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Meatspace Invasion Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on June 25th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: A LITTLE DIFFERENT
Take the fight to the streets (be safe, look both ways, etc) in this location-based shooter.
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Mobbles Review

Posted by Rob Rich on June 12th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Developer: Mobbles Corp.
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


My neighborhood is apparently playing host to a menagerie of monsters. That’s okay because they’re of the cute and cuddly variety, but there sure are an awful lot of the little buggers hiding out around here. Good thing I can use Mobbles to catch them. Then pet them and love them and call them George.

Mobbles is an interesting combination of location-based and monster-collecting and raising gameplay. As long as there’s space available, a player can wander around just about anywhere and try to track one (or several) of the little suckers down. If they can get within a certain real world distance, they can attempt to catch it. If successful, they have a new little buddy to feed and shower with attention. This is where the second half of the game comes into play. Each little critter can be fed, bathed, played with, and put to bed. They each also have their own to-do lists that will reward bonus gems (used for buying stuff) or love (used to level-up a given creature) that run the gamut from tickling a specific number of times to simply feeding at a specific time of day.

Every creature in Mobbles has a distinct look (always cute), and every creature also has its own basic personality. Although for my money Gummy is about as adorable a cartoon iOS “thing” as I’ve ever seen. Having to put them to sleep once they get tired from too much activity, typically for about a half an hour, can actually be seen as a good thing since it prevents people from spending way too much time poking virtual cartoon monsters. And the features that constantly unlock for each Sploon, Gummy, Runka, and so on can be a major driving force to keep players invested.

Though they may be cute and numerous, and full of un-lockable wardrobe options, Mobbles can also be a bit of a let down for someone who doesn’t know what to expect. Finding, collecting, and trading monsters typically lends itself to training and battles as well, but those are two features that are decidedly not present here. This is not a battle game, it’s a virtual pet game. It’s important for anyone interested to understand that as there’s very little in the way of action, which can be a huge disappointment if it’s not expected.

So long as people know what they’re getting into, they’re bound to enjoy Mobbles. It’s an entertaining and family-friendly game designed to get everyone out of the house for a bit while they go looking for new specimens, not a collect ‘em, train ‘em, battle ‘em affair. Given the sheer amount of cute on display, I’m inclined to be okay with that.

City King Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on May 22nd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FIGHT FOR IT
Fight for control over real-world locations (literally!) in this location-based social RPG.
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Location-Based Mafia Planet Releases Soon

Posted by Kevin Stout on May 11th, 2012

crowdplayce, location-based iOS game developer, has announced the release of its upcoming game Mafia Planet. The game immerses players in a location-based mafia game where they work their way up the ladder to become a mafia Don.

Mafia Planet boasts that it's going to be the first location-based crime game for iOS. There are other (very) similar games (like Parallel Mafia), but this one might be unique in it's own way. No matter where players are, there will always be something to do. Players can rob nearby banks, other mobsters, and do quests that can be completed anywhere in the world.

Players have districts that can be attacked by other mobsters or attacked directly. Players gain experience and money as they work their way through the game in their goal to become the next mafia Don. This is one of those games that will be progressively more fun depending on the amount of people locally that decide to use it.

The game is going to be free and ready to play later this month on May 23th.


Dabble, A Photo Sharing App from Former Twitter Employee

Posted by Kevin Stout on April 23rd, 2012

Apparently good photo-sharing services are potentially worth billions of dollars (see: Instagram). Former Vice President of Business Operations at Twitter (and ex-team manager for Search Quality Operations at Google), Santosh Jayaram, has just released a photo-sharing service of his own called Dabble. It’s not to be confused with the word game, Dabble, or Dabble, the iPad sketching app. This Dabble is a “social postcard” service.

In THIS app, users create location-based postcards of the places they’ve been. For example, if I go get a burger at a local place near me and take a picture of said burger, I may share a Dabble postcard of the burger and write a short comment like “best burger in town.” That Dabble postcard is now linked to that particular location and anyone who comes to or views that location later can see the postcard. It’s the ultimate “I was here” app.

Other Dabblers (that has a great ring to it) can comment on those postcards and those comments are also linked to that location. It’s an interesting service by an interesting guy. We look forward to see how it works out.

eye saw you Reintroduce Past Encounters

Posted by Kevin Stout on April 20th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Girls Around Me got some bad press. But the truth is that there’s a market for similar apps without the privacy concerns that arose from Girls Around Me. eye saw you helps users flirt and discover each other without the privacy mess: users remain completely anonymous until they choose to reveal their information.

