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The Portable Podcast, Episode 211

Posted by Carter Dotson on December 4th, 2013

Skating on thin ice!

On This Episode:

  • Carter and Brett Nolan discuss their recent iPad purchases, what they think about the first wave of MFi gamepads, and recent releases Touchgrind Skate 2 and Icycle: On Thin Ice

  • .

    Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Co-Host: Brett Nolan, AppAddict.net
  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode:



    This Week at 148Apps: November 25-29, 2013

    Posted by Chris Kirby on December 1st, 2013

    Apps Are Us


    What to do with all of that post-Thanksgiving holiday time? Search for the latest and greatest apps, of course! 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.


    Gravitations

    It was actually hard for me to review JLOOP’s Gravitations directly from the standpoint of it being a “normal” game. That’s because the missions are in themselves created by those playing. There are no preset levels here. Instead, Gravitations allows players to create, manage, and edit their own missions for eventual playing by themselves and others. Launching Gravitations for the first time, one can just feel the level of polish that has gone onto it. Backed by a “War of the Worlds”-style soundtrack that sets the tone for mystery and discovery, from the game’s start screen players will be able to choose from a carousel of options; including visiting the ship hangar, entering explore mode, builders’ contests, taking a class at the flight school, seeing what shared missions are available, or even creating missions. --Arron Hirst


    Demonstrate

    There’s an increasing number of apps out there aimed at smoothing out the process of creating one’s own apps. While some simplify the coding process such as Codea, others help with different parts of the app making process. Demonstrate is one such app, allowing users to add hotspots and transitions to their previously constructed screenshots. It’s a fairly specialized tool that requires backup from other sources, but it’s potentially quite handy. Best of all, it’s free to download. An in-app purchase opens it up further in terms of how many screens can be used but the free build should be sufficient for many small projects. One sample project is included to explain how to use the app but it’s a pretty straightforward process. Users pick out a screen from their Camera Roll or Dropbox account before dragging and dropping hotspots onto the relevant place. Then it’s a matter of linking another screen to the hotspot in order to demonstrate the order of the app. --Jennifer Allen


    Tiger & Chicken

    There are not many 3D roleplaying hack n’ slay games out there in the iOS market, and admittedly this is the first action-packed adventure that I’ve come across in some time that hooked me in right from the opening scene. Tiger & Chicken tells the story of a chicken with a whole lot of courage, who after getting separated from his female friend, decides one day to finally leave the Shaolin temple that he grew up in as an orphan and take it upon himself to track her down and rescue her. --Lucy Ingram


    Icycle: On Thin Ice

    Icycle: On Thin Ice is the latest platformer from Chillingo. While the game itself is beautifully displayed and has a unique sense of humor, it unfortunately feels too “floaty” and imprecise in the control department to really be a stand out title. The first impression that Icycle: On Thin Ice makes cannot be overstated. The game is simply beautiful with its stylized vector look, bright colors, and cool-looking design. On top of this, it tells a strange but charming story of a naked man named Dennis as he navigates a frozen landscape looking for love. Between both the visuals and the humorous storyline, there is a lot to like about the game conceptually. --Campbell Bird


    MOGA Ace Power Gamepad

    The dawn of a new era in iOS gaming is on hand with the launch of the first MFi gamepads from MOGA and Logitech. However, things are far from ideal right now, as the MOGA Ace Power shows. I was most excited for MOGA to toss its hat into the iOS gamepad ring – the MOGA Pro is my favorite Android gamepad without a doubt, and a wonderful controller for playing games with. So, with MOGA having the first “extended” MFi gamepad boasting a full complement of buttons (four face buttons, two shoulder buttons, two analog triggers, a d-pad, a pause button, and two analog joysticks) I was excited. However, the limitations of the MOGA Ace Power and its high price tag make it only for early adopters. --Carter Dotson


    Castle of Illusion

    Castle of Illusion, a modern remake of the Sega Genesis platforming hit, has made a surprise landing on iOS after launching on console and PC not long ago. It’s certainly a welcome addition to the platform. This is a 2.5D platformer in that it does contain mostly 3D characters along a 2D plane, but moments where 3D movement is possible do pop up and are parts of some of the game’s cooler moments – like a puzzle where players must discover if tiles they’re running on are fake or not by looking into a mirror. So no, it’s not just a straight-up paint job on the original game. It’s been modernized, but it still has enough of that classic flavor to it. This is not just in looks: many of the original enemies and bosses are still here in some form, but the game has the trappings of a kind of late 8-bit and early 16-bit platformer. There’s that feeling of rigidity to the way that levels are arranged and laid out that makes it have just enough of an old-school feel while feeling loose and new. --Carter Dotson


