Posts Tagged Tiny Tower
If you go to a casino, you might make a lot of money. If you run a casino, you’re guaranteed to make a lot of money. The choice seems pretty obvious. So while waiting for your shady real estate deals to move forward, get prepared with Tiny Tower Vegas, the latest follow-up to the smash hit sim Tiny Tower. We become mini casino moguls in this latest edition of It Came From Canada!
Tiny Tower Vegas will feel instantly familiar to fans of the original. Players build their gambling empire floor by floor while keeping customers happy and business flowing. New floors need new employees, and players can choose between who the best person for the job is and who is the most affordable. Customize the tower by putting pyramids or Greek statues on the roof, changing interior décor, and even sprucing up the elevator design. Players can also upgrade the elevator’s speed since they’ll be operating it by hand quite often to get guests where they want to go. And it’s all presented in the same great, low-key pixel art style.
But of course, the Las Vegas setting comes with its own demands – even if this seems based on new, classy, family friendly Vegas instead of old, seedy, good Vegas. While some new floors will be the occasional taco bar in need of restocking, the gambling is where the real action lives. Players can try their luck on slot machines and earn extra cash alongside customer revenue. Once the hot streak ends, would-be pit bosses can check up on how their “bitizen” guests are doing by reading the “BitBook” social network, or just sit back and watch the fireworks – the only things brighter than the massive glowing signs.
Current Tiny Tower players shouldn’t expect Tiny Tower Vegas to completely reinvent the wheel after its soft launch phase. It’s got some new ideas, so it’s not just a reskin, but it’s so close to the original it’s more spin-off or expansion pack than sequel. But you can decide for yourself once it fully launches.
Shiny Happy App Reviews
The App Store can be a daunting place. What to try? What to buy? How do you know? Thank goodness the review team at 148Apps is here to save the day. 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.
The great strategy of Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol returns with Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies. It’s set during World War II; where players have the choice to play as the US Navy, US Army, Imperial Japanese Navy, and Imperial Japanese Army. It certainly has a familiar presentation for those who played the original, but it’s also more polished and enhanced. The mission set-up is different as players are given one mission instead of a choice between three. I also find the visuals to be more polished and likable, but that’s probably because I love the old warbirds. –Andrew Stevens
Rayman Fiesta Run is the sequel to Rayman Jungle Run, Ubisoft’s mobile version of their Rayman revival series, taking the form of a level-based auto-runner. Rayman Fiesta Run really only serves as an iteration on the previous one, but more of the familiar excellent gameplay and an improved level structure make this a better game. Players control the jumps and punches of Rayman, who can’t stop running for reasons both justified and unjustified depending on the level, trying to collect Lums and just get to the end of each level in however many pieces is optimal for Rayman because he has invisible limbs. Levels, which take on many forms from horizontal platforming to back-and-forth ascents – with the occasional wall-running and jumping, too – are challenging due to the timing needed to succeed and survive the various hazards. –Carter Dotson
Tiny Death Star is one of those ideas that’s absolutely brilliant: take Tiny Tower and put it in the Star Wars universe, having players build a Death Star instead of a non-descript tower. Oh, and the bitizens are all Star Wars characters. If that sounds appealing, then go download Tiny Death Star. It really isn’t too much different from the original Tiny Tower, the game where players earn money by stocking floors of a tower that sell different items, building new stores and residential floors for new people to move in to. Managing where bitizens work is important because they’re more efficient at certain floor types. This whole process continues until one’s tower is as high as players want it to be. It’s just all decked out with Star Wars characters and themes this time. –Carter Dotson
Let’s get this reviewing cliche out of the way: Hipster CEO is an acquired taste. It sounds like an excuse to basically say “Some will like it, some will hate it,” but it’s remarkably true in the case of this game. Unlike so many other titles on the App Store, Hipster CEO doesn’t mollycoddle its players. There’s a gameplay guide rather than a comprehensive tutorial, but even that isn’t as useful as simply giving the game a shot and gradually figuring things out. It’ll be rewarding, but it will take patience for those who want to succeed. Occasional moments of being crash-prone can irritate, too. –Jennifer Allen
Bigger, better, stronger. That sums up Sorcery! 2, the sequel to the rather great Sorcery!. Feeling substantially weightier than its predecessor, much like the book it’s based on, Sorcery! 2 is a veritable bargain even despite its premium price tag. It’s been promised that there are over 300,000 words to it with more than 10,000 choices. I have no reason to doubt such a claim as there are plenty of hours of content here. Continuing from its predecessor, it’s not essential to have a save file at the ready but I’d recommend it, purely to carry on the storyline. Players explore Khare: the Cityport of Traps, and it’s a huge city indeed, as they attempt to move forward in their quest, potentially overthrow the city port’s council, and more. I’m grateful that Sorcery! 2 has such an extensive backtracking feature as there really is a lot that can be done here. –Jennifer Allen
