Posts Tagged interactive
I’ll confess that I’d heard of Anki Drive before, but it was really only in passing. So when I was given the opportunity to check everything out first-hand, I was definitely curious. There were some surprises and a few disappointments, but after some time spent tearing around the track I couldn’t help but be impressed. Is this the next step in remote control racing? That’s not for me to say, but it’s definitely in interesting experiment.
Imagine a semi-futuristic racing game in which you can compete with your friends or AI opponents on various tracks in an attempt to upgrade existing cars and possibly gain access to new ones. Picture all of the vehicles in each race have weapons and shields. Now imagine that the cars are actually physical electronic toys you can carry around with you. Now you’ve got a good idea of what Anki Drive is.
Each starter set comes with two cars and the necessary cables, as well as a track printed on something akin to vellum. You’ll also need to download the free Anki Drive app to control everything, of course. Once you do, simply turn on your cars, place them on the track, then use the app to find them and add them to your “garage” where you can spend points won through races to upgrade their stats. When you’re ready to start, you just set up a race and select your vehicle. If you want to invite a friend they can simply select the other car, or you can scan it in yourself and race against the AI. Yes, the physical car is controlled by AI. In fact, one of the newest additions to the lineup, Corax (pictured below), can only be used as a player vehicle if it’s beaten in an AI race first.
Weapons are also important, and will allow you to incapacitate your opponents temporarily during a heated race. Or you can simply battle each other to see who scores the most hits. The interesting thing is, again, that this is all happening with real remote controlled cars via your iPhone. When a car takes too much damage or runs out of juice, it will actually grind to a halt for a few moments while it recharges itself. Heck, these things can even recognize when they’re driving the wrong way and turn themselves around automatically.
The thing is, I’m not entirely sure who the target audience is. The cars seem fairly durable and were able to shrug off the occasional collision easily, but at almost $70 apiece they’re a bit outside the realm of a children’s toy. $199.99 for the starter kit is nothing to sneeze at, either. And yet, the underlying tech is pretty darn cool. I guess you could say your mileage may vary.
Shiny Happy App Reviews
The App Store can be a daunting place. What to try? What to buy? How do you know? Thank goodness the review team at 148Apps is here to save the day. 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.
dEXTRIS is not related to Tetris, so the “tris” part of the name doesn’t make much sense. But it is a game of dexterity that will cause the spewing of a multitude of profanities – in a good way. Players use their two thumbs to navigate two blocks around hazards. Tapping and holding on the left or right moves both blocks that direction, holding both sides splits the two blocks apart, and doing nothing leaves them in the center. This neutral state is mentioned specifically because some of the hazards require being in that neutral state. Some of the challenge comes from the fact that the blocks move quickly, but not instantaneously, and the hazards are diagonal: One must act about a split-second ahead of what’s coming at all times. –Carter Dotson
Spending most of my school-aged years in Northern California as I did, the subject of the mid-1800s California Gold Rush is indelibly etched into my brain. We went on gold panning school field trips to Placerville and hiked the same trails that the miners had a hundred and fifty years prior. When SomaSim’s 1849 went up for review, a glance at the screens filled my heart with hopes for a Gold Rush-themed Sim City. But as any seasoned Forty-Niner can attest, I probably shouldn’t get too excited about every sparkly nugget that catches the light. After all, there’s plenty of fool’s gold in these App Store hills, so it’s best to stay cautious. My assumptions were at least partially correct: 1849 IS a boomtown city simulation. But rather than the open sandbox format of a lot of city builders, 1849 takes a much more focused, scenario-guided path. Players jump from city to city across Central and Northern California during the height of gold fever, helping kickstart a series of small encampments and grow them into prosperous communities. Usually this takes the form of needing to import or export an amount of specific goods from surrounding towns, hitting population milestones, or the like. Upon arriving at the new settlement, players pick from one of three starting package options, which will determine the amount of money and/or free resources the settlers begin with. –Rob Thomas
At its most basic, Gunship X is a lot like Zombie Gunship. In fact, even at its most complicated, Gunship X is a lot like the zombie blasting hit. That’s no bad thing exactly, but enjoyment levels are heavily dependent on how much one enjoys mindless shooting. The idea is incredibly simple. Aliens are rushing at humanity and, most importantly, various landing areas. Humans are trying to flee to safe zones and it’s down to the player, controlling an AC-130 Gunship to protect them. Players don’t directly control the Gunship; instead they are reliant solely on its offensive capabilities. What this means is that the screen offers one large aiming reticule and a place to switch weapons. –Jennifer Allen
