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This Week at 148Apps: August 17-21, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 24th, 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.


Tribe

I’m not going to question why you need to but we’ve all had those moments where we want to share a video in the most private of fashions, right? That sounds a little oxymoronic when you consider the open nature of Instagram and Vine but a solution is in sight. Tribe gives you the means in which to create and share videos, but with only 10 of your phone contacts. It works well, too. No videos are shared on a server and only the creator can choose to save or share them. Videos can only be five seconds long and silent, which may limit what you want to do with them, but it’s a pretty effective system. Your friends can simply tap on a video to let you know they appreciated it, and you can ‘whistle’ at them to request a video back. --Jennifer Allen


BattleLore: Command

The land of Terrinoth is in peril. Can you guide the Daqan forces to victory over the daemons of the Uthuk Y’llan? Fantasy Flight Games' Battlelore Command is based on the popular strategy board game. Here you'll be put in charge of the human forces of the Daqan - complete with calvary, melee, archers, golems, and even a few Roc-riding Ariel units. The game uses a hex grid, random powers, and predetermined sets of moves for you to choose from. The trick is that moves will become unavailable until you refresh them, so choosing your strategy wisely is mega-important. Just a heads-up: you won't win the tutorial level, and this is a omen for things to come. Due to those limitations on movement each turn the first few levels are surprisingly difficult. In order to succeed you have to pay careful attention to what each unit can do and which powers you have available on each turn. --Jessica Fisher


Loot & Legends

Loot & Legends is a free-to-play, turn-based strategy game that tries its darndest to capture the look and feel of playing a tabletop role-playing game like Dungeons & Dragons while simultaneously creating its own, card-based loot system. Although it sounds a bit peculiar, Loot & Legends is largely successful in what it sets out to do, making it a pretty awesome package for strategically-minded, dungeon-crawling enthusiasts.For anyone familiar with age-old fantasy tropes, almost everything in Loot & Legends' structure and lore should be unsurprising. Players make a party consisting of a warrior, priest, and wizard, all of whom go on adventures battling goblins, kobolds, lizardmen, etc both for the greater good of the world and for loot to make them ever stronger against more difficult foes. --Campbell Bird


Monsters Ate My Metropolis

Monsters Ate My Metropolis is an exceptionally colorful and vibrant card game. Dispensing with too much focus on the cards, you’ll find yourself destroying cities with the help of lumbering kaiju. It’s a great concept for a game but its execution suffers from a few issues right now.Learning the game is fairly easy, although mastering it is another matter. You assemble a deck of cards then are dealt three each turn. You pick out which card to use based on its power and element, before unleashing it against your opponent and hoping for the best. You can boost how things go through completing a brief mini game that tends to involve you either tapping frantically or timing one tap just right. Each attack builds a meter which can eventually lead to you unleashing a mega attack on your enemy’s city.--Jennifer Allen


Age of Defenders

It’s been a while since I last played a tower defense game and Age of Defenders has reminded me of exactly why I enjoy the genre so much. It could do with offering a little more speed to proceedings, but other than that, it’s a solidly dependable release. There’s a story in there, one told through cutscenes and snippets of dialogue, but I’ll admit I didn’t pay huge attention to it, although there are a few moments of light humor to glean from the dialogue. It does provide convenient context for the tutorial though. Age of Defenders is split into two distinct forms of strategy gaming with a defensive side of things and an offensive side. --Jennifer Allen


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:


AndroidRundown


Stickman Tennis

Stickmen? Tennis? Nah, I don’t mind giving Stickman Tennis a shot. We are talking about a tennis sim with stickman, right?The gameplay utilizes a tennis court — of course — with a lengthwise view, much like one would watch a real tennis match on TV. The stickman populate the whole thing, from the players to the personnel to the spectators; the graphics are subdued, and the sound feels familiar.The game incorporates a bunch of virtual buttons — three for specific shots: lobs, slices, and strokes with topspin. In the training module, one learns that timing is of essence, and the power of a shot can be affected by how long one “holds” the button down. To the left, there is a directional joystick that the player can use to control the direction of the shot.--Tre Lawrence


Oddwings Escape

Oddwings Escape gives players the opportunity to take on the persona of birds looking to escape from a lab in which evil experiments are being performed upon them.Graphically, the game is a visual feast, with liberal use of colors that –at first — reflect a jungle-ish motif. The game consists of travel ways, and mostly boils down to a timed, rated race that requires the player to get from point A to Point B; there is a distance challenge to start it all up.--Tre Lawrence


Cartel Legend: Crime Overkill

If AL Pacino’s Scarface played a mobile game, he’d probably spend more than just a few minutes with Cartel Legend: Crime Overkill.Some of it might look familiar.The locations are enjoyably stereotypical for the type of game this is, from storied casinos to expansive mansions that would make even Tony Montana do a double take. On their own, the scenes look nice and visual perspective is adhered to fairly well. The player takes on the persona of a deadly assassin, and a major task is to get from the beginning point to an endpoint, designated by a green overlay.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: August 3-7, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 12th, 2015

Amped Up for 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.


Prune

Prune is a beautifully minimal puzzle game in which players prune trees. For those unfamiliar with tree pruning, this mainly just involves players trimming branches off of a tree so that it grows in a very specific way. Despite not being terribly long, Prune's gorgeous look and novel gameplay make it definitely worth checking out. Players encounter the same basic setup for each individual stage across any of Prune's five chapters: they must grow a tree in a certain way in order to get enough flowers to blossom and to move on to the next. This starts off easily enough to introduce the basic mechanics, but soon there will be instances where the constant slashing of branches becomes necessary to avoid obstacles like buzzsaws and more ominous red orbs that work as a sort of poison for trees. --Campbell Bird


Koi - Journey of Purity

My first glimpse of Koi - Journey of Purity came from the trailer, and I immediately picked up a Flower vibe from it. I wasn’t wrong, either.Each level in Koi has you swimming around fairly large, almost maze-like bodies of water while trying to help flowers bloom - and the way you do this is by finding like-colored fish and guiding them to the right buds. Of course things quickly get more complicated when you have to clear paths by playing Simon-like mini-games, or avoid very large and aggressive fish. It’s all very pretty and quite interesting, but it’s not perfect. --Rob Rich


Farming Simulator 2016

It wasn’t until recently that I managed to dip a toe into the Farming Simulator waters - the Playstation 4 version of Farming Simulator 2015, specifically - but pretty much as soon as I did I could tell why it was such a beloved (and obviously niche) series. The bug bit me pretty hard, to the point where I was pretty excited to check out Farming Simulator 2016 for iOS. You begin the game with a couple of fields (one ready to harvest and another ready to sow), a harvester, a tractor, a few important tools to attach to that tractor, and a little bit of money. It’s up to you to turn all of that into a sprawling farm with over a dozen fields, multiple vehicles, and a somewhat ridiculous profit margin. It basically boils down to collecting crops, planting new crops, and selling crops to buy better stuff. --Rob Rich


Five Nights at Freddy's 4

Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is an incredibly creepy, atmospheric, and downright terrifying game. Virtually every moment spent trying to survive each of its five nights (give or take a couple extras) is incredibly tense as you play cat-and-mouse with nightmarish renditions of the original cast - Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, and Freddy (plus one or two surprise guests). Problem is I’m actually talking about the PC version. The core of Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is still the same on iOS. You’re still running back and forth between two bedroom doors, a closet, and a bed while trying to use your flashlight to drive away the horrific monsters that are stalking you. And you’ll still get grabbed if you don’t flashlight enough (or if you flashlight too soon). What’s disappointing is that the animations have been stripped down so much it’s practically like watching a slideshow. This doesn’t spoil the tension, but it does lessen it a fair bit. --Rob Rich


Angry Birds 2

It was inevitable that we’d see a true sequel to Angry Birds one day and, really, who could complain? There’s a reason why people love the franchise - it’s annoyingly compelling. There’s a lot of pressure on Angry Birds 2 to be just as great as the first time then and, well, it doesn’t quite do it. It’s still pretty great but some monetization decisions mean that you’re going to be quite frustrated at times. The key theme of Angry Birds 2 remains the same. You’re still flinging birds at structures containing pigs. I’ve forgotten by this point why the two sides hate each other so much but who really cares? This time round, each level is made up of multiple sections and structures, meaning it’s a meatier affair, as well as looks positively gorgeous. Also, you won’t be able to look up guides to figure things out, as each time you hit ‘retry’, the layout changes around. --Jennifer Allen


