Tag: Interactive »
An album sleeve that controls DJ software?
Fact Magazine reports that a Kickstarted project is now available that brings together album art, djay 2, and touch technology to create an interesting result: the ability to manipulate the iOS-loaded software via physically touching the album cover itself.
The cover in question belongs to DJ Qbert's new album, Extraterrestria. Using Bluetooth, one can use the interactive art (which looks like turntables) to control Qbert music or other songs on one's device using the djay 2 app.
We reviewed djay 2 quite a while ago; and it's currently available for $9.99 on the App Store. Extraterrestria itself will be shipping out to backers first, but some vinyl copies will be available to the masses through Thud Rumble.
[Video Source: egotripland]
Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan is a children’s storybook that emphasizes the importance of going to bed, dreams, and those magical moments right before being tucked in.
Now Kelly Paniagua, author of the award-winning children's book, is planning to bring an interactive story app based on the very same bedtime story to the App Store. Very soon, in fact. Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan marks the first in a planned series of ten, and the intention is to release an app shortly after each title goes to print.
The Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan app includes pretty much everything parents would want in an interactive bedtime story: narration, highlighted text to aid with reading along, character voices (supplied by Paniagua’s own daughter as well as her husband, Julian McMahon), animations, and of course some interactive bits. A couple of mini-games have also been included. One involves flying through space collecting ingredients for baking cookies (finishing the game also reveals a recipe for “Galaxy Cookies”), while the other is about finding hidden animals and learning about nocturnal versus diurnal behavior.
What’s most intriguing about Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan is the special Coloring Activity. It’s actually based on Dr. Wayne Dyer’s theory about how what we see, do, and think about right before bed (about 30 minutes or so) can affect both our dreams and our mood when we wake up. Paniagua wanted to know, “What if you implemented this at a developmental age?”
The idea is for children to use their imagination and draw up something right before bed, and an “Idea Generator” is also available if they have trouble thinking of something. What they draw and/or the mood it puts them in (preferably happy) should, in theory, have an impact on their dreams. Drawings can be saved from within the app to your device’s camera roll for easy sharing, too.
Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan is available on the App Store right now for $2.99 (no in-app purchases). If you’re interested in the physical book as well, you can pick it up in stores now for $13.95.
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.