So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iPhone lover to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just check out the Reviews Archive for every single review we’ve ever written.
Ever since the launch of the new Star Wars trilogy back in the summer of 1999, people have been second-guessing George Lucas’ decisions as a filmmaker. With that in mind, it seems like it was only a matter of time before he threw up his arms and said, “Oh, you think you can do better?” Though that scenario may be fictionalized, the resulting application is very real: Star Wars Scene Maker. Is the application powerful enough to let fans bring balance to the Force, or will the lack of free content leave the sandbox more barren than Tatooine on a summer day? Lights. Camera. Action. It is hard to deny the allure of a big Hollywood production. In Star Wars Scene Maker, the user gets to sit in the director’s chair and design their own scene set, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….” Everything from the camera angles and positioning to the actions being scripted and performed bends to the will of the director. Even the dialog can be spoken and inserted directly into the application. Simply put, the storytelling potential of this tool is virtually limitless. As long as you are willing to pay the price, of course. –Blake Grundman
Mecha Ace is an interactive reading experience centered around the interstellar civil war between the ruthless Empire of Earth and its independent space colonies. At the beginning of the book, readers will be asked whether the gender of non-playable characters will be randomized or not. What seems like a futile question actually just serves to show the sheer scope and flexibility of Mecha Ace, as this seemingly minor adjustment can easily effect how readers will react to key relationships within the game. Readers will soon come to choose minor details such as tactical strategy and custom upgrades, all the way up to character-defining moments such as justifying murder or deciding their initial motivation for joining the fight for Earth. These and other decisions really allows for a deeper connection to the story and its characters. –Lee Hamlet
The LEGO series of games have had their fair share of ups and downs, providing fans with inconsistent experiences from game-to-game. While some have succeeded in recreating the success of their console brethren, others have fallen far short of this benchmark. Can the most recent Marvel themed outing brought over from the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita make the successful transition to iOS, or will our favorite heroes be left looking decidedly less super? From the moment that the game begins it’s obvious that LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is a far cry from some of the other highly-polished LEGO games on the App Store. For starters, the fixed three quarters top-down camera proves to be a sticking point that negatively affects both the presentation and controls. Core elements of the environment like ledges are very difficult to determine from the perspective that the game implements. But who doesn’t like a little unnecessary backtracking, right? –Blake Grundman
No matter how you feel about Michael Bay’s take on the franchise, its hard for anyone with an even remotely geeky bent to not have at least a little soft spot for the Transformers. So whenever a new Transformers-related game rolls in, there’s always that small spark of hope that it’ll turn out more like High Moon Studios’ excellent 2010 console release Transformers: War for Cybertron and less like, well, pretty much every other Transformers game in the history of ever. [Editor's Note: Oh you did NOT just forsake Fall of Cybertron and the one for the PlayStation 2 based on Armada!] That’s not to say that I’m expecting a full console-style experience from a free-to-play iOS release, mind you. That would be a grossly unfair burden to shoulder Transformers: Age of Extinction with. I’m speaking more to just the general level of quality, fun, and fan service that one would hope for. And while I’m not saying that it totally falls short in all these categories, it doesn’t really quite reach them either. –Rob Thomas
Science Museum Splash! is a new interactive app for iPad and iPhone that young children will find quite engaging as they explore this water-themed activity by filling a bathtub full of water and having lots of fun dropping different items into the tub to explore whether they will float or sink. A few novelty animals are included, as well as the ability to change the color of the water and also to customize the background colors seen within this app. I appreciate this application because, universally, children really enjoy playing with water. Yet parents can sometimes do without the wet mess that comes along with this type of exploration. This app also gives children the vantage point of being able to see the toy or other object’s effect within the water – be it popping back to the surface or falling to the bottom, which children can’t visualize as well when they are in the bathtub themselves. Although this app is no substitute for playing within a water table or playing during bath time, it allows children to explore the physics of water in the comfort of their own bed or when out and about if they choose. –Amy Solomon
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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:
Winning Kick feels good to play not only because it’s a bit of fun, but also because 50% of all proceeds from the game go to the Charity Ball, a organization that provides soccer balls to kids in developing countries. This is a great idea. Luckily, the game is enjoyable as well. Winning Kick is simple yet effective. It is less a soccer game and more a game of timing. The game starts with one of the players with the ball. An arrow moves quickly back and forth. The idea is to tap to pass the ball when it is aimed at another player so they receive it. In this way the ball can be worked towards the goal player by player, avoiding the keeper as well. Once a goal is scored, the ball is given to a random defender and the cycle starts again with the goal to set the highest score. –Allan Curtis
Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake is a Kickstarted puzzle collaboration between SleepNinja Games and Cartoon Network The game is self-described as being like Legend of Zelda, and that specific description is apt. The 2D stylings are whimsically implemented, with cutscenes and dialog boxes used to move the gameplay along. The intro action kind of plods along, but as soon as one gets through that, the backstory catapults us into the digital quest. Our protagonist is a young boy named Niko, who, upon wanting to experience the renown glory of cake for breakfast on his birthday, finds that his cake has been stolen by the Boogin King and his cohorts in a fit of “cakelust.” Accompanied by his trusty canine companion, Niko looks to save all treats by looking to best the Boogin King. In practice, this is done by solving puzzles presented in the leveled series. It starts off simple enough to highlight the controls: tapping and dragging to guide the movement of our hero. –Tre Lawrence
I blinked and I missed it. England’s run in this year’s World Cup has been close to shambolic and to be honest I missed a lot of it. Mainly because I was playing Flick Soccer Brazil. The setup’s simple. A ball, a goal and a keeper. The aim is to swipe at the football and then as the ball’s mid-flight you swipe at the screen again to apply some extra dip, lift or swerve. This sounds easy but there’s a real skill to swiping at the ball just quick enough to get enough height on the shot so it reaches the top corner. Even a fraction too much velocity to your swipe and the ball will end up in row Z. –Matt Parker
Swipe Tap Smash takes after the NES’ Super Smash Volleyball, which is one of those games that perhaps has been played by millions through random cartridges floating around. It was a pretty neat game, one that feels underrepresented by modern developers recreating retro games. But now, someone has, as an endless arcade game. The title perfectly describes how it is played. One of the volleyballers sets the ball, the other sets it up high for a smash, which the player then swipes toward the ball, tapping to smash it on time. Each successful ball hit to the other side is worth a point in the game’s endless mode. A trick mode is available where various criteria, including hitting the ball quickly, and knocking over both opponents with a powerful smash, can award the player more points for their individual shots. –Carter Dotson
Posted by Jessica Fisher on June 20th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Oh no! Loki and his evil buddies are constructing a super-weapon. Who can stop them? The LEGO® Marvel™ Super Heroes! After their success with consoles and PC last year, Marvel and Lego have teamed up to bring LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril to mobile devices. Play as Spider-Man, Captain America, the Hulk, and 88 other characters. Seek out the Cosmic Bricks in the 45 missions that span the Marvel Universe.
The game has two control settings: “Console” and “Touch Screen,” which will make it easier for players to play the way they prefer. As the app requires no internet access players can feel free to play where and when they like. Just watch out when downloading the game. It takes up 2.2gb of space when downloaded with wifi.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril is available on the App Store for $4.99.
Gitchsoft, a self-proclaimed “little known shop in Ottawa, Canada,” is partnering with entertainment super-house Marvel Entertainment to develop a game based on Uncanny X-Men comics for iOS. The game will be based on the 1980 story arc Days of Future Past, and looks to be a bit different from other games currently on mobile.
If the enthusiasm of the developer is anything to go by, this is a game well worth waiting for. According to Marvel’s VP of Game Production, TQ Patterson, Glitchsoft is a partner worthy of bringing these characters to mobile life. “Glitchsoft came to us with a pedigree of rock-solid game development, strong production values, and a passion for the Uncanny X-Men franchise that was impossible to ignore,” he said. “It’s these sorts of qualities that we look for in a partner, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring our version of ‘Days of Future Past’ to mobile.”
The target date for release, according to the teaser website, is May 2014.
Disney has released Disney Movies Anywhere app that gives access to any Disney, Pixar, or Marvel digital movie purchased via Disney or iTunes, all in one place. This app introduces something we haven’t yet seen, deep ties and content license sharing with iTunes. Here’s how it works.
Two logins are needed, a Disney ID and an iTunes ID. Once signed into the Disney ID, the app will prompt the user to tie a Disney ID to an iTunes account by launching iTunes on the iOS device and asking for permission. See the screenshots below.
Once the two accounts are linked, the magic happens. Any Disney, Pixar, or Marvel movie purchased in iTunes now shows up in the app. In addition, any Disney digital movie purchased (usually as part of a DVD & digital copy bundle) that is associated with the Disney account now appears as purchased in the iTunes account. That’s something we haven’t seen before. A deep integration and cross license system between iTunes purchases and a content owner’s own system.
And beyond that, there is every single Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movie ever made available for purchase in the app. That’s pretty magical. All of my childhood favorites are here, even the non-animated ones like Old Yeller and The Love Bug. The prices are high, as is common for Disney, but they are all there.