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:


AndroidRundown


K300 Premium 4K 3-Port HDMI Switch

Yep, it’s a wireless world.Nothing really beats the convenience of hooking up a mobile source to a bigger target and being able to stream and consume content. It’s just awesome.
I’m old school though, in that I still appreciate the fidelity of wired connections. No muss, no fuss. No need for wi-fi (as is necessary in some wireless connectivity set-ups). HDMI connections are especially noted; these are universal standards, and have the ability to provide input options for a veritable host of peripherals, from smartdevices to whole computers and everything in-between. And, if truth be told (and being the gadget collecting generation that we are), TV manufacturers, for instance, may need to start allocating most of the back panel space to more and more — and more — HDMI input space.--Tre Lawrence


Deadlock: Online

Folks play mobile games for a variety of reasons.Hang time with the friends. Bragging rights with family. Down time at school. Reviewing apps for a living (hello!).One thing is for sure, we all come upon those days when taking on a game like Deadlock: Online is needed by of stress relief, and maybe even profound enjoyment beyond that.It opens up easily enough, and feels like virtual battle of attrition; the player mans a combatant in an urban landscape, and the basic premise is to knock out your enemies and stay alive. To achieve this feel, the developer uses a top-down perspective. The control system is dual in nature, and, as noted, involved moving around and shooting enemy fighters.--Tre Lawrence


Bracketron Mi-T Grip Smartphone Mount

When it comes to mobile accessories, few names resonate like Bracketron; its Mi-T Grip Smartphone Mount is just the type of tool one would love to add to one’s accessory arsenal.The review unit that Bracketron sent highlights the product in retail form; getting it out of the packet unveils the two pieces that make up the mount: a ball joint fused with suction-sticky attachment surface, and then an adjustable clip that fits intuitively onto the ball joint with the help of a tightening screw. When the latter is snapped onto the former, one gets a homogeneous solution, made of hard plastic and coming in all black. It is almost diminutive and feels solidly built.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: July 27-31, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 3rd, 2015

Winding Down July 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.


NINE

NINE is an appealing and convenient twist on the typical To-Do list format. Focused on providing visual reminders rather than text based ones, you simply snap a photo of something then tag it and you have an instant reminder to do or buy something. It’s a nice idea.Much of NINE’s convenience comes from its flexibility. Rather than being tied into dull lists reminding you of what you need to do, you can use it to remember things you want to buy come pay day, or simply as a visual list of things/people you love. Recipe ideas can be formulated through taking snaps of foo that inspires you. It’s all pretty varied in terms of what can be accomplished. --Jennifer Allen


To-Fu Fury

Somehow making an incredibly boring kind of food fun, To-Fu Fury isn’t the most original of physics puzzle games, but it is solidly dependable. You control a sentient piece of Tofu as he has to leap around various platforms, dodging spikes, collecting gems, and even fending off aggressive enemies. Each level is relatively brief but it’s quite challenging. You can drag the Tofu around, fling it across the screen in an Angry Birds style manner, or you can crawl along the ground with a pinch of two fingers. Various challenges arise, such as the need to carefully get around spikes, learn to ricochet off metal plates, and also negotiate tricky moving platforms. --Jennifer Allen


Baffles Classic Puzzles

Baffles Classic Puzzles reminds me a little of the puzzle books that my parents would give to me on a long journey to keep me busy. They’d be simple-looking logic puzzles but often they’d take a while to figure out. This game is just full of those, and that’s a good thing. Offering 76 puzzles in all, with a further 24 coming soon, there’s no shortage of challenge here. Each puzzle is offered to you with a description of what needs to be accomplished, along with some historical context, explaining the origins of the puzzle. Baffles Classic Puzzles takes its inspiration from many different eras, including ancient Rome and China. --Jennifer Allen


In Churning Seas

In Churning Seas is a physics-based puzzler in which players attempt to assemble randomly-shaped crags into an island that successfully persists above a constantly rising sea level. The difficulty in making high quality physics-based puzzle games is in balancing the inherent challenge of the mechanics and tools with the physics. In Churning Seas makes an interesting, though perhaps not entirely successful, attempt at striking this balance while providing a really excellent atmosphere and general aesthetic.Controlling In Churning Seas is easy enough. At the start of any game players have a randmoized base island to start from, a rising sea below, and random shapes appearing above for them to tap to drop into their desired place. The goal is to piece together enough shapes and have them hold together long enough to reach new heights. Along the way players may hit a specific height goal, which provides the benefit of locking the other pieces in place to create a more stable structure to continue building off of. In the event that players need some stability when a height goal is out of reach, they can double-tap a limited amount of blocks to lock them in place as well. --Campbell Bird


Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

There’s a reasonable argument against the need for HD remakes as it is. Do we really need to return to so many old games, all for the sake of some shinier graphics? Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition really reinforces that concept by somehow disrupting some of the key visual and audio flourishes of the original. Throw in the fact that the game is often quite obtuse, and the past doesn’t seem so great any more. The foundations are pretty solid, at least. Ritualistic killings are occurring in New Orleans, and it’s down to struggling author, Gabriel Knight, to figure things out. True Detective fans are going to like this. At least they will until they realise that Gabriel is a fairly obnoxious womaniser. Arrogance is fair enough at times, but this character takes it too far. --Jennifer Allen


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:


AndroidRundown


inStream SeptimusB 7 Port USB Charging Station

As we like to say, more mobile devices, more problems… power problems to be specific. Even as batteries get better, there is always a need to keep our power units powered.Yeah, one can plug in a charging peripheral to every outlet at work or at home, but then, one needs to walk all over the place to retrieve them. It’s just better to have all of them in one place, especially for those of us with a healthy helping of OCD.And then, here comes the wordy inStream SeptimusB 7 Port USB Charging Station.Alrighty.--Tre Lawrence


Zero Punctuation: Hatfall

If one must know, Zero Punctuation: Hatfall is a story of loss and redemption. Sometimes, folks get really attached to headgear, and this game tells the tale of a dude driven mad by loss.Oh dear.At first glance, one might be a bit dazzled by the sharp yellow background; we don’t get a lot of colors, but that is okay, as the game works with the color contrasts within. Visually, it works.--Tre Lawrence


NU2S Smartphone

There are many reasons folks dabble into Android.Love of the OS, appreciation for the extended Google ecosystem… even a hyper anti-Apple sentiment get cited as reasons. Critically, one can enjoy the diversity of product as well as as apps availability across carriers.One element that increasingly becomes part of the device ownership narrative is price; the ability to get a device at just about any price point is, well, priceless. And, to be fair, we are not talking about just anything at any price; we expect quality, even when we pay what might be considered a good price for an Android smartphone. Now, obviously, the ability to have OEMs battle to bring the best devices to market at the lowest cost is a function of the Android landscape, but we’re not complaining.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: July 20-24, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 28th, 2015

July is Heating Up 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.


