Posts Tagged week

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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.

Overcast: Podcast Player

 
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For a long time, I have been using Downcast to manage all of the podcasts I listen to. Its ability to create customized playlists and tweak settings for each individual show gave me a complete sense of control over the way I listened to my favorite shows. That being said, I was never 100% satisfied with Downcast for a variety of reasons that I couldn’t quite put my finger on for a long time. Now, I can safely say that my main issue with Downcast is that it isn’t Overcast: Podcast Player. Although this new podcast app isn’t perfect for every podcast listener’s needs, Overcast: Podcast Player has a very impressive suite of features that are smart, elegant, and super useful, provided you pay to unlock all of its features. –Campbell Bird

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon

 
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Much like its namesake team of ragtag misfits, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon is kind of weird and quirky. You see, while the game’s release date is clearly set to build hype for the upcoming feature film (which hits theaters in just about about two weeks) it’s not solely tied to the movie’s feel or continuity. Instead, it’s a rather strange mash-up of elements, sporting both movie-based character designs and story beats, as well as numerous nods to the team’s greater history and place in the comic-based side of the Marvel Universe. But does playing to both sides dilute the overall experience? And is it even a worthwhile game to begin with? Read on, True Believers! Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon straddles a few different genres as well. It’s a little bit action-RPG, a touch of arena combat, and a dash of side-scrolling beat-’em-up (minus the scrolling). Players assemble a team of characters from their roster of unlocked Guardians, Guardians-adjacent affiliates, and even antagonists in some cases (though they can only be used in the wave-clearing Arena mode), and smash their way through screen after screen of bad guys. Characters are controlled by drawing lines from them to their destination (when moving) or target (when attacking enemies or aiding allies). –Rob Thomas

Cascade

 
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Match-3 games are nothing new and to an extent, Cascade is very familiar indeed. It manages to offer a few twists and turns that ensure that fans should be quite appreciative of its efforts, even if it isn’t as revolutionary as it would like to be. The layout of Cascade is very familiar. You work your way through individual levels of gems that must be cleared in some way, in order to pass onto the next stage. Each stage has a slightly different objective, such as reaching a particular score, clearing a set number of boulders, or vanquishing lighter colored squares. Ultimately though, the principle remains the same – match those gems. Jennifer Allen

Magic 2015

 
Magic 2015

Another year, another updated iteration of Magic: The Gathering’s digital form. Fans of Wizards of the Coast’s long-standing, collectible card game juggernaut know exactly what they’re getting into here. But does Magic 2015 serve as a good introduction for new players into what can be a rather daunting new world? Well, it’s kind of a yes and no at the same time. As someone who already has a fair bit of past history with the game, I still felt the need to trudge my way through the tutorial in order to see how well it presents the game to newbies and, for the most part, I wasn’t disappointed. The tutorial is relatively in-depth, with a fully-voiced narrator guiding new players step-by-step through the basics of the game, though I do feel that it may have dragged on for a bit too long and that some of these lessons could have been combined or condensed. However, that could well have just been my urge to get through the stuff I already knew and into the meat of Magic 2015 proper. –Rob Thomas

Hellraid: The Escape

 
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In Hellraid: The Escape, you will find yourself awoken from a stone tomb and trapped in a violent prison, patrolled by disfigured, demonic guards and decorated with all of kinds of vicious traps. Sounds fun, right? You must then find your way out by solving puzzles, dispatching enemies and collecting items to help pass through each area unscathed. Along the way you’ll find notes with some background information, hints and harrowing tales on them, further fleshing out the gameworld one piece at a time. Controls are simple, with a floating joystick for movement, a swipe to survey the surroundings and a tap to pick up objects or interact with mechanisms. However, these interactions are often more intricate than a mere tap, usually involving multiple gestures, proving how much attention to detail was paid to the environment. Powered by the Unreal 3 engine, the game looks undeniably excellent. From flickering lighting effects to the incredible level of detail throughout, Hellraid: The Escape is one of the best-looking iOS titles to date, and succeeds in creating a real sense of foreboding. –Lee Hamlet

Hoopa City

 
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As readers may know, my son and I are big Dr. Panda fans as many of their apps allow children to role-play their way through differently themed apps such as Dr. Panda’s Restaurant, Dr. Panda’s Veggie Farm, or Dr. Panda’s Beauty Salon. Recently, a new app, Dr. Panda’s Toy Cars, changed things up a bit, allowing young children to drive cars around town, free of the mini-games popular within this series. I would also like to introduce readers to another new app from TribePlay, the developers of Dr. Panda, Hoopa City, a city building application for older children that my son simply adores. Hoopa City allows users to build their own urban landscape as they tap areas of the screen, adding roads, buildings or green spaces as they choose from eight different city building elements, combining them to create other details that my son really fancies such as pools or skate-boarding ramps. Hoopa City stars Hoopa the Hippo, famous from other Dr. Panda applications, as well as other familiar Dr. Panda characters who can be seen wandering around town – a nice touch. –Amy Solomon

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:

AndroidRundown

Glowgrid

 
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Some puzzle games can be really relaxing, while other games of the same genre can be brutal as heck. The ambient puzzle game Glowgrid is a little bit of both, thanks to his two game modes. If one would see the title ‘Glowgrid’ and fires the game up, he would instantly see that the title of the game matches with the aesthetics of it. Like anyone could predict, in Glowgrid players get to fill up a glowing grid with some well know and lesser known shaped blocks, where they need to combine four or more blocks of the same color. The goal is to fill up the bar at the top of the screen, with a total worth of one hundred points. If players get to that point, the bar immediately empties itself. The next goal is to fill it up once again, only now while players need to figure out a way in their own mess, because the grid still contains like ninety pro cent of the blocks one previously placed there. –Wesley Akkerman

RBI Baseball 14

 
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After two straight days of no baseball whatsoever, you may finally be ready to accept it back into your life. And between the many games, you may find yourself wanting to play a game. Well, RBI Baseball 14, the MLB-published revival of the classic series, is finally on Android. This is old-school baseball, for better or worse. Seriously, this game isn’t just RBI Baseball in name only, it replicates the original game to a T. Pitchers can throw fastballs, mid-speed breaking balls, and knuckleballs that move erratically and slowly. Hitters can move around the box to try and hit the myriad pitches coming their way with just swing and bunt commands. Each team has 4 pitchers, with the starter tiring midway through the game. David Price relieving Alex Cobb a day after he started? Dr. James Andrews shrieked in horror. This game eschews realism, and any real gameplay advances of the past couple decades or so, in the name of replicating this classic. –Carter Dotson

Hopeless: Football Cup

 
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In Hopeless: Football Cup, players get to experience a different kind of football videogame. If I have to put a game next to it that closely resembles it, it should be Orange Pixel’s Tapkick Football. In the good and the bad way. Hopeless: Football Cup is a game where players need to tap on the touch screen, in order to make the blob on-screen head the ball away. If they don’t, the ball will simply demolish the little bugger and than it is game over for the player. It is a hard concept, similiar to games like Flappy Bird; players just need to keep on tapping at the right moment to succeed in the game. Hopeless: Football Cup perhaps stands even more closely to Orange Pixel’s Tapkick Football, a game that featured the studio’s own vision on the simple tap mechanic of Flappy Bird. –Wesley Akkerman

And, this week Pocket Gamer reviewed games like Battle Fleet 2 and Ingress, provided handy tips for Minecraft and Hellraid: The Escape, found some hot new indie games in Brighton, and gabbed to Luca Redwood about his absurdly ambitious new game. All this and more right here.

This Week at 148Apps: June 2-6

This week at 148Apps.com was all about the red, white, and blue as we celebrated the 4th of July. Writer Lisa Caplan contributed to the festivities with her list of Favorite Four apps for Independence Day. She writes, “It’s July 4th, so we hope most Americans are out celebrating and reading this on an iPhone or iPad or between activities. But if you are still looking for apps to help make the day even better, we’ve rounded up four of our favorties that commemorate everything from US History to the traditional BBQ for you here.”

See Lisa’s complete list at 148Apps.com.

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-07-13 :: Category:

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-06-22 :: Category: Education

GiggleApps stayed on a vacation theme with its review of Miny Moe Car. Reviewer Amy Solomon says, “Miny Moe Car is a charming and fun simulated driving app that toddlers and children in preschool will enjoy. I have always been a fan of this type of toy, both as an arcade game as well as a simple children’s plaything. I remember when my son was just a year old, I bought him the most realistic driver I could find – a toy he still enjoys today. A search on iTunes will find a few applications of this type that mostly show a POV from the driver’s seat of a car or other vehicle. This is also the case for this application which does a really nice job of recreating the driving experience for toddlers.”

Read Amy’s complete review on GiggleApps.com.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-05-10 :: Category: Education

And finally at 148Apps.biz, Carter Dotson reported on a new study revealing the iPad as the number one gaming platform. Dotson writes, “Tablets and phones are vastly different devices. This seems obvious, but in reality, they really aren’t: the difference between the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 is basically different sized screens. However, the way that users, especially gamers, use the two devices is still dramatically different, according to PlayFirst, via Pocket Gamer. Tablet users are playing more games than phone users are, and they’re spending more on games.”

Read the full report at 148Apps.biz.

That’s the end of this week’s happenings, but there’s always more news, reviews and contests headed your way across the 148Apps network. Just follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to keep track of all the goings-on. Until next week, enjoy the fireworks!

This Week at 148Apps: June 18-22

This week at 148Apps.com, we indulged in a little healthy living with our review of the iHealth Blood Pressure Dock. Site editor Rob LeFebvre writes, “The iHealth Blood Pressure Dock is a fantastic piece of tech that will allow anyone, regardless of experience, ability, or consciousness to have their blood pressure taken and monitored over time.

The free app that works alongside the actual blood pressure dock and arm cuff is simple, easy to use, and can be set up with multiple users. This allows families to keep track of more than one family member who might want or need to do so.

While high blood pressure is no laughing matter and should be monitored by a doctor or licensed health care provider, the iHealth blood pressure dock is ideal for tracking blood pressure in between doctor visits.”

