TouchMyApps » Dave P http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:45:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.3 Hero of Sparta in Review- God of War Wannabe ? http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/07/hero-of-sparta-god-of-war-wannabe/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/07/hero-of-sparta-god-of-war-wannabe/#comments Thu, 07 May 2009 20:50:53 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10589 I think it’s impossible to play Hero of Sparta without referring to God of War. So much of the gameplay is similar if not a straight-up copy, but, as the only real hack and slash on the iDevice, you’re still going to have a lot of fun! Graphically, this game is impressive for the iDevice. … Read more]]>

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I think it’s impossible to play Hero of Sparta without referring to God of War. So much of the gameplay is similar if not a straight-up copy, but, as the only real hack and slash on the iDevice, you’re still going to have a lot of fun!

Graphically, this game is impressive for the iDevice. The cut-scenes are great and keep you involved in the game, and the levels are wonderfully designed. While the game is pretty to look at, I was saddened by the amount of stutter in the gameplay. On a game that relies so much on control and fighting, having the frame rate stutter does take away from the overall experience. While it doesn’t break the game in any way, it does disrupt the flow and reminds you that you’re playing on an iDevice rather than a console. It’s sad because as I mentioned, the game looks great but the framerate really reminds you of its limits.

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The controls for the game worked really well. You have a virtual joystick on the bottom left hand of the screen and your weapon and shield buttons are on your bottom right hand side of the screen. Anyone who has played iDracula – Undead Awakening will feel right at home, but because this actually came out before iDracula, it really should be “anyone who has played HOS (Hero of Sparta) will feel right at home playing iDracula”!

If you’ve ever played God of War (anyone actually not played this game?), you won’t find any surprises in this game. Everything just reminds you that you’re playing a scaled down version of God of War, without its “epicness”. Boss Battles and certain fights will have you pressing a part of your screen, very much like hitting certain buttons on your PS2 controller.

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You’ll also be collecting colored orbs for energy as you did in God of War. Are you starting to see a pattern here? I can’t help but compare Hero of Sparta to God of War in every way, though it just doesn’t compare unfortunately. Don’t get me wrong, Hero of Sparta is a fun game, and even intense at times, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Because there was nothing similar on the iDevice, this is a great game in its own right, but it’s just missing that oomph factor in my opinion. Had I never played God of War, my mouth would have likely dropped at this game; but having played the “original” , this really just feels like a copy cat.

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Finally, my last comment deals with the length of the game. While the game was enjoyable, if not somewhat repetitive (but what hack and slash isn’t?), it was still over too quickly. I guess that means it was still fun in retrospect. With the many checkpoints throughout the game (and this is a good thing), I was able to complete it in a few hours. Of course, I can go back now and play it on hard with what I’ve unlocked…

So, while this game feels and plays like a copy of God of War, it’s just not as good. There is no denying that fact. For the iPhone or Touch though, this is still impressive and shows again the potential for this device. With that said, if you’re still looking for a good action game at the App Store to satisfy your hack ‘n slash craving, you can’t go wrong with Hero of Sparta.

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App Summary
Title: Hero of Sparta (v1.0.1) Developer: Gameloft
Price: $5.99 App Size: 83.8 MB
  • Graphics
  • God of War’ish gameplay!
  • Good use of controls
  • Frame rate issues occasionally crop up
  • Game is rather short

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Let’s Golf! in Review – A Hole in One? http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/14/lets-golf-in-review-a-hole-in-one/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/14/lets-golf-in-review-a-hole-in-one/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2009 17:12:32 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=9235 From the opening video, your first thought has to be nothing but amazement at the graphical wizardry of Gameloft’s Let’s Golf!. I know my first reaction was “wow!”, and I would expect everyone else’s to be as well. Let me say this right off the bat, this is definitely one of the best looking games … Read more]]>

letsgolf1From the opening video, your first thought has to be nothing but amazement at the graphical wizardry of Gameloft’s Let’s Golf!. I know my first reaction was “wow!”, and I would expect everyone else’s to be as well. Let me say this right off the bat, this is definitely one of the best looking games in the App Store. It really makes you feel good about owning either a Touch or an iPhone and makes you realize the possibilities for the future of games on the iDevice.

letsgolf2I’m a big fan of golf, at least in terms of playing them in video games. Want to know why? Because I can actually hit the ball where I want to! Golf is an incredibly hard game in real life as anyone who has played it can attest. Thankfully this game is not as difficult as its real-life counterpart.

