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Penception Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on May 24th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FINGER ART
This simple yet elegant app is almost perfect for a little on-the-go sketching.
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Pickle Weasel Review

Posted by Rob Rich on January 28th, 2013
iPad App - Designed for iPad

Developer: Jezam Interactive
Price: $1.99
Version: 2.0.31
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar


Update: 2/18/2013, Version 2.0.31
Don't let the identical version number fool you; there's a lot more to Pickle Weasel this time around. Even more Guess Games and Draw Games have been added, giving users twice as much guessing and drawing to do. On top of that there are also Flips, which are essentially a collection of goofy 2-frame animations meant to draw out a chuckle or two. If nothing else it means people will be able to enjoy the bizarre creature's antics for a bit longer now.

First of all, what exactly is a pickle weasel? Well in this particular instance it’s a cartoon character brought to life by JC Little, a.k.a The Animated Woman (director, illustrator, blogger, speaker, and artist). Back in 2011 the bizarre pickled cucumber mammalian took on a life of his own, and now he has his own weird iPad app to help spread the weirdness that much further.

Pickle Weasel is kind of a game, and kind of not. It’s more like a pseudo-interactive showcase with an emphasis on sharing the madness with friends than a straight-up multiplayer affair. The app is split into two distinct parts: Draw-Games and Guess-Games. Draw-Games present users with an image (or sometimes a partial image) and challenges them with adding their own particular visual elements such as a face on a piece of fruit or a costume for the weasel himself. Guess-Games, on the other hand, give users a single play-on-words image that they need to try and figure out. Once they think they know the answer there’s a “WTF” button at the top that can be tapped to reveal the actual subject.

The Guess-Games can be decent fun when there’s a group of people to sit around the iPad and make assumptions with, but there’s much more fun to be had with the Draw-Games. Whether users are following the instructions to the best of their abilities or simply doing whatever they feel like there’s no shortage of drawings to scribble over and share with friends via Facebook, Twitter, or simply handing the iPad to a friends and saying “Look at this!” There’s even a nifty option to replay the drawing and watch each line trace itself into existence. It serves absolutely no purpose but it can be kind of cool to see in motion.

Unfortunately there really isn’t much meat on Pickle Weasel’s bones. I suppose his half-vegetable DNA is partially to blame but it still makes for a fairly simple app with rather limited use. Updates are in the works and the creators are welcoming feedback, but until any supposed new content gets added it’s most likely going to be the kind of app that people play with for a day or two and then move on.

Pickle Weasel is a commendable first attempt but in its current state still feels a bit incomplete. There’s some entertainment value in trying to guess what the picture is trying to describe and scribbling weird faces on produce is surprisingly fun. It’s just that the well runs dry pretty quickly at the moment.

Friday Five: May 21st, 2010

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on May 21st, 2010

Fridays at 148apps mean a new Friday Five post, and here we are! Below are five apps that we've chosen to highlight from the past week's releases. Some are silly, or functional, or simply fun, but we hope that all of them are interesting.

Remember coloring books? Color&Draw takes that experience and attempts to translate it to the iPhone's screen. You can draw on a blank screen and use it as a sketch app, or pick from the 50 included outlines, including various animals and cute things. Color&Draw even lets kids open up an existing photo and doodle on it. (Want to give Uncle Joe a mustache / wacky eyebrows / devil horns? No problem!) The limited color palette and the absence of a "paint bucket" filler option help bring Color&Draw even closer to the classic crayons-and-paper coloring books we all loved so. The app's interface is clean and it appears well-designed, but naturally its best feature is the delight of the kids using it.

Pocket Creatures
Pocket Creatures starts you with an egg and lets you raise your own adorable cartoon critter. In this 3D sim, you spend your time caring for and interacting with your creature. Don't be fooled, however; your creature isn't normal, as it can do things like summon lightning. How you interact impacts its personality: make it sweet or mischievous, devilish or gentle. The various achievements unlock costumes for your creature, from Ninja to Viking to Gladiator. In short? It's a little 3D garden with you and your pet, and plenty of playthings to torment. (Exploding anteaters, anyone?)

Splitting a check in a restaurant isn't easy—a seemingly endless litany of complications can turn a simple division problem into a mind-numbing headache. Bistromath is an app that aims to eliminate that exact problem. Normally I'm not a fan of "tip calculator" apps and the like, but Bistromath goes much further. You can enter each item individually, then specify who pays for it, even assigning an item to be split between multiple people. Bistromath also calculates the sales tax and tip, and takes care of tricky division (like dividing 10 by 3). Whether you need such a complex focus on fair paying in your life is your prerogative, of course, but if you do, Bistromath should be a great help.

Strike Knight
Backflip Studios' other games have been met with acclaim—the hugely popular Paper Toss, Ragdoll Blaster, and Harbor Havoc 3D games among them—and now they've released a new game, this time for free. Strike Knight is a puck bowling game with some arcade flair. The scoring system is different and places a focus on timing, but if you've ever played shuffle-board bowling, Strike Knight's setup should be familiar. The game is great for quick sessions and even supports pass-and-play for up to four players. Of course, Strike Knights is ad-supported, but that's a small price to pay for a polished, free game.

X2 Soccer 2010
X2 Soccer 2010 succeeds X2 Soccer 2009—a solid foundation by anyone's reckoning—and adds plenty of improvements. The controls are sharp and snappy, the computer AI is well-tuned, and with over 150 club teams you'll have plenty of variety. The included modes are Quick Match, Penalty Shootout, Training, Tournament, Dream Team, and Multiplayer; Multiplayer includes both local and online options. But while I could go on and on listing the game's bullet-point features, perhaps the simplest one is this: it simply works. Fans of X2 Soccer swear by it as the App Store standard, and it's certainly an excellent, realistic soccer game. Soccer fans should be very, very interested in this new release.