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A Good Snowman is Hard to Build review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Brittany Vincent on December 17th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: PUZZLY THE SNOWMAN
Bring a series of snowmen to life with this whimsical holiday puzzler
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Darthy review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Nadia Oxford on November 1st, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ROCK N ROLL
Darthy is a fun platforming game that's surprisingly easy to control
Read The Full Review »

Chesh review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Nadia Oxford on October 14th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CHECK AND MATE
Chesh isn't exactly a free-for-all, but neither is it bound by Chess's rigid ruleset
Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps: September 7-11, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on September 14th, 2015

Slide Into September 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.


Zen Brush2

Zen Brush 2 takes what worked so well for the original app and improves upon it. It’s not like regular drawing software, lacking the variety of a more powerful artistry app, but it’s really quite delightful for evoking a particular theme.That theme is through the use of an East Asian ink brush. Looking a little like a more artistic interpretation of calligraphy, you can use your finger to sweep across the screen, drawing lines from a number of different brush strokes. If you hold your finger to the screen for a time, you can see the ink pool where your finger is resting, ensuring it feels more tactile than most drawing apps.--Jennifer Allen


Legendary Warriors

Looking really rather gorgeous, Legendary Warriors will catch your attention quite quickly. In reality, it’s a fairly hands-off experience that means it’s not going to be for everyone, but it’ll certainly stick in your mind through its beauty. An RPG of sorts, you’re helping a party of characters go from place to place, taking out monsters in their wake, and getting stronger too. How this is conducted is fairly hands-off though. You hit the ‘go’ button to send your character to battle then your only interaction is through activating a special skill as and when it becomes available. When that happens, the game stutters a bit, adding insult to injury. --Jennifer Allen


Dead Synchronicity

Dead Synchronicity is dark. Really, really dark. Set in a world that has been mostly wiped out by a mysterious thing called The Great Wave, leading to martial law and some terrible suffering, it’s a bleak existence. You’re a man suffering from amnesia, but unlike other games you’re not here to liberate the world - you just want to survive. This is done through exploring the land and solving various puzzles. At times, it’s a little sick, suck as when you’re mutilating a corpse in order to set the man up in the case of a murder. It’s consistently well written though, and really quite enticing. This doesn’t feel like a by the numbers tale, instead sticking in your memory for a while to come. --Jennifer Allen


Chrono Space

The reasons why are unimportant. All you need to know is that some badguys are gunning for you and the only way you can fend them off is by creating, placing, and upgrading defensive towers - in space. But despite the familiar setup, Chrono Space (to its benefit) does things a little differently.There are no paths or anything to worry about here; since you’re in space enemies can approach from any direction. Fortunately they’ll stop to attack your towers, so while you can’t block them in you can at least delay them. Unfortunately you never really get a proper heads-up about which section of the screen they might be attacking from but it ultimately doesn’t put you at much of a disadvantage because the game is pretty brutal either way. --Rob Rich


Power Ping Pong

Once upon a time, I used to play table tennis for a team. I was supposedly pretty good at it and nearly participated in a few tournaments. I was young though, and therefore foolish, and gave up because, well, I don’t know. While real table tennis doesn’t offer special moves or power-ups, Power Ping Pong does bring back some fun memories. It’s table tennis with a Kung Fu style twist. Throughout the arcade mode, you take on various competitors, showing them just what you’ve got, with an option to delve into a survival mode or multiplayer. Controls are simple to pick up but require some mastering. They mostly involve performing gestures, such as a sweep upwards at speed invoking a fast hit, with the opposite providing more of a kind of lob. Side swipes can also prove useful at the right time. It takes some practice but it's reasonably rewarding, much like the real sport. --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


Speedy Ninja

Speedy Ninja packs a lot.On the surface, it’s an endless runner. The main job is to get our hero — a sassy, excitable ninja with just a hint of stickman sensibilities — to go as far as possible. Running occurs in an intuitive left-to-right fashion, and once a run commences, the ninja moves forward continuously… until an obstacle of some sort says otherwise.The obstacles will be somewhat familiar to ninja aficionados, and have a touch of the fantastic: bamboo stakes, spinning blades, homing spears and more. To navigate these, there is a handy jump button that allows one to vault and double-vault such run enders.--Tre Lawrence


TYLT FLYP-DUO Reversible USB Cable

We are a mobile society.Or, to be fair, we are getting there. In any case, some thing seem to be becoming more commonplace, such as households with multiple mobile devices, and households with devices from multiple platforms.Hey, I should know… this one has units from all major platforms, and then some.
Still, now, with the joy of multiple devices comes the challenge of keeping them charged. Since Apple uses proprietary cables, it does add an extra cable to be carried when an iDevice. Since I like to be prepared, it pays to have a lightning cable, and even if not for me, I do get a weird sense of accomplishment when I can provide a cable to a needy friend or colleague.Ah, enter the TYLT FLYP-DUO Reversible USB Cable.--Tre Lawrence


Stick Squad 4-Sniper's Eye

If truth be told, I am not the biggest fan of sniper games. Call me a wuss, but there is just something so… well… final about them. Yes, some find it silly, but talking about it frees me.I think…But then there’s Stick Squad 4 – Sniper’s Eye, the fourth installment in Stick Squad series. It’s the sequel to the sequel to the original sequel, and looks to bring the best of stick figures and sniping to handheld gaming.For folks vested in this particular gaming series, the general look will be familiar. One gets the expected stick figures, and they’re moving, relaxing and otherwise living in the lfe. the motions are mostly natural looking, and the visuals work well, even if perspective takes a weird turn a time or two. The gameplay is presented in first person format, through a scope for vision. Moving said scope is a matter of holding/dragging it around till one gets a target in one’s sights. There is a simple shooting button, and it is very reactive.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: August 31-September 4, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on September 8th, 2015

Slide Into September 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.


