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iPro.DJSampler Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jacob Lopez on June 28th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: IPAD SAMPLE PLAYER
iPro.DJSampler is a nice sample player for iOS, but you won't get much out of it until you start using add-on packs.
Read The Full Review »

Link: Chillingo Launches Daily Deals

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on August 16th, 2012

Publisher Chillingo reveals their new daily deal website and call attention to their special sales and free titles.
Visit us here http://deals.chillingo.com/ and simply ‘like’ us to be the first to hear about great offers on Chillingo's amazing games from the best indie developers in the world. Regularly check back to see which popular titles are on sale or free, as Chillingo is frequently updating these deals -- never miss a great download at a great price!

Apple Debuts Free App of the Week Promotion with Cut the Rope: Experiments

Posted by Carter Dotson on May 25th, 2012

Apple has made a couple of changes to their weekly app features that pop up in the Featured tab of the App Store. While “App of the Week” and “Game of the Week” appear to be just rebranded as “Editors’ Choice,” there’s a new feature: the Free Game of the Week. It appears as if Apple is jumping into the kind of promotion that services like FreeAppADay have been doing, but with this being an official Apple promotion, it has the potential to drive massive numbers of downloads.

The first free app that Apple is giving away is Cut the Rope: Experiments for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. The game supports iCloud sync between the two versions, so multiple device owners will definitely want to pick up both.

What’s interesting is that it appears that on the initial installation of these apps, it’s not necessary to put in the account password, as the app just automatically downloads. This will make it easier for people to get these free apps. The question remains to be seen how long Apple plans to run these promotions, and if they will only feature paid apps that drop down to free, or if some apps released as free will be featured as well.

PayPal Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on April 16th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
PayPal's official app isn't as useful as we'd all like to think.
Read The Full Review »

FanFiction Makes Archiving Fan-Favorite Stories a Breeze

Posted by Rob Rich on February 24th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

I'll freely admit it, without shame or regret; I've written fanfiction before. Not just in my youth (although I don't consider myself "old" yet), but recently. Like in the past week. Don't ask, I won't provide links. Anyway despite being something of a sneer-inducing pastime among certain circles, fanfiction is still a legitimate way to flex those writing muscles. And much like regular old published fiction, it can run the gamut between fantastic and complete trash. For those who enjoy a good yarn regardless of its origins, or for those who are simply curious, there's FanFiction by PentaLoop.

The app currently supports fanfiction.net, and already sports an ever-growing library of thousands of tales. Users can search for specific subjects, keep track of what they've been reading, and even mark their favorites in order to come back to them any time they want. It's pretty much akin to a typical eBook app, only it deals exclusively with fanfiction. Which is kinda cool, really.

FanFiction is sitting in the App Store, just waiting to be downloaded. For free, no less. Whether for legitimate interest or the desire to read something akin to a literary train wreck, I think it's worth a look.

FREEday 2/24/12 - "I'm Running FREE, Get Out of My Way"

Posted by Rob Rich on February 24th, 2012

Maybe it's because the month is winding down or perhaps it's just a coincidence, but I found a good deal more interesting-looking freebies this week than usual. Not that I'm complaining. Anyway, here's this week's helping of games that don't require cash to enjoy.

Dark Summoner - Online dark fantasy social games. Typically good stuff. At the very least it tends to be quite popular. So it stands to reason that a free online dark fantasy social game with three different factions to choose between, over 350 kinds of monsters to collect and use, gorgeous artwork, planned monthly events, and free updates (naturally) miiiiiight be worth looking into.

Quantum Legacy - Being able to jump right into an action-heavy 3D space shooter is cool. It looks pretty nifty, claims to have "simple and innovative controls," is free, and overall seems like a decent way to kill time with no cost. But Quantum Legacy really caught my attention because the hero's ship is called the "Omnithias." I mean come on, that's hilarious.

Small Street - Everyone loves to build their own cities; the evidence of which is plastered all over the App Store. With such a saturated market, it's nice to see a game that takes things down to a more intimate level. Say by putting players in charge of a few dozen buildings instead of hundreds. Customizable citizens are a nice touch, too.

Cutout Fighter - I'm usually not big on fighting games, but the ones I do enjoy tend to have some kind of visual gimmick associated with them. Clayfighter had claymation, Killer Instinct used cutting-edge (at the time) CGI, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 had Jill Valentine (*swoon*), and now Cutout Fighter taunts me with its paper-focused presentation. I'd say I'm bothered by the temptation, but the game is free so I really don't care about giving in.