In addition, the app also includes special features, shorts, etc. all of the content associated with each release is included with a purchase. As a special offer, anyone who downloads the app and sets up the connection between Disney and iTunes will be gifted a free copy of Pixar’s The Incredibles.
Jamie Voris, Chief Technology Officer, The Walt Disney Studios comments on the release.
“Disney Movies Anywhere is an adaptable digital ecosystem designed to help consumers consolidate their Disney movie collections and enjoy them for years to come. The beauty of this technology is that it enables us to work with iTunes and future provider partners to ensure movie lovers have streamlined access to all of their favorite Disney titles no matter which device they are on. The intuitive layout of the website and app creates an easy and enjoyable browsing environment for the whole family.”
I hope we see a lot more of this type of integration in the future with content rights holders integrating with iOS and iTunes. It’s a loosening of digital rights, just a tiny bit. And does so in a way that’s refreshingly logical and customer friendlier than most services launched these days.
I have a suspicion that this is an example of what we may see once the Apple TV strategy is finally revealed.
Comic book purists who like their comics bagged, boarded, and boxed may disapprove, but there’s no doubt that digital comics have revitalized the comic book industry these last few years as more and more people embrace the platform on their tablets. Below are just a few of the ways and reasons to go digital this year.
Where better to begin than with the biggest comic book store on iOS: Comixology. Featuring titles from DC and Marvel (sharing content from their respective apps), Valiant, Image, and a plethora of indie publishers – their thoughtful collections, frequent discounts, and generous giveaways are a great avenue for discovering new series and lesser-known works. Digital format is also often the only way to read out-of-print comic books or issues that would cost a fortune to purchase from online merchants.
Comics have often been thought of as a perfect medium between literature and cinema, and Comixology’s Guided View technology only strengthens that idea. Delivering the content in a frame-by-frame format not only makes reading possible on smaller devices, but really builds suspense unlike anything comic readers will have previously experienced. Especially since there is no opportunity to have a cheeky peek at those bottom-of-the-page spoil-the-surprise panels. Continue reading 148Apps 2013 wrAPP-Up – The Dynamic Duo of Digital Comics and iOS »
So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iOS devotee to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just check out the Reviews Archive for every single review we’ve ever written.
Death is a very common thread in gaming, though admittedly in most cases it is being used as a motivating factor that the player wants to avoid. In the freshly ported iOS version of Skulls of the Shogun, the focus is actually on what happens after the main character has left the land of the living. General Akamoto and his ragtag group of hoodlums are trying to fight their way to the proverbial pearly gates, one decapitation at a time. Naturally they face quite the uphill struggle, with plenty of amusing shenanigans along the way. –Blake Grundman
Assassin’s Creed Pirates is a game that’s appropriately multi-faceted: it encompasses multiple types of gameplay in its quest for pirate action in the Caribbean seas around the time of Assassin’s Creed IV. It’s a game with plenty to do and offers fun looting and boat-sinking times, it’s just structurally sub-optimal. There are two main parts to the game: sailing and combat. Sailing takes place in two different environments: a top-down map view that allows for just drawing lines to get around, and an “immersive” view where players can actually steer the ship, raise or lower the sails to control their speed, find random items to pick up, and challenging neutral ships that they cross. This is more fun, just more time-consuming. Certain missions require a certain view: race missions require immersive view while assassination missions which require stealth to sail past ship patrols use the top-down view. –Carter Dotson
Offering fairly powerful mapping features tied into Google Maps, Maps Pro with Google Maps is the kind of app that regular travellers are going to want to keep on their iPads for future reference. So much simpler and more intuitive to use than the website, it’s a very handy tool. Even better, it hardly needs learning. That’s how easy it is to figure out. Immediately placing a pin on the user’s current location, everything about Maps Pro with Google Maps is easily laid out. The opening page offers up directions, sharing, street view, settings, and a search bar. –Jennifer Allen
