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The Settlers

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Arron Hirst on November 20th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: GREAT
The Settlers for iPhone is a reincarnation of the classic PC-based title of the same name. With stunning visuals and audio to match, I found the game to be both immersive and addicting.
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Bobba Bar

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Arron Hirst on November 10th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: WATERED DOWN
Sulake Inc the guys behind the original online hit sensation Habbo Hotel brings Bobba Bar to iPhone and iPod touch. A watered-down, but graphically stunning version of the franchise.
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Origin8 Announces 'Sentinel: Mars Defense' FREE for a Week

Posted by Arron Hirst on November 5th, 2009
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: STELLAR :: Read Review »

Camden, London based iPhone development studio Origin8 has announced that to celebrate this years Bomfire night here in the UK, they're launching a special offer in which the first edition to their tower defense series, Sentinel: Mars Defense, will be discounted. Starting today, November 5th at 6PM GMT and originally priced at $0.99, Sentinel: Mars Defense will be FREE for a whole week!

"It's Bonfire Night in the UK, and the thoughts of the nation turn toward really big explosions. Thanks to London-based development studio Origin8, iPhone/iPod Touch gamers worldwide can share in the joy of blowing things up today, as their breakout sci fi strategy game "Sentinel: Mars Defense" will be FREE for a week from 6PM GMT."

Originally released in February of this year, and in case you're not familiar with the game, Sentinel: Mars Defense is a 2D tower defense game which brings with it fully immersive 2D (but with sort of a 3D-effect) graphics. The game is centered around stopping 'waves' of creeps from reaching an end point. Along the way to aid you in this battle you'll have to use different powered space-like weapons, each with their own specialties and strong points. The aim is to destroy all alien lifeforms, before they have to reach a series of 'gates'. If your end defenses are destroyed, it's game over.

Sentinel: Mars Defense has been described as: Incredible, with stellar graphics, and a great amount of 'content' in-game. Having played the game myself, I can add to the fact that that it was definitely worth it at the low price of $0.99, but now you don't have any excuse. Sentinel: Mars Defense is now FREE, and I highly recommend you go and snap it up!

Update: While the offer doesn't seem to have started yet, it's well and truly past 6PM here in the UK, so I'm sure we can expect the change to propagate to the App Store soon!

Preview: Jules Verne’s Secrets of The Mysterious Island

Posted by Arron Hirst on October 28th, 2009

Following on from the immersive RPG that was Return to Mysterious Island, iPhone publisher Chillingo have announced they're bringing a sequel to the store, announcing Jules Verne’s Secrets of The Mysterious Island is coming to both iPhone (and iPod touch), shortly. The first of the series hit App Store shelves in May of this year, and like most adventure based titles seemed to go down in a storm with the iPhone crowd. Recently I seem to be saying that a little too often about various titles, but having actually owned (and played) this title myself, I can say quite honestly say the adventure was thoroughly enjoyable to play through.

Based on a graphic novel by Jules Verne’s, and carrying on from titles such as 1112 and Cassandra's Journey, the game sees you take the role of Mina, a sailor who becomes stranded on an island, somewhere in the Pacific ocean. As you trail and tap your way around the island, trying your up-most to survive, and finding objects and (more importantly) food along the way, you try to unlock the mysteries hidden within.

Described by Chillingo as an experience which will mirror that of Robinson Crusoe, this new release will carry on from where you left off. The game will start off with a helicopter crash, and continuing the theme of being stranded, you will have to guide Mina to safety. This time will also see you visit new locations including: Captain Nemo's base and scouring the ruins of an unknown civilization. Eventually, you will realize the cause of the threat to the island, and will aim to prevent it.

For approximately 700 Mb, the player will find out the end of the adventure of Mina. Jules Verne’s “Secrets of The Mysterious Island” contains stunning 3D graphics, many ambient sounds, music designed to enhance the mysterious atmosphere and feel.

Ustwo™ Announce ..™ (DOTDOT™) The Sequel!