First, as I’ve already mentioned, the game looks amazing. The animations are well done, the courses are pretty highly detailed and it really is a “show-off” game to anyone who is questioning the power of the idevice as a gaming platform.

letsgolf3You start off by creating your character and entering one of 4 (only 2 unlocked at the beginning) courses. Basically, the heart of the game is found under Tournament, and is where you will spend the majority of your time. Unfortunately there is no career mode to keep you going from one tourney to the next, and this to me is what holds it back from being a must have…in fact, it’s the only thing…

You do have two control options in terms of classic which is the well…classic control type of clicking (or tapping in this case) when the ball hits the top of the meter signifying the amount of strength, and tapping it again when it reaches the bottom of your swing measuring your accuracy. There’s also a swipe method for those a little more advanced.

letsgolf4In tournament mode, you get to choose the level (easy, normal or hard), and then play the front 9 (that’s the first to ninth hole for those who aren’t down with the golf lingo), the back 9 (holes 10-18), all 18 holes, or a 9 hole shuffle (random for those that still aren’t down with any lingo). Once you’re done the holes, and if you place in the top 3, you do unlock some clothing for your character which does add attributes but other than that, you find yourself back at the home screen wondering what next?

And that my friends, is really my main gripe with the game. It’s simply gorgeous for an iDevice game, and you really feel like you’re playing a golf game as good as any hand-held device has to offer, no doubt, but it was just missing that continuity for me, which prevents me from giving it the highest ‘kiss it’ rating.

letsgolf5The fly-by before each hole is a great feature, and once again makes this a true golf game like all the other ones. This game is a lot of fun, and I personally think golf as a sport is perfect for video games, especially as simulations. The sounds are great from the golf clap, to the chirping of the birds. Everything you expect in a golf game in terms of sound is here.

Let’s Golf! is an arcade style game that plays well, and does use strategy in terms of choosing the right club for the right shot. I had a lot of fun, but every time I finished a round, I thought the same thing, “now what?”. With that being said, if you’re looking for a game to show off, this is definitely one of the few that are worthy.

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App Summary
Title: Let’s Golf! (v1.07) Developer: Gameloft
Price: $5.99 App Size: 77.9 MB
  • Visually impressive
  • Great golf sounds
  • Loads of fun
  • No career mode

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The Oregon Trail in Review – Patience is a Virtue http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/30/the-oregon-trail-in-review-patience-is-a-virtue/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/30/the-oregon-trail-in-review-patience-is-a-virtue/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2009 01:46:39 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=8080 I was looking forward to playing Oregon Trail, simply based on everyone’s nostalgia of playing this classic title on their Apple II.  I can admit I never played the game (at least I don’t remember playing it when I was younger).  It seems it was an educational game played in many elementary schools and was … Read more]]>

oregontrail1I was looking forward to playing Oregon Trail, simply based on everyone’s nostalgia of playing this classic title on their Apple II.  I can admit I never played the game (at least I don’t remember playing it when I was younger).  It seems it was an educational game played in many elementary schools and was also an extremely difficult game.  This doesn’t seem to be the case here.  It seems to be a very polished, but an extremely forgiving game.


oregontrail2The object of the game is to take your family across the United States along the Oregon Trail.  Along the way, there will be many obstacles (disease, broken bones, rivers, different paths) and you must choose what you think is the most effective. For instance, should you spend some time resting and letting your son’s broken leg heal which in turn diminishes your food ration, or should you continue along, perhaps at a slower pace making you arrive later?

oregontrail3There seems to be a decision you need to make at every turn.  While this sounds like a lot of fun, the fact that each choice, and each decision results in another slow loading screen, really took me out of the game.  It felt like I was playing for 20 seconds, and then waiting for 10 seconds, playing for another 20, and waiting for another 10…While I really liked the choices and the associated mini-games, I just felt like the game was lacking continuous flow.

