Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 7th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Evolution: Battle for Utopia by My.Com has received big update titled “The Black Legion.”
The Black Legion update brings players six more regions to explore, 10 new types of weapons, and three new types of defense to help them battle the army of General Kurbatov. It also raises the level cap to 58!
Player’s defensive capabilities are also getting an overhaul: now you can fortify your base with turrets and allies. Lastly, if you feel like a challenge, you can try out Black Legion’s two new mini-games.
Evolution: Battle for Utopia is available for free on the App Store.
When it comes to suburban life simulations, The Sims pretty much wrote the book. In The Sims Freeplay, we get to see a mobile-centric version of the game that is equal parts enjoyable and complex. Here are a few tips to get folks going on the natural path to building a happy, healthy cyber-community.
The first thing one probably wants to understand is the currency system. There are several different tenders that can be used to make purchases or otherwise enhance the life of your Sims. Within the game, the main form of currency is referred to – naturally – as “Simoleons.” Simoleons are probably most like real-life money, and can be earned by having Sims do things like going to work. Established properties can garner Simoleons at intervals, so it pays to “invest” and upgrade these properties. There are a few easter egg Simoleon earning activities as well, like pets digging for them.
Another currency type is the “Social Point.” This can be earned in neighboring towns by doing tasks such as practicing fire fighting. This encourages interaction with other players, as it’s easier to get fellow players to invest in an item necessary to get Social Points. Social Points can be spent on items in the game store.
“Lifestyle Points” can be gained by completing quests, increasing the town’s value, leveling-up, or watching and viewing special offers. They can also be purchased with real money. Lifestyle Points can be used to purchase items and speed up tasks.
The game also incorporates experience points, which allow characters to level-up and have access to more content.
One of the best ways to accumulate cash is to work. Consistently. On that note, getting promoted helps earn more faster. Building in moderation also helps maximize reserves. Happy Sims are better able to earn spendables, so keeping Sims inspired by ensuring their needs are met.
Even the simple act of gardening also leads to supplemental game cash. Several “natural” tasks like checking mail can net small amounts that add up.
There are quite a few professions to choose from, ranging from Real Estate Agent to politician, and a Sim’s career can be enhanced by “practicing” the job. Practicing makes the Sim better, and helps them get promoted. Sims can max out in careers, so the progress is not limitless.
Hobbies are great tools for gaining experience and limited content. The availability of hobbies to a specific character are generally restricted based on what one has unlocked and the age of a character. In other words, after the age requirement is met, one might have to do achieve/build something to be able to perform that hobby.
The biggest overall tip is to exhibit patience. The game runs in real-time, so there is always the temptation to use Lifestyle Points to expedite the action. Those Lifestyle Points could probably be best used elsewhere. Along those same lines, rushing to become a real estate mogul sounds logical – in the real world. In FreePlay, restraint is sometimes a good thing.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on July 15th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Mynd, the calendar and scheduling app we reviewed last year, is getting a big update.
Version 5.0.2 expands upon its ability to sync with LinkedIn, and allows for increased search connectivity within the service and the device contacts. Evernote entries can also be shared directly from the app. There is also the new ability to categorize events.
One big addition is the premium featureset. This is a subscription service that unlocks Inside Mynd, a set of extra functionality, and more.
New Mynd Premium (in-app purchase upgrade) features include:
• Traffic-based “time to leave” push notifications so you’re never late again. Note, existing Mynd users will be ‘grandfathered in’ to get this feature for free. New users will have to upgrade to Mynd Premium to get these notifications.
• Inside Mynd: Much like fitness software helps monitor your health, Inside Mynd gives you the ability to set goals within your calendar and track how you spend your time in a highly visual way. This is part of our new paid upgrade, Mynd Premium (available via in-app purchase) and makes it easy to quantify your business and personal productivity.
* Set goals and track your progress with Inside Mynd.
