Posted by Rob LeFebvre on January 14th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Traveling somewhere without a lot of signal? Running low on data this month but still need to get somewhere? CoPilot GPS might be the answer. The app is free, but maps and full voice navigation must be purchased as an in-app purchase.
Find the best way to navigate to all the places you need to go without relying on your mobile connection. Detailed street maps of an entire country or region are stored on your iPhone or iPad, so you’ll still be able to calculate routes and get driving or walking directions even when there’s no cell coverage. Millions of useful Points of Interest are built into the app, making it easy to locate nearby restaurants, stores, gas stations and more. You can also search for local businesses and attractions using Google™ and Wikipedia.
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on August 28th, 2012 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
The venerable (and fun!) board game translation, Catan, gets a new expansion, available for $X.XX as an in-app purchase.
The Cities and Knights expansion introduces various new gameplay mechanics that add even more variety to Catan. Invest new trade goods in city improvements to build one of the three metropolises of Catan – but beware of the barbarians attracted by Catan’s new wealth! You’ll need your best knights to fend them off! C&K contains a short campaign and 7 challenging maps.
Law and Order: Legacies is keeping on with the episodes that they’re releasing in their series based on the long-running television franchise, with episode six now available. In this episode, players help Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach’s famous character) and Rey Curtis solve a case from 1999, where someone is murdered at a prep school. However, as they investigate the case, a conspiracy comes unraveled, as another crime at the school being covered up by parents and staff comes close to being discovered by the two detectives. As well, the victim has connection to the overarching Preppy Jogger case that the individual episodes are connected to.
This penultimate episode is available now for $2.99, with the final episode promised next month that could help bring resolution to the Preppy Jogger case. As well, for those who want to get a discount on the series, a multi-pack that includes all the episodes is available for $12.99. As well, by downloading the universal app for free, players can check out the complete episode one at no charge.
Disney’s physiscs puzzler Where’s My Water has gotten a new update that adapts the familiar mechanics in new ways with the new Cranky’s Story levels. The goal of these levels is to help out Cranky, the alligator who tries to thwart protagonist Swampy in the main mode. Now, he’s hungry, and being an alligator, he is content to eat things like safes. However, he is not content to eat them when they’re covered in moss. So, the player must get the moss-killing purple water to Cranky’s food so he can eat it.
The mechanics are still the same – use a finger to cut through the dirt and navigate the fluids through the level. It’s just that now the purple water is the one that needs to get to the goal point, and this changes the dynamic of the game. Suddenly, the water becomes the substance that needs to stay away from the rubber ducks lest they are made to disintegrate upon contact with a non-grimy surface. Of course, the purple water still reacts with the other fluids in the same way, but the levels are designed to take advantage of the mixed-up dynamics.
Also in the app are the new Cranky’s Challenges which are difficult new challenges that require Swampy’s levels to be played in different ways, like trying to collect three of the cranky ducks with purple water while still filling Swampy’s tub with blue water, or trying to get rid of all the blue water in a level without even a single drop reaching Swampy.
5 of these levels and 3 of the challenges are available for free; the rest are locked away as a $0.99 IAP, containing 50 regular levels and 16 challenge levels in total. The game will still receive free Swampy updates, and possibly even more Cranky levels in the future. This update is available now for iOS.
Magic Guitar turns any iPhone into a simulated guitar that gives users a chance to play along with some of their favorite songs. However, playing those songs can come at a hefty price through in-app purchases.
Zynga has a lot going on right now, especially with its IPO hitting the main stage on Friday. To give potential stockholders another reason to buy is the company’s latest installment, ForestVille for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Available for download on the App Store, the game positions the player in a magical forest where they can build, doctorate and play with an ensemble of animal characters including such cute little furry friends as Daisy the fox.
Pegged as the weekend escape for CityVille urbanites, ForestVille is sure to provide an unforgettable weekend escape of exploring a lust forest where players can enlist the help of beavers to enhance their new outdoor community. As must Zynga titles, this one allows the player to design their own forest with homes, landmarks and decorations all while enjoying the liveliness it brings to the area. Skewed heavily towards the cute side of gaming, the game is one of the seven launches this quarter for Zynga, including Words with Friends HTML5, Zynga Poker Mobile Web, FarmVille Express, Mafia Wars Shakedown, Dream Zoo and CityVille Holidaytown.