There are 8 mini games ranging from hunting, fishing, river crossing, rafting, wagon repairing, telegraph (a memory game), berry picking and panning for gold.  They are cute and fun the first time you play them, but after a few goes, it becomes quite repetitive.  They are also rather simple.

oregontrail4The visuals in the game are great.  The cartoony graphics are perfectly suited and there is quite a bit of humor throughout the game.  The characters sometimes ramble a little something but the majority of the time, you’ll just be listening to the hooves of your ox and your moving wagon.  Of course, the faster you go, the faster those sounds become.

The game says there are random events but I’m not entirely sure how random they are.  I believe every time, your son is going to be taken by an eagle and there isn’t a way to stop that from happening.  At least I certainly haven’t figured it out.  Your wagon is going to get struck by lightning, and someone’s going to catch the measles. I also found that every time I was low on food, there just seemed to be a buffalo waiting to be harvested, or I’d just make it in to town.  Who knows, maybe I’m just really good at rationing and choosing the appropriate speed…

oregontrail5Don’t get me wrong.  The game is still rather fun.  It definitely does feel educational as each loading screen gives you some information about the times and neat little facts.  I wish there were more as these also became somewhat repetitive due to the frequent amount of loading screens.  It’s also educational as you have to make some choices in terms of paths and missions which in turn will affect your travels.  I guess the game just felt too easy and I was expecting a real challenge after hearing and reading how the original was so difficult.  The mini games are extremely easy but at the end of the day, there still is a lot to do in this game…you just need to be able to be patient with the loading screens.  Maybe it’s a sign of the times, but I expect things to run quickly, and maybe that’s my real lesson from the game.   Sometimes, patience is a virtue and if you’re willing to wait through constant loading screens, you will find a game that looks great, and offers some fun along the way.

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App Summary
Title: The Oregon Trail (v1.1.2) Developer: Gameloft
Price: $5.99 App Size: 49.9 MB
  • Great polished graphics
  • Lots of choices
  • Lots of humor
  • Too many loading screens
  • Very easy
  • Repetitive

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Monster Trucks Nitro in Review- Monster Disappointment http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/26/monster-trucks-nitro-in-review-monster-disappointment/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/26/monster-trucks-nitro-in-review-monster-disappointment/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2009 00:25:38 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=7841 I was really excited to play this game. “Was” is the key word in the previous sentence. Driving big monster trucks, mixed in with some nitro and this was shaping up to be a great game. The intro splash screen had me all excited…5 minutes later, I was left scratching my head thinking “this is … Read more]]>

monstertrucksnitro1I was really excited to play this game. “Was” is the key word in the previous sentence. Driving big monster trucks, mixed in with some nitro and this was shaping up to be a great game. The intro splash screen had me all excited…5 minutes later, I was left scratching my head thinking “this is it?”

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“Race, jump and nitroboost your way pass thrilling dynamic levels with your monster trucks. Earn medals and unlock new levels and vehicles.

Features:
- Real Monster Trucks physics with iPhone!
- Unique Bubble Level rotation control
- Includes multiple camera modes including Holographic Pro camera mode
- Extremely powerful RedLynx Monster Truck and Miniclip monster Trucks
- Extra achievement Trucks Schoolbus Monster Truck and Formula Monster Truck
- 8 thrilling tracks with medal achievements, including among others the famous ones like The Loop, The Gap and The Nitromus oximus
- Top hiscores lists for each track
- Gesture camera controls”

Monster Trucks Nitro  is as simple and straight forward as you can get. And that’s not a complaint… Get from the start to the finish line, as quickly as possible. Beat the clock and you get one of the 3 medals (bronze, silver or gold). Tilt your device right or left to shift the weight of the vehicle.

