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148Apps 2013 wrAPP-Up - A Year of Finding Familiar Addictions on iOS

Posted by Andrew Stevens on December 30th, 2013

One year after another, everyone always gets consumed with the latest and greatest games. People are usually focused on what’s next, and that was the case for me as well in most situations. However, after not giving much appreciation to shmups on iOS, my mind was changed after reviewing Danmaku Unlimited 2 earlier this year. All of a sudden I didn’t mind the idea of using my finger to play shmups rather than my previously preferred method of a console controller. This year, being focused on the present also reminded me of previously-released games and making a journey into familiar addictions; but this time on iOS.

One of the best things about shooters is that they usually come with a good scoring system for the leaderboards. I love shooters, so I am greatly addicted to high score runs and placing myself near the top of the rankings. So naturally with my new found love for shooters on iOS came an even bigger addiction to placing as high of a score as possible on Game Center leaderboards. All of a sudden I wasn’t just reviewing games like Danmaku Unlimited 2, Plasma Sky, and Liberation Maiden; I was learning to master them by earning a respectable placement on the leaderboards and then sharing that with friends.

I pretty much did my best to put up a quality time or score on all games I reviewed this year that came with a leaderboard. 2013 was also a year of Game Center addiction.

Mutant Storm Review

Posted by Carter Dotson on June 22nd, 2012
iPad App - Designed for iPad

Developer: Crescent Moon Games
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


2012 is the year for re-released dual-stick shooters to appear on iOS. Sure, the list is just Radiangames’ Inferno+ and Ballistic SE and now Mutant Storm, but I’m not going to let the facts get in the way of a good story. Originally released on the Xbox 360 in 2005, Mutant Storm (exclusively for the iPad) throws players into more than 80 levels of dual-stick shooter action, full of enemies to take out. While each individual level is structured the same on each play, the player’s performance can make the game harder. There rae two main game modes: an adventure mode that starts the player out either from the beginning, or from every 10 levels once unlocked, and a tally mode where players try to score highly on an individual level.

Mutant Storm is at its best when it is enjoyed from level 1 and played straight through. Starting at the beginning allows the game’s difficulty curve to ramp up appropriately, and just helps get me engrossed in a way that starting from a random wave doesn’t. Is progressing and unlocking new waves quicker by starting from later waves? Yes. Is it as fun? No. That may be the issue: ramping up the difficulty right from the start just makes the game not as much fun. Getting into the groove, watching the difficulty ramp up, now that is an enjoyable experience.

Mutant Storm would do well to explain what is going on with its belt system. From what I can surmise, it appears to be a difficulty modifier and ranking method, but I wouldn’t know from playing the game. As well, there’s the ability to choose different ships, but do they do anything? Good question! Having even rudimentary explanations would be great. The controls made a great transition to the touch screen, as there is no on-screen joystick to worry about, it’s based largely on swiping and adjusting direction through natural motion.

Mutant Storm doesn’t light the world on fire, but even as a 2005 re-release, it does some things differently enough on a structural level that it should engross fans of the dual-stick shooter.

Five For Friday: Week Of June 15

Posted by Jennifer Allen on June 15th, 2012

There's a slight iPad bias in this week's Five for Friday. Never fear, iPhone and iPod touch owners, it's not personal! We've still found some great apps for all types of iOS owners and hopefully all interests, also.

Combine two of the biggest social networking phenomenons of the year, Instagram and Pinterest, and what do you get? Pinstagram! Admittedly, it's not quite as clear cut as that with the app mainly focused on providing an attractive way of viewing Instagram on the iPad. Users can also pin their photos to their Pinterest board from within the app. Together, it's an attractive way of viewing interesting images.

Myst is a hugely iconic game. Released over 20 years ago, the game has been seen on pretty much every device possible since. This version promises to be an improved release with the ability to explore anywhere without restriction while enjoying the full retina display support for the new iPad. It should prove the most advanced version yet.

Mutant Storm
Previously a successful title for Xbox Live Arcade and PC, Mutant Storm comes to iOS with a wealth of frantic fun and psychedelic 3D arenas to negotiate. Kill or be killed is the sole name of the game here with some stunning visuals backing up proceedings.

Color Splash Studio
MacPhun have a great reputation for photography apps and its latest release, Color Splash Studio, continues that trend. The app allows users to convert images to black and white, while keeping specific areas in color. It's the kind of tool that turns ordinary photos into something special with some extraordinary results. Even better, there's integration with Instagram for extra ease.

There's that constant quest to find the perfect RSS Reader app and Newsify wants to be the best of the pack. Requiring a Google Reader account, the app transforms lists of links into an attractive newspaper style layout. It's an attractive yet familiar look that ensures it's easy to consult. An offline mode and plentiful supply of sharing options rounds off the package.