ProCam 2 is the kind of photography app that should, theoretically, mean that no other photography app is really needed. While some might find themselves keen to stick to an app they’re more used to, or with a slightly different look, ProCam 2 covers all the bases meaning that there really isn’t a need to do so. I’m assuming the developers wrote up a list of requirements for a good quality photography app, then kept working until every single one had been included. I’m struggling to think of anything that could have been missed. –Jennifer Allen
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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:
Dot.Stop.Run is a pretty eye-catching runner, but how does it play? Players control Dot, an enigmatic female as she runs along a landscape littered with hazards, such as pits, falling blocks and moving platforms. Using well timed jumps, the player must guide Dot through each level. Dot.Stop.Run has the bare vestiges of a story. Dot has escaped from the unseen system and now runs through an endless binary domain that changes constantly to recapture her. Only by making her way safely through the binary domain can the true power of Dot be unleashed. This story doesn’t really make an appearance in game, but at least it sets the tone for the trippy gameplay to follow. –Allan Curtis
There has to be some science behind the way certain games force you to stop playing and instead ‘come back later’. I’ll happily admit I’m no expert in the economics of designing free-to-play games, but I always thought turning people away was a dangerous idea. They just might not come back. It’s with this in mind that we talk about Lost Chapters HD. It’s a game all about exploration of an island, completing tasks to unlock new buildings and discovering treasure along the way. –Matt Parker
Cats. Lovable bundles of fur or feline freeloaders? How you feel about cats will determine how you want to look at this game. LIKE CATS: Wake the Cat is a puzzle game where you gently roll a ball of yarn towards a sleeping kitty so that you may wake them from their peaceful slumber and play with them. HATE CATS: Wake the Cat is a puzzle game where you launch a ball of yarn (maybe with a rock in the middle of it) so that you stir the cat from its unearned slumber. Maybe to then throw the cat out of the house. I don’t know. –Matt Parker
And finally, this week Pocket Gamer picked the best iOS and Android games of October, reviewed Rayman Fiesta Run, provided some top tips for Tiny Death Star, and followed the saga of an indie developer who got rejected from the App Store… twice. Check out the Pocket Gamer weekly wrap-up right now!
Tiny Death Star is Tiny Tower but all decked out with Star Wars. The Star Wars parts are great, but those who got their fill of Tiny Tower already might not find much else new here to get hooked to again.
Read The Full Review »
Over one million apps have made their way onto the App Store during its five years of existence. A million. That’s a pretty miraculous number when you think about it. However it’s not the amount of apps we have to pick from that I find so fascinating, but rather just how much things have changed since 2008. Pickings were comparatively slim at first, and many developers were just starting to dip a toe in the waters of Apple’s new smartphone.
On top of that, the technology itself has changed tremendously in a relatively small amount of time. It makes me wonder if anyone from 2008 would even recognize current iOS devices, and by extension the App Store. Would a newer Apple initiate have any idea what they were looking at if they somehow managed to take a trip to five years ago? I think it warrants a look at how the hardware, the App Store, and the apps contained within it have evolved.
2008 – The Beginning of the Beginning
The App Store’s first year was a rough but promising one. The iPhone 3G rolled out to coincide with Apple’s new software venue and the original iPhone was still viable. The iPod touch was also present and accounted for, while the second generation appeared closer to the end of the year. Even at this point many developers were eager to push these early iOS devices to their limits, to make them more than just a phone or an .mp3 player with a fancy screen.
Handy apps like Pandora Radio, Last.FM, Facebook, and Yelp were to be expected, but that didn’t make them any less impressive to have on a handheld platform. Others such as the intuitive personal organizer Evernote, the eerily accurate song-identifying app Shazam, eWallet’s convenient and secure account password management, and MLB At Bat with its extensive baseball coverage further capitalized on the particulars of the hardware and its general portability. Of course there were also some pretty unnecessary options out there, too. Flashlight kind of served a purpose but was also fairly pointless. It wasn’t as bad as stuff like More Cowbell!, though.
At the same time, the games available on the App Store were beginning to show people that “mobile” didn’t have to equal “mediocre.” Sure there were a few simple ports of the odd classic such as Ms. PAC-MAN, Vay, and Scrabble, but there were also some impressive iOS renditions of popular console games like Super Monkey Ball coming out. Potential mobile gamers also had a few really special titles such as Galcon and Fieldrunners to tide them over. When all was said and done there were over 7,500 apps on the App Store by the end of the year, with more being added every day.
