Sometimes the simplest games bring the most joy. Ski Safari is a good example of this, in that the only control is touching the screen at the right time.
Tag Archives: app review
Apptastic: Bills – On Your Table
It would be easy if all of your bills were due on the same day – but in today’s world, that doesn’t happen very often. The Bills – On Your Table app is a reminder program that lets you know which bills are due when and lets you track when you paid them.
Apptastic: How Many?
In this “Buy it now” world, it’s easy to lose sight of exactly what an item really costs – at least in terms that mean something. The How Many? app might not curb your spending habits, but it could help put them in perspective.
To-do lists can be a bit unwieldy for iPhone users. Erasing items isn’t instantaneous and prioritizing items takes some effort. The Clear app simplifies list-keeping, using a heat map to show the priority of items on your list and a simple swipe functionality to check them off.
App Review: Tiny Tower
Tiny Tower is a darned cute game. Mixing old school pixilated art and smart gameplay mechanics, it is a very enjoyable simulation game that brings the original SimTower game to mind. The game smartly balances tending to the needs of its “Bitizens” and the economic aspects. But by utilizing the in-app purchase model, it hits problems.
While nothing goes haywire with the game if you choose not to spend real-world cash to buy in-game bux, the game will progress slowly, as finances don’t build up quickly naturally. It’s still possible to enjoy the game without spending real-world cash, but you’ll need to be patient — plan to close the app and come back to it when you get an alert.
App Review: Aiko Island
Aiko Island doesn’t follow the path of virtually every other game in the puzzle field and that alone makes it worthy of notice. While the game itself isn’t revolutionary (it’s a physics-based block popper, where you must eliminate all but the blue blocks onscreen), its inclusion of a branching path system, letting you decide which puzzles to tackle next, is nice. And the multiplayer mode, letting you compete against friends via speed-run results, is a nice solution to the solo gaming silo so many puzzlers fall into. The plot is completely forgettable, but that’s not unusual. On the whole, it’s different enough to be worth of your time.
App Review: HighFlyer Death Defyer(i4)
Blending sky diving with action gaming sounds like a wonderful recipe for success, but HighFlyer Death Defyer (i4) wastes that potential with an overbearing story, terrible controls, and poor pacing. The opening tutorials go on so long that it’s easy to think they’re the actual game — before the story really kicks in with a comic book-style narrative and dangerous obstacles to avoid. It’s the controls that really hurt the game, though. It’s very easy to get lost as you dive and to miss goals — which ultimately means you fail the level and must restart. And that quickly leads to frustration. The game has ambitious goals, but in the end it doesn’t achieve any of them well.
App Review: Stray Souls: Dollhouse Story – Collector’s Edition HD
While the story in Stray Souls: Dollhouse Story might not be the strongest in the app store, it does a masterful job of creating a spooky atmosphere that makes the story come alive. It’s well-paced and scales well to both experienced puzzle/adventure gamers and newcomers to the genre. The heroine is a bit disappointing, though, in that she sometimes comes across as someone who is entirely dependent on her husband. (For instance, she notes at one point that she had never driven before her husband taught her how.)
All in all, though, the game is a clever blend of puzzle games with a story that twists nicely. It’s certainly too intense for young players, but tweens and adults will have lots of fun with it.
App Review: Panda Picnic
The match-three genre is a tired one, but you have to give the developers of Panda Picnic credit for finding a way to make it fun once again. By blending the random elements of a slot machine with the “match three of the same fruits” objective, and making it into a multiplayer experience, they’ve created something unique enough to turn heads.
The demand to log into Facebook, though, is very intrusive and for an app that simulates gambling, the app is very curiously (and obviously) tailored to children. From the music, to the graphics, to the name of the panda who sits at the top of the screen (Petey the Panda), it’s a page out of the “how to appeal to children” handbook. Adults will have fun with it, but there are a lot of lurking bad lessons and habits for kids.
App Review: Race illegal: High Speed 3D
Race illegal isn’t a bad racing game, per se, but there’s nothing notable enough about it that it will excite fans of the genre. It is, in many ways, a paint-by-numbers title, with a forgettable story, lots of lens flare, winding tracks, “edgy” collision models, and slow motion head-on impacts. The graphics aren’t overly impressive, though, and the game often feels slow compared to other entries in the category. Whether you’re a core racing fan or someone who just dabbles in the games, you can probably find something better.