The App Store can be a daunting place. What to try? What to buy? How do you know? Thank goodness the review team at 148Apps is here to save the day. 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.
In the year 2014, Comic Books couldn’t be any more popular than they have been at any point in history. No longer is Batman being blamed for ADHD or Deadpool tantalizing children to crime. Heck, people don’t even point a finger at Rick Grimes for any violent public acts. At the same time, we’ve also been blessed with new ways to read our beloved illustrated stories; such as computers, phones, and tablets. 20 some years ago people would get teased for reading Amazing Spider-Man at school, but now that same person looks like a rockstar. Especially with the new tech. A popular way to read electronic comics has been using PDF, CBR, or CBZ files, which are offered through a variety of different publications for purchase and are DRM free. Obviously, readers will want to view their new comics on a device that feels natural to read them on, not on a laptop or desktop. So here to save the day, giving users the best reading experience for the iPad, is Chunky Comic Reader! –Mike Deneen
I’m sure the fact that I haven’t given this game a score Captain James Hook could count to on his bad hand will earn me a fair bit of scorn, but hear me out. While Dungeon Keeper isn’t the same game that’s been a permanent fixture on my Top 10 list for years, it is a decent freemium title that happens to incorporate the theme from one of my favorite games. And honestly, that ain’t half bad. This Dungeon Keeper follows a structure similar to the often-imitated Clash of Clans. Players assume the role of the Keeper and immediately begin ordering their imps to hollow out areas to use for various rooms. Every room, trap, and door takes up a specific amount of space that needs to be cleared out in advance, but once they’re built players are free to move them around as they please – so long as they can fit. They can also use their dungeon heart to summon more minions, with different rooms allowing for different creatures. –Rob Rich
Making a console quality game for mobile isn’t as easy as just porting over some PS2 game with snazzier graphics and bolted-on touch controls. It means making a game with the same level of care given to the gameplay and presentation as a big, AAA release that still makes sense being on mobile. Need an example of what that means? Just check out the fantastic Rocket ROBO. When his elderly creator needs more stars to power their galactic lighthouse, Rocket Robo journeys out into the storybook cosmos to find some. It’s the perfect set-up for Rocket ROBO‘s delightfully whimsical acoustic guitar sci-fi sensibilities. While later stages take place in more traditional interstellar environments, as well as an upcoming candy planet, players will start their 2.5D platforming adventure in a world made up entirely of arts and crafts. The aptly named Material World features woven patchwork walls, bouncy sponge platforms, and button pig enemies all made gloriously textured and tangible by the impressive 3D engine. While it’s maybe not quite on the same level as the similarly stylish Kirby’s Epic Yarn or LittleBigPlanet, creator Aaron McElligott’s background as a console gaming environmental artist shines through in the splendid visuals. –Jordan Minor
The current American political climate suffers from a bad combination of money and politics. However, this isn’t entirely unique to the 21st century as money has almost always equaled and guaranteed power. In Dancing Sorcerer’s latest title, Road of Kings, the goal is to accumulate 500 gold pieces within a 100 days to prove who’s be the best candidate to be King of the people. Political commentary aside, Road to Kings is a neat experience. It plays like a 4-hex board game, where players move their dude (Sorry ladies, only comes as a guy) around the board with random events taking place; anything from encountering an enemy to finding out the main character got lost in the hills due to his poor navigation skills. Movement on the board, as well as events, are very much dictated by the terrain on any particular space, be it good or bad. But at the end of the day, Road of Kings feels a lot like a single player board game minus dice rolling or dropping $70 on a boxed version. –Mike Deneen
Sometimes, whether it’s for aesthetic reasons or for the sake of practicality, it’s just plain better to write rather than type some kind of content. That’s where INKredible comes in. It makes it attractive and simple to write on the iPad, providing a great distraction-free experience. The app offers a blank canvas with a choice of paper-based background, thereby allowing users to get on with whatever they want to write or draw. It particularly lends itself to note taking and when one wants to join together text and hand-drawn diagrams or sketches. –Jennifer Allen
