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This Week at 148Apps: August 24-28, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on September 1st, 2015

The Apps of August With 148Apps

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.

Lara Croft GO

When you start playing Lara Croft GO, you’ll feel this urge to go quickly. After all, it’s Lara Croft. You’ve spent years rushing through tombs with her, right? That’s probably the worst thing you could do while playing Lara Croft GO. It’s a turn-based puzzle game where you need to carefully plan each move and, often, many moves ahead. It works remarkably well. Each level offers a grid based layout. You swipe to move Lara around, with her automatically climbing up things as and when an opportunity arises. In turn, if there are moving obstacles such as a circular saw, they move every time that she moves. The trick here is timing and planning ahead in a way that means you don’t get trapped or killed. Early levels introduce this concept relatively gradually, but you’ll soon find yourself having to scout ahead with a level before truly committing to something. --Jennifer Allen


PAC-MAN 256 isn’t anything like other Pac-Man games. From the makers of Crossy Road, it’s an endless take on the usual Pac-Man format. Instead of running around a maze you’re running upwards, collecting dots, munching up power pellets, and dodging ghosts. It’s a format that works but could do with offering you some more reasons to keep on playing.Dispensing with virtual buttons, PAC-MAN 256’s control scheme is centered around swipes. At first, this might seem a little inaccurate but it soon proves quite straight forward and feeling a lot more natural than a virtual d-pad. As you progress, the maze grows in front of you, keeping you on your toes. Ghosts are easy enough to spot but you have to plan ahead in order to dodge their trajectory. Each type has their own personality too, meaning that some might follow a set path, while others home in on you, making things much trickier. --Jennifer Allen

Galactic Keep

Galactic Keep is easily one of the strangest role-playing games I've played in a long time, mainly due to its strange art style, deep sense of exploration, and unapologetic dedication to the experience of tabletop gaming. As it was developed over the course of six years, Galactic Keep is a labor of love that's both profoundly fun and interesting despite sporting its fair share of peculiarities and flaws. Playing Galactic Keep is closest to what it's like to play a Dungeons & Dragons campaign but with more dice, one character, and a completely unfamiliar set of rules and lore. At the outset, everything is overwhelming to the point that it would be off-putting if it weren't all so intriguing and mysterious. Keeping that in mind, players can expect to die early and often in the game's current module. Over time though, they can upgrade their characters, find loot, and start wrapping their mind around everything. --Campbell Bird

Green Eggs and Ham - Read & Learn

The follow up to The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham - Read & Learn continues that charming trend, being immensely appealing to young and old. In no time, you’ll want to read through this with your child and odds are you're both going to enjoy that time a lot. As before, Green Eggs and Ham - Read & Learn offers up a mixture of reading, interaction, and simple gaming. Following the beloved story of Dr Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham, it’s a lovely tale full of rhymes and charm. You can choose to read via the highlighted narration or go at your own pace, ensuring it’s useful for kids of any age and reading ability. --Jennifer Allen

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3

It's been a while since I've experienced a management sim like RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, which recently emerged on the App Store as a "pay once and play" port of the PC original. This version is largely the same as it was in 2004, albeit with touch controls. This may stir up feelings of nostalgia for some, but that doesn't mean it isn't a bit clunky in its transition to iOS. Like every RollerCoaster Tycoon game, this is all about building and managing a profitable and fun amusement or theme park - whether that be from one of the 18 Career Mode scenarios or in the more free-form sandbox mode. This involves everything from hiring staff to setting the price of foodstuffs in the park and, of course, building roller coasters. All of this is largely handled via menus, but the main screen is almost always displaying the park and its attendees as they go from ride to ride. --Campbell Bird

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:


Anomaly Defenders

And now, we get to Anomaly Defenders....About time…While the series got us going on “tower offense” as a gameplay constant, this one takes it back to more of a tower defense scenario. More pertinently, alien invaders are on the ropes in this one, and humans are the aggressors. Thus, the player takes on the job of saving the home planet of the aliens.Graphically, it is an interesting projection, clearly futuristic, with a Terminator feel to the dark landscapes. The view is top-down in nature, and the play area generally consists of stretches of land interspersed with defined roads on which enemy (human) attack vehicles travel. The animations sizzle, and it looks pretty good overall.--Tre Lawrence

Q*bert Rebooted Free

I first encountered Q*bert years ago; I rocked the heck out of that game on the trusty BlackBerry 8320. Tech eons later, I get to try it out again, this time on Android, presented as Q*bert Rebooted.Definitely worth a look.The game is dual-natured, in that the game presents two versions: the classic version, replete with retro graphics and true to the original gameplay. There is also the “rebooted” version, which is a slick, more modern refresh.--Tre Lawrence

Zipbuds SLIDE Earbuds

The more mobile I get, the more I appreciate a good set of headphones.As the kids get older, there’s only so much Taylor Swift I can listen to; the house sometimes feels like one crazy karaoke machine.So, retiring to the quietest part of the house can be quite rewarding. The pure joy of it makes me smile. Get me an e-book (or mind-bending game), some sweet tea and some headphones with which to listen to accompanying music, and that quiet spot becomes mine.Y’all feel me? That’s why cool stuff like the Zipbuds No-tangle Slide Earbuds are just what the doctor ordered.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus news, game guides, and even more reviews than we can share here!

