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GameLoop Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on June 17th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NICE IDEA
Consolidating various gaming networks is a nice idea from GameLoop, but it doesn't quite work. At least not yet.
Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps: May 5-9, 2014

Posted by Chris Kirby on May 10th, 2014

Shiny Happy App Reviews

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.


dEXTRIS is not related to Tetris, so the “tris” part of the name doesn’t make much sense. But it is a game of dexterity that will cause the spewing of a multitude of profanities – in a good way. Players use their two thumbs to navigate two blocks around hazards. Tapping and holding on the left or right moves both blocks that direction, holding both sides splits the two blocks apart, and doing nothing leaves them in the center. This neutral state is mentioned specifically because some of the hazards require being in that neutral state. Some of the challenge comes from the fact that the blocks move quickly, but not instantaneously, and the hazards are diagonal: One must act about a split-second ahead of what’s coming at all times. --Carter Dotson


Spending most of my school-aged years in Northern California as I did, the subject of the mid-1800s California Gold Rush is indelibly etched into my brain. We went on gold panning school field trips to Placerville and hiked the same trails that the miners had a hundred and fifty years prior. When SomaSim’s 1849 went up for review, a glance at the screens filled my heart with hopes for a Gold Rush-themed Sim City. But as any seasoned Forty-Niner can attest, I probably shouldn’t get too excited about every sparkly nugget that catches the light. After all, there’s plenty of fool’s gold in these App Store hills, so it’s best to stay cautious. My assumptions were at least partially correct: 1849 IS a boomtown city simulation. But rather than the open sandbox format of a lot of city builders, 1849 takes a much more focused, scenario-guided path. Players jump from city to city across Central and Northern California during the height of gold fever, helping kickstart a series of small encampments and grow them into prosperous communities. Usually this takes the form of needing to import or export an amount of specific goods from surrounding towns, hitting population milestones, or the like. Upon arriving at the new settlement, players pick from one of three starting package options, which will determine the amount of money and/or free resources the settlers begin with. --Rob Thomas

Gunship X

At its most basic, Gunship X is a lot like Zombie Gunship. In fact, even at its most complicated, Gunship X is a lot like the zombie blasting hit. That’s no bad thing exactly, but enjoyment levels are heavily dependent on how much one enjoys mindless shooting. The idea is incredibly simple. Aliens are rushing at humanity and, most importantly, various landing areas. Humans are trying to flee to safe zones and it’s down to the player, controlling an AC-130 Gunship to protect them. Players don’t directly control the Gunship; instead they are reliant solely on its offensive capabilities. What this means is that the screen offers one large aiming reticule and a place to switch weapons. --Jennifer Allen

Sumotori Dreams

Previously a popular PC game, Sumotori Dreams is a pretty quirky title. It’s a form of sumo wrestling simulator, but one that’s far more focused on humor than realism. While in single player it’s a little forgettable, it’s a fun experience when participating with friends and certainly like little else out there. The key to success in Sumotori Dreams is to defeat the opponent. This is done through either pushing them over, forcing them out of the ring, or sometimes simply waiting for them to make a mistake and stumble over. The center of gravity for these characters is a bit wacky, meaning falling over is just as likely as being pushed. This is particularly noticeable when partaking in different arenas that actively encourage such problems, such as one level based on a giant seesaw and another at the top of a flight of stairs. --Jennifer Allen

Metal Slug Defense

Metal Slug Defense is a 2D, real time, side-scrolling strategy game based on the popular arcade shooter series. Although not the typical Metal Slug experience, Metal Slug Defense does a pretty great job of translating the charm and spirit of its predecessors into a mobile and more strategic form. In more typical Metal Slug titles, players take control of an individual soldier as they run, gun, and jump their way through 2D levels full of enemy soldiers and creatures. In Metal Slug Defense, players instead take control of a base that is capable of spitting out soldier after soldier, with the ultimate goal being to destroy the enemy base on the other side of the level. --Campbell Bird