Previously a popular PC game, Sumotori Dreams is a pretty quirky title. It’s a form of sumo wrestling simulator, but one that’s far more focused on humor than realism. While in single player it’s a little forgettable, it’s a fun experience when participating with friends and certainly like little else out there. The key to success in Sumotori Dreams is to defeat the opponent. This is done through either pushing them over, forcing them out of the ring, or sometimes simply waiting for them to make a mistake and stumble over. The center of gravity for these characters is a bit wacky, meaning falling over is just as likely as being pushed. This is particularly noticeable when partaking in different arenas that actively encourage such problems, such as one level based on a giant seesaw and another at the top of a flight of stairs. –Jennifer Allen
Metal Slug Defense is a 2D, real time, side-scrolling strategy game based on the popular arcade shooter series. Although not the typical Metal Slug experience, Metal Slug Defense does a pretty great job of translating the charm and spirit of its predecessors into a mobile and more strategic form. In more typical Metal Slug titles, players take control of an individual soldier as they run, gun, and jump their way through 2D levels full of enemy soldiers and creatures. In Metal Slug Defense, players instead take control of a base that is capable of spitting out soldier after soldier, with the ultimate goal being to destroy the enemy base on the other side of the level. –Campbell Bird
I would like to introduce readers to Moo Said Morris, a storybook app for iPad that children and their parents will enjoy. Meet Morris: a young mouse who is a bit of an outsider. While all the other mice at school and in his town make the traditional squeaky noises, Morris makes sounds that are certainly un-mouse-like such as mooing like a cow, quacking like a duck, and even sounding like a car or airplane – much to the dismay of his teacher and to the disappointment of the community who find his unusual noises disconcerting to say the least. That is until his ability to sound like something that he is not comes in handy at the end. I really enjoy this story of Morris, a character that children will be able to relate to. The illustrations are delightful, full of details, and with a hand-drawn quality that I am really drawn to. The moments when Morris speaks are simply delightful, with a speech bubble including the image of an animal such as a horse or donkey making noises and complete with the name of their sounds written out, aiding children who may be new to animal sounds as well. –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:
Jumping on a trampoline, opening windows and stealing TV’s. All while being a little rat – that is what Snatz is all about. But is it any fun? Yes and no. It seems a bit random: rats stealing TV’s for a living, while they’re jumping on a trampoline from house to house and entering them one window at a time. Yes, but that’s excatly what Snatz is all about. In this game, players have to open windows by getting to them via a trampoline. The building the rats visit are very high and will get even higher later on in the game. If the residents see your little rat face one time to often, they will call the police. And when they come, the rats flee the scene of the crimes. This results in a car chase – dropping the stolen tv’s on the police, will stop the chase. –Wesley Akkerman
Running around like a hopped-up hyperactive hare – that’s the best description for this Russian indie game featuring a colorless bunny in a colorless world. In Crazy Pixel Run you control a rectangular, colorless bunny. The little fella is born in a world where everything is grey. He’s main goal in life: bring more color to it. It is platformer style indie game where you have to collect energy to stay alive in a randomly generated and infinite world. The bring color to the world, you need to run around like a crazy pixel-rabbit and collect special glowing things. Every part of the world you touch collecting these things, will brightening up your world. –Wesley Akkerman
Song of Hero is a rhythm RPG, a combination between rhythm games like Guitar Hero, and a role-playing game. The player needs to organize a 4-man battle band that fights against various monsters. The battle consists of several phases, as heroes and the monster take turns attacking and using special abilities – but for player, the task is always the same – just hit all upcoming beats on time, as they reach the end of their lanes. Although the outcome greatly depends on the player’s accuracy, it’s still possible to fail the battle if the monster isn’t beaten by the end of the playing song. The songs are about a minute and a half long, and although I couldn’t name a single performer, each one of the songs was of a good quality. –Tony Kuzmin
And finally, this week Pocket Gamer celebrated the best month in iOS gaming EVER, discussed the controversy surrounding Nintendo’s Tomodachi Life, and took a look at Techland’s Hellraid: The Escape. Plus – get a full walkthrough to Bridge Constructor Medieval and learn how to build the perfect deck in Hearthstone. It’s all right here, right now.