PDF Expert 5 isn’t an update to the already popular app, but is instead a newly redesigned package that provides iPad users with more features. It handles everything about a PDF – like reading, annotating, and editing. The app was just released this week and its fresh and sleek design make it a perfect fit for iOS 7. Whether users are familiar with previous versions or are just trying it out for the first time, it’s clear that the new features help to make navigation easier. For starters, there is a new PDF viewer that allows users to open large files, search through text, extract text from PDFs, and even open password-protected documents. There’s plenty of room to view PDFs thanks to full screen annotations and the smart zoom option that help users make notes and draw with ease. –Angela LaFollette
Roxie’s Puzzle Adventure is a terrific universal puzzle adventure app for all ages, adapting the richly detailed illustrations of Roxie Munro’s previous puzzle app, Roxie’s a-MAZE-ing Vacation Adventure, into a jigsaw puzzle that players of all abilities will enjoy. This app consists of a colorful, stylized, and magnificently drawn landscape that is then broken up into 16 different smaller puzzles. I appreciate how up to five players use this app and their game will be saved independently, and how players can choose to break these individual puzzles into a number of puzzle pieces ranging from six chunky pieces to 260 small pieces on the iPad and 130 pieces on the iPhone, giving young children as well as seasoned adults a chance to enjoy this app equally. –Amy Solomon
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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:
In Banana Kong, the players can learn an important lesson: eventually, your possessions and greed turn on you. And the more things you get, the harder they will fall on your head, and no matter how long you run, they will eventually bury you. Unless you have a hog you can ride on. This is where the analogy kind of falls apart for me. –Tony Kuzmin
There’s no point beating about the bush when talking about Dream of Pixels. It’s Tetris but with a twist. There’s no other way to explain it. Dream of Pixels is a puzzle game where you have to place familiar look shapes onto the screen. Unlike the game it clearly derives from, these shapes don’t drop down from the top of the screen, so there’s no need to shift your shapes from left to right before they hit the bottom. Instead, Dream of Pixels slowly (at first) scrolls the entire screen upwards. Your job is to ensure that no empty spaces make their way to the bottom of the screen. This means you need to use your shapes to ensure that each line is full of blocks. –Matt Parker
Thor: The Dark World is an arcade pseudo beat-em up arcade game that also serves as an official Android companion game to the movie of the same name. The game is nice to look at. Thor’s hair has the golden yellow halo effect, and the virtual environment is a fine interpretation of of cinematic imagination. Bright colors, interesting beasts and nicely animated characters rolling to the booming voice of Thorish proclamations. There is a judicious use of color, and while some of the animations are a bit formulaic they are altogether hard not to enjoy. –Tre Lawrence
And finally, this week Pocket Gamer reviewed Blek, Assassin’s Creed Pirates, Space Hulk, and The Wolf Among Us, picked the best iOS and Android games of November, tore it up with Touchgrind Skate 2‘s video upload feature, went hands-on with The Room 2, and put together holiday gift guides for 3DS and Vita. For all that and loads more, Head to Pocket Gamer for their weekly wrap-up.
Marvel has just revealed a couple of new tidbits about their iOS endeavors, right in the middle of New York’s Comic Con. New characters and rewards will be making their way into the next PvP season in Avengers Alliance, and an all new game called Run Jump Smash is being brought state-side. Screens and a video can be found below.
Run Jump Smash is a runner (obviously) featuring The Hulk (also rather obvious), and has been a pretty big hit in Korea up to now. No pun intended. Avengers Alliance, on the other hand, is ready to entice its players with new heroes to recruit. Those who participate and do well in the next PvP season will earn Deadpool (yes, Deadpool!) as a reward, while everyone else will be able to hire the likes of The Punisher and Beast.
Gameloft has teamed up with Marvel once again, this time to bring Thor: The Dark World to the App Store. The new game is inspired by the upcoming movie, which will launch simultaneously this fall. The free-to-play game features over 100 missions against Marauders and Dark Elves as Thor must fight to bring order to the Nine Worlds.
“Thor: The Dark World – The Official Game will allow fans of the franchise to play as one of Marvel’s most iconic Super Heroes in a game of epic scope and beauty.” said Javon Frazier, VP Games Marketing at Marvel, in a press release. “With this new game, we are further expanding the successful relationship between Marvel and Gameloft.”
Need to know the latest and greatest apps each and every week? Look no further than 148Apps. Our reviewers comb through the vast numbers of new apps out there, find the good ones, and write about them in depth. 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. Want to see what we’ve been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.