The Animal Alphabet Singers, as the name may imply, is an app for babies and toddlers that helps them learn the alphabet as well as animals associated with these letters. This app includes sections that allow children to explore the alphabet in many ways. One section of this app, also named The Animal Alphabet Singers includes a group of 26 animals – each of which can each be tapped to hear the corresponding letter to be sung, with the letter also being highlighted below for a nice effect. Do tap on a letter as well because doing so will trigger singing from the related animal. –Amy Solomon
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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:
TowerMadness 2 is perhaps not the most innovative tower defense game of all-time, but it’s a solid effort. Really, standard open-field tower defense rules apply: there’s towers with different ranges and effects, they can be upgraded to do more damage, or sold if not part of a good strategy any more. Success is based on whether players kept the aliens from getting in and taking too many sheep through a star system, with Invasion Mode, where waves come in faster, offering a fourth star. Players can also send in waves faster themselves to get faster times for the leaderboards. –Carter Dotson
Akasha is a new mobile exclusive MMORG. Does it tip Order and Chaos from its pedestal? Akasha isn’t the most user friendly game. After a class choice between fighter, archer or mage and a very brief series of tutorial text boxes in a small font the game basically leaves the player to their own devices. Akasha uses a instance based system much like Guild Wars. To fight monsters or party up with other adventurers the player must begin an instance which can be thought of as a mini quest. –Allan Curtis
Some games hand out points like they’re going out of style. Dawn of the Plow is not one of those games. This arcade game will test players with challenging conditions and a difficult-to-control vehicle, all in the hopes that they can maybe last long enough to do well before being fired. Controlling a snow plow on a snowy day where car drivers need to get to nondescript places, players must try to keep their paths clear. Snow will accumulate that the cars can drive over, but eventually they become impassable piles which take time to plow. The longer a car is stopped, the unhappier it gets and the lower the approval meter gets. If that empties, it’s game over and the player is fired. Of course, that probably won’t happen much. What will happen is that players will hit cars, which is instant game over. Or the cars will get trapped and buried under snow, which is also game over. Not making things easier is that driving a large truck around, especially on snow, is not easy. Thankfully, players have a horn to help manage traffic, and can collect powerups like a salt blaster to clear up snow instantly. –Carter Dotson
And finally, this week Pocket Gamer reviewed Dungeon Keeper, looked at how FPS developers have approached mobile, picked the best iOS and Android games of the week, and unveiled a slim line PS Vita. Read all it about it right here.
When Deus Ex: The Fall was announced as a mobile title, the reaction could be clearly delineated into two camps: mobile gamers intrigued by this deep franchise making its way to mobile, and by ‘core’ gamers who were outraged that a new Deus Ex game wouldn’t be coming to consoles and PC. As if it had to. As if they had a right to it. As if it was somehow a lesser product for being a mobile game.
Make no mistake, mobile gaming is still not fully accepted by gamers. It’s a big deal, and those who have had fun with the countless number of creative titles of various scales from all walks of life will know that a fun game is a fun game no matter what platform it’s on. But there’s still a mindset that mobile gaming is still a lesser form of gaming, and the reaction to Deus Ex: The Fall exposes this ugly truth.
But what is it about this game that makes people so hostile to the very idea of mobile gamers getting a console-quality title on the go? Was it a presumption that since a new Deus Ex title was announced, it had to be for consoles? Still, the disappointment seemed especially amplified in this circumstance. It wasn’t just the garden-variety internet trolls who compalin loudly, though: it was high-profile outlets like IGN and even Penny Arcade Report were disappointed. PAR strives for a higher class of gaming coverage, so this still seems uncharacteristic of them.
What IGN’s announcement article said before it was changed.
IGN’s staffer who wrote the subheadline disparaging mobile, a particular insult to IGN’s own mobile coverage, which has been running since back in the days of flip phones. The mobile editor actually changed the headline a day later. Still, whlie they may have a section dedicated to mobile coverage, there’s still clearly a mindset that it’s something negative.