The idea behind eye saw you are those encounters where people notice each other and don’t exchange much information. They may have just had a quick chat or only saw each other across a room. eye saw you is a platform for users to post what they looked like, what they were wearing, etc., the location and time the encounter took place, and who they’re trying to connect with.

No exchange of information or even pictures need to happen publicly on eye saw you. Users remain absolutely anonymous (besides from the descriptions they post themselves) until they wish to exchange information with someone. This seems like a great alternative to other apps that give off a feeling of stalking and invasion of privacy.

Parallel Mafia Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on April 12th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: CYBORG ENFORCER
Create a mecha-mafia empire in this location-based sim.
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INTRO Hooks Up Potential Business Contacts and Freelancers

Posted by Kevin Stout on April 3rd, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Sometimes it’s tough to get a job. And making new business contacts isn’t the most entertaining task. Well the folks at Intro Labs have a new networking solution, Intro, that helps grow user’s business networks and aids freelancers in finding new projects.

Intro uses social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare) and location to match potential business contacts. After users give Intro all of their networking information, it suggests potential business matches in a customized and ranked list (based on location). It even lets users “teleport” to other locations that they may be associated with to rank and list business contacts at multiple locations.

When contacts are suggested, Intro displays exactly what overlaps between users (follow the same Twitter users, worked at the same businesses, work in the same industry, etc). Users set both who they’re looking for and what industry they work in. Intro even alerts users when another user is close enough to meet up and shake hands.

Intro is available for free. The only social network that’s absolutely necessary to use the app is LinkedIn. All others are optional.

Find My Facebook Friends Tracks Facebook Friends

Posted by Kevin Stout on March 29th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer IZE has just released an app called Find My Facebook Friends. The app basically works the same way in which Apple's Find My Friends works but connects to Facebook instead of Apple IDs. This opens up quite a few more people to “find” (for me and I’m sure most), considering exchanging Apple IDs isn’t exactly the first thing that crosses my mind when I get a friends information.

Some features that Find My Facebook Friends has that doesn’t show up in Apple’s own app are proximity alerts when a friend is close enough, sending messages via the Facebook app, and locations preferences based on each friends or list of friends.

The app was rejected twice from the App Store, not for being to similar in function to Apple’s own app, but for its icon and name. It was previously submitted as “Find My Friends for Facebook” and the original icon looked like a mix between Facebook’s and Find My Friends.

Find My Facebook Friends is now available for $0.99.

Take A Picture, Creep on a House With HomeSnap

Posted by Kevin Stout on March 28th, 2012
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

HomeSnap is a rather creepy real-estate app that allows users to discover information about houses it takes pictures of (what it’s worth, number of rooms, heating, etc).

The app uses location and probably compass data to figure out which house the user is looking at and has the user take a picture. The picture likely doesn’t aid in the function of the app. It’s probably just a reminder for the user. Once the app figures out what house is in question, the user is supplied with information like worth, school district, similar homes, prices of other homes in the neighborhood, and more.

HomeSnap gets its seemingly private information from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), a service used by real-estate brokers. It now feels a little less creepy to know where the app gets its information. But the kind of information this app can retrieve just from compass and location data is still quite amazing.

Baseball Bullpen Updated with Multiple Pitcher Support and More

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on March 21st, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

As baseball season begins to ramp up it's critical for coaches to keep a close eye on their pitchers. Practice sessions need to be tightly controlled in order to prevent overuse injuries and make the most of the allotted time, and it can be hard to keep things straight with so many guys in the rotation. Thankfully, Baseball Bullpen has received a new update that will make life a bit easier on coaches.

The newest version of the app supports stats for up to five pitchers, making it as simple as a swipe to jump from one to the next. It also now includes support for various types of pitches, letting coaches keep tabs on fastballs, curveballs, sliders and more. This is all in addition to the app's original features, which included a pitch count, location tracking, and the ability to estimate pitch speeds based on the pitcher's height and his distance from the plate. It's truly a coach's dream come true.

The app is also handy for enthusiasts or even scouts, as they can easily keep tabs on a pitcher's tendencies and location with the app. There's likely to be no more convenient way to keep careful track of one of the game's most important positions.