League of Legends may not have invented the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre, but it certainly had a hand in popularizing it. It’s actually become so popular that there have been more than a few attempts at recreating such an experience on iOS. And I have to admit that while Solstice Arena has a few snags, it’s probably the best mobile iteration I’ve played yet. The basic gist of a MOBA is that two teams of players beef over turf until one has wiped out the others’ base. What makes things a little different than every other team-based multiplayer game out there is that the characters feel more like MMORPG classes than anything; each with specific skills that are meant to pair well with other characters’ and each with their own role to play. In Solstice Arena, players must take down the other team’s towers in order to weaken defenses, while simultaneously battling other player characters who are trying to do the same to them. There’s no major penalty for death except for waiting to respawn, although it’s a good opportunity to spend gold on better gear for the match. –Rob Rich
For several months now I’ve been seeing little Facebook updates about friends and their Avengers Alliance progress. I had about gotten to the point where I was going to see what all the fuss was about when I found out it was coming to iOS, so naturally I decided to check out the more portable version instead. The Earth is in danger (again) from some sort of enigmatic presence. Also super villains. As a new S.H.I.E.L.D. recruit, players must team up with a host of notable Marvel heroes as they try to thwart nefarious plots and figure out just what in the heck is going on. The majority of these missions involve turn-based battles with various baddies, but it’s also possible to send characters off on side missions (over a set period of real time, of course) for extra cash and experience. Players can also train their heroes when they’ve acquired enough experience in order to access new abilities that can make a huge difference in a fight. –Rob Rich
“You have no friends.” This is a tagline for Rando, a photo-sharing app from ustwo. Initially the statement seems hostile, but it reveals the philosophy behind this app: it’s anti-social. It’s not about status or appearance, like Instagram, the service that this app stands in marked contrast to. It’s all about sharing photos to someone, or no one in particular. See, how Rando works is that it lets users take a circular photo, and then launch it into the universe. It’s saved to the camera roll, but there’s no way to share that photo to any social networks from within the app itself. Later on, a push notification may be received that will say that someone in a certain spot will have received one of the user’s Randos, but that’s it. This is about sharing to just one person. One random person out there in the universe. They might like the photo, they might not, the photographer won’t know at all. –Carter Dotson
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If you are looking for the best reviews of kids’ apps and/or Android apps, just head right over to GiggleApps and AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews these sites served up this week:
Helping My Dad – Little Critter and Just Grandpa and Me – Little Critter are charming apps adapted from the storybooks of the same name, now developed by Oceanhouse Media – great choices for Father’s Day. In these tales, Little Critter tries hard to be helpful to his loved ones although he is unaware of the mess he makes in the wake of his helpfulness. In Helping My Dad, Little Critter tries his best to take care of his father, creating more work for him along the way as kids are known to do, such as waking him up early on dad’s day off or making breakfast, causing terrible disarray in the kitchen. –Amy Solomon
Sago Mini Forest Flyer is a delightful, universal app from Sago Sago, a new developer to be aware of as it is a combination of talents from both Toca Boca as well as the creative minds who developed zinc Roe’s Tickle Tap Apps. As some readers may know, the Tickle Tap Apps are a series of apps that were my son’s first experience with applications, now having been re-developed into new apps. Sago Mini Forest Flyer is a new variation of the earlier app, Field Flyer. Sago Mini Forest Flyer maintains much of what we have enjoyed from Field Flyer as well as adding new elements to have fun with as well. –Amy Solomon
Block Story is a quest-based adventure in the same vein as Minecraft that puts an adjusted spin on survival style gaming. Gameplay starts straight away: a mini-tutorial greets you with basics of the action. Players learn movement, collection of items, hunting and the procurement of sustenance, and more. The options give a good idea of what to expect; players get to name a new “world” and “world seed” and select from three modes: Story, Creative and Hardcore. Then you can pick or create a character and push on. –Tre Lawrence
UNO & Friends is a re-polished take on the classic shedding-type card game that tosses in some interesting new features and multiplayer functionality. The standard gameplay applies. Play commences against three other players, each player being dealt seven shuffled and random cards from a deck of four colors (yellow, green, blue and red). The rest of the cards, face down for surprise chance effect, make up the deck and the topmost deck card is turned over and becomes the starter card. The first player then places a card that matches the color or rank of the starter card; each succeeding player then takes a turn in clockwise fashion, also trying to play a card that matches the last card played. If a player does not have a card to play can take it from the bank; if it is playable, it has to be played immediately. The first player to play all his/her cards wins. –Tre Lawrence
Tilt Arena is a classic type of game for a modern type of gamer. If the game brings back memories if the iconic arcade shooter Geometry Wars, don’t feel alarmed; that’s a good thing, and the developer isn’t ashamed of the potential mental connection. The gameplay is fairly simple; the goal is to stay alive. It’s set up in a rectangular grid, with the player in control of a white trapezoid spacecraft. Armed with perpetually shooting guns, I had to avoid the randomly appearing enemy spacecraft that were oh so eager to exhibit their contact-based lethality. Darting around and dodging them helped to a small degree, but directing the guns at them destroys them and earns valuable points. –Tre Lawrence
Marvel: Avengers Alliance, the popular Facebook game, will be making its way to iOS next week, on June 13. USA Today reports that the turn-based game has gamers playing as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and features 40 Marvel heroes and 60 missions with extra missions and characters being available through in-app purchase. ‘Nuff said.