Despite all the great experiences on mobile devices, in genres both familiar and new, still there is disrespect. is just unfair. The people that make these games are gamers, often long-time ones. I’ve spoken to many of them. The App Store has provided new opportunities that just weren’t there before. I write about mobile games, but I’ve been a gamer for almost my whole life. Mobile games are legitimate games. That the games are using new interfaces doesn’t make them any less so.
The irony is that a game like Deus Ex: The Fall is exactly what will legitimize the platform: this is a deep game that’s being released for touchscreen devices. It’s not perfect – it uses the flawed dual virtual stick control method along with touchscreen interface elements, but everything about the game sounds like it will live up to what the series has been known for, just in a smaller, more mobile-friendly package. This promises to be a legitimate Deus Ex experience that can be played while waiting for the bus.
And while this may be coming a bit early, mobile gaming getting the ‘legitimacy’ of controllers and TV gaming is not far away. Apple just approved a controller standard, and there’s million of AirPlay-compatible Apple TV devices. On the Android side, where gamepads are already supported, consoles are already making their way out. There’s Ouya, GameStick, GamePop, and a million more.
Apple’s reference specification for iOS 7 gamepads. Will this be good enough for games like Deus Ex: The Fall for the skeptical? (via Pocket Gamer)
Because if just the presence of Deus Ex on mobile isn’t enough, what will be for those who still disrespect mobile?
So for the gamers who still disparage mobile, I say this: give it a chance. Don’t be mad that the new Deus Ex is going to be on mobile. Be glad that a new version is coming out, and that a wider audience will be able to experience it. And give mobile gaming a fair shake. It’s not all Candy Crush Saga; there are a lot of fun experiences out there in pretty much every genre under the sun. Games are games. Come enjoy these, and let go of your hate!
Posted by Andrew Stevens on May 9th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Blitz Brigade – Online multiplayer shooting action! released today on iOS bringing forth first-person shooter action. Players choose between 5 classes with over 100 different weapons to use in an online battle of up to 12 players. There are also 120 training missions to complete offline, should you choose.
√ 5 classes: Soldier, Gunner, Medic, Sniper, Stealth
√ Control the battlefield in Domination mode
√ Frag everyone in sight in Deathmatch
√ Use 3 different vehicles for a tactical advantage
√ Unique taunts and kill phrases for each character
√ Voice Chat to plan in real time with teammates
Posted December 6th, 2012 by Carter Dotson Our Rating: :: THOROUGHLY MODERN...AND FAMILIAR
Modern Combat 4 is a military FPS built for mobile devices, and while Gameloft definitely brings exceptional production values to the table, it still is held back by the nature of touchscreen controls.
Gameloft has a history of making the best first person shooters on iOS. Modern Combat and N.O.V.A. are two amazing console quality shooter franchises. This week we get to tell you about a hands-on we had with the latest FPS from Gameloft, the next version in the Modern Combat series, Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour. First up, here’s the intro sequence to MC4.
While on one level you could say that Modern Combat 4 is just more Modern Combat, is that all bad? I don’t think so. Modern Combat is one of the best franchises available on iOS. And in this version Gameloft have truly taken everything in the game to the next level. With amazing Retina graphics, great single player campaign, multiple vehicles, great voice acting, and a deep multiplayer system that has to be seen to be believed.
You’ll likely spend as many as 14 hours working through the single player campaign. The multiplayer is where this game really shines. The number of hours that can be spent there is pretty much endless. An amazing array of unlockables, customizations, power up, vehicles, weapons, and multiple play modes seem to go on forever.
Gameloft plans on releasing Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour before the end of the year. If I were a guessing man, I’d guess they will get it out just before Christmas. It’s not to be missed.
Creators of Hitman, Roto-Moto, has launched a closed beta of their game, Heroes & Generals. The game is a massively multiplayer first-person shooter involving online fighting between the Axis and Allied forces in Europe.