Moo Said Morris

I would like to introduce readers to Moo Said Morris, a storybook app for iPad that children and their parents will enjoy. Meet Morris: a young mouse who is a bit of an outsider. While all the other mice at school and in his town make the traditional squeaky noises, Morris makes sounds that are certainly un-mouse-like such as mooing like a cow, quacking like a duck, and even sounding like a car or airplane – much to the dismay of his teacher and to the disappointment of the community who find his unusual noises disconcerting to say the least. That is until his ability to sound like something that he is not comes in handy at the end. I really enjoy this story of Morris, a character that children will be able to relate to. The illustrations are delightful, full of details, and with a hand-drawn quality that I am really drawn to. The moments when Morris speaks are simply delightful, with a speech bubble including the image of an animal such as a horse or donkey making noises and complete with the name of their sounds written out, aiding children who may be new to animal sounds as well. --Amy Solomon

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:



Jumping on a trampoline, opening windows and stealing TV’s. All while being a little rat – that is what Snatz is all about. But is it any fun? Yes and no. It seems a bit random: rats stealing TV’s for a living, while they’re jumping on a trampoline from house to house and entering them one window at a time. Yes, but that’s excatly what Snatz is all about. In this game, players have to open windows by getting to them via a trampoline. The building the rats visit are very high and will get even higher later on in the game. If the residents see your little rat face one time to often, they will call the police. And when they come, the rats flee the scene of the crimes. This results in a car chase – dropping the stolen tv’s on the police, will stop the chase. --Wesley Akkerman

Crazy Pixel Run

Running around like a hopped-up hyperactive hare – that’s the best description for this Russian indie game featuring a colorless bunny in a colorless world. In Crazy Pixel Run you control a rectangular, colorless bunny. The little fella is born in a world where everything is grey. He’s main goal in life: bring more color to it. It is platformer style indie game where you have to collect energy to stay alive in a randomly generated and infinite world. The bring color to the world, you need to run around like a crazy pixel-rabbit and collect special glowing things. Every part of the world you touch collecting these things, will brightening up your world. --Wesley Akkerman

Song of Hero

Song of Hero is a rhythm RPG, a combination between rhythm games like Guitar Hero, and a role-playing game. The player needs to organize a 4-man battle band that fights against various monsters. The battle consists of several phases, as heroes and the monster take turns attacking and using special abilities – but for player, the task is always the same – just hit all upcoming beats on time, as they reach the end of their lanes. Although the outcome greatly depends on the player’s accuracy, it’s still possible to fail the battle if the monster isn’t beaten by the end of the playing song. The songs are about a minute and a half long, and although I couldn’t name a single performer, each one of the songs was of a good quality. --Tony Kuzmin

And finally, this week Pocket Gamer celebrated the best month in iOS gaming EVER, discussed the controversy surrounding Nintendo's Tomodachi Life, and took a look at Techland's Hellraid: The Escape. Plus - get a full walkthrough to Bridge Constructor Medieval and learn how to build the perfect deck in Hearthstone. It's all right here, right now.

The Winners of the 10th Annual International Mobile Gaming Awards Have Been Announced

Posted by Stephen Hall on March 25th, 2014

The 10th anniversary International Mobile Gaming Awards have come to a close, and after 2 months of voting between 14 judges from Japan, Australia, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the US, the results are in. Dozens of games were nominated, and many of them you will likely recognize, but only a select few could actually win this fantastic recognition. You can find the final results, which were announced in San Francisco at the 10th IMGA ceremony on March 20, below.

Best Serious Game: Artisitco: The Game for Art Lovers by Play Art Labs, Ltd. Israel
Excellence in Art Design: Year Walk by Simogo, Sweden
Excellence in Sound Design: Papa Sangre II by Somethin’Else, published by Playground Publishing, The Netherlands
Best Technical Achievement: Clumsy Ninja by Natural Motion, United Kingdom
Best Shared Experience: Heads Up by Warner Bros., United States
Excellence in Storytelling: République by Camouflaj, United States
Best Quikplay: Colossatron - Massive World Threat by Halfbrick Studios, Australia
Best Upcoming Game: Framed by Loveshack Entertainment, Australia.
Excellence in Innovation: Blek by Kunabi Brother, Austria
Excellence in Gameplay: rymdkapsel by Grapefrukt Games, Sweden
People’s Choice: Tiny Thief by 5 Ants Spain, published by Rovio, Finland
Jury’s Honorable Mention: Luxuria Superbia by Tale of Tales, Belgium
Grand Prix: Badland by Frogmind, Finland

