So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iPhone/iPad lover to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just check out the Reviews Archive for every single review we’ve ever written.
It feels like this battle has been going on for weeks. Reports come pouring in across the command table – scouts have spotted enemy troops deploying along a ridge to the east of our main base, obviously trying to gain a flanking position. My own infantry is entrenched in the forests surrounding our target, waiting for tank reinforcements that have been suppressed by enemy air forces since they were deployed. But as the weather shifts and the rain begins to fall, suddenly those enemy planes can’t engage. And as my tanks roll forward, I give the order to end this battle once and for all. –Andrew Fisher
Tales of the Adventure Company is a lite role-playing game that sets up dungeon-crawling as a minesweeper-like grid. Although the game feels very familiar because of its borrowed mechanics, Tales of the Adventure Company prevents itself from feeling like an also-ran with its unique party system, turn limits, and combat system. In every play session of Tales of the Adventure Company, players must advance their party of heroes through a series of gridded levels in their quest to defeat a specific boss-like enemy type. This is done by tapping on a 5×5 grid to explore the dungeon, find enemies, and befriend new party members. Players must not be too thorough in their searches though, as every session of the game has a turn limit that produces a fail state if hit. This time pressure is largely what makes Tales of the Adventure Company stick out from other dungeon-crawlers, as players must be extremely strategic about how they choose to explore. –Campbell Bird
My initial response to the mobile version of Habbo Hotel being released was, “is that thing still going?” Well apparently yes, it is, and it’s just as popular as it ever was. My last encounter with it was back in my early teens, when I thought nothing of joining an open chat room and spouting rubbish for everyone to hear. For those who don’t know, Habbo Hotel is a hugely popular online community with a near-infinite number of fully customizable, user-built rooms for people to explore and chat in. From mock Starbucks and popular game shows, to luxury pads and swimming pools, users are free to let their imaginations run wild. –Lee Hamlet
When Insomniac Games, developers of PlayStation classics like Spyro, Ratchet and Clank, and Resistance, release a game on iOS it’s pretty hard not to get excited. The developer’s strong pedigree even overpowers the seemingly cynical nature of Outernauts: Monster Battle‘s design and premise. While the game may ultimately just be a freemium take on Pokémon, its harmonious balance of systems at least makes it a very good freemium take on Pokémon. There are lots of things for players to do in Outernauts, a simplified port of a two-year-old Facebook game, but they all revolve around the cast of collectible creatures. Insomniac can create sci-fi infused Saturday morning cartoon universes in its sleep, and it turns out that’s a useful skill when designing a bunch of colorful elemental monsters. While some of the basic ideas might be a little generic, such as Equifoal the grass horse or Molto the fire pig, the characters themselves are full of personality. Meanwhile, the world is slick, vibrant, and uses sounds like ambient space tones or powerful lightning blasts to great effect. –Jordan Minor
We live in a world where most everything is getting smaller all the time. Computers, spacecraft, even the world itself when you stop and think about it. But while smaller isn’t always better, it can still be difficult to shake preconceptions that are burned into our brains all the time. Which is probably why my first impression of the Wren V5AP wireless speaker wasn’t an incredibly positive one. When I unboxed the V5AP for the first time it struck me as kind of large and bit weighty; I also had trouble figuring out where in the apartment to put it. Once a spot was found, I still had to wrestle with it. My first attempt at connecting it to my wifi network via a direct connection between my iPhone 5 and the speaker was a bust – the included cables aren’t Lightning compatible, and when I tried to use my own cables they just didn’t work. –Rob Rich
