Posts Tagged Sports
Football season is about to be upon us! This is opposed to football news season, where young men playing a dangerous game for well below market value are scolded for being caught taking extra money or selling their awards, and where billionaires argue with millionaires about how they should properly divide pennies amongst themselves. No, the time for actual gridiron-crunching football is just about on us! OneLouder, developers of TweetCaster, have introduced a new kind of Twitter app to help football fans take in all the analysis, commentary, and even the snark that is posted on Twitter about their favorite sport.
SportCaster offers 5 sections for users to explore: Conversation, where users can get the latest tweets from analysts, experts, and athletes, and filter by specific terms to focus on specific comments. By default, general experts are listed, though users can also add experts and fans for specific teams as well. There’s a scoreboard view to keep abreast on all the latest scores, and can click on a specific game to get the latest tweets from experts on both teams. The Schedule view allows users to look in advance at teams’ games, and to view the chatter about the two teams. Standings is just a basic view of the recent standings and rankings of each league. Finally, there’s a Fantasy section, where users can search for information and advice that will help benefit their fantasy football teams.
This isn’t just an app for tweet consumption without contribution, though. Twitter is all about conversation, and sharing, so SportCaster includes options to reply and retweet tweets discovered in the app. Right now, SportCaster only supports pro and college football, but over the next year as the other pro and college leagues start up, they will be added to the app as well. SportCaster is available now for iOS and for Android.
Extra Innings, the national chain of indoor baseball and softball training facilities, launched a new app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Called Extra Innings Mobile Instructor, it allows users to record and upload video–assumably of sports performances–and then provide a commentary using a “white board” technique. The videos an then be sent to the trainers at Extra Innings for professional analysis, with a 48 hour turnaround time. These instructors include many ex Major and Minor League ball players, so the feedback could prove invaluable.
Video submissions and subsequent analysis will cost from $14.99 for three submissions to $74.99 for up to 18 video submissions. The application here to coaches and parents seems obvious, but softball and baseball players could up their game on their own as well, using this app.
“This is groundbreaking within the industry,” said Extra Innings’ founder Rob Nash. “Whether you’re a parent with little knowledge of baseball looking to give your child a leg up or an elite player who is having a bad day during a tournament, our instructors can help improve any player’s game. Additionally, if players are already receiving personal instruction at an Extra Innings facility, these videos will make in-person instruction sessions more effective.”
Available now in the App Store, Extra Innings may be the groundbreaking app many kids and Minor League hopefuls have been waiting for.
There are few things in the sporting world quite as satisfying as scoring a three pointer in basketball. That’s coming from a Brit in a country where basketball has never quite taken off; however, years of NBA Jam has kept me enthralled by the sport. Slam Dunk Basketball taps into that satisfaction with its simple yet addictive style of gameplay – simply flick or tap to unleash the ball and try to throw it through the hoop.
Players are given 90 seconds to score as many points as possible with time added for scoring clean shots and scoring multiple shots in a row. Powerups are also unleashed with the more points scored adding an exciting new side to things. Slam Dunk Basketball is a freemium game so it’s free to play but credits can be bought to unlock new levels and new ball types. A huge array of achievements also encourage players to keep playing.
Slam Dunk Basketball is a simple basketball game but at this price, that’s exactly what anyone could want. It makes for the ideal game to play on a daily commute in short bursts and it’s impressive how addictive it is to keep improving upon the high score.
Slam Dunk Basketball is out now as an Universal app and it’s a free download with in-app purchases available.
iQuarterback 2 has seen success on the iPad, having gotten all the way up to #2 on the iPad App Store free chart. However, iPhone and iPod touch owners have been shut out of the target-hitting football gameplay until now. But no longer! iQuarterback 2 Pocket Edition is now available for iPhone and iPod touch. The reason for a separate app, instead of a universal update is in large part due to high scores. As FuzzyCube Software’s Jeff Ruediger has explained to me, there was some concern with the fairness of the high score lists if one universal app was released; one version may have a scoring advantage over the other. The iPad version makes it easier to hit targets accurately, although the iPhone version makes it easier to quickly hit a target on a different side of the field. Instead of utilizing separate leaderboards, a different version was released, although this means that experience and fame won’t carry over from the iPad version. The game is still free to play, with the ability to purchase additional Fame that go toward powerups; as well, the ads can be disabled for only $0.99. iQuarterback 2 Pocket Edition is available for free, and requires a third-generation or better device.