Cally's Caves 3

Cally's Caves 3 is a free-to-play platformer inspired by games like Metriod and Castlevaniawhere players take control of Cally as she tries to rescue her parents from the Nefarious Herbert. From a content perspective there's a lot to like about this entry in the Cally's Caves series, even without making any in-app purchases. Although it feels like a bit of a hamstrung version of Castlevania, it's still pretty enjoyable and challenging.Cally's Caves 3 starts with a very straightfoward intro in which Herbert takes Cally's family (again), and from there it's up to players to jump, shoot, and melee their way through stages to get ever closer to rescuing them. Like the previous titles, Cally's Caves 3 is controlled using on-screen buttons that work just fine, though they can occasionally obscure the action or be hard to hit.--Campbell Bird


Dexter: Hidden Darkness

If you’ve played games such as Criminal Case or CSI: Hidden Crimes, you’ve played Dexter: Hidden Darkness. It’s effectively a reskin of these titles. As any Hidden Object gaming enthusiast will be able to tell you though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.What works so well for these games are their trickle feeding of content. No one really wants to spend hours seeking out objects. These games are made for short sessions and accomplishing something in that brief period of time. Dexter: Hidden Darkness scratches that casual gaming itch as well as the others within the field. --Jennifer Allen


Crayola DJ

Music creation is a lot of fun and an ideal way for your children to express themselves, but all too often it can be a little tricky to do well. Crayola DJ circumvents any such difficulties, being the kind of DJing app that you can learn within a couple of minutes. It’s great fun, too. You’re presented with two turntables and a variety of different options. You can add tracks covering various different genres, such as dance, pop, hip hop, and fusion, before manipulating their tempo and prominence within the track. --Jennifer Allen


Age of Empires: Castle Siege

I’ve got a friend who regularly asks me if there are any games quite like the majesty of the Age of Empires series. Every time, I can refer him to something that’s a little like it but not quite up to par. Every time, we both feel a little disappointed, remembering just how wonderful those games were once upon a time. Age of Empires: Castle Siege might have the name and the license, but it’s no replacement for those great titles. Instead, Age of Empires: Castle Siege is a Clash of Clans style take on the popular RTS. Feel free to sigh at any time. It’s not a bad freemium strategy game but it will disappoint those wanting the full Age of Empires experience. --Jennifer Allen


nvNotes

Given its price tag, no one could blame you for expecting nvNotes to be a bit more garish or a bit more ‘in your face’ when it comes to showing off why it’s worth $9.99. In reality though, its strength lay in its understated wonder. It’s a note taking app that offers you exactly what you could want in a clear and concise manner. For those who regularly take notes on their iOS device, it’ll soon be an essential tool.A quick tutorial guides you through the paces, but it’s all pretty intuitive. Hit the pencil icon to create a new note then get typing. You can choose to just type in plain text or you can start applying things such as bold or underline, all through the markdown options available. nvNotes also offers an URL scheme, saving you effort and adding a form of hyperlinking to the mix. It’s not needed for some users, but it’s handy that it’s there.--Jennifer Allen


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:


AndroidRundown


Nebulous

So, what is up with Nebulous?It’s all about cell-eating; the player gets to control a circular blob in an amorphous area that has blobs of different sizes that float around. Now it seems each blob, including the player’s, have an insatiable need to consume stuff, in this case smaller blobs. So, using the virtual controller at the bottom right, one can guide one’s blob through the black landscape.As noted, the basic concept is to absorb smaller blobs; this is done by contact. At first, it might take a bit to cotton to the virtual control, because one’s small blob is pretty jumpy, and not so easy to control. In any case, as one picks up smaller organisms, one’s own blob starts to get bigger and bigger, and, for me, easier to move around adeptly.--Tre Lawrence


Mission Impossible RogueNation

Now, now… before you get mad and start ranting at the proliferation of endless sequels to action movies — Terminator, Rocky, Die Hard, and yes, Mission Impossible — remember one thing: in today’s age, we tend to get at least one possibly great byproduct in companion games.They tend to be simple, and may or may not follow the franchise canon very closely. In any case, such games can be fun to get into, even for casual fans of said movies.Hopefully, such is the case with Mission Impossible RogueNation… a Glu joint.--Tre Lawrence


Arkon Universal Tablet Headrest Mount

Summertime is travel time for my family. We love going places, and almost always enjoy ourselves.Still, it’s the going that can be troublesome. Boredom is young person’s kryptonite, and backseat bickering is mine. Thus, for all concerned, having mobile technology is such a blessing, and the Arkon Universal Tablet Headrest Mount helps harness that blessing.The review package arrived in clear cellophane, just as it does in retail form; it contained 6 pieces, and involved a lit bit of onsite prep t get together. I wasn’t a fan of the diagrams, but to be fair, I was able to cobble it together in an intuitive manner. When set to go, it uses the 2-post system available on the headrest of most cars to attach itself, and then physically extends towards the middle, such that the tablet is held in a central position mostly between the two front seats. It works great for two heads, but can be effective with three in our hands-on testing.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: July 13-17, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 20th, 2015

July is Heating Up 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.


Heroki

It’s the visuals of Heroki that will first catch your attention - it’s really quite gorgeous. Its palette is as attractive as many of Sega’s past console hits, immediately capturing the imagination. Fortunately, Heroki isn’t all looks either, being a fairly entertaining action adventure game. While the control methods are never quite perfect, no matter what you settle on, it’s still endearing stuff. Your aim is to save the world from the dastardly Dr N. Forchin. It’s the kind of story that’s been around as long as gaming, so I wouldn’t dwell on it too much. While owing much to platformers in terms of design, Heroki is more about flying than anything. --Jennifer Allen


Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp

Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp is a digital port of a solitaire board game from Victory Point Games and designer John Gibson that puts you in charge of what is essentially the CDC and tasks you with stopping the end of the world. No pressure, right? I’ve been a pretty big fan of the physical game ever since I first got my hands on it last year. It’s a very brutal and surprisingly intense puzzle that will punish mistakes like spreading your proteins too thin or wasting all of your funding on lab equipment you never use in short order. It’s not so difficult if you have enough time to study the virus and prepare a vaccine, but you won’t have time. You never have enough time. Because the virus can and will spread, eventually wiping out all human life if you can’t stop it fast enough. --Rob Rich


Alphabear

Where so many word games are fun but a little soulless, Alphabear crams in plenty of personality thanks to its focus on teddy bears. It’s an unusual mixture of things, but it works really well for Alphabear. Throw in some varied rulesets and you’ve got a word game that’s going to keep you hooked for quite some time.It seems simple enough. You spell words from a selection of letter tiles on a grid. Each tile starts out with a number that gradually ticks down for each turn that you don’t use it. Once that number hits zero, the tile turns to stone and you can’t use it any more. It also blocks your bears because, oh yeah, bears grow bigger on this grid. For every time you use letters next to a bear, that animal grows a little bigger and so forth. The bigger the bear, the more points you earn. The more points, the more likely you are to gain a new bear with additional powers.--Jennifer Allen


This War of Mine

Due to hardware limitations that eventually gave way to time limitations, I was never able to dip more than a toe into This War of Mine’s murky waters. Just enough to know it’s not the sort of thing you play if you want to feel happy. That’s changed now that I can play it on the iPad.
I was right: it’s not happy. But it is impressive. Unlike most other war-themed games out there (on any platform), This War of Mine covers the horrors of mass conflict from the perspective of the civilians who spend their days cowering in abandoned houses - or get caught in the crossfire. It’s about as pleasant as “Grave of the Fireflies.” But that’s what makes it so compelling. --Rob Rich


FilterBaker

FilterBaker is a photo filtering app with a difference. Rather than offering a series of instant results, it gives you plenty of options to manipulate things exactly how you want them, before allowing you to save your own filter options. It’s pretty useful.Each step of the way is clearly laid out. You can apply a form of photo filter initially before adjusting brightness, contrast, and saturation. You can then move onto more complex tweaks, such as the shadows and highlights, RGB color distribution, and sharpening. By the end, you can have completely transformed your picture. More importantly, it won’t look like you’ve put it through the same process as everyone else as FilterBaker is more individual.--Jennifer Allen


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:


AndroidRundown


MyScript Stylus

We’ve been working on write ups pertaining to smartpens, and looking at what they bring to the mobile productivity table. For the most part, we’ve found them to be great tools, but only as good as the add-ons that allow them to be harnessed by the platforms they are being used on.One of the names that continually cropped up during reviews and research was MyScript. MyScript is a name that should resonate with smartpen users; it powers a lot of the image recognition software that some smartpen device makers bundle with their products. The premise is fairly simple: one “writes” with a stylus (or finger) on compatible surfaces with compatible peripherals, and MyScript helps translate the script to formal text.--Tre Lawrence


TYLY RIBBN

As our use of mobile devices increases, so does the need to keep them powered. Portable chargers do the the trick, but one key concept is the ability to charge in vehicles.TYLT has established a name in the power accessory segment, and with good reason. The units it puts out tend to straddle the fence between form and function quite admirably; it’s nice to have a piece that looks good, and, well, works. We recently had an opportunity to review its RIBBN 4.8A Car Charger.We didn’t hesitate.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: July 6-10, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 14th, 2015

July is Heating Up 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.