I would like to let readers know about a new app for iPad that I find to be a refreshingly new idea in puzzle apps. Silly Family is an app where players need to grasp the concept of a family tree – a game that demands focus as they label members of a family based on their understanding of roundabout information they are given about their familial relationships. The heart of this application will ask players to identify a member of the family, answering questions such as “Ivar is Sven’s mother’s husband’s brother” or “Ponk is Gloop’s brother’s sister’s mother’s sister” – complicated ways of identifying family members as “uncle” or “auntie” as players work through the tree, labeling characters after they have been identified. –Amy Solomon
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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:
Colossus Escape is at its heart a very standard runner. The player strides along, jumping over pits, killing enemies and avoiding other hazards. The basic run and jump gameplay is mixed up with Quick time events where the player must swipe a pattern on the screen quickly or die. Unlike most runners there is a hit points system in colossus escape and it’s possible to take a few hits without dying instantly. This is very uncommon in the endless runner genre. –Allan Curtis
Four years ago, Dutch developer Barry Kostjens and Dutch art designer Ricardo de Zoete brought Push Panic on to iOS. Now, four years later, the duo brings the classic fast-paced puzzle game to Android. Did it stand the test of time? In Push Panic, players have to tap falling blocks of the same color. That’s the base of the game – to spice things up a bit, Kostjens and De Zoete thought of some neat gameplay mechanics to make sure players will not get bored real fast with the concept. One of those concepts is that the game offers realistic physics. It sounds more uncommon than it actually is and it works in favor of the game. Blocks can fall on top or stumble next to each other, making it hard to predict where to blocks will fall and what players can do with them afterwards. –Wesley Akkerman
Unless you’ve been under a rock in a wireless dead zone for the past few months, you’ve probably heard of Flappy Bird. The simple screen-tapping game took the world by storm and caused its creator so much stress that he decided to take down the game. Since then, a plethora of similar apps have invaded the Google Play Store in attempts to recreate the worldwide frenzy that was Flappy Bird, including Mini Dodge Ninja. Mini Dodge Ninja takes some elements and makes them its own, but it is an obvious duplication of the Flappy Bird formula, right down to the bird main character. While gameplay is similar to Flappy Bird, Mini Dodge Ninja offers a significantly greater challenge in a less vibrant setting. –Ryan Bloom
And finally, this week Pocket Gamer picked the best games of May and most anticipated games of June. The guys also went hands-on with Modern Combat 5, found 12 hidden features in iOS 8, and produced an exhaustive guide to skills in iOS role-player Battleheart Legacy. All that and loads more, here.
Posted by Rob Rich on April 22nd, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Zeebox used to be an app about following your favorite TV shows and stars, chatting with like-minded fans, and enjoying the benefits of having a personalized guide to help you discover new shows. Now, well, it’s still all of that. It’s just that now we’re calling it Beamly TV.
Beamly TV is the new name and look for the older app. 24/7 updates for TV shows and actors, chatrooms you can visit to gush about your favorites (and sometimes even chat with the celebrities themselves), and so on.
You can download Beamly TV off the App Store for free.
Whether someone is musically inclined or not, there’s a good chance they’ve dabbled in its creation at least once in their lifetime. Of course it’s never easy to put something that sounds good together when you have zero experience, but Chillingo’s new freemium social music creation/sharing game, Zya is looking to change that. I had the pleasure of checking out a hands-off demo at EA’s recent Holiday Showcase, and I have to say I came away impressed despite my initial skepticism.
Each song you can create is made up of different parts – such as a guitar, drums, vocals, and background vocals for example. You can tweak each section to your liking by selecting various band members who each produce a unique sound, giving them different instruments which also produce unique sounds, then choosing to either use the default samples or create your own. If you decide to create your own you can tap out drum beats or even record your own vocals, then add effects until they sound just right. It’s worth noting that there are different characters for different musical genres, and it’s entirely possible (and even encouraged) to mix them all up to create some truly unique tunes. It’s all cloud-based too, so new game content such as extra songs and characters can be dropped in almost instantly.
