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Tales Untold Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on June 16th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: APPEALING STORIES
Tales Untold is a simple and appealing audiobook collection for kids.
Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps: July 14-18, 2014

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 19th, 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.

Overcast: Podcast Player

For a long time, I have been using Downcast to manage all of the podcasts I listen to. Its ability to create customized playlists and tweak settings for each individual show gave me a complete sense of control over the way I listened to my favorite shows. That being said, I was never 100% satisfied with Downcast for a variety of reasons that I couldn’t quite put my finger on for a long time. Now, I can safely say that my main issue with Downcast is that it isn’t Overcast: Podcast Player. Although this new podcast app isn’t perfect for every podcast listener’s needs, Overcast: Podcast Player has a very impressive suite of features that are smart, elegant, and super useful, provided you pay to unlock all of its features. --Campbell Bird


Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon

Much like its namesake team of ragtag misfits, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon is kind of weird and quirky. You see, while the game’s release date is clearly set to build hype for the upcoming feature film (which hits theaters in just about about two weeks) it’s not solely tied to the movie’s feel or continuity. Instead, it’s a rather strange mash-up of elements, sporting both movie-based character designs and story beats, as well as numerous nods to the team’s greater history and place in the comic-based side of the Marvel Universe. But does playing to both sides dilute the overall experience? And is it even a worthwhile game to begin with? Read on, True Believers! Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon straddles a few different genres as well. It’s a little bit action-RPG, a touch of arena combat, and a dash of side-scrolling beat-’em-up (minus the scrolling). Players assemble a team of characters from their roster of unlocked Guardians, Guardians-adjacent affiliates, and even antagonists in some cases (though they can only be used in the wave-clearing Arena mode), and smash their way through screen after screen of bad guys. Characters are controlled by drawing lines from them to their destination (when moving) or target (when attacking enemies or aiding allies). --Rob Thomas


Cascade

Match-3 games are nothing new and to an extent, Cascade is very familiar indeed. It manages to offer a few twists and turns that ensure that fans should be quite appreciative of its efforts, even if it isn’t as revolutionary as it would like to be. The layout of Cascade is very familiar. You work your way through individual levels of gems that must be cleared in some way, in order to pass onto the next stage. Each stage has a slightly different objective, such as reaching a particular score, clearing a set number of boulders, or vanquishing lighter colored squares. Ultimately though, the principle remains the same – match those gems. Jennifer Allen


Magic 2015

Another year, another updated iteration of Magic: The Gathering’s digital form. Fans of Wizards of the Coast’s long-standing, collectible card game juggernaut know exactly what they’re getting into here. But does Magic 2015 serve as a good introduction for new players into what can be a rather daunting new world? Well, it’s kind of a yes and no at the same time. As someone who already has a fair bit of past history with the game, I still felt the need to trudge my way through the tutorial in order to see how well it presents the game to newbies and, for the most part, I wasn’t disappointed. The tutorial is relatively in-depth, with a fully-voiced narrator guiding new players step-by-step through the basics of the game, though I do feel that it may have dragged on for a bit too long and that some of these lessons could have been combined or condensed. However, that could well have just been my urge to get through the stuff I already knew and into the meat of Magic 2015 proper. --Rob Thomas


Hellraid: The Escape

In Hellraid: The Escape, you will find yourself awoken from a stone tomb and trapped in a violent prison, patrolled by disfigured, demonic guards and decorated with all of kinds of vicious traps. Sounds fun, right? You must then find your way out by solving puzzles, dispatching enemies and collecting items to help pass through each area unscathed. Along the way you’ll find notes with some background information, hints and harrowing tales on them, further fleshing out the gameworld one piece at a time. Controls are simple, with a floating joystick for movement, a swipe to survey the surroundings and a tap to pick up objects or interact with mechanisms. However, these interactions are often more intricate than a mere tap, usually involving multiple gestures, proving how much attention to detail was paid to the environment. Powered by the Unreal 3 engine, the game looks undeniably excellent. From flickering lighting effects to the incredible level of detail throughout, Hellraid: The Escape is one of the best-looking iOS titles to date, and succeeds in creating a real sense of foreboding. --Lee Hamlet


Hoopa City

As readers may know, my son and I are big Dr. Panda fans as many of their apps allow children to role-play their way through differently themed apps such as Dr. Panda’s Restaurant, Dr. Panda’s Veggie Farm, or Dr. Panda’s Beauty Salon. Recently, a new app, Dr. Panda’s Toy Cars, changed things up a bit, allowing young children to drive cars around town, free of the mini-games popular within this series. I would also like to introduce readers to another new app from TribePlay, the developers of Dr. Panda, Hoopa City, a city building application for older children that my son simply adores. Hoopa City allows users to build their own urban landscape as they tap areas of the screen, adding roads, buildings or green spaces as they choose from eight different city building elements, combining them to create other details that my son really fancies such as pools or skate-boarding ramps. Hoopa City stars Hoopa the Hippo, famous from other Dr. Panda applications, as well as other familiar Dr. Panda characters who can be seen wandering around town – a nice touch. --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

