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Gusto Email App Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 23rd, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: POWERFUL SEARCHING
Focusing on making it easy to browse files and photos attached to your email, Gusto is a powerful solution.
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Boxer Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on April 21st, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: KO YOUR INBOX
Turn your inbox into a task list or tune it to your own needs with this highly customizable, user friendly mailbox app.
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Snupps Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 16th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: USEFUL LISTING
Got a huge collection that you need to organize, or just want to share with others? Snupps has it covered.
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Taasky Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 8th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ELEGANT LISTS
Attractive to look at and simple to use, Taasky is a very convenient task management and to-do list app.
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This Week at 148Apps: March 31-April 4, 2014

Posted by Chris Kirby on April 6th, 2014

App-tastic!


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.


CLARC

It’s the classic love story. Boy meets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy tries to get Girl back. But did I mention the Boy is a downtrodden maintenance robot and the Girl is pastel pink nuclear missile? I guess maybe ‘classic’ would be stretching it a bit. Things are not going well in the deep recesses of this dilapidated Martian factory. F.A.T.H.E.R., the supercomputer in charge, has disappeared, leaving the worker robots confused and without direction. Lacking anything better to do in the interim, some enterprising bot discovers that consuming diesel fuel gets them quite tipsy. The result? NON-STOP ROBOT PARTY! --Rob Thomas


FTL: Faster Than Light

A year and a half after its critically-acclaimed PC/Mac release, FTL: Faster Than Light makes the jump to iPad. However, this isn’t an inferior late-to-the-party port. Subset Games has just released a free update for the original, dubbed FTL Advanced Edition, that gives players a slew of new options. Why does this matter? Well, the iPad port also has all of those new tweaks under the hood. And what a package it is. A bit of backstory. FTL is a strange hybrid of a thing: one part RTS, one part sim, two parts Roguelike, all white-knuckle frustration. Players control the crew of a Federation ship trying to deliver a vital data payload to their home sector. As they jump from sector to sector, a fleet of Rebel ships dogs their heels, sweeping across the galaxy like a swarm of locusts. Along the way, players will have to fight hostile ships, respond to random events, and generally scrounge for supplies to keep themselves operational long enough to get home. --Rob Thomas


Fairway Solitaire Blast

One of the iOS games I often find myself returning to is Fairway Solitaire, an addictive card game based around golf solitaire. It’s been a mainstay on my iPhone since launch so the prospect of a new title in the series, Fairway Solitaire Blast, got me pretty excited. This new installment is more freemium-focused, more reminiscent of King’s selection of titles, and currently lacks a certain amount of the ‘wow’ factor. Working on a level-by-level basis with a structure very similar to the mighty Candy Crush Saga et al, Fairway Solitaire Blast leads players down a path of increasingly tricky challenges. At first, players simply progress by clearing all the cards across three holes of each course (or level), but as they move through these stages other requirements emerge. Clearing 10 face cards in a row might be one such challenge, while others might require the player to clear 10 cards, each alternating in color, in order to progress. --Jennifer Allen


Monument Valley

Monument Valley – ustwo’s puzzling adventure game where players must twist and turn an Escherian world to discover its secrets, able to tell protagonist Princess Ida where to go and with various levers and twisting points that they can manipulate – can be approached and analyzed in two ways. One is purely as an experience. The other is as a game. As a game, Monument Valley is really quite short: it’s 75 to 90 minutes long across 10 levels that pose few threats to players. There’s maybe one puzzle in the entire game that made me really confused. Those who can’t comprehend the Escher-esque levels and designs, (that perspective can mess with one’s head) will probably have a hard time with the game. Those who have an eye for it will likely breeze through it. There’s not much in the way of replay value as there’s no time being kept for a level, which is a shame as it would be a fantastic way to promote coming back. As well, if there are any secrets they’re really, really well-hidden, which is a shame because this kind of game would promote hiding things. Its clear Fez inspiration sure had plenty of secrets of its own, so why not this too? The story isn’t really engaging – it’s ethereal and always felt out of touch to me, except for one moment that focuses on emotion rather than narrative. It’s not a perfect game. --Carter Dotson


Boom Beach

The follow up to Clash of Clans, Boom Beach is guaranteed to be quite the success. While it maintains many similarities to its alliterative predecessor, it also improves upon the format. While Boom Beach still won’t sway its cynics (yes, it does like one to spend money), it’ll still entertain many. As before, players are given a home base to defend and build upon. Attacks from enemies will be on a daily basis, so it’s fortunate that there are plenty of defensive capabilities to install – such as sniper bases, mortars, and the trusty mine. The latter adds a strategic element to the game, allowing one to place them in whatever order they wish, hopefully taking out the enemy before they get too close to one’s base. Defense isn’t all that’s required of the player, with conquering (or liberating as this game like to sometimes call it) other bases just as important. --Jennifer Allen