2009 – Moving Right Along
The following year saw even more impressive releases as Apple’s digital marketplace began to expand. The second generation of iPod Touch was the bright and shiny new toy at the time, but it was followed shortly by the iPhone 3GS in June while the latest and greatest third generation Touch closed out the year in September. It all meant better processors, better CPUs, more advanced operating systems, and so on. All stuff that developers needed to acclimate to, but also stuff that meant they could push their boundaries even further. There was no loss of steam when it came to content, either: the App Store finished off 2009 with well over 100,000 apps available.
Many of the basic smartphone necessities were covered, but there was room for so much more. Especially while the technology was improving. Plenty of people used their iPhones as phones, sure, but with the addition of Skype they were able to enjoy the added functionality of instant messaging and voice chat without cutting into their data plans (so long as a wifi connection was present). Big companies were really starting to take notice as well. That same year Starbucks and many other big businesses threw their virtual hats into the ring with their own apps designed to make life a little bit easier for their iOS-using customers. Practicality was also becoming an even bigger focus. The Kindle app gave iOS users a practical e-reading option, and Dropbox was there being Dropbox. By which I mean “an awesome and super-convenient way to transfer files between multiple platforms.” And this same level of refinement could be seen creeping into the games as well.
So many of the App Store’s most notable games and franchises came out around this time. It was almost a mobile rennaisence of a sort. This was the year Real Racing first blew mobile gamers’ minds, even causing some of them to question the legitimacy of in-game video footage until they were able to see the finished product for themselves. Zenonia was just a fledgling action RPG at the time, and while a lot of people liked it I doubt they knew just how many sequels it would spawn. The same goes for Pocket God, although with updates rather than multiple releases. Flight Control began to eat away at peoples’ free time, Angry Birds and Doodle Jump hit it big (like, super big), and Myst and The Sims 3 further displayed the potential for major releases on mobile platforms. Oh, and Canabalt almost single-handedly invented and popularized a genre.
While games may not be the largest percentage of apps in the App Store (non-games lead the way overwhelmingly), they are the most popular single category, with over 151,000 active games in the App Store as of this month, according to 148Apps.biz.
One could argue, and indeed I will, that games are the most transformative type of app in the App Store, bringing a quality of play to iOS devices previously impossible to achieve. As 148Apps staffers have been heard to proclaim, there are over 1.2 billion thumbs waiting to play games on these crafty little devices.
Of course, there have been landmark games since the App Store went live in 2008, titles that create, extend, and improve on the current state of the art. Here then, are the top 20 of those games, as chosen by your App Experts at 148Apps.
Doodle Jump – This one started the jumping game craze, inspiring a host of clones and imitators along the way.
Angry Birds – Need we say more? The grumpy avians have taken over the public consciousness.
Tiny Wings – Not just another bird game, Tiny Wings showed us how one mechanic, brilliantly executed, could take an unknown designer to untold heights.
Candy Crush Saga – Good heavens we still get a lot of invites for this casual, money-printing game.
Clash of Clans – Say what you will about free to play, but this game has gotten it right.
Tiny Tower – Nimblebit hit the jackpot here with a smart combination of tower building and free to play retro gaming.
Temple Run – If anyone deserved to have a huge hit, it’s the folks at Imangi Studios, who have been pushing the boundaries of quality gaming from the beginning. This one created the 3D endless runner genre at a breakneck speed!
Puzzles & Dragons – Another free to play darling, this one gets all the elements right to keep players entertained and paying.
Where’s My Water? – Disney’s breakout hit, with a new IP (intellectual property) and a fiendishly addictive mechanic.
Pocket God – 47 updates later, still going strong and keeping kids of all ages entertained and laughing.
Minecraft Pocket Edition – The surprise PC hit the iPhone like a ton of cube-shaped bricks, letting crafters and miners of all stripe build and explore on the go.
Words with Friends – Scrabble with people you know. What’s not to like? This one started the “with friends” genre with a bang.
Draw Something – Super successful, super quick, leading Zynga to buy the developer for a landmark price.
Infinity Blade – This game set the bar high for utter gorgeousness and a fighting mechanic that still sees itself in current games on the App Store, some two and a half years later.
Canabalt – Heard of the endless runner genre? Canabalt started it all with a one-touch game that exploded onto the scene in 2009 and has remained in the collective imagination ever since.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP – This one proves again and again that the indie spirit can be captured and distributed via mobile, with a game that may never have gotten noticed on the bigger consoles.
Galaxy on Fire 2 – This space exploration and dogfighting game set the standard for utter gorgeousness, as well as finding a way to build a space sim on a tiny mobile device.
