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This Week at 148Apps: July 28th-August 1st, 2014

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 3rd, 2014

Expert App Reviewers


So little time and so very many apps. What's a poor iPhone/iPad 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.

80 Days

The Sorcery! series has been great so far, which means anyone with an interest in interactive fiction should have been pretty excited by the upcoming release of 80 Days. Guess what? You were right to be psyched! 80 Days is a fantastic game for the interactive fiction aficionado, providing plenty of interesting choices and some much-requested replayability. Based upon the classic novel by Jules Verne, you take the role of Passepartout, Phileas Fogg’s loyal servant, as the pair attempt to travel the world in 80 days. Changing things around from the book, there’s a steampunk twist to everything here and it works well at offering a fresh take on an otherwise familiar story. --Jennifer Allen


Star Admiral

I hate to keep returning to Hearthstone as a point of reference throughout this review, as Hardscore Games’ Star Admiral most definitely stands as a solid offering in its own right, but it quite clearly treads strongly on the path that Blizzard’s wildly successful digital collectable card game has already paved. Take the core CCG formula, strip away excess complexity, and distill what remains into a refined essence wrapped in a visually appealing skin. Only Star Admiral takes it a touch further still. While Hearthstone replaced the visuals of cards in play on a virtual tabletop with stylish little cameo portraits that shake and thump and slide their way around the virtual tabletop, Hardscore rips the tabletop conceit out completely and tosses the whole mess into deep space. Cards? What do you mean, cards? We’re battling with spaceships, baby! --Rob Thomas


Traps n' Gemstones

Traps n’ Gemstones is an action adventure game in which players explore an ancient tomb to discover its mysteries and undo the misdeeds of a mysterious looter. The game bears quite a bit of a resemblance to classics like Castlevania and Metroid in terms of overall structure, gameplay, and quality. Much like the games it is modeled after, Traps n’ Gemstones revolves around players exploring a complex, interconnected environment where puzzle-solving, traversal, and combat must be used together to reach new areas, gather items, and progress through the game. In this game in particular, players are bent on capturing a temple looter who is hiding behind a mysterious forcefield that can only be broken by recovering lost relics and placing them in their proper locations. Although because the setting is an ancient underground temple, finding these relics involves fighting mummies, outrunning boulders, riding minecarts, and many other Indiana Jones-type situations. --Campbell Bird


The Phantom PI Mission Apparition

Busting ghosts makes you feel good. This is a scientific fact. And it’s as true in video games as it is in the real world. Solving puzzles, nabbing spooks, and exploring haunted mansions in The Phantom PI Mission Apparition will definitely make you feel good. Players put on the monocle of Cecil Sparks, the titular Phantom PI. Instead of helping the living with their ghost problems, as one might expect, Sparks helps ghosts deal with other ghosts upsetting their peaceful afterlife. In this particular mission, he’s helping deceased rock star Marshall Staxx recover his stolen gear from a bullying, gluttonous, Slimer-esque specter named Baublebelly. Along the way, players will learn more about Staxx’s time on Earth through newspaper scraps, demo tapes, and other effective forms of emergent storytelling. --Jordan Minor


ComicBook! 2: Creative Superpowers

From a very young age, many of us have aspired to create comic books. That spark of imagination is something that never really leaves, but unfortunately the spare time fades instead. Fortunately, there are apps to ensure you can still live your fantasies as a comic book writer, which is where we come to ComicBook! 2: Creative Superpowers. ComicBook! 2: Creative Superpowers is a pretty vast app. It’s as simple or as complex as you want it to be, allowing you to add multiple different comic book stickers, captions, and filters all in a bid to create an awesome looking strip out of your photos. --Jennifer Allen


Note

Is it possible to have an app that’s almost too simple? In the case of note taking app, Note, that seems quite likely. As the name suggests, it’s an app for entering notes and other information that you need to enter quickly. The issue is that there really isn’t much more to it than the stock app, which makes that $1.99 asking price a bit of a shock. The app starts out very cleanly, allowing you to get started straight away or dive into the options side of things. Options wise, it’s possible to change the font used, as well as set up the app to save to iCloud. Don’t expect more depth than this because that’s pretty much Note‘s limit, unless you count being able to open the app on a blank note each time. --Jennifer Allen


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

Globber's Escape

More than 30 years since its initial release, Pac-Man is still one of the greatest video games ever created. Although Pac-Man holds up surprisingly well today, the game’s formula could use some tweaking and updating for modern audiences. Well, at least that seems to be the thought behind Globber’s Escape, a new Android title that puts a modern spin on the Pac-Man formula. Globber is a gelatinous glob attempting to escape the science lab where he is being held. It is up to players to help Globber find its way through the rooms of the lab. Along the way, players must guide Globber away from evil scientists roaming levels and towards alien flunkies and objects. The premise is refreshingly simple, and gameplay is frantic and fast-paced. --Ryan Bloom


Rush Rally

Rush Rally harkens back to the warm, hazy past of video games where top down racers sat in smoky arcades waiting to eat quarters. Rush Rally is a cool topdown rally racer. It’s the player against the clock in their steel gray steed of speed. Using a very simple control scheme with just buttons for turning left and right and a brake and accelerator the player throws their little car around various courses. The player races both at night and during the day and on sand, snow gravel and good old tarmac so there is always something new. There are plenty of barricades and trees to run into, but if the player goes too far off track or seems to get stuck, the game will helpfully replace the car back on the track, ready to roar off. --Allan Curtis