* Categorize your events to see where you spend the most time. For example…
– If your goal is exercise 5 times a week, carve out 5 hours a week on your calendar to work out and give those events the category heading “exercise.” If you skip a workout, delete it from your calendar. At the end of the week, Mynd will chart how much time you exercised.
– If your goal is to spend more time managing your employees, and you’re scheduling time-out to think about a particular employee’s performance before their annual review, you can tag that employee in the event, without actually inviting him/her to that event.
– If you’re a professional services consultant, you can use this feature to track time spent with clients and export it for use in billing.
* Track the miles you drive for business, and export this data for use in expense reports.
• Priority Email Support: We now accelerate Mynd Premium users to the top of our support queue.
• Professional Messaging: Mynd branding does not appear on emails and calendar invites sent through Mynd Premium.
There is a free trial of the subscription service, which costs $6.99/month to $49.99/year, depending on the number of months purchased.
Mynd Calendar is available for free (with optional premium features) on the App Store.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on July 15th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
DreamsCloud, the interactive service that looks to help people analyze and reflect on their dreams, has announced its new iOS app DreamSphere.
The app has a host of features, including a Dream Journal which can be recorded via text or voice, a Dreams Map, which allows users to check their dream patterns against that of other users around the globe, a Smart Alarm, and more. There are also premium features that can be unlocked.
DreamsCloud co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer Jean Marc Emden talks about empowering users. “Dreams have such a significant impact on our overall health and wellness, and are the voice of our subconscious mind,” he says. “With the launch of DreamSphere, we wanted to create an app that provides users with a companion for daily wellness and self-reflection. By empowering our users to remember, process, decode and discuss their dreams on-the-go, DreamSphere will help individuals tap into critical insights and a better understanding of their waking lives.”
The app is now available for free (with aforementioned optional premium content) on the App Store.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on July 14th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
MuseAmi has just launched a new, social app based on the ability to take, edit and share video called Hook’d.
The app incorporates MuseAmi’s proprietary technologies, one of which is real-time audio processing, which allows for users to create and share content directly from an iOS device. MuseAmi also offers authentic backing tracks, including licensed music from Warner Music Group, and says it will announce additional licensing deals in the coming weeks.
MuseAmi chief Bob Taub mentions the partnership with Warner Music Group. “In Hook’d, we’ve created a fun, addictive and totally new way to capture moments through music, and share it with one person or with many,” he says. “We’re proud to have the support of Warner Music Group at launch. They’ve been a real champion of our technology, and their incredible catalog provides our users with authentic master recordings that make Hook’d like no other app on the planet.”
Hook’d is available for free (with optional in-app purchases) on the App Store.
Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 9th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
New features have come to freemium-based reverse Tower Defense game Royal Revolt 2, and they’re sure to prove enticing for fans.
The game now offers the Chamber of Fortune, giving players the chance to earn additional rewards. You can now share your fearsome King with your Facebook friends, plus there’s a new and distinctly spooky Graveyard environment for those keen to mix things up.
New achievements and quests, as well as many bug fixes, round off the package.
Royal Revolt 2 is out now and free to download from the App Store.
A few weeks ago I was led into a room to see something new from Fuero Games and The Witcher developers CD Projekt. Something that involved The Witcher. I had hopes and fears much like you’d expect. Would it be a port? A spin-off? Maybe a town-building sim?
Turns out it was The Witcher Battle Arena – a free-to-play Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game set in the same universe as the popular titles from consoles and PC. It’s also looking pretty freaking great at the moment, to be honest.
The Witcher Battle Arena has been designed for mobile from the ground up. It uses a fairly straightforward control system that allows you to tap to move to a specific location, drag the camera around, or tap and hold/drag to guide your hero more directly. Tapping on an opponent will attack, and you can tap on different skill buttons to trigger them.