Posted by Arron Hirst on October 28th, 2009
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Remember .™? If you don't, the title was the debut of London-based iPhone development studio ustwo™. The game was 2D and involved the user guiding a white dot around a playing field, trying to avoid red matter (triangular), and collecting blue matter (circular). It hit the mainstream for a number of reasons, firstly for its design ethics, but secondly and most importantly being that it was the first ever application to have hit the App Store, whilst having been designed from concept to final within a 48 hour period.

This had never been done before. The thought of developing a polished title such as .™ within such a short period of time, to most other developers I imagine may have started their worst nightmare. There are going to be 6 titles within this 'exclusive' set of apps - sorta a "collect em' all" diddy. The first was .™ which we profiled a few weeks back, and the next is supposedly Inkstrumental™ CRAZO™ (although as we mentioned in our previous first look, the studio themselves isn't sure if that'll ever see the light of day, yet.)

In the meantime the studio isn't standing still, today announcing the sequel to their debut hit title. Calling it ..™. Having not seen the game yet myself, or had chance to play with it, I can only go off this visually stunning teaser trailer which the company has just released above, which to me seems to convey we might just be in store for some 3D goodness - (well .. I hope so)! While it's not clear if this sequel will follow the 48 hour development method ustwo™ are now famous for, you have to admit that ..™ trailer is pretty damn trippy.

Having played .™, it's addictive nature tends to bring with it high replay value, and as with any title, high replay usually means value for money. With no word on price yet, it's hard to judge if ..™ will live up to it's original - but according to ustwo™ we won't have to wait long to find out. The title is expected to hit very, very soon.

Update: In a stark move, the studio has created a fully interactive online version of the upcoming game. Part of their new '48App' section, you can now play both .™ and ..™ flash versions - here. Looks like ..™ will be 3D after all! Although, it's still unclear whether the game will use touch and drag gesture controls, or take advantage of the accelerometer. We'll see!


iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Arron Hirst on October 21st, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: WORTH A LOOK
Chromodyne puts a refreshing twist on match-3. With vibrant visuals, and a great soundtrack, it's a pretty polished title. It could just do with a few more little things ..
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The Idiot Test 3 Hits Half A Million Downloads!

Posted by Arron Hirst on October 16th, 2009

The original was first released on the Internet in 2006, and during that time it is said to have been played over a million times. Introduced to the App Store on September 20th 2009, and a collaboration between Nexx Studio and Ryan Curtis, the creator of the popular online flash hit The Idiot Test which inspired the creation of the App Store top selling app The Moron Test, The Idiot Test 3 is a flash-like port which in a sense merges these two hit titles together, and in a few words - tests your idiocy.

The game plays out by giving you a series of seemingly ridiculously simple tasks to complete. Tasks range from tapping the right colored buttons on-screen, or identifying the right object, within a series of objects, to continue. Failing to complete the tasks results in you undoubtedly being called - an idiot, and the game restarts, allowing you to give completing it, another shot.

While the game is said to be fun - albeit painfully easy - many people have looked down upon the title as a throw-away one. Something which the App Store doesn't need. Essentially, another fart app. But the numbers say otherwise.

The studio explained that it first introduced the title onto the store for a mere $0.99 in September, but a few weeks go they made the decision to make the title free. Since doing so, in just a few weeks, The Idiot Test 3 has seemed to have gained huge popularity. In fact, over the short period of time the application was free, The Idiot Test 3 was said to have peaked to the top of the App Store download chart in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, as well as ranking as the Top 100 App in over 18 countries.

According to the studio, in the past 2 weeks alone, the app was downloaded at the rate of 20 users/per minute worldwide. This means that the Idiot Test has now surpassed 500,000 downloads. Considering what this game actually is, you have to admit that's pretty impressive, eh?