Regular Facebook gamers may recognize the name Gardens of Time. Recently named as the Best Social Network Game at GDC Online 2011, it’s an immensely popular Hidden Object game via the social network. Now it’s the turn of iPad gamers to see exactly what all the fuss is about.
In the game, players join the Time Society, a group of time-traveling detectives who must explore numerous scenes in order to solve the mysteries of time. Such scenes include the likes of the Egyptian Pyramids, Westminster Abbey and The Great Wall of China amongst others.
Besides exploring the 36 different scenes, the player can decorate their Garden with many fascinating structures from different points in history, plus visit their friends’ Gardens to decide who has the best example.
A free to download game, plenty of in-app purchases are available for those who wish to pursue the option.
HamStar is a very cute looking game indeed. While no one could deny that there are plenty of different physics based puzzle games on the App Store, one that has been so lovingly developed as this, is worth taking a look at.
From a team of merely two developers, HamStar is all about the plight of young Elmo the hamster. He’s stuck you see and all on his own. He needs help in working his way through the 60+ levels on offer. As one would expect from a hamster, he’s stuck in his own hamster ball and needs to be swiped in the right direction to navigate the levels and pop the star balloons as he goes along. It’s not as easy as that of course though with red balloons, hamster wheels and falling toys all getting in the way. At times it might be a little frustrating but the general cutesy experience is bound to win people over.
Perhaps best of all is that HamStar is free to try with in-app purchases available for those who want to put some money down towards the experience. For $1.99 everything can be unlocked with lesser purchases also available such as to remove the adverts within the game.
A Space Shooter for Free is the iOS version of the PSN Mini game A Space Shooter for Two Bucks, which cost about USD $2.00, as it says on the tin. The iOS version has been repurposed as a freemium title, offering several levels and upgrades for free, but charging money to unlock the rest of the game’s levels and upgrades. This upgrade will only cost $0.99 though, and all content will be unlocked with this purchase. The game will be available as separate iPhone/iPod and iPad versions, though the content is the same between them.
The game puts players in control of Commander P. Jefferson, who can be best described as having over-the-top machismo – that pretty much describes the whole attitude of the game. It is very cartoony, and very over-the-top. Jefferson spits out one-liners in the heat of battle and has a xenophobic hatred of aliens that would make a border patrol vigilante look meek by comparison. The game is very chaotic, as bullets and enemies fly in from all over the place; even the game’s second of the three levels, a pithy 3/10 difficulty rating, still is extremely difficult, being a challenge to even get from one checkpoint in the level to another.
There are a lot of objects on screen at once, from enemy ships to enemy bullets to even the point orbs that get dropped, so keeping an eye on what is what is key. Thankfully, the player has a shield that can absorb multiple hits, so damage isn’t fatal, and the shield can be upgraded. The controls work by dragging the ship 1:1 across the playing field with a slight offset so the ship can be seen above the finger. Auto-fire is enabled when the finger is on the screen. The game plays identically on both platforms, though there is less finger obfuscation on the iPad version because of the device’s larger screen.
A Space Shooter for Free launches this Thursday on the App Store for iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. Check out screens and an exclusive trailer below.
Puzzle games and dinosaurs don’t usually go together, what with dinosaurs not typically being known for their huge brains, but they are finally together at last. The goal of Dino Catch is simple – there is a dinosaur in the center of the 11X11 hexagonal grid, with some of the hexagons already filled in. The goal is to try to not let the dinosaur reach the edge of the board, and to trap him so that he can’t reach the edge. The dino and the player take turns, with the player putting down a hexagon, and then the dino moving. The goal is to try to force the dino into already-established sections of the board, or trying to tunnel it so that it can be potentially blocked off. The game keeps track of the player’s win-loss record versus the dinosaur, and at first, the record will likely be tilted far in the favor of the dinosaur for a while. This game is based off a math problem called the “Angel Problem,”though this is far more fun than most math problems are. The game comes with Game Center support through OpenFeint, and is a free download. The game offers the ability to remove ads and unlock a 2-player mode by paying $0.99 through in-app purchase.
Walking is a great way of exercising but it’s also a much underrated form of exercise. It’s easy to do requiring no extra equipment and sometimes not even any extra time – get off the bus a stop early, go for a walk with your kids in the evening or at weekends – it’ll all help. Studies show that walking for between 20-40 minutes a day can extend lifespan by up to 5 years and if nothing else, it’s enjoyable and relaxing.
There are numerous apps out there to help walkers keep track of their movements and progress but Arookoo, a new walking app, aims to make walking into a fun game, too.