Don't Starve: Pocket Edition

It didn’t take long to confirm the rumors of an iOS version of Don’t Starve, and it didn’t take long after that for the game to pop up on the App Store. But pop up it did, and now you can play the stylish and brutal survival game on your iPad. You start out in control of Wilson: a well-meaning inventor who gets in over his head and is tricked into creating a sort of inter-dimensional gateway that pulls him into another world. Now he’s trapped in a bizarre wilderness with nothing to show for it. What’s worse is he’ll probably die horribly if you can’t keep him sane, healthy, and (obviously) full. --Rob Rich


LEGO Batman: Beyond Gotham

LEGO Batman: Beyond Gotham is the latest LEGO game to come to iOS, and of course it has a quirky humor and easy to learn play style that mean fun for all ages. This time around, Brainiac (one of Superman’s super-intelligent villains) has decided to shrink the entire earth into a collectible plaything. So Batman, Robin, and a plethora of other Justice League characters join forces with their nemesis to fight the alien threat. There are 45 missions packed with puzzles and, despite what Batman might say, he needs some help to take down Brainiac. Good thing there are over 100 characters to play with and unlock like Black Canary, Solomon Grundy, Cyborg, and The Joker. Each character comes with different suits that provide them with powers, such as Robin's elite hacker Techno Suit for hacking computers. --Jessica Fisher


Fews

Consolidating your news, Fews is a handy app for when you want to quickly see what’s going on in the world.Loading it up, you’re immediately taken to a screen that offers all the news in your country. You can choose to divide things up according to news, sport, economy, technology, or lifestyle, or you can view everything at once. Filtering options are also available for news sources, meaning you can dodge certain outlets. You can also view things, depending on what’s trending around the world, as well as set up notifications for specific subjects, further enhancing your ability to keep on top of things. --Jennifer Allen


Formula Cartoon All-Stars

With its cart racing rather than ‘kart’ racing, Formula Cartoon All-Stars seems a little like it’s trying to be a top-down version of Mario Kart. While it doesn’t have that title’s level of depth, it’s still quite fun to play, assuming you don’t expect too much of it. Formula Cartoon All-Stars offers up two different game modes in the form of adventure and tournament. Tournament is a matter of racing in specific tracks, aiming for a faster time than anyone else, while adventure takes you through a kind of story mode, unlocking new tracks as you gain stars in earlier ones. Ultimately though, the idea is the same - outrace the competition. --Jennifer Allen


Stick Tennis Tour

It’s Wimbledon season, which means it’s the ideal time to lose yourself in a Tennis game. Stick Tennis Tour is a casual interpretation of the sport that'sreminiscent of its predecessor, Stick Tennis, but with a few extra features.This time around, you can create and customize your own character, before heading off on tour. An extensive training system, as well as a series of Challenges, which change frequently, ensure there’s always something for you to do. That’s considerable content for a game that’s free to download too, with in-app purchases that are far from obtrusive.--Jennifer Allen


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:


AndroidRundown


Deliveries Package Tracker

I love me some Google Now.It’s one of those anchor apps I use on a daily basis, almost without thinking. Multitasking, hands-free operations, news… you name it. Still, one of the key ways I rely on it is to track packages. This is key in this line of work; we get review items in and out almost every day, going and coming from literally all parts of the globe. Google Now is a (sometimes) seamless bridge between information and access. Since we handle expensive equipment and devices, it really helps to when what arrives where.--Tre Lawrence


TMNT: Rooftop Run

TMNT: ROOFTOP RUN brings us our favorite mutant amphibians… running. At the risk of name-dropping, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise is worth having a look at in almost any form.After picking a particular turtle to unlock, one gets to start the game; it starts off as a sidescrolling platformer. The selected character runs from right or left, and, as to be expected, there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. A major one is makes sense, based on the location of this initial challenge (rooftops); there are gaps in the running area, and to navigate these, one has to tap to invoke a jump, while double-tapping creates a double jumping move that helps with greater height and distance.--Tre Lawrence


Xenowerk

Here’s to Pixelbite’s Xenowerks.Well, it feels a bit like hit game Space Marshals, that’s okay and very much allowed; sharing DNA with that game ensures that at the very least, we should get of sprinkling of good stuff. And we do, starting from the top-down nature of the view that allows the player to survey and control the action from “above.” The developer uses virtual light as an in-game tool quite effectively, and the overall sense of foreboding is well rendered. The sounds are also sufficiently creepy, seesawing from the eerie to the straight dangerous.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: June 29-July 3, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 6th, 2015

Into July 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.


Divide By Sheep

Mathematics shouldn’t be as fun as Divide By Sheep makes it. Your job is to rescue sheep from the Grim Reaper by flinging them from island to island, eventually depositing them on a transport to safety.The catch is that only a set number of sheep can go on any one transport. Put too few on and the boat goes nowhere, put too many on and you miss out on a star. The sheep only divide up if you fling them onto a platform with too few spaces for them, and that’s what you’re going to be doing a lot. Sacrificing a few sheep for the greater good is everything here, and it only gets nastier.--Jennifer Allen


RESCUE: Heroes In Action

Every once in a while I like to dive into a weird European game. If you do too, look no further than RESCUE: Heroes in Action from rondomedia. This German developer has created a real-time strategy game where players control firefighters as they put out fires, axe down doors, and save citizens. Although it has a fair amount of jank, it's still a fun and challenging experience.Players select scenarios within one of three environment types (Suburbs, Urban central, or Industrial district) and have to use their skills to make sure they manage their water tanks and move quickly enough to remove threats, put out fires, and save lives. To do this they need to tap and drag paths for firefighters and firetrucks to follow along with tapping the appropriate command when a unit is near an interactive object.--Campbell Bird


FireWhip

FireWhip is the latest game from Dan FitzGerald, the mind behind last year's Dawn of the Plow. They might seem like completely disparate or even opposite titles - especially considering one is about fire and one is about snow - but they both share weird control schemes that feel intentionally strange. Because of this, FireWhip didn't click for me at first. However it eventually revealed itself to be a deeply challenging and rewarding arcade experience. Players use their finger to rotate a whip (made of fire, of course) around the screen to fend of waves of abstract enemies. A sudden stop with a fully extended whip can cause it to crack and send flames across the screen, while spinning the whip too fast for too long can cause parts of it to burn out. Keeping these rules in mind, players face off against a variety of enemies including cowards that run away from the flames, fearless tanks that charge ahead, and fast-moving warp units that beam across the screen directly at players. The challenge of FireWhip is in knowing how to deal with each enemy quickly in order to rack up a high score.--Campbell Bird


Sonic Runners

Upon every Sonic the pro- and anti-Sonic crowds get increasingly more disagreeable. Although I don't have particularly strong feelings one way or the other for the blue hedgehog, I think it's safe to say his earliest work was among his strongest. Sonic Runners is an endless runner that captures the speed and platforming of 2D Sonic games, but there are a lot of things wrong with the non-running parts that make it hard to enjoy. The actual meat of Sonic Runners is a pretty fun and challenging runner. Players attain a specific score on a level by accumulating rings and emeralds before facing off against Dr. Eggman, much like the original games. They can unlock Tails and Knuckles as playable characters, both of which lend their strengths in specific situations.--Campbell Bird


Tales From Deep Space

Amazon Game Studios is gradually beginning to make a mark on the App Store. With the recent release of Lost Within and Til Morning’s Light, we now have one time Amazon Kindle Fire exclusive, Tales From Deep Space - a fairly charming puzzle adventure game. It doesn’t revolutionize the genre but that doesn’t stop it from being quite appealing.You control a traveling salesman and his drone as you attempt to escape a Space Station. The two have to work in conjunction when traveling around with the main controls involving you switching between the two at regular points. It’s a familiar concept whereby you leave one character on a switch while the other completes a given task, but it works well here. --Jennifer Allen


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:


AndroidRundown


Drift Spirits

DRIFT SPIRITS seems to be the type of game that could allow one to live life on the edge. Digitally.At its core, it’s a 1v1 drag racing game with an emphasis on drifting. Competitors go toe-to-toe on curved race track that are all but built to encourage oversteering, and the idea is to level up and get rewards to improve one’s car and progress as far as possible.--Tre Lawrence


SmartNews

In a perpetually fast-paced world, there is always a place for easy-to-use news apps. Enter SmartNews, an app from Japanese developers that already has quite the positive reputation on Google Play.Upon first inspection, the app looks clean. It opens up into the main page, and one gets to see the white background and splashes of color upon that in the tabs at the top. It is set in blog form, with text summaries bordered by a relevant pictures. It a serious look, but easy on the eyes, and easy to appreciate from a visual perspective.--Tre Lawrence


Prison Break: Lockdown

Prison Break: Lockdown is an interesting game that manages to be a mystery, a hidden object game and probably more… simultaneously. It takes a fairly popular theme — escape — and build upon it to create a leveled game.The game incorporates a lot of research elements; the player gets a scene, and has to investigate for objects to interact with. Interacting comes in different forms…some objects provide clues to solve other puzzles; several can be collected and even combined to solve riddles. To see if an area has a clickable item, one must click specific areas on the screen to see if one if those areas can be enlarged.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: June 15-19, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on June 22nd, 2015

June's Journey Continues 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.


