Posts Tagged ‘ iOS ’

Cut The Rope ‘Free’ – Finally! IT’S HERE EVERYONE!

 Cut The Rope ‘Free’

Despite the many positive aspects of the Android scene there’s no getting around the fact that when it comes to the best apps and games iOS usually gets first dibs. One permanent fixture of my ‘can’t convert to Android soon enough’ list has been Cut The Rope. We’ve had a few knock off variants in the last few months but at last the real deal is finally here and available for free via GetJar.
Like many of the best mobile games, the premise behind Cut The Rope is simple, intuitive to play and fiendishly addictive. The goal of each level is to feed the ever-so-cute Om Nom by swiping your finger to cut the ropes that are attached to a sweet. With a little luck you’ll be able to feed Om Nom and collect up to three stars in each level, the more stars you collect the more levels you can unlock (up to 175 in all).
It’s an excellent port. The presentation is just as slick as its iOS counterpart, the physics engine has been kept intact and the game itself runs perfectly fine (although it may skip a frame or two of animation on underpowered handsets).
Being a free app, Cut The Rope is ad-supported but these are tidily kept to the bottom of the screen and don’t interfere with gameplay. If you’re feeling cheeky you could always put your handset in ‘Airplane’ mode, that way you won’t see any ads at all.
For anyone who’s partial to the occasional mobile gaming distraction Cut The Rope has more than enough to keep you occupied.

Links : Download via GetJar, Official Website

Bottom Line : An essential free gaming download for anyone with an Android handset and a pulse.

Angry Birds Rio – An Angry Bloke Review

Angry Birds Rio

Writing a review for the new Angry Birds game seems something of a redundant excercise. By the time you read this about a bajillion people will have already downloaded it. Even those who haven’t yet grabbed the latest installment from Rovio will know exactly what to expect.

So why review it?

As of three months ago 50 million people had downloaded Angry Birds. Today that total stands at a staggering 100 million and that figure will surely get a boost once the planned xbox 360, ps3 and Facebook versions are released. The range of Angry Birds plush toys have shifted 2 million units, Mattel have a board game due for release in May and there are even plans to move into animation & feature films. Angry Birds is truly a gaming phenomenon in motion, in time (if not already) it could very likely be listed alongside Mario, Sonic et al as a gaming icon of it’s generation.

So why review it?

The release of ‘Rio’ has heralded an interesting series of events within the Android scene. Rovio decided to give a timed exclusive to Amazon for the launch of their new Android App store. It all seemed very exciting, Android users would have a new outlet for Android apps. The consumer would have the option to ‘shop around’.
And then came the launch.
It soon dawned on everyone outside of America that they would not be able to enjoy Rovio’s latest release. In their infinite wisdom Amazon had limited their new marketplace to the U.S. Understandably, those unable to get the app felt hard done by. What didn’t help matters was the way those people (myself included) had to jump through hoops and make adjustments to their Amazon accounts before being told they weren’t invited to the party.
For a product with a hungry worldwide audience this was probably not the best approach. I’m genuinely surprised that given the openness of the Android platform there wasn’t an outbreak of virus/malware infested fake ‘Rio’ apk files just waiting to be installed by unsuspecting users.
I don’t blame Rovio for this, I blame Amazon. One of the main complaints against Android is fragmentation and here they are fragmenting it further based solely on location. Even now, having launched their cloud music service, there is still no known date for when the app store will be available to those outside the U.S.A. Considering how Android is perceived as a platform that is in fierce competition with iOS, this current move by Amazon appears to do more harm than good.

So why review it? So where is this bloody review?

Thankfully Rovio have released Angry Birds Rio on the Android Marketplace so now all those non-Yanks such as myself can enjoy the latest installment. I had dubious thoughts about it being a tie-in with the forthcoming movie ‘Rio’ but surprisingly the theme is a good fit for the franchise.

Seriously, worst stacking of cargo EVER.