Last month, fans had the opportunity to gain access to over 700 free Marvel comics, for a limited time. Due to server issues, the promotion never had the chance to take off. It’s back, though! Fans can now sign up at Marvel.com until Midnight tonight to gain access to over 700 free comics to read on their computer or mobile device.
Just yesterday, digital comics distributor and app developer, Comixology, announced a new initiative which would offer over 700 free comics, many of them first issues and Marvel Now! comics, via their iPad platform. We were excited to share the news with you this morning.
Once we started looking, though, at the Comixology site, we found out that the huge demand for the comics has caused some technical difficulties over on the server side of things. The Comixology CEO, David Steinberger, wrote on the site, “We expected a high degree of excitement for the Marvel initiative – and had believed ourselves prepared – but unfortunately we became overwhelmed by the immense response. We’re still struggling to keep our systems up.”
Seems like a lot of folks were trying to access the free comics, and weren’t able to get their stuff. Steinberger continued, “To that end, we’re pausing the Marvel Comics #1 promotion for the time being. For those of you that want to take advantage of the offer – you will get your comics! Until we are able to reinstate this program in our systems, please click here and fill out (a) simple form, so you can be informed as soon as there is an update.”
The link to the submission form is here, so head on over and add your email to the list. We’ll keep an eye out, as well, and let you know when we see that the system, and offer, is back online.
ComiXology announced today a free, new submission portal for comics self-publishers called comiXology Submit. The company, developer of one of the first and most successful comics reading/buying apps on the App store, hopes to help comic book creators make money from their self-published efforts via ComiXology’s digital platform, which is already used by the likes of Marvel and DC. ComiXology has nearly 30,000 comics and graphic novels to choose from, with over 900 of those available for free
The service will begin as an invite-only beta, and will allow creators a way to sell their stuff via the comiXology platform. There’ll be some sort of approval process, and once ready, comics will be uploaded to the comiXology portal, available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 and the Web, with Guided View technology. This lets indie comics creators use the same panel to panel navigation system that the big guys use, and it will be applied to these self-published works entirely for free.
Initially starting out as invite-only/private beta, comiXology Submit will allow creators a free portal to easily access the comiXology platform. Submissions will go through an approval process and when approved comiXology will transform the uploaded work with their Guided View technology – for free. Then the work goes on sale worldwide with the creator and comiXology splitting the profits evenly.
“…having a way to let self-publishers participate … is good for our customers, for comiXology and for comics,” said co-founder John D. Roberts in a press release. “Having the most diverse material possible serves comiXology’s mission. It’s great that we can now open our platform to self-publishers and deliver a whole new wave of creative works to our customers.”
CEO David Steinberger feels the same way, noting that the company has come a long way since it started in July of 2009 with just a “handful of comics,” he said. “We are happy today, with the announcement of comiXology Submit, that we now have a turnkey system to service this incredibly vital part of the marketplace. ComiXology Submit, helps keep the promise to our customers of having the best and most diverse comic books and graphic novels available worldwide.”
If you’re a comic book creator interested in self-publishing your work via the comiXology platform, head over to submit.comixology.com and add your contact information. The platform should become available to anyone in the near future who has one or more comics, graphic novels, a webcomic, and even short one-shot comics creators.
Things are looking pretty grim. A despicable race of alien beings has planted a doomsday device called “The Cosmic Fuse” deep inside the Earth’s core. Rather than wait for a team of semi-washed up actors lead by Hillary Swank to ride a drill train through the center of the Earth we’ve enlisted the help of Verticus, the world’s first (so far as I know) free-falling superhero.
Verticus is a new “endless faller” headed to the App Store courtesy of Moonshark, Controlled Chaos Media (creators of Texting of the Bread), and Stan Lee. Yes, that’s Stan – The Man – Lee. The comic book legend has created a special story and superhero for his first iOS outing, as well as supplying his own voice as the player’s mission commander. Commence geeking out. I was able to have a chat with Moonshark’s CEO, Matt Kozlov, and he filled me in on the whole world-saving affair.
The titular do-gooder must fall his way through the Earth’s atmosphere, past cities and their streets, and beyond its very center in order to reach and diffuse the alien invaders’ bomb. Then he has to make it through to the other side. This isn’t a mere dodge-em-up, however. The fledgling hero will have both offensive and defensive abilities to aid him in his task, as well as a number of upgrades to earn and unlock through multiple playthroughs. So there’s obviously plenty of incentive for multiple replays, what with the upgrades and new suits to earn. It’s also possible (though not necessary) for players to purchase in-game cash to speed up their development if they so desire.