Hitman: Sniper

If you had to imagine what a sniper game on iOS would play like, Hitman: Sniper is almost exactly like what most would expect. It uses a first-person perspective, with players zooming in and out over an environment and taking out targets as necessary. Although much of Hitman: Sniper is very expected - and it has major-sounding drawbacks like only one level - there's so much more than meets the eye that makes it more than the sum of its parts.Just like other entries in the series, players step into the shoes of elite assassin Agent 47. Unlike other entries, Agent 47 isn't sneaking around environments, garroting people, and pushing them down elevator shafts. Instead, armed with a sniper rifle, he is tasked with taking out high-profile targets discreetly from a distance. --Campbell Bird


iSpring Present

iSpring Present makes quite a crucial misstep in its opening moments. It requires you to have an account for iSpring, but gives you no way of signing up other than to open your web browser and find the sign-up site yourself. Oops. Fortunately that’s the only real misstep for iSpring Present. It’s otherwise a fairly useful way of transferring content from your PC to your iPad, with the added bonus of some great PowerPoint support. That support means iSpring Present particularly lends itself to making your presentations easier. You can easily create a presentation on your PC then send it over to iSpring Present and still see all the relevant PowerPoint effects. That’s often a rare thing in such apps, but this one ensures you don’t miss out on anything. -Jennifer Allen


Peak

Brain training games are nothing new, but that doesn’t stop them from being oddly enticing. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves, right? Or feel as if they’re training themselves to be better at something. Peak captures that fairly well. You’ll need to subscribe for the full benefits, but even the free build will offer you some use.Each day, you’re given a few games to complete. These test various parts of your brain, such as your problem solving skills, language capabilities, or simply your ability to focus. They’re simple tests, only taking a couple of minutes to complete, but quite fun to do. Once you complete the session, Peak figures out where your strengths and weaknesses are, giving you a visual indication through a graph.--Jennifer Allen


FullContact

Contact lists are increasingly messy now that we’ve all had phones for years. FullContact aims to cure much of that problem by giving you a place to consolidate everything. By using it you can combine Google Contacts, iPhone Contacts, Facebook, and Twitter details. It’s quite good at what it does too, saving you some time.For the most part, by simply inputting your various log in details, FullContact will happily join the dots for you. Within a few seconds, you can check out photos of your contacts, alongside their contact details, and social networking presence. That’s particularly handy when your contacts are predominantly business related and you’re trying to keep track of who’s who.--Jennifer Allen


MagicMeasure

It takes a little bit of set up and a little tweaking, but MagicMeasure is actually a reasonable replacement for the humble tape measure. You’ll soon be able to measure all kinds of things reasonably quickly.The initial set up is what might put you off a little. Calibration is easy enough, with simple steps guiding you through the paces. It’s that first time of measuring something where you find yourself paying a lot of attention to what’s being asked of you and it still not feeling entirely intuitive. Stick with it though. Once you figure it out, MagicMeasure works quite well. --Jennifer Allen


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:


AndroidRundown


House of Marley Chant Wireless Speaker

Yes, I admit The House of Marley intrigues me. Beyond the iconic name, the company makes some nice-looking accessories, and its commitment to use sustainable materials can only be lauded. It’s Chant Bluetooth Speaker looks to be an example of what House of Marley can bring to market, and we were quite willing to give it a try.It’s cute, but can’t be accused of looking trivial; it possesses a small cylindrical shape that almost makes it resemble a small candle jar. It has a hard cloth/denim-like material on the exterior, with cutouts at the bottom and a zipper at the top, plus a caribiner and Jamaican flag accents; this is indeed the cover (which is made out of natural materials and recycled goods), and inside, the smooth, bamboo-trimmed main speaker sits. The main grill is at the top, with two smaller ones towards the bottom. There’s an on switch and LED at the top, and mini USB charging port, microphone and 3.55 mm plugin port. On its own, it looks okay, but when paired with the zip-up case — as it is meant to be — it looks a bit more defined. Officially, it is 5.9 x 4.4 x 4.4 inches and about 1 lb.--Tre Lawrence


Dude Perfect 2

To understand Dude Perfect 2, one almost has to be acquainted with the source franchise, which is based upon a group of friends doing trick shots and other guy things that make the rest of us jealous. If this game is a cute way to get us to live out that life just a little bit, we are grateful.The game is zany in appearance, featuring a vivid use of color on an eye-catching template. The animations are fairly smooth, and off the bat, the design evokes a sense of playfulness. When it comes to the gameplay, the first series gives an idea of just what the player is looking to accomplish: making basketball shots. At first, it’s easy; to make a shot, the player manipulates a shot and distance meter to get the right balance and get the ball in the ball in the hoop. The less balls one uses, the better, and success yields points and cash. At the end of a series, a three-star system rates one’s performance.--Tre Lawrence


Misfit Shine

Misfit blazed on the scene with an interesting concept: ultra useful fitness trackers that dare to look snazzy. Since then, we’ve seen other products and accessories land on the market.Its latest endeavor underscores the company’s commitment to the health of the planet in addition to individual people; as we noted a short while go, the special edition EKOCYCLE set is one borne out of a recycling-minded collaboration with will.I.am and the Coca-Cola company, and brings a unique wrist strap to go with a limited edition black Shine tracker.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus E3 previews, news, game guides and even more reviews than we can share here!

This Week at 148App: June 1-5, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on June 10th, 2015

Jump Into June 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.


Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions

Oh Geometry Wars. Every time I think I’m done with you, you pull me right back in.As you’d expect, you can move your glowy little ship around by way of a lefthand virtual stick. You can also aim your guns by using another virtual stick on the right side of the screen. What’s neat is that you can also ignore aiming entirely and just focus on movement while the ship auto-targets enemies for you. It’s not a perfect system as some enemy types are easier to get rid of if you lead your targets a bit, but it’s a great option to have in a pinch when you can’t split your focus between moving and shooting.--Rob Rich


Coup

Games about bluffing are sometimes hard to pull-off, particularly when players aren't in the same room. When there's no way to read facial expressions or other tells, it's hard setup feigned reactions to situations or otherwise subvert others' expectations. With that being said, Coup is 100% about deception and it works remarkably well.In every game of Coup, players are dealt two cards that the others cannot see. These can be any one of five characters, all of whom have their own set of abilities geared toward forcing players to flip their cards over, and the whole thing plays a little bit like a more complicated version of Rock-Paper-Scissors. The goal of every game is for players to be the last one left. What makes it feel less about luck and more about skill is that players can lie about anything, and it's up to others to call them out.u can always start fro scratch. Or spend a precious continue token (I don’t know what their actual name is) to try a failed task again. --Campbell Bird


Sproggiwood

It’s the price tag for Sproggiwood that’s going to make you understandably a little uncertain. While that’s a great price for any PC game (which is where Sproggiwood started out), $9.99 can go much further on the App Store. However, try to look past that. This is a game worth your money and a sharp reminder that premium purchases can be worth making. Sproggiwood is a roguelike and a particularly well made one at that. Inspired by Finnish mythology, it certainly offers plenty of charm. You play a simple farmer as they find themselves lured away by a talking sheep and ending up a prisoner of Sproggi, a strange forest spirit. It’s as bizarre as it sounds, but it actually all seems quite cute. You work your way through various dungeons, improving upon your level and equipment, as well as developing a village of your own. --Jennifer Allen


