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Retro Racing Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on February 23rd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: VROOM VROOM
Retro Racing is a top-down racer with 12 tracks and same device multiplayer on iPad.
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Where's My Water? Gets Cranky With Gameplay-Changing Cranky's Story Update

Posted by Carter Dotson on January 27th, 2012

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.

Sketch Up Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Michael Halloran on January 18th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: GEOMETRY CAN BE FUN
Here's a geometry puzzle game that involves combining shapes together to create more complex shapes. Working quickly and strategically is key to completing each level.
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Bowling Wizards Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Michael Halloran on January 2nd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: BOWLED OVER
Bowling Wizards uses bowling and puzzle game elements to help the Bowlon's fight for their freedom against the Evil Wiz and his hypnotized Pines.
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Magic Guitar Review

By Michael Halloran on December 28th, 2011
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.
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Zynga Launches ForestVille for iOS

Posted by Greg Dawson on December 16th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

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.

Hidden Object Facebook Game Gardens of Time Comes To iPad

Posted by Jennifer Allen on December 13th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

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.

Gardens of Time is out now for the iPad.

Cutesy Physics Platforming With HamStar

Posted by Jennifer Allen on August 23rd, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

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.

HamStar is out now. Get to saving little Elmo!

A Space Shooter For Free Brings Explosions, Machismo, and Explosions of Machismo to the App Store

Posted by Carter Dotson on August 3rd, 2011

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.

Zombie Toss Basketball Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on July 13th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SIMPLE PLEASURE
Zombie Toss Basketball offers simple yet compelling paper toss style fun.
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Dino Catch Combines Dinosaurs With Math in a Delicious Gaming Shell

Posted by Carter Dotson on July 8th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

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 Motivation Courtesy Of Arookoo

Posted by Jennifer Allen on June 20th, 2011

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.

Arookoo is available now.

Captain CupCake and the Donut Disaster Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jason Wadsworth on June 17th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: GLAZED OVER
No, this game is not about an off duty cop in search of a snack, but it may have been a bit more enjoyable if it was. Ultimately, this is just a simple platformer with a sugary sweet veneer.
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Maps+ Offers Plenty Of Navigation Features For A Low Price

Posted by Jennifer Allen on May 31st, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

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.

Tuned Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on May 13th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: EXCEPTIONAL
Tuned uses the iTunes Store to keep its music trivia fresh and fun.
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