The gameplay is the same as before but there are enough tweaks and touches to warrant losing more nights of sleep whilst trying to three-star each level. Compared to ‘Angry Birds Seasons’, ‘Rio’ has a gentler learning curve making it a great jumping off point for any newcomers to the franchise.
The graphics have also been updated, nothing revolutionary but the scrolling foregrounds and beefed up menus are enough to keep the series looking fresh.
On the subject of keeping things fresh Rovio have already planned a series of updates which will become available over the course of 2011. As usual it’s a worthwhile free download.

That’s it? That’s the review? It was more a rant about Amazon than a review of Angry Birds.

Yeah sorry about that. I had to get that whole Amazon thing off my chest.

That’s ok. It was truly a dick move on their part.

Yes, yes it was.

Ok so now you’re just talking to yourself. I think you need a lie down.

So do you.

Haha, very funny.

About This App Version Reviewed : 1.0.0
Requires Android : 1.6 and up , Category : Arcade & Action , Size : 13M , Price : Free

Links : Android Marketplace, Install via AppBrain

Bottom Line : Just when you think you’re out, Rovio pull you back in. Rio is an enjoyable new chapter in the Angry Birds franchise. Bring on those updates!

Jet Car Stunts Lite – One Crazy Mother-Stunter

Jet Car Stunts Lite

With each passing week it seems that the quality of gaming apps for the Android platform take another step towards excellence.  Latest in this trend is a new free version of Jet Car Stunts courtesy of developer True Axis.
Jet Car Stunts is a racing game where you race all by yourself, woah woah woah! Come back! It’s much better than it sounds. The opposition in this game are the tracks themselves, suspended thousands of feet in the air they twist and turn with multiple jumps, loops and corners that will send you falling into the big blue sky time and time again. It’s less a racing title and more a high-speed platform game… in a car
The first thing that grabs you with JCS is the superb presentation and how slippery smooth the game runs, screenshots and Youtube videos don’t do it justice, you need to see this running in your hands in order to get a full feel for it. Speaking of which ‘feel’ is something that JCS gets totally spot on compared to other driving games I’ve played on any mobile device. In the past tilting the handset in order to steer can lead to an endless chain over-compensating which results in veering all over the track but in Jet Car Stunts the tilting is balanced perfectly making the game infinitely more playable (and controllable).

Here I am, hopelessly flying through the air and about to crash.

The game itself is a joy to play, partly because it looks so good and partly because it’s annoyingly hard (but in a good way). For a trial version there’s plenty to get stuck into, 8 superb new tracks, 3 game modes (including an excellent tutorial) and integration with the ‘Open Feint’ leaderboard community.

The full version has been around on Android for a few weeks but I never had time to try it due to the new 15 minute trial limit that is now part of the Android Marketplace. Thanks to True Axis taking the time to making an excellent free version I am now hugely tempted to pony up for the full game, surely that’s a perfect example for how instrumental trial software can be in driving sales.

Link : Install via AppBrain

Bottom Line : A superb game creation, no wonder it topped so many ‘Best of 2009’ iOS lists. An excellent download for any Android gamers out there.

Rocket Bunnies – Android’s First Space Rabbit Sim

Rocket Bunnies

Defiant Development claim that their new game ‘Rocket Bunnies’ is “The best space rabbit sim you’ll play this year” and you know what? They’re not lying.

Thinking of making an app? Make it 100% better by putting a mental bunny in there.

Rocket Bunnies is an action puzzle game in which you slingshot your character from planet to planet whilst collecting bunnies and avoiding obstacles. Your performance is graded in stars and further levels are unlocked depending on how many stars you have been given. The game features easy to use touch screen controls and it does a great job of easing you into the gameplay mechanics. The gameplay feels original & fun and it definitely becomes trickier as you progress through the game.

Rocket Bunnies is truly striking to watch, the menus looks awesome and in-game everything runs perfectly. This could well be the big new game for Android, it looks superb, it sounds great and I’m sure the more zealous members of the Android community will relish the fact that this game was released on Android before iOS.
This is a free game that features ad-support although an ad-free version has been proposed for the future along with an extra game mode. The only downsides? If you have a Samsung phone, you’ll need Android 2.2 in order to run this and it’s a 12MB install.