Another collection of interactive Poe stories is making the rounds. Best not read them alone in the dark.
Read The Full Review »
This week at 148Apps.com, we got ready for some much-deserved rest with a comprehensive overview of all major Labor Day app sales. Site founder Jeff Scott writes, “It’s another holiday weekend here in the USA. Burning Man, end of summer, Labor day — pick your favorite. And that means it’s time for another huge sale on iPhone and iPad apps. These apps are on sale and they have to go!”
Released: 2012-04-12 :: Category: Games
Released: 2011-12-15 :: Category: Games
Over at GiggleApps.com, reviewer Amy Solomon dug deep into the earth and discovered Auracle-Fossil. She writes, “Fossil tells the story of a girl finding a fossil on the beach, and the story of where her mind goes as she imagines this dinosaur alive long ago, as well as the process that this bone must have taken to be transformed into a fossil.
Fossil is beautifully illustrated with striking water colors, as these original illustrations found in the published book work quite well in terms of translating these paintings. Here, the double page spreads from the book are formatted to fit the screens without losing much real-estate, allows readers to see both these pages together without the need to pan and scan, a feature that works in other apps, yet is simply not necessary here.”
Released: 2012-07-25 :: Category: Education
Finally, 148Apps.biz writer Carter Dotson reported on an unusual trend in the world of free apps: “Fiksu has released its latest Indexes tracking how much it costs for brands to acquire loyal users, and how many downloads the top free iPhone apps are getting.
The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index tracks the average combined volume of the top 200 free iPhone apps. For July, the Index indicates that daily downloads decreased month-over-month by 5.6%, down to 4.37 million downloads from 4.63 million in June. The number has remained relatively stable after a drop from 6.35 million in February. This may be due to a residual after-effect of the holiday season, which saw steady increases after the launch of the iPhone 4S.”
More big stories are on the way from the App experts at 148Apps! Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook to keep track of the latest sales, reviews, news items and more. See you next week, football fan!
The board game of Monopoly is an impressive 112 years old. That means plenty of time for multiple different varieties of the game. Vying away from the likes of Simpsons, Lord of The Rings and World Cup soccer editions, now there’s a new and technologically advanced variety in the form of Monopoly zAPPed.
Monopoly zAPPed relies upon special credit cards that can be scanned with an iOS device. Keeping up with the 21st century focus on using plastic rather than cash to spend, these devices automatically transfer funds between players’ accounts once swiped. A selection of mini games also stem from the app which can help players escape jail and jail fines.
It all makes for a fun twist on the traditional Monopoly experience and is bound to keep fans happy.
The app is available now and is free to download. Although, bear in mind that the Monopoly zAPPed board game is required to use it fully.
Once upon a Friday evening, as I sat here, email reading,
Over a many quaint and curious letter of reviews implored,
While I perused, nearly napping, all the while my fingers clacking,
Pausing not their steady tapping, tapping on my old keyboard.
“ ‘Tis a slow night,” I muttered, “little use for my keyboard;
Only spam, and nothing more.”
