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.
Take the monetization format of Candy Crush Saga and add the wonderfully addictive Peggle, and what do you get? Peggle Blast – a suitably enjoyable yet similarly cynical version of everyone’s favorite adaptation of Pachinko and Bagatelle. First things first: Peggle Blast plays just as well as any other Peggle game. It’ll still occasionally feel a touch random, but it’s satisfying for the most part. Dragging a finger around the screen manipulates where the ball goes, with holding it down will magnify the area. Lining things up perfectly to perform a loop-the-loop in order to take out loads of tiles at once is particularly satisfying. And, of course, Ode to Joy is still in there for when you succeed at a level. –Jennifer Allen
It’s like some kind of unspoken rule that floats through the universe: good guys build towers to the heavens, and bad guys build underground lairs that go down, down, down. Wicked Lair by Stefan Pratter is all about building a hideout that stretches down into the Earth’s molten bowels. If that’s not enough of a hint, let’s just say it outright: Wicked Lair casts players as a lair-loving bad guy. And that’s OK, because foiling goodie-goods with a trapped underground hideout is as fun as it sounds. Wicked Lair is a mash-up between tower defense and tower building. Players assume the role of a berobed baddie whose subterranean lair is under constant threat from heroes that don’t know how to keep their noses in their own business. –Nadia Oxford
Clearly heavily influenced by the Trials series of games, Offroad Legends 2 is a less refined but mostly enjoyable physics-based racer. It can’t quite compare with the mighty Trials, but given the limited options for the franchise on iOS it’s a worthy substitute. With plenty of variety at hand, you won’t just be racing motorbikes either. Instead, you’ll be using trucks, buses, monster trucks, and more to negotiate the various obstacles within each level of Offroad Legends 2. That comes with its own issues – namely that you never quite get fully comfortable with one vehicle before you move onto the next, but this does keep things interesting. –Jennifer Allen
At first, Earn to Die 2 is a lot of fun. Kind of like an endless runner but with more of a structure, you attempt to drive a vehicle from one end of the level to the other. The problem is that there are waves of zombies in the way, plus the terrain itself is far from safe. The other, more significant problem is that things soon turn a bit repetitive and Earn to Die 2 turns out to be too long for comfort. That’s a real shame, as early on Earn to Die 2 easily has that ‘one more go’ factor. Controlling your vehicle is simple enough with buttons to the right adjusting for acceleration or using a boost, while the left side of the screen offers buttons that dictate the trajectory of your vehicle while you’re in the air – much like in a physics based racing game. At first you can mostly get away with hitting the accelerate button and seeing what happens, but soon enough those little tweaks make all the difference in helping you explore. –Jennifer Allen
When dealing with the legacy of its title character, Bruce Lee: Enter the Game smartly opts for a more old-school approach – in more ways than one. The gameplay is classic beat ‘em up and has players swiping the screen to clobber goons with fast fists and feet of fury. It’s not the deepest fighting style, but it unfolds at a blistering pace that feels great to execute. In fact, it’s when the system awkwardly tries something more complex, like charging special moves to take down guarded opponents, that it stumbles. Players can also augment Bruce with limited shields and health boosts as well as a power-amplifying fury attack. They can even give him outfits lifted from his films, each with their own bonuses. –Jordan Minor
Toddlers and preschool-aged children will be delighted to try the new app, Duckie Deck Bird Houses, which allows them to explore this helpful craft. From first glimpse, adults will marvel at the use of the depth of field that this app has to offer as a lush green and mildly interactive landscape can be seen in the distance while one chooses a tree to build a birdhouse for. I am fond of the look of all of the tree selections as they are various shades of brown and grey – wonderful representations of real trees that most people have come across, complete with distinguishing features such as maple leaves, apples, or acorns. They are all very nice choices that will jog the memories that children have of trees from their adventures in nature. Also of note is the well-crafted background music used throughout – upbeat and a little quirky, which adds to the overall experience for both children and adults. –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:
Magecraft: The War is yet another in a very long line of freemium city builders for mobile. Aping games like Clash of Kings and injecting a well-worn fantasy vibe does it stand out? Magecraft starts off a lot like most city builders. Starting with a threadbare base, the player must construct buildings and crank out troops to capture resources from enemies and become stronger and gain experience to become even stronger and so on. All player cities exist on the same map so rather than the arbitrary “neighbors” system common in other social games cities must be marched to to be attacked and distance always matters. –Allan Curtis
Antec should be known by now for its mostly great, affordable accessories; we’ve had the opportunity to look at several of its offerings. Its line of headphones, as exemplified by the PULSE (which we reviewed a few months ago), are nice value propositions, and we expected similar of the Antec PULSE Lite Bluetooth Headphones that were sent to us to review. So what comes in the box? Well, there’s the white headphones, matching white micro-USB charging cable, and ( I liked this small touch) a simple black drawstring carrying pouch. –Tre Lawrence
Red War may look a bit like Clash of Clans but it is in fact a mobile clone of War Commander, a Facebook game that allows players to build a base and take the fight to other players. Red War has the player take control of a basically non-existent base. After rebuilding some basic structures and receiving a small force of units the player must build a base, crank out more troops and generally roll over anyone who gets in their way. The game features a pretty familiar set of units. There are the ever useful rifle armed infantry, heavy machine gunners and snipers. Later on vehicles such as tanks and APCs come into play and medics and engineers round out the tactical options. –Allan Curtis
And finally, Pocket Gamer returned from the Basque Country with the winners of another Big Indie Pitch, reviewed Game of Thrones and Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, picked the best iOS and Android games of November, and recommended some freebies to hold you over until Christmas. Check it all out right here.