Glowgrid

Some puzzle games can be really relaxing, while other games of the same genre can be brutal as heck. The ambient puzzle game Glowgrid is a little bit of both, thanks to his two game modes. If one would see the title ‘Glowgrid’ and fires the game up, he would instantly see that the title of the game matches with the aesthetics of it. Like anyone could predict, in Glowgrid players get to fill up a glowing grid with some well know and lesser known shaped blocks, where they need to combine four or more blocks of the same color. The goal is to fill up the bar at the top of the screen, with a total worth of one hundred points. If players get to that point, the bar immediately empties itself. The next goal is to fill it up once again, only now while players need to figure out a way in their own mess, because the grid still contains like ninety pro cent of the blocks one previously placed there. --Wesley Akkerman


RBI Baseball 14

After two straight days of no baseball whatsoever, you may finally be ready to accept it back into your life. And between the many games, you may find yourself wanting to play a game. Well, RBI Baseball 14, the MLB-published revival of the classic series, is finally on Android. This is old-school baseball, for better or worse. Seriously, this game isn’t just RBI Baseball in name only, it replicates the original game to a T. Pitchers can throw fastballs, mid-speed breaking balls, and knuckleballs that move erratically and slowly. Hitters can move around the box to try and hit the myriad pitches coming their way with just swing and bunt commands. Each team has 4 pitchers, with the starter tiring midway through the game. David Price relieving Alex Cobb a day after he started? Dr. James Andrews shrieked in horror. This game eschews realism, and any real gameplay advances of the past couple decades or so, in the name of replicating this classic. --Carter Dotson


Hopeless: Football Cup

In Hopeless: Football Cup, players get to experience a different kind of football videogame. If I have to put a game next to it that closely resembles it, it should be Orange Pixel’s Tapkick Football. In the good and the bad way. Hopeless: Football Cup is a game where players need to tap on the touch screen, in order to make the blob on-screen head the ball away. If they don’t, the ball will simply demolish the little bugger and than it is game over for the player. It is a hard concept, similiar to games like Flappy Bird; players just need to keep on tapping at the right moment to succeed in the game. Hopeless: Football Cup perhaps stands even more closely to Orange Pixel’s Tapkick Football, a game that featured the studio’s own vision on the simple tap mechanic of Flappy Bird. --Wesley Akkerman

And, this week Pocket Gamer reviewed games like Battle Fleet 2 and Ingress, provided handy tips for Minecraft and Hellraid: The Escape, found some hot new indie games in Brighton, and gabbed to Luca Redwood about his absurdly ambitious new game. All this and more right here.

Overcast: Podcast Player Review

+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
By Campbell Bird on July 18th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: FEATURE RICH
Overcast compiles an impressive set of features and a super simple transfer process that makes it a very attractive proposition for most podcast enthusiasts.
Read The Full Review »

The Portable Podcast, Episode 214: Best of 2013 Spectacular

Posted by Carter Dotson on January 7th, 2014

You're the best around, nothing's gonna ever keep you down!

On This Episode:

  • Carter and a couple of regulars to the show discuss their top 3 games of the past year that they thought were must-plays.
  • Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Co-Host: Brett Nolan, AppAddict.net
  • Co-Host: Rob Rich, 148Apps

  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode:










    The Portable Podcast, Episode 213

    Posted by Carter Dotson on December 31st, 2013

    Sending out 2013 with a roll of the dice!

    On This Episode:

  • Carter and Brett discuss two of the last big releases of 2013, Republique and Colossatron.

  • Carter talks with some of the braintrust behind Quarriors about the effort in bringing the game to mobile.
  • Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Co-Host: Brett Nolan, AppAddict.net
  • Guests: Alexis Mueller & Justin Ziran, Wizkids/NECA
  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode:



    Castro - High Fidelity Podcasts Review

    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
    By Campbell Bird on December 17th, 2013
    Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: CLOSE
    Castro is an elegant-looking podcast app, but does it have what it takes to dethrone de facto standards like Downcast and Instacast?
    Read The Full Review »

    The Portable Podcast, Episode 212

    Posted by Carter Dotson on December 10th, 2013

    Around the world, around the world, tic-tac-toe!

