Posts Tagged May

Another Week of Expert App Reviews

 

At 148Apps, we help you sort through the great ocean of apps to find the ones we think you’ll like and the ones you’ll need. Our top picks become Editor’s Choice, our stamp of approval for apps with that little extra something special. 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.

Intake: Be Aggressive

 
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Without context, it would be easy to think that Intake was designed from the ground up for the iPad. It’s the portrait orientation, and the game being so multitouch-friendly, being about frantically eliminating pills that drop from the sky by tapping on them, with the ability to pop multiple at a time by using multiple fingers. It actually wasn’t made specifically for iPad, though; it started as a PC game that used the mouse. Now that Intake is on the iPad, it’s at home and is a must-have for iPad owners who love fast-paced intense experiences. The best way to play the game is by laying it down flat on a table, using one’s thumb on each hand to switch pill colors in an Ikaruga-esque fashion, and then using other fingers to pop pills up and down the screen as necessary. It’s worth popping the same color pill as what is selected in order to extend out combos – not only for more points, but to get the power-ups that can help keep the board under control. This is especially necessary during the challenging levels that appear every five stages: they will often be the end of a run, but completing them means it will be even more lucrative. Checkpoints that new games can be started from are available every 25 stages. –Carter Dotson

Lethal Lance

 
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There is no question that Lethal Lance swims in a big pool of old-school platformers, but LL Team and their publisher BulkyPix knew exactly how to make their title stand out. The game successfully (and almost immediately) plunges players into a lighthearted world that only jokingly ever takes itself too seriously (i.e. 2 star ratings come with the title of “Mr. Serious”). The objective (as one would expect from an intentionally old-school title) is for users to find their way to the other end of the level without losing all of their lives. Every level is packed with coins for players to collect in order to get a better rating. The rating system itself is pretty straightforward; in order to get all 3 stars, players must accomplish all of the 3 different objectives: they must finish the level without losing any lives, collect all of the coins, and reach the exit before the time expires. If the time does expire, they will simply lose one of the stars – as opposed to starting over. –Cata Modorcea

Sharebrands Stereo Headphones

 
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It’s funny how important comfort can be when it comes to a set of headphones, which is exactly why I’ve been enjoying Sharebrands’ Stereo Headphones as much as I have. It’s also rather funny how this $65 pair of headphones is actually more comfortable than some close to $200 pairs I’ve tried. And heck, some of that $65 isn’t even profit – Sharebrands donates 25% of the sale price of each pair to help the environment (Green), men and children’s health (Blue), women and children’s health (Pink), education (Yellow), or to help fight poverty (Red). Comfort isn’t the only thing these headphones have going for them, though; they also sound pretty good. I’m sure there are better pieces of audio headgear out there, but what I’ve been hearing is certainly not bad. None of that horrible “tinny” business, good balance, and the extra padding around the ears helps to block out a lot of background noise that could otherwise intrude on whatever the user might be listening to. –Rob Rich

Racer 8

 
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Puzzle games and cars don’t exactly seem like the most logical combination on the planet. However, anyone who has ever played the classic quasi-board game “Parking Lot,” knows that that not only can the blend work, but also that it can actually be quite amusing. This is why it should come as no surprise 30-06 Studios would want to take advantage of this mix with their new title, Racer 8. Will it have players revving their engines or leave them running on fumes? Equal parts asset management, time trial and puzzle game, Racer 8 plays on several different mechanics to keep players’ heads constantly spinning. The core goal consists of navigating the car, which is constantly in motion, through a series of checkpoints and ultimately across the finish line. This is actually completed by revolving the square tiles in the map grid in order to form a track for the vehicle to follow. Throughout the process there are other concerns such as gas scarcity and target times, which both play secondary roles in determining how well the player performed on any given stage. –Blake Grundman

Accompli

 
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Why have three apps when it’s possible to do everything with just one? That’s the thinking behind Accompli, an email app for Gmail and Exchange users that also happens to offer contacts and calendar integration. It has its issues – mostly relating to its privacy policy – but if that’s not a major problem then Accompli is a handy solution for business users. Starting out, Accompli offers all the features we now come to expect from email apps. It’s minimalistic to look at as well as use, with a choice of thread views, a unified or separate inbox, and plenty of simple to use gestures to manipulate everything. At this point, it’s familiar enough that one would be forgiven for wondering what makes Accompli stand out over something like Mailbox. –Jennifer Allen

Sago Mini Monsters

 
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Sago Mini Monsters is a playful and creative app for toddlers and early preschool children that allows them to explore with color and other fun details as they create unique monsters that they need to take care of by feeding, primping with accessories, and attending to their personal needs such as teeth brushing. Each monster is met by dragging him or her from the green swampy area seen at the bottom of the page bubbling about adding a charmingly icky sense of style – especially as one will need to drag the monsters and their food up from this bog-like area as a tap will also make this fluid bubble. Children will enjoy decorating their at first detail-less monster with the use of five included colors. Simply draw and, when completed, a charming creature face will sprout giving personality to the character the young player has just decorated. Also fun is the ability to swap out different features to further customize the look of these monsters, complete with fun gooey details as one pulls off areas of the face, allowing new parts to sprout. –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:

AndroidRundown

Greedy Dwarf

 
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In Greedy Dwarf you control a dwarf in a mine cart, collecting gold and surviving the inside of magma-filled cylindrical caverns. It’s a endless runner type of game, chopped into different levels. The controls of the cart are fairly easy to comprehend. By swiping left or right, the cart will go that direction respectively. The levels are mostly in the form of a cylinder, so the dwarf can ride not only on the ground, but also on the walls and the ceiling. By using two fingers or both thumbs, the mine cart jumps. The problem with these jumps that is difficult to see when to jump or where to land, because of the 3D environment. When dying often, this gets very frustrating. –Wesley Akkerman

Dancing Samurai

 
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Little known fact, but samurai warriors very rarely used their katana swords in battle. They mostly used pikes, like everyone else, because they had the farthest reach, meaning that you could deal a lot of nasty damage, while being on the safe distance yourself – and you didn’t have to worry about friendly “fire” as well! The reason that I speak about ancient Japanese military tactics is that I frankly don’t have much to say about Dancing Samurai – not because it’s bad, but because it’s so small – like a bonsai tree under mount Fuji. –Tony Kuzmin

Brandnew Boy

 
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The first thing that will most likely strike you about Brandnew Boy (apart from its odd title) is that it looks great. Brandnew Boy is built using the Unreal engine and even though I reviewed the game on a Nexus 4, it still managed to pack a graphical punch. The game itself revolves around you playing as a young man (or if you’d prefer, a young woman) who’s got a bad case of amnesia. What they (you) can remember though is how to kick and punch. This is handy as each level you complete is full of bizarre creatures, ranging from odd-looking ‘egg men’ to what can only be described as a demon with an umbrella. –Matt Parker

And finally, this week, the Pocket Gamer crew highlighted its most anticipated games for May, took an advanced look at the next game from Rock Band developer Harmonix, reviewed 3DS sport sim Mario Golf: World Tour and picked the three best iOS and Android games of the week. Have a read.

This Week at 148Apps: May 7-11

This week at 148Apps.com, writer Lisa Caplan helped all of us out by providing her Favorite Four apps for Mother’s Day. Caplan says, “Mother’s Day means so many different things to so many different people that it’s hard to create a list of just four apps for the occasion. There are great gifts to purchase right from iTunes and the App Store, and tons of apps to help you find the right present. But we decided to keep the focus on free or inexpensive apps that will make moms feel special this Sunday and leave them with more than a memory to treasure all year long.”

See the full list of suggestions at 148Apps.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-01-20 :: Category: Utilities

And what’s Mother’s Day without children? GiggleApps appeals to the younger crowd with a review of Color Dots. Reviewer Amy Solomon writes, “Color Dots is a bright and fun universal application that the youngest of app users will enjoy. Color Dots is very simple and is geared towards babies and toddlers as colored dots are popped with a tap of a finger as they move around the screen.”

Read Amy’s full review on GiggleApps.com.

148Apps.biz reporter Kevin Stout writes about the latest research into American app spending habits: “International market research firm Newzoo has just released a report concerning mobile gaming in the U.S. The report claims that the amount of American mobile gamers has risen by over 25 million gamers in the last year and the number of paying players has gone up to 36% of all mobile gamers.”

Read more about this research on 148Apps.biz.

And that’s the week that was! Join us here next week for another quick recap, but until then make sure you check out our Twitter and Facebook feeds for the latest news, reviews and contests. Now go see Dark Shadows and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Oh, those pesky undead have once again reared their ugly heads on iOS.  Thankfully this time they are not in game form, but rather, in the form of all of your device’s pictures.  The original zombifying app ZombieBooth is getting an update in celebration of May being Zombie Awareness month, that will be adding in better facial detection features to further amplify the conversion to the lifeless.  Just don’t forget that humans are not the only creatures that can be zombified, because everyone loves a maniacal brain craving kitty cat.

I don’t know what is more remarkable, the transformations that this interesting app can facilitate, or the fact that there is an entire month dedicated to awareness for a creature that doesn’t actually exist… yet!  What’s next? Mummy Awareness week?  Wait… Now that I think about it, couldn’t zombies and mummies be considered one in the same?  Where is my tinfoil hat when I need it?

Be sure to give the new update a looks and share with us your fearsome results in the comments below.

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Angry Birds Updates Aplenty!

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!

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-03-22 :: Category: Games

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-12-11 :: Category: Games

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-10-21 :: Category: Games

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.

Ninjump
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.

Continue reading Backflip Studios Announces 5 Upcoming, Free Games »

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