Deadman's Cross

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Arron Hirst on February 25th, 2014
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: SPOILED BY IAPS
Deadman's Cross fuses a zombie-driven FPS with card-based battle gameplay. It's just a shame that some of this play is automated and needs a persistent internet connection.
Read The Full Review »

The Descent Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Arron Hirst on February 19th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: NEARLY SUPERB
The Descent's mix of visually-enthralling environments and art-style, combined with its hidden object, mystery-driven gameplay, make for a truly enjoyable experience.
Read The Full Review »

Arc War Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Arron Hirst on February 14th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: CHALLENGING
Arc War is an endless shooter with great overall art direction and a multitude of control options for players to choose from. There's just some questions over its “infinite" gameplay.
Read The Full Review »

Song of Swords Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Arron Hirst on February 11th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: GOOD
Song Of Swords' art-style is second to none for its genre. Sadly though, it's let down by repetitive gameplay and thus its replayability.
Read The Full Review »

148Apps 2013 wrAPP-Up - Why Core Gaming Had a Great Year on Mobile

Posted by Carter Dotson on December 26th, 2013

It's easy to look at mobile and see it as a wasteland for content; particularly with all the casual, free-to-play games, and especially the ones that seem to de-emphasize actual gameplay in favor of stronger monetization. That's only if you're not paying attention. Serious, core games - some even free-to-play - had a great year on iOS.

Oceanhorn was hyped for a good reason: it was beautiful and ambitious. That ambition didn't entirely pay off in my opinion, but for the game to have succeeded financially is a huge step forward for gaming on mobile.

It also felt like the barriers between mobile and PC/console games started to blur a bit. Frozen Synapse, Mode 7's highly acclaimed PC strategy game, landed on iPad at last. Limbo received an excellent port. Leviathan: Warships brought cross-platform online play - and the best trailer of the year. Space Hulk was not perfect, but it made for an exceptional transition.

But perhaps few did it as spectacularly as XCOM: Enemy Unknown. That game proved that it was possible to take a massive console and PC title - a fantastic modern take on one of the greatest strategy games of all time - and put it on mobile without losing any of the experience. Firaxis also absolutely stuck the landing with Sid Meier's Ace Patrol and its Pacific Skies followup; original games that went to PC later.

Clear Adds New Features, Hidden Gamification Easter Eggs

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on November 7th, 2012
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: PRETTY CLEAR :: Read Review »

Productivity app Clear is one of the most talked about to-do apps of the last year, and has just released an update that brings features like iCloud storage for to-do lists, easy quotation sharing on Facebook and Twitter, Clear for Mac OS, list pasting abilities, and an API that will let other apps send lists to Clear.

In a more interesting blog post over at TouchArcade, however, it seems as if the developers of Clear have hidden some pretty cool gamification features as well. In addition to the achievements already present in Clear, like unlocking a special theme for completing 100 tasks, there are some extra unlocks that only happen if you have other apps installed.

Now here's the cool part, the part that reveals Clear's affinity for games. Today's update has within it the seeds of three other unlocks. Each one ties into a game: The Heist, Temple Run and Bumpy Road. Those games will need to update before this works (The Heist's update should come mid-week, and the others are on the way), but once they do we'll get new themes in Clear for each of those games we have installed.

This is the kind of innovation that made Clear such a huge hit when it released. Well, that and the amazing user interface. Clear is available in the App Store now for $1.99. Check it out if this intrigues you as much as it does us.

This Week at 148Apps: June 2-6

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 8th, 2012

This week at 148Apps.com was all about the red, white, and blue as we celebrated the 4th of July. Writer Lisa Caplan contributed to the festivities with her list of Favorite Four apps for Independence Day. She writes, "It’s July 4th, so we hope most Americans are out celebrating and reading this on an iPhone or iPad or between activities. But if you are still looking for apps to help make the day even better, we’ve rounded up four of our favorties that commemorate everything from US History to the traditional BBQ for you here."

See Lisa's complete list at 148Apps.com.