Links : Install via AppBrain, Official Website

Bottom Line : If you got the specs and the space then Space Bunnies is a great game to get stuck into. Go get it!

Squibble Lite – The Trouble With Squibbles*

Squibble Lite

When it comes to gaming on Android handsets, ‘Angry Birds’ is the big behemoth that nothing can touch right now however over in the world of iOS the folks there are currently enjoying the new challenger ‘Cut The Rope’ and I’m eagerly awaiting the Android port. Currently there’s no information on a release date but if you need something similar while you wait then Squibble Lite could be what you’re looking for.
In ‘Squibble Lite’ you play the role of Squibble, a small octopus that’s been captured by a crazy/bored/perverted scientist and your goal is to help him escape from the castle in which he is kept. Squibble moves about by using his tentacles to latch onto the surroundings and flinging himself around the environment. There are collectible items that add to replay value and obstacles to avoid that will damage your health meter. The main gameplay hook is how you use Squibble’s method of travel, you have two sticky tentacles to play with and you simply tap a piece of the environment to make Squibble shoot out a tentacle and grab it. Tapping another area will make squibble grab it with his second tentacle, from here you can make him swing ‘Spiderman’ style around the map or pull back and catapult him through the air. Don’t worry if you can’t get your head around it on paper, there’s an excellent tutorial that walks you through it all.
This is a very polished game, the graphics are perfectly realised and the levels scroll smoothly as Squibble swings and flies about the place. The makers have also thought to include a useful profiles section which allows up to three different people to save their progress in the game.
The lite version is limited to 6 levels which is plenty to give you an idea of whether you want to pay up for the full game which includes 20 levels (with more being added regularly) and costs roughly £1.80 which to some people may seem a little on the pricey side. In a marketplace full of Fruit Ninja rip-offs and poorly made games it’s nice to see something with some quality and charm come along to keep us entertained.

* – That’s the worst headline pun yet, hands down.

Link : Install via AppBrain

Bottom Line : Squibble Lite is a great little free game that entertains as much as it challenges. Worth downloading.

Pulse News Reader – An Android App That Kicks RSS

Pulse News Reader

I use Google Reader to keep up with my favourite websites, it’s a great tool for managing RSS feeds and it translates pretty well to my Android handset via the mobile web browser. Despite this I’ve always felt that I’d prefer to have an actual decent app do the job of handling my new feeds on my HTC Desire and upon hearing the news that it had been price dropped to £0 I decided to give ‘Pulse News Reader’ a spin. Since making an appearance during the launch of the iPad the app has found itself on the recieving end of tonnes of attention across both the iOS and Android platforms to the point where it has landed a coveted spot in the ‘App Store Hall of Fame’.

Pulse News Reader allows you to take feeds from 20 RSS streams of your choice and have them displayed on your screen in a touch senstive ‘News Strip’ style interface. You can easily choose and organise your sources as well as share articles directly to Twitter, Facebook or any other app on your handset (complete with a shortened url).

When I first saw that video I didn’t even wait for it to finish, I dived straight into the Marketplace to download the app and I’m glad to say that Pulse does pretty much everything right.

Hey look! It's us, in RSS form.

Moving around the numerous feeds and menus is intuitive, easy work and for the most part it does a great job of grabbing images from each article to populate your streams.  As a result it looks great, there’s minimal lag and it also makes short work of showing you what you want to see, even on 3G. A little tip to help save on battery drain, you may want to dip into the settings and disable ‘Background Updates’. You can also, via Pulse, log into your Google Reader account, choose from any feeds you have set-up and stick them in Pulse’s main screen. I love that using this app I can easily share an article with Tweetdeck and have it create a tweet complete with a shortened url, I can then edit the tweet and send it from any one of my three Twitter accounts; all within a few steps. Brilliant! Pulse is a clever idea excellently executed. If you use RSS news feeds then this is a great way to stay on top of them.

Links : Install via AppBrain, Official Website

Bottom Line : A visually slick app that quickly delivers your RSS feeds in a dynamic fashion. Excellent stuff.

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