Placesaver Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on March 7th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FIND IT
Placesaver makes marking locations significantly easier and more user-friendly.
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Parallel Universe Review

Posted by Rob Rich on November 15th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Incandescence Studios
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


Starting up Parallel Universe for the first time was rather confusing for me. It wasn't so much that it was a complicated process, but rather that I was lacking in a proper degree of understanding. At least initially. Even after rereading the press info document (repeatedly) and restarting my map once or twice in order to experiment I was still fairly lost. It wasn't until I'd messed around with it for a couple of days that things finally made sense. For better or worse.

I'll attempt to explain Parallel Universe to the best of my ability so that anyone else attempting to play around with it won't be quite as lost as I was: It's essentially a map-making "game" that utilizes location services and 8-bit graphics. When a map is created, it just sort of exists with the chosen player character (male or female) sitting in the middle of it. Sticking to a small area for a bit will result in the construction and upgrading of buildings, while wandering through the neighborhood will create roads. After a night on the town or even a day at school, portions of the map will start to appear significantly different.

Parallel Universe is most certainly a fascinating idea. The concept of creating a personalized pseudo-fantasy world through a kind of augmented reality is more than a little novel, and watching the world change and grow around my little character is pretty darn cool. I also have to admit, the looped chiptune music fits the tone quite well and manages to avoid becoming obnoxious. So kudos to the sound designer/composer.

The problem I'm running into is that Parallel Universe wasn't really designed with New York living in mind. It doesn't run in the background so as to save battery life, which is a noble gesture but it means that cities will only begin to pop up if it's left on. And walking around Manhattan while staring at my iPhone screen isn't particularly safe. Or smart. I could leave it running and just start walking, but it would still shut itself off after a minute or so. Even sticking to one spot to build cities is fairly unimpressive, as it still requires leaving the app running and constantly tapping the screen to keep it on.

I think Parallel Universe is a fantastic proof-of-concept, but it's going to need a lot of adjustments before it's really any fun. It's more framework than fleshed-out game. I could see things like RPG-style quests, the ability to link images to specific spots on the map (i.e. taking pictures while out for a walk) or even simple stat-tracking making a difference here. I really hope we see some content updates in the future because it shows immense promise.

Pizza Finder Does Exactly what it Says it Does

Posted by Rob Rich on November 9th, 2011

James Shaw, handy app wonder-developer, has done it again. Now that the need for spontaneous toilet location is covered, he's moved on to the next most important thing: pizza. That's right, just like the ever-useful Toilet Finder, Pizza Finder automatically hunts down any nearby deliciousness and shows users exactly where to find it.

From mom and pop joints to upscale eateries, from Little Caesar's to Dominos, Pizza Finder will use the iOS device's built-in GPS to locate anything that sells the tasty pies and literally provide a map to it. The app also presents addresses and contact info, which makes setting up reservations while en route a breeze. Of course, it's also useful for ordering takeout. Then leading the way to the restaurant so the food can actually be taken out, naturally.

Pizza-enthusiasts who hate being left out in the cold when traipsing through parts unknown can rest easy. Pizza Finder is here. Heck, for $1 it can make pretty much anyone's life (or at least last-minute meal plans) easier.

Toilet Finder! Aims to Make Those Awkward Moments a Bit Less Awkward

Posted by Rob Rich on October 24th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

I imagine suburbanites wouldn't get much use out of it, but us metropolitan... -ites (?) could put 16 year-old app aficionado James Shaw's Toilet Finder! to good use. Well, us and anyone visiting our "fair" city. Lots of tourists fail to come up with a Potty Plan when they set out on their walking tours and whatnot.

It's a common problem when anyone is oot and aboot in unfamiliar territory. Someone has to "go," and no one knows where the nearest restroom is. It typically leads to one of two scenarios: either the twitchy individual leaves the pack to look for one on their own, which usually takes a lot longer than expected, or they all wander off and waste time that could have been better spent on other things. This is exactly why Toilet Finder! was created.

The app uses the GPS to automatically find and display all known toilets in the immediate area. Conveniently displayed in either map, satellite or hybrid styles. Any crap-tanks in the database will also be accompanied by an address and phone number, just in case it's late at night or in a weird location. And just to make things even more helpful, the app can provide directions to the desired bathroom.

Sounds useful, no? Toilet Finder! is in the App Store right now for a dollar. Given the amount of time and/or money one could waste while searching for an "outlet" - I'm inclined to think it might be worth it.