Want to know more? Read our full review at 148Apps.com.

Meanwhile, at GiggleApps.com, writer Amy Solomon took a trip to learn about polar bears via her review of the Smithsonian’s Polar Bear Horizon. She writes, “Polar Bear Horizon – Smithsonian Oceanic Collection is an interactive application based on the book of the same name and now part of a series of Smithsonian applications developed by Oceanhouse Media. Like other apps by Oceanhouse Media, this application includes the choice to listen to narration allowing readers to follow along the included text which becomes highlighted when words are spoken, or to read this book to oneself. Auto-play is also an option.”

Read Amy’s full review at GiggleApps.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-02-22 :: Category: Books

Finally, 148Apps.biz founder Jeff Scott announced the return of MobileBeat to San Francisco, saying “I think of MobileBeat as the business of mobile conference. The conference is about making connections with the business side of the mobile industry. This year the focus of MobileBeat is on something we see ignored all too often, design.”

Read more about the upcoming MobileBeat conference on 148Apps.biz.

Another week has passed, but there’s still plenty more where that came from. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to track the latest developments, and maybe even score a few free apps along the way. Until next week, stay Brave!

This Week at 148Apps: March 5-9

This week at 148Apps.com, site founder Jeff Scott reviewed and recapped the introduction of the New iPad, saying “The iPad 3 looks to be a solid update to the iPad 2. Not only do we get an amazing retina display screen and updated internals for a faster device while maintaining the look of the iPad 2, but we also keep the great battery life and price points. Here’s a quick rundown of the new iPad. Which, by the way is called just “the new iPad.” Or perhaps it will end up being known as just iPad like the Macbook and iMac lines.”

Read our full overview on 148Apps.com.

Meanwhile, at Giggleapps.com, Amy Solomon reviewed the latest in the line of Toca games, Toca House. She writes, “Toca Boca is a very well-regarded developer, possibly best known for its open-ended apps such as Toca Tea Party or Toca Hair Salon. More akin to Toca Doctor, Toca House is a collection of 19 domestically focused mini-games that take place within a wonderfully styled home and yard.

I enjoy the look of this app very much, as does my son, being very bright and colorful. Players will be scrolling up and down through this house that one is visiting, as five floors can be explored from top to bottom – a bathroom, living room, kitchen, laundry room, as well as front door and attached yard space.”

Read the full review on GiggleApps.com.

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148Apps.biz writer Brad Hilderbrand noted that in a recent report from Spaceport, HTML5 showed top performance on iOS devices. Hilderbrand says, “According to extensive testing, the iPad 2 is far and away the best device to run HTML5, and other iOS machines blow their Android counterparts out of the water, performing roughly three times better than the competition. Though the latest Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich are beginning to close the gap, the data still shows that Apple devices are the benchmark against which all others will continue to be measured.”

Read the full report on 148Apps.biz.

And that’s the week in review. 148Apps is always bringing you the latest iOS-related content, including contests, reviews and news, so follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to keep up to date from minute to minute. See you next week, appslingers!

This week, July 25-29, the freemium/free to play revolution continued as Carter Dotson explored the recent decrease in premium game revenue on the App Store. Dotson writes, “Not only are free to play games now becoming the biggest source of revenue for games on the App Store, they’re also potentially more open for competition. The top 10 publishers of free games account for 27% of the total downloads of the top 300 free games, versus the top 10 publishers of the top 300 paid games generating 54% of those downloads, and one of those publishers is one-man developer Andreas Illiger of Tiny Wings fame.

Read the full story here.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-02-18 :: Category: Games

Over at 148apps.biz, Sharon L. Cohen explored app developer’s needs for solid, substantive analytics, and suggested Chomp as a good source: “The latest Chomp stats…provide continued insights into the way that users are searching for apps. Previously, 148apps.biz reported that fewer and fewer queries are for specific app names: For every one hundred searches, only nine were for the name of an application. This statistic flopped in May. ‘Compared to April, the ratio of non-app name versus name queries shifted 9% in favor of name searches.’ Ah, the fickleness of users. The moral of this story is continue to place an emphasis on key words and search engine optimization including brand promotion. In other words, cover all your bases.”

Read the full story at 148Apps.biz.

GiggleApps reviewed Creative Genius on the Go, an app designed to stretch kids’ imaginations, even as they are trapped in the back seat during long trips: “This app offers 150 different scenarios for everyone to consider: 50 ‘What Ifs?’ that prompt the players to describe how the impossible may be possible; 50 ‘Imagine That,’ which are mind-stretching challenges for boosting brainpower and relieving boredom and screams from the back seat, and 50 ‘Wack-tivities,’ or silly diversions for when everyone is tired and can’t wait to stop at a hotel and get something to eat.”

Divert yourself to the GiggleApps review for the full story.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-05-14 :: Category: Education

That’s it for this week! Be sure to stop by our Top 148 Lists page to view the latest price drops as well as the top free and paid apps and games. See you next Saturday.

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148Apps - iPhone app reviews and news. The best gosh darn iPhone app site this side of Mars.
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