Most of the expected MOBA bits are present and accounted for as well. Each hero starts at level 1 and will gain experience throughout the match, skills may be upgraded with each level, money earned automatically and by fighting rival heroes can be used to purchase better and better hero-specific gear, and so on. About the only major changes to the basic formula are the lack of endlessly spawning minions on either side and smaller arenas that encourage direct player-on-player interaction. In other words everything has been streamlined so that matches are fast and brutal.
I imagine the whole “free” thing might still be making you a tad nervous but the developers are adamant that The Witcher Battle Arena will not be a pay-to-win game. There are no wait timers, no hard currencies, and absolutely everything from new characters to vanity items can be earned simply by playing.
The Witcher Battle Arena doesn’t have a set release date yet, but it will launch with a decent selection of playable characters (eight in total – Eithne of Brokilon, Ioverth, Letho of Gulet, Zoltan Chivay, Saskia of Aedrin, Philippa Eilhart, The Operator, and a Golem). And it’ll be free, of course.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on June 2nd, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Deadman’s Cross has recently received an update that adds in some new features. These include the USS Claypool hunting ground, and 39 new Deadmen. Additionally, it has two new abilities, and usability functions have been improved.
- The USS Claypool hunting ground has been added.
- 39 new Deadmen have been added.
- 2 new abilities have been added.
- The skip feature has been added to battles that take place while on search jobs.
- Interrupted downloads now resume from the point at which they were interrupted, rather than beginning anew.
- A simple tap interface has been added for switching Deadmen in and out on the horde editing screen.
- Tapping an ability in the ability list interface now shows its details.
- An Info button has been added to the ability screen.
- The amount of EXP a Deadman will gain from feeding is now shown before the feeding is executed.
After Phil Hassey’s release of BREAKFINITY, the fast-paced endless Breakout game, he’s taking another stab at the world of free games: by releasing a free version of Dynamite Jack, his explosive 2012 action game – creatively entitled Dynamite Jack Free. While plenty of developers are starting to release free ad-supported games thanks to Flappy Bird‘s success, this is one of the bigger attempts at such a release. As such, I spoke to Phil Hassey about what he’s doing with Dynamite Jack Free.
148Apps: Many of the games that have gone with the free-with-ads route are simpler games: ones like Flappy Bird, and your own BREAKFINITY. Why take this route with a deeper game like Dynamite Jack? Was BREAKFINITY‘s performance a motivator in this regard?
Phil Hassey:Dynamite Jack came out almost two years ago, so it’s sales have run down pretty thin at this point. Since I did all the work to set up ads in BREAKFINITY it was pretty trivial to set up Dynamite Jack with the same thing.
I am really curious how well it will do. It’s definitely totally different from your typical ad supported game. I guess we’ll find out soon enough if the free crowd is ready for this kind of experience or not!
148Apps: Why did you go with the continues-as-monetization IAP system?
Phil Hassey: I’m not really an ad monetization guru or anything, since BREAKFINITY is my first ad supported game, and it’s only been out for over a month. Over the past year I had given thought to doing a F2P version of Dynamite Jack, with various ideas like “buying bombs” or whatever. However, changes like that would have seriously impacted the gameplay in ways I wasn’t too excited about.
So doing the continues is nice, because it doesn’t change the gameplay at all. If anything it makes the death experience sightly more intense because the penalty for death is greater than in the paid version of the game. I think the monetization will actually make the game have a slightly greater emphasis on stealth than the paid version.
148Apps: You have an IAP for unlimited continues for $4.99. Was there any thought given to making this a higher price than what the main game is available for?
Phil Hassey: About 6 months ago I changed the iOS price to $4.99 for the paid version. So the IAP for unlimited continues just matches that. I upped the price on Dynamite Jack because I think it’s a solid game and people definitely get their $4.99 of entertainment out of it. Some of the players who have gotten into the game have played for hundreds of hours thanks to the community maps.
148Apps: Is there a particular threshold where you see this being worth the time and effort put into it?