Deep into my malaise drifting, long I sat there, fading, staring
Doubting, seeking apps few mortals ever dared download before;
Then my boredom was disbanded, by the news of an app branded,
A collection handed to a more than willing App Store.
I noticed when I checked the store. And I found, it offered more.
Not content with mere wording, these three stories feature moving,
Not just moving but reacting, with a touch we’ve seen before.
“The Tell-Tale Heart,” said I, “has piqued my interest.
“As has The Oval Portrait and The Masque of the Red Death.
Let’s see if interaction makes them better, better than they were before.”
iPoe, with interactive stories, still is sitting, still is sitting
Lurking in the category for books found on the App Store;
And we all can start the reading of this dark and twisted dreaming.
And the price is of a number that in dollars orbits four ($3.99);
And my goal for this here story has been met with much fervor
Download it from—The App Store!
Released: 2012-03-26 :: Category: Books
This week at 148Apps.com, everything was hopping in celebration of Easter weekend. We started with Jennifer Allen’s Five for Friday feature, showcasing an array of Easter-themed apps. Allen writes, “Happy Easter folks. No matter how you may celebrate it, and whether you do or not, we’ve got some fun Easter themed apps and games to cover in this week’s Five For Friday. Much like the event itself, the apps are a little geared towards families but there’s still fun to be had for all.”
Released: 2011-03-04 :: Category: Games
Meanwhile, Amy Solomon from GiggleApps reviewed a new interactive children’s book – Nedi the Yeti. Solomon says, “Nedi the Yeti would make a great first app for babies and toddlers as the animals are friendly looking and engaging as well as not so well hidden that children of all ages could not find these creatures with ease, as a drag of a finger will coax these animals from their hiding places and a tap will trigger a speech bubble and a fun animal sound, be it either cartoony or realistic as is the case of the included bird or owl sounds found within.”
Finally, 148Apps.biz writer Kevin Stout explored ways for developers to acquire new users for their apps. Stout says, “Getting recognition and acquiring new users for mobile apps has gotten harder and harder as the app ecosystem has grown. This week, at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit 2012, strategy was discussed about the rising cost of user acquisition by three people close to the issue: Gabriel Leydon, chief executive of Machine Zone (free MMO developer of iMob and Original Gangstaz), Maria Alegre, CEO of Chartboost (app promotion solution), and Chris Akhavan, VP and GM of Strategic Partnerships at Tapjoy (app discovery and sharing platform).”
Thanks for another great week! If you want to keep track of the latest reviews, news and contests, there’s a great way to do it – just follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook. It’s just that easy – promise! See you next week, law-abiding citizen!
This week at 148Apps.com, we checked out the long-awaited release of Readability, via a quick overview and full review from Lisa Caplan. Caplan writes, “The app provides the same service and merges seamlessly with the web versions. Users open to a blank page with just a menu. Filling the app is the the reader’s job. Users can search the web or enter an URL manually. The app pulls the article, pretties it up, and places a lead-in on the home screen.
I found it faster to just surf on my Mac adding articles that appealed as I found them, but how one fills the app is a small matter. What Readability does with the content is the cool bit. I tested the universal build on an iPad and it works wonderfully in both orientations. In landscape the articles fill the main pane and a well-designed and unobtrusive sidebar has the menu. In portrait the sidebar is a tiny top bar.”
Released: 2012-03-01 :: Category: News
Meanwhile, our sister site Giggleapps.com dug deep into the garden of apps and came up with a review of The Giant Turnip: A Kidztory Classic Animated Interactive Storybook. Reviewer Amy Solomon says, “As always, the look of this app is delightful, with wonderful colors and textures and fun use of music incorporated into a style utterly recognizable as a Kidztory storybook. I appreciate the warm browns and green shades seen in the land where the turnip is planted, along with the noticeable brush strokes for a lovely effect. Possibly more so than other apps from this series, nothing is flat-looking within this app as every animal or other detail has its own imperfect texture that layered together on the page really brings a richness to this story that adults may enjoy even more than their children.”
