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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!



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...



iGrill mini Joins the Line of Smart Cooking Tools from iDevices

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If you were hesitant to try the iGrill when it was first released at $80+, the new iGrill mini might make a believer out of you.  At $39.99, the mini is an affordable tool to monitor the temperature of your expensive steaks and could pay for itself. In fact, the iGrill mini won an iPhone Life Best of Show award at CES. Unlike the big brother iGrill and the new $99.99 iGrill 2, both of which have four probes, the iGrill mini has one probe, which should suffice for most grillmasters. Unless you're cooking significantly different kinds of meat, like turkey and hamburgers and steaks, one probe might be enough.



The CES of THINGS! The Common Thread for CES 2014

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I've attended dozens of CES (and COMDEX) tradeshows and every time I return, people ask me "what was the big thing this year?" Usually it's something straightforward like larger televisions, 3DTV, Blu-Ray, tablets, or smartphones. But this year, the big thing was "THINGS" itself! The phrase "The Internet of Things" refers to the increasing connectivity and intelligence of ordinary tools and appliances. Thanks to technologies like Bluetooth Low Energy, ubiquitous Wi-Fi, and IPv6, we have reached a tipping point where everyday devices like light bulbs, door locks, and thermostats can be connected to each other and to the Internet.



CES 2014: Free FlipSquare App Provides Puzzle-Solving Downtime at CES!

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I can call this a CES mini game review, because I was able to enjoy a bit of a gaming break here at the show while at the Venetian at CES (which I desperately needed). The FlipSquare concept at first look seems way too simple and easy, but after I blasted through a few levels, it became apparent I needed to put on the old thinking cap. Starting position is key, but basically this block connection style game requires clever thinking and pattern visualization skills to master. Once you select a block direction to fill, you have to fill the entire row before going in another direction. The developers are offering the first 75 levels for free (unlock 100 with a $0.99 IAP, and 4 extra hints also cost $0.99). It looks boring, but I stayed through at least 14 levels and still wanted to keep going (later levels add new block types and conditions)... Ah, back to the show, darnnit! Grab the already popular FlipSquare at the link above.



Restaurateurs, Resolve to Be More Efficient This Year with SteadyServ

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If any industry needs to be more efficient, it's the restaurant and bar business. Profit margins are tight, employee turnover is a problem, and customers can be fickle. That's why I love shows like Bar Rescue which feature new technological solutions for one of the oldest industries.



Game Centered: Special Holiday Edition, Exciting New Games and Awesome Updates.

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. This week, in advance of Apple’s annual iTunes Connect closing dates (12/21-12/27) we've been treated to a whole slew of top-of-the-line new games and big updates that slipped into the App Store just in time for Christmas! We've got a lot of exciting gaming news to cover, so let's dive right in. And don't forget, the App Store allows us to gift apps and any of the following games would make excellent holiday presents.



Apple Posts Best of 2013 Lists: Duolingo Named iPhone App of the Year

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Monday Apple posted their Best of 2013 lists, including Music, Movies, TV Shows, Apps, Books, and Podcasts. The free Duolingo - Learn Languages for Free, was named iPhone App of the Year. And it's well deserved. Not only can you use it to learn Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, and English, but the app makes it fun. It uses gaming techniques to help you learn. And, interestingly, the app also has a crowdsourcing function, such that in the process of learning and doing translations, you are helping translate the Web into other languages. 



What I Played This Week: Angry Birds Go and Quantic Pinball!

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There's a buzz over Angry Birds Go (free), and 'freemium" titles in general to discuss in this edition of WIPTW. I was not aware that computer bits were being subjected to such draconian work conditions on our devices that they needed to rest; but Angry Birds Go introduces the "energy" concept to the Rovio game chest: a union break for overworked player characters, I suppose. Otherwise, ABG has plenty of good graphics, and is mostly goofy and fun like a cart race should be. Also played this week is the jam-packed action pinball slam of the season called Quantic Pinball ($2.99). If you like pinball, you will gorge yourself on this version.



Ahoy, Mateys! Time for Another Game-Centered, Featuring Updates, News, and Oh Yes, Pirates!

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Happy Holidays gamers, and welcome to the latest installment of Game Centered. 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. This week's installment brings news of what promises to be a new, award-winning game set within the Game of Thrones universe, as well as update news and a review of the latest Assassin's Creed iteration. And don't forget, the App Store allows you to gift apps, something to keep in mind as you read on...



Best iPhone Apps, iPad Apps, iPod Touch Apps | iPhone Life Magazine

We review the Best iPhone Apps, iPad Apps, and iPod Touch Apps.  Whether you want to play a game (like Chillingham Manor), navigate with GPS, or discover new apps, you can easily get lost.  There are so many on the market and the number is increasing on a daily basis.  So where to begin?  The following examples are just a few of what is out there.

The Head Finder is one of the iPhone apps around. It is a task management or schedule management that helps you organize all the different things you have to do.  It has a very simple user interface and it seems they designed all the most common functions to be done with as little tapping and typing as possible which is a real time saver.  Several time management apps, in the past, have seemed to waste more time entering events and tasks into the app than you might save by being more organized.  With Head Finder you can have a new task entered in less than thirty seconds with their quick three tap process to create a reminder.

Another one of the best Iphone apps we've seen is The JumiCam. This app allows you to view streaming video from any web cam you want with ease.  It's easy to set up the software on your PC and then connect your phone to see what's going on at your house.  The JumiCam also works very well on either a 3G connection or WiFi. This app allows you to connect to as many different web cams as you want so you can monitor your entire house while you're away if you want.  It can really take the place of an entire security service if you wanted it to.  There are many ways to use this, from keeping an eye on a babysitter while you're out on a date to making sure your pet is safe at home while you're at work.

As the name describes, U.S. Traveller is made for travelers that call the United States their home and travel to countries outside their own. In opening the iPhone app, on the "Countries" tab, you are presented with a list of countries & their correlating flags. The added flags next to the country names are a nice touch, especially since most people can quickly find a country based on visual representation versus textual representation. You can travel from the U.S. to numerous countries - Chile, Argentina, Germany & Italy to name a few. This may not adequately prepare you for the countries you visit, but this will for sure help you. The amount of information and the ease of access it gives to people is incredibly invaluable.