Let me start off with the positives. The monster trucks look good, and you can feel the shift of the weight on the front or the back of the truck. The shocks and suspension also feel good in the game. There are a few camera angles to choose from as well, and the backgrounds look nice, especially the sunset in the background.

monstertrucksnitro3In reality, there isn’t too much else to say about this game. There are only 8 levels, and I was able to complete all 8 with in 30 minutes. Sure, I didn’t get gold on all of them, but I was highly disappointed that I was able to complete the game so quickly. If you’re a masochist and feel the need to achieve gold on all the levels, this will add some replayability but this is one of the few games that I didn’t feel the need to achieve the masterful level. Sure, I could have unlocked the Formula Monster Truck, but so what? You only unlock the Formula Monster Truck after getting gold on all 8 levels. I guess you could play it again, but really, why would you?

monstertrucksnitro4Probably most important in a game called Monster Trucks Nitro would be the nitro and one would rightly assume, the accompanying sense of speed you get when you activate the nitro. Nope, nothing. All you see is a little rocket flame behind your truck but really don’t feel any change in speed at all. In fact, the whole game is pretty much played at the same speed/pace. I guess that’s why they provided the “cruise control” button which basically just keeps the “pedal to the metal”. There’s a break pedal but I never used it once.

The levels do somewhat feel different, but I’m still frustrated from the level called The Loop. This level is just asking for an accident in terms of dropping your device as you absolutely must be able to rotate your device 360 degrees as you follow the loop. I think it’s one of those things that’s good in theory, but not in practice.

monstertrucksnitro5Probably most frustrating however, was the stuttering frame rate. I was again disappointed to have the slow down on what doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of detail/objects on screen to explain the lack of smoothness.

In the end, I’m left just wanting more. Only 8 levels, only 2 trucks for at least half the game (you need to achieve gold on 4 levels to unlock the bus), slow frame-rate, and no sense of speed. It’s one of those games that I can feel the potential for more, but it just didn’t deliver.

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App Summary
Title: Monster Trucks Nitro    (v 1.0) Developer: RedLynx Ltd
Price: $1.99 App Size: 20.6 MB
  • Trucks Looks Nice
  • Shifting weight works well
  • Very short
  • Stuttering frame-rate
  • No sense of speed

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Chocolatier in Review – Sweet App Goodness http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/24/chocolatier-in-review-sweet-app-goodness/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/24/chocolatier-in-review-sweet-app-goodness/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2009 02:54:50 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=7592 Finally, another Time Management game to ease my new addiction…Phew, I feel better! Actually, Chocolatier, brought to us by PlayFirst is actually so much more than that. Sure, there is the time management aspect in terms of efficiently using your time (in this case travel), but at heart, it’s more of a tycoon/economic type game. … Read more]]>

chocolatier1Finally, another Time Management game to ease my new addiction…Phew, I feel better! Actually, Chocolatier, brought to us by PlayFirst is actually so much more than that. Sure, there is the time management aspect in terms of efficiently using your time (in this case travel), but at heart, it’s more of a tycoon/economic type game.

chocolatier2Rather than tapping directions to your character in the most efficient use of time, you play the life of a chocolatier. You start by learning chocolate recipes, and having to create them in your factory. My industry name was TouchMyApps (shocking, I know), and all good chocolate was imported and exported by TouchMyApps….mawahahah!
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“Oh, the gloriously rich and delectable life of a chocolatier. Build your empire, brick by brick and ingredient by ingredient. You must first travel the world for the best ingredients, barter for the most marketable recipes, manage production of multiple types of confections at multiple factories, and pay attention to the latest trends and holidays schedule. That AND deal with employees, suppliers, vendors, and customers… not to mention warding off your adversaries! Do you have what it takes to conquer the world through chocolate?”

There really is a lot to like in this game. The story mode in which you build your factory/industry from scratch is a lot more fun than I initially thought. You start with a factory, a chocolate recipe, and the rest is up to you to travel to various locations, and learning/buying new recipes, and also having to find the various ingredients that make up the specific chocolate.

chocolatier4The story mode continues to provide certain quests throughout the game (there are over 130 different quests according to the developer) ranging from delivering love letters, to delivering certain types of chocolate.