I Am Bread

The world of gaming means you can inhabit the lives of so much. You can become a hero saving the universe, a soldier at war, an orc exploring a new world, or you can be a slice of bread. You read me right - bread. The latest in a string of quirky simulations (hi there, Goat Simulator), I am Bread has you inhabit the soul of a slice of bread as it desperately makes its way from the rest of the loaf to the toaster. Because toast is the best use of bread, obviously! It’s obtuse a lot of the time but the novelty value makes it worth checking out if you’ve got money to spare. Each level is a day of the week, starting out with a psychiatrist’s report into the actions of a man convinced that his loaf of bread is alive. Then you find yourself on your perilous mission to get to the toaster. --Jennifer Allen


Tiny Empire

Angry Birds 2 disappointed you a little, right? Fun but too full of freemium stuff to really keep you fully happy, yes? Tiny Empire is almost an antidote to that. It’s not as finely tuned, but being an entirely premium experience with just the one price ensures that you can simply enjoy the game rather than feel gouged for money. The first thing you’ll notice and love (if you’re my age) is the visual style. Tiny Empire looks like a 16-bit game that wouldn’t be out of place on the Sega Genesis or SNES. The map layout for choosing each level also looks just like a JRPG from days gone by. This is distinctly appealing and immediately puts Tiny Empire on the right footing. --Jennifer Allen


Fitness Avatar

Strength exercises are an unsurprisingly perfect way to get stronger and fitter. They’re also the ideal way to completely wreck your back and other vital limbs, all through performing such activities incorrectly. While you can get a trainer or spotter to assist you, that’s not always convenient. Instead, I’d suggest giving Fitness Avatar a shot.The app works by offering you advice on how to perform a particular move, before then filming you as you complete one repetition so you can see exactly what you’re doing rightly or wrongly. You’re restricted to squats, deadliest, and bench presses, but as these are three popular moves and ones that demand you perform them correctly, this is a pretty good starting point. In each case, a brief intro is provided along with a description of why you should take advantage of such a movement. Then you can go to work. Fitness Avatar will keep an eye on how your back is adjusting and whether you’re putting too much pressure on your knees or other joints. You can then watch it back and see how you did. --Jennifer Allen


Top Camera 2

Top Camera 2 is the kind of app that’s going to fit on your phone quite nicely. Besides being very useful and small in size, it looks stylish, matching the general aesthetic tone of iOS.In that mere 8mb of size, Top Camera 2 packs in comprehensive photo and video modes, a selection of filters, and plenty of adjustment options. In each case, it’s simple to use too. Taking a photo or video for instance can take mere seconds, with sliding bars allowing you to adjust the focus or exposure, while another sliding panel gives you options such as HDR, slow shutter, or time lapse. It’s all intuitive and takes seconds to figure out. --Jennifer Allen


Sage Solitaire

Solitaire is all well and good, but all too often it’s kind of samey. Sage Solitaire takes that concept, throws in some Poker elements and soon proves to be pretty compelling.Across three different modes, the format is roughly the same. A three by three grid of cards are offered to you and you have to make hands from them. These hands can be many thing from Poker such as pairs, three of a kind, a full house, and so on. Two pairs aren’t allowed though, which is a little annoying. One of the game modes also allows you to make hands of 15. --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


Walking Dead: Road to Survival

Here’s to Walking Dead: Road to Survival. It’s based on the original The Walking Dead comics, it definitely pays homage with the grim feeling and apocalyptic look, with stills and gritty transitions.One major part of the game is the building and crafting. The home compound serves as an enclave of sorts which protects the untainted inhabitants against the undead and other human enemies. Part of the game involves learning how to craft, using materials made on site. One can upgrade and add more resources like farms and living quarters, some upgrades depend on the level of other units. Thus, a bit of strategy is involved to grow.A good portion of this combat segment has to do with turn-based action. It usually consists of the player’s crew facing (or surrounded by) a set of zombies or other human opponents.--Tre Lawrence


ZAGG Auto-Fit Folio 10 Keyboard

Bottom line? If I am going to use a tablet, I might as well get the accessories and peripherals that will make it work for me. I like the comfort of being able to use one as a laptop at least some of the time, so a portfolio-type of accessory is just what the doctor ordered.One problem: not all tablets get the same treatment from accessory makers — which is somewhat understandable. What happens if you get a hardware piece that doesn’t have an iPad-like stable of third-party accessories to choose from? What if you have multiple devices with slightly different dimensions?--Tre Lawrence


FRAMED

Every now and then, one comes across an atypical game.FRAMED is just that. It is an interesting comic-puzzle hybrid that manages to surprise every step of the way.It’s about time it got to Android.In this one, the game gets to the going quickly. To understand if to play it; it feels like an animated comic book of you will, with paneled cards sewing the action together. A scene starts, and then is replaced by another scene, which is basically a continuation of the prior screen. It pops off so quickly that the storyline, which involves a person on the run-type deal, becomes a sideshow… in a great way.--Tre Lawrence

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

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

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:


AndroidRundown


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!

This Week at 148Apps: August 17-21, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 24th, 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.


Tribe

I’m not going to question why you need to but we’ve all had those moments where we want to share a video in the most private of fashions, right? That sounds a little oxymoronic when you consider the open nature of Instagram and Vine but a solution is in sight. Tribe gives you the means in which to create and share videos, but with only 10 of your phone contacts. It works well, too. No videos are shared on a server and only the creator can choose to save or share them. Videos can only be five seconds long and silent, which may limit what you want to do with them, but it’s a pretty effective system. Your friends can simply tap on a video to let you know they appreciated it, and you can ‘whistle’ at them to request a video back. --Jennifer Allen


BattleLore: Command

The land of Terrinoth is in peril. Can you guide the Daqan forces to victory over the daemons of the Uthuk Y’llan? Fantasy Flight Games' Battlelore Command is based on the popular strategy board game. Here you'll be put in charge of the human forces of the Daqan - complete with calvary, melee, archers, golems, and even a few Roc-riding Ariel units. The game uses a hex grid, random powers, and predetermined sets of moves for you to choose from. The trick is that moves will become unavailable until you refresh them, so choosing your strategy wisely is mega-important. Just a heads-up: you won't win the tutorial level, and this is a omen for things to come. Due to those limitations on movement each turn the first few levels are surprisingly difficult. In order to succeed you have to pay careful attention to what each unit can do and which powers you have available on each turn. --Jessica Fisher