Verticus is slated for a release sometime this fall (we all see what you did there, Moonshark). If you’re too excited to sit idly by and wait for the action to commence, you can also check out the game’s official Facebook page for more details. Oh, and you can enter to win one of a few pieces of official Verticus artwork signed by Stan Lee while you’re there, too. Wait, what?
Marvel have announced a new episodic touch combat game for iPhone and iPad, Avengers Initiative. In this first episode, to be released Thursday, you play the Hulk. As the Hulk, you are tasked with defeating a large group of evil super-powered villians who have escaped from a top secret holding facility in an event known as The Pulse.
The Pulse was first introduced in the Facebook Marvel game, Avengers Alliance. Both that game and the iOS game are interconnected with a system called Marvel XP. This allows players to unlock in-game items and level up between the two games.
The gameplay itself takes some big cues from Infinity Blade, if you are familiar with that, the game plays in a similar way. The game functions by using touch and swipe mechanics to fight various foes in the game. You will face a series of enemies in different locations as you progress through the story. The game has full retina graphics and looks great on both the iPad and iPhone. Take a look out our fifteen minute walkthrough below of the beginning of the game to get an idea of the art style and gameplay.
Future episodes will hopefully follow quickly with the first one expected before the end of the year. In later episodes you will have the opportunity to play other members of the Avengers.
Marvel’s Avengers Initiative will be released this Thursday, worldwide, for $6.99. It is not a free to play game. In-app purchase will be available to help power up and create custom uniforms for the Hulk, but will not be required to complete the game.
Just about everyone in the world dreams about having super powers. Flight, strength, x-ray vision, that kind of stuff. While DeNA (think Mobage) and Marvel Entertainment’s upcoming Marvel: War of Heroes may not bestow impossible abilities to its players, it does put them in charge of a slew of iconic heroes.
Assuming the role of a S.H.I.E.L.D agent players will collect cards featuring various Marvel heroes and craft their own super team. Powers and abilities can be fused and upgraded as well, making an already powerful legend even more so. If you’re thinking it sounds similar to the more than a little popular Rage of Bahamut, that’s because it is. And because it’s being crafted by the same developers. Although the story – which is a thing that actually exists in this freemium card game. I know, right? – is all original and comes directly from Marvel itself. As does the art, actually, which is ridiculously awesome.
Marvel: War of Heroes is due to hit the App Store this fall. Anyone with even the slightest interest will be able to check it out for free, but those of us who are already curious can head over to the official website to pre-register. Why? Because it earns a free rare card, among other things. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from playing similar Mobage titles it’s that rare cards, no matter how useful they might be to my strategy, can pay off big. Also it might actually be really cool.
This week at 148Apps.com, we celebrated the unbelievable 40th birthday of Atari. Writer Lisa Caplan says, “It’s a tiny bit depressing that many of us here are older than Atari. Still as OG’s (original geeks) most of us equate the name with our and their glory years of gaming. Recently the former giant has been reinventing itself, having previously released their VCS catalog and a few arcade hits in a Greatest Hits package for iOS, and with more recent forays into the App Store like Circus Atari and Centipedes Origins. They are also winding up a contest for indie developers who took their original, maybe the original video game, PONG and remade it for iOS. The finalists have been announced and can be found here. The company turns 40 today and much of the recent flurry of activity is to celebrate the occasion.”
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-04-07 :: Category: Games
GiggleApps.com stayed topical this week with a review of Avengers Origins: Hulk. Amy Solomon writes, “Avengers Origins: Hulk is a new universal interactive storybook apple ication that introduces the classic Marvel character, the Hulk, to children. I really enjoy this re-telling of such a classic story, narrated by Stan Lee who does an outstanding job as one would expect. I enjoy how this story unfolds, especially for children who may be new to this character as this app opens up with a thoughtful introduction, walking readers through Bruce Banner’s difficult childhood, becoming a scientist and the details of the faithful day that Banner becomes mistakenly affected by gamma radiation, developing the uncontrollable ability to turn into the Hulk when he is angered.”
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-03-14 :: Category: Books
Finally, 148Apps.biz writer Carter Dotson reports that, “A new report by Localytics shows that more users are sticking with their apps, and iOS users are more likely to stick with apps than Android users are. Where in 2010, 26% of users would open up an app once, and the same percentage would use it 11+ times, now only 22% launch an app just once, and 31% will use it 11+ times. This may show that users over time are either starting to find apps that they would show an interest in using long-term, or app quality is starting to increase. The long-term trend will be interesting to see: will users continue to come back to their apps? Or is this a temporary blip?”