You’ll have access to a single genre pack of your choosing (pop, rock, etc) from the start, and can purchase additional characters, instruments, microphones, and so on using points earned through creating songs and sharing your tracks with the world. It’s even possible to have Zya create and post a YouTube video of your performance. Licensed music is also available, and can be altered just as much as everything else, but require an in-app purchase to unlock. Not surprising given that it’s licensed music, really. Still, being able to remix popular songs and share them so easily is a pretty cool concept.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 11th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Ever run into a stranger you shared a “moment” with? Where you had a special connection but then went your separate ways, never to speak again? Well, WeHadAMoment is an app that enables users to find that person they shared a moment with. All users need to do is enter the information of that moment and then hope for the best.
Now go create some more moments and begin sharing them!
Remember when it was just Facebook and Twitter? No, me either. Anyway, if you don’t know what Instagram is, I’m amazed you’re reading this article. As for Ban.jo and AroundMe, I’ll forgive you for not knowing about these social networks that incorporate happenings, events, and locations nearby a-la Yelp or FourSquare.
An interesting inclusion this week is AppGrooves which, like Powerslyde, recommends other apps to its users. And then there’s Kik Messenger, which claims to be the fastest messaging app out there. Is it? I don’t know, as there’s a glut of messaging apps out there, including Apple’s own iMessage.
Ok…deep breath…do you feel properly socialized now? Good. Join us next week for another installment of the ongoing app popularity saga. Thanks to Powerslyde, the app that leverages your friends’ app recommendations, for this week’s list. What apps do you recommend? Drop us a comment below, or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter. See you next week!
Posted by Andrew Stevens on September 13th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Next Sentence is a social writing game that lets two players create entertaining stories by taking turns writing short sentences. The game reveals a title for the story to begin and it’s up to the players to fill in the rest. However, both players will never see each other’s full sentence which can lead to unique and unpredictable stories.
Next Sentence is available for $1.99, allowing players to play with others online. There is also a free version that only works in pass-and-play situations.
Posted by Rob Rich on September 2nd, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
What exactly is Klamr and what does it do? Basically, it makes getting together with friends as easy and painless as technology will allow. At least until we get teleporters.
Klamr combines messaging, planning, and sharing into a single app. You can send word to your friends about your plans (including SMS notifications to non-users), swap photos, set up several options for places to hang out/eat/whatever and give everyone a chance to weigh in, and even pull up Yelp reviews of various spots.
Wrangling folks for dinner should be a cinch now!
- Free messaging: one-to-one or in groups
- Free notifications: to all Klamr accounts
- Nobody is left out: SMS notifications to non-Klamr users
- Private: messages and plans can only be accessed by close friends and family
- Share photos: while chatting and enjoying your get-togethers
- Create multiple Ideas: chat about where and when to hang out next
- Find the perfect and most popular places: from our specially-curated venue database as well as adding your own
- Ratings and reviews: from Yelp, Foursquare and Facebook
Posted by Andrew Stevens on May 3rd, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Instagram, the popular app that lets you create and share photos, has been updated and adds photos of you. Now, before sharing your images, you can add people to each photo and share the profile of the person who’s accompanying you on your latest outing. This also includes a new tab on your profile page that allows you to see what images people have tagged you in.
Since it’s been something of a non-stop Real Racing 3 party here at 148Apps we wanted to draw things to a close with a bit of style. Which is why we’re going to capitalize on all the spirit of Time Shifted competition and challenge you, our readers, to a race. Specifically the Pure Stock Challenge, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Nissan Silvia (S15) Showcase Cup race pictured above. I think I’ve typed that out correctly. Why this event? Because it requires one of the first cars new players will have access to and doesn’t allow for any other; providing as even and easily accessible a playing field as we could find.
All you have to do is drive your heart out. Snap a screen shot (hit the Power and Home buttons on your iOS device at the same time) of your best time and post it in the comments below along with your Game Center username. We’ll pick random winners from all of the entries and post the results here on Monday (3/4) afternoon.
The prizes? We’ll give away three $10 iTunes gift cards to spend how you see fit. Although in the spirit of the contest we’d suggest something like, oh, maybe the Race Car Booster Pack that includes 65 gold and a 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X?
Update: We’ll contact our three winners via email. Thanks for playing and look for more Real Racing 3 contests coming up soon.