The app keeps players motivated by giving them motivational walking challenges and GPS based scavenger hunts. There’s even a form of scrabble game that’s a daily team challenge amongst friends. Everyone loves to be rewarded, so a series of achievements and stars also help motivate walkers into trying that bit harder.
Arookoo, the Japanese for ‘to walk’, is available in two forms. The free version is quite capable but for the price of a $2.99 in-app purchase, users can also view how many calories they’ve burned, distance walked and a few other bits and pieces too.
Maybe I still haven’t fully accepted technology for just how wonderful it really is, but it still impresses me hugely when my iPhone can tell me exactly how to get from one place to another within seconds. Presumably, there’s a future ahead of us where no one can ever get lost, all thanks to wonderful GPS and Google Maps. This future should clearly include Maps+, a new app from IZE Ltd which aims to build upon the uses that the built in app Maps already offers.
Maps+ brings with it the lofty promise of ensuring that its users will never be lost. A tap of a button ensures that users can pinpoint their location on the map with another tap enabling a compass feature that then rotates the map to match the direction that the user is currently facing.
Users can easily search for an address using the search function and even co-ordinates can be searched if the full address isn’t known. Route directions are simple to acquire then with car, bike (in the US) and pedestrian paths being available to consult. There’s also the added benefit of being able to set midway stopping points if the user wishes to stop at certain other locations on the way.
If the user is waiting to reach their destination via public transport, they can even set up an alarm that’s dependent on location so they need never miss their stop on the train for example.
Particularly useful to fitness addicts, there’s also a feature to record the route taken via GPS so that users can keep track of the path they’ve taken.
Simple social networking features are also available whereby users can view their friends’ tweets and the location in which they were tweeted.
Maps+ offers a lot in its quest to be more feature rich than the bundled app of a similar name. It’s certainly worth a look for those after a bit more to the free GPS navigation apps currently available.
Maps+ is available now and is compatible with all iOS devices. It’s a free app to download but there are some limitations that are bypassed with a $2.99 in-app purchase.
Here’s a story straight out of the “man bites dog” pile. While games making the jump from iOS to Android are commonplace, games going in the other direction are quite rare. Wordfeud is one of the few games to land in that category of Android to iOS ports. Originally launched on Android as an alternative to Words With Friends before Zynga and Newtoy released an Android version of the game, Wordfeud is now available on the App Store. The Scrabble-inspired word game sports asynchronous online multiplayer with push notifications when it’s your move, and works with current Wordfeud user accounts, and the game boasts over 2.5 million registered users to play against. The game does support cross-platform multiplayer between iOS and Android Wordfeud users, and can be played on both platforms with the same user account. The game synchronization between devices appears to be much smoother than Words With Friends’ implementation, as it loads up the current game list faster than Words With Friends does, especially on the Android side of the app. The iOS version is available as a free download on the App Store, with ads that display between moves. However, you can pay a one-time $2.99 in-app purchase to disable ads. Wordfeud is available from the App Store right now.
One complaint that has been consistently leveled against in-app purchases is that it’s easy to accidentally make a purchase in real-world money by accident. In-app purchases, which can include anything from extra level packs to extra play time or ad removal, can often generate more revenue than the initial app purchase. With previous iOS versions, in the first fifteen minute period after downloading an app, in-app purchases can be made without having to re-enter you password. The Washington Post writes that parents had complained that, “in the 15-minute period after an app was downloaded, children were buying sometimes hundreds of dollars of purchases on games such as Smurfs’ Village and Tap Zoo — popular iTunes games that are also among the highest-grossing programs for in-app purchases.” In the Smurfs app, for example, a barrel of “snowflakes” or “Smurfberries” can run as high as $99. Besides, “fat finger syndrome” can also lead to unintended in-app purchases.
In response to such complaints, Apple has changed its handling of in-app purchases in iOS version 4.3. Now, a password will also be required to make an in-app purchase, though for fifteen minutes after entering your password that time you’ll be able to make multiple purchases. So, it’s a small hassle but if you’re making lots of purchases at once it shouldn’t be too bad.
Of course, you can also just switch of in-app purchases in the “Restrictions” section of the Settings app if you’re really concerned about your kid spending too much money of Smurfberries. At the price of a small inconvenience, this new setting should prevent some parents from getting too irate, but I do wish that Apple had made it an optional (albeit default) setting that we could tweak personally.
If you’re anxiously awaiting a means of preventing accidental in-app purchases, updating to iOS 4.3 should solve your problems.
