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Sam Humphries and Cuz Parry Talk About Their Upcoming Marvel Fighting Game, Contest of Champions

Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 27th, 2014

Marvel and Kabam have joined forces to create Contest of Champions: a fighting game based on the Marvel Universe that sets players against the Collector, who has trapped heroes in crystals. And so, players must beat the Collector's team to gather crystals and unlock heroes to form their own super-powered team.

During New York Comic-Con I had the pleasure of sitting down with Cuz Parry (the game's Creative Director) and Writer Sam Humphries to discuss their new creation.

148Apps: Contest of Champions looks like a fantastic fighting game. Could you give us an overview of the story?

Sam Humphries
Sam Humphries (SH): The comics and the cartoon are very good angles on the Collector. He's a little badass, very mighty, and inscrutable. His motivations are not always understandable. That's been a lot of fun to play with because since day one Kabam has been very adamant in keeping the priority on the story and not just make a game to button mash and curse. They wanted to entice players with a really strong story with escalating stakes, reveals, mysteries, twists and turns, cliff hangers, and all that kinda stuff. So having someone like the Collector, we asked "What are his motivations?" "Why is he doing this?" That's an important mystery that we build over time, and as we pull all the layers back what we've come up with is something that, story-wise, stands up against a Marvel Comic, Marvel Movie, and Marvel TV show.

Cuz Parry (CP): In the Marvel Gaming universe there's this substance called Iso-8. That's the resource that basically everybody uses in all the marvel games, such as in Ultimate Spiderman you use it to level-up your characters. We're telling the story where there is this big, powerful weapon: the Iso-Sphere. We go to the source of the Iso-8 and the mystery behind it.

SH: What we find out about the Iso-Sphere and Iso-8 is that they are directly tied to the battle realm where you play the game, and to what the Collector's doing and why he's doing it. Also, maybe there's someone behind the the Collector pulling his strings and making this happen.

Discover New And Local Music With Thrillcall

Posted by Jennifer Allen on August 2nd, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CONCERT COMPANION :: Read Review »

Music fans should appreciate new live music discovery app, Thrillcall.

The app offers the means in which to search for, discover and purchase concert tickets and other exclusive offers, all in the space of a few clicks.

Users can check out the latest music listings for major cities, as well as browse and buy local show offers that only appear briefly. These show offers give users exclusive access to some of the best concerts out there. Users, unfamiliar with certain acts, can listen to audio previews of artists to see if it suits their taste.

In each case, it's possible to share live music offerings with friends so it's simple to arrange an impromptu night out to check out new gigs. A built-in map, also, ensures it's clear to see exactly where each live event happens to be located.

The flash concert offers are only currently available in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, but it'll be spreading to Chicago and Seattle soon.

Thrillcall is out now and is free to download.

Time Shutter Melds the Past with the Present

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on January 12th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

One of the knocks on American architecture is that we rarely ever save our old buildings. Sure, we keep major historical sites like George Washington's house or Independence Hall, but most of our buildings are eventually torn down to make way for newer, bigger buildings. But now a new app lets you see at least one city the way it used to be, as Time Shutter San Francisco lets you spy the City by the Bay in all its former (and current) glory.

Time Shutter uses old photographs and illustrations to created detailed recreations of major SF landmarks from roughly 100 years ago. Users can then take a picture of the current structure standing at the historical site and then watch as the app combines the two images in a sort of "then and now" transition. Even better, all the historical images come with a quick history caption, so you may also learn a little something along the way. The app currently contains over 140 pics of various city landmarks, and a helpful map allows you to easily figure out which sites are in the near vicinity.

This is actually a pretty cool app that adds a new dimension to tourism. SF is a history-rich city, but if you don't know the town well it's easy to miss out on a lot of really neat architecture and information. This app provides a great way for kids and adults both to learn more about the city while they visit and do something other than just ride cable cars and go down to Fisherman's Wharf. It's even possible that some locals may enjoy the app just so they can learn more about the city in which they live.

For all of you living in other areas don't write this app off yet just because it's aimed at San Francisco. The team at ISL Consulting has told us they're already working on a New York edition of the app, and we're sure even more cities will be added as time goes on. In the meantime though, if you find yourself in the city famous for the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Rice-a-Roni here's a fun way to get a bit more out of your trip.

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum Releases Walking Tour App

Posted by Ryan Wood on September 14th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

When you learn about major events in U.S. History, especially events such as Pearl Harbor that occurred quite some time before your own birth, it’s with a certain amount of disconnect that you absorb all of the information delivered. There’s an understanding of the severity of the event, the lasting effects such an event has, and a general acceptance of how it changed U.S. culture for years to come. Text books can’t really convey, however, the true effect a major event has on the psyche of an individual who has been through that specific historical event. .

September 11, 2001 changed that for many of us. I was in high school when the planes hit, safely observing from my northeastern Ohio classroom. I don’t know anyone who died that day, or anyone who was directly affected. I can only express the realization I came to that day. My grandkids would be reading about September 11th in a text book, and would only be able to study the event, never really fully grasping the profound impact it had on our society.

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum released an iPhone app this year that offers all of us a chance to remember the event, and visualize some moments through the eyes of witnesses directly affected by this event. Three different options are available that provide a look into this tragic day: Tour, Explore, and Timeline.

For those of you taking a trip to New York or currently living there, the tour feature of this app provides you with a step by step walking tour, complete with directions and movies at each location to help bring you into the moments when the planes hit the buildings. First responders, rescue workers, and those in or around the area on that day share their stories as you walk through seven specific areas around Ground Zero. The movies in the tour section are powerful, and are beneficial to watch even if you aren’t in the New York area.

The other two tabs in this app, Explore and Timeline, help the user recount the events of that day and what’s planned for the future. Pictures and events are mapped out in a fairly straightforward fashion, and overhead views of what the current construction, and finished product, will look like in regards to the memorial and museum.

These features are all available offline. Online features include additional photos in the explore section of the app. For non-U.S. visitors, a free wifi hotspot map is included with the app to help you utilize the full potential of the app on your WiFi enabled iOS device.

Opinions on the relevance of this app, whether it’s in poor taste or not, and if it really offers a realistic look at the events of September 11th will be up to the user to decide. Walking tours using the iPhone as a guide are a great concept, and more apps should follow this kind of on-demand tour approach for other tourist heavy areas. Personally, if it helps my kids or grandkids get a better sense of an important historical event, I'm all for it.

For more information on the 9/11 Memorial, please visit national911memorial.org.

NextStop Helps New Yorkers Catch the Subway

Posted by Zach Sims on June 21st, 2010
iPhone & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone and Apple Watch, compatible with iPad

[caption id="attachment_39674" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Next Stop\'s Countdown Timer"]

[/caption]New York subway apps for the iPhone have always been popular, as tourists and residents alike need an easy pocketable resource to navigate the challenges of New York's massive labyrinthine public transportation system. Exit Strategy received a lot of press last year for helping New Yorkers find the opportune subway car for their destination. The app gained some sophistication earlier this year with full maps, but it gained popularity for its simplicity and underlying information. NextStop, a new app from the Brooklyn App Factory, attempts to make it easier to be on time with the subway.

The app adds a wrapper and some nifty features around the MTA's little known subway schedule. Users of the app enter their subway line and their departure point and are shown a countdown timer. Touching the train's time displays the subway's expected stop time at stations further down the line. The app includes other common features like a favorites system and tools to find nearby subway systems.

NextStop is, at its core, an easy and pretty way to access subway schedules. iTrans NYC, one of the more popular subway apps, includes subway schedules as well. Yet iTrans is built around a variety of other tools and costs $3.99. NextStop is free and is the perfect companion for any NYC traveler.

UpNext 3D Cities Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Chris Kirby on June 21st, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NOT WORLD-CLASS YET
A free travel app sounds great. Too bad it currently only features five cities.
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Key to the City - An App Brings Art to NYC

Posted by Zach Sims on June 15th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

[caption id="attachment_39319" align="alignright" width="208" caption="A Map of Key to the City\'s Locks"]

[/caption]Artist Paul Ramirez Jonas has a terrific idea to help people explore New York, and he's using the iPhone to publicize his efforts. His "Key to the City" project, kicked off several days ago, brings NYC's key to the city ceremonies, traditionally only available to dignitaries or celebrities, to the average joe.

The project is centered around a series of locks at famous landmarks around New York, with several in each of the city's five boroughs. In Manhattan, for example, keys can be found at Gracie Mansion or in Bryant Park. Specific instructions are provided for participants to get to the locks.

Perhaps more entertaining however, is how keys themselves are obtained. The artist has maintained the somewhat humanitarian concept of a key to the city by requiring people to show up with a friend or relative that they are recognizing with a key. The keys are thus given out as recognition for a job well done - maybe for a recent success or, even better, for humanitarian activity.

The companion iPhone application is one of Apple's featured iPhone apps, and for good reason. The app, which does little more than get people involved with the project and point them in the direction of keys, is a catalyst for further participation in a smartly designed and good hearted attempt at getting New Yorkers to explore their city.

UpNext 3D NYC

By Bonnie Eisenman on May 20th, 2009
Think of UpNext as a mash-up between a 3D version of Google Maps and Yelp, but it's only for NYC. Darn! It also displays subway routes, lets you bookmark locations, and more. If you're going to be in New York, this is definitely a utility worth looking at
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