Loot & Legends

Loot & Legends is a free-to-play, turn-based strategy game that tries its darndest to capture the look and feel of playing a tabletop role-playing game like Dungeons & Dragons while simultaneously creating its own, card-based loot system. Although it sounds a bit peculiar, Loot & Legends is largely successful in what it sets out to do, making it a pretty awesome package for strategically-minded, dungeon-crawling enthusiasts.For anyone familiar with age-old fantasy tropes, almost everything in Loot & Legends' structure and lore should be unsurprising. Players make a party consisting of a warrior, priest, and wizard, all of whom go on adventures battling goblins, kobolds, lizardmen, etc both for the greater good of the world and for loot to make them ever stronger against more difficult foes. --Campbell Bird


Monsters Ate My Metropolis

Monsters Ate My Metropolis is an exceptionally colorful and vibrant card game. Dispensing with too much focus on the cards, you’ll find yourself destroying cities with the help of lumbering kaiju. It’s a great concept for a game but its execution suffers from a few issues right now.Learning the game is fairly easy, although mastering it is another matter. You assemble a deck of cards then are dealt three each turn. You pick out which card to use based on its power and element, before unleashing it against your opponent and hoping for the best. You can boost how things go through completing a brief mini game that tends to involve you either tapping frantically or timing one tap just right. Each attack builds a meter which can eventually lead to you unleashing a mega attack on your enemy’s city.--Jennifer Allen


Age of Defenders

It’s been a while since I last played a tower defense game and Age of Defenders has reminded me of exactly why I enjoy the genre so much. It could do with offering a little more speed to proceedings, but other than that, it’s a solidly dependable release. There’s a story in there, one told through cutscenes and snippets of dialogue, but I’ll admit I didn’t pay huge attention to it, although there are a few moments of light humor to glean from the dialogue. It does provide convenient context for the tutorial though. Age of Defenders is split into two distinct forms of strategy gaming with a defensive side of things and an offensive side. --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


Stickman Tennis

Stickmen? Tennis? Nah, I don’t mind giving Stickman Tennis a shot. We are talking about a tennis sim with stickman, right?The gameplay utilizes a tennis court — of course — with a lengthwise view, much like one would watch a real tennis match on TV. The stickman populate the whole thing, from the players to the personnel to the spectators; the graphics are subdued, and the sound feels familiar.The game incorporates a bunch of virtual buttons — three for specific shots: lobs, slices, and strokes with topspin. In the training module, one learns that timing is of essence, and the power of a shot can be affected by how long one “holds” the button down. To the left, there is a directional joystick that the player can use to control the direction of the shot.--Tre Lawrence


Oddwings Escape

Oddwings Escape gives players the opportunity to take on the persona of birds looking to escape from a lab in which evil experiments are being performed upon them.Graphically, the game is a visual feast, with liberal use of colors that –at first — reflect a jungle-ish motif. The game consists of travel ways, and mostly boils down to a timed, rated race that requires the player to get from point A to Point B; there is a distance challenge to start it all up.--Tre Lawrence


Cartel Legend: Crime Overkill

If AL Pacino’s Scarface played a mobile game, he’d probably spend more than just a few minutes with Cartel Legend: Crime Overkill.Some of it might look familiar.The locations are enjoyably stereotypical for the type of game this is, from storied casinos to expansive mansions that would make even Tony Montana do a double take. On their own, the scenes look nice and visual perspective is adhered to fairly well. The player takes on the persona of a deadly assassin, and a major task is to get from the beginning point to an endpoint, designated by a green overlay.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: July 27-31, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 3rd, 2015

Winding Down July 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.


NINE

NINE is an appealing and convenient twist on the typical To-Do list format. Focused on providing visual reminders rather than text based ones, you simply snap a photo of something then tag it and you have an instant reminder to do or buy something. It’s a nice idea.Much of NINE’s convenience comes from its flexibility. Rather than being tied into dull lists reminding you of what you need to do, you can use it to remember things you want to buy come pay day, or simply as a visual list of things/people you love. Recipe ideas can be formulated through taking snaps of foo that inspires you. It’s all pretty varied in terms of what can be accomplished. --Jennifer Allen


To-Fu Fury

Somehow making an incredibly boring kind of food fun, To-Fu Fury isn’t the most original of physics puzzle games, but it is solidly dependable. You control a sentient piece of Tofu as he has to leap around various platforms, dodging spikes, collecting gems, and even fending off aggressive enemies. Each level is relatively brief but it’s quite challenging. You can drag the Tofu around, fling it across the screen in an Angry Birds style manner, or you can crawl along the ground with a pinch of two fingers. Various challenges arise, such as the need to carefully get around spikes, learn to ricochet off metal plates, and also negotiate tricky moving platforms. --Jennifer Allen


Baffles Classic Puzzles

Baffles Classic Puzzles reminds me a little of the puzzle books that my parents would give to me on a long journey to keep me busy. They’d be simple-looking logic puzzles but often they’d take a while to figure out. This game is just full of those, and that’s a good thing. Offering 76 puzzles in all, with a further 24 coming soon, there’s no shortage of challenge here. Each puzzle is offered to you with a description of what needs to be accomplished, along with some historical context, explaining the origins of the puzzle. Baffles Classic Puzzles takes its inspiration from many different eras, including ancient Rome and China. --Jennifer Allen


In Churning Seas

In Churning Seas is a physics-based puzzler in which players attempt to assemble randomly-shaped crags into an island that successfully persists above a constantly rising sea level. The difficulty in making high quality physics-based puzzle games is in balancing the inherent challenge of the mechanics and tools with the physics. In Churning Seas makes an interesting, though perhaps not entirely successful, attempt at striking this balance while providing a really excellent atmosphere and general aesthetic.Controlling In Churning Seas is easy enough. At the start of any game players have a randmoized base island to start from, a rising sea below, and random shapes appearing above for them to tap to drop into their desired place. The goal is to piece together enough shapes and have them hold together long enough to reach new heights. Along the way players may hit a specific height goal, which provides the benefit of locking the other pieces in place to create a more stable structure to continue building off of. In the event that players need some stability when a height goal is out of reach, they can double-tap a limited amount of blocks to lock them in place as well. --Campbell Bird


Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

There’s a reasonable argument against the need for HD remakes as it is. Do we really need to return to so many old games, all for the sake of some shinier graphics? Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition really reinforces that concept by somehow disrupting some of the key visual and audio flourishes of the original. Throw in the fact that the game is often quite obtuse, and the past doesn’t seem so great any more. The foundations are pretty solid, at least. Ritualistic killings are occurring in New Orleans, and it’s down to struggling author, Gabriel Knight, to figure things out. True Detective fans are going to like this. At least they will until they realise that Gabriel is a fairly obnoxious womaniser. Arrogance is fair enough at times, but this character takes it too far. --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


inStream SeptimusB 7 Port USB Charging Station

As we like to say, more mobile devices, more problems… power problems to be specific. Even as batteries get better, there is always a need to keep our power units powered.Yeah, one can plug in a charging peripheral to every outlet at work or at home, but then, one needs to walk all over the place to retrieve them. It’s just better to have all of them in one place, especially for those of us with a healthy helping of OCD.And then, here comes the wordy inStream SeptimusB 7 Port USB Charging Station.Alrighty.--Tre Lawrence


Zero Punctuation: Hatfall

If one must know, Zero Punctuation: Hatfall is a story of loss and redemption. Sometimes, folks get really attached to headgear, and this game tells the tale of a dude driven mad by loss.Oh dear.At first glance, one might be a bit dazzled by the sharp yellow background; we don’t get a lot of colors, but that is okay, as the game works with the color contrasts within. Visually, it works.--Tre Lawrence


NU2S Smartphone

There are many reasons folks dabble into Android.Love of the OS, appreciation for the extended Google ecosystem… even a hyper anti-Apple sentiment get cited as reasons. Critically, one can enjoy the diversity of product as well as as apps availability across carriers.One element that increasingly becomes part of the device ownership narrative is price; the ability to get a device at just about any price point is, well, priceless. And, to be fair, we are not talking about just anything at any price; we expect quality, even when we pay what might be considered a good price for an Android smartphone. Now, obviously, the ability to have OEMs battle to bring the best devices to market at the lowest cost is a function of the Android landscape, but we’re not complaining.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: July 20-24, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 28th, 2015

July is Heating Up 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.


Cally's Caves 3

Cally's Caves 3 is a free-to-play platformer inspired by games like Metriod and Castlevaniawhere players take control of Cally as she tries to rescue her parents from the Nefarious Herbert. From a content perspective there's a lot to like about this entry in the Cally's Caves series, even without making any in-app purchases. Although it feels like a bit of a hamstrung version of Castlevania, it's still pretty enjoyable and challenging.Cally's Caves 3 starts with a very straightfoward intro in which Herbert takes Cally's family (again), and from there it's up to players to jump, shoot, and melee their way through stages to get ever closer to rescuing them. Like the previous titles, Cally's Caves 3 is controlled using on-screen buttons that work just fine, though they can occasionally obscure the action or be hard to hit.--Campbell Bird


Dexter: Hidden Darkness

If you’ve played games such as Criminal Case or CSI: Hidden Crimes, you’ve played Dexter: Hidden Darkness. It’s effectively a reskin of these titles. As any Hidden Object gaming enthusiast will be able to tell you though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.What works so well for these games are their trickle feeding of content. No one really wants to spend hours seeking out objects. These games are made for short sessions and accomplishing something in that brief period of time. Dexter: Hidden Darkness scratches that casual gaming itch as well as the others within the field. --Jennifer Allen


Crayola DJ

Music creation is a lot of fun and an ideal way for your children to express themselves, but all too often it can be a little tricky to do well. Crayola DJ circumvents any such difficulties, being the kind of DJing app that you can learn within a couple of minutes. It’s great fun, too. You’re presented with two turntables and a variety of different options. You can add tracks covering various different genres, such as dance, pop, hip hop, and fusion, before manipulating their tempo and prominence within the track. --Jennifer Allen


Age of Empires: Castle Siege

I’ve got a friend who regularly asks me if there are any games quite like the majesty of the Age of Empires series. Every time, I can refer him to something that’s a little like it but not quite up to par. Every time, we both feel a little disappointed, remembering just how wonderful those games were once upon a time. Age of Empires: Castle Siege might have the name and the license, but it’s no replacement for those great titles. Instead, Age of Empires: Castle Siege is a Clash of Clans style take on the popular RTS. Feel free to sigh at any time. It’s not a bad freemium strategy game but it will disappoint those wanting the full Age of Empires experience. --Jennifer Allen


nvNotes

Given its price tag, no one could blame you for expecting nvNotes to be a bit more garish or a bit more ‘in your face’ when it comes to showing off why it’s worth $9.99. In reality though, its strength lay in its understated wonder. It’s a note taking app that offers you exactly what you could want in a clear and concise manner. For those who regularly take notes on their iOS device, it’ll soon be an essential tool.A quick tutorial guides you through the paces, but it’s all pretty intuitive. Hit the pencil icon to create a new note then get typing. You can choose to just type in plain text or you can start applying things such as bold or underline, all through the markdown options available. nvNotes also offers an URL scheme, saving you effort and adding a form of hyperlinking to the mix. It’s not needed for some users, but it’s handy that it’s there.--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


Nebulous

So, what is up with Nebulous?It’s all about cell-eating; the player gets to control a circular blob in an amorphous area that has blobs of different sizes that float around. Now it seems each blob, including the player’s, have an insatiable need to consume stuff, in this case smaller blobs. So, using the virtual controller at the bottom right, one can guide one’s blob through the black landscape.As noted, the basic concept is to absorb smaller blobs; this is done by contact. At first, it might take a bit to cotton to the virtual control, because one’s small blob is pretty jumpy, and not so easy to control. In any case, as one picks up smaller organisms, one’s own blob starts to get bigger and bigger, and, for me, easier to move around adeptly.--Tre Lawrence


Mission Impossible RogueNation

Now, now… before you get mad and start ranting at the proliferation of endless sequels to action movies — Terminator, Rocky, Die Hard, and yes, Mission Impossible — remember one thing: in today’s age, we tend to get at least one possibly great byproduct in companion games.They tend to be simple, and may or may not follow the franchise canon very closely. In any case, such games can be fun to get into, even for casual fans of said movies.Hopefully, such is the case with Mission Impossible RogueNation… a Glu joint.--Tre Lawrence


Arkon Universal Tablet Headrest Mount

Summertime is travel time for my family. We love going places, and almost always enjoy ourselves.Still, it’s the going that can be troublesome. Boredom is young person’s kryptonite, and backseat bickering is mine. Thus, for all concerned, having mobile technology is such a blessing, and the Arkon Universal Tablet Headrest Mount helps harness that blessing.The review package arrived in clear cellophane, just as it does in retail form; it contained 6 pieces, and involved a lit bit of onsite prep t get together. I wasn’t a fan of the diagrams, but to be fair, I was able to cobble it together in an intuitive manner. When set to go, it uses the 2-post system available on the headrest of most cars to attach itself, and then physically extends towards the middle, such that the tablet is held in a central position mostly between the two front seats. It works great for two heads, but can be effective with three in our hands-on testing.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: July 13-17, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 20th, 2015

July is Heating Up 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.