Due to the title's recent success, Nexx are now announcing that they've submitted a new update, which should be live soon. Submitted this past Monday, The Idiot Test 3 (v1.1.0) will now include over 20 new brain teasing tasks plus some minor improvements around the game's overall gameplay. Nexx studio have said though that they will be increasing the price of The Idiot Test 3 to $0.99 again, when v1.1.0 is finally approved by Apple - So if this is your thing, to get in quick!


A Day In The Life

Posted by Glenn Head on June 23rd, 2009

I'll say it now - I'm an iPhone addict.

Every week, I have to go to a 12 step program designed to wean me off my addiction.* But, you know what? It's not working. You see, to be cured of an addiction you have to want to be cured. I love my iPhone. It's a part of my life. It's never far from my grasp, and I use it many, many times throughout my day. I don't want to be cured.
[caption id="attachment_13153" align="aligncenter" width="509" caption="Paul Pelosi (look at his hands) is also an iPhone addict."]


When I first got my iPhone, I was amazed - due to the superb implementation of the web, that I could actually use it to buy my wife's Christmas presents... from the sofa... while she sat next to me. I would ask her what she wanted, she'd have a little think, then tell me, then I'd buy it, without her even realising her wishes were coming true within seconds of her uttering the words. She might as well have been saying abracadabra. It was magical, and exciting in a way only another iPhone-phile can understand.

This is how my iPhone and I spend the day.

Wake Up Call
Even before I awake, my iPhone is there for me, dragging me from my slumber with the sound of Marimba. Clock has become my Alarm Clock. I've even taught it not to wake me at all at the weekend - at those times my iPhone allows me to dream on (although my daughter does not respect the covenant me and the iPhone have made).

Search For Satisfaction: the Lack of Full-Featured iPhone Games

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on June 1st, 2009

The Search for Satisfaction
Nobody really expected the App Store to be such an enormous success. There are currently over 41,000 apps in the store, and more than 12,000 publishers. (These stats come from our sister site, 148apps.biz.) Since its debut, the App Store has produced games that scorn typical expectations of "mobile gaming" and present polished, cheap entertainment in an easily accessible form. Apple has taken advantage of the iPod Touch and iPhone's gaming abilities, and is pushing gaming apps in its ads. By all accounts, the iPhone is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the world of handheld gaming.

But while the App Store is booming, there's a sad lack of real games in the App Store. I'm talking about games that draw you in with knotted narratives, games that you can really sink your teeth into. I'm talking about games that could make the folks over at Nintendo and Sony fret over the futures of their precious handheld consoles.

Just look at the Top 100, and you'll see what's missing. At the time of writing, the #1 game is Stick Wars—a "good" game, perhaps, but hardly an overwhelming demonstration of the iPhone's capabilities. The #1 free app is the "Urinal Test," which speaks for itself; the #1 paid app overall is the Moron Test—that's high-quality stuff right there. Two more examples: Doodle Jump and Flight Control are bestsellers that have met with both popular and critical acclaim, and for good reason; they're wonderful casual titles. But their success is a testament to a marketplace that craves casual play, a marketplace where the cheapest often wins. iPod Touch and iPhone owners tend to buy games as if they were candy: sugary snacks that can be consumed mindlessly, and thrown away once the sweetness has been sapped. Those aren't the kinds of games that will catapult the iPhone to true greatness as a gaming platform.

And that's what we gamers would love, really. The diversionary games are wonderful, but serious gamers are still lusting after real games. Imagine a world where your PSP or DS has been made obsolete by your phone. That's the world I want to be in; why carry two devices when you can have one? I want quality titles that will last more than a few hours. As a New York Times article lamented, "Those searching for a deep, meaningful, narrative-driven experience will generally have to


iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Brendan Lutz on May 22nd, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: NOT READY
A battle card strategy game that starts out feeling like challenging game of Chess but soon feels more like a simplistic game of Checkers
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iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Trevor Smith on March 31st, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: Moderately Recommended
LD50 is a turn-based 3D artillery game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Attempt to knock out the opposing city by fine tuning the angle of your missile's trajectory.
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