’s a lovely tale full of rhymes and charm. You can choose to read via the highlighted narration or go at your own pace, ensuring it’s useful for kids of any age and reading ability. --Jennifer Allen

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3

It's been a while since I've experienced a management sim like RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, which recently emerged on the App Store as a "pay once and play" port of the PC original. This version is largely the same as it was in 2004, albeit with touch controls. This may stir up feelings of nostalgia for some, but that doesn't mean it isn't a bit clunky in its transition to iOS. Like every RollerCoaster Tycoon game, this is all about building and managing a profitable and fun amusement or theme park - whether that be from one of the 18 Career Mode scenarios or in the more free-form sandbox mode. This involves everything from hiring staff to setting the price of foodstuffs in the park and, of course, building roller coasters. All of this is largely handled via menus, but the main screen is almost always displaying the park and its attendees as they go from ride to ride. --Campbell Bird

Other 148Apps Network Sites

If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:


Anomaly Defenders

And now, we get to Anomaly Defenders....About time…While the series got us going on “tower offense” as a gameplay constant, this one takes it back to more of a tower defense scenario. More pertinently, alien invaders are on the ropes in this one, and humans are the aggressors. Thus, the player takes on the job of saving the home planet of the aliens.Graphically, it is an interesting projection, clearly futuristic, with a Terminator feel to the dark landscapes. The view is top-down in nature, and the play area generally consists of stretches of land interspersed with defined roads on which enemy (human) attack vehicles travel. The animations sizzle, and it looks pretty good overall.--Tre Lawrence

Q*bert Rebooted Free

I first encountered Q*bert years ago; I rocked the heck out of that game on the trusty BlackBerry 8320. Tech eons later, I get to try it out again, this time on Android, presented as Q*bert Rebooted.Definitely worth a look.The game is dual-natured, in that the game presents two versions: the classic version, replete with retro graphics and true to the original gameplay. There is also the “rebooted” version, which is a slick, more modern refresh.--Tre Lawrence

Zipbuds SLIDE Earbuds

The more mobile I get, the more I appreciate a good set of headphones.As the kids get older, there’s only so much Taylor Swift I can listen to; the house sometimes feels like one crazy karaoke machine.So, retiring to the quietest part of the house can be quite rewarding. The pure joy of it makes me smile. Get me an e-book (or mind-bending game), some sweet tea and some headphones with which to listen to accompanying music, and that quiet spot becomes mine.Y’all feel me? That’s why cool stuff like the Zipbuds No-tangle Slide Earbuds are just what the doctor ordered.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus news, game guides, and even more reviews than we can share here!

Be Aware Of Your Suroundings With Awareness

Posted by Chris Hall on September 20th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Every so often I find myself next to a car on the freeway with a driver that has earbuds in his ear. While the driver is jamming out to presumably whatever is on his iPhone, I often wonder what would happen if someone honked at him. Would he hear it?

The worst is when you see someone walking around with earbuds. Like a driver on a cell phone, the person walking is typically oblivious to their surroundings. They cross streets without looking, stop right in front of people on sidewalks, and will turn on a dime without any indication. People with earbuds are a hazard, particularly when they have the noise cannelling variety.

To combat this, essensy has created Awareness! The Headphone App. What Awareness! does is uses the iPhone's internal microphone to pump sound to you while you are listening to your tunes. For example, if a train is coming, blaring its horn to warn you of its impending arrival, Awareness! will pump the trains sound from the microphone into your earbuds.

The app is pretty new, and I'm sure it needs some tweaks to be perfect, but it is getting a good amount of iTunes love. There are a few bad reviews, but the majority are five star reviews that say things like, "What an awesome app!!!!" and "I love it, LOVE IT".

If you often find yourself in harms way due to your high end Shure headphones, I implore you to give Awareness a try. For the sake of humanity, just do it.