Heroki

It’s the visuals of Heroki that will first catch your attention - it’s really quite gorgeous. Its palette is as attractive as many of Sega’s past console hits, immediately capturing the imagination. Fortunately, Heroki isn’t all looks either, being a fairly entertaining action adventure game. While the control methods are never quite perfect, no matter what you settle on, it’s still endearing stuff. Your aim is to save the world from the dastardly Dr N. Forchin. It’s the kind of story that’s been around as long as gaming, so I wouldn’t dwell on it too much. While owing much to platformers in terms of design, Heroki is more about flying than anything. --Jennifer Allen


Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp

Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp is a digital port of a solitaire board game from Victory Point Games and designer John Gibson that puts you in charge of what is essentially the CDC and tasks you with stopping the end of the world. No pressure, right? I’ve been a pretty big fan of the physical game ever since I first got my hands on it last year. It’s a very brutal and surprisingly intense puzzle that will punish mistakes like spreading your proteins too thin or wasting all of your funding on lab equipment you never use in short order. It’s not so difficult if you have enough time to study the virus and prepare a vaccine, but you won’t have time. You never have enough time. Because the virus can and will spread, eventually wiping out all human life if you can’t stop it fast enough. --Rob Rich


Alphabear

Where so many word games are fun but a little soulless, Alphabear crams in plenty of personality thanks to its focus on teddy bears. It’s an unusual mixture of things, but it works really well for Alphabear. Throw in some varied rulesets and you’ve got a word game that’s going to keep you hooked for quite some time.It seems simple enough. You spell words from a selection of letter tiles on a grid. Each tile starts out with a number that gradually ticks down for each turn that you don’t use it. Once that number hits zero, the tile turns to stone and you can’t use it any more. It also blocks your bears because, oh yeah, bears grow bigger on this grid. For every time you use letters next to a bear, that animal grows a little bigger and so forth. The bigger the bear, the more points you earn. The more points, the more likely you are to gain a new bear with additional powers.--Jennifer Allen


This War of Mine

Due to hardware limitations that eventually gave way to time limitations, I was never able to dip more than a toe into This War of Mine’s murky waters. Just enough to know it’s not the sort of thing you play if you want to feel happy. That’s changed now that I can play it on the iPad.
I was right: it’s not happy. But it is impressive. Unlike most other war-themed games out there (on any platform), This War of Mine covers the horrors of mass conflict from the perspective of the civilians who spend their days cowering in abandoned houses - or get caught in the crossfire. It’s about as pleasant as “Grave of the Fireflies.” But that’s what makes it so compelling. --Rob Rich


FilterBaker

FilterBaker is a photo filtering app with a difference. Rather than offering a series of instant results, it gives you plenty of options to manipulate things exactly how you want them, before allowing you to save your own filter options. It’s pretty useful.Each step of the way is clearly laid out. You can apply a form of photo filter initially before adjusting brightness, contrast, and saturation. You can then move onto more complex tweaks, such as the shadows and highlights, RGB color distribution, and sharpening. By the end, you can have completely transformed your picture. More importantly, it won’t look like you’ve put it through the same process as everyone else as FilterBaker is more individual.--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


MyScript Stylus

We’ve been working on write ups pertaining to smartpens, and looking at what they bring to the mobile productivity table. For the most part, we’ve found them to be great tools, but only as good as the add-ons that allow them to be harnessed by the platforms they are being used on.One of the names that continually cropped up during reviews and research was MyScript. MyScript is a name that should resonate with smartpen users; it powers a lot of the image recognition software that some smartpen device makers bundle with their products. The premise is fairly simple: one “writes” with a stylus (or finger) on compatible surfaces with compatible peripherals, and MyScript helps translate the script to formal text.--Tre Lawrence


TYLY RIBBN

As our use of mobile devices increases, so does the need to keep them powered. Portable chargers do the the trick, but one key concept is the ability to charge in vehicles.TYLT has established a name in the power accessory segment, and with good reason. The units it puts out tend to straddle the fence between form and function quite admirably; it’s nice to have a piece that looks good, and, well, works. We recently had an opportunity to review its RIBBN 4.8A Car Charger.We didn’t hesitate.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: July 6-10, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 14th, 2015

July is Heating Up 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.


Don't Starve: Pocket Edition

It didn’t take long to confirm the rumors of an iOS version of Don’t Starve, and it didn’t take long after that for the game to pop up on the App Store. But pop up it did, and now you can play the stylish and brutal survival game on your iPad. You start out in control of Wilson: a well-meaning inventor who gets in over his head and is tricked into creating a sort of inter-dimensional gateway that pulls him into another world. Now he’s trapped in a bizarre wilderness with nothing to show for it. What’s worse is he’ll probably die horribly if you can’t keep him sane, healthy, and (obviously) full. --Rob Rich


LEGO Batman: Beyond Gotham

LEGO Batman: Beyond Gotham is the latest LEGO game to come to iOS, and of course it has a quirky humor and easy to learn play style that mean fun for all ages. This time around, Brainiac (one of Superman’s super-intelligent villains) has decided to shrink the entire earth into a collectible plaything. So Batman, Robin, and a plethora of other Justice League characters join forces with their nemesis to fight the alien threat. There are 45 missions packed with puzzles and, despite what Batman might say, he needs some help to take down Brainiac. Good thing there are over 100 characters to play with and unlock like Black Canary, Solomon Grundy, Cyborg, and The Joker. Each character comes with different suits that provide them with powers, such as Robin's elite hacker Techno Suit for hacking computers. --Jessica Fisher