Rather popular snowboarding game, Snowboard Hero, has had its first update and it’s a bit of a big one.
The main new additions come in the form of two new characters, Monica and Kurt, as well as two new tracks in the form of Death Ridge and Ice God’s realm. There’s also the inclusion of 24 extra events and 12 new achievements to boot too!
Smaller bonuses come in the form of new and unique ‘Uberboards’ for each character which sets all stats such as speed, agility, boost and jump to the maximum number. Players can also purchase more credits via an in-app purchase so as to buy new equipment and more tricks within the item shop.
It’s a pretty impressive first update for a game that was already respectable enough to gain 3.5 stars from us when Phillip reviewed it in April.
The update is available now for all existing owners, otherwise Snowboard Hero is priced at $4.99.
As the advert loves to state, Red Bull gives you wings. It also now gives you a global sports, cultural and lifestyle magazine by the name of The Red Bulletin.
This new app for the iPad promises high end magazine content with up to an hour of video and animation throughout. It features numerous interviews with artists and athletes such as baseball star Tim Lincecum as well as features on the likes of art work from Banksy. Other subjects such as base jumping and formula 1 motor racing also feature.
It’s a new venture for the drinks company and it certainly makes for a pretty impressive looking magazine with the issue designed specially for iPad owners, taking advantage of the technology behind the device.
The Red Bulletin app also gives access to the international issue which contains a feast of the best stories from all the print editions as well as the exclusive content.
Best of all, it’s a free app for iPad owners enabling them to gain a free issue for the month of June.
It’s out now in English, German and Polish.
WBA Champion David Haye is a bit of a hero in my fair isles of Britain thanks to his ability to defeat pretty much any other boxer in his path. So it’s quite exciting to see a game focused around David Haye.
David Haye’s Knockout is a new game to rise from the ashes of the sad closure of Bizarre Creations (famous for The Club, Blur and James Bond 007: Blood Stone on an array of different consoles). It’s a boxing title but not one solely focused on brute strength as some careful manoevres and strategies are needed to truly succeed.
Developers, Grubby Hands, promise that David Haye’s Knockout will be easy to learn but tough to master, offering just as much emphasis on evading and defending as on defeating the opponent. The graphical style also looks appealing, offering some great arty graphics rather than a more typical, photorealistic appearance, and the game even offers its own ‘Matrix Mode’ whereby players can perform moves in slow motion, thus feeling more in control.
Plus, dirtier players can feel smug as they taunt and trash-talk their opponent by shaking their phone. Ideal stress relief!
It’s out now, priced at $2.99.
Super Stickman Golf (formerly Super Stick Golf) has gotten a major update. 6 challenging new courses have been added to the game, bringing the total up to 30. As well, you now have the ability to pay to unlock all features, if you’d rather pay than play the game to unlock them. However, these new courses and in-app purchases aren’t just it for the new content, as online multiplayer, briefly discussed when developer Noodlecake Games was on The Portable Podcast, has been added to the game.
The multiplayer mode supports 2-4 people either locally through wifi or Bluetooth, and online with matchmaking through Game Center. The game plays a bit different here – instead of competing for the lowest score, your goal is to get your ball in the hole as quickly as possible. This changes the dynamics of the game, as you need to find the quickest path to the ball, not the one with the fewest strokes, necessarily. You get points based on your finishing position, and your goal is to have the most points at the end of the 9-hole course. Powerups are still in play – you get a total of 10 that you can use during each course, and you can use any unlocked powerups you have, instead of having to choose which ones you specifically want to use at the beginning of the course. This whole setup leads to great moments of joy when you’ll just barely manage to beat out your opponent, and those moments of agony when they do the same to you. And there’s plenty of variety, too, as all 29 courses are playable online. It is incredibly addictive, and it provides a different enough experience that even if you’ve played the game a lot already, this really starts to mix it up.
If you haven’t played the full version, then you’ll be glad to know that there’s now a free version of the game that’s available. It comes with 3 all-new courses exclusive to this version of the game, as well as online Game Center multiplayer for those 3 courses. It’s a great way to get people into the game, and is worth downloading even for people who own the full version. Both Super Stickman Golf Free and the update for the full version, which is a free update, are available on the App Store right now as universal apps.
