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This Week at 148Apps:June 22-26, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on June 29th, 2015

June's Summer Journey Continues With 148Apps

How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? 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.

LightRunner Armband

The LightRunner armband is about what you’d expect from a typical armband meant for running - at least I think, but I’m hardly an expert on running equipment - but it does offer a couple of useful features that could give it an edge. Mostly because of how it uses a protective layer to guard your iPhone or iPod from scratches while still letting you use the touch screen, and because it can light up to make nighttime jogs a bit safer. It’s a pretty well-constructed band that keeps your device secure while also allowing access to the headphone jack if you need it. I feel it’s a bit on the bulky side, but seeing as it’s meant to fit 11 different kinds of smartphones (from the iPhone 5 to the Moto X) I’m not sure there’s much they could’ve trimmed off. It might take some getting used to, but it works. --Rob Rich

Fallout Shelter

In preparation for Fallout 4's release this fall, Bethesda announced thatr they had also been working on a mobile title named Fallout Shelter. It's largely a management tapper like Tiny Tower, though it feels distinctly more like a Fallout wasteland scenario and less like a knockoff free-to-play experience. Fallout Shelter may not be for everyone, and it may seem like it misses a few opportunities, but it's a very interesting experience.Fallout Shelter lets players see what it would be like to be the overseer of a vault in the Fallout universe. Essentially this just means they're in charge of building a vault that provides safety and happiness for the dwellers within it. Much like Tiny Tower, players can expect to build additional rooms, match dwellers with jobs that make them happy, and collect resources.--Campbell Bird

Papaly Bookmark Manager

On the surface, Papaly Bookmark Manager sounds like something that isn’t really needed in a world of Instapaper and Pocket. In reality, it’s a very different kind of thing.It’s a way of organizing your links, but it also means that you can easily share them, according to subject, with other users. In that respect, it’s almost like a community. You can opt to simply import your links from social media and keep them safe, but you can also view many other selections. There’s a category devoted to gaming sites, for instance, as well as news sources.--Jennifer Allen

Her Story

At first glance, Her Story doesn't seem like much. It emulates the look and feel of seaching a police database from 1994 on an old Windows desktop - down to the horror of that teal background and ugly interface. There are only six things to click on and no real action to speak of. And yet, there is something strikingly compelling about it all. Sam Barlow, creator of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and Aisle, has brought his storytelling expertise to this interactive narrative. The entire game revolves around searching through clips of several videos of the police speaking with someone named Hannah Smith. --Jessica Fisher


I had my first experience with Whitaker Trebella’s Piloteer several months ago during GDC, and my opinion hasn’t changed much (read: at all) since then. It’s still super-awkward to control, it’s still incredibly difficult, and it’s still ridiculously fun.You control a nameless (but you get to name her so I guess she’s technically not nameless) inventor who’s just made the world’s first jetpack. Since she presumably doesn’t have the same knack for PR as she does for tinkering, she’s going to have to pull off some impressive stunts in order to convince the rest of the world that she’s on to something. This is, of course, much easier said than done. --Rob Rich

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:


EA Sports UFC

If anyone should try to tackle a sports sim, it should be EA Sports. And tackle fighting it did with EA SPORTS UFC.Somehow, the tutorial is quite enjoyable on it’s own. It’s of the hands-on variety, so one is able to learn while doing with visual cues that help folks to understand the control system — which incorporates gestures and swipes to control the basics. With said tutorial we see attacks and special attacks, defensive maneuvers, take-downs and even submissions. The controls require dexterity and a keen eye, as there are times a very precise tap is needed. The teaching tool also doesn’t clear until one is able to execute the moves proficiently.--Tre Lawrence

Spider Square

We did wonder just what Spider Square is all about. What better way to find out than to, well, play it?Graphically, it looks like a basic affair; the game uses bright splotches of pastels, and is presented in 2D form. The animations are crisp, and as we see when we get into the action, the colors do frame the gameplay quite well.When we say “simple” with regards to the gameplay, we mean just that. The idea is so easy to grasp, the game barely needs a formal tutorial. It’s an arcade game that is delightfully cloaked as a platformer. The action “moves” from left to right, and the main concept is to get a square, uh, spider(?) to keep moving rightwards (forward) for as long as possible. The main tool is a rope, and the cube moves by swinging from said rope attached to the roof of the playing area. The kicker is that the cube can’t touch the floor or ceiling.--Tre Lawrence

Alphabetty Saga

Yes, Alphabetty Saga is a word game, but clearly wants folks to know it is more than simply that; it packs in elements across the board, from Scrabble, word search, matching, and even a lit bit of Tetris-y gravity play… and then some. It does a lot, which helps it come out the gate strong.At first glance, it’s easy to see developer King’s handprint on the visuals. The game employs bright colors and graphics that lean towards the whimsical without necessarily stumbling into the cartoonish. As a word game, it relies heavily on tiles, but the developer isn’t so jaded as to forget splashing character into the background. It’s a vivid presentation, and it mostly works in the plying area, which usually consists of random word tiles.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus news, game guides and even more reviews than we can share here!