Fews

Consolidating your news, Fews is a handy app for when you want to quickly see what’s going on in the world.Loading it up, you’re immediately taken to a screen that offers all the news in your country. You can choose to divide things up according to news, sport, economy, technology, or lifestyle, or you can view everything at once. Filtering options are also available for news sources, meaning you can dodge certain outlets. You can also view things, depending on what’s trending around the world, as well as set up notifications for specific subjects, further enhancing your ability to keep on top of things. --Jennifer Allen


Formula Cartoon All-Stars

With its cart racing rather than ‘kart’ racing, Formula Cartoon All-Stars seems a little like it’s trying to be a top-down version of Mario Kart. While it doesn’t have that title’s level of depth, it’s still quite fun to play, assuming you don’t expect too much of it. Formula Cartoon All-Stars offers up two different game modes in the form of adventure and tournament. Tournament is a matter of racing in specific tracks, aiming for a faster time than anyone else, while adventure takes you through a kind of story mode, unlocking new tracks as you gain stars in earlier ones. Ultimately though, the idea is the same - outrace the competition. --Jennifer Allen


Stick Tennis Tour

It’s Wimbledon season, which means it’s the ideal time to lose yourself in a Tennis game. Stick Tennis Tour is a casual interpretation of the sport that'sreminiscent of its predecessor, Stick Tennis, but with a few extra features.This time around, you can create and customize your own character, before heading off on tour. An extensive training system, as well as a series of Challenges, which change frequently, ensure there’s always something for you to do. That’s considerable content for a game that’s free to download too, with in-app purchases that are far from obtrusive.--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


Deliveries Package Tracker

I love me some Google Now.It’s one of those anchor apps I use on a daily basis, almost without thinking. Multitasking, hands-free operations, news… you name it. Still, one of the key ways I rely on it is to track packages. This is key in this line of work; we get review items in and out almost every day, going and coming from literally all parts of the globe. Google Now is a (sometimes) seamless bridge between information and access. Since we handle expensive equipment and devices, it really helps to when what arrives where.--Tre Lawrence


TMNT: Rooftop Run

TMNT: ROOFTOP RUN brings us our favorite mutant amphibians… running. At the risk of name-dropping, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise is worth having a look at in almost any form.After picking a particular turtle to unlock, one gets to start the game; it starts off as a sidescrolling platformer. The selected character runs from right or left, and, as to be expected, there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. A major one is makes sense, based on the location of this initial challenge (rooftops); there are gaps in the running area, and to navigate these, one has to tap to invoke a jump, while double-tapping creates a double jumping move that helps with greater height and distance.--Tre Lawrence


Xenowerk

Here’s to Pixelbite’s Xenowerks.Well, it feels a bit like hit game Space Marshals, that’s okay and very much allowed; sharing DNA with that game ensures that at the very least, we should get of sprinkling of good stuff. And we do, starting from the top-down nature of the view that allows the player to survey and control the action from “above.” The developer uses virtual light as an in-game tool quite effectively, and the overall sense of foreboding is well rendered. The sounds are also sufficiently creepy, seesawing from the eerie to the straight dangerous.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps: June 29-July 3, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 6th, 2015

Into July 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.


Divide By Sheep

Mathematics shouldn’t be as fun as Divide By Sheep makes it. Your job is to rescue sheep from the Grim Reaper by flinging them from island to island, eventually depositing them on a transport to safety.The catch is that only a set number of sheep can go on any one transport. Put too few on and the boat goes nowhere, put too many on and you miss out on a star. The sheep only divide up if you fling them onto a platform with too few spaces for them, and that’s what you’re going to be doing a lot. Sacrificing a few sheep for the greater good is everything here, and it only gets nastier.--Jennifer Allen


RESCUE: Heroes In Action

Every once in a while I like to dive into a weird European game. If you do too, look no further than RESCUE: Heroes in Action from rondomedia. This German developer has created a real-time strategy game where players control firefighters as they put out fires, axe down doors, and save citizens. Although it has a fair amount of jank, it's still a fun and challenging experience.Players select scenarios within one of three environment types (Suburbs, Urban central, or Industrial district) and have to use their skills to make sure they manage their water tanks and move quickly enough to remove threats, put out fires, and save lives. To do this they need to tap and drag paths for firefighters and firetrucks to follow along with tapping the appropriate command when a unit is near an interactive object.--Campbell Bird


FireWhip

FireWhip is the latest game from Dan FitzGerald, the mind behind last year's Dawn of the Plow. They might seem like completely disparate or even opposite titles - especially considering one is about fire and one is about snow - but they both share weird control schemes that feel intentionally strange. Because of this, FireWhip didn't click for me at first. However it eventually revealed itself to be a deeply challenging and rewarding arcade experience. Players use their finger to rotate a whip (made of fire, of course) around the screen to fend of waves of abstract enemies. A sudden stop with a fully extended whip can cause it to crack and send flames across the screen, while spinning the whip too fast for too long can cause parts of it to burn out. Keeping these rules in mind, players face off against a variety of enemies including cowards that run away from the flames, fearless tanks that charge ahead, and fast-moving warp units that beam across the screen directly at players. The challenge of FireWhip is in knowing how to deal with each enemy quickly in order to rack up a high score.--Campbell Bird


Sonic Runners

Upon every Sonic the pro- and anti-Sonic crowds get increasingly more disagreeable. Although I don't have particularly strong feelings one way or the other for the blue hedgehog, I think it's safe to say his earliest work was among his strongest. Sonic Runners is an endless runner that captures the speed and platforming of 2D Sonic games, but there are a lot of things wrong with the non-running parts that make it hard to enjoy. The actual meat of Sonic Runners is a pretty fun and challenging runner. Players attain a specific score on a level by accumulating rings and emeralds before facing off against Dr. Eggman, much like the original games. They can unlock Tails and Knuckles as playable characters, both of which lend their strengths in specific situations.--Campbell Bird


