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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!

Captain Bubblenaut Hits the Big Screen in a New Update

Posted by Stephen Hall on April 10th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: WELCOME TO ERF :: Read Review »

Captain Bubblenaut from indie developer Dean Tate is a fun arcade game featuring one-finger "slide the ground" controls. The goals of the game include eliminating all "erflings" and making your father "Admiral Pop" proud. The game features 30 achievements and Game Center leaderboards, more than 4 different terrains, charming music, and more.

Recently, Captain Bubblenaut received a humble update that brings the game to the larger screen of the iPad. Luckily, for you, the game is now universal meaning you don't have to repurchase the game to play it on iPad. The update also includes support for iOS 6 and new menu music.

You can get Captain Bubblenaut on the App Store for $1.99.

Lost Twins Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Lee Hamlet on March 13th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: A GREAT FIND
A fresh take on the classic slide picture puzzle, this is a unique gameplay experience that players will definitely get lost in.
Read The Full Review »

Dragon Flight Review

Posted by Sinan Kubba on June 23rd, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: NextFloor
Price: Free
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: new iPad

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


The endless shmup with upgrades is nothing brand new, but Dragon Flight is more like the love-child of an endless runner and a shmup. Shooting is automatic, and the enemies attack down the screen in wall-like waves. Play becomes a matter of carving your way through these walls, with dodging as key to progress as well-aimed shots. So pushing through Dragon Flight is like pushing through Temple Run, with quick reflexes and stamina both required in equal measure. Meanwhile upgrades and power-ups help me get that little bit further, as well as consolidate that all too dangerous one-more-go factor.

If that one-more-go factor is the hook then the bait is simplistic and appealing play, and Dragon Flight scores high here too. Sliding my dragon across the screen is a cinch, even if the quick slides sometimes necessary do bring on friction burns. Power-ups are similarly easy to use, like sliding up to produce a wide light beam attack. Alongside simple play is a cute retro look with modern definition. The retro is in the colorful variety of scrolling landscapes, like the dunes of a desert or the greenery of a dense forest, and in the bright spectrum of beams that make up my shots. Both evoke memories of many a classic shmup. Meanwhile the mulitcolored waves of dragons, as well the chibi image of my pink-haired valkyrie gleaming with victory at the end of each run, is plain adorable.

On the flip side, Dragon Flight is lacking in variety. Endless waves of ever-sturdier dragons, however colorul, are always going to feel monotonous, especially with a dearth in power-ups. It's maybe greedy to ask it of a free game (albeit one with purchasable coins for upgrades), but more power-ups and the occasional boss fights would take Dragon Flight to the next level. It's maybe because the foundations of play and presentation are so solid that the lack of development is a little disappointing. On a side note, while I don't doubt its success as a marketing ploy it's still a bit low to constantly badger players to review your game with the bribe promise of 5000 free coins for doing so.

Sneakiness and monotony aside, Dragon Flight is certainly worth trying out. It may only keep interest for a few minutes or it might take over your day, but either way I'm confident most will enjoy their time with it. It's free, it has endless shooting, it has dragons, and it has a cute pink-haired valkyrie. What's not to love?

Penny Time Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jason Wadsworth on May 17th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: WORTH EVERY PENNY
A skateboarding game with unique visuals and fresh, engaging gameplay that's more than just dodging obstacles.
Read The Full Review »

Beeing Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jason Wadsworth on April 6th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: QUITE A BUZZ
Use simple slide controls to navigate the dangerous world of bees on a mission.
Read The Full Review »

Gravity Project Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on March 5th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: OVER
Unresponsive controls mar what otherwise should be a pretty cool gravity-flipping runner.
Read The Full Review »

Finger Shot RPG Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jason Wadsworth on October 27th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SOME LOST MARBLES
Slide fantasy characters around varied environments in heated back and forth battles.
Read The Full Review »

MixZle Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jason Wadsworth on October 10th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: WELL ROUNDED
This game combines two classic puzzle styles into one cohesive experience.
Read The Full Review »

Blockado Mountain Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jason Wadsworth on August 24th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SLIDE INTO SOME FUN
A beautiful block sliding puzzle game with some interesting mechanical additions to the genre.
Read The Full Review »

Switch Frenzy Review

Posted by Jason Wadsworth on May 20th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Developer: Bread Engine

Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Got a few minutes to kill? Why not spend it flipping some switches up and down? For most people, the prospect of flipping switches up and down for fun probably doesn't sound very entertaining. Bread Engine, makers of the iOS game Switch Frenzy, beg to differ.

In this game, a set of five switches appear on screen and brightly colored arrows direct whether each switch should be flipped up or down. A blue arrow means the switch should be flipped in the direction the arrow is pointing. A red arrow means that the switch should be flipped in the opposite direction. This may sound simple enough, but when there are several different switches lighting up on screen at once things can get hectic. Other switches need to be held down or flipped multiple times, which adds to the frenzy.

With each successful switch, a bonus button is filled. Once full it can be pressed for an increased score multiplier. There is a classic survival mode where players see how long they can last without flipping a switch the wrong way, and a time attack mode where players see how many switches the can correctly flip in two minutes. In both cases the action is intense and fingers will fly while trying to get to each switch in time. Multi-touch comes in handy here as it quickly becomes necessary to flip several switches at the same time.

Achievement and leaderboards (with Game Center integration) make getting that high score all the more important. This is the kind of game that will keep friends competing back and forth in pursuit of higher and higher scores.

The beautiful minimalism of this game makes it the perfect way to spend a few spare minutes, but don't be surprised if a few minutes turn into a few more, and a few more...

Squid Drop Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Timothy Smith on April 29th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SURPRISING
Get ready for what appears to be another "let's see how far you can fall without crashing into something" game, but with a few surprising twists.
Read The Full Review »