iPhone Life magazine

Apps: Games

Review: Toxic Jump by Pastel Games

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Pastel Games and I don’t have the best history together.  To see what I mean you can check out my reviews of their first two games, Submachine and Oceanic.  I think they’ve got some good ideas with their games, they just don’t push the content and execution far enough.  On the plus side, Toxic Jump is probably my favorite game of theirs to date.  Unfortunately, what should have been one of those titles that reels me into that “one more time” mentality ends up becoming hopelessly frustrating instead.  And that’s on the easy level...



Review: COGS by Chillingo

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I do not like sliding puzzle games.  I find them boring, tedious, and ultimately frustrating.  Thankfully, some developers seem to feel the same way and are actually making attempts at turning the genre into something fun and compelling.  The developers of COGS have succeeded in a big way.  Each puzzle is different, and they managed to infuse the third dimension into the game play in such a way that it not only doesn’t destroy the premise, but actually enhances it.  Add to that some nifty contraptions rendered in stylish graphics and you have yourself a winner with COGS.  If you’ve been avoiding the slider puzzle genre as it’s permeated the App Store, now would be a good time to try one out.  Just don’t get your hopes up that any other slider puzzle will come close to this one in terms of enjoyment.



Fizz brings new Baseball Manager Sim to iPhone

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"Fizz Software Ltd -- February, 2010 --Following on from the huge success of Soccer Manager (a Top Ten game in the UK and across Europe). Fizz Software Ltd is delighted to announce that Baseball Manager 2010 for iPhone and iPod Touch is now available from the Apple App Store." Hit the links to learn more about this new sim from Fizz, or read on for more info from the press release..



Fairy Card App - Better than Horoscopes

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Do you read your horoscope?  Do you want to know what the future holds?  Ever played with a Ouija Board?  Ever had your "Cards" read?  If you answered "Yes" to any of those questions, then you want the Fairy Cards app. 

The Fairy Cards are a Celtic version of the Tarot.  They are spookily accurate.

Bottom Line: If you are a believer - download!!!  Worth $1.99.  I give it 9 out of 10 iPhones.


Single Card Reading

 

 

 

Celtic Cross

Material, Spiritual and Emotional Reading

 Past, Present & Future Readings

 

http://web.me.com/nathaliefons/http%3A__www.irishfairycards.com/Welcome.html

 

About the Cards from the website:

 

Fairy  Cards is a celtic version of the tarot, which allows the user to do five different readings, using a set of cards created by Jaya Moran, from Ireland,  who, for many years, gave tarot readings, having acquired a deep knowledge and wisdom whilst living in India.

With each reading the user gets in touch with the wisdom of Irish Folklore and its legends about Fairies, Elves, Gods and Goddesses of Ireland, the magic of nature and its sacred places, full of inspiration and healing properties.

With this set of cards, each reading helps the user to see the bright side of any situation, thanks to a good sense of humour and light-hearted stories, full of the wisdom of the enchanted Fairy world. It also guides the user towards acceptance of himself/herself and recognition of his/her life conditions, and then guides the user to make positive changes.
 
Fairy Cards also allows the user to play the I-Ching, adapted to the Fairy world.The Fairy Cards are numbered from 1 to 64. In the I-Ching, 64 is the number of all possible combinations of interaction between male and female energies in our lives.  Also the Fairy Cards  give an equal honouring of these energies  as well as a deep understanding of nature in all aspects - elemental, human, and divine. Each possible combination in the I-Ching is interpreted by one Fairy Card.
The I-Ching is played with three coins, and can help the reader to answer questions and make wise decisions.


It's fun, try it!
 


For only $1.99 (USD)
 
FOR IPHONE AND IPOD TOUCH

 

 

I-CHING

_____

The Irish Fairy Cards are numbered 1 through 64. This is the number of all possible combinations reflecting the balanced interaction of male and female energies in our lives. An equal honoring of these energies will be found in the cards as well as a deep understanding of nature in all aspects - elemental, human, and divine.

 

In China, numbers were used as a means of divination, sourced from the universal superconsciousness. This system is known as the   I-Ching, which means Change. The Fairy Folk love movement and change and for this reason have prompted me to include it in the game. These little people are working hard for the restoration of harmony on our planet. Their wish is that all of the submerged mysteries, particularly those of the Goddess, Mistress of Chance and Change, be made available to everyone at this time.
 
 
WHEN TO USE THE I-CHING
 
The fairies say it is a particularly strong method for finding out what existence has to say on an important issue. Try it and see!
 
 
THE I-CHING
 
The I-Ching is made up of 64 hexagrams. There is an Irish Fairy card to correspond to each of these hexagrams.
Each hexagram is made up of six lines reflecting male and female principles. The six lines divide in two to form an upper and lower trigram of three lines each.
To create a hexagram, you will need three coins. Decide which side of the coin is Heads (H) and Tails (T).
Upon throwing the coins, there are four possible combinations that can happen. These are as follow:
 
H     H     H     (three Heads)
T     T     T     (three Tails)
H     H     T     (two Heads and one Tails)
T     T     H     (two Tails and one Heads)
 
 
HOW TO PLAY?
 
Focus yourself.
 
