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    May 21st, 2018
Mobile (P)reviews
Anthony | Sunday, January 18, 2015 @ 1:02 AM
HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft
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Platform: Android, Apple & PC
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Genre: Cards
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: 2
Age Rating: Teen
Release Date:
Mar. 11, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: 9
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

Not since the release of the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online have I enjoyed a card game as much as HearthStone. I have even played some fan made online trading card games as well, but none of them compete to those made by professionals. HearthStone is a simple to understand game and that is how it differs from many of the other on the Internet. Players create a deck to compete and with 20 life points. They must release more powerful cards as each round passes if they wish to defeat their opponent.

The game is divided amongst three modes of play. The Play mode allows for casual or ranked competition against other players. The Solo Adventures mode allows players to play alone against computer opponents. They can either practice or play along with an adventure. The Arena has a cost for entry. Once inside, players create a deck out of random cards to compete for an assortment of worthwhile prizes. Each victory earns a player a random assortment of cards as prizes, some of which can be very valuable.

My Collection is a binder full of cards sorted by type. This is where players can build a deck. Each deck holds 30 cards, so it is sometimes difficult to choose what to use when there are so many good cards. Most of the cards are limited to a specific type of deck, so that does make some choices a lot easier.

This game does offer the ability for players to purchase credits that can be used in its store to buy cards and adventures. It is also connected to Battle.Net, so friends who are currently playing HearthStone or another Battle.Net game will appear on the player list.

HearthStone, much like Blizzard's other games, looks great. The battle effects especially stand out. The story book feel gives its own pleasant aesthetic. The sounds are appropriate and the voice acting, especially the smack talk during a match, is very entertaining. If a player seeks a quick card game with a lot of action, this is the game to choose.




Anthony | Sunday, January 18, 2015 @ 12:48 AM
Pokemon Trading Card Game Online
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Platform: Apple & PC
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: The Pokemon Company
Genre: Cards
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: 2
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Jan. 1, 2011
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 8
Audio Appeal: 8
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

When the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online (PTCGO) first appeared publicly in its beta stage of development, players could only play a tutorial. Back then the trading card game was into the Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver sets. As a result, the sets in the online game mirrored those in real life. It took a little while, but The Pokemon Company figured out how to merchandise the online game. Now, with each pack of trading cards, there is a code card to receive the same cards in the online game. That means that when new sets release with the trading card game, they also release online.

About the time the trading card game released the Pokemon Black & White sets, the online game received multi-player capabilities. Players could chat, challenge others at random and trade cards. Shortly after the release of the Pokemon X & Y sets, the online game began to offer tournaments. However, tournaments have an entry fee. It was at this point that players could challenge friends.

Mirroring the trading card game, PTCGO does a good job mimicking the play mechanics. Players can engage in many different rule sets, but that is usually determined by their deck. The unlimited rule set allows any cards to be used, while the limited rule sets focuses on the standard and extended formats.

The deck editor is one of the best of its type on the Internet compared to other online trading card games. Cards can be sorted by the rule set, type, level, energy and more. The display can be adjusted accordingly and right clicking a card pops up a large, highly detailed image of the card. It is simply a matter of dragging and dropping cards to alter a deck.

This game does offer the ability for players to purchase credits that can be used in its store to buy cards and accessories. Otherwise, players start with a stock deck, usually based on a starter Pokemon. As players engage with the Pokemon website, they can earn coins that can be spent in the PTCGO store.

The PTCGO is a good looking game. Everything is easy to find, plus the chat and options tabs are tucked away on the sides of the screen as a means to avoid clutter. Players can customize the settings, including the level of detail, just in case the computer may not be able to keep up with the game set at its maximum settings. With that in mind, having all of the effects enabled slows the game down a bit. The sounds serve their purposes, but the music is not varied enough. It may get on the nerves of avid players, thus it may be best just to mute the music. All in all, if a Pokemon trading card game player likes deck testing or competing, but cannot find someone locally, PTCGO is a pretty good alternative.




Anthony | Sunday, April 27, 2014 @ 1:58 AM
Rosetta Course
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Platform: Android, Apple & Windows
Publisher: Rosetta Stone, Ltd.
Developer: Rosetta Stone
Genre: Education
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Mar. 26, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: 9
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

The makers of this application are perhaps the most well-known amongst the world that have the ability to teach individuals a non-native language. This application breaks each language into lessons, introducing a few repeating themes per each lesson in hopes that the user will absorb them through repetition. For example, lesson one of Spanish (Latin America) repeats greetings, actions, gender and plural forms into the mix. El nino nada or en mujeres bebe y come.

There are multiple parts to a lesson. Pronunciation speaks a word and asks the user to repeat it. Vocabulary teaches new terms into the mix. Grammar corrects for gender and the use of plurals. The reading, listening and speaking parts attempts to bring everything together one part at a time. Finally, the review is a test. Words are spoken and the user matches the word to one of the displayed pictures.

There is in-application purchases required to unlock additional lessons. The only downsides are that sometimes the words are spoken far too fast and once in a while the application does not always accurately pick up what is spoken by the user.




Anthony | Thursday, April 24, 2014 @ 11:57 PM
SwiftKey Keyboard
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Platform: Android
Publisher: SwiftKey
Developer: SwiftKey
Genre: Productivity
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Apr. 3, 2014
MSRP: $3.99 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: N/A
Re-Playability: 8
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is more of a utility for those who are tired of their on-screen keyboard being just plain dumb. This application learns from the user's inputs and adapts itself accordingly. Along the way, users can share achievements based upon their typing efficiency, keystrokes, corrected typos and other items via the Usage Stats. Users can also see which keys are the most utilized via a keyboard heat map.

There are a number of additional features that come along with this application. Upon account creation, the option to enable cloud sharing allows users to share their settings with other devices. It works with multiple social media and e-mail accounts as well as local editors. The application supports multiple languages and has many different themes as well as an option to switch the number keypad layout for left-handed users. The sound and vibration from typing can be adjusted as well as the methods of input, including normal typing (on-screen and an attached physical keyboard), voice and flow (the cursive of mobile typing).

The only negatives are that the application crashed once during setup and had an issue with connecting to my Yahoo! Mail account.




Anthony | Thursday, April 24, 2014 @ 11:24 PM
News Republic
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Platform: Android, Apple & Windows
Publisher: Mobiles Republic
Developer: Mobiles Republic
Genre: News & Magazines
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Mar. 26, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 10
Visual Appeal: 10
Audio Appeal: 10
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 10
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

Upon the first time starting up this application, the user must choose topics for their home screen. Once at the home screen, topics are arranged as tiles. Inside a topic, clicking a news tile loads the related story. The topic's news menu can be opened via the icon on the bottom-left of the screen to reveal the stories published before and after the one currently being viewed. Certain topics rotate its most recent stories in its tile every five seconds. Additional topics can be added to the home screen from a number of different categories at any time.

Each story allows the user the ability to recommend that story via one's mood on Facebook, as well as save, bookmark and share the news via social media. Every interaction with the application helps it better tailor suggested viewing for the user. The background around the tiles and the stories may be too bright for some users, so luckily the night mode changes the bright background to black. By the way, it also sounds and looks good. However, the videos look best in landscape while the news looks best in portrait.




Anthony | Thursday, April 24, 2014 @ 10:53 PM
Huffington Post
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Platform: Android & Apple
Publisher: The Huffington Post
Developer: The Huffington Post
Genre: News & Magazines
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Feb. 27, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 10
Audio Appeal: 10
Re-Playability: 9
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is a fairly straight forward news provider published by one of the best in the business. Via the settings, users are able to set news to auto download at specific times, once a day or only when there is a wireless Internet connection available. This will prevent users from experiencing large download fees over a cellular network. There is also an additional feature that alerts users of breaking news.

The main menu is divided into two parts. At the top of the menu is My Social News, Recommended from G+, Recently Read, Bookmarks and All Sections. My Social News is a simple news tie-in for Facebook. On that same note, Recommended from G+ ties in news from Google Plus. Recently Read is simply a display of recently read news and Bookmarks is a list of the news bookmarked by the reader. All Sections allows users to add additional categories as favorites by searching through many different sections sorted alphabetically. It also offers users the ability to organize the category menu.

The category menu, by default, features News, TV & Entertainment, Lifestyle, Tech & Innovation, HuffPost Live and the Best of HuffPost. The general categories are self-explanatory, but HuffPost Live displays the most recent streaming news and the Best of HuffPost displays the top news stories. Upon loading any category, the top story is always displayed first in the largest box at the top-left. Clicking on a story takes you to its coverage, be it an article or a video. The streaming video is seamless and of a high quality.

This application looks better in landscape for viewing videos, but looks better in portrait when seeking news. Other than there being some non-intrusive advertisements hidden amongst the news, this application serves it purpose well.




Anthony | Sunday, April 20, 2014 @ 11:33 PM
Flipboard
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Platform: Android, Apple, Blackberry & Windows
Publisher: Flipboard
Developer: Flipboard
Genre: News & Magazines
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Mar. 27, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: N/A
Re-Playability: 8
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is a kind of all-in-one for those that like the Windows 8 tile display, but displayed on a mobile device and for use with social media. The newest selected news and social media headlines are displayed in tiles that can be easily organized. Clicking on the tiles will pull up the most recent feeds. Status updates can be made via this application with the connected social media in addition to being able to view and set options related to that social media.




Anthony | Sunday, April 20, 2014 @ 11:18 PM
DocuSign
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Platform: Android, Apple & Windows
Publisher: TallGrass Public Relations
Developer: DocuSign
Genre: Productivity
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: 2+
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Mar. 8, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: N/A
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is a simple means to quickly apply one's signature, initials, job title, the date and check marks to a digital document. Users can purchase additional envelopes. Envelopes are what documents are placed in for signatures. Each envelope can have an unlimited number of signatures, be they in person or via electronic mail. Users begin with five envelopes for free. Signing documents is free to users.




Anthony | Sunday, April 20, 2014 @ 10:54 PM
Distant Suns
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Platform: Android, Apple & Nook
Publisher: First Light Design, LLC
Developer: First Light Design, LLC
Genre: Space
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Sep. 13, 2012
MSRP: $5.99 USD
Gameplay: 10
Visual Appeal: 10
Audio Appeal: 8
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 10
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application provides the ability to stargaze into the hands of those without telescopes. The global positioning of the sky relative to a user's location is a stroke of genius. In an overcast sky, one can still find what they seek in space. The sky can be viewed at the current time or any other time or date. It is also easy to locate specific celestial bodies and star clusters. The only downside is the high pitched sound produced by clicking on the menus.




Anthony | Sunday, April 20, 2014 @ 10:28 PM
GoToAssist
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Platform: Android, Apple & Windows
Publisher: Citrix
Developer: Citrix
Genre: Business
Number of Players: N/A
Number of Players Online: 2
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Mar. 28, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 8
Visual Appeal: 8
Audio Appeal: N/A
Re-Playability: 8
Overall Rating: 8
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is a means for customers to interact with a company support representative in the form of a web-enabled chat service. Customers simply enter a support key and the chat window opens. The application could not be simpler to use.




Anthony | Sunday, April 20, 2014 @ 6:59 PM
Avast! Mobile Security
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Platform: Android, Apple & Windows
Publisher: AVAST Software
Developer: AVAST Software
Genre: Tools
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Apr. 15, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 10
Visual Appeal: 10
Audio Appeal: N/A
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 10
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is the complete mobile security package. For all that it offers at no cost, there is little reason not to be using it. There are plenty of features to cover the entire spectrum of system vulnerabilities caused by the evils of the Internet.

In the settings menu, there are four parts. The App Shield scans installed and executed applications for safety. The Web Shield ensures safe web browsing and helps avoid phishing and malicious websites as well as mistyped web addresses that may lead to unsafe destinations. The Message Shield scans incoming messages just as Web Shield does for websites. The File Shield scans downloaded files as they are utilized.

The main menu has a lot going on. The Virus Scanner scans applications and stored files and can be set for automatic scanning based upon a set schedule. Anti-Theft is a device tracker, but it requires an additional free download. Backup & Restore copies system files and settings to allow for easy restoration, but it also requires an additional free download. Application Locking protects selected applications from being accessed without a password. The Privacy Advisor scans and reveals the permissions of each application. Application Management allows the forced closure of applications as well as provides other bits of information including system resource usage. The Firewall controls which applications can connect to the internet, but requires a device with root access. The Network Meter monitors application internet traffic.

The only downside is that if the program is allowed to run ignoring sleep or standby mode, the user's battery will slowly be drained. The CPU Wakelock option can be enabled or disabled in the settings. There are a few additional features available with a premium purchase.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:26 AM
Weather Live
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Platform: Amazon, Android & Apple
Publisher: Apalon
Developer: Apalon
Genre: Weather
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Jan. 29, 2014
MSRP: $2.99 USD
Gameplay: 10
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: N/A
Re-Playability: 8
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is a simple means to keep track of the weather and is powered by AccuWeather.Com. The difference between this application and its next closest competitor is that this application looks a lot prettier. However, looking a lot prettier also sometimes means that some of the features that the closest competing application has is missing in this application, but that is not a bad thing. Both applications provide a weather icon in the task bar, both display the current weather conditions locally and for whatever cities are added, and they both relay emergency alerts. What more does anyone really need from this type of application?

This application is the perfect screensaver when nightstand mode is enabled. In portrait mode the current time, temperature, weather conditions, temperatures by hour and the four-day forecast are displayed for the selected city. In landscape mode the current time, temperature and weather conditions are displayed. In both cases, behind the display is an active desktop that reflects the current conditions. A clear, sunny day reveals a cloudless sky with the sun in the distances. A stormy, moonlit night reveals a dimly lit sky full of clouds.

While it is recommended that the device is docked when utilizing nightstand mode to retain battery life, it actually drained one’s battery by a single percentage every three minutes. The device was docked and had two other non-system applications operating in the background. However, without this application running in nightstand mode while the device was docked, the device began to regain its charge. That means that this application was only operating in the background with the weather icon in the task bar.

What really matters at the end of the day, besides being able to check the weather, is that this application is easy to use and does what it is supposed to without too much hassle.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:25 AM
Samurai Siege
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Platform: Android & Apple
Publisher: Space Ape Games
Developer: Space Ape Games
Genre: Strategy
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: 2+
Age Rating: Everyone 10+
Release Date:
Mar. 20, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: 9
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is a fun romp in the Feudal Era of Japan where the goal is to grow your troops, attack enemies and take their resources. There is both a single player story mode and a multi-player mode where users compete against the villages of other users. There are collectables and trophies worth accumulating along the way as well as a global ranking leader boards and contests for the more competitive users. Users can even create alliances with other users to work cooperatively.

This application does offer in-app purchases that specifically assist users in boosting their villages. Users can purchase diamonds and those diamonds can be used to purchase coins and essence. All three currencies can also be used to purchase items to assist in building up the village's attack and defense.

The overall design is similar to other games of the genre, but the addition of some varying game mechanics brings its own new appeal. The graphics and sound are very well detailed and once past the tutorial, the application gives you subtle hints on how to progress. There is a two finger zoom mechanic that is very helpful in battle and construction to go along with the typical tapping. There is a very small amount of load lag in between transitions. Otherwise, this application runs well with a screen full of samurai engaged in battle.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:24 AM
Rogue: Beyond the Shadows
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Platform: Amazon & Android
Publisher: Codestalkers
Developer: Codestalkers
Genre: Role Playing
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Teen
Release Date:
Mar. 19, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 10
Audio Appeal: 10
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This is a big application that takes a minute or two to load. Once loaded, the user enters the game where a little back story and some instructions are displayed. The user is then sent onto the first quest. The on-screen controls mimic the typical video game controller. Anywhere on the screen a virtual thumb stick is available while holding onto the screen and dragging with one’s finger, thumb or stylus. On the bottom-right corner of the screen are the primary weapon, block, secondary weapon and targeting buttons.

The screen offers up a quick-use items tray, a compass with the icons for the item bag, map, quest list and settings. Clicking on the avatar's image on the top-left side of the screen reveals the weapons, skills and store displays. The map is huge with a little load lag in between areas. Luckily, the map provides point to point paths for travel during each quest. Users can read signs, interact with people, look for clues and have battles as they travel.

This application does have in-app purchases. They are typically better weapons, powerful vials and rare items. The rarest of the items require real money to be used for purchases. There is also the option to purchase the in-game currency, gold.

This game looks great and brings the classic role-playing landscape to the palm of the user’s hands. While the general concept is not new, it is nice to be able to focus on one character type with three different skill trees. Console video game players should enjoy the familiarity of the controls and anyone else will find there is an almost insignificant learning curve.

There is a small issue where sometimes closing windows require precise taps on smaller screens, thus needing a stylus or a small finger. An easy work around is to select a menu option around the compass twice. The first tap will load the new window, closing previous windows, and the second tap will close the window.

A word of warning: Do not attack the knight standing all alone and minding his own business!




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:22 AM
RealPlayer Cloud
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Platform: Android & Apple
Publisher: RealNetworks, Inc.
Developer: RealNetworks, Inc.
Genre: Media & Video
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Mar. 18, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 8
Audio Appeal: 8
Re-Playability: 8
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application requires a website account to view and share content. On the plus side, it will automatically import content saved on the tablet for use into the application. Each user is given a default amount of free disk space on the website and is offered incentives to increase that space.

Once loaded, this application begins with the Recent Activity. This is nice, especially if a user wants to quickly resume where they left off. By clicking the logo menu, it reveals My Videos, My Collections, Sharing, Web Videos and user account information. As expected, the My Videos section displays the videos in the library. Clicking on the section's name reveals a menu that provides various filter options. The My Collections section displays videos as the user has grouped them via the settings. The Sharing section displays which videos have been shared with the user and those that have been shared by the user. If they were not on the website to begin with, they will be uploaded prior to sharing. The Web Videos section displays videos in a number of categories. The user’s account information includes a means to sign out as well as how to obtain additional free disk space.

The design of this application is simple, clean looking and easy to use. The application performs well, is stable and depending upon the video display settings, the loading of videos is done quickly and looks good.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:21 AM
My Talking Tom
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Platform: Android, Apple & Windows
Publisher: Outfit7 Ltd.
Developer: Outfit7 Ltd.
Genre: Casual
Number of Players: 1 - 2
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Mar. 26, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 10
Visual Appeal: 10
Audio Appeal: 10
Re-Playability: 8
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

Back in the old days there were these small devices which contained a little screen. On the screen was a tiny creature that needed fed, entertained, walked and put to bed before the device could be set down and time itself out. If the device was ignored long enough, it would result in the death of the creature. This application is an update of that type of game. Here is to hoping no virtual cats die during the course of this review.

This application has a simple interface and everything is accessible with a tap on the screen. Users can shop for accessories using both in-game funds earned by completing activities as well as with real money. They can also play games, feed, potty, pet and put their Tom’s to bed. Users can even go visit other player’s Toms. Customizing the cat as well as the space around it is easy to do and done via the shopping cart. There are various types of games available, some of which must be unlocked once the cat reaches a specific level. A few games are even available to multiple local players.

This application is stable, looks and sounds good, but the popup advertisements can be inconvenient. They typically appear when tapping on a button. Otherwise, this application is a nice diversion.

By the way, no virtual cats died during the course of this review.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:19 AM
ModCloth
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Platform: Android & Apple
Publisher: ModCloth
Developer: ModCloth
Genre: Shopping
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Mar. 28, 1024
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 10
Visual Appeal: 8
Audio Appeal: N/A
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

The target audience for this application is clearly women, although for a man, spending time looking at the models made this review just a little bit more pleasant. At least now, one knows where to find superhero aprons and women styles dating back to the 1920s.

Upon loading, the home page displays the current featured sales. Scrolling down the page reveals the newest arrivals and top rated items. The Style Gallery is a show of women in the application's community who had submitted pictures of them wearing the merchandise and can be rated by others. Clicking on any of the pictures reveals the pictured worn item and similar items. The Latest & Greatest section reveals categories of popular items and users can always shop by category. In each section, in the top-right corner, are icons for general searching, filtered searching and viewing the shopping bag.

Upon clicking on any item, a window opens to reveal sizes, stories, details and reviews of the product as well as a means to add the item to a wish list or simply purchase it. The items can even be shared via social media.

The design of this application is similar to others of its genre. While it is easy to use via simple tapping, it crashed when clicking the contact button. Even considering that fact, for those seeking to make a purchase and they desire input from others in an appealing manner, this application is as good as it gets.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:18 AM
Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign
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Platform: Android & Apple
Publisher: D3Publisher
Developer: D3Publisher
Genre: Puzzle
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: 2+
Age Rating: Everyone 10+
Release Date:
Mar. 11, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 10
Audio Appeal: 10
Re-Playability: 8
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

For those that love comic books and puzzle games, this game has both. The goal is to build a team of consisting of heroes and/or villains to battle other teams. The single-player mode does a good job on getting users through the basic play mechanics without any difficulty until the later levels. The player-versus-player mode is a mixed bag of challenge. This is due to the fact that users can customize teams through recruiting and training. On the plus side, the users can always join with others in an alliance.

Once a team is assembled for battle, then it is a matter of matching three similarly colored jewels to perform an attack. Each jewel coincides with a character on the user’s team. When a member of the team has gathered enough energy through battling, users can then perform the special attack for that team member. Once utilized, the special attacks can damage the enemy more so than a typical attack, alter the battlefield or cause any number of other effects. As team members level up, they acquire additional abilities.

Upon first loading up the game, the user may not be exactly sure how progress beyond past the logo screen. Once tapping upon the logo screen, the game begins. Other than the lack of a prompt on when or where user should tap on the screen now and again, there are no other complaints. On the plus side, during a battle, if a user is stumped on what the next move should be, the game can provide hints. The in-app purchases include gold and Iso-8 which is used to recruit team members and pay for new and/or upgrade existing abilities.

This game looks good, sounds good and runs well. It is not breaking any new ground with the matching or screen tapping mechanics. However, when matching three jewels leads to combo after combo being formed, the game moves fast and impresses with its flashes of action. It is a good game for those that just enjoy puzzle games. It is a great game for those that enjoy comic books and puzzle games.

UPDATE: After the writing the initial review, an update of the application added a tap prompt on the logo screen.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:17 AM
Kobo
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Platform: Android, Apple, Blackberry & Windows
Publisher: Kobo Inc.
Developer: Kobo Inc.
Genre: Books & Reference
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Feb. 14, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 8
Audio Appeal: N/A
Re-Playability: 9
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

Once the application opens and updates its catalog, it begins on the Home page where the notifications can be found. Choosing the Library from the logo menu simply displays the downloaded collection of content. The logo menu also leads to the Store and Reading Life sections.

The store is divided into Home, eBooks, eMagazines and Kids. The Home page features the newest releases, some related advertising and promotions as well as what is trending. The eBooks and eMagazine sections focus specifically on content related to the section. The Kids section targets teens and below. Perhaps the highlight is that this application features more than just books and magazines, it also has comic books and manga.

Reading Life has a statistical output that tracks and displays how much you read in days, hours and minutes, how many pages, how many books and how many sessions. If users view this application in landscape, they will see more information than in portrait, including the ability to easily browse by category in the Store.

In the settings, users can decide to share their library with friends and customize how they see notifications. Between the spyglass that opens the search window and the preferences is a megaphone that displays the latest news. Some topics may include tips on usage and when an update is available for the software.

The design is efficient, but similar to other related products. The interface is simple to use as it is simply a matter of tapping on the screen to get to the information that a user seeks. The application runs well and delivers high quality content. The content, once loaded, allows users to view additional content, a table of contents, interact via social media, save where they last read, adjust font size and adjust the screen display for either day or night viewing.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:15 AM
HotelTonight
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Platform: Android & Apple
Publisher: HotelTonight
Developer: HotelTonight
Genre: Travel
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Feb. 21, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: 9
Re-Playability: 8
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

For those that travel a lot, this application could perhaps be the best thing since sliced bread. Upon opening the home page, it lists the user’s current location by proximity and displays other locations by popularity, by country and even has a filter to display locations in a single country. Just keep in mind that the locations displayed are all major metropolitan areas, so if a user is looking for a hotel in Cadiz, Ohio, they will have to settle for the Columbus, Ohio area.

Selecting a city reveals the top deals locally and then in the general metropolitan area. Hotels are ranked by highroller, luxe, hip, solid, basic, charming and crashpad. Highroller is obviously the best and quite often the most expensive option. That does not mean that crashpad is a cardboard box on the side of a street, they are simply rooms with beds and few amenities.

Clicking on a hotel displays room information, room images, booking options and a map. Users can choose between one and five night stays and can even share findings via social media.

There is little to be confused about in the design of this application as it is very user friendly and stable. It is simple to use, plus the cityscape and nature images used for the location displays are beautiful. The real innovation is that upon selecting a location, without having to view each hotel individually, the ranking, any current discounts and the ability to filter results up to five days into the future are displayed all at once.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:13 AM
Frontline Commando 2
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Platform: Amazon, Android & Apple
Publisher: Glu Mobile Inc.
Developer: Glu Mobile Inc.
Genre: Action
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: 2+
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Mar. 20, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: 9
Re-Playability: 9
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is a third-person rail shooter that takes place during modern times. It is a big application, taking a minute to update, install and initially log in. Once logged in, there is a tutorial that teaches the basics. This is where users learn that they are on a rail where movement is limited from side to side. Completing a Campaign earns items, cash, gold and squad members. There are multiple campaigns per episode. There are some free downloadable episode content packs, and once unlocked, are available for play.

From the main menu at its top is an energy bar that requires a cool down period once exhausted through play, an experience to the next level bar, Achievements, friend Leaderboards and Currency. Gold is earned through battle, but also can be bought with real money. It is also the only way to buy certain rare items. On the other hand, cash has less value than gold, but is primarily used to upgrade weaponry and squad members.

The bottom of the main menu is where the Options, Store, Squad, Social, PvP (player versus player) and Campaign buttons are found. The Squad area is one of the ways to acquire new squad members as well as train them. The Social area is where users can view the Battle Log and the overall Leaderboards. The primary and secondary weapons can be modified on the left-middle of the screen.

Advertisements occur approximately every 15 minutes. Otherwise, this application runs well, looks and sounds good and is challenging enough to make it worth playing campaigns over and over again to receive a better ranking, which comes with better rewards.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:11 AM
Fit Brains Trainer
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Platform: Android & Apple
Publisher: Rosetta Stone, Ltd.
Developer: Vivity Labs Inc.
Genre: Education
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone 10+
Release Date:
Dec. 13, 2013
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 10
Visual Appeal: 8
Audio Appeal: N/A
Re-Playability: 9
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is a means for individuals to train their brains in five areas; concentration, problem solving, memory, visual and speed. While it initially loads, one of the messages that can be found state that by the age of 25, our brains begin to slow down. A better explanation can be found via the Science link in the options menu.

There are three main sections to this application; Games, Training and Performance. The Games section includes a number of different brainteasers that users may choose to play. Matching Pairs has users simply match similarly colored shapes. Missing Pieces requires the user to find the missing character out of a previously presented set. Stacked Discs displays different piles of multicolored stacks of discs from the side and the users choose the matching top view. In Quick Blocks the user needs to quickly count blocks organized randomly in a grid.

The Training section is a continuous mix of games in each of the five previously mentioned training areas. The Performance section displays the results of training for all five aforementioned training areas as well as presents a training history and monthly index of progress. There are in-app purchases, but they are for subscriptions that will unlock additional games, personalized training and the ability to allow for multiple users.

The design of the application is visually uncluttered, easy to figure out without a tutorial and only requires tapping to play each game. Perhaps a rarity with free games nowadays is that there are no advertisements. However, after the completion of three different games during training, the application stopped working. It required being closed and restarted each time. Still, while the application is technically educational, the games are fun and the fact that it is making you just a little bit smarter for playing it is not all that bad.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:09 AM
Fandango Movies
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Platform: Amazon, Android, Apple, Windows & Nook
Publisher: Fandango
Developer: Fandango
Genre: Entertainment
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Feb. 20, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 8
Visual Appeal: 8
Audio Appeal: 8
Re-Playability: 8
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application may be the amongst the best movie theater apps available. It serves a single purpose and does it incredibly well. Based upon the user’s location, the application lists movies by movie and by theater. There are even short videos that the users can watch pertaining to the anticipated hits of the week. Plus, if they create an account, they can order tickets and rate the movies.

Once in the movies' section, clicking on a movie will reveal its theater locations and play times as well as other details. In the theaters' section, clicking on a theater will reveal the movies with their play times as well as accommodations and other details. Be it in the movies, theaters or videos section, searching for a movie, theater or person is possible via the spyglass in the top-right corner of the screen.

The design of the application is basic and that is best if it is to be compatible with many different types of smartphones and tablets. The interface is simple to use as it is simply a matter of tapping on the screen to get to the information that a user seeks. Just keep in mind that this application does come with some advertisements here or there, but they do not distract from its functionality.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:08 AM
Eternity Warriors 3
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Platform: Amazon, Android & Apple
Publisher: Glu Mobile Inc.
Developer: Glu Mobile Inc.
Genre: Action
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: 2+
Age Rating: Teen
Release Date:
Mar. 25, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: 9
Re-Playability: 9
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is a straight up hack and slash that takes place during what looks to be a mythological Greek era. It is a big application, taking two minutes to update, install and initially log in. The load time between the hub and battles takes about 20 seconds on average.

Users begin by selecting a character; a warrior, mage or monk. Once chosen, users may switch to the other characters after unlocking them in the game. The tutorial gets users through the basic mechanics and periodically returns to show off newly unlocked aspects of the game.

The battle screen is fairly simple, leaving a lot of space for the action to occur. The bottom-center of the screen contains the character’s image, hit points, energy (stamina) and experience to level bars. The bottom-right of the screen displays the user’s active skills, parry and attack buttons. Typically on the bottom-left of the screen, but seems to be able to be used anywhere that nothing else is located, is the directional pad. Console gamers should enjoy the control setup.

In battle, users can hold down the attack button to perform combo attacks. The active skills are useful for quick, powerful attacks, but have a cool down timer. Parry is for dodging attacks. At the end of each battle there is a boss enemy. Defeating them reveals all kinds of prizes. Since each battle is timed, at the end a result screen shows issuing a letter grade and awards received.

The hub screen, found between battles, is the only way a user may access certain features. In the top-left of the screen is the character’s image with a bar displaying the experience to level bar and the number of the user’s total gear score (GS). Clicking on the character’s image reveals a summary of equipment, chat and friend options as well as viewing the other two character’s information.

In the top-right of the screen displays the currencies including coins and gems as well as the game options. Gems are purchased with real money and coins are purchased with gems. The rarest of items are typically purchased with gems as well.

The left-middle of the screen displays the buttons for Mail, Quests and the friend Leaderboards. The right-middle of the screen contains an expandable menu that displays the Battle, Inventory, Store, Guild, Endless Mode (unlocked later in the game), Friends, Skills (active and passive), Offerings and the top player/guild Leaderboards. The bottom of the screen displays dialog.

When viewing the Battle screen, it displays the next open battle on the map as well as the grades for completing previous battles. The Inventory screen allows for players to equip items as well as make them more powerful via fusion and evolution. Evolution is similar to crafting in other similar games in this genre. Evolving an item increases its power and that increases its gear score. Offering tokens are earned by completing Quests and are spent for random prizes.

Of the time spent with this application, fusing weaker items to more powerful ones and returning with gear of a higher gear score is gratifying. Fusing two great items together is a hoot in battle and well worth the effort. The only real complaint is that lag is consistent in battle and places were other users roam. A big plus is that there was no advertising to be seen, except maybe once each hour of play. Otherwise, this application looks good, sounds good and is worth any hack and slash user’s time.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:07 AM
Empire: Four Kingdoms
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Platform: Android, Apple & Windows
Publisher: Goodgame Studios
Developer: Goodgame Studios
Genre: Strategy
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: 2+
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Mar. 4, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 8
Visual Appeal: 8
Audio Appeal: 8
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 8
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

Unlike many other games in its genre, this application seems to shortcut some features while over-complicating others. For example, battling is done in simulation. Users choose their military for an attack and then after a little bit of time have passed they learn the results of the battle. Another example is that construction is limited to one object at a time. That slows the game down, especially when certain structures require minutes to build. The only way to build more structures simultaneously is spending rubies, which eventually requires that real money is spent. However, this review is based upon the game as a whole, not one person’s disdain for its differences compared to other applications of the genre.

This application is rather straight forward. Users create a medieval kingdom and run it. They must build and upgrade structures, form alliances, orchestrate battles and develop resources, because without the resources the other two things that were mentioned are not possible. Users can also take on quests, earn achievements and be ranked. There are in-game purchases of rubies that facilitate the buying of gold and the increase of resources in which to produce and upgrade various items.

This application does look good, but sadly is only viewable in portrait. On the plus side, the screen can be zoomed in and out using two fingers. The sound quality is good and the application is stable.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:06 AM
Deer Hunter 2014
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Platform: Amazon, Android & Apple
Publisher: Glu Mobile Inc.
Developer: Glu Mobile Inc.
Genre: Action
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Teen
Release Date:
Mar. 12, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 7
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: 9
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

An animal species goes extinct every three-and-a-half days. A game like this application may just prevent an additional species from going extinct each year. With that said, this application is straight forward. Users are given weapons and must hunt wildlife in a number of different settings. Hunting requires energy and a user may have a maximum of 10. Taking a break will slowly restore that lost energy and leveling up completely restores it.

From the main screen, users can view achievements, leaderboards, sale specials (including new weapons, animal calls, GLU Credits and Hunter Bucks) and news. The play modes include bounties that allow users to earn GLU Credits and items by completing kill lists and hunting that requires users to meet kill goals to advance through the game and earn Hunter Bucks. Along the way, users can buy ammunition and weapons, which then can be upgraded. If users do not upgrade ammunition and weaponry accordingly, they may find it difficult to complete some hunts. There are nine hunting areas available, eight of which are free downloads. They include the Pacific Northwest, North Africa, British Columbia, South Africa, Alaska, Mount St. Helens, the Nile River Valley, the Klondike Yukon and the Zambezi River. The hunting areas unlock once the previous area has been beaten.

As hinted at previously, this application does have some in-app purchases. Users can acquire GLU Credits, Hunter Bucks and downloadable content. The credit and bucks are used to purchase items, such as ammunition and weapons via the Weapon Shop. The Weapon Shop features a number of different weapon types including rifles, assault rifles, shotguns, pistols and bows.

As with previous applications in this series of games, the mechanics are generally the same. It is easier to use one’s thumbs to control the weapon sight and trigger. When a weapon is fired, slow motion is engaged to display the bloody end of an animal’s life. Frankly, it is a little graphic, but that type of realism is expected in this type of game. There was a small amount of load lag in between menus and the application did not initially recognize taps of the play button of on the main menu. The application did crash once while browsing in the store.… Perhaps the most annoying issue is that the advertisements are too frequent and sometimes appear in foreign languages.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:04 AM
Dark Legends
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Platform: Android & Apple
Publisher: Spacetime Games
Developer: Spacetime Games
Genre: Role Playing
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: 2+
Age Rating: Mature
Release Date:
Jan 2, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 10
Audio Appeal: 10
Re-Playability: 9
Overall Rating: 10
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is perhaps one of the bloodiest games that one has ever seen on a mobile device. First, it is a true massive multi-player game (MMO) that offers cooperative and player versus player combat. Second, even with over a dozen other users in the same area, there was no discernible lag. Third, characters are free to join guilds, but must pay to create new guilds. Finally, playing as a vampire, the feeding mechanic and its short-term payoff can be the difference between death and uber-death. The user is a vampire… That means that they are already dead, so being dead and then dying is uber-death…

The short tutorial at the beginning was very useful in learning the basic play mechanics. It began with an introductory story video and takes the user through two short training missions and a boss battle. Anyway, once logged in, from the main menu, users can select which character to load. The first character is free, adding another requires the spending of platinum. There are also daily deals, news and an option to replay the introductory story video.

Character creation is a simple process, just choose a gender. Once in the game, the characters gain experience and level up. Users can acquire new skills and equipment for their character as they go along.

Once logged into the game, users are taken to the Map. The Map provides access to the in-game Menu, Goals, Missions, the Vampire District, Campaigns and Allies. Goals are more or less immediate objectives. Missions and single events and multiple missions complete Campaigns. The Vampire District is an assortment of stores that a character can physically patronize. Allies provide jobs to vampires. Player versus player unlocks once a character reaches a certain level.

The in-game Menu provides a point of access to the Map as well as to the character’s Inventory, Lair, Social, Options and quitting the game. The Inventory allows users to customize their character, buy more equipment and set loadouts. The Lair provides users access to powers, by setting skills and mapping them to the controls, as well as the ability to view achievements, leaderboards, setting buffs, setting titles and acquiring nightly rewards. The Social option allows users to view friends and join or create guilds.

The main character screen is fairly simple. Along the top displays the user’s current energy, experience for the level, gold and platinum. Players have 25 energy maximum and deplete it by completing missions. Energy is restored via accumulation over time or leveling up. Energy, experience, gold and platinum are all able to be purchased with real money. Along the bottom-right of the screen are the character’s blood level, skill, combat and feeding controls. Holding down an attack charges it up to be released as a far more powerful special attack.

There are only a few tiny items worth noting. First, advertisements are limited to the in-game menu. Second, there are periodic sound clicks during particularly noisy scenes, such as battles. Finally, when one says that this game is one of the bloodiest that they have ever seen, that means that with all of the cutting off of limbs comes the inside of the screen being covered in blood. It is that bloody! Otherwise, this application is a solid adventure worthy of a mature user’s time because it looks good, sounds good, runs smoothly and gives plenty of entertainment value. Seriously, non-adults need not download and play!




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:03 AM
CBS
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Platform: Android & Apple
Publisher: CBS Interactive
Developer: CBS Interactive
Genre: Entertainment
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone 10+
Release Date:
Mar. 16, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: 9
Re-Playability: 8
Overall Rating: 9
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

It seems rare nowadays to see a video application that plays high quality, seamless video streaming without requiring a membership. Sure, there are commercials, but the quality is outstanding. The design is similar to other stream video applications, which typically mean that it is easy to use. The interface is simple to use as it is simply a matter of tapping on the screen. Plus, the videos look better when they are displayed in landscape.

The main page of the application displays the latest full episodes of every series it has available. Clicking on the shows tab allows users to select their favorite show to view it’s dedicate page. Clicking on the schedule tab reveals prime time schedule for the foreseeable future, day by day. The MyCBS tab allows users to choose their favorite programs. Once the favorite programs are submitted, it will display the latest episodes for each program as well as what programs were recently watched.

If any of its users enjoy CBS' daytime and prime time programming and want to take it on the go, this is the application that they must have.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:01 AM
Bria Play
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Platform: Android & Apple
Publisher: CounterPath Corporation
Developer: CounterPath Corporation
Genre: Communication
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: N/A
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date:
Mar. 28, 2014
MSRP: $12.99 USD
Gameplay: 8
Visual Appeal: 8
Audio Appeal: 8
Re-Playability: 8
Overall Rating: 8
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application combines the best features of instant messaging, text messaging and making telephone calls and rolls it all into one smart application. It even automatically imports the device's contacts. Users can send instant messages to contacts that also use the application as well as send SMS text messages to their cellular telephones. If users enable keeping the WIFI radio awake on a tablet, the battery will drain faster than usual. It may be worth setting the forward option and have any calls directed towards a cellular telephone.

The only issues with the application involved how to return to the main window from other windows and returning from placing someone on hold. Otherwise, the application is designed well. It is clever how well the options have been combined. The application is very stable and the interface is simple to use as it is simply a matter of tapping on the screen.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 5:00 AM
Battle Command
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Platform: Android & Apple
Publisher: Spacetime Games
Developer: Spacetime Games
Genre: Simulation
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: 2+
Age Rating: Everyone 10+
Release Date:
Mar. 3, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 10
Visual Appeal: 9
Audio Appeal: 9
Re-Playability: 10
Overall Rating: 10
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

It is time to go out and fight in a war, the problem is deciding who is a friend or foe. This application is a semi-futuristic game where the goal is to grow your troops, attack enemies and take their resources. There is both a single player story mode and a multi-player mode where users compete against the forces of other users. Users can also create alliances with other users to work cooperatively. There are even achievements worth accumulating along the way as well as a global ranking leaderboards for both players and alliances.

This application offers some in-app purchases that specifically assist users in boosting their forces. Users can purchase crystals and those crystals can be used to purchase oil and steel. All three currencies can also be used to purchase items to assist in building up their force's attack and defense. However, there are some very expensive items that can make for some extreme tactical advantages once enough resources are accrued.

The overall design of this application is similar to that of other games of the genre, but the addition of some varying game mechanics brings its own new appeal, including the ability to chat with other players and engage in war games. The graphics and sound are nicely done. There is a two finger zoom mechanic that is very helpful in battle and construction to go along the typical tapping. This application runs well with a screen full of soldiers engaged in battle.




Anthony | Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 4:58 AM
Arcane Legends
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Platform: Android, Apple & Windows
Publisher: Spacetime Games
Developer: Spacetime Games
Genre: Role Playing
Number of Players: 1
Number of Players Online: 2+
Age Rating: Everyone 10+
Release Date:
Jan. 2, 2014
MSRP: $0.00 USD
Gameplay: 9
Visual Appeal: 10
Audio Appeal: 10
Re-Playability: 9
Overall Rating: 10
Website: Connect

Applications

Video Games

This application is perhaps one of the most detailed games that one has ever seen on a mobile device. First, it is a big game that downloads new sections as users go along. Second, it is a true massive multi-player game (MMO) that offers both cooperative and player versus player combat. Third, even with over a dozen other users in the same area, there was no discernible lag. Finally, characters are free to join teams and guilds, but must pay to create new guilds.

Once logged in, from the main menu, users can select which character to load. The first character is free, adding another requires the spending of platinum. There is also news, leaderboard and achievements. The leaderboards can also be found in some villages.

Character creation is a simple process, choose from one of the three classes and then select a companion. The companions are fighting animals that have their own attacks that users can control. Once in the game, both the characters and companions gain experience and level up. Users can acquire new companions as they go along as well as select skills and equipment for their character. User can possibly reach level 10 in the first hour of play if they do not mind a little grinding through the first few areas.

To give potential users the depth of the game, the main screen says it all. On the top-left of the screen is the character display. It shows the characters’ image, health and magic bars, experience for the level, companion happiness and buffs. Clicking on the character display opens up a menu window. The menu displays the Avatar, Stable, Inventory, Skills, Store, Currency, World Map, Social, Crafting and Options. Player versus player unlocks once a character reaches a certain level.

The Avatar window displays the character’s statistics, achievements, elixirs and titles. The Stable is where companions are stored and exchanged. It is also where the active companion can be fed, entertained and taught tricks. The Inventory displays the items that can be equipped for each body part as well as setting loadouts and viewing the items in the satchel. As users scroll through items, they can see how the item will alter their character’s statistics. The Skills window is where users can set a character’s active and passive skills as well as map them to the controls for quick use. The Store window is where users can purchase items and buy currency. The currencies are gold and platinum. The cool thing about the World Map is that it displays the common world map, but also has options to display the player versus play and elite player maps. The Social window is where users can look up friends, parties and guilds. Crafting allows players to create new items as well as upgrading existing ones. The Options window is self-explanatory.

Returning back to the main screen, the top-right corner displays a compass. Clicking on the compass reveals the Quest, Goals and Alerts buttons that open their corresponding windows. Below the compass is the chat bubble which can display two, four, six or no lines of recent dialog simply by clicking on it. The bottom-left of the screen is the directional control pad. The bottom-center of the screen displays the health and magic elixirs reserves as well as opens a window to purchase more. The bottom-right of the screen displays the combat and skill controls for both the character and companion. Holding down an attack charges it up to be released as a far more powerful special attack.

For a game this big, there are only a few tiny items worth noting. First, there is small learning curve due to the massive amount of content. Second, advertisements are limited to the main and character menus. Finally, there are periodic sound clicks during particularly noisy scenes, such as battles. Otherwise, this application is a solid adventure worthy of a user’s time because it looks good, sounds good, runs smoothly and provides plenty of entertainment value.





 
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