Released: 2010-12-10 :: Category: Games
One of the coolest features of MLB’s At Bat apps has been the ability to listen to every game, and to watch any non-blacked out game. The problem has been that despite usually offering one free game to watch daily, if you’ve wanted to watch a game that wasn’t free, you’d have to pay for a pricey MLB.TV subscription. However, this month, you can watch any available game for free. Through a sponsorship with Volvo, you can watch all available live games through either the iPhone/iPod touch or iPad versions of the MLB At Bat 2011 app, although you have to watch a Volvo ad before the game footage starts. MLB.TV subscribers can still watch normally without having to appease their Volvo corporate overlords. Now, MLB’s draconian blackout rules are still in play, so you can’t watch games within your local blackout area, or during Fox’s Saturday afternoon blackout or ESPN’s Sunday night blackout, so not every single game is watchable now, but this provides a great option for cheapskate baseball addicts like myself. Just a note – the free version of the app doesn’t get access to the MLB.TV trial, only the paid version does.
Released: 2011-02-24 :: Category: Sports
Snowboard Hero is a full-length snowboarding title designed specifically for Apple’s portable device. The game supports retina display visuals and looks to deliver an experience more on par with something you’d find on a console rather than a portable device like the iPhone.
Using a combination of touch and tilt controls, you’ll board down slopes, collecting power-ups, performing tricks and earning points to charge up your boost bar. The game lets you choose from four different characters, each with six standard and four special tricks to unlock. Each character in the title has his or her own boards, clothes and tricks to unlock as well. Your board choice in particular is key here. Each board modifies your character’s ability, speed, boost and jump stats, so as you upgrade boards, your character will become even better.
There are five different disciplines in the game to master, such as Speedrun, Freestyle, Slalom, Race and Time Bonus. What’s more, there are even combination disciplines, like Freestyle-Speedrun and Speed Slalom. You also get to decide with course routes would work best for each discipline.
Snowboard Hero is an impressive looking iOS title, making use of retina display visuals to bring to life cartoon-esque, stylized snowboarding. The game features six courses spread out across three unique environments, including ski run, fun park and high mountains.
The title also supports online leaderboards via OpenFeint and Game Center.
Snowboad Hero is now available for iPhone and iPod Touch on the App Store. The game’s developer says that it is already working on more content for the title, including new characters and new courses, which it will release soon. Once the additional content is added to the app, the price will increase to $6.99. However, you can currently purchase the title for an introductory price of $4.99.
If you’re an obsessed baseball fan like me, who can watch any teams play anywhere at any time in any stadium or on any TV channel, you can’t wait until Spring Training finally ends and the real games finally begin. To help tide you over before the boys of summer take the field, Smashed Fly has a different take on the baseball game genre with Hit the Deck Baseball. Combining baseball with pinball, a la the mechanical baseball games of the 80’s, you have to hit a pinball that drops toward your flipper, which is appropriately enough a bat, and hit it back up toward targets that represent a variety of baseball outcomes, your goal being to score as many runs as possible, of course. The game features 3D graphics, a built-in physics engine, five different game modes, and hotseat multiplayer. So, while the baseball season has yet to start with any meaningful games, pinball is always in season! Play ball!
Released: 2011-03-17 :: Category: Games
Spring shall soon be upon us, and our nightmares about freezing temperatures, Snowtorious B.I.G., and absurdly thick winterwear will soon become faded memories. But the true greatness of spring’s arrival is March Madness. Not to be confused with what Charlie Sheen is currently suffering from, this refers to the annual NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament – yes, college football fans, a tournament where the best teams play each other to determine the champion. Such a thing actually exists. Especially for the first 4 days, it is possible to have up to 4 games going on at one time, which has been quite difficult to keep track of in past years, and if your team or a more interesting game is airing than the one that was on TV, keeping track of it was difficult. Thankfully, there has been the March Madness On Demand app to help you watch the game of your choice on your iPhone or iPod touch. This year, the app is returning to help you watch the tournament games of your choice.
While all the games will be available via basic cable this year, the March Madness Demand on App will still be useful for those that aren’t at a TV at the time, or want to watch multiple games at a time. The service, available not only as an iPhone and iPod touch app, but also available online and now with an iPad-native app, will stream all the games of the tournament, including the new play-in games with the expansion of the tournament field from 65 to 68, and even the Final Four and championship game will be available via the app, which is usable over both wifi and 3G. You’ll be able to do more than just watch games – you can also keep track of scores for every game, access social networking features, and even locate where games are airing on your TV provider with localized TV listings, so you can easily turn to the channel that has the game you want to watch on TV.