Spaceteam – Don’t forget to flush the four-stroke plucker! Wait, what? Play this game with a few of your (drinking) friends, and you’ll see what multiplayer party games *should* be like.
Real Racing – Still the gold standard for racing games on a mobile platform, the original game hit the starting line in 2011, with sequels upping the ante on visuals, controls, and profitability.
Super Hexagon – If you hate yourself, play this brutally difficult yet strangely compelling arcade game and thank indie developer Terry Cavanaugh in the morning.
Moms and video games. I know there are always exceptions, but, at least for my generation, more often than not the two just don’t mix. I’ve spent over 25 of my 31 years playing them, and my mom has spent almost as much time expressing her distaste for them, specifically, she said, “all that bloody, gory, gooey violence.” I decided to take the time to really talk to her about it; to figure out exactly why she had a tendency to turn up her nose at my hobby-turned-career, why she eventually stopped scrutinizing my pastime, and what iOS games (if any) she could even end up liking. It was interesting, to say the least.
A Bit Of The Old Ultraviolence
As it turns out, my mom’s disinterest/distaste for video games stems from a fairly common issue: violence. Not just the concept behind the acts, but the increasingly realistic depictions. When I was little and playing something on my Nintendo it never really bothered her since she and my dad could simply nix anything they thought was too much for me. Not that it happened often since very little from that era was all that graphic. However, as I got older, I tended to play more violent games. I personally attribute it to the industry increasing its mainstream focus on violence as it grew into itself, along with coincidence. I mean, sure, I played Resident Evil and Silent Hill, but I also played Intelligent Qube and Jet Moto which probably wouldn’t have bothered her at all if she’d ever seen me playing them. This is when it really started to bother her. She was legitimately worried that my constant exposure to video games would alter my personality. As time went on, she realized I was doing just fine, but she still wasn’t too crazy about all the gore.
Even after I graduated college and moved out of the house, video games continued to bother her. As a teacher, she had begun to notice a shift in her students as more and more of them began to make video games a larger part of their lives. “It’s much harder to keep kids’ attention,” she said. Many of them required more and more visual stimuli in order to keep their focus. She also noticed that many of the younger or more impressionable kids started to act out things they saw on TV and in video games. “It seemed like they thought they were invincible,” she told me. One group of boys she’d taught years before went so far as to murder a 25 year old cook as he walked home from work simply out of boredom; an act that some claimed was inspired by a video game. I now realize why my success at getting her to accept the medium has been so difficult.
However, she hasn’t written games off entirely. She’s come to appreciate the technology behind it all, and can definitely appreciate the imaginative visuals found in many of the more offbeat titles. With my increased interest in all things iOS, I’ve managed to have even more success in convincing her that the industry isn’t all headshots and zombies. In fact, I’ve managed to find a few iOS games she’s even curious to try on her own.
Easing Into It
First I asked her to take a look at Triple Town. I figured a turn-based game with no timer and some cute, if oversized, cartoon bears might be okay. I mean it’s a fairly adorable game with some really addictive puzzles, so why not? And I was right for the most part. She didn’t have a problem with it since the only vaguely troubling imagery is “just angry looking bears.” She also thought, “(It) sounds exciting. Build a city. ‘Plot’ against the bears. Looks like something ‘I’ may even be able to handle.”
Next up: Spaceteam. Both because it’s family-friendly fun and because I freaking love it so, so much. Although it can get pretty frantic; I wasn’t sure how well she’d respond to it. “I remember watching you and dad play this one,” she said. “It looks and sounds like a great time.” And really, who wouldn’t like to try and desperately keep a lone starship functioning by shouting commands at their friends while simultaneously trying to follow their own sets of instructions?
After that, I decided to show her Paper Titans. Since my mom has an art background and actually teaches art, I figured there was a good chance that she’d appreciate the visuals. I mean it’s flippin’ gorgeous to begin with but it also does a fantastic job of capturing the look of a paper world with paper inhabitants. I was right again. “LOVE the bold graphic style,” she said. “Looks like my kind of game; fun, colorful, sounds easy (low stress). So far (this is) my fav.”
Getting A Little Retro
I didn’t want to focus entirely on new releases, though. I also thought there might be some worthwhile considerations from the App Store’s past. Hence my next choice: Zen Bound 2. “Very, very appealing,” she said. “[The] graphics look excellent.” It’s the kind of reaction I was hoping for. The entire game is meant to be serene and calming with no timers or real possibility of failure. It’s almost more of a relaxation exercise than a game. “This is my top choice,” she enthused. “I want to wind the rope!”
