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Everything's Okay, the Girls Scout Cookie Locator is Here

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 21st, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Without this one indespensable app, the world may have fallen into complete chaos. In fact, now that it's here we're almost positive that we'll never be able to even consider a time when we weren't able to locate the nearest Girl Scout Cookie sale on our phones. It's like thinking of an age without the internet, TV, electricity or even fire. Unfathomable.

What's obviously been done in good spirit by the Kellog Company, makers of this application, is so very easy for us to tease. But this is certainly a fun, easygoing application meant to entertain and take shots at boosting sales. Sure, we jest, but the Girl Scout Cookie lovers that download this app for a simple chuckle may actually use it once or twice to find their nearest fundraising pack of children. They'll even be presented with the reserved hours of said cookie sale with this application. They'll run out to buy the baked treats by the box, and when that happens: mission accomplished.

Beyond just finding cookies, this application lets users look up nutrition facts and remember the tricky names that belong to the treats they love so much. You'll also be able to take a personality test that links you to your destined cookie (look to the cookie...).

Useless for some, incredible for many, this Girl Scout Cookie locator is an excellent, if not a slightly ridiculous, addition to the App Store. Before you go criticizing too hard, just remember that this product is little more than a marketing tool. And a good one at that. We only wish the entire thing was presented with more of a sense of urgency. Perhaps even a simulated cookie radar would have been a nice touch. Just spitballing here.

Hit the "Find Cookies Nearby" button and go enjoy a Samoa. You earned it.

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iPhotographer: Halloween Photo Tips

Posted by Chris Nitz on October 27th, 2010

Halloween is just around the corner (you know, like this weekend), and we all know you will be carrying an iPhone with you from door to door on your candy raids. Maybe you will even have some minions with you doing all the dirty work of begging for candy. Why not put the phone in your pocket to good use and capture a few of these memories in style? A few tips to get you rolling are as simple as:

Snag pics of the kids early
Before you embark out into the night, capture a few shots of everybody in their costumes early. Not only will this net you some much better lighting conditions, but it also allows you to capture photos before everybody is antsy to dive into their buckets of tasty treats. Keep the photos interesting by using various angles and remembering to keep the rule of thirds in place. Keep in mind that head-on shots of kids are ok, but children offset by the pumpkins they carved while standing in front of a big pile of colorful leaves is much more enjoyable. Bonus Tip: You can add on a bit of face manipulation with apps like Kid Face Halloween Edition for that extra bit of Halloween photo fun!

Free studio space in decorated homes
Some people just love to decorate for Halloween. All these decorations mean you have plenty of fun and exciting studio space, minus all the overhead of rent and utilities. Those homes with fun décor are often prime with setups to really enhance your photographs. While you may not want to spend three hours at the same house posing and setting up various shots, you can spend a moment to capture a more intriguing shot. Put the significant other under the giant Black Widow hanging from the tree. Lay the kidlets out in a fake cemetery. People go to great lengths to decorate, why not put those efforts to good use for some memorable Halloween photos. Bonus Tip: Share your best setups with family and friends on Facebook or Flickr while you walk from door to door.

Make use of fun lighting
It maybe dark outside, but you have plenty of great lighting opportunities while out and about collecting the candy tax. Orange, red, and even black lights can turn a drab photo into something exquisite. This is especially true if your child, or even yourself, is wearing something that is black light sensitive. Turn off the flash on the iPhone 4 to help keep these unique colors in your photos. Bonus Tip: you may want to consider stabilizing your phone before taking a photo to help reduce blur.

The most important tip for everything you try to snag on the iPhone this weekend: Have fun. I mean you are out getting free candy and taking great photos. If you are not having fun, you might be doing something wrong!

Apps mentioned in this article:

Miriel the Magical Merchant HD Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Chantelle Joy Duxbury on September 7th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: FANTASTICAL FUN
For fans of Time-Management games, this is a real Gem. Beautiful and challenging, a worthy, addictive game!
Read The Full Review »

The Incident Review

Posted by Brian Hudson on August 17th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarstar


In the Incident, you play an everyman with a problem: heavy things keep dropping in your general vicinity. Your only chance to make it end it is to climb up the pile of objects until you reach the source and put a stop to the shenanigans. That thankless task -- climbing higher and higher on a constant pile of falling detritus -- is the sole goal of The Incident. Luckily, it's also a whole lot of fun.