Released: 2011-12-12 :: Category: Books
Finally, 148Apps.biz updated GameSpy’s progress on its GameSpy Open platform. Brad Hilderbrand writes, “Today GameSpy announced that there are over 600 titles in development for its year-old GameSpy Open platform. The stable of upcoming titles includes games like Warm Gun, Skullgirls and more, with a total of 1200 developers hard at work on new projects.”
The old week is done. Bring on the new week, with the promise of the iPad 3 just around the corner. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to keep abreast of the latest reviews, news items and contests right when they happen. See you next week!
Today, the internet is full of ways for users to connect and interact with each other and with the brands vying for their engagement. It can sometimes be overwhelming just trying to navigate this landscape. Engagement Media Technologies is making things a little easier with their new Stringfly app.
Stringfly features a whole suite of services designed to help users communicate through various online outlets. Engage.Me connects consumers directly to brands and advertisers. OneNews is a citizen journalism news portal that allows users to upload text, videos and photos for quick crowwdsourcing. Finally, Gevius is a database providing consumers with text, video, and photo information on everything from product security to product compliance. Stringfly even boasts that users can earn money by cooperating with these partners.
Stringfly is a hub for the latest forms of digital communication and interaction. Best of all, it is available now on the App Store for free.
Released: 2012-02-09 :: Category: Social Networking
Moby Dick is one of those great pieces of literature which everyone claims to have read, but very few people actually get all the way through. It’s no surprise either, considering that the book is long, dense and at times so boring you’d rather stab yourself repeatedly with a harpoon than turn the page. Arcade Sunshine Media thinks they may have a solution to the issue with the newly released Moby Dick – A Digital Odyssey.
In addition to access to the complete Melville e-book, users can also access infographics, videos with literary experts, an interactive glossary, and more. A couple other cool features include a timeline of the life of Herman Melville and explanations on how different events of his life shaped the book, as well as a map of the journey of the Peaquod. those interested in historical context can also learn more about the whaling industry without ever having to leave the app.
There’s a hefty amount of content offered for a relatively cheap app, and it’s a great way to bring a literary classic into the modern era. Sure, you probably still won’t read the book, but at least you can sound smart at parties when facing off against inferior intellectuals who only read the Cliff’s Notes.
Having spent a decent portion of my retail career involved in the children’s section of a bookstore, I think I have a solid grasp of what makes for popular literature among parents and their children. There’s always one or two “flavors of the week,” but there are also those that always sell. Where the Wild Things Are. The Velveteen Rabbit. Virtually anything written by Mo Willems or Sandra Boynton. Sitting proudly at the top of this list are the works of the undisputed monarch of children’s literature, Dr. Seuss.
Theodor Seuss Geisel‘s stories have been adapted for all manner of medium, not surprisingly including iOS. Oceanhouse Media has been offering special adaptations, referred to as “omBooks” for portable Apple devices for quite a while now. These special not-quite-ebooks allow users to flip through their virtual pages normally, have the stories read to them at a set pace (not unlike a movie) or a hybrid of the two that narrates while emphasizing key words.
While individual Seuss classics have been available in this form for quite some time, Oceanhouse has released their first-even multi-title collection. The Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection #1 features five of (arguably) his most well-known works: The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, The FOOT Book, Mr. Brown Can MOO! Can You? and Fox in Socks. Five classics, no waiting. Well, depending on one’s WiFi speed, anyway.
This collection is on the App Store right now for $11.99. I know it may seem like a lot, but buying each of these omBooks individually would cost around $15 or so. And that’s after the price drops in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Anyone with an appreciation for all things Seuss should certainly check this out.