Digits

When I looked at the screenshots of Digits, I immediately thought “great, another copy of 2048“. Not that I’ve seen lots of them, but it’s a pretty cheap move. If you want to rip something off, at least find something a bit more challenging. Anyway, my rage went unfounded, as Digits has nothing to do with 2048. What Digits is is a very satisfying puzzle that’s all about reducing numbers, not increasing them. The game consists of dozens of different levels. Each level is a square field of numbers. The numbers and the field’s size change between the levels. The player’s task is to remove all of the numbers from the field by clicking on them. When the player clicks on a number, it is reduced by one point, along with any numbers that are above, beneath, and to the sides of it. So, if there’s a line that looks like “2-3-2″, clicking on the three will make it “1-2-1″. Clicking on the three again will remove the ones, and leave the player with “1″ in the middle, which means that the player failed to remove all of them. The trick is to click on the squares in such pattern that no number gets left behind, as the player can’t click on a number that’s not connected to at least one other number. Thankfully, there’s no penalty for using an undo button and retracing the steps to any point of the level. And really, there’s not much need to do it, as when you get to know the ropes of Digits, it becomes almost impossible to fail. --Tony Kuzmin

Note Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: TOO SIMPLE
Note is a note taking app that's a little too short on features to be worth its asking price.
Read The Full Review »

DOOO To-do Note Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Angela LaFollette on August 19th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: JUST DOOO IT
A to-do list that’s easy to use and offers plenty of organizational tools to help users complete daily tasks efficiently.
Read The Full Review »

Capture Audio Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 29th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FIND YOUR VOICE
Capture Audio may not have the most elegant interface in the App world, but it makes up for that with some very useful functions.
Read The Full Review »

Award Winning Brewski Me Gets Big Update

Posted by Jason Wadsworth on February 23rd, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Brewski Me, an app born of the collaboration between Rocksauce Studios and AppsVersusRobots, is an app that allows beer lovers to find, share, and rate choice suds anywhere. Voted the "Best Beer App" by the site Beers and Ears in 2011, Brewski Me integrates the rating and discovering new beers and breweries with social connections and friends.

This updated version of this beer enthusiast app comes with some visual updates and a redesigned "Drink" screen. There's also a new "Tasting Notes" section of the app where users can make notes on the beers they've sampled. Once they've noted their thoughts and reactions, users can take and share them with their friends via Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare.

Rocksauce Studios has timed their release of this Brewski Me update to coincide with the upcoming SXSW music festival and all of it's accompanying parties and beer tastings. The updated version is available for download now in the App Store for free.

[itmsapp: 418583207]

Evernote

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Dave Spatholt on July 10th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: MOBILE RESEARCH
What you can accomplish with Evernote will vary depending on your needs. Because the application is so flexible the application can do more than you can initially anticipate. As this is the case you will feel as if you're not getting 100% out of the appli
Read The Full Review »

Stick It

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Kevin Stout on June 11th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: USEFUL
Everyone loves their to do app. But did you ever wish you had a quicker option? Something right up front that takes almost no time at all to check, maybe something on your wallpaper? Stick It lets you create notes to place as your wallpaper.
Read The Full Review »

Organizer

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Christine Morris on March 4th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: ABOVE AVERAGE
Organizer is useful for writing your daily plans, jotting down your ideas and for an advanced memo tool. The options in this application for making notes are impressive, but lack of calendar integration lets it down.
Read The Full Review »

Notespark

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Gary Lucero on March 2nd, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ABOVE AVERAGE
If you aren't satisfied with the iPhone's built-in note pad, and you are connected to the Internet most of the time, you can really benefit from Notespark's constant syncing. There are a myriad of apps to consider though, and many are far better than this
Read The Full Review »

Note Pad

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Gary Lucero on February 10th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: AVERAGE
Note Pad is a text editor that lets you store notes into standard folders or in smart folders that automatically populate with notes that match the list of keywords associated with them or with notes whose location is within a certain distance of your cur
Read The Full Review »

Chordica

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Gary Lucero on February 9th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: ABOVE AVERAGE
Chordica is a fun and easy to use music app. It's innovative design lets you memorize songs using numbers instead of notes, which allows you to play a song in any key using the exact same screen taps. The app has a good sounding piano sample and enough ad
Read The Full Review »

Multipad

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Gary Lucero on February 4th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: AVERAGE
Although Multipad bills itself as a "stylish program that is always at your hand," it's actually a clunky little app that does little more than hold a limited number of hand written notes. While most note taking apps give you an unlimited number of pages
Read The Full Review »

Appigo Todo

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Gary Lucero on January 21st, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Appigo Todo is a task management app with a streamlined user interface. It includes ways to tag and otherwise set todo items apart, robust search and filtering, and is augmented by several synchronization options as well as tight integration with Appigo N
Read The Full Review »

RainbowNote

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jeff Scott on November 6th, 2008
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: RECOMMENDED
RaonbowNote allows you to keep all of your notes on you iPhone -- and back them up to Google Docs
Read The Full Review »

Noteskinery

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jeff Scott on October 12th, 2008
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: ABOVE AVERAGE
Noteskinery is a beautiful note organization utility that just needs a little stronger editor
Read The Full Review »