You control the hero by tilting the device left and right, and jump him by tapping. It's simple and controls well, which means that you can quickly get to the job of staying alive. Like another popular jumping game out there, Doodle Jump, the premise is so simple that if anything in the game were poorly executed, it could easily be called repetitive -- dodge, jump, jump, dodge, grab a coin, jump. But The Incident does such a good job of keeping you on your toes, watching all corners of the screen, and scrambling for precious power-ups, that its simple premise is practically addictive.

The first few levels ramp up nicely, so that by the time things get really hectic, you'll be well versed in the art of dodging and jumping. Along the way you're earning enough extra lives that you'll probably never run out, and hitting frequent checkpoints so that you can hold onto your progress. There are only eight total levels, beginning on the street and ending in space, but each level packs enough challenge to make it feel like plenty of game.

The Incident's 8-bit style helps in that it's clean and well-executed. There's a large variety of pixelated, brightly-colored objects being thrown at you, many of them eliciting a little smile the first time they appear -- everything from taxis and sofas to Egyptian sarcophagi, garden gnomes, and Easter Island statues. There are not so many that you'll never see a repeat, but there are enough to keep the pile interesting. And when you die, you're granted a little death trophy of the object that killed you; "Death by Midcentury-Modern Door at 575m" is quite a way to go.

Any complaints about the Incident are minor. The aforementioned small number of levels is a limitation on replayability, and the lack of any online leaderboards or other competitive components will disappoint some. And yes, if the core game play doesn't appeal to you, you'll get bored very quickly, as they're nothing else to the game but jump, jump, dodge, jump. But none of these are significant drawbacks.

There's something sweet about seeing a simple concept executed well. The Incident is a great game that offers up a fun time with well-crafted retro sensibilities, and it's sure to appeal to a lot of iOS gamers. Download it today.

Update 10/18/10: Big Bucket Software has released a major update for The Incident, turning this already top-notch game into a true 5-star app. All of the (admittedly minor) issues we had with the Incident have been addressed in this update: a new "Endless Mode" and Game Center integration with online leaderboards have really enhanced The Incident's playability, and the introduction of an awards and achievement section allows you to go back and relive your best moments (and best deaths).

In addition, Big Bucket added a sweet new feature to the game: the ability to use an iPhone or iPod Touch as a controller when playing on the iPad. This feature works very nicely, and even uses the iPhone screen to preview the next falling object. It's a clever and well-implemented feature, and it has quickly become my favorite way to play The Incident. If you have both devices, you owe it to yourself to give this a try.

AirAttack HD Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Brian Hudson on August 12th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: STELLAR SHOOTER
The planes fly fast and furious in Air Attack HD, a top-down shooter that boasts incredible graphics and intense game play. If only it were a bit longer!
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Flipboard Review

+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
By Brian Hudson on July 26th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: POTENTIALLY REVOLUTIONARY
Flipboard hits a home run with its sharp visuals and excellent interface, but loses points for being more of a novelty than anything else.
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Let's Golf! 2 Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Brian Hudson on July 26th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: HOLE IN ONE
With graphics, game play, and additional features that all improve upon the original, Let's Golf! 2 is a fantastic casual golf title.
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Wallace & Gromit: The Last Resort for iPad Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Brian Hudson on July 21st, 2010
Our rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar :: TOO GLITCHY TO ENJOY
A delightful and fun recreation of Wallace and Gromit on the touchscreen. Unfortunately it's marred by technical glitches that not only annoy, but can get in the way of playability.
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muBlip Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Brian Hudson on July 15th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: FUNKY FRESH FUN
Delivering a refreshing spin on the musical rhythm genre, muBlip will hook you with its slick light-and-colors show and electronica soundtrack.
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Prince of Persia: Warrior Within Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Brian Hudson on July 6th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CONSOLE GOODNESS
Gameloft takes on the unenviable challenge of porting an entire console game to the iPhone. The result is a playable, though not perfect, console-quality experience that brings all the scope and action of the original, but suffers from complicated control
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Fun Little Diversion - Soundrop Free

Posted by Jeff Scott on May 17th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The developer calls it musical geometry, and that's a great description. The idea behind the app is that you have a faucet dropping out balls at a particular tempo. You draw lines for the balls to bounce off of. The faster they are going when they bounce, the higher the pitch of the sound they make.

