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This Week at 148Apps: August 24-28, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on September 1st, 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.


Lara Croft GO

When you start playing Lara Croft GO, you’ll feel this urge to go quickly. After all, it’s Lara Croft. You’ve spent years rushing through tombs with her, right? That’s probably the worst thing you could do while playing Lara Croft GO. It’s a turn-based puzzle game where you need to carefully plan each move and, often, many moves ahead. It works remarkably well. Each level offers a grid based layout. You swipe to move Lara around, with her automatically climbing up things as and when an opportunity arises. In turn, if there are moving obstacles such as a circular saw, they move every time that she moves. The trick here is timing and planning ahead in a way that means you don’t get trapped or killed. Early levels introduce this concept relatively gradually, but you’ll soon find yourself having to scout ahead with a level before truly committing to something. --Jennifer Allen


PAC-MAN 256

PAC-MAN 256 isn’t anything like other Pac-Man games. From the makers of Crossy Road, it’s an endless take on the usual Pac-Man format. Instead of running around a maze you’re running upwards, collecting dots, munching up power pellets, and dodging ghosts. It’s a format that works but could do with offering you some more reasons to keep on playing.Dispensing with virtual buttons, PAC-MAN 256’s control scheme is centered around swipes. At first, this might seem a little inaccurate but it soon proves quite straight forward and feeling a lot more natural than a virtual d-pad. As you progress, the maze grows in front of you, keeping you on your toes. Ghosts are easy enough to spot but you have to plan ahead in order to dodge their trajectory. Each type has their own personality too, meaning that some might follow a set path, while others home in on you, making things much trickier. --Jennifer Allen


Galactic Keep

Galactic Keep is easily one of the strangest role-playing games I've played in a long time, mainly due to its strange art style, deep sense of exploration, and unapologetic dedication to the experience of tabletop gaming. As it was developed over the course of six years, Galactic Keep is a labor of love that's both profoundly fun and interesting despite sporting its fair share of peculiarities and flaws. Playing Galactic Keep is closest to what it's like to play a Dungeons & Dragons campaign but with more dice, one character, and a completely unfamiliar set of rules and lore. At the outset, everything is overwhelming to the point that it would be off-putting if it weren't all so intriguing and mysterious. Keeping that in mind, players can expect to die early and often in the game's current module. Over time though, they can upgrade their characters, find loot, and start wrapping their mind around everything. --Campbell Bird


Green Eggs and Ham - Read & Learn

The follow up to The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham - Read & Learn continues that charming trend, being immensely appealing to young and old. In no time, you’ll want to read through this with your child and odds are you're both going to enjoy that time a lot. As before, Green Eggs and Ham - Read & Learn offers up a mixture of reading, interaction, and simple gaming. Following the beloved story of Dr Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham, it’s a lovely tale full of rhymes and charm. You can choose to read via the highlighted narration or go at your own pace, ensuring it’s useful for kids of any age and reading ability. --Jennifer Allen


RollerCoaster Tycoon 3

It's been a while since I've experienced a management sim like RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, which recently emerged on the App Store as a "pay once and play" port of the PC original. This version is largely the same as it was in 2004, albeit with touch controls. This may stir up feelings of nostalgia for some, but that doesn't mean it isn't a bit clunky in its transition to iOS. Like every RollerCoaster Tycoon game, this is all about building and managing a profitable and fun amusement or theme park - whether that be from one of the 18 Career Mode scenarios or in the more free-form sandbox mode. This involves everything from hiring staff to setting the price of foodstuffs in the park and, of course, building roller coasters. All of this is largely handled via menus, but the main screen is almost always displaying the park and its attendees as they go from ride to ride. --Campbell Bird


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


Anomaly Defenders

And now, we get to Anomaly Defenders....About time…While the series got us going on “tower offense” as a gameplay constant, this one takes it back to more of a tower defense scenario. More pertinently, alien invaders are on the ropes in this one, and humans are the aggressors. Thus, the player takes on the job of saving the home planet of the aliens.Graphically, it is an interesting projection, clearly futuristic, with a Terminator feel to the dark landscapes. The view is top-down in nature, and the play area generally consists of stretches of land interspersed with defined roads on which enemy (human) attack vehicles travel. The animations sizzle, and it looks pretty good overall.--Tre Lawrence


Q*bert Rebooted Free

I first encountered Q*bert years ago; I rocked the heck out of that game on the trusty BlackBerry 8320. Tech eons later, I get to try it out again, this time on Android, presented as Q*bert Rebooted.Definitely worth a look.The game is dual-natured, in that the game presents two versions: the classic version, replete with retro graphics and true to the original gameplay. There is also the “rebooted” version, which is a slick, more modern refresh.--Tre Lawrence


Zipbuds SLIDE Earbuds

The more mobile I get, the more I appreciate a good set of headphones.As the kids get older, there’s only so much Taylor Swift I can listen to; the house sometimes feels like one crazy karaoke machine.So, retiring to the quietest part of the house can be quite rewarding. The pure joy of it makes me smile. Get me an e-book (or mind-bending game), some sweet tea and some headphones with which to listen to accompanying music, and that quiet spot becomes mine.Y’all feel me? That’s why cool stuff like the Zipbuds No-tangle Slide Earbuds are just what the doctor ordered.--Tre Lawrence

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

Farming Simulator 2016 - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies to Get You Started

Posted by Rob Rich on August 5th, 2015

[Not sure if cultivation is your bag? Have a look at our Farming Simulator 2016 review.]