Save the Cubes - Cubeland is in peril after a mishap at the local chemical plant, so players will have to Save the Cubes. Save cubes from "infected" cubes. Yes, it's a physics-based zombie game. With nothing but cubes. Color me intrigued.

HUNT THE MONSTERS - A princess is nuts for monsters. The king wants to make the princess happy. The subjects... well, they're just along for the ride. Catching monsters earns gold, gold buys better weapons which can help nab more monsters, and the whole thing feeds on itself until the monster book is full.

FREEday 2/10/2012 - "None of us are FREE if One of us is Chained"

Posted by Rob Rich on February 10th, 2012

Shooting and strategy seem to be the two key themes in this weeks FREEday. I honestly didn't plan it that way, it just sort of happened. Although I suppose it's not that bad. They are two incredibly popular kinds of games for iOS devices these days. Then again, just about anything that lends itself to quick bursts of playtime do quite well for themselves, too. No matter the intention, here's a list of free games. Enjoy.

Farmkill - Zombie survival games. Yessir. But before writing off Farmkill as just another shambler slaughter consider this: players can raise volatile (literally) animals to fight off the horde. In addition to the expected defenses and numerous firearms. I have to admit, it's an interesting idea. Although now I keep thinking about chicken nuggets for some reason...

Battlefield 3: Aftershock - iOS users seem to enjoy multiplayer first-person shooters, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that EA decided to bring what is arguably their biggest FPS of 2011 to Apple devices. What does come as a surprise is that it's a free-to-play multiplayer first-person shooter. Allow me to repeat that: it's a free multiplayer first-person shooter derived from one of EA's largest 2011 releases. Let the downloading commence.

Robot Troopers - Robot Troopers takes the idea of task-management and robots it up a notch. Or two. Players will be taking control of an assembly line, cranking out an army of autonomous forces while simultaneously training the new recruits. A robot foreman's work is never done.

Suitor Shooter - Protect the princess from the unworthy while getting the prince(s) to the castle. In essence, players are bombarding a horde of "evil," flower-toting fiends with delusions of dating from a dirigible. While not bombarding the good guys, of course. It's an unorthodox approach to dating to be sure, but it sure makes for an interesting game.

FREEday 1/27/12 - "FREE is the Way, I Got to Be"

Posted by Rob Rich on January 27th, 2012

With all the freebies that have been flying around each week, it's a wonder we haven't run out. Then again, how many hundreds of apps and games are released each week? Yeah, I suppose when I think about it that way it's no wonder we're still going strong. Strong with savings!

... I'm sorry. Just ignore me and take a look at this week's list. I'll be sitting over here. In the corner.

Baseball Superstars 2012 - People love baseball. At least, that's what I've heard. So yeah, here's a baseball game. But what about the rest of us who aren't nuts for "America's Favorite Pastime?" Well we have this, too. Because it's absolutely insane, anime-style baseball. Like with unnatural pitching abilities and totally wacky players. That, and the last one was pretty cool, too.

Derby Days - Now I know there are a lot of free-to-play "build X" games around these days, but none to my knowledge combine the concept with horse care. It's usually either or as far as I know. So why not get excited about being able to build and run a horse ranch, while also caring for and breeding horses? If it were possible to trade the diminutive equines with friends than I'd say this is a sure-fire thing. Wait a second, we can do that already? Well then I guess there's no point in holding off on downloading it.

Zombie Battle - Zombies staggering in from the right side of the screen across several "lanes." Seems a tad familiar. This isn't a strategy game, however. It's more of an action defense thing. Sure, zombies have been done to death (har-har) these days but that's no reason to discount this upgradable blast-em-up. Besides, vaporizing the living dead is almost always tons of fun.

2XL MX Offroad - Some people out there might argue about the superiority of dirt bikes versus ATVs. People like that can now have tons of fun with various what-if scenarios thanks to 2XL MX Offroad. People unlike that who don't care much either way can also have plenty of fun with 2XL MX Offroad because it's a crazy motocross-style racer with lots of stuff to do and stunts to (hopefully) perform.

FREEday 1/13/12 - "I'm FREE, to do what I want"

Posted by Rob Rich on January 13th, 2012

Uh-oh. Know what day today is? Yeah... *gulp*

Well I for one won't let superstition get the best of me. In fact, it's scientifically proven that getting games for free is the best way to change bad luck into good. Lucky (ha-ha!) thing I just so happen to have a list of a few of these zero-cost gems right here. Be sure to check them all out right after the break.

(NOTE: Free games are most certainly not scientifically proven to fix bad luck. However, they will kill time while sitting in the emergency room after that "unfortunate incident" with the cat and the Thighmaster.)