Moving right along, and in keeping with the visually inoffensive, I brought up Tiny Tower. Nimblebit’s first major iOS success still has quite the following today, and it’s managed to last this long without resorting to any sort of violence. My mom liked it right off, saying, “Everyone looks HAPPY!” This is true: I’ve yet to spot a bitizen who doesn’t look like they’re having the best day of their life at all times. “My kind of game,” said mom. “I would try this one.”
After some thought, I figured I’d also show her Heads Up!. Not because she’s my mom or there’s much of a chance she watches The Ellen Degeneres Show, but because the game itself seems right up her alley. It’s a party game that requires interacting with other people, it’s goofy, and there’s a good chance that several laughs will be had. “Yes! Looks like fun,” she said. “My kind of game.”
Last, but not least, I tested the waters with a slightly more complex game that keeps things cute: Cut the Rope. I wasn’t entirely sure if the more involved gameplay mechanics would be off-putting but I was willing to bet that the adorable mascot would win her over. “Probably wouldn’t keep my interest at all,” she said. Ouch; I was totally wrong on this one.
The Heart Of The Matter
So why go through all this effort? Why try so hard to show my mom examples of iOS games that don’t fall under the rather broad viewpoint she used to view the medium with? For two reasons:
First, video games have been a significant part of my life for close to its entirety. It’s something that I’ve enjoyed immensely, but was never able to truly talk about with her due to her previous experiences. Since I began writing about them professionally they’ve become even more significant in my life, and I wanted to be able to find some way of sharing that with her. I think introducing her to the casual market is a great way to accomplish that and I’ve already found a few titles she’s interested in checking out. Say what you will about casual games, they’re still a great way to introduce non-gamers to the medium.
Second, I don’t want her to keep worrying. I know she understands that I’m an adult and that none of the virtual violence I’ve taken part in over the years has had any sort of negative effect on me, but I also know there’s still a part of her that worries. Both about me and about what the industry may or may not be doing to children. I wanted to help her to understand that, despite all the media attention and tendency of AAA releases to rely on violence, it’s a very diverse field that’s grown immensely ever since I first tried to get Mario past that first walking mushroom.
I suppose in the back of my mind I’ve always been concerned that she had the wrong idea about what I do and what I write about. This was my chance to finally address that concern and I feel like we really made some progress. Granted, I doubt I’ll be excitedly discussing Star Command or Robot Unicorn Attack 2 with her any time soon. Still, I can finally, really, talk to her about one of the major facets of my life for the first time. It’s a great feeling.
[Happy Mother’s Day to you, Rob’s mom! –Ed.]
While all the little kiddies are out gathering candy – assuming they aren’t out on the East Coast because that would be fairly dangerous given the current circumstances – it can be tough figuring out what the rest of us can do with our time. Sure there might be the odd Halloween party and there’s always sitting around waiting for trick-or-treaters. But what’s a person to do with their downtime? Why not take to the App Store and sample a bunch of new Halloween content that’s just been added to a number of DeNA titles?
Blood Brothers – The most recent “gather creatures and strengthen/evolve them” game to come from Mobage is having a special Grave of Kings event. Players can nab some event-only familiars (complete with jack-o-lantern masks) until November 1st. Or until the special raid boss event ends. Which will also be on November 1st. So yeah.
Released: 2012-08-28 :: Category: Games
Deity Wars – Starting now and continuing through October 31st players will be able to participate in a special live event to try and earn both rare cards and the expected Halloween-themed in-game items. Nothing like mixing a few ghosts and goblins with gods, right?
Fantasica – Guard your dreams! A bunch of Halloween nightmares have been let loose and players must band together to fight them off. The special event runs through the 31st and will give us all the chance to win some special loot and cards. I feel like I should reinstall this just so I can ogle the new characters because I love the artwork so much.
Released: 2012-08-07 :: Category: Games
Kingdom Wars! – Get your hands on some limited time Halloween Edition Dungeon card packs and hopefully bring a ghost, witch, or other nightmarish monstrosity into the ranks. “Mwahahahahaha!!!” and all that.
Released: 2012-09-25 :: Category: Games
My Monster Rancher – Rather than focusing on special event monsters (although there are those, too), My Monster Rancher is tossing lots of special prizes and costume items into the
pot cauldron. Witch hats, pumpkin heads, and more await!
Released: 2012-07-10 :: Category: Games
Ninja Royale – This Halloween a bunch of vampires chose the wrong ninja to try and snack on. In addition to the special themed drops a special jack-o-lantern clan, CARVER, has been added. Seriously though, of all the human prey to hunt why would vampires want to go after a ninja?
Released: 2012-03-02 :: Category: Games
Pocket Planes – We’re all familiar with ferrying bitizens back and forth to earn some cash. We’re also accustomed to hauling a bunch of the little pixel people and their gear to special destinations for specific purposes. Now we can fly lots of ghouls, candy, and whatnot around until the 31st. Let’s make sure these bitizens have a Halloween they’ll never forget!
Rage of Bahamut – Granted I’m used to special events in this CCG but I’ve yet to take part in any that were holiday themed. This time it’s going to be the Manor of Illusions, complete with plenty of special items and cards to earn. I suppose it’s time to start stockpiling more cure waters.
Released: 2012-05-15 :: Category: Games
Tiny Tower – Not even Tiny Tower is safe from the horrible spirits roaming the App Store. Granted the ghostly costumes have been available for bitizens to wear for quite some time but now there’s a special Halloweed-themed mission to complete. And you can dress them up and start haunting your tower’s floors now through the end of the month.
I believe you have my stapler.
On This Episode:
- “Beatnes7 (Theme to The Portable Podcast)” by The Eternal – Download on iTunes here:
- “Nanocarp” by The Eternal
How to Listen:
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Apps Mentioned in this Episode:
Released: 2011-03-12 :: Category: Games
Dream Heights, the new freemium game from Zynga that looks an awful lot like Tiny Tower, has officially been launched on the US App Store. And, proving that gamers have long and vengeful memories, the title has promptly been slammed with a whole mess of One Star reviews. Choice morsels include “Blatant copy of Tiny Tower mechanics /w a Zynga art dept. skin. But I have to say, the way Zynga innovated with regards to being stingy with in app currency is nothing short of ground breaking,” and “Wow, not a Tiny Tower ripoff. Not at all. Completely different in every way.” As of right now the game has received 311 One Star ratings, but that number has been largely overwhelmed by the 1263 Five Star ratings it’s also seen.
Zynga has been accused of shady business practices in the past, but this time around the community seems to be taking particular offense. Part of the controversy stems from the fact that Zynga attempted to buy out Tiny Tower developer Nimblebit at one point, but was refused. Thus, many are taking the launch of Dream Heights as a slap in the face to the smaller company. Still, it seems the rage has all but abated, and it appears Zynga may weather the fury of the Internet and come away largely unscathed. The game is currently averaging a Four Star overall review score, and the average iOS social gamer is probably largely unaware of the controversy. We’ll wait a bit and see if there’s any long-term effects, but for now it seems that Zynga’s future (and stock price) remains mostly unaffected.
Dark Elves aren’t evil, they’re just misunderstood.
On This Episode:
Who We Are:
How to Listen:
Apps Mentioned on This Episode:
Released: 2012-01-19 :: Category: Games
Released: 2012-01-11 :: Category: Games
You’re the best around! No one’s ever gonna keep you down!
On This Episode:
Who We Are:
How to Listen:
Apps Mentioned on This Episode:
Released: 2011-01-25 :: Category: Games
Released: 2011-02-10 :: Category: Games
Released: 2011-04-21 :: Category: Games
Released: 2011-08-04 :: Category: Games
Released: 2011-04-07 :: Category: Games
Released: 2011-11-16 :: Category: Games
Released: 2011-03-24 :: Category: Games
Part One: Games 16 – 25
Part Two: Games 6 – 15
In what was another fantastic year in the world of iOS gaming, we are here to bring you the titles that we, the staff of 148Apps, thought were the best of the year. Here are our top five picks for the Best Games of 2011:
5. Tiny Tower: Listening to some of the most prominent voices in gaming journalism right now, so-called ‘social’ and ‘free to play’ games are the scourge of the industry, and will bring forth the end of gaming as we know it, or at least a cowpocalypse. Of course, the problem is more that these games tend to be designed for nefarious purposes, to try and suck every last penny out of players’ wallets. Tiny Tower was one of the few to not do this. It does a lot of the little things right – from giving out its credits through completing in-game actions, to providing things for players to do while actually checking in on the game, to feel compelling yet fair.
I spent weeks on end compulsively checking my tower, managing where my little bitizens should be working, and making that building go higher and higher. I eventually stopped – my tower was very large, and I didn’t necessarily feel the need to make it bigger, and I had other ways to spend time when on my iPod. But there’s just a satisfaction in knowing that a game is designed in a way that if I wanted to get back in, I could, and wouldn’t have any negative effects waiting for me if I did so. This is a shining example of what the industry needs to do with their free to play titles, as it is infinitely more satisfying than the ones that make me feel like they just want my money.
4. Tiny Wings: This wasn’t supposed to happen. A game made almost entirely by one guy in Germany, with no promotion whatsoever, shooting to the top of the charts? Sure, in the early days of the App Store, back in 2009, it would seem believable; but here in 2011, for this to happen? It seems impossible. But it’s clear to see why it did just that: its watercolor graphics, adorable bird protagonist, and simple-yet-unique gameplay mechanic all combined to make a hit game that just happened to be picked up by people…then by a few more…then a lot more…then suddenly everyone was talking about this ingenious little game made by some unknown developer that now everyone was playing. I still don’t know how it happened, but I’m sure glad it did.
3. Infinity Blade 2: There was one iOS game that made me cry this year. This was not it. It should have, though. Due to glitches with iCloud, I lost my built-up characters twice. On consecutive nights. A lesser game would have made me throw it down in frustration, delete it, and never speak of it again. I guess it says a lot about a game that I could pick it up again for hours on end, after any practical benefit to playing it had eroded, whether it had been to simply review the game or even after I had beaten it. There I would sit on my couch, continuing to hack away at enemies, managing my equipment to keep mastering it and improve my stats. I’ve lost a lot of time to this stupid game, and though it may be inherently repetitive, and largely only iterative on its well-known prequel…it was still some of the most fun I’ve had this year.
2. Where’s My Water? – Physics games can be distilled down to a pretty easy formula these days: combine an endearing protagonist to create an emotional connection to the player with gameplay that uses the physical interaction of objects in a simple enough way that even casual players can become hooked to for great success. Combine these two things, and profit is the hopeful result. Plenty of games attempt this. Very few succeed at it, though. Where’s My Water did just that.
The goal of the gameplay, which is simply to cut through dirt to guide water to Swampy’s bathtub, hits the notes of being deceptively simple with added complexity. Soon, dangerous substances are added, along with pipes, bombs, moss and other hazards. But that simple mechanic of cutting through dirt to guide the water with understandable physics, remains the core.
Of course, the fact that Disney makes Swampy come alive doesn’t hurt at all. Swampy is fantastically animated, as one would expect from, well, Disney. His worried and pained expressions while wearing his shower cap and waiting in his empty tub for his bath water causes that hook to sink in; I’m not just doing this for myself, I’m doing this for that little guy! He gets so happy when he gets his water that it becomes difficult to not become attached, to want to keep trying to get that water to him.
Disney found a way to create that kind of emotional connection to players, and look where they sit on this list. They earned it.
1. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP – In reality, a lot of the hype for this game was in part due to its visual style: sure, retraux pixel art is en vogue among a lot of games this year, but it was the detail, the usage of it to become something more than just imitation of the good ol’ days of gaming. The mystery played a large part of it too – we knew how it looked, but how would it play? What was the setup for this game? What will happen?
What we got was a truly beautiful experience. The combat is simple and somewhat repetitive, sure. But everything else about it raises the experience to another level. The art and animation are splendid, of course. The music, composed by Jim Guthrie, is an incredible feast. The writing is at times humorous, but helps to set up a scene of a world with mystery and wonder, explaining only just enough when it needs to. The ending is so powerful it brought me to tears. It takes a powerful piece of art to do that, and it is something that few games have ever done to me. As a pure game, it is imperfect. But as an experience – I can’t say I experienced anything greater on iOS this year. This will stick with me for a while, and it is an easy choice for our game of the year.
Released: 2011-03-24 :: Category: Games
That’s it, there’s our list of the best of the year in iOS gaming. Did you have a preferred title? Let us know in the comments! We look forward to another great year of iOS gaming in the year 2012!
Happy Holidays! If you’re like many folks, you’ll have gotten a new iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch this holiday season. And if you’re looking for a place to learn all about this new magical device in your life, you’ve come to the right place. 148Apps has tons of resources on using your new device and filling it with the best thing about it: apps.
Learning The Basics
The operating system of these devices is one of the most intuitive around. However, there’s always more waiting under the hood to make things just that much easier or better on us. While your new iPhone or iPad may not come with a manual, you can download one fairly simply from the iBooks Store. First, grab ”iBooks”, then grab the manual for your new iPad, iPhone, or
Speaking of the operating system, we’ve written a few articles about the latest and greatest from Cupertino right here on 148Apps. Check out our Full Feature Roundup on iOS 5.
We even published some downloadable magazine-style User Guides last year, on each of the devices. Feel free to grab them and read through them – many of the tips and tricks included there are just as relevant today as they were then. iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
To the iCloud!!!
You may have seen some of the information about iCloud in the Apple TV commercials. It’s a great system that gives you unprecedented storage and sharing options. Here’s a short intro to iCloud from Apple.