Phil Hassey: I really only spent a couple days putting this together, so it doesn’t need to do a whole lot to break even on my time. But really, in terms of being an experiment with how well a hard-core iOS game works in the ad supported market, the answer to the question “Will this work at all?” is going to be worth finding out.
If it’s found that you can make more heavy games and support them through ads, we might see more games going that route. Or maybe we’ll find out that this sort of game just works best as a paid-only title.
148Apps: If this is successful, do you fear that perhaps it could be part of a movement where players expect more free games, monetized primarily with ads? And if so, do you think that it is good for the App Store market?
Phil Hassey: I think anything that helps indies find new ways to support their art is great! The more avenues there are to being able to make games full-time the more chances there are that great games are going to be made. Another great thing about ad supported games is how they can reach a wider audience. People who don’t have the means to purchase paid games can play free ad supported games.
148Apps: Depending on how this does, would you ever consider releasing a future game initially with a free version like this? Perhaps even one of the Galcon games?
Phil Hassey: I’m still working on Galcon 2, which is going to be F2P. I’m still working out the details, but my experiences with BREAKFINITY and Dynamite Jack FREE are certainly giving me more insight into how to make it work out. I expect Galcon 2 will contain “earn more Galcoins by watching videos” options for those who want more in game currency but don’t have the means to pay for it.
Farmville 2: Country Escape is a big deal for many casual gamers, much like its predecessor. As we pointed out in our review, its relaxed nature when it comes to harvesting crops and simply waiting things out means it’s strangely beguiling, although patience is certainly essential. To help you along in your path towards a farming fortune, we thought we’d round up some great tips on how to do the very best you can. While they won’t make you rich overnight, they should help steer novices in the right direction.
League of War is a 3D action/strategy iOS exclusive that has players fighting to build mercenary prowess by destroying enemy bases. It also allows for players to go against friend and/or foe in real-time multiplayer battles.
Kenny Chiu, GREE Sr. Vice President for Social Games, is confident with regards to how much players will appreciate the game. “League of War pushes the boundaries of what players can expect from a next-gen mobile gaming experience. It offers not only an intense single-player experience, but also takes multiplayer to a new level with synchronous battles,” he says. “MunkyFun and GREE combined quick moving strategy, stunning 3D graphics and special FX to make League of War one of the best mobile game experiences out there.”
MunkyFun CEO Nick Pavis shares similar sentiments. “Our aim has always been to take mobile gaming to the next level and bring players a more intense, console-like experience for their tablet or smartphone,” he says. “With League of War, our goal was to take the player to the battlefield and create a fast-thinking strategic experience where gamers would have to think quickly and efficiently in order to beat their opponents. We brought the players a challenge – now we want to see what they do with it.”
League of War is available for free on the App Store.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on May 6th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Adobe Photoshop Express has just seen a big update that refreshes the app to take advantage of iOS 7, as well as adding in a new editing experience. Version 3.3 also allows sharing via Instagram or SMS, Pet-eye correction, auto-saving, navigational improvements, and bug fixes.
Adobe Photoshop Express is available for free (with in-app purchases) on the App Store.
What’s New in Version 3.3
• A brand new editing experience with a new look for iOS7
• Share via Instagram or SMS
• Pet-eye (a.k.a. green-eye) correction
• Save your work without saving now that the app resumes where you left off
• Navigation improvements throughout the app, including Tool Tips and updates to the Photo Picker
• Bug fixes and performance improvements.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 28th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Tactile Entertainment has updated its endless runner skateboarding game Skyline Skaters. The update is headlined by the addition of two new characters: Kuro the Ninja and Pepe the Magnet Expert. Each has their own unique attributes, musical theme, and animations.
Also included in the update are updated pigeon models, along with two new boards and a host of bugfixes.
We had an opportunity to review the game a few weeks ago and liked it. The updated Skyline Skaters is available for free (with optional in-app purchases) on the App Store.