Tales From Deep Space

Amazon Game Studios is gradually beginning to make a mark on the App Store. With the recent release of Lost Within and Til Morning’s Light, we now have one time Amazon Kindle Fire exclusive, Tales From Deep Space - a fairly charming puzzle adventure game. It doesn’t revolutionize the genre but that doesn’t stop it from being quite appealing.You control a traveling salesman and his drone as you attempt to escape a Space Station. The two have to work in conjunction when traveling around with the main controls involving you switching between the two at regular points. It’s a familiar concept whereby you leave one character on a switch while the other completes a given task, but it works well here. --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


Drift Spirits

DRIFT SPIRITS seems to be the type of game that could allow one to live life on the edge. Digitally.At its core, it’s a 1v1 drag racing game with an emphasis on drifting. Competitors go toe-to-toe on curved race track that are all but built to encourage oversteering, and the idea is to level up and get rewards to improve one’s car and progress as far as possible.--Tre Lawrence


SmartNews

In a perpetually fast-paced world, there is always a place for easy-to-use news apps. Enter SmartNews, an app from Japanese developers that already has quite the positive reputation on Google Play.Upon first inspection, the app looks clean. It opens up into the main page, and one gets to see the white background and splashes of color upon that in the tabs at the top. It is set in blog form, with text summaries bordered by a relevant pictures. It a serious look, but easy on the eyes, and easy to appreciate from a visual perspective.--Tre Lawrence


Prison Break: Lockdown

Prison Break: Lockdown is an interesting game that manages to be a mystery, a hidden object game and probably more… simultaneously. It takes a fairly popular theme — escape — and build upon it to create a leveled game.The game incorporates a lot of research elements; the player gets a scene, and has to investigate for objects to interact with. Interacting comes in different forms…some objects provide clues to solve other puzzles; several can be collected and even combined to solve riddles. To see if an area has a clickable item, one must click specific areas on the screen to see if one if those areas can be enlarged.--Tre Lawrence

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

This Week at 148Apps:June 22-26, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on June 29th, 2015

June's Summer Journey Continues 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.


LightRunner Armband

The LightRunner armband is about what you’d expect from a typical armband meant for running - at least I think, but I’m hardly an expert on running equipment - but it does offer a couple of useful features that could give it an edge. Mostly because of how it uses a protective layer to guard your iPhone or iPod from scratches while still letting you use the touch screen, and because it can light up to make nighttime jogs a bit safer. It’s a pretty well-constructed band that keeps your device secure while also allowing access to the headphone jack if you need it. I feel it’s a bit on the bulky side, but seeing as it’s meant to fit 11 different kinds of smartphones (from the iPhone 5 to the Moto X) I’m not sure there’s much they could’ve trimmed off. It might take some getting used to, but it works. --Rob Rich


Fallout Shelter

In preparation for Fallout 4's release this fall, Bethesda announced thatr they had also been working on a mobile title named Fallout Shelter. It's largely a management tapper like Tiny Tower, though it feels distinctly more like a Fallout wasteland scenario and less like a knockoff free-to-play experience. Fallout Shelter may not be for everyone, and it may seem like it misses a few opportunities, but it's a very interesting experience.Fallout Shelter lets players see what it would be like to be the overseer of a vault in the Fallout universe. Essentially this just means they're in charge of building a vault that provides safety and happiness for the dwellers within it. Much like Tiny Tower, players can expect to build additional rooms, match dwellers with jobs that make them happy, and collect resources.--Campbell Bird


Papaly Bookmark Manager

On the surface, Papaly Bookmark Manager sounds like something that isn’t really needed in a world of Instapaper and Pocket. In reality, it’s a very different kind of thing.It’s a way of organizing your links, but it also means that you can easily share them, according to subject, with other users. In that respect, it’s almost like a community. You can opt to simply import your links from social media and keep them safe, but you can also view many other selections. There’s a category devoted to gaming sites, for instance, as well as news sources.--Jennifer Allen


Her Story

At first glance, Her Story doesn't seem like much. It emulates the look and feel of seaching a police database from 1994 on an old Windows desktop - down to the horror of that teal background and ugly interface. There are only six things to click on and no real action to speak of. And yet, there is something strikingly compelling about it all. Sam Barlow, creator of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and Aisle, has brought his storytelling expertise to this interactive narrative. The entire game revolves around searching through clips of several videos of the police speaking with someone named Hannah Smith. --Jessica Fisher


Piloteer

I had my first experience with Whitaker Trebella’s Piloteer several months ago during GDC, and my opinion hasn’t changed much (read: at all) since then. It’s still super-awkward to control, it’s still incredibly difficult, and it’s still ridiculously fun.You control a nameless (but you get to name her so I guess she’s technically not nameless) inventor who’s just made the world’s first jetpack. Since she presumably doesn’t have the same knack for PR as she does for tinkering, she’s going to have to pull off some impressive stunts in order to convince the rest of the world that she’s on to something. This is, of course, much easier said than done. --Rob Rich


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


EA Sports UFC

If anyone should try to tackle a sports sim, it should be EA Sports. And tackle fighting it did with EA SPORTS UFC.Somehow, the tutorial is quite enjoyable on it’s own. It’s of the hands-on variety, so one is able to learn while doing with visual cues that help folks to understand the control system — which incorporates gestures and swipes to control the basics. With said tutorial we see attacks and special attacks, defensive maneuvers, take-downs and even submissions. The controls require dexterity and a keen eye, as there are times a very precise tap is needed. The teaching tool also doesn’t clear until one is able to execute the moves proficiently.--Tre Lawrence


Spider Square

We did wonder just what Spider Square is all about. What better way to find out than to, well, play it?Graphically, it looks like a basic affair; the game uses bright splotches of pastels, and is presented in 2D form. The animations are crisp, and as we see when we get into the action, the colors do frame the gameplay quite well.When we say “simple” with regards to the gameplay, we mean just that. The idea is so easy to grasp, the game barely needs a formal tutorial. It’s an arcade game that is delightfully cloaked as a platformer. The action “moves” from left to right, and the main concept is to get a square, uh, spider(?) to keep moving rightwards (forward) for as long as possible. The main tool is a rope, and the cube moves by swinging from said rope attached to the roof of the playing area. The kicker is that the cube can’t touch the floor or ceiling.--Tre Lawrence


Alphabetty Saga

Yes, Alphabetty Saga is a word game, but clearly wants folks to know it is more than simply that; it packs in elements across the board, from Scrabble, word search, matching, and even a lit bit of Tetris-y gravity play… and then some. It does a lot, which helps it come out the gate strong.At first glance, it’s easy to see developer King’s handprint on the visuals. The game employs bright colors and graphics that lean towards the whimsical without necessarily stumbling into the cartoonish. As a word game, it relies heavily on tiles, but the developer isn’t so jaded as to forget splashing character into the background. It’s a vivid presentation, and it mostly works in the plying area, which usually consists of random word tiles.--Tre Lawrence

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

Boss Monster Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jessica Fisher on June 23rd, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: BUILD DEADLY DUNGEONS
Devious dungeon building can be hard work.
Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps: June 15-19, 2015

Posted by Chris Kirby on June 22nd, 2015

June's Journey Continues 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.