It’s time to fire up your engines and prepare your Dig Dug decals, as Namco is bringing Ridge Racer Accelerated to the iPad later this month, after the game’s iPhone release last year. This latest version in the venerable arcade racing franchise focuses not just on trying to cross the finish line faster than your opponents, as per standard racing game procedure. You also have to master drifting technique, which fills up your nitrous meter, which you can then use to deploy speed boosts when you need them. The game features 57 unlockable vehicles, 11 courses playable both forwards and backwards, and 5 game modes, including a Game Center Time Attack mode. That sound you hear is Kaz Hirai being very excited about this racing series, which has amazingly almost been around for 2 decades now, coming to the iPad in full-screen, high-resolution glory.
The interesting thing about Ridge Racer Accelerated for the iPad is that it will be released as a freemium app – it will be free to download, include 3 cars, one course, with Time Attack and Game Center ranking modes available for free, and will cost $9.99 in-app to unlock the full app. This is Namco’s fourth freemium game release for the iPad, following Time Crisis 2nd Strike HD, Lost in Time: The Clockwork Tower and House of Glass. It appears as if this model is starting to pique the interest of major publishers, especially on Namco’s side, as this is their second release that has been freemium.
It would be interesting to see if this is a potential future business model for games on the iPad, as it seems to have drawn raised interest on this platform, between NimbleBit’s Dizzypad HD, One Man Left’s Tilt to Live HD, and now Namco seems to be pushing the freemium model with their iPad titles. Is there something about the platform that encourages more business model experimentation? Are iPad users buying apps in different ways than what the iPhone/iPod touch userbase tends to consume apps? Between these titles and Gameloft testing the model out over on the iPhone side of the App Store, it’ll be curious to see how consumers react to it and if we continue to see it used down the road. Ridge Racer fans will get to express their opinion on the model later this month when Ridge Racer Accelerated HD hits the iPad.
Viva la Tilt to Live! Few games have received the kind of post-release support that Tilt to Live has since its initial release on the iPhone last February, and the updates just keep on coming for the game. A new mode available via In-App Purchase, Viva la Turret mode, has been released for the iPad version of the game, after being released back in December for the iPhone version.
Viva la Turret mode probably changes the way that Tilt to Live plays the most out of any of the other additional modes. Here, your only weapon is the Perforator turret powerup, which, when you pick it up, spawns a turret that locks you in place, which you can then use to shoot at the waves of enemies that spawn around you. Each enemy you kill drops a gem that increases your multiplier by one, which you can collect whenever you get out of the turret. The turret powerup only lasts about 6 seconds and resets your multiplier whenever you leave the turret, though you can replenish this by shooting at the other turret powerup in play, attracting it towards you, which also helps out by blowing away enemies near you, as you are not invincible while in the turret in Viva la Turret mode.
So, the game becomes a balancing act in Viva la Turret mode – you want to try to rack up a huge multiplier, but you need to be careful as you can easily lose all your gems by inadvertently picking up a loose Perforator icon. Also, it can be very difficult to kill enemies that are near you, and you may be helplessly waiting for the escape from your turret lest one stray red dot comes by and kills you. It fits in the game’s original formula, but it really does feel like a brand new game in the original Tilt to Live shell. If you want to hear more about the development of Viva la Turret, listen to the episode of The Portable Podcast featuring developers One Man Left where we talk about the expansion.
This mode is available as an in-app purchase in both the iPhone and iPad versions. It’s just $0.99 for the iPhone version, but the iPad version (which features the same larger playing field of the other HD modes, as well as a new enemy wave only in the HD version) is priced slightly differently. If you have bought the full version of Tilt to Live HD in the app, Viva la Turret will cost you $0.99 to unlock. If you haven’t bought the full version in-app yet, then you can unlock all the modes, including Viva la Turret for $4.99. The updates aren’t quite done yet, either: a cooperative multiplayer mode via wifi or Bluetooth entitled Viva la Coop will be coming to the iPhone version of the game as a free update to the Viva la Turret expansion, where one player mans the Perforator turret, and the other player collects jewels and powerups. This update should hit in February for the iPhone, around the one year birthday of the original Tilt to Live, which is practically an eon in terms of App Store gaming.
Evernote now comes with reminders to ensure that you never forget an important note. You can pin a note to the top of the list and add a due date to receive in-app and email notifications. It will also mark a note as done when you complete your task. Now we shall never forget to [...]