Portal Pinball

In an unusual move, we soon learn that combining pinball with the great first-person puzzle series, Portal, is actually quite inspired. Portal Pinball captures the spirit of the games while also providing a decent pinball table with plenty of objectives to pursue.The idea is that you’re guiding Chell and Wheatley through test chambers, navigating portals and so forth. It’s certainly atmospheric, looking just how you would expect things to look, with the added bonus of snippets of audio from the cast of the games. You’ll still hear Stephen Merchant encouraging you, for instance. There’s a constant stream of background music adding to the urgency too.--Jennifer Allen


Fotograf

Offering good - if typical - photography features, Fotograf is worth checking out. But you might find yourself wondering if it’s worth paying up for when there are so many alternatives already out there.A choice of two primary features awaits you. You can opt to take photos from within the app, or import them via your camera roll. The former allows for you to use auto filtering methods but, more interestingly, it also gives you the chance to manually adjust exposure. That’s a handy feature that not every photography app offers, giving you the chance to create some interesting images through a quick adjustment of a slider. --Jennifer Allen


Simple Machines

Aimed at teaching kids how experimenting with different machines can be pretty fun, Simple Machines is a rather nice experience. Older kids are going to end up wishing there was a bit more of a structure to things, but the younger ones will like just messing around. Simple Machines is divided up into six simple machines to check out. They teach you things such as how lever and pulleys affect things, as well as the importance of inclined planes, wedges, wheels, and screws. What this really means is you can poke about with a lot of things. Simple Machines doesn’t offer much instruction, leaving you to figure things out. --Jennifer Allen


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:


AndroidRundown


Star Trek Trexels

Star Trek Trexels is one of those games that, right off the bat, has something immense going for it: a backing franchise that almost demands one try out the game.We did.The game is a glorious ode to games past; graphically, it delights in its chunky looks, exuding a retro feel that mostly defines the game. It uses text bubbles as a means to convey dialogue, and the animations do what one would expect of them in a game that uses such a design scheme.--Tre Lawrence


Gravity Line

There are some serious games available to Android players, and they run the gamut; it’s easier to find a major PC game that doesn’t have an Android port than to list all the ones that do. As it stands, it’s easy to pick one’s poison, and the devices that are on the market are more than capable of carrying the loads.Still, there are times when folks just want simple; you know… a game that one can just get into and play. No campaigns. No levels. Just play.What Gravity Line does is to take the “simple” concept and runs with it. Fast and hard.--Tre Lawrence


Divoom Voombox Party Wireless Speaker

We love to check out wireless solutions, especially speakers. A tool that can enhance sound on the go? Let me loose!Well, here’s the Divoom Voombox-Party.The review package we were sent contains the speaker, power cable, audio cable and documentation. The unit looks like it means business; it looks like a solid brick of technology, with gently tapered angles and a defined rubberized finish. The control bank at the top is simple to navigate: power toggle, bluetooth pairing, phone answering and two buttons for volume. To the side, there are covered ports for power and audio cable. In hand, it is hefty piece, and it feels well crafted. Officially, it comes in at 9.17 x 2.13 x 4.06 inches and 2.4 lbs.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: May 18-22, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on May 24th, 2015

May Days at 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.


Earthcore: Shattered Elements

Presentation is often a very important element for a video game, even if it’s a game based around cards like Earthcore: Shattered Elements is. The problem is that there’s also such a thing as too much presentation - and this is a fairly prevalent issue in Earthcore’s early moments.Push through it and you’ll find an enjoyable and accessible card battler.--Rob Rich


Horizon 3

Need to organize your life? I know the feeling. Fortunately, Horizon 3 is a stylish way to do precisely that. It’s not perfect as it has a few bugs, but it’s still a pretty convenient way of organizing your calendar.Immediately offering up a page full of your week’s events, Horizon 3 is quick to get going. At a glance, you can easily see what’s ahead of you. Besides offering timings on that screen, you can also see location details and even what weather you should expect during that time. Simply tap on an item and you can quickly edit its details, with a swipe to the left enabling you to add a new appointment. --Jennifer Allen


KANO

I’m not sure why anyone would willingly start bouncing around on top of an active volcano, but that’s exactly what’s happening in KANO. Despite the obvious safety concerns, however, it’s actually a very entertaining (and quite good-looking) little time waster. You control a rotatable platform made up of four differently colored zones (Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow), and all you have to do is keep the multicolored tiki-looking heads in the air for as long as possible. The rub is that with each bounce, the head’s color will change - so you then need to spin the platform with a swipe in order to line up the corresponding color. --Rob Rich


Tofu Hunter

Tofu Hunter is a fun time waster of a game. A parody of all those hunting games that are already out there, your sole purpose here is to shoot tofu. Because tofu is alive and dangerous, right?You do this by partaking in various missions and gradually unlocking new weapons and upgrades. It’s all very typical of the genre, but with soy-based creatures. You use one finger to move around the screen, while in the bottom right hand corner you can hit the shoot button. You can zoom in to, for those shots that need some extra accuracy behind them.--Jennifer Allen


Languinis: Match and Spell

Combining match-3 with word creation is a smart move for Languinis. It means it’s an entertainingly different casual puzzle game that’s likely to hold your attention.Divided up into various levels as is the way with such games, you’re given multiple objectives each time. These often relate to both sides of the game. While you’re matching colored gems, you also have to create words from the letter tiles that appear afterwards. The key is to keep on top of both. You can’t succeed by solely focusing on one side of things.--Jennifer Allen


Knights of Pen & Paper 2

While the comedic moments are still a little hit and miss, Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is easily a refined and superior version compared to its predecessor. In many ways, it’s the perfect mobile game, easily allowing you to achieve something in a short space of time, without being impeded by your location or your free time.As before, it’s an RPG akin to Dungeons & Dragons with you listening to the games master and taking decisions from a variety of choices. You start out with two characters, picking out a race and class for them, before pursuing the adventurer’s life. With enough gold, you can unlock more characters to fight by your side.-Jennifer Allen


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:


AndroidRundown


Neposmart Camera

The confluence of mobility and connected devices is alive and well, and home security is a big portion of this. Another minor problem are all those spare smartphones.Neposmart a looks to zap these concerns with one solution: a connected camera that can be controlled and monitored from a smartphone.The review package we received was a bit fuller than expected: the camera, ethernet cable, power adapter, mounting materials, documentation, bell wire and magnetic switch (the last two for intelligent garage setup).--Tre Lawrence


Logitech Keys-To-Go Bluetooth Keyboard

I feel pretty proficient on virtual keyboards, but every now and then, one needs a good portable keyboard to do the heavy lifting.
Enter Logitech. Enter Keys-To-Go Ultra-Portable Bluetooth Keyboard.The review package Logitech sent us, which reflects the retail presentation, contains the keyboard, a hard grey plastic device stand, USB charging cable and documentation. The unit is light, almost shockingly so; the advertised size and weight definitely come across as a benefit when the keyboard is handled. The review unit came in bright blue, with whitish keys lettering and a tight, rubberized FabricSkin finish. The micro-USB charging port and a discrete power toggle are nestled on the side, and altogether, the piece feels quite durable. Officially, it comes in at 9.5 x 5.4 x 0.2 inches and 6.4 ounces.--Tre Lawrence


WorldPenScan X

WorldPenScan X is an interesting Kickstarted gadget that brings document scanning/OCR functionality and translation to folks on the go.In hand, it’s not nearly as thin as (or much longer than) a regular ballpoint pen at 4.52 x 1.29 x 0.88 inches and under 2 ounces; it looks more like a mid-sized temporal thermometer. It’s mostly white, with a hard plastic finishing. The business end (which is initially hidden by a greyish cap) has the image capture hardware assembly, and tapers a bit.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus Apple Watch reviews of CityMapper, Yelp, and Evernote.

This Week at 148Apps: May 11-15, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on May 18th, 2015

May Days at 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.