So you’ve started up your own farm. That’s fantastic, but where do you go from here? As peculiarly entertaining as it may be to meticulously guide heavy machinery around a field or two, it can be a little tricky to figure out what to do when you get behind the wheel for the first time. That’s why we’ve put together some helpful tips and tricks to get your farm going.

Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Surviving the Nightmare

Posted by Rob Rich on August 5th, 2015

[Trying to decide if you want to subject yourself to the horror? Have a look at our Five Nights at Freddy’s review.]

So you’ve gone and found yourself trapped in a nightmare from which there is no waking. Fantastic. You still have a chance, though. You can still make it out (sort of). We’ve put together a collection of basic tips and tricks to help you out if you’re still having a tough time with it. We’ve tried to keep spoilers to a minimum but there are a few in the “Misc. tips” section. Oh, and sweet dreams.

Card King: Dragon Wars - Tips, Tricks and Strategies to be the Greatest King of Cards

Posted by Jennifer Allen on August 2nd, 2015

[Want to know what we thought about all these cards and kings? Take a look at our Card King: Dragon Wars review.]

So, you’ve just downloaded Card King: Dragon Wars and you’re not entirely sure what to do next. While the game does a decent job of teaching you the basics, we’re here to fill in the gaps and hopefully give you a head start in becoming a tougher fighter.

Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Going Over 9000

Posted by Rob Rich on July 20th, 2015

[Wondering if revisiting Goku and Co. is worth it? Have a look at our Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle review.]

Being the world’s greatest fighter is no easy task. Especially when the bar keeps getting raised with each new “impossible to defeat” foe. Fortunately it’s nothing a little training can’t fix. Or in this case, a few beginner’s tips.

The Executive - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Running a Business and Punching Werewolves

Posted by Rob Rich on July 17th, 2015

By now you’ve no doubt heard of Riverman Media’s The Executive - at least certainly I hope you have. If not, or if you still haven’t decided on buying it yet, you can check out our review right here. With that out of the way, it’s time to talk business. Specifically the mining business. Well, that and the business of kicking werewolves in the throat.

Despite having a formidable set of moves you won’t actually be much of a fighter at first. Thankfully it’s nothing some practice (and a few prudent investments) can’t fix.

Super Awesome Quest - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies on How to be Super Awesome

Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 14th, 2015

[Still can't decide if you want to hit that "Download" button? Take a look at our Super Awesome Quest! review.]

Have you just downloaded Super Awesome Quest! and you're not sure where to begin? Don’t worry about it! We’ve got you covered with our handy beginner’s guide, ready to get you all set up and flying through the early levels.


Starting Out

  • Right at the start, you get the choice of two heroes. You can control either Greg the Paladin or Val the Valkyrie. Don’t fret too much, though. Once you reach stage 8 you can unlock the other one and switch between them as and when you like.
  • As you play, you’ll learn that the different characters offer different benefits, so try to keep their levels about equal. This will seem trickier at first, but you’ll soon get used to regularly switching between the two.

LEGO Batman: Beyond Gotham - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Saving the World

Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 8th, 2015

[Not sure if you're ready for Batman in space? Take a look at ourLEGO Batman: Beyond Gotham review.]

Have you just picked up LEGO Batman: Beyond Gotham and never played a LEGO game before? it plays a lot like previous LEGO games, so if you follow along and try different characters for different puzzles you'll eventually get the hang of it.The in-game guide is pretty good, but here are a few more tips to get you started.

Sonic Runners Guide

Posted by Campbell Bird on July 6th, 2015

[Not sure if you really "gotta go fast?" Have a look at our Sonic Runners review.]

Despite its flaws, Sonic Runners' platforming action is actually quite fun. Though it can be a little more complicated than old-school Sonic games. Here's how to make sure you're up to speed when jumping in.


Scoring

Scoring high in Sonic Runners has a few different benefits. First is that scoring high in a run can get you to boss showdowns faster. This is good because bosses can yield buddies if you play your cards right (more on buddies later). Secondly, scoring high inevitably allows you to collect a lot of rings. Rings are good because they can help level-up characters. Finally, scoring high makes it easier to rank-up, which can reset the number of lives you have and is a particularboon if you're not spending money on anything.