It was however the economic aspect of the game that I enjoyed the most. You have to again, travel the world to find the different types of ingredients (sugar, milk, cacao as the simple ones). However, each location has different ingredients and also different prices. Yup, you read that right. You can go to Trinidad and by some sugar for $13 a bag, or travel to San Francisco where they are selling sugar for only $7 for example. Prices fluctuate, and you can also haggle/barter with the merchant. I sometimes wished I had a pen and paper beside me to remember where I found the cheapest price but after playing the game for a while, you learn what a reasonable price is for a specific ingredient. I guess that’s true to life in terms of learning the market. I also learned that some places likes certain types of chocolate more, once again bringing home the old saying “buy low, sell high”.

chocolatier5Once you’ve found your ingredients, you make the chocolate based on the recipe provided. Regular chocolate is made up of cacao and sugar, while dark chocolate is made of 2 parts cacao and 1 part sugar. You play a mini game to create the recipe in terms of shooting your ingredient into the wheel. The more wheels you properly fill up, the more cases of chocolate you make per week.

While the game is a lot of fun to play, there are a ton of quests to do, and I thoroughly enjoyed the economic simulation to the game, I have to say I found the game too simple. It seemed I was making a huge profit within 20 minutes and never looked back. Money was really never an object after my first few cases sold. It became almost pointless to “shop around” for the cheapest ingredients as I could afford everything at every turn.

Other than the lack of difficulty and therefore lack of risk/reward, I still really had a good time developing TouchMyApps industries into the juggernaut it was always meant to be!

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App Summary
Title: Chocolatier (v1.0) Developer: PlayFirst Inc.
Price: $4.99 App Size: 29.0 MB
  • Lots of Quests
  • Fun mix of Economic/Tycoon sim with Time Management
  • Lots of chocolate recipes
  • Lack of Difficulty

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Rasta Monkey in Review – Ganja Not Included http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/19/rasta-monkey-in-review-ganja-not-included/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/19/rasta-monkey-in-review-ganja-not-included/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2009 02:03:06 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=7172 I’ll be honest. I had a very hard time playing Rasta Monkey, without instantly comparing it to Sway. Both are platformers that use “physics” to swing/move your character from the starting line to the finish line. I will try to keep my focus however on the game at hand, Rasta Monkey… You play as a … Read more]]>

rastamonkey1I’ll be honest. I had a very hard time playing Rasta Monkey, without instantly comparing it to Sway. Both are platformers that use “physics” to swing/move your character from the starting line to the finish line. I will try to keep my focus however on the game at hand, Rasta Monkey…


rastamonkey2You play as a Rastafarian monkey (obviously) who’s job it is to collect different fruits by swinging and jumping across the level

“You play an extraordinarily happy Rastafarian monkey. One day, Your old father asks you to help the family out: “You need to collect dem fruits for mi special fruit-shake before mi head go CHAKA CHAKA!…”

You must swing around and grab onto branches, using your awesome monkey skills to snag some delicious fruit. Now go on, make your madda proud!”

As you can tell from the description above, it does try to mimic Rastafarian-speak throughout the game.

rastamonkey3All good platformers need to have precise controls. The controls in this game actually work quite well. Hold one of the corners to move in that direction (top right moves you along the top of the branch, bottom right moves you along the bottom of the branch). Hold both corners and your monkey begins to swing, and once you’ve gathered enough speed/momentum, you simply let go and your flight begins. While the control actually works well, I found this to be the most frustrating part of the game. I found it hard to get my speed just right and I never felt like I was in control of my monkey. It was ok for the first 7 levels but the last 3 were extremely difficult when you need some precise “launching” to end up in a little hole to go down the cave.

rastamonkey4I have to admit the game has a great “vibe”. The music is perfectly suited for the game, although it does get quite repetitive. That loop however, has been in my head for days now (what else is new?). The graphics are bright and colorful and also suit the game very well. The monkey doesn’t change and his body doesn’t move from the current posture you see, but the Rastafarian vibe and the yellow, green and red colors are evident throughout the game.