    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

    Siegecraft Defender

    Siegecraft Defender pays another visit to the well-worn tower defense genre. Does it stand out among the throngs of similar games on Android? Siegecraft Defender plays pretty much like other tower defense games. There is a portal that constantly spits out enemies in waves of varying amounts. Somewhere else on the battlefield is an area that must be defended. To stop the enemies the player builds fortifications featuring towers and walls to create mazes of fortifications designed to slow down enemies as much as possible so they can be picked apart by the defenses. Each tower has a different effect on enemies. --Allan Curtis


    Bitter Sam

    Okay, I have no idea what to say about Bitter Sam, content-wise. It’s a game with very simple and understandable mechanics, but when you actually try to understand what the hell is going on in there, your thoughts start to hurt a bit. It’s about a strange furry creature that kinda looks like a man in a suit, and is not more than three inches tall. He is literally hanging by a thread, held by some crazy scientists, descending into some dangerous caverns with unclear intentions. I frankly can’t fathom what is going on in there, but Bitter Sam is living up to his name, being quite a miserable little bastard throughout. Seriously, the dude is so utterly soul-crushed that he actually smiles when he dies. He’s being on an emotionally-destructive level of the first several minutes of The Land Before Time, and the game is being quite schadenfreudian about this. Despite the main hero being sadder than a rock star’s 28th birthday, it’s really fun and casual. --Tony Kuzmin


    New Star Soccer

    I’ll be honest: I’m somewhat cynical of soccer sims. It seems most long-term sports management games have been done. Still, it takes a game like New Star Soccer to change my mind, and change my mind it did. The game provides an abbreviated player development ladder based around The Beautiful Game. It connects gameplay, skill development/career and more into a pretty nice simulation package. --Tre Lawrence

    And finally, this week, Pocket Gamer went hands-on with Angry Birds Go and Assassin's Creed Pirates, picked out its most anticipated games of December, welcomed Skulls of the Shogun to iOS, and reviewed Final Fantasy IV: The After Years and Icycle: On Thin Ice. All that, and loads more, in PG's weekly wrap-up.

    Icycle: On Thin Ice Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    By Campbell Bird on November 27th, 2013
    Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: THIN ON FUN
    Jump and float in this absurd, beautiful, but ultimately dissatisfying platformer.
    Read The Full Review »

    Icycle: On Thin Ice is a Beautiful and Tragic Tale of Nudity and Loneliness

    Posted by Rob Rich on October 24th, 2013

    Take note, everybody: Icycle: On Thin Ice is a game to watch out for.

    I was able to get some hands-on time with Chillingo's new bicycling platformer recently, and wow is it gorgeous. Icycle is a story about a lonely naked man named Dennis as he pedals his bicycle through a frozen world while he searches for love. I'm totally not embellishing that. You'll be guiding Dennis by way of fairly standard touch controls: arrow buttons to move, jump, and tap jump again to glide using an umbrella. Gathered ice cubes from each level can be used to buy new gear for Dennis - some cosmetic like new hats, others more utilitarian such as new bicycles or umbrellas - and most stages have at least one or two secrets to uncover.

    What really makes Icycle one to watch, however, is the art style. The game uses a very beautiful and stylized vector look, and features some very impressive animations and designs that really stand out. I mean just look at those screens. Look at them.

    Icycle: On Thin Ice should be out in December and will sell for $0.99. The initial release will feature 24 levels (each with challenges to complete and secrets to uncover), with more content planned for future updates.

    GDC 2013: Chillingo and Damp Gnat Games Bring Icycle: On Thin Ice to iOS

    Posted by Carter Dotson on March 27th, 2013

    Damp Gnat games, creator of Wonderputt, is bringing a new version of its stylish Flash game Icycle to iOS with the help of publisher Chillingo. Icycle: On Thin Ice has players controlling a lovelorn dreamer riding a bicycle through icy set pieces that grow increasingly difficult over time. Players can collect ice crystals in the game for fancy hats and to even unlock the levels from the original Icycle in this new version, featuring vector graphics that scale perfectly to the many zoom levels in the game. Expect this one soon.

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