The game involves both strategic elements and first-person shooter (FPS) elements. Each side sends reinforcements, tanks, and other support to battles going on in various cities. The FPS fights don’t necessarily have to be even, hence the need for support being sent to each side.
The game is actually a PC game but it will be offering a free companion app to the game called Heroes & Generals: Mobile Command. The app lets users access and view the campaign their playing in the PC version of the game. This includes viewing things like battlefields and supply lines on the map. It also allows players to chat with other players on their team when they aren’t even on the PC game – allowing constant communication to continue for a constant online war. A future update to the app will allow users to move and manage assault teams in the game and most other strategy elements (the non-FPS part).
To apply for a key to the closed beta, visit the Heroes & Generals website here.
Wolfenstein 3D, the hit classic first-person shooter, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In celebration of the 20th anniversary, there are all kinds of perks and free stuff for fans.
Most important of the awesome offers for the anniversary is a price drop for the iOS version of the game, Wolfenstein 3D Classic Platinum. As of May 9th, the game dropped from $1.99 to free. The game won’t be free permanently. It’s only on sale for a limited time.
An addition, there’s now a browser version of the game launched at Bethesda’s website and on the Wolfenstein Facebook page. Upon writing that last sentence, I was immediately distracted by about a half hour of playing Wolfenstein in my browser.
I immediately downloaded the iOS version of Wolfenstein when I heard it was free. I grew up with the game. It was the first first-person shooter I ever played. It may have been the first computer game I ever played. Those looking for some nolstagia over the weekend are in for a treat.
On a regular basis, I’m wowed by the impressive graphics we’re seeing on the latest iOS games. None more so than in the case of Battlefield 3 Aftershock from EA. It’s only in an early alpha state but already it’s looking pretty amazing for an iPhone or iPad game.
Scant details have been released so far but there will be a single player mode as well as multiplayer fun to be had. EA promises ragdoll physics and a combat engine built around facing up against hordes of enemies in wave formations, hopefully providing an experience ideal for the brief game sessions many get with their iOS devices.
Intriguingly there will also be connectivity with Battlefield 3 on other platforms with achievements and weapon unlocks suggested to be the result of this. As a fan of the BattleLog available for PC and console gamers, I’ve got my fingers crossed that the iOS version has some kind of connection to this.
No release date has been announced other than sometime this Winter. For now, take in the delights of these screenshots that look darn impressive for any iOS device.
Nexon Mobile, developers of Maple Story Cygnus Knights Edition, has announced a new first person shooter for iOS, Combat Arms: Zombies. The game will be based off Combat Arms, a free to play game for PC. Specifically, this game is based off of the Fireteam mode of the original, which puts players against oncoming enemy hordes, trying to survive and advance from checkpoint to checkpoint. As the title insinuates, the iOS version features that latest cultural craze, zombies, as the foe of choice. Nexon Mobile plans to release the game later this November after debuting the game at South Korea’s G-Star gaming expo on November 10th. The game will be available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, amd while there has been no confirmation, it will likely be a free to play title like the PC version. The game will be running on Unreal Engine 3, and according to Nexon Mobile CEO, Albert Rim, it “will set a new standard for graphics…on mobile devices.” Check out a teaser trailer for the game below.
Archetype, the online multiplayer-focused first-person shooter from Villain, is getting a major content update with the now available 1.5 update. Not only have 12 new maps been added, but a new free for all mode is available as well, with 6 levels of its own to play. As well, the Capture the Flag mode and other maps that were previously only available through the “Frontier” DLC now are available to all players, in an attempt to get more people playing the mode. As well, the game’s menus have been redesigned to be more streamlined, and new anti-cheating measures have been implemented, because wanting to exact fictional violence on your opponents is far better than wanting to exact real violence because they’re cheating. Archetype HD is getting the exact same updates as well, so iPad shooter fans won’t be left out of the new content fun. The game updates are now available in the App Store.