Qbert Rebooted has the App Store Going "@!#?@!"

Posted by Rob Rich on July 27th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The weird little orange... whatever... is back, mostly thanks to that movie which shall remain nameless (you know the one). But anyway it's been "rebooted" and now you can play the fancy-lookingQbert Rebooted on iOS devices.

Monday Morning App HQ

Posted by Will on August 10th, 2009

Random musings of the App Store.

Retro Invasion

Retro games are appearing in the App Store in droves! Pac-Man Remix, Q*Bert Deluxe, and of course, the incredible Space Invaders Infinity Gene. All of these are updated in some way from the classic games. Q*Bert has updated graphics, Pac-Man Remix has updated graphics (though they are still not too hot on the iPhone) along with power-ups that sometimes feel gimmicky, and Space Invaders is a complete re-imagining of the classic game. Of these, the only game that really captivates me is SIIG. In my opinion, retro games are retro for a reason - frankly, they're boring and outdated. However, the concepts are still good, and if they're updated for modern gamers, they can turn out like SIIG. To go with these retro games, there are plenty more on the way: Snood, a classic match-3 shooting game, TAITO's Bust-a-Move, and most importantly, Pac-Man Championship Edition. Pac-Man CE, for XBLA, is, along with SIIG, one of the best re-imaginings of a retro game I have ever played and, if the controls are changed from Remix, should translate fantastically for the iPhone.
[caption id="attachment_15570" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Pac-Man CE, a great re-imagining of the classic game"]


Gameloft coming on strong (maybe)

Along with NFL 2010, Gameloft has an upcoming FPS, Sandstorm, and a GTA knockoff, Gang$tar in the works. These games are particularly of note because it seems as if Gameloft is attempting to directly compete with other developers. NFL 2010 was notably released before EA's upcoming Madden 2010, and at a lower expected price point - $7.99 compared to $9.99. Sandstorm seems to be in line for direct competition with ngmoco's upcoming FPS (as yet unnamed). Gang$tar looks to have a huge advantage on current App Store GTA-a-likes with a fully roam-able 3D world. If I was a betting man (ok, I am a betting man), though, I would count on the other two games losing out. If there's two things Gameloft games have in common, with the notable exception of Castle of Magic, it's lackluster, on-screen controls, and uninspired gameplay. Gameloft seems to put all of the genre "requirements" in their games, without doing anything truly unique to make the game their own. They seem stubborn about their controls as well, always opting for mediocre on-screen d-pads or joysticks, rather than attempting any innovation for the iPhone. NFL 2010 is a solid football game with licensing, and I'm sure Sandstorm will be a decent FPS. However, neither if these titles, probably, will be great.

[caption id="attachment_15571" align="alignright" width="184" caption="Get out of my games, stupid pygmy"]

[/caption]Games requiring 3.0 software

I wanted to briefly address a common complaint springing up various places: games requiring 3.0 software or higher. Developers are excited to utilize 3.0 features and making their apps 2.2.1 compatible takes a lot of time, resources, and extra testing. Look, I know that the update is $10 for iPod touchers (whoops, that sounds weird), but that's really not a lot for a major software upgrade, and if these stubborn users don't update soon, they're going to find themselves left out in the cold for some of the App Store's best apps and games.

This week's sign of the apocalypse

First Doodle Jump, now Harbor Master; the Pocket God pygmies are invading other games! It was bad enough that I had to look at those stupid pygmies while playing Pocket God, thinking I would eventually like it. But no, that wasn't enough, now they have to ruin games that I actually play! I really want to kill a pygmy, and in a way so that they can't be magically dropped from the sky a few seconds later.

Apps of the Week


[caption id="attachment_15572" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Gomi, an app of the week!"]


Last week, I previewed Kevin Calderone's new game Gomi, mentioning the staggering amount of content. Now, the app is out, and not only is it huge, but all that content is actually worth playing! In Gomi, you clean up the world by eating pollution and the like while spitting (?) out trees and flowers. You have to eat smaller things to build your appetite, eventually building up to shopping malls and the like. The regular levels are great, the boss battles are challenging and clever, and the game is seemingly endless with 140+ levels, eight mini games, achievements, and online scoreboards. At the low price of $1.99, Gomi is a unique game and a highly recommended bargain. Expect a full review soon (sorry, I'm on vacation).


BargainBin is an app that allows you track other apps; creating wish lists with target prices and viewing the newest apps, updates, and price drops. BargainBin recently was updated with two major improvements: a nice UI update and a killer feature: push notifications. Now, whenever an app you're tracking reaches your desired price, you'll instantly receive a push notification without ever having to open the app. Finding the App Store's best deals has never been easier!

Well, that's it for this week, and I'm still loving writing this column! Apparently, I messed up the links for the previous articles, so commenting was impossible. This has been fixed, so hopefully this week my begging for feedback/comments will succeed!