Heroes and Castles 2

The original Heroes and Castles’ interesting take on castle defense appealed to me greatly back in 2013. And not just because of my general enjoyment of just about everything Foursaken Media creates, either. Jump to the present and now we have Heroes and Castles 2 at our disposal. The basic idea is pretty much the same as the first: a horde of monsters is attacking your castle, and you need to defend it. You'll be in the thick of the fight while using the hero of your choice, but you can also use points generated by banner carriers and good old fashioned monster slaying to summon several different soldier types to aid you. Also archers. Having archers on the walls is incredibly important. --Rob Rich


Multicross

Multicross is a vaguely familiar-ish looking puzzle game from Alexey Pajitnov, the mind behind Tetris. But don’t let the tetrominos fool you - while we’ve seen many of these shapes before, this is a very different kind of game. You’re presented a 7X7 grid, with three shapes to place along the bottom of the screen. Once you drag and drop a shape into place, another one will appear in the line. Creating finished rows or columns will clear out those respective lines and earn you points, and if you ever run out of possible moves it’s Game Over. However, if you can manage to complete both a row and a column at the same time you’ll clear the board and earn even more points. --Rob Rich


THRED

THRED is an interesting take on a familiar social networking concept. More visual than most, it’s all about creating "Threds" - a kind of comic book/scrap book mixture of things, enabling you to showcase anything from a recent cooking project to a stunning holiday. It’s got potential.Creating a Thred starts with one of three options. You can choose to find a photo online, import one from your camera roll, or start from a particular location. The latter option tries to give you a relevant starting point depending on the area. You can browse images depending on the day you snapped them too, which is particularly handy when you’re trying to co-ordinate holiday photos.--Jennifer Allen


Mr. Bank

Mr Bank is a simple game, and that’s mostly what makes it a success. It takes seconds to learn but has the potential to keep you itching for just one more go as you work towards beating your previous high score.Each session involves a screen full of numbered tiles. Depending on the difficulty level you’ve chosen, you have to combine those tiles to form at least 20, 30, or 40, before tapping on the created tile to ‘bank’ it. The key here is to create as low a number as possible while still going over the threshold. While the high numbers create the most points, they can also use up tiles that could have been useful elsewhere. Playing the long game is imperative. --Jennifer Allen


Wand

There’s no shortage of apps that want to help you organize your camera roll, and each work to varying levels of success. I think Wand™ might be my new favorite, though. It’s incredibly easy to use and makes short work of even particularly hefty collections.Working on a spectacularly simple basis, Wand™ loads up to offer up a selection of predefined album ideas, such as family, friends, and selfies, along with the option for you to add your own. The latest picture to not be given an album placement is immediately on screen. If you pause for a moment to look at it, Wand™ automatically switches to a view of just that photo, providing an ideal previewing place. In terms of movement, all you do then is tap on the album you want it to go to, and off it goes. It’s as simple as that. --Jennifer Allen


Wings Remastered

Set during World War I, you’re a combat pilot undertaking a series of dangerous missions. You’re rarely alone in battle, but your comrades can be shot down, and you will feel a tinge of guilt when the game tells you their name. In which case, you’d better get the hang of those controls fast.There’s a choice of tilt or touch based, but I’d immediately recommend the touch controls. When flying from a first person perspective, things are tricky enough without considering calibration. At first, it’ll seem awkward but those sequences are quite fun. The scenery is incredibly forgettable and basic, but chasing down planes and, every once in a while, performing a loop the loop is pretty fun. Firing is a matter of hitting the correct button but don’t overdo it. This is a World War I plane, meaning the guns jam quite easily. -Jennifer Allen


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:


AndroidRundown


Motorola E (2nd Gen) 4G LTE

For the longest time, Motorola has been synonymous with Android; it’s been a part of the Android takeover, and some of the best smartphone hardware has born its imprint. With the Moto E2, the device maker looks to show it can have a budget hit. Again.The review unit Moto sent us contained the black handset (a white alternative is also available, two bands (more on that later), power cord and documentation. The phone goes against the grain somewhat, particularly with regards to size; still, it would be rude to call it diminutive at 5.11 x 2.63 x 0.48 inches and weighing in at 5.1 ounces. It is quite comfortable in hand, and feels well constructed, so much so that at first glance, one will definitely be forgiven foe not noticing the interesting band that goes around the side. This flexible band houses hardware buttons and protects SIM and SD card slots, but are also swappable, and allows a degree of aesthetic customization.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus our top 9 apps for the summer blockbuster season.

This Week at 148Apps: May 4-8, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on May 11th, 2015

A-MAY-ZING Reviews at 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.

Calling All... Android Users? Right, Well, Here's How You Can Win a $25 Google Play Gift Card

Posted by Rob Rich on April 2nd, 2015

It's true that we don't normally touch upon anything Android related here at 148Apps but our sister site, Android Rundown, is currently taking part in a giveawaywith NetEase Games that could get you a free $25 Google Play gift card. How could we not share the opportunity?

You can read up on all the specifics over on Android Rundown's announcement page, but the abbreviated version is thus according to the post:

  • Sign up for the Speedy Ninja beta at the Google sign-up sheet.
  • Answer the question “What color best befits a Ninja”? Put the answer as a comment to this post.
  • Wait with fingers crossed; we’ll have a drawing and announce the winners.

For accuracy, make sure that your signup name and email match the name and email you sue to answer the questions in the comments.

The rules: one word (color) answers are fine. No profanity. Single entries. Boom.

This Week at 148Apps: February 23-27, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on March 2nd, 2015

Final February Fun at 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.

Alto's Adventure

‘Just one more go’ is a pretty good thing to think while playing a game, even if it’s hardly conducive to your productivity. That’s been the case for me with Alto’s Adventure, as I find myself having ‘just one more go’ to double check something before writing this. It’s an endless runner (something that shouldn’t hook anyone so easily these days), but it’s also a fine example of the genre. We’re talking borderline Tiny Wings levels of fun here. It helps a lot that Alto’s Adventure is gorgeous to look at. It’s relatively simple looking at first glance but that hides some beautiful little touches. Most notable of all is how things change depending on if it’s day or night in the game. It’s thoroughly delightful, with the only real issue being that rocks can be hard to see when it’s dark. --Jennifer Allen


Do Camera

How often do you take a photo then immediately want to send it elsewhere or do something else with it? Probably pretty often, right? Courtesy of the power behind IFTTT, Do Camera can do all that for you, saving you some valuable time. It won’t cover every eventuality but it’s still going to be pretty useful most of the time. As with other IFTTT products, Do Camera is centered around the concept of using recipes to set things up. You hit the Add Recipe button, then make some choices as to what you do next. In each case this means that the central button on the camera side of Do Camera relates to that recipe. All you do is hit the camera button and Do Camera takes the photo while also performing whatever act you’ve set it up to commit. --Jennifer Allen


Swap Heroes 2

Swap Heroes 2 is a prime example of a game giving players exactly what they want. As an iteration on the fun-but-flawed Swap Heroes, this sequel delivers all of the strategic elements from the original while removing some of the more random elements and adding a good mix of heroes. For those familiar with the first title, Swap Heroes 2 should be very familiar. Players take control of a set of four heroes and control them purely through swapping their positions in their T shaped formation. Each character has their own set of stats and can unleash special attacks only after being swapped from the back of the formation to the front. Despite being a pretty simple formula, it maintains a sense of depth by providing a wide variety of enemies, character upgrades, and multiple viable strategies for success. --Campbell Bird


Planet Quest

Playing Planet Quest couldn’t be simpler. Players are in charge of a UFO’s zapper that’s supposed to zap costumed creatures as they zip along a planet’s surface to the beat of a song. Although it may sound unintuitive, the rotation of the planet is analogous to the note highway of games like Rock Band or Guitar Hero, and the notes are just giraffes, bunnies, flowers, and other weird creatures. At first players are walked through the basics, which are essentially ‘tap to the rhythm to zap the creatures’, but along the way more nuance is added. For example, some levels obscure the game view to add difficulty. Also, things like the flower need to be avoided as they take points off of a player’s high score. The game ends when players lose three hearts by missing too many creatures, but it’s forgiving enough that they can miss a note or two while still being able to earn hearts back. --Campbell Bird


Capsule

If you’re like me, you often find yourself thinking how you really need to text someone but it’s 2am and you don’t think they’d appreciate a message right now. All too often I then entirely forget by the next morning, and so the pattern repeats itself for far too long. Sure I could send myself an email as a reminder or add something to my To-Do list, but wouldn’t it be great if I could schedule a text instead? That’s the thinking behind Capsule – a flawed but useful way of texting in the future. You set Capsule up by inputting your phone number and then receiving an authorization code. It doesn’t take too long to do and is possible anywhere throughout the world. After that, using Capsule is simply a matter of tapping Create and you can get texting. You type your message as usual, choose whether you want to add a photo or video, pick out your contact, and then schedule a time and date. It’s as simple as that. --Jennifer Allen