As you can imagine, if you get enough lines to restrict the balls and direct them in the right direction, you can get quite a sound going. The app is at it's most musical when you have just a few lines. The sounds it can make in these cases is pretty interesting.

Soundrop is free, and it's very fun. I've found myself more than once wrapped up in Soundrop for more time than I want to admit. Give it a shot, it's a Universal app that works on both the iPad and iPhone. Though the app really shines on the iPads larger screen.

And did I mention it's free?

First Look at KaleidoVid - Video Kaleidoscope for the iPhone

Posted by Jeff Scott on March 18th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

KaleidoVid is a fun little app from App Cubby and Polar Bear Farm. Two developers that spend their time making serious apps decided to take a little break and create something fun. Seems like a great idea!

The app is really pretty simple. It's like those little cardboard tube kaleidoscopes we all had as kids. Fire up your iPhone (this app requires a camera), and point the camera at something colorful. The app takes a triangular part of the image and reflects it just like the ones you had as a kid. I guess the difference is those cost 75 cents, this one costs $500.

The app lets you grab the screen at any time and save it as a unique image or share it on Twitter, Facebook, or via email. Pretty good way to create unique backgrounds for your iPhone too.

The app is available now for the crazy price of just $0.99.

Plants vs. Zombies

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jeff Scott on February 15th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: Grows on you
Plants Vs. Zombies was a huge hit for Pop Cap on the desktop, and quickly became the number one selling game in PopCap's history. PvZ is a great, yet simplified tower defense game modified with thought for the iPhone.
Read The Full Review »

The Great App Bake Off Returns!

Posted by Arron Hirst on December 15th, 2009
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED :: Read Review »

They did it last year, and now it's back. The Great App Bake Off 2009. Developers, put down your keyboards, xcode testing tools and virtual paintbrushes, and instead pick up those baking trays and oven mittens, because today my friends, you're about to cook for your pride, your glory and .. cool stuff! Yes, the Great App Bake Off is back. A time of the year for App Store developers to stop, think and ask themselves that all important question: "Can I actually bake a cake?"

But it's not just for developers! Oh no, you can enter too, and there are prizes involved - lots of them. Hosted by Gavin Bowman of Retro Dreamer, also the developer behind the App Store hit Sneezies, The Great App Bake Off is a (so far) annual event which sees anyone from anywhere baking for the fun of it! Here's how it works. You pick an App Store application of your choice, and then you bake a cake which resembles that application. Whether it be in the shape of the app's main character, or a mouth-watering version of the app's current App Store icon - You simply have to bake it and take a few shots of it.

It’s simple: pick an App, bake it, send us the pictures, win prizes.

Checkout these awesome first entries into the contest below. The first depicts the cool App Store icon of the app Story Tracker, and the other sees one of the main character's of Elf Command, come to sponge! .. I mean life!

Once you've done that, there are two ways you can send Gavin and the team your cake entries. You can either e-mail them to appcakes at retrodreamer.com, or you can tweet them as an @reply. You'll find App Cakes on Twitter @AppCakes.

But your awesome bakery efforts will not go unnoticed. Far from it! Apart from the delicious reward of eating your (hopefully) scrumptious creation afterward, you'll be entering to win yourself a tonne of cool App Store goodies, including all of this:

- A £50 iTunes Gift certificate provided by Chillingo
- A $50 iTunes Gift certificate, provided by Antair
- A $15 iTunes Gift certificate and promo codes for Sneezies and Eyegore’s Eye Blast provided by Retro Dreamer
- 2 promo codes for Story Tracker provided by Andrew Nicolle
- Promo codes for Rocket Santa and Star Fusion provided by Bytesize Adventures
- 5 promo codes for Serving Sizer, provided by Creative Algorithms

.. With more on the way!

I'm told by Gavin that he expects this prize pool to grow over the next few weeks, as more and more developers take to their kitchens and get involved, and the contest gets more coverage. Of course, all prizes will be distributed over the best entries when judged in January. The closing date for new entries into The Great App Bake Off 2009 is January 4th .. so get baking!


iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Christine Morris on September 4th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GREAT
Timeloop is a cute & crafty cartoon time travel game that has you thinking of what puzzles need to be solved in order to save the poor scientists! The concept is quite ingenious and provides one of the better experiences on the app store.
Read The Full Review »