If you play with real coins:
Juggle the three coins in your cupped hands, asking the question in silence or aloud. You will need to make a total of 6 throws. Throw the coins in front of you and see which combination you get, building the hexagram from the bottom upwards, entering your results clicking the text field corresponding to the throw you are doing (enter H for each coin that appears as Heads, enter T for each coin that appears as Tails). The first throw will be the bottom line of the lower trigram and the last throw will be the top line of the upper trigram.
 
If you play with the virtual coins:
Just press play six times and the results will be entered automatically in the corresponding text fields.
 
Once the results are  entered, you can check the card you get for the combination you obtained by clicking the Detail Disclosure button (>), on the right, beside the text fields.


Star*Burst from Super Happy Fun Fun

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 Star*Burst from Super Happy Fun Fun is one of those time-killer games for when you just want to align colored gems (under a bit of pressure) without thinking too hard about it. It employs aspects of some other very popular games, with smooth and engaging backgrounds/music, but the starting levels do become a little monotonous. There are some issues I feel with the control scheme, and a minor glitch, but I enjoyed it regardless of these minor detractors.

Many games are based on engines from other games, and so will have a similar flow or look. Some games will have a layout, gameplay setup or theme that is similar to another game (e.g. the author noted that it worked well in the other game). Star*Burst obviously borrows heavily from popular conveyor belt-style games like Guitar Hero, Tap Tap Revenge, etc. The strategy is refreshingly different here as instead of requiring a simple point-in-time response, the game requires you to think a bit about aligning the objects (above the conveyor) coming at you. As gems roll off the belt, you use the paddle to grab them. You can hold up to 5 on the paddle safely. Another tap sends them into a slot above. As you stack up colored gems, you score points and meet level goals by aligning same colors (goals appear above the gameplay area). Alignment can be in the horizontal, vertical or diagonal, and higher point bonuses are earned for intricate patterns (the "Star*Burst--star shaped patterns being among the highest). Seems simple enough, but as you progress, the pace and color change frequency increases and gems invariably fall off  the board before you can get to them. Miss enough and you lose...

A couple of interesting twists are included in gem manipulation. Once gems are placed in the matrix above, they cannot be moved, but you can chose to toss a gem to the back of the coming queue (to rearrange the order coming down the belt). Some gems have explosive characteristics, removing other gems in the vicinity when they explode, and wild card gems will match to any color. You can also post your Star* Burst achievements to facebook. The music, graphics and screens do a decent job of keeping you immersed, but I have a couple of gripes. One is the same general gripe I have with touch or iPhone games that fill the entire screen (with no other control options but screen taps). Edge of screen taps are often not effective in moving the paddle to the far left, right edges or corners. There is also a noticeable pause in the game when a match is made. I am not sure that was intentional, but the conveyor stops moving when this occurs.

These are minor issues, and I think Star*Burst will be worth your time if you are really into color matchers. You can grab Star*Burst in the app store at the link below...

 



The Angry Birds Get Angrier

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Personally, I'm still trying to get through the initial set of levels that Angry Birds offered.  You can read my review of the game here.  Apparently the developers weren't content with what they first offered to the public, however.  Coming soon (or possibly even out by the time I push "save" on this post) is an update to Angry Birds that includes integration with Chillingo's fledgling Crystal social network.  This, of course, will not only add the ability to be competitive about scores, but will provide the user with the much sought after notion of achievements that they've almost come to expect with most iPhone games.  More importantly to me, however, is the addition of 40 new levels to the mix.  If you didn't have enough to keep yourself busy already, prepare yourself for more.  I'm not sure that I'll ever have the pleasure of seeing those new levels, but it's nice to know that now when I think I'm almost done I won't really be almost done any more.  If you don't already already have a copy of this fine game you can grab it here (App Store Link).


SPB Quads Contest and upcoming reviews and news

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 I need to thank Spb and those who commented to win in the recent Quads contest (winners names listed after the break). I have a couple of reviews coming down the pike to look for, and am debating whether to pull some extra giveaway codes or not--I'm thinking of dropping the contests for awhile, so will see on that.



Review: Pinball Wizard by Zidware

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I like electronic pinball, but it’s not something I get overly excited about, so there really has to be something special about a particular version for me to spend more than a few minutes on it.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Pinball Wizard.  The game has one board which on its own is not very exciting.  Its claim to originality is its customizable nature, yet the only thing you can customize is the position of the three main bumpers.  To me that’s not worth advertising such a feature.  If there were more to do in the design phase this might be a product to keep your eye on, but right now there’s not a lot to keep you coming back for repeated play sessions.



WordCrasher makes a liar out of me!

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I know I said I don’t like games, but I guess I was lying! I love these new word games on the iPhone; and WordCrasher is my newest favorite word game. It’s similar to Boggle, but more challenging.

I especially love the graphics and music: the colors are fluorescent and lively; the background music is exciting and gets you in the mood to keep playing the game.



Review: Dracula Path Of The Dragon by Chillingo

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I’m still waiting for more developers to step up to the plate and bring original adventure game content to the iPhone and iPod Touch.  In the mean time, though, I’m content with ports (or in this case “heavily inspired” redesigns) of games from other platforms as long as the source material is good.  So far Tetraedge has done a commendable job with the release of two adventures based off of the works of Jules Verne, and the promise of an iPhone version of the Syberia series is quite exciting.  In the mean time they’ve chosen to fill the gap with Path Of The Dragon, the first part of a three episode saga that’s a retooling of the third installment of a PC series of games based on the legends of Dracula.  Got it?  Good.



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