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:


AndroidRundown

Runes of Camelot

Camelot (of course) is our location and, of course, there ain’t no Camelot without Arthur. Amelia and Merlin are out to help the noble monarch save Camelot by thwarting the evil Morgana’s plans, and they do this with runes or special potions. To begin the game, one gets to choose a character, and each is said to have a unique storyline. At its core, Runes of Camelot is a match-3 puzzle game. As such, the idea is to get a line of three or runes of the same color, horizontally or vertically. Getting three straight (via gesture swipe) dissolves the matched set, and they are replaced by pieces that fall from the top. The pieces are randomized, but any triples created from swaps also dissolve and are replaced. When a set of four pieces are formed, a diamond-looking rune with special powers is formed. These runes can be manipulated to create column shattering reactions that help finish levels. Regular matches yield special powers that are diverse and helpful in time crunches. --Tre Lawrence


Buzz Killem

Action platformers almost always resonate; they are simple to learn, easy to enjoy and can be tweaked with several gameplay elements. With Buzz Killem (from industry strongman Noodlecake), we get some glorious graphics, easy-to-learn controls, arcade goodness and a lot of action. Buzz Killem is a story of, well, going buck wild. It’s Rambo meets Independence Day. Buzz (action star’s Bill Killem’s dad) is a war vet who is brought back to confront an alien threat. Now, the kicker is tha Buzz has no compunction with regards to blasting away, and in the 2D environment that the game is set, all advantages are to be treasured. --Tre Lawrence


Livescribe Sky Wifi Smartpen

When I look at adding accessories to my workflow, I try to keep to a few important precepts: portability, functionality and compatibility. Portability is obvious; the ability to use stuff on the go is quite important. With regards to functionality, before adding an addition or substitution to my creative/work process, I’d rather know that it is worth the time to make a change. Lastly, the ability to use a tool with other tools and across platforms is priceless. On paper, Livescribe’s Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen seems to touch on these elements quite comfortably. --Tre Lawrence

And finally, super fast racers, super slow runners, and GEOFF tears the Nvidia Shield a new one - that's the week according to AppSpy.

This Week at 148Apps: February 16-20, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on February 23rd, 2015

February Fun at 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.

World Zombination

World Zombination tackles the threat of zombie invasion in a different way than most. For one thing, you can choose to play the role of the zombies or the humans. While the former allows you to unleash hundreds of zombies at once, the later is a bit more tower defense in nature with you opting to carefully place units around a city in order to take out the waves of enemies up ahead. In both cases you gradually gain new units, as well as train them and level them up, watching as they improve their skill set. It’s a lot of fun. There are plenty of single player missions to tackle, as well as PvP. It’s kind of like how various base building games tackle things, but it doesn’t feel as staid as that. Outside of each level you can spend time training your units, as well as accumulating resources for more profit. You can even take a step back and send your troops out on their own without your assistance, although this affects your stamina levels quite significantly. --Jennifer Allen


Puny Stupid Humans

When aliens land on prehistoric Earth, naturally they are scared and confused. But, like the evil invaders they ultimately are, soon they begin terraforming their crash site into a futuristic headquarters and conscripting the vicious local wildlife to their cause. If that sounds suspiciously familiar then congratulations because you’ve successfully deduced that this is yet another game about building a base, improving its defenses against lesser hordes, managing freemium currency, and raising an army to take on real-time strategy missions and other players online. How novel. But as its title foreshadows, Puny Stupid Humans milks enough cleverness out of its stranded aliens premise to give it at least some personality. There is legitimately humorous banter between the dopey overlords as well as some fun fourth wall-breaking moments involving their mind control device. The mechanism is actually a living creature aware of the player’s presence and finds it deliciously ironic that there’s another force controlling the ones who think they are in control. --Jordan Minor


Clear for Action

While it’s fair to say that pirates were ultimately all about making money, their lives were filled with things other than loot. Most pirate-themed media, games, movies, or whatever else captures these more exciting aspects of the job. But Clear for Action steers clear of such unprofitable diversions. After losing their impressive ship due to some family disagreements, players have to build their fleet back up from a single, measly skiff. So they’ll need to purchase new ports and sail between different islands while stealing goods and selling them elsewhere. As players earn money and experience, they can upgrade their ship and recruit new crewmen. They can also buy additional ships to carry out multiple transactions at once. The map starts out small, but players unlock new locations as their nautical forces improve. --Jordan Minor


Swipes

Swipes is a productivity app designed to help users organize their task lists and get things done. Although the idea of a task app is certainly not new, Swipes has some awesome integrations with Evernote that may make it worth picking up. Most users familiar with any third party task apps like Clear and Wunderlist will feel right at home with Swipes. Its interface shows users the tasks for that day in a simple, minimal-looking list that can be manipulated by tapping or swiping on items to mark them as complete, edit, or ‘snooze’ them for later. The core idea is to present a user’s tasks effectively and beautifully while also being careful to just keep the focus on the most time-sensitive tasks. --Campbell Bird


Foldpass

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry with many different iterations and nuances, but the format the West is most familiar with is a three-line verse with a five – seven – five syllable count. I’ve always been a writer, but I suck at writing poetry. Whenever I was instructed to put together a poem, I’d go the “easy” route by banging out a haiku. Sometimes the teacher was impressed. Often they weren’t. See, writing haiku is not actually easy. You have to express yourself and paint a visual with a very limited sentence structure. Once you harness the joy of minimalistic creation, you can put together some neat stuff. --Nadia Oxford


Clementine Wants To Know: Where Do Babies Come From?

Clementine Wants To Know: Where Do babies Come From is a warm and charming app for children about where babies come from that focuses on the social side of sexual education as well as including factual material about a baby’s evolution from an embryo to a fetus, including a live birth. Unlike 9 Months!, which I reviewed previously, Clementine Wants To Know takes a decidedly child-centric tone as it tackles this subject from the point-of-view of Clementine: a six year old who has just found out that she is going to be a big sister. From here, the age-old question of “where do babies come from?” is approached in a way that really makes me smile. --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:


AndroidRundown

D-Link Pan & Tilt Wifi Camera

When it comes to a secure home, why no pull out all the stops? Connected cameras are a big part of home safety options, and devices made by D-Link — a company that can actually afford to name drop — are especially interesting. As such, we were eager to check out the D-Link Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera. The review unit D-Link sent us came in retail packaging; in the box, one gets the camera itself, a mounting bracket, ethernet cable, power cable, mounting paraphernalia and documentation. The camera itself is mostly white with black accents. Standing right-side up, it looks like a short lighthouse with a matching white antenna out the back. Dimensions-wise, it is 5.26 x 4.03 x 3.99 inches, and weighs 0.64 lbs. --Tre Lawrence


Blood Brothers 2

We all know that most ‘free’ games are built around hooks. Hooks that get you to come back to the game once a day. Hooks that make you want to spend a little bit of money here, a little bit of money there. Hooks that make you want to know when the next update is coming. Blood Brothers 2 knows exactly what it’s doing when it sets up all of these hooks right off the bat. To start with, Blood Brothers 2 is essentially a strategic card game where you can play through an extensive story mode or play online against human opponents. --Matt Parker


Feed The Cat

When cats aren’t busy playing the keyboard, flying on rainbows across the sky and generally being cute for the Internet, they have to eat. At least that’s what the game Feed the Cat suggests. Feed the Cat turns the concept of feeding the cuddly creatures into a puzzling affair in its most literal sense — players must solve puzzles by swiping food across levels and into hungry cats’ mouths. The concept is simple and adorable, but the execution fails as the game’s levels are about as challenging as actually feeding a cat in real life. --Ryan Bloom

And guns are being censored on the App Store and GEOFF knows why, plus Swap Heroes 2 and a cool new skateboarding game - that's the week according to AppSpy.

Finally, this week Pocket Gamer told you how to make a Minecraft server, reviewed the excellent AG Drive and Alto's Adventure, showed the first footage of Sonic Runners, and went hands-on with games like DomiNations! and Magic Touch. It's all right here.