The best part is that while the apps for iPhone and iPod touch have cost $4.99 to download in previous years, this year the service will be free across the board, with the apps free to download starting March 10th, although the tournament field won’t be revealed until Selection Sunday, March 13th, as conference tournaments end. Live games will start on March 15th and 16th with the “First Four” games that will feature matchups of four automatically qualifying teams facing off for #16 seeds into the tournament, and the last four teams picked to get in as at-large teams facing off for yet-to-be-determined seeds that will be determined on Selection Sunday.
Well folks, it is that magical time of year again when the women get their one week to invade the machismo drenched pages of Sports Illustrated. Aside from being the only issue that was worthy of fathers across the country sprinting towards their mailbox upon delivery day, it also is bound to mark many young boys’ transition into manhood. At risk of heading down a road that most news reporters would turn a blind eye to, this is arguably one of the more titillating pieces of content available in the mainstream print media, so as you can imagine, it is in very high demand.
So how much demand is there, you ask? How about enough that it seemed worthwhile for Sports Illustrated to invest in bringing the behind the scenes media to an iOS based application. This is honestly not shocking, especially considering that this is one of the best selling issues of the magazine every year, but does the program make it worth your while?
- Hundreds of stunning photos with dazzling images from all over the world
- 40+ videos at launch with more to come in monthly updates
- Download videos to your iPhone for offline viewing
- Exclusive, never-before-seen footage only available here
- Monthly updates with new photos and videos, including Bodypainting!
If you are willing to trudge through the turbulent waters of digitally delivered arousal, and can deal with the consequences, you may be in luck. However, be aware that the free price tag is only for your first taste and if you want any more of that sweet scantily clad nectar, you will need to pony up an additional $1.99. So get ready to get your taste of tropical paradise from the palm of your hands. Those of us in the northern states could really use that right about now.
Normally, bowling is pretty boring. I mean, all you’re doing is rolling a ball at some wooden pins and usually getting too drunk to stand up straight. Downhill Bowling 2 is a different beast entirely, as players can knock down pins, collect coins and flee from dangerous mines. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in then head on over to the App Store and get to downloading, as the freebie game is now available.
New features in Downhill Bowling 2 include the ability to collect coins which can be used to unlock new levels and balls, as well as a dedicated jump button. While the original Downhill Bowling included jumping it was restricted to a specific power-up which had to be picked up out on the course, now players will be able to make their ball hop whenever they want, opening up a lot of new avenues for level design and exploration. Other power-ups include rockets, bombs and even a helicopter to pick up your ball and help you grab otherwise out-of-reach floating coins. The whole package is a lot more entertaining than a trip to your local bowling alley, where bombs and helicopters are largely frowned upon.
Downhill Bowling 2 also features Game Center support in the form of Achievements and leaderboards. Each mode will have its own specific leaderboard so good luck in holding down the top spot on all four at once. If you manage to pull that off then we will official recognize you as the king (or queen) of wacky bowling. GameResort is also promising new content for the game down the road, so just when you perfect the existing levels you can start expecting new ones.
So grab your ball and get ready for some crazy bowling fun. Just make sure to call your league and let them know you won’t be there tonight, they deserve at least that courtesy.
I got the chance to sit down with NaturalMotion CEO, Torsten Reil for a cup of coffee and to discuss Bakcbreaker 2: Vengeance, the update to the best selling iOS football game, Backbreaker Football. Backbreaker 2 brings some of the most requested features to the game and raises the bar by giving the game full Retina display support for iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4th generation. The new features in the game came from culling through thousands of reviews and emails and include Vengance mode (being able to play as the defensive player), new moves, new stadiums, new levels, and Game Center support. Oh, and of course even more showboating!
The option to play as the defensive player in Vengeance Mode really adds an interesting angle to the game. While the gameplay is similar, there are new things to consider playing defense and it requires a slightly different method of play. It also includes a whole new set of challenges. When you are playing as defense you will see the path that the offensive player is taking — you’ll also see an on screen indicator showing you where your tackle target is. The trouble is intercepting or catching up to that offensive player. Depending on the level, you may need to dodge other players or obstacles before you get to your target.
The game has also been upgraded for Retina displays. Seeing the game on a Retina display is just mind blowing. The sweep of the stadium before the game looks more movie-like than anything we’ve ever seen. The players look better, move better; it’s an amazing visual upgrade all around.
Backbreaker 2: Vengeance is a great upgrade and I’m looking forward to it. Look for Backbreaker Football 2 before the end of the year.