Kapu Forest

Having reviewed many apps for children and families, I am on a special lookout for applications that I find truly beautiful to look at – making them desirable choices to share with young children who may be getting very limited screen time. Kapu Forest, with versions for both iPad as well as iPhone, is such an application that will delight the youngest app users as well as their families. At first glance, adults will be quite pleased with a rich palette of blues, greens, and browns, as well as a thoughtful use of sophisticated jazz music that real keeps in mind the needs of the adults who will most likely be spending time sharing apps alongside their young children. There is a non-specific vintage quality to the look of this app that I find utterly appealing, making it stand out among a sea of other applications. --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

Expedition Platformer

Expedition Platformer surprised me. It’s a retro-looking 2D platform game with an arcade feel that tells the story of Bogee, a budding anthropology expert on an expedition to different environments. The game scenery clearly looks to be framed by this narrative, and does a good job of creating a somewhat pixelated jungle environment. There are platforms that make up the playing area at different heights, and green is the predominant coloration in the early level. The controls are fairly flexible, with a movable direction-cum-jump-cum-dodge button, and a “shoot” button to dispense bananas. --Tre Lawrence


Mesh

Mesh looks like a neon drenched coin muncher game of old, but is it worth playing? Mesh is all about tapping accurately. Formations of blocks rain down the board interspersed with bombs. The idea is to tap the blocks without hitting the bombs, which ends the game. Missing too many blocks also ends the game. As the player survives longer, the formations get much tougher with many blocks surrounding bombs and it becomes tough fast. A robust combo system rewards players for tapping blocks quickly and without missing taps .Since the game scrolls blocks down quite slowly it’s a good idea to let the screen fill with blocks before starting a combo so the player can’t just tap as quickly as possible. This adds a nice risk dimension to gamepay. --Allan Curtis


Beyond Space

Space cowboys take heed: Beyond Space is here. The gameplay is quite engaging. The tutorial is a mission in and of itself, replete with instruction and back and forth dialogue. It shows the basics of flying, dogfighting and more. Controlling the space fighter is a matter of using one of the options provided: tilt or virtual joystick. There is a frontal radar system, and spot buttons for shooting and afterburnrs to the right of the screen. There is also gesture-based controls for evasive and tactical maneuvering like rolling and U-turns, and vitality meters at the top left. The tutorial goes on to show how to bring all these parts together, and I found it to be a pretty fun affair. Finishing the tutorial by successfully completing the tasks given leads the main missions. --Tre Lawrence

And finally, this week our comrades at Pocket Gamer took a look at the best games of March, reviewed FTL and Monument Valley, went hands-on with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and tried to trick everybody into believing something implausible for reasons of tradition. And it's all right here.

Atelier: Draw, Sketch, Paint Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 2nd, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SPEEDY SIMPLE DRAWING
More brushes would have been very convenient, but Atelier is still a quick to use and handy drawing app.
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Birdseye Mail Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad only
By Jennifer Allen on March 26th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SOLIDLY USEFUL
A useful gmail email client, even if it isn't quite as exceptional as some others.
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Peek Calendar Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 21st, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SIMPLE CALENDAR
Not one for those looking for complicated features or even multiple calendar support, Peek Calendar is an attractively minimalist calendar for those in a rush.
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MailDeck Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 12th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: IDEAL EMAIL MANAGEMENT
Stylish to look at and immensely useful, MailDeck will soon be a new favorite iPad email tool.
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bookkeep Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 11th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
Its simplicity is both its strength and its weakness, but Bookkeep will be a handy companion for avid readers not fussed about wanting to share what they're reading with others.
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Permanent Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad only
By Jennifer Allen on March 5th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CONVENIENT SPREADSHEETING
In need of more flexibility, Permanent is still a useful and user friendly spreadsheet tool.
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Loggr Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 4th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SIMPLE YET ELEGANT
A very simple tool for those wanting to log various statistics of their lives, Loggr has potential despite its lack of features.
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RoomScan Pro

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Arron Hirst on February 27th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: LIKE MAGIC (MOSTLY)
One would be forgiven for thinking RoomScan Pro was something of black magic. The ability to create automatic room plans is great, but one should be aware of its approximate measurements.
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Zippy Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on February 18th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CONVENIENT TASK REMINDING
Initially seeming like a typical if well made To Do list app, Zippy offers up an original insights section, proving it's worth taking a look at.
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Beamtask Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Stacy Barnes on February 17th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: JUST BEAM IT
Beamtask is a fantastic “honey-do” or “me-do” task list, complete with reminders and automated contact list.
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