    On This Episode:

  • Carter talks to one of the developers of Tic Tactics about how they managed to take a very simple game and add a layer of chess-like complexity to it.

  • One of Darklings' developers and one of the publishers discuss what it was like to collaborate on the game from across the world, and how they're trying to get the word out about the game.

  • Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guest: Nick Ahrens, Hidden Variable Studio
  • Guest: Ajay Chadha, B27
  • Guest: Burkay Ozdemir, MildMania
  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode:


    The Portable Podcast, Episode 211

    Posted by Carter Dotson on December 4th, 2013

    Skating on thin ice!

    On This Episode:

  • Carter and Brett Nolan discuss their recent iPad purchases, what they think about the first wave of MFi gamepads, and recent releases Touchgrind Skate 2 and Icycle: On Thin Ice

  • .

    Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Co-Host: Brett Nolan, AppAddict.net
  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode:



    The Portable Podcast, Episode 210

    Posted by Carter Dotson on November 26th, 2013
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: STELLAR :: Read Review »

    Alone in the stars!

    On This Episode:

  • Carter talks to Orian and Felix from Liv Games about the conclusion of the Wars trilogy, Stellar Wars, how they think this is the best one yet, the struggles of trying to succeed in the current market, and the struggles of working as a remote team.

  • Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guests: Orian Livnat and Felix Embree, Liv Games
  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode:

    The Portable Podcast, Episode 209

    Posted by Carter Dotson on November 19th, 2013
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BOOM SHAKALAKA :: Read Review »

    Dream a little dream of a helicopter.

    On This Episode:

  • Adam and Alex of One Man Left come back on the podcast to discuss Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous. Find out how long the title had existed, why the powerup selection in the sequel is so different, and why Classic mode is actually good now!

  • Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guests: Adam Stewart and Alex Okafor, One Man Left

  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode:

    The Portable Podcast, Episode 208

    Posted by Carter Dotson on November 12th, 2013

    A son's tale of vengeance.

    On This Episode:

  • JJ Williams tells the story of the inspiration behind his new game Pirate Blitz, about his father's boat that was captured by pirates, and how that both did and did not serve as an influence on the final game.
  • Paul Johnson of Rubicon talks about the ins and outs of Combat Monsters and its multiplatform, free-to-play launch.

  • Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guest: JJ Williams, 12 Gauge Studio
  • Guest: Paul Johnson, Rubicon Developments
  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode:


    The Portable Podcast, Episode 207

    Posted by Carter Dotson on October 29th, 2013
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: TITANIC :: Read Review »

    Boo Cardinals of all kinds!

    On This Episode:

  • Carter and Brett discuss the iPad announcements, and what may have been lacking from them.

  • The co-hosts discuss why they like Pocket Titans.
  • Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson

  • Co-Host: Brett Nolan, AppAddict.net
  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode:

    The Portable Podcast, Episode 206

    Posted by Carter Dotson on October 22nd, 2013
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

    ...in 3D!

    On This Episode:

  • Carter and Barn Cleave of Niffler

    discuss Chuck’s Challenge 3D, why the game came out on Android before iOS, the challenges and benefits of developing on one platform versus another, the difference between games that are critical successes and financial successes, and the future of the industry – including if the industry may crash again in the future.


  • Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guest: Barn Cleave, Niffler
  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode:
    Chuck's Challenge 3D - Google Play - Steam Greenlight

    The Portable Podcast, Episode 205

    Posted by Carter Dotson on October 15th, 2013

    Use the Force, Captain America!

    On This Episode:

  • Carter talks with Mel Kirk of Zen Studios about the new tables for Star Wars Pinball. 148Apps' resident pinball aficionado Blake Grundman tags along for the ride to ask the really nerdy questions.
  • Two of the fine folks from Demiurge Studios talk about their recent release of Marvel Puzzle Quest, and how they plan for the game to continue evolving over time.

  • Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson, 148Apps
  • Guest Co-Host: Blake Grundman, 148Apps
  • Guest: Mel Kirk, Zen Studios
  • Guests: Josh Glavine and Albert Reed, Demiurge Studios

  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode:



    The Portable Podcast, Episode 204

    Posted by Carter Dotson on October 8th, 2013

    Head, shoulders, knees, and toes!

    On This Episode:
    Carter talks to Colin and Sarah Northway, the married traveling independent developers. They discuss their development process, how Incredipede was Colin's idea produced with Sarah's assistance, and how Rebuild is Sarah's idea and project with some assistance from Colin. The mobile version of Incredipede is discussed, as well as the Kickstarter for the upcoming Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville.

    Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guests: Colin and Sarah Northway, Northway Games
  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode: