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Fourcast Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 16th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: VIDEO POTENTIAL
Fourcast is a great idea for combining video clips, but it does lack a number of essential features to make it an ideal option.
Read The Full Review »

148Apps Live on Twitch: Pivvot's Looper and Daily Modes with Whitaker Trebella, and 15 Coins with Engaging Games

Posted by Carter Dotson on April 15th, 2014

On our latest Twitch stream, we'll be playing a pair of minimalist arcade games, one that just got a big content update in Pivvot, and another that was inspired by it in 15 Coins. Whitaker Trebella, creator of Pivvot, will discuss the new modes added to the game and the challenges of designing them. As well, Engaging Games' Blake Johnson will discuss his studio's own 15 Coins, and how games like Pivvot helped inspire it.

Watch the embedded stream below when it goes live at 7:15 PM CDT or click here to watch on Twitch and chat with the developers. Highlights will be available after the show.

[twitchlive 148apps]

The Problem with Carousel

Posted by Jeff Scott on April 9th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The problem with Carousel, the new app from Dropbox released today to organize, present, and share photos isn’t the app itself, it’s what it’s built on.

Carousel is a fantastic app for mobile presentation of photos. Quick and easy to find old photos and show and share them. It's really one of the better cloud photo apps I've tried. The real problem is that it’s build on Dropbox, which is a service created for cloud storage of documents and not for media. And that service is still priced for documents and not media.

Let me back up a second. Dropbox is an amazing service. I’ve used it and paid for it for years. But I’ve never considered it a great place to store photos, video, or other media files. The problem is that is is really expensive right now. In a time where Google is charging $10/month for a terabyte, and Flickr gives every user a free terabyte for images, Dropbox is charging 10x what Google is, and without upgrading to a business plan users can’t even get more then 500GB in an account (for $50/month).

Media piles up quickly. Especially so with photos since every reader of this blog likely has a camera with them at all times of the day, every day. I myself have well over 700GB of images that I’ve stored up from 10+ years of digital photography. I’ve just now started scanning old family photos and there are thousands of those waiting to be completed. All in all I’ll probably need close to a terabyte for just my images to store a “lifetime of memories.” And that doest even count the birthday, vacation, and all the other special occasion videos. This type of media is easier and easier to take and edit, but they will also fill up a Dropbox account very quickly.

So for now, Carousel is a great app, if you have a few hundred photos, but it doesn’t really fit the first selling point that Dropbox is touting it as, it doesn’t allow a lifetime of memories. That is unless you don’t have a lot of memories.

I think Dropbox will be forced into dropping their prices soon. Perhaps they are ready to do it now but didn't want to take the focus away from the new features. Cloud storage is a commodity, and Dropbox is way overpriced right now.

Tilt to Live 2 Releases Official Trailer, Due to Receive Update this Month

Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 8th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BOOM SHAKALAKA :: Read Review »

Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous has released an official trailer to accompany the game; additionally, it has announced an upcoming update. According to its information:

The new Brimstone Pinball mode throws players into a malevolent pinball machine, where every bumper is armed to the teeth and out to destroy you. Your only weapon is the wild, ricocheting brimstone, which you'll have to tame if you want to survive.

This new one-player gametype will launch with 15 of its own achievements and a fresh leaderboard to climb. It's a 99¢ DLC coming to the App Store this month.

We looked at the app late last year. Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous is available for $2.99 on the App Store.

Monument Valley: Tips and Playthrough Video for the Baffling Puzzler

Posted by Carter Dotson on April 3rd, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SKIN-DEEP BEAUTY :: Read Review »

Monument Valley can be a confusing game at first glance: its worlds are built to mess with players' perceptions of them. However, by keeping a few good tips in mind, it's possible to master Monument Valley. And if not - we have playthrough videos of the entire game to help you out.

The trick the game pulls, similar to an M.C. Escher painting, is that real-world perspective is essentially useless. Mainly, if a place looks like it can be traveled to, then it can. So when manipulating objects, don't consider their absolute position, consider where they are relative to Ida. This is often the key to many puzzles: moving an object in one spot where according to its perspective, Ida can reach it, then moving it with Ida on the object, to where she needs to go. This is the backbone to the majority of the game's puzzles.

Remember that the key rule to interacting with Ida is that she can only move where you can see her, so if a path is hidden to you, it's likely that it is not the right path - at least for this perspective. Maybe a quick rotation will do the trick? Don't be afraid to experiment - there's no way to die or otherwise fail at the game.

If a location can be traveled to, it will illuminate with a circle around it. This doesn't mean that Ida will travel to it, just that it's actually possible to go there. This is worth keeping in mind if one gets stuck.

The crows can be tricky, but it's often just a matter of timing to get out of their way to let them pass. Remember that objects can be moved while the crows are on them. Ida is the only character in the game who can cause parts of the level to be non-manipulatable. If the mechanism doesn't change into an unworkable state (the handles on cranks will retract if Ida is on their manipulatable portions) then it can be manipulated.

Keep these tips in mind, and the world of Monument Valley can be explored in all its glory.

Steller is a Beautiful New App that Lets You Share the Whole Story in Book Form

Posted by Stephen Hall on March 14th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

I love it when I find an app that's just absolutely stunning to look at, and that's the case with Steller; I don't even need to use it to enjoy using it. This new app takes sharing photos on social media to the next level by letting you put groups of photos and videos together, annotate them with text, and share them as beautiful - flat designed - storybooks.

The app has many great features, including the ability to group your storybooks into collections that others can follow, the ability to discover other stories that have been published amongst a wide variety of topics, and the ability to republish stories you find in the app to your own collection. Finally, Steller lets you share the stories you make via many outlets including social networks, email, SMS, blogs, and websites.

You can get Steller on the App Store for free.

RealPlayer Cloud Now Available Globally - Lets Users Store Up to 2 GB of Videos for Free

Posted by Tre Lawrence on February 25th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

As our world becomes increasingly mobile, it only makes sense that content will (has to) follow suit. Mobile content management is such an important feature for so many consumers. Accordingly, RealNetworks is stepping up by rolling out its RealPlayer Cloud service internationally.

The RealPlayer Cloud allows users to access and share cloud-stored videos from supported internet-connected devices. Previously uploaded content can be accessed without the need to convert formats and/or carry cables around. RealNetworks founder and interim CEO Rob Glaser describes as as "essentially Dropbox for videos."

The basic service offers a decent 2 GB of free space; for folks who want to go even bigger, the optional RealPlayer Cloud 25 will net 25 GB of storage for $49.99 per year via in-app purchase. The service adds in a referral program (which awards extra space for new accounts) and SMS sharing functionality.

The base app is now available for free on the App Store.

148Apps Live: Streaming Toast Time at 2:00pm Eastern on Twitch: Watch and Chat!

Posted by Carter Dotson on February 11th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: THE TOAST IS READY! :: Read Review »

Continuing our quest to bring you the most interesting new and upcoming releases on our Twitch channel, the developers of Toast Time, the Android-to-iOS action game with lots of bread, will be joining to provide commentary and perhaps some helpful tips on how to be lord of the bread. Catch the broadcast at 2:00pm Eastern, 11:00am Pacific, 7:00pm GMT on our Twitch channel, or watch below when the feed goes live. If you miss the broadcast, don't fret: we'll post video of the whole thing with highlights after the show.

[twitchlive 148Apps]

If you missed the broadcast, watch the whole archived one below:

[twitchrecorded 502576945,148apps]

Or if you want just a smaller taste, watch me play the survival mode and learn how to use the powerful quasi-hidden technique, the belly flop:

[twitchhighlight 3709435,148Apps]

148Apps Live at 4:00pm Eastern Streaming Galcon Legends, Eliss Infinity, and More

Posted by Carter Dotson on February 6th, 2014

It’s one of the biggest release weeks on iOS in 2014 yet, and 148Apps Live is here to run down some of the big games of the week on our Twitch channel.

Carter Dotson and Rob Rich will be going live at 4:00 pm Eastern/1:00 pm Pacific, covering releases like Galcon Legends (with special guest Phil Hassey), Eliss Infinity, Platforms Unlimited, and more.

Join us on our Twitch channel, or watch the broadcast when it goes live below:

[twitchlive 148apps]

Missed the show? Watch the highlights below:

Galcon Legends: Phil Hassey chats about why he decided to resurrect this little-known entry in the Galcon series.

[twitchhighlight 3682408,148Apps]

Eliss Infinity: Continuing the theme of App Store hits being resurrected, Carter goes through this resurrection of Eliss, with discussion of other topics like premium games and the fallout of controversial free-to-play games.

[twitchhighlight 3682442,148Apps]

Platforms Unlimited: XperimentalZ Games' new ultra-challenging, procedurally-generated platformer works out a bit better with some tips and tricks from the developer who joined in the chat while Carter played.

[twitchhighlight 3682458,148Apps]

As well, catch the whole show below!

[twitchrecorded 501285317,148Apps]

148Apps Live: Demystifying the Upcoming Threes with Creators Asher Vollmer and Greg Wohlwend

Posted by Carter Dotson on February 4th, 2014

148Apps aims to bring you the most interesting iOS games and talks with the most interesting developers, all streamed live on our Twitch channel. This is 148Apps Live!

Threes is kind of a hard game to explain in words, and it’s even harder to explain why it’s a game worth playing in words. However, with its pedigree - from creators Asher Vollmer (Puzzlejuice) and Greg Wohlwend (Solipskier, Hundreds, Ridiculous Fishing) - and some pre-release hype thanks to an a mention as IGF honorable mention, and just general ‘buzz’ around the game from those in the indie community and in the know, it looks promising. But for those who aren’t in the know, just why Threes is so anticipated is still a mystery.

Until now.

Greg and Asher got on the 148Apps Twitch channel to discuss the game, how the idea and design evolved over time, and just where the game’s great voices (unfortunately not heard on the video due to a bug) came from. Plus, they give plenty of great tips and help on the way to setting a new high score.

Watch the entire archived broadcast:

[twitchrecorded 500583630,148Apps]

As well, watch the highlight of the high score run from the video:

[twitchhighlight 3664663,148Apps]

Follow us on Twitch to find out when we go live next! Threes releases on iOS on Thursday, February 6th.

148Apps Live: Featuring New Releases Bloodstroke, Rocket ROBO, and Trambo

Posted by Carter Dotson on January 31st, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: THE FINNISH DEATHRAY :: Read Review »

148Apps aims to bring you the most interesting iOS games and talks with the most interesting developers, all streamed live on our Twitch channel. This is 148Apps Live!

This week Rob Rich and myself, Carter Dotson, decided to play and discuss three games that released this week: Bloodstroke, Rocket ROBO, and Trambo. Watch the recorded version of the whole show below:

[twitchrecorded 499462081,148Apps]

As well, watch the footage of individual games below:

Bloodstroke: Chillingo published this stylish action game with involvement from John Woo. We discuss just where the Woo influences come in to this game, along with why the protected characters could be doing more work:

[twitchhighlight 3641169,148Apps]

Rocket ROBO: This game was an Editor's Choice winner, and it looks mighty polished, but what helps make it worthy of high praise?

[twitchhighlight 3641181,148Apps]

Trambo: This platformer looked intriguing, and its unique quirks, along with some help from a member in the chat helped convince of us of one thing: don't mess with the Finnish people, because they have giant deathrays and space bootcamps.

[twitchhighlight 3641191,148Apps]

As always, follow us on Twitch to find out when we go live next!

148Apps Live: The Secrets of TowerMadness 2 With Arash Keshmirian of Limbic Software

Posted by Carter Dotson on January 30th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: ALIENS VS SHEEP :: Read Review »

148Apps aims to bring you the most interesting iOS games and talks with the most interesting developers, all streamed live on our Twitch channel. This is 148Apps Live!

Arash Keshmirian of Limbic Software joined me, Carter Dotson, to chat about TowerMadness 2 while I played. He discussed the surprise release, how the rise of free-to-play monetization has affected the way that players see challenges in games now, and he gives plenty of helpful tips to beat the game's harder levels.

Watch the recap of the entire show here:

[twitchrecorded 499238055,148apps]

As well, you can watch highlights from the show below:

The first level that proved to be a real hindrance was 1-7, Double Cross. After a few attempts, I got some helpful attempts from Arash to try and topple the alien menace:

After beating a few challenging levels in a row, I was feeling confident, so Arash challenged me to tackle Invasion mode on level 1-9, Serpentine:

Follow us on Twitch to be notified of when we go live next!

Carter vs. the Developer: Sonic 2 with Christian Whitehead

Posted by Carter Dotson on January 20th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: :: Read Review »

I have a reputation for being able to go toe-to-toe with developers at their own games, beating their best times and high scores. This is Carter vs. the Developer.

Christian Whitehead, aka "Taxman," did not work on the original version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but through years of research as a die-hard Sonic fan and from his work on the remastered edition of Sonic 2, he might know the game better than anybody. I, however, spent some of my formative years behind the wheel of the Sonic series, so I decided to challenge Christian to a couple matches of Sonic 2 through the online multiplayer he added to the mobile port. Who will win? Watch and find out.

SayVideo Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on January 8th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CREATIVE VIDEO DECORATING
SayVideo makes it easy to add decorative elements and filters to videos.
Read The Full Review »

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Gets the Remastering Treatment, With the Long-Lost Hidden Palace Level Restored

Posted by Carter Dotson on December 13th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: :: Read Review »

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has been given the remastering treatment by Sega and Christian Whitehead, who presided over the Sonic CD remake and original Sonic the Hedgehog remake that released earlier this year. Available as a free update to the previously-emulated version on the App Store, Sonic 2 contains some cool new goodies along with widescreen and iPad support.

Unlike Sonic CD and the original Sonic the Hedgehog, which were both games that only let players control Sonic in their original versions, Sonic 2 was much more comprehensive with its characters. Tails made his first appearance in Sonic 2. Knuckles showed up later, but was patched in to the game for people who locked-on Sonic 2 to Sonic & Knuckles. However, Tails has been given the ability to fly where users couldn’t control it in the Genesis original.

Thus, the big addition to this game is Hidden Palace. Sonic 2 is pretty well-known for having had a few levels left on the cutting room floor, discovered through leaked betas. One of the most intriguing pieces that was abandoned was a level called Hidden Palace. While the name and perhaps its giant emeralds were reused in Sonic 3, how it would fit into Sonic 2 was never quite known and this level in particular has only been found in an unfinished form. But now Christian Whitehead has gotten to add the level to the game, finished it up, and given it a proper conclusion - including a brand-new boss fight.

Finding the level isn’t too difficult: one particular quasi-bottomless pit near the middle of the game that would just kill players with spikes has become the entrance to Hidden Palace. You’ll probably discover it accidentally. Or, just watch the video below!

There’s still a good selection of secrets to be had. To access level select, go into No Save Mode, and tap on the letters S-E-G-A in order. Then, tap and hold with two fingers on the title screen to access the level select. Here you can select any level, including Hidden Palace.

You can use the Sound Test to put in cheats. Playing 4–1–2–6 will give you all 7 Chaos Emeralds. Playing 1–9–9–2–1–1–2–4 will unlock debug mode; tap in the upper left corner to turn into an item. Use the + and - icons that appear to cycle between icons. There’s some unused item boxes that can be placed, and ones that only appear in the two-player mode.

And oh, that’s been preserved too - and now the two-player race mode supports Game Center online multiplayer. There’s no iCade support, but MFi gamepads are supported.

Even beyond the new additions, considering that Sonic 2 is a game that holds up incredibly well to this day even without any additions, this is a must-have for fans and anyone who has yet to play this classic. The game is a free update to those who owned the previous original emulated version, and is available now.