FREEday 1/6/12 - "The Best Things in Life are FREE"

Posted by Rob Rich on January 6th, 2012

Just like that, we find ourselves in 2012. I'm going to side-step the expected talk of apocalypse and instead focus on resolutions. Those promises people make to themselves in an attempt to break nasty habits or set major changes in motion. We all make 'em and we all tend to break 'em. Sometimes. Okay, most of the time. What can I say? Healthy food usually tastes like cardboard. Although I have to admit I've finally managed to develop a taste for yogurt after roughly 28 years of trying. Anyway, before the inevitable failures start to set in I've got a small list of games that will keep the "spend less money" hopefuls on-track. At least for a little while.

Battle Legend Infinity - I'm fairly certain that this is a new thing. Combining old-school turn-based RPG battles with endless wave survival, I mean. At least, I think it is. Whether or not that's true, it's a neat idea. The classic video game character "knock-offs" are a nice touch, too.

Legendary Heroes - Two teams. Three heroes. Four unique abilities apiece. Legendary Heroes isn't just another castle defense iOS game. It's the same basic idea, but this time the emphasis is on managing hero units and building complimentary teams of three instead of strategically churning out cannon fodder.

Turtle Isles - Guiding wayward turtles around a beach a-la ChuChu Rocket. By tapping starfish. Heck of a concept. Sure it's missing the bizarre space mice but that doesn't mean it's not worth checking out. So, who's going to help these slowpokes pair up?

Scramble With Friends Free - Remember Boggle? Of course. I mean, who doesn't, right? Well now we can play a facsimile, complete with special power-ups (freeze time, etc...) on-the-go. Anytime, anywhere. Methinks a certain other multiplayer word game is going to find itself facing some unexpected competition.

Fluff Friends Rescue - I have to give The Humane Society credit, I never would have expected them to find a way to incorporate their usual dealings into a genuinely interesting game. But that's exactly what's been done with Fluff Friends Rescue. Think "town-building freemium" game, only instead of constructing stores and homes players will be setting up their own animal shelter. Also, it's super-adorable.

Bump Back Against the Things That Go Bump in the Night

Posted by Rob Rich on December 8th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

There's always been something magical about text-based adventure games. I attribute it to the lack of graphics forcing us to use our imaginations, coupled with the absolute freedom the lack of visuals provides. As someone who used to mess around with my fair share of interactive reading, it's refreshing to see that people are still making stuff like The Things That Go Bump in the Night.

Players assume the role of a night shift security guard, wandering through the "compound" without a care until things take a turn. The usually quiet but still very active building has become completely still. No radio chatter. No people. Then it's time to fight monsters and solve puzzles in a desperate bid for survival. Things That Go Bump in the Night utilizes the Quest text adventure creation software, which allows for an input-less interface (i.e. clicking on "links" instead of typing) in addition to the ability to easily create custom games.

The Things That Go Bump in the Night is on the App Store right now and it won't cost a thing. Incidentally the software used to create it is also free, just in case anyone reading this is feeling particularly adventurous.

EA Launches Daily Deals Program for the Holiday Season

Posted by Carter Dotson on December 5th, 2011

EA are well-known for their sales on the App Store. Usually, around some kind of holiday, there's a sale on many EA Mobile games, often dropping games from $6.99 down to $0.99. So what is EA Mobile supposed to do with this time of year, referred to as the "holiday season?" Have an entire month of price cuts and deals, apparently. Thus, EA Mobile has begun their "Daily Deals" program.

The Daily Deals have kicked off with games dropping to the lowest price point possible: free! The first two free games were The Sims Medieval for iPhone/iPod touch, and Shift 2: Unleashed for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. As well, Battlefield 2: Bad Company went on sale for $1.99 for iPhone/iPod touch, and $4.99 for iPad; these are 33% and 50% discounts off the regular price, respectively. As per the title of the program, EA is claiming that there will be new deals each day, although for the first weekend of the promotion these deals remained in effect.

EA is offering a web app for users to keep track of the promotion at their EA Daily Deals web page. A new deal will be made available each day at 9:00 am PST (GMT -8), and EA says that they will vary from more free games, to deep discounts on paid titles.

While people love deep discounts on iOS games, and I myself am not excluded, I have to wonder if the current state of the mobile game business, where those who wish to sell games at premium price points are unable to do so because companies like EA can afford to drop their prices to deep discounts like this. In many ways, it's led to situations like the release of the new Tetris game, which relies heavily on IAP monetization, which is something some vocal users have been staunchly against. Massive regular sales on titles like this might be why that kind of situation is now occurring, and why sales like this exist, because it is difficult to sell titles at price points above $0.99, or even free. When EA, one of the companies that can actually sell titles at higher prices is so willing to have these kinds of fire sales with massive promotion, it does not necessarily portend well for the future of premium-priced apps on the App Store.