Hitman: Sniper

If you had to imagine what a sniper game on iOS would play like, Hitman: Sniper is almost exactly like what most would expect. It uses a first-person perspective, with players zooming in and out over an environment and taking out targets as necessary. Although much of Hitman: Sniper is very expected - and it has major-sounding drawbacks like only one level - there's so much more than meets the eye that makes it more than the sum of its parts.Just like other entries in the series, players step into the shoes of elite assassin Agent 47. Unlike other entries, Agent 47 isn't sneaking around environments, garroting people, and pushing them down elevator shafts. Instead, armed with a sniper rifle, he is tasked with taking out high-profile targets discreetly from a distance. --Campbell Bird


iSpring Present

iSpring Present makes quite a crucial misstep in its opening moments. It requires you to have an account for iSpring, but gives you no way of signing up other than to open your web browser and find the sign-up site yourself. Oops. Fortunately that’s the only real misstep for iSpring Present. It’s otherwise a fairly useful way of transferring content from your PC to your iPad, with the added bonus of some great PowerPoint support. That support means iSpring Present particularly lends itself to making your presentations easier. You can easily create a presentation on your PC then send it over to iSpring Present and still see all the relevant PowerPoint effects. That’s often a rare thing in such apps, but this one ensures you don’t miss out on anything. -Jennifer Allen


Peak

Brain training games are nothing new, but that doesn’t stop them from being oddly enticing. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves, right? Or feel as if they’re training themselves to be better at something. Peak captures that fairly well. You’ll need to subscribe for the full benefits, but even the free build will offer you some use.Each day, you’re given a few games to complete. These test various parts of your brain, such as your problem solving skills, language capabilities, or simply your ability to focus. They’re simple tests, only taking a couple of minutes to complete, but quite fun to do. Once you complete the session, Peak figures out where your strengths and weaknesses are, giving you a visual indication through a graph.--Jennifer Allen


FullContact

Contact lists are increasingly messy now that we’ve all had phones for years. FullContact aims to cure much of that problem by giving you a place to consolidate everything. By using it you can combine Google Contacts, iPhone Contacts, Facebook, and Twitter details. It’s quite good at what it does too, saving you some time.For the most part, by simply inputting your various log in details, FullContact will happily join the dots for you. Within a few seconds, you can check out photos of your contacts, alongside their contact details, and social networking presence. That’s particularly handy when your contacts are predominantly business related and you’re trying to keep track of who’s who.--Jennifer Allen


MagicMeasure

It takes a little bit of set up and a little tweaking, but MagicMeasure is actually a reasonable replacement for the humble tape measure. You’ll soon be able to measure all kinds of things reasonably quickly.The initial set up is what might put you off a little. Calibration is easy enough, with simple steps guiding you through the paces. It’s that first time of measuring something where you find yourself paying a lot of attention to what’s being asked of you and it still not feeling entirely intuitive. Stick with it though. Once you figure it out, MagicMeasure works quite well. --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


House of Marley Chant Wireless Speaker

Yes, I admit The House of Marley intrigues me. Beyond the iconic name, the company makes some nice-looking accessories, and its commitment to use sustainable materials can only be lauded. It’s Chant Bluetooth Speaker looks to be an example of what House of Marley can bring to market, and we were quite willing to give it a try.It’s cute, but can’t be accused of looking trivial; it possesses a small cylindrical shape that almost makes it resemble a small candle jar. It has a hard cloth/denim-like material on the exterior, with cutouts at the bottom and a zipper at the top, plus a caribiner and Jamaican flag accents; this is indeed the cover (which is made out of natural materials and recycled goods), and inside, the smooth, bamboo-trimmed main speaker sits. The main grill is at the top, with two smaller ones towards the bottom. There’s an on switch and LED at the top, and mini USB charging port, microphone and 3.55 mm plugin port. On its own, it looks okay, but when paired with the zip-up case — as it is meant to be — it looks a bit more defined. Officially, it is 5.9 x 4.4 x 4.4 inches and about 1 lb.--Tre Lawrence


Dude Perfect 2

To understand Dude Perfect 2, one almost has to be acquainted with the source franchise, which is based upon a group of friends doing trick shots and other guy things that make the rest of us jealous. If this game is a cute way to get us to live out that life just a little bit, we are grateful.The game is zany in appearance, featuring a vivid use of color on an eye-catching template. The animations are fairly smooth, and off the bat, the design evokes a sense of playfulness. When it comes to the gameplay, the first series gives an idea of just what the player is looking to accomplish: making basketball shots. At first, it’s easy; to make a shot, the player manipulates a shot and distance meter to get the right balance and get the ball in the ball in the hoop. The less balls one uses, the better, and success yields points and cash. At the end of a series, a three-star system rates one’s performance.--Tre Lawrence


Misfit Shine

Misfit blazed on the scene with an interesting concept: ultra useful fitness trackers that dare to look snazzy. Since then, we’ve seen other products and accessories land on the market.Its latest endeavor underscores the company’s commitment to the health of the planet in addition to individual people; as we noted a short while go, the special edition EKOCYCLE set is one borne out of a recycling-minded collaboration with will.I.am and the Coca-Cola company, and brings a unique wrist strap to go with a limited edition black Shine tracker.--Tre Lawrence

All this, plus E3 previews, news, game guides and even more reviews than we can share here!