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NFB StopMo Studio is a Complete All-in-One Stop-Motion Suite for iPad

Posted by Stephen Hall on March 14th, 2014
iPad App - Designed for iPad only

NFB StopMo Studio is a complete stop-motion utility for iPad that not only teaches you the basics of stop-motion animation, but lets you shoot your first stop-motion film as well. The application was actually born from the National Film Board of Canada's "legendary animation workshops," and concentrates "decades of expertise" to make it the App Store's very best stop-motion tool.

The app features a wide variety of capture tools including time-lapse features, access to both front-facing and rear-facing cameras, "onion skins," a grid tool, and more. Additionally, after you've shot your stop-motion film the app also provides many editing features such as the ability to add an iTunes soundtrack, add fade-in, fade-out, and sound effects, and the ability to export your film to MP4 format.

You can get NFB StopMo Studio from the App Store for $0.99. The app is only compatible with iPad.

Check out the below stop-motion video, which was made with the StopMo Studio app:

Shoot Stuff in Space with Star Horizon - a Beautiful New iOS Exclusive from Tabasco Interactive

Posted by Stephen Hall on March 4th, 2014

Tabasco Interactive, the independent studio behind upcoming space action game Star Horizon, has yet to release a game at all if its website is to be believed. But this new dashingly beautiful 3D space shooter that they're about to throw at us looks to be a very promising first entry into the App Store.

In a similar visual style to EVE Online (and notably without the ridiculous massively multiplayer online aspect), Star Horizon tries to set itself apart with beautiful graphics, "dynamic and intuitive handling" of your spaceship, and the ability to "write your own galactic story" among many other features. The game is on-rails, an aspect that apparently was decided on to make the game "more about pure action and not flying around trying to catch the target," according to a post made by the developers on TouchArcade.

Expect the game to be released on March 20th with a price tag of $3.99; Tabasco says the app will be free of in-app purchases.

Zombie Ragdoll

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Lee Hamlet on August 28th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: IMAGINATIVE ZOMBIE-SLAYING
Destroy zombies in a multitude of creative ways by firing them from a cannon onto various lethal contraptions.
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Monster Shooter 2: Back to Earth Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on August 1st, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SAVE THE KITTY
DumDum is back with a renewed vengeance!
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Space Bits Review

Posted by Rob Rich on July 30th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Developer: Michael Dickman
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

[rating:overall]

It never ceases to amaze me just how much a couple of added mechanics can make a game stand out in its genre. Of course it's more than a simple matter of shoehorning a feature or two into the formula; there has to be some sort of balance. That, and they need to compliment each other. And I have to admit, I never would've expected Space Bits' odd pairing of SHMUP and Roguelike to work as well as it does. I mean it's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it's got a fair amount of potential.

Both of the key aspects of Space Bits have been simplified a bit. Permadeath, an expected trait of most Roguelikes, isn't really a thing here. Instead each level is comprised of a series of randomized enemy waves and random loot drops. Fail and it's back to the start of the level, but all experience and items gained along the way remain. So while it's certainly possible to get blown up before completing a stage, it's also easy to farm experience and loot to make trouble spots more survivable. The SHMUP elements are also less intense. The usual drag-to-move and auto-shooting controls are present, of course. But while enemy types are reasonably varied, they only ever move horizontally; which makes for some incredibly basic patterns. It's the random combination of enemy types that makes the game the least bit challenging.

I'm honestly impressed by how well the Roguelike elements in Space Bits combine with the shooting. There are plenty of weapons and ship frames to find and utilize, and they only get more powerful the further players go. First it's all about attack and defense but soon they'll be equipping weapons that steal health or ship bodies that reflect damage. It's also incredibly handy how the action will pause automatically as soon as I lift my finger off the screen. It makes scooping up new gear and distributing stat points after gaining a level totally painless.

However, as cool as the the odd combination of SHMUP and Roguelike is, it's not enough to mask Space Bits' shortcomings. As I've said, enemy attack patterns are random and incredibly basic. This means that one might be ridiculously easy while another could make avoiding damage literally impossible due to the random spacing of enemy shots. I also encountered what I believe to be a bug that resulted in my ship's defense multiplying significantly with each level-up. By the end the value was so high (400+) I was able to fight second zone's boss without taking any damage at all.

Space Bits is a cool idea, but it's not a fully realized one. As-is it's a decent amount of quick pick-up-and-play fun but it feels unpolished in some places and unfinished in others. It has a remarkable amount of potential, though.

Iron Force Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on July 24th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: TANKS BUT NO TANKS
It's tough to choose between enjoying Iron Force and loathing it when half of the matches feel one-sided.
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MetalWars3 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on July 19th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: AN IMPERFECT MECH
MetalWars3 is a great improvement over its predecessors but it's still got a ways to go.
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Inheritage: Boundary of Existence Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on June 5th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SHMUP IT UP
Inheritage: Boundary of Existence could use a little refinement but it's still a very solid, and oddly compelling, shoot-em-up.
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Call of Mini: DinoHunter Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on May 30th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: HEED THE CALL
Hunt dinosaurs to make better weapons to hunt more dinosaurs to make even better weapons to hunt even more dinosaurs, etc. Works for me!
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World of Aircraft Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on May 28th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FLY THE EMPTY SKIES
This rather goofy arcade shooter has its heart in the right place, but its servers are another matter.
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Overkill 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on April 4th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: JUST ENOUGH KILL
Anyone expecting a huge, story-driven first person shooter might be a bit disappointed but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of fun to be had with Overkill 2.
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PUK Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By David Rabinowitz on March 26th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SHOOT THE PUCKS
PUK is a casual arcade game with addictive and simple gameplay.
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Mad Merx: Nemesis Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 1st, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NEEDS MORE TRAINING
Mad Merx: Nemesis takes a while to ramp up and suffers from some fairly problematic latency issues, but it still has its moments. On occasion.
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Crumble Zone Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Angela LaFollette on December 7th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: AWESOME
Shoot down asteroids while rotating around a planet to get the highest score possible in this action-packed arcade game.
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Odyssey: Alone Against the Whole Space Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on November 26th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: DOWN
So many things could have gone wrong with Odyssey, and a few things did, but it all comes together in the end thanks to lots of RPG trappings.
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