Vampire Season Heads to iOS on June 28th

Posted by Chris Kirby on June 21st, 2012

Summer may mean sunshine, blue skies and good times for most, but not for Dracula. The Prince of Darkness hates daylight, of course, but now Facebook, Twitter, and other social media have made it impossible for Drac to stay out of the limelight as well. Now, his coffin has been discovered, and it's up to you to defend it from the hordes of oddballs out to make a name for themselves.

Vampire Season is a new iOS game from developers 6waves and Brainz, and it's due to hit the App Store on June 28th. The game will be familiar to anyone who has played a tower defense game before, but Vampire Season twists up the action by having players defend an unusual point of contention - Big Dracula himself - with a varied assortment of ghouls and zombies. And what are they protecting Dracula from? Isn't it obvious? Interior decorators! Seriously....plus lots of other conventional and unconventional enemies as well. In-app purchases and upgrades are available, but game currency is also generated in game as you complete levels.

Look for the horror to be unleashed in just a few weeks.

Angry Birds Updates Aplenty!

Posted by Blake Grundman on May 16th, 2011

Just when you think that Angry Birds may finally be ready to slink away from the top of the iOS sales charts and make way for some new hotshot developers, another update hits for the most successful portable game franchise in the history of the platform.  That's right folks, it is time to fire up your iPhones and get ready for the long awaited and eagerly anticipated May update for Angry Birds Rio to land on your iOS device of choice.

After facing a barrage of emails, tweets, and Facebook messages when the first of May came and went without new stages being added to their beloved Angry Birds, Rovio decided to head speculation off at the pass, and released the following trailer:

Finally landing last Friday, the expansion pack nicknamed "Beach Volley",  features thirty new stages to add to the initial sixty included in Rio's original release.  This time you will take the primate assaulting to the surf and turf, in search of more birds that desperately need to be freed.

But that is not all folks, because it looks like the original Angry Birds may be getting some downloadable love as well.  According to Rovio's official twitter feed, late this month will also see brand new content come to roost on the first game that just kept on giving.  Honestly, the concept of continuing to update the first title when the sequel is already selling like gangbusters baffles me slightly, but who am I to sneeze at new, not to mention free, content.

In one last revelation to sneak out over Rovio's twitter account, they seem to be targeting June to release another update to Angry Birds Seasons.  Given that June 21st officially marks the start of summer, it would seem appropriate to see how everyone's favorite swine embrace the sweltering heat.  Oh, and just a note, in case you couldn't see the theme of this article, if you are a fan of Angry Birds, you should really be following Rovio on twitter.  It is a veritable news bonanza!

Backflip Studios Announces 5 Upcoming, Free Games

Posted by Ben Harvell on May 19th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Backflip Studios, the developer behind Paper Toss and Ragdoll Blaster has announced that it will be launching five new games on the App Store this month, all of which will be free. The company has also announced that it has seen over 26 million downloads in its first year of app development with many more to come. On top of this success, Backflip will also be publishing a number of games from other developers over the next few months. While some complain about apps that are supported by advertising, nobody can complain about great games that don't cost a penny and it seems Backflip is happy to provide us with just that.

So what does Backflip have in store for us?

Strike Knight
First on the roster is Strike Knight, a puck bowling game similar to arcade machines of the past, that sees the user compete for a high score while being taunted by The Strike Knight himself. This app just went live for iPhone and can be downloaded here.

Harbor Havoc 3D Free
Later this month, Harbor Havoc 3D, Backflip’s popular “Flight Control with boats” game will be rereleased as a free app.

Graffiti Ball
Graffiti Ball, slated for an early June release, involves using your iPhone to direct a ball to a target while also picking up bonuses using a spray paint can and gravity.

Paper Toss HD
Of the over 20 million users of the highly addictive Paper Toss, those with iPads will be excited to see Paper Toss HD arrive in mid-June.

Coming in late June is Ninjump, which sounds like a lot of fun. The game sees a ninja, being pursued by other ninjas, climbing up two buildings, jumping between the two and picking up bonuses.

Hit the jump for more screenshots from upcoming Backflip Studios games.