GiggleApps stayed on a vacation theme with its review of Miny Moe Car. Reviewer Amy Solomon says, "Miny Moe Car is a charming and fun simulated driving app that toddlers and children in preschool will enjoy. I have always been a fan of this type of toy, both as an arcade game as well as a simple children’s plaything. I remember when my son was just a year old, I bought him the most realistic driver I could find – a toy he still enjoys today. A search on iTunes will find a few applications of this type that mostly show a POV from the driver’s seat of a car or other vehicle. This is also the case for this application which does a really nice job of recreating the driving experience for toddlers."

Read Amy's complete review on GiggleApps.com.

And finally at 148Apps.biz, Carter Dotson reported on a new study revealing the iPad as the number one gaming platform. Dotson writes, "Tablets and phones are vastly different devices. This seems obvious, but in reality, they really aren’t: the difference between the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 is basically different sized screens. However, the way that users, especially gamers, use the two devices is still dramatically different, according to PlayFirst, via Pocket Gamer. Tablet users are playing more games than phone users are, and they’re spending more on games."

Read the full report at 148Apps.biz.

That's the end of this week's happenings, but there's always more news, reviews and contests headed your way across the 148Apps network. Just follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to keep track of all the goings-on. Until next week, enjoy the fireworks!

Ubisoft Will Save Games in the Cloud

Posted by Kevin Stout on April 2nd, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Ubisoft, developer of popular Assassin’s Creed series and MotoHeroz, has confirmed that its future games on iOS will store save data in the cloud. This means that players can pick a game on any of their iOS devices and access their game right where they left off.

The first game Ubisoft is planning on implementing this new feature in is Ghost Recon: Commander which will be released sometime soon. At first, I made the assumption that Ubisoft would be using iCloud for it’s save data, but the company will offer its own cloud-based storage system that isn’t exclusively for iOS.

iPad users with an iPhone or iPod touch will be particular happy with this news from Ubisoft. As an iPad gamer myself, I often prefer to play games on my iPad but it isn’t always available. So I play many games on my iPhone because it’s with me more. Now, for Ubisoft games at least, I’ll be able to use both devices interchangeably.

[via Pocket-lint]

The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3 Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 22nd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: FANTASTIC
An essential companion for any Mass Effect fan.
Read The Full Review »

GDC 2012: PC Games Streaming Via iSwifter Coming Soon

Posted by Jennifer Allen on March 6th, 2012
iPad App - Designed for iPad

Remember iSwifter and its impressive capabilities in terms of bringing Flash to the iPad? That same cloud-based technology has gone one step further now, with news coming out of GDC, that the firm will now be offering a licensing program for PC-based gaming applications to be streamed to iOS devices.

As co-founder of iSwifter, Rajat Gupta, explains "It is virtually impossible for developers to bring PC games to mobile as quickly as we can through our lowest cost streaming cloud service, and to provide a native-like user experience with automatic enablement of touch gestures," so this is potentially huge news for iOS device owners. The lofty ambition, according to co-founder and Chairman, Peter Relan, is to "do to applications what Netflix™ did for movies."

As always, we'll keep up to date on the latest progress with such a move. While waiting for companies to embrace this concept, why not check out the current iSwifter app?

Logitech Wireless Boombox for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch Review

By Rob LeFebvre on February 24th, 2012
This sweet little speaker boombox is just right for music, gaming, or any other Bluetooth audio needs
Read The Full Review »

ThinkGeek Announces the iCADE 8-Bitty

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on February 13th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: RETRO DIGGER :: Read Review »

Those rascals at ThinkGeek are at it again, today unveiling the iCADE 8-Bitty, a physical controller for use with iOS games. The 8-Bitty sports a traditional d-pad, as well as four face buttons, two shoulder buttons, and start/select. The 8-Bitty is battery powered and connects to any iOS device wirelessly, and can be used to play any game that supports the iCADE API. Tired of tapping the screen to play Super Mega Worm? Well that won't be a problem much longer.

ThinkGeek has announced that the 8-Bitty will retail for $24.99 and should go on sale sometime later this year. If you happen to be at Toy Fair you can get a look at the 8-Bitty up close and personal, just don't try and steal it because I'm pretty sure ThinkGeek deploys at least three snipers at such events. If you are going to attempt a snatch and grab then please remember to run in a serpentine pattern.