While I consider this a relatively short game, I found the first 7 levels quite repetitive and it wasn’t until the last few levels that some creativity was seen in the game. I of course wish there was more of this from the start rather than the simple swing from branch to the next branch of the first few levels.

rastamonkey5I do have to say that there were some moments in the game that the frame-rate suffered. There were times during my swing that the game would stutter though it did eventually catch up. It didn’t affect the game as I could keep swinging until the frame-rate corrected itself, but it was an annoyance. My other gripe is that when you die (and you will die often), you re-spawn from the checkpoint which is a great thing and there are many throughout the level, but for some reason, you do a sort of triple spin which just delays the restart. It’s not a huge deal in any way and again, doesn’t affect the gameplay but I just wish when you re-spawned, you were ready to start as opposed to watching a triple spin.

Although I’ve provided a few gripes, the game is still fun. It’s just nothing too special in my opinion (and that’s what you’re here for). It probably doesn’t help that this game has come out after Sway which I’m sure is affecting my view of the game. Had this come out first, I might have thought different, but currently with its few issues, fewer levels and simpler game play, I’m left wanting something more. I can however say Rasta Monkey is a game that’s fun to play, even if the ganja is not included.

Grab it Mon!

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App Summary
Title: Rasta Monkey (v1.0) Developer: Nitako
Price: $1.99 App Size: 29.7 MB
  • Great “vibe”
  • Good Controls
  • Still a fun platformer
  • Simple/repetitive level design
  • Frustrating to aim your monkey
  • Some frame-rate issues

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Supermarket Mania – Mayhem at the Supermarket! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/04/supermarket-mania-mayhem-at-the-supermarket/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/04/supermarket-mania-mayhem-at-the-supermarket/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2009 01:49:56 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=6040 Your local time management expert, Dave P. reporting for duty! You guessed it, I’m hard at work (or hardly working, depending on how you look at it) playing another time management game. Boy, I’m getting good at these! For all those that follow my reviews religiously (big shout out to my wife), you’ll know that … Read more]]>

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Your local time management expert, Dave P. reporting for duty! You guessed it, I’m hard at work (or hardly working, depending on how you look at it) playing another time management game. Boy, I’m getting good at these!

For all those that follow my reviews religiously (big shout out to my wife), you’ll know that I’ve already reviewed a few time management games. The current game in review is Supermarket Mania by G5

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“Run five distinct stores through 50 manic yet fun-filled stock-‘til-you-drop levels, stock over a dozen of products to sell, serve seven types of hard-to-please customers, and earn enough money to purchase over 20 accessories and upgrades that will help you turn your enterprise into success.”

The formula for these type of games are tried and true. Keep your different type of customers happy, which make you more money, and then allows you to buy more and better upgrades in turn keeping those customers happy. It’s a vicious cycle!
Supermarket Mania does not divert itself from this formula, but it does offer a lot of exciting and chaotic fun.

supermarketmania3In Supermarket Mania, you play as the stock person (we have to be politically correct these days), making sure all the shelves remain full, in order for the customers to purchase their goods. Do so as quickly as possible, which keeps the shoppers happy. As always, each level has a money goal to reach, and an expert level for those who strive for perfection. The game also offers secondary goals on some levels such as not losing a certain amount of customers, not allowing thieves to take off with your goods etc.

The game does throw in its unique addition to the genre by adding in teenagers and thieves. True to life, those teenagers come in a store and destroy all your hard work by making a mess and throwing around garbage (sorry to all my loyal teen readers. Please don’t take it personally). Thieves come in and look over the premises waiting for the opportune time to steal your merchandise, in essence giving you less money. Thankfully you have a security guard who’s waiting to be awoken to scare the teenagers straight and catch those dastardly thieves! Of course, you could always upgrade and get a security camera… dilemmas dilemmas…what to do???

supermarketmania4The music and graphics are great in this game. The upbeat soundtrack pretty much gives you a fair sense of what you’re about to embark on… some fast paced management action. The graphics look rather nice though sometimes are a little too small when you have shelves beside each other (or I just may have fat fingers).

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but perhaps my biggest gripe with the game was the lack of challenge. I found the first 20 levels rather simple. Yes, of course, things do get hectic in the middle of the game, but it wasn’t until then that I found myself just scraping by. I guess I’ve just perfected my time management skills (though I know my wife will disagree).