EA has announced that a new Peggle will be making its way onto iOS soon, in the form of Peggle Blast. The game features a more cartoony art style than Peggle Classic, but will still feature all of the skill shots and peg destroying players expect from the series.
This announcement will not be much of a shock to some however, with Peggle Blast likely being the final version of the game currently out in New Zealand – known only as Peggle.
A release date and official pricing are yet to be announced for Peggle Blast, but if the app does indeed follow the same pattern as the similar version currently available in New Zealand it will be free to download.
AiAi and his primate pals are set to make their way back onto the App Store soon, as SEGA has recently announced Super Monkey Ball Bounce.
This new game in the series cites Pachinko as its inspiration and is set to contain over 120 levels and seven playable characters, each of which will have their own special ability. Alongside the aim of collecting bushels of bananas, players will also have to fight off the flunkies of the dastardly Professor Boscis.
Super Monkey Ball Bounce is set to roll into a release date sometime this Summer.
EA today announced that Peggle 2 is coming “exclusively first” to the Xbox One. To borrow a phrase from the great Mandy Patinkin in Princess Bride “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.” Exclusive means exclusive: only one. But Peggle 2 will not be exclusive to the Xbox One. It will come to other platforms, and we can rest assured that it will come to iOS at some point.
In this instance, Microsoft has made so many mistakes with the Xbox One that they are struggling to get attention back. So they pay EA a bunch of money to make Peggle 2 and other games “exclusive” to the Xbox One – for a short period of time. Maybe even as little as a month. Microsoft thinks they look awesome, then we get Peggle 2 a few weeks later on the only platform that really matters, iOS. The Xbox One sells way fewer consoles than Microsoft expected, and mobile finally starts to get the attention it deserves. Wow, I think I just saw into the future.
I’ll keep going and guess that it will be announced for iOS in January and be released right after that. And it will be free to play – that is almost a guarantee at this point.
So, um, Peggle 2, yeah. From the short demo shown at Gamescom in Germany, it looks like the original Peggle with more sparkles. Just more levels, and something called “Peggle Masters.” Masters are characters in the game that have their own power-ups and abilities. Also included are multiplayer modes. We’ll let you know more once the Microsoft exclusivity runs out. Here are a couple screen grabs of Peggle 2 from the EA press conference.
You’re the best around! No one’s ever gonna keep you down!
On This Episode:
Carter and an esteemed panel of regular Portable Podcast guests share their opinions on the best games of 2011, their most underappreciated game, and their favorite pre-2011 game that they’re still playing.
This week, August 22-26, Starbucks introduced a new promotion that features free app downloads for its ka-jillion coffee drinking-customers, similar to the company’s method of distributing free song downloads. 148Apps writer Carter Dotson notes, “What will be interesting to see the effect this has on apps offered in the promotion; Shazam Encore has jumped up to #6 in the App Store recently, which may be due to this feature. This could be due to each redeemed copy going toward the app’s sales, or it could be because the promotion is working exactly how it’s intended; by giving the app away for free, people are talking about it and recommending it, causing other people to pay for it.”
Also, we celebrated the at-last launch of Peggle for the iPad. This PopCap gem has been a long-time coming, but writer Lisa Caplan assures it’s worth the wait: “This is classic Peggle, and for fans wondering if it’s worth buying the title one more time, the short answer is yes. If, by some chance, this is a first encounter of a Peggle kind, stop reading and start downloading.”
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-08-25 :: Category: Games
Meanwhile, the kid-friendly folks at GiggleApps reviewed Sticker Factory, an app that, as writer Amy Solomon says, “is a great choice for grade school and up, and I would not be at all surprised if kids this age do much better at this game than I, as is the case in many speed-based games that I come across.”
Finally, make sure you stop by and peruse our ever-changing map of apps on our 148Apps Lists page. Whether you’re interested in finding out the latest releases, or just keeping your finger on the most-popular charts, it’s all accessible through one handy page.
That’s it for this week! Until next time, make sure you check in with us on Facebook or via Twitter. There are always giveaways galore going out on both sites.
The App Hall of Fame (the original App Hall of Fame, not the Apple knock off) is an independent initiative launched by 148Apps that includes selection committee members from over 40 web and print publications.
Our goal is to archive the very best mobile apps by honoring only 12 applications per month. To be eligible, applications must be available for download from the App Store for at least 6 months. Applications are nominated and voted on monthly by the selection committee with the applications that get the most votes being inducted into the hall of fame.
We want you to join in on the celebration. We’ll be giving away copies of the newly inducted applications to subscribers of our mailing list later this week. Subscribe now for a chance to win.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted May 12th, 2009 by Arron Hirst Our Rating: :: ADDICTIVE FUN
You've played it on your Mac and PC, and you know how seriously addictive it can be. It's Here. Peggle for iPhone. PopCap Games latest touch title brings the experience you all know and love, to iPhone (and iPod touch) - but is it really worth plunking down for? I've been putting it through it's paces.
Peggle is probably one of the most time consuming games that I’ve ever played. My first run in with it was during the download period of the Orange Box through Steam on my PC. In anticipation for the games to be unlocked, we were treated to a Valve specific version of the game that honestly kept me so occupied, I think I continued to play it instead of switching over to the other games that I had just plopped $50 down for. Continue reading Release Date Confirmed: Peggle For The iPhone – May 12th »
Nothing says “Holiday Season” like an Advent Calendar, right? Well the folks at Pocket Gamer, in collaboration with a lot of very generous and generally awesome developers, have set up a special one just for you, the iOS gaming enthusiast. Starting next Monday, 12/8, they’ll be giving away one top-rated premium game for $0, for […]