Get Those Props Spinning, Pigs in Trees is Free for a Limited Time!

Posted by Rob Rich on October 10th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GO WHOLE HOG :: Read Review »

So there's this game about flying supines and home-wrecking avians that's pretty fun. The reason I'm bringing it up again almost 3 months later should be fairly obvious. But for the sake of argument and thoroughness, I'll elaborate.

For a limited time, Pigs in Trees is going to be absolutely free. It's got something to do with the game being released on another platform. Something about robots I think. Obvious skirting of the issue aside, now there's no better time to take to the skies and shoot down those pesky peckers. Not only is it one heck of a fun experience that can be had for zero cost, it's also recently received a pretty decent update, with 15 more levels, the addition of the Ninja Pecker and a couple new power-ups.

So it's free, it's entertaining, it's been recently beefed porked up. Why not go ahead and clear off 20 megs worth of space, hop on the App Store and give it a try? If nothing else, it should give my previous ramblings on the subject of pig-on-bird violence a bit more context.

Starbucks Offers An App With That Cappucino

Posted by Carter Dotson on August 25th, 2011

Coffee and apps are two things that have always been connected in some tangential way. The prices of apps are often described as being "less than a cup of coffee," often spoken in derision at the people who think that a $0.99 app is too expensive to acquire legally. As well, people who use apps (and especially people like myself who write about them) often find themselves in need of caffeine. After all, that level in Angry Birds isn't going to 3-star itself, even if it is 3:00 in the morning. What helps people feel awake and alert after these long nights of intense app usage? Caffeine! What does coffee contain copious amounts of? Caffeine! Someone at Starbucks has finally noticed this connection between apps and coffee, and decided to harmoniously bring the two together.

Starbucks is giving out cards with redemption codes for apps, along with various other iTunes content, that are available at Starbucks locations. The first app in the program is Shazam Encore, which is available for $5.99 regularly. This promotion isn't going to be limited to older, already-existing apps, either; starting on August 30th, Starbucks will be giving away copies of SPY mouse from recent EA acquisition Firemint, which releases this Thursday.

What will be interesting to see the effect this has on apps offered in the promotion; Shazam Encore has jumped up to #6 in the App Store recently, which may be due to this feature. This could be due to each redeemed copy going toward the app's sales, or it could be because the promotion is working exactly how it's intended; by giving the app away for free, people are talking about it and recommending it, causing other people to pay for it. The question will be just how often apps are actually featured in this program, or if 2 of the first 3 promotions being apps are just an anomaly. It will be interesting to see how other apps perform with the Starbucks promotion, especially new releases like SPY mouse that have a big-name publisher behind them. As well, will apps from smaller independent developers make any kind of appearance in the program, and will apps share in the kind of sales bump that Shazam Encore is enjoying?

Still, any time a big-name company like Starbucks gets involved in the app business, it's news worth paying attention to because of the effect they could potentially have on the business of selling and promoting apps. Starbucks appears to be offering a new free app every Tuesday, but it isn't in all locations yet, so keep hunting, weary caffeine and app addicted traveler!

Source: GeekWire

SwipeTapTap is Free for a Limited Time

Posted by Rob Rich on August 11th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

MochiBits' SwipeTapTap is a surprisingly engrossing game despite its utter simplicity. Following on-screen prompts involving (what else?) swipes, taps and various combinations as quickly and accurately as possible is one of those things I'd never have expected to keep me entertained for very long, but it does just that. Not only that, it keeps things from getting stale by including a total of four game modes. And it's free at the moment, did I forget to mention that? Nah, I'm pretty sure I did.

Each of the four modes uses the same basic mechanics in different ways. Classic is all about inputting the correct gestures as they scroll across the screen in a timely manner. Take too long or screw up too often and they'll fill the screen and it's Game Over. Memory is more like a classic game of Simon, only with a touch screen interface. Speed is a race against time, requiring almost super-human-like reflexes at the higher difficulties. Finally, Endurance is one big continuous level with no end in sight and steadily increasing speed. Losing isn't so much a question of "if" but of "when."

And yes, for a limited time (in conjunction with "OpenFeint's Free Game of the Day") this finger-flexing homage to Simon is completely and totally free. All of the games modes. No money down. Zero dollars. There's absolutely no legitimate reason not to check it out.