What I played this week includes a mix of apps for both work and play, and warn you this will be a lengthy column, as also have a bit of game news to share at the end. So, let's jump in--play before work, as the saying goes: Bounty Racer (beta) is an exquisite crash cart-esque 3D racing menagerie (should be released next week). Second, Kingdom Rush for iPhone is engaging, if tiny, Tower Defense fun with rousing vocals and clashing swords to keep you alert through endless enemy waves. Pearltrees is a "web curation" app (web-content mind mapping/sharing) with an interesting way to find/share online content. Stitcher is to news radio and podcasts what Slacker or Pandora are to music. Lot's to look at, so let the WIPTW madness commence forthwith!
This week, I played just one new game--a platformer called Wawa land... well, if you don't count driving in a real life superstorm! I had wanted to also check out Kindom Rush for iPhone (Eric reviewing the iPad version), but have not had the opportunity to reliably get back online to grab it. A monster storm tore through our area smashing houses, and slapping down trees and power lines like kiddy toys, leaving us with a few more important things to worry about! We happened to be driving home from a concert (with a side-trip to the local Taco Bell drive thru--long story) when the storm hit. I would have certainly rather been in Wawa Land than a wind-tunnel filled with water, lightning and debris.
Finding power can be a problem when you travel, especially when you go off into the wilds of some remote location. Take as much portable technology with you as possible is my advice. People often look at me weird when I suggest this. Should you carry more dried food, water and first aid gear? Sure, but a cached set of accurate and up-to-date digital terrain maps will lead you back to civilization if you get in a fix, or may even lead civilization to you. Modern humans use technology like apes use a stick to get ants out of a log, and let's face it, you might be less likely to panic if you have your handy iPhone and it actually works. The nPower PEG is your insurance against a dead battery! Using kinetic energy, you can keep that technology lifeline open... Read on for the full press release...
Check out the Featured App Store bundles if you haven't yet. Several of the best apps you will likely find on the app store, all nicely sorted into related bins can be had thus. Last night I found myself perusing the dinosaur related app/games bundle (under Game Collections), and of course there is a 3D FPS game in there called Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter that I couldn't resist. The game turned out to be a mere 74MB of totally cool, and immersive hunting of the prehistoric beasties, which ran just fine even on my old original iPad with it's old-school graphics! Also this week, played with the latest release of Album Flow (see previous review here), since the developer made some interesting tweaks to the new version. Album Flow brings Cover Flow to iPad (or now iPhone), in case you were wondering, but with some interesting new capabilities. More news from the gaming realm at the end--lot's to cover so let's jump in, shall we...?
Finding a men's magazine these days that isn't jammed with male enhancement ads, mostly naked people or similar junk is not exactly an easy thing. Rebel is different from other men's magazines--a decidedly encouraging thing. If you are more about doing something positive in the world, rather than sitting on your couch staring at well, junk, then Rebel might be for you. The mag's app is a well-executed mashup of interesting imagery, cleverly presented articles and linked content. For a peek at how a nicely executed magazine could look on your iPad, check out the rest of the review (or grab Rebel here).
If you are a Google user, you can make it much more difficult for an attacker to hijack your account by configuring and using 2-factor authentication now available (go here to learn more about this important feature). 2-factor authentication is a security validation process requiring you to present independent proof of identity before you can access an online resource--in this case, your GMail account. The idea is to better protect your account from intrusion by making the sign-in process in some way verifiably unique to your session. Read on to learn more about Google's very smart (providing an authenticator app for iOS) move to help users protect their accounts, and why Apple needs to quickly follow suit!
This week, I review Ichi; advanced pong/puzzle game rising fast in app store popularity, and as about as simple as a game can get and still provide devilishly mind-twisting fun. Also, some important news: for those who have heard me ranting but not yet sampled the Galaxy on Fire 2 space adventure (SD version)--99 cents for a very limited time (expires June 15th, 2012) so do not tarry too overlong to snag it. In other iOS gaming news, Bank Job side-runner freebie has been released, and a new 3D racer called Bounty Racer coming this summer. I hope to review both in an upcoming WIPTW column, time permitting. Read on for the Ichi review and full game news releases...
True I'm a blogger, but still consider myself a serious writer of sorts, and as such must recommend the Wordflex Touch Dictionary (formerly called TWIG, see our review here) for anyone else in the pursuit of putting fingers to keyboard or iPad screen. I do a fair amount of technical writing, and I'm always rooting around for a good synonym... WordFlex helps me immensely, and it just looks plain awesome while doing it! The latest update (besides changing the name) adds improved navigation features, Retina graphics and much more. The price is hefty at $24.99, but the beauty and capability of this app make it well worth the expense. Bullet list of features after the break...
At the Mobile Apps Showdown at CES earlier this year, the award-winning Viper SmartStart product was one of the coolest apps demonstrated, in my opinion, and it certainly garnered oohs and aahs from other press there. It didn't win the MAW, but it was in the select top 10 apps, and for good reason. There is no other mobile aftermarket car-gadget integration product that comes close to this level of capability--start your car from your iPhone, check the temperature remotely, and have it warmed up and ready when you arrive! In the latest version 3.0, Viper is adding even more awesomeness with cloud services. Now your car tells you when it wants to warm up, over the internet...Wow! Read on for full PR info...
Welcome to my somewhat weekly app review column (aka WIPTW), where I mostly review games and "play-oriented" apps and news. This week, have 3 apps to review (and another to preview), so won't waste any time with my usual blabbering. Draw the Line is a cute puzzler with physics aspects. Ichi is still under embargo, but can say it's another interesting puzzle game soon to be released. InstaJam is a basic drum machine app, and iTunes Movie Trailers though not a game, is an iTunes award-winning freebie vid player handy for finding all the latest movie previews. Last but certainly not least, I offer up a quick QA with some of the Aoineka folks about their coming Kitaru game, and you don't want to miss this iPhonelife exclusive about what could shape up to be one of the best iOS 3D gaming experiences ever!