We’ve got you covered with iCloud as well. Here’s information on both moving your data to the iCloud to help keep things synced and backed up. You may also need more information on how you set up iCloud in a multiple user family. This details all the ins and outs of multiple user groups who may otherwise share iTunes accounts.
There Really is an App for That
Once you’ve got a good handle on using that sleek new iOS device, you’ll of course want to dive in and start downloading apps. Whether you’re an avid gamer, a music lover, a book reader or even (gasp) all three, you’ll find everything you need in the iTunes Store.
When it comes to Apps, iOS has no peer. There are over 500,000 apps in the App Store, so you’ll doubtlessly find something you like. The trick, however, is filtering through all of those apps to find the specific things you want. That can be tricky, but luckily there are many ways to help.
First off are our very own reviews. We review a ton of apps weekly to give you the best recommendations about the best apps we find. Be sure to look through our Reviews lists, which can be filtered by type of app as well as sorted by date, app name, or app rating. If you just want to read reviews of our highest rated iPad games, for example, it’s an easy click. And for on the go browsing of 148Apps reviews, grab the ”148Apps App”.
In addition, we have our famous Price Drops lists, which can be sorted to just show the latest drops in prices, or even just the latest FREE apps. Very handy, if we say so ourselves. If you’re looking for the very latest additions to the App Store, we have a list for that, as well as one for the Top Apps across all the App Store categories for each device. Then of course there’s always the very best of the best in free apps available in the free games and free apps lists.
If you want even more app discovering goodness, you might want to check out a few apps made to help you wade through the App Store. Some of our favorites are ”AppShopper”, ”Chomp”, and ”AppZapp” (FREE!, iPhone App). There are even specific apps to help you find the latest free apps. Some of the best include ”Free App A Day”, ”Apps Gone Free” (FREE!, + Universal App), and “Free App Alliance”. These will all help you sort and find and browse apps and games to your heart’s content; we use them all the time to find new great apps to use and write about on the site.
Where Else To Find 148Apps?
Free Apps You Shouldn’t Do Without
Now, we wouldn’t be the premier Apps review site without some sort of parting gift, now would we? How about some apps you really should try out? To make the deal even sweeter, let’s make them free apps.
iBooks, Nook, & Kindle – Reading ebooks is all the rage these days, especially on these fancy new iOS devices. We love reading on our iPad, and have even been known to crack a virtual spine or two on our iPhone while waiting at the doctor’s office. For those of you with shorter attention spans, there’s always Newsstand, iOS’s magazine subscription service. Some of the best ereader apps include ”iBooks”, ”Nook for iPhone” (FREE!, + Universal App), ”Nook for iPad” (FREE!, + Universal App), and ”Kindle”. Happy reading!
Facebook, Twitter, & Instant Messaging – Keep in touch with family, friends, and us – your favorite Apps website – with these free social networking apps. Tell ‘em 148Apps sent you!
There’s , though ”Tweetbot” ($4.99, iPhone App) is much better, though not free like the official Twitter app.
For instant messaging, check out ”imo” and ”imo for iPad”. And don’t forget ”Skype” and ”Skype for iPad” (FREE!, iPad App). We’ve become big fans of ”GroupMe” (FREE!, + Universal App) lately too for group communication.
Gaming on the Cheap – Now, we put out a sweet weekly article that tells you about the latest FREE gaming apps, but here are a few we think you won’t want to miss. We could go on for hours about it, really, but these should get you off to a good start.
For a great free endless runner, check out ”Temple Run” (FREE!, + Universal App). A wonderful game. For some great physics puzzle fun, the new king is ”Where’s My Water? Free” (FREE!, + Universal App) and you can never go wrong with the classic ”Angry Birds Free” (FREE!, iPhone App). A couple other free games we really like include ”The Sims Freeplay” and ”TinyTower” (FREE!, + Universal App).
You should also check out our massive iOS game and app sale post. There are tons of great deals and quite a few temporarily free apps there. Be sure to grab the great ”Jetpack Joyride” while it’s free. It’s one of our favorite games of the year.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about your new magical iOS devices. The iPad, iPhone and iPod touch are some of the best new gadgets to give or receive. Be sure to come back often to see what we have for you; we’re always looking to find the news or apps you want to know about first. From all of us here to all of you out there, Happy Holidays!!!
Kickin’ it old-school.
On This Episode:
Who We Are:
How to Listen:
Apps Mentioned in this Episode:
Now with more snarky one-liners!
On This Episode:
Who We Are:
How to Listen:
Apps Mentioned in this Episode:
You know, we call it pixel art, but isn’t all art displayed on a digital display pixel art?
On This Episode:
Who We Are:
How to Listen:
Apps Mentioned in this Episode:
Released: 2011-06-23 :: Category: Games