This week at 148Apps.com, we opened the floodgates for the 2011 Best App Ever Awards. Site founder Jeff Scott writes, “In its fourth year, the Best App Ever awards is a people’s choice awards for apps. Last year over 500,000 votes were cast in the quest to find the best apps, not just the best selling. This year it’s back bigger and better than ever. In a big change this year, not just iOS but also Android applications and games are up for nomination in the awards competition. Users can nominate their favorite apps and games in any of the multiple categories by heading to the app nomination page and choosing a category.”
Read more about the 2011 Best App Ever Awards on 148Apps.
Over at GiggleApps, our site dedicated to reviewing the latest apps for kids, reviewer Amy Solomon took a closer look at the new Charlie Brown Christmas App, saying, “It is lovely that children can decorate their own tree with included ornaments and other decorations, as well as a few that must be earned by finding all the hidden items as accomplishments. This area is found on the first title page of the book and can easily be overlooked as one starts to read. Please look for it. I am also smitten with the last page of this app where the characters are all shown with image and name, and a tap letting readers hear the line they are most noted for in this story, a great section for me to go over with my son as he is new to these characters.”
Get into the Christmas spirit and read the full review on GiggleApps.
Released: 2011-11-17 :: Category: Books
Finally, AndroidRundown writer Carter Dotson published a commentary regarding the recent CarrierIQ revelations. Dotson says, “Some of the fallout is settling from the explosive Carrier IQ revelations – naturally, most parties involved are denying any kind of wrongdoing, or even that their tools are even installed at all on the phones. Apps to search for the existence of the tools on phones now exist. As well, apparently even Carrier IQ was found on iOS devices, although Apple has pledged to remove them in a future iOS software update. Interestingly, one researcher has found that the software likely isn’t sending vast swaths of user personal information back to carriers and manufacturers, although there are still some questions about the data that is being recorded by Carrier IQ tools. In fact, a lot of this data may be used for benign purposes such as determining where phone calls are being dropped, rather than any kind of purpose of spying on user information.”
Read the full CarrierIQ rundown on AndroidRundown.
We’re done for this week. But next week brings us that much closer to Christmas, and closer to the new year. Keep informed by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter. Jingle on your merry way….and see you next week.
This week at 148Apps.com, writer Carter Dotson reviewed one of the most anticipated iOS games in recent memory – Infinity Blade II. Dotson writes, “Most of what is new here is a modified and extended progression structure. Instead of one path leading to a final boss, where failure means starting over, there are now several of them, with more branching paths to explore. There are 3 different weapon types now: the traditional swords, slow and heavy axes that deal more damage, and speedy dual swords that deal less base damage, but can do double damage once combos are started. The story is more fleshed out, with actual speaking dialogue from characters besides the God King.”
Released: 2011-12-01 :: Category: Games
Meanwhile, our attention was turned to more artistic matters at GiggleApps, as Amy Solomon reviewed Auryn – Van Gogh and the Sunflowers. Solomon says, “The look of this app is terrific, with illustrations evoking the style that Van Gogh is known for, complete with bold color choices and noticeable use of brush strokes, but maintains a childlike quality that fits well within this storybook. The jazzy music used is also wonderful, relaxing as well as engaging and very enjoyable to listen to even for long periods of time. The narration used here is also quite good. Parents will also like that each spoken word is highlighted red to aid the young children new to the world of reading.”
Released: 2011-10-22 :: Category: Books
Finally, 148Apps.biz site editor Rob Lefebvre reported on tablet users and their media consumption. LeFebvre writes, “In a study put out by comScore and reported by Fierce Mobile Content and the appside, interested parties can see that the number one use of tablet devices is games, with 67% of surveyed tablet users saying they’ve played a game at least once in the past month, as compared to 49% of smartphone users surveyed. 23% of those surveyed said they’d played a game on their tablet EVERY DAY. That’s a good number.”
That’s our wrap-up for this week. While you’re out getting all of your holiday shopping done, don’t forget to check us out on our Facebook and Twitter feeds to find out the latest and greatest news, reviews and contests. Feliz Navidad!