Siegefall - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Being a Tough Leader

Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 1st, 2015

[Undecided about playing Siegefall in the first place? Have a look at our review.]

So, you fancy establishing a base and ruling the world again. Siegefall is a convenient place to do that, but how about some great tips and tricks on how best to go about it? Here are a few ideas on how to get ahead as a beginner to this medieval world.


The basics

  • Resources are, of course, everything - As you level-up your keep, you’re restricted in how many farms and sawmills you can have. Make sure you always hit that cap as soon as possible. This should always be your priority. Upgrade them wherever possible, too.
  • Keep your storage buildings high in number and fully upgraded, too - It’s all part of an eco system that really helps in keeping you strong.
  • Don’t bother rushing many buildings early on - Be patient and save those gems for bigger projects. You don’t want to feel lured into making in-app purchases for no reason, do you?
  • Plan your base carefully - Learn from enemy base layouts and see how things work out for them. A lot of effective designs are almost puzzle like in nature and you can set things up so that troops are pushed into bottleneck scenarios, if you plan carefully.
  • One useful tactic is to bait your enemy with less useful buildings near your defensive walls. Surround them with towers and you can chip away at the invading enemy quite well.
  • Upgrade your barracks and troop types frequently to ensure that they can still handle combat effectively.

Battling it out

  • Focus on the single player campaign until things get too tough - You can acquire plenty of resources to strengthen your base, making it the perfect time to switch to multiplayer and take out some of the opposition.
  • Single player has the added advantage of unlocking new heroes, which is great news for you! It’s more fun that way, too.
  • Don’t forget the challenges either, with these unlocking useful new treasures and other bonuses.
  • It’s tempting to use all your cards quickly but don’t do it - Save them for when you really need them, especially the particularly strong cards such as the area effect attacks. If nothing else, those cards aren’t cheap and you don’t want to waste money for nothing.
  • Don’t forget to upgrade your Card Keeper so you can enjoy extra slots and some extra flexibility.
  • Try to keep a heal card at the ready at all times - They can make all the difference in battle, even more so than offensive cards.
  • Remember to scout ahead when facing a new enemy - You can plan accordingly that way and know what troops will work best in which scenario.
  • Keep an eye on your hero in battle - They’re tough but not invincible. You want to keep them alive at all times. Partly because they cost money to re-hire but also because they’re the troop type that you can directly interact with. Use them to focus on defensive structures, in order to make the invasion smoother for other troops.

How to Create Custom Text Responses for the Apple Watch

Posted by Rob Rich on June 15th, 2015

One of the many surprisingly useful features of the Apple Watch is the way in which we can see, respond to, or ignore text messages without having to use an iPhone. Seeing and ignoring are pretty self-explanatory, but it’s possible to respond in one of three ways: dial-an-emoticon, pick from a list of prefab phrases, or use dictation to respond directly. Problem is, sometimes none of those options is exactly what you’ll need. That’s why it can be handy to have your own custom set of prefab responses ready to go.

Chaos Rings III - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Making it on Marble Blue

Posted by Rob Rich on June 7th, 2015

[Still deciding whether or not Chaos Rings III is the mobile JRPG for you? Take a look at our review]

Are you feeling a bit out of sorts when jumping back and forth between Chaos Rings III’s Story and Colosseum modes? Are some fights giving you trouble? Then have a seat (or more likely just keep sitting) and take a gander at our tips and tricks guide.

Earthcore: Shattered Elements - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Building Your Deck

Posted by Rob Rich on May 21st, 2015

[Want to know if it’s worth investing your time in Earthcore? Check out our review]

At first glance, Earthcore: Shattered Elements seems like a rather simple card-battling game. Once you’re introduced to skills that will change quite a bit. Even more so once you start to acquire hero cards. But it’s not so complicated that we couldn’t put together a beginner’s guide for all you Earthcore neophytes.

Here’s How to Set a Custom Face for Your New Apple Watch

Posted by Rob Rich on May 18th, 2015

So you’ve just unboxed your very own Apple Watch and have been playing around with some of its features. Neat, huh?

Well if you’re like me, you probably want to get to customizing its face before you really start to show it off to people. And if you’re also like me, chances are you've completely ignored the little info pamphlet that came with everything. It’s okay, unboxing a new piece of Apple tech usually leads to discarded instructions. That’s just the nature of the beast.

And that’s exactly why we’ve put together this short guide on how to go about customizing the face of your Apple Watch.

AppSpy Teaches the Basics of Creepy Doppelganger Creation with My Idol

Posted by Rob Rich on May 7th, 2015

AppSpy's Peter Willington has braved the Uncanny Valley and put together a how-to guide about making a miniature you in 小偶 - 我的3D萌偶 (a.k.a My Idol).