iPhone Life magazine

Siva Om's picture
Siva Om is a freelance writer and blogger. He's covered the latest trends and developments in mobile tech for over a decade. Siva founded iDoc Tech Support computer services in 2002. He has been an avid gamer ever since getting his Atari console in 1977. When not working, Siva enjoys adventuring off the beaten path.

Game Centered: Hot New Freemium Games with a Freakish Twist.

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition.

If you read my recent article about freemium games it's possible you came away with the impression that I'm a freemium hater, which really couldn't be further from the truth. Though the current modality of freemium games could use a shot of ethics and integrity, there are nonetheless some awesome games out there that won't cost you a penny and even though they may offer plenty of in-app purchases, they don't limit your free-flowing enjoyment of the game.

This week’s Game Centered will make you feel like Halloween is just around the corner, instead of almost eight months away, and features three excellent and eerie entries in the freemium category.



Freemium vs Premium: The Rise of Pay-to-Play Games

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Image source, Distimo Report March 2013, "How The Most Successful Apps Monetize Their User Base"

Let me start by saying, not all freemium games are bad. There are some notable titles that don't intentionally extort dollars from gamers. Freemium games rely on what has been referred to as the "friction point," the point in which a game has limited your progress and you either have to wait for your energy to recharge, pay more money to continue, or proceed to grind away at a lower, less challenging level while scraping credits together to gain a more competitive edge. The challenge for many freemium game developers is walking that line between frustrating the gamer enough that they are willing to throw down real-world money to advance and not frustrating the gamer so much that they put the game down and don't come back. Distimo released an interesting report in March 2013 showing just how profitable it is for developers to walk this line.



Bluetooth for the Audiophile: The Parrot Zik Over-Ear, Luxury iDevice Headphones

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Recently at CES I met with the folks at Parrot and among all of their flying drones and hopping and spinning robots, one of the things that stood out most for me at their display area was the elegant, stylish, and technologically advanced Zik Over-Ear Bluetooth headphones ($399.95).

I'll admit, I'm somewhat of a headphone snob; and it can take a lot to impress me, especially when it comes to Bluetooth personal listening accessories. I review a lot of great headphones for iPhone Life, and one of the side-effects to that is the fact that a pair of headphones has to be quite exceptional to get really high marks from me. Well, the Zik not only impressed me, they totally blew my mind and exceeded any expectations I may have had.



BOOMBOTIX REX Review: Can It Survive the Ultimate Ruggedness Test?

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I was recently given a BOOMBOTIX REX ($119.99-$129.99) trial unit to experiment with. I warned the folks at BOOMBOTIX that I was going to be rough on it, but I honestly had no idea just how roughly that little speaker was going to be treated. You see, when it arrived, my infant son instantly appropriated it as his own—he LOVED the silky smooth, grippy texture the speaker had, and he also completely dug the cool geometric shape of the thing. It was light enough and small enough that his little baby hands could hold it and turn it over and over, while I tried to keep him from gnawing on it with his new front teeth. Read on to find out just how the REX fared under the baby torture test...



Review: Do the SMS Sync On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones Live Up to Their Reputation?

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We’re pretty big fans of SMS headphones here at iPhone Life. My colleagues and I have all written favorably about these headphones in the past, and you can read our various reviews by clicking HERE, HERE and HEREThese premium quality cans are very deserving of their “Studio Mastered Sound” name; they not only sound phenomenal, they rival some of the best studio headphones on the market. And as if that weren't enough, they are extremely durable and well-constructed so as to last for many, many years. This time around I'll be focusing on SMS Sync On-Ear Bluetooth headphones ($229.95), and while they are undoubtedly excellent headphones, you'll have to read on to find out if they are really worth their price tag.



Game Centered: Popular New Titles and a New App to Track MFi Games

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition.


The Stratus Game Controller Debuts in Apple Store, 20% Off

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It was just last week that I wrote a review of the Stratus MFi Bluetooth game controller. This game controller is one of three on the market at this time, and in my opinion it's the best of them. Now I've got some great news for anyone who either just purchased one, or was about to.



Game Centered 2014: A New Year, a New Crop of Exciting iOS Gaming News.

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Welcome to the first installment of Game Centered 2014, it's good to be back in the swing of things after the holidays and CES! Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition, as well as any news stories that are particularly relevant to the iOS gaming community.

This week we’ve certainly got a lot games to cover; it's been almost a month since the last Game Centered installment and a lot of great new apps have hit the App Store since then! We've also got a new rumor stirring up interest in the gaming sector; if you’re a fan of Zelda or Mario, you won't want to miss it!



First Impressions: Introducing the New Stratus MFi-Certified Game Controller

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The new SteelSeries Stratus game controller ($99.99) is available to pre-order now and the website promises the controller will ship within 30 days. I've been working with the SteelSeries game controller a lot lately, and I have to say, besides the fact that it's the only wireless (Bluetooth) game controller on the market, it's ergonomic and it handles well. The sensitivity is finely tweaked making the controller quick and responsive, without much glitchiness or lag.



Infinity-Gate: Update Erases Thousands of Infinity Blade III Saved Games!

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Over the years I've had a strong love/hate relationship with the Infinity Blade series. It has been by turns, a highly rewarding, premium game experience and also a very disappointing one. My issues with the IB series go back to my experience with the very first Infinity Blade, which at one point refused to even open (using an iPhone 4 and iPad 2 at the time) for over six months (in fact, I was never able to resolve that issue before I moved on to IB II), to the present day’s scandal. The game series, for all of its amazing gameplay, strong storyline, and stellar graphics, seems to have been plagued with consistently recurring development problems, bugs, and glitches. But this latest fiasco takes the cake...



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