This week at 148Apps.com, Kevin Stout examined the question more than a few of us are asking: Why won’t Nintendo release any games for iOS? Stout writes, “Nintendo recently reported its first annual loss, showing that perhaps 3DS isn’t enough of a success. Nintendo hasn’t even released its legacy games on mobile platforms where others like Sega have (Sonic the Hedgehog). While current CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, is in charge, it’s unlikely that Nintendo will acknowledge its mistake. When asked about releasing Nintendo games for smartphones, Iwata replied, “This is absolutely not under consideration. If we did this, Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo….”’
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-05-21 :: Category: Games
Meanwhile, Amy Solomon at GiggleApps took a look at a new Marvel Avengers app for kids: Avengers Origins: Assemble! is a very enjoyable universal interactive storybook that tells the tale of how The Avengers became a cohesive group after meeting Captain America. I really enjoy how these characters are introduced, making this a great primer for children new to Marvel comics. Interactive moments are included throughout that children will also enjoy such as dragging the tools used by each Avenger to their rightful owner.”
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-04-12 :: Category: Books
Last, but certainly not least, 148Apps.biz writer Carter Dotson reported on results from a recent MocoSpace study: “MocoSpace has announced the results of their new “Y U Play?” study that tries to answer the question of just why people play mobile games, anyway? The answer for the majority of people appears to be just pure entertainment. 34% of people like to play mobile games because “the games are fun,” and 32% do it because they are bored, or want to kill time.”
Augmented reality apps are fun to play around with and display extra information about the world around us. But the Marvel AR app uses augmented reality to get extra information about fantasy worlds that we aren’t living in. With the Marvel AR app, users will be able to see additional features for their Marvel comics by using their iOS devices’ camera.
Select Marvel comics, the first of which to use the new app is Avengers vs. X-Men, will include behind the scenes footage, 3D action scenes, video recaps of past events, and more. Comics designed for use with Marvel AR will start featuring the AR red and white logo to flag throughout the book when the app should be used. Users will simply hold their iOS devices up to the comics and then will be presented with the bonus features.
This is a great way for comic readers who still enjoy buying the print editions to get to use their iOS devices to interact with their comics. The Marvel AR app is free.
The other day we told you about how Disney was reviving Peter Pan for the iPad, and now it seems the company is poised to do the same for The Incredible Hulk. The company just launched Avengers Origins: Hulk for the iPad, and it looks to be a fun romp for fans of one of Marvel’s greenest and most volatile heroes.
The app allows readers to learn the origin story of The Hulk on their own, or have it read to them by none other than Stan Lee. Along the way are interactive sections where users can let out Hulk roars, toss cars and do all sorts of other fun stuff that only those exposed to specific amounts of Gamma radiation can do.
The app looks like a great way to get kids into comic books, and we hope that Disney and Marvel will be teaming up for more of these in the future. Let’s just stay away from the darker stuff, no one needs the interactive scene where they forcibly coat Wolverine’s bones in Adamantium.
Today marks the arrival of over 60 Marvel graphic novels on the Apple iBookstore. Fans of the popular comic books can now find their favorite Marvel heros including the Avengers, Spider-Man, the X-Men, Captain America, the Hulk, and others. These graphic novels (compilations of several comic book issues) range in price from $8.99 to $24.99 and free previews are available for each title.
After purchase, these titles will be optimized for and viewable through Apple’s iBooks app on the iPhone, iPod, and iPad in full, vibrant color. Marvel has announced that it will be releasing new titles every week, and an extended preview of the New Avengers Vol. 1 is currently available for free.
To view all of the Marvel graphic novels currently available for download in the iBookstore, go here. Marvel fans can now add iBooks to their favorite ways to read and reread the stories of their favorite mutant heros.
Posted July 14th, 2011 by Carter Dotson Our Rating: :: SENTINEL OF MEDIOCRITY
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty is a game based on the upcoming Captain America movie that puts players in control of the titular Avenger himself as he performs acrobatic combat moves through 24 levels.
Finnish developer Boomlagoon has released a teaser trailer of their forthcoming side-scrolling action platformer, Monsu. Looking like a pretty cute auto-runner, Monsu has another trick up its sleeve, courtesy of the many cards that you can collect as you play. Coming from some of the minds behind Angry Birds, there will be dozens of customizable […]