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In all honesty, the game is a lot of fun, but it’s probably aimed more for the casual time management person, than the hard core time management person. It is addictive, and I was continually coming back for more, wanting to upgrade my abilities and shelves. If you’re a fan of time management games, there’s a lot of fun to be had. If you’ve never tried the genre before, this is a great game to wet your appetite (pun intended).

Update: Supermarket Mania just went on sale for $0.99. Definitely a steal at this price and not to be missed if you’re into time management games!

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App Summary
Title: Supermarket Mania Developer: G5 Entertainment
Price: $1.99 App Size: 22.2 mb
  • Fun gameplay
  • 50 levels
  • Lots of upgrades
  • Slightly too easy at the beginning
  • Sometimes difficult to precisely choose shelf

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Sentinel in Review – TD goes Sci-Fi! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/02/sentinel-in-review-td-goes-sci-fi/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/02/sentinel-in-review-td-goes-sci-fi/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2009 01:03:33 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=5904 One of the things I love about the app store is the sheer amount of choice.  Don’t get me wrong, some days I hate it as well also for that very same reason.  But, when you like a specific genre, such as TD games for example, it’s a nice place to be able to visit. … Read more]]>

One of the things I love about the app store is the sheer amount of choice.  Don’t get me wrong, some days I hate it as well also for that very same reason.  But, when you like a specific genre, such as TD games for example, it’s a nice place to be able to visit. Sentinel, by Origin8 is the latest addition to the TD bunch.  I won’t go into explaining TD games as it has already been done here at Touchmyapps in several reviews, but Sentinel brings in an element of science fiction and nice looking graphics which does add a fresh vibe.

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“You are commander of the dropship Sentinel. You must defend a distant colony from the alien hordes in this stunning new evolution of tower defense.

Protect key structures which block the enemies’ path as the aliens smash their way towards your stronghold. Utilize an array of advanced technology including upgradeable towers and droids which can repair buildings or harvest resources.”

Sentinel offers you 2 play modes, Assault and Endurance, though Endurance is locked until you have completed the level.  There are 4 difficulty choices ranging from easy to psycho.  And there are 3 maps to play through, with only the first also being unlocked when you startthe game.

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First thing you will notice (or at least first thing I noticed) was the pretty graphics.  The levels are highly polished, and you can zoom in and out for greater detail without any lag.  The animations are also very nicely done.  Aesthetically, this game is very nice to look at.

Second thing I noticed was the sound.  For a TD game, the sounds are great.  The intro music was fantastic, the explosions and lasers all make nice sounds which help set the atmosphere.

Probably what I liked best about this game, is the addition of the repair droids, “interest”, and bonuses for keeping your barrier/dam structure standing.  Repair droids (when you have enough money to purchase them) are able to repair (obviously) your structures, but also will go searching for resources, which in turn provide more money.  It’s a nice little change in strategy.  “Interest” is another aspect I found that was significantly altering my game play.  At the end of each wave, you receive “interest” in terms of bonus money for not using all your money and rationing the use of towers.  You are constantly debating between adding towers or playing a little game of risk, hoping to get more bonus money.  In a game that offers online global leaderboards, this brings some added replay value.

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The final other ‘twist’ to Sentinel, is the use of barriers/dams.  This essentially cuts the board/maze into smaller sections (until your barrier is destroyed of course).  You need to strategically think if you want to guard your structure and accumulate bonus points after each wave, or build your towers for the entire board.  Again, this adds more strategy in terms of how you want to complete the board and where you want to end up on those global leaderboards.

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You do need to be aware that there are only 3 levels/boards.  Your first level has 60 waves, second level has 90 waves, and the third level has a whopping 120 waves.  I don’t necessarily have an issue with only having 3 boards as I’ve already mentioned the different use of strategy that can be used (though don’t get me wrong, more levels are always appreciated).  My issue is more with the pacing of the game.  I couldn’t help but feel it was a little slow at times.  It’s likely to do with the amount of time between each wave.  Once you complete a wave, the time before the next wave starts is just a touch too long, and there does not seem to be a way to skip it.  You get notified of your score, your “interest” and it just takes a little too long, which kind of takes you out of the game.

My other comment is in regards to the lack of visual change when upgrading your towers.  There really doesn’t seem to be a lot to visually see that your tower has been upgraded.  In fact, the beam and laser when upgraded don’t appear to have any difference in what they are shooting.  It would be nice to see a different animation for those weapons.  They are extremely expensive in the game and I like to see the upgrade.  It makes me feel better…

sentinel5Don’t get me wrong, I like the new addition to the TD family.  I personally don’t think we can have enough TD games (talk to me after I’ve reviewed 50, I may reconsider).  I very much appreciate a new science fiction theme, and the graphics are extremely well done.  Each TD game has their own little nuances, and if you like TD games, there is enough that makes Sentinel fresh and worth your time.

Update: Origin8 has heard your (and ours) feedback regarding the pace of the game between enemy waves. You should be happy to know that a fast forward button has already been implemented and will be included in the upcoming lite version of Sentinel as well as the full game. And of course, more maps and enemies are also in the works.  Nice!

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App Summary
Title: Sentinel (v1.0) Developer: Origin8
Price: $4.99 App Size: 8.4 mb
  • Excellent Graphics
  • Great Sound
  • New Strategy Elements
  • A little slow between levels
  • No noticeable change for upgraded towers
  • Only 3 levels

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Zen Bound in Review – Freakin’ AmaZEN! + 1 Promo Code! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/02/27/zen-bound-in-review-freakin-amazen-1-promo-code/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/02/27/zen-bound-in-review-freakin-amazen-1-promo-code/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2009 02:36:33 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=5758 This may be my last review here at TouchMyApps.  I don’t know if I need to play any other game again.  Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to write as simple a review as this.  Basically, all I’m going to tell you is that you must get this game, you need this game, … Read more]]>
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This may be my last review here at TouchMyApps.  I don’t know if I need to play any other game again.  Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to write as simple a review as this.  Basically, all I’m going to tell you is that you must get this game, you need this game, there is no excuse to not get this game.  It is BY FAR the best game on the iDevice to date.  No questions in my humble opinion, and no competition.  It may in fact be one of the best games I have ever played!!!

Let me get this out of the way.  I do not work for Chillingo, and I do not work for Secret Exit.  I have nothing to do with them, other than reviewing this absolutely amaZEN game (I’ll stop with the ZEN now).

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“Zen Bound is a calm and meditative puzzle game about wrapping wooden sculptures with rope. A game in which a high score is not the goal – instead it is something to focus on and enjoy at your own relaxed pace.

Zen Bound is different – an alternative and subtle gaming experience that is difficult to describe. But in its own small way, it defines what gaming on the iPhone can be”

This game delivers in every way.  What you see is what you get.  In essence, this game is only about wrapping rope around various objects.  But it’s also so much more than that.

The object is to wrap as much of the object’s surface with your rope, which in turn paints it with a certain color.  I’ve read this line a few times and think to myself “self, that sounds rather boring”.  There is no way to convey the beauty and simplicity of this game.  It’s like nothing I have ever played before.  In fact, if someone told me they were going to make a game about wrapping rope around objects, I would have given them the number to the nearest psychiatric ward to get their head checked.

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I apologize for this review as I just want to keep using the word beautiful.  From the Tree of Reflection to the Tree of Challenge (the 2 choices for levels, each with their own objects), everything you find in this game is of the highest quality.  I guess now is a good time to add the word polished.   Zen Bound spared no expense on providing what is easily the best looking game in the app store today.   Each level is separated on the tree’s branch and a flower blooms upon completion.  You can achieve up to 3 flowers for each level, depending on the percentage of the object that was wrapped.  Having 99% of the object wrapped, gives you the maximum 3 flowers.

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There are currently 51 levels to play through, and each and every one is a wonderful experience.  Each level and object is simply beautiful (sorry for using that word again), and the controls are absolutely perfect for the iDevice.  The game suggests you use headphones when playing and once you’ve listened to that soundtrack (which you can also download for free by the way), and the sounds of the rope being pulled, you realize you’re playing with art.   My wife may be surprised to read this, but I’m at a loss of words to describe the pure enjoyment I’ve had playing this game.

Honestly, I know I’m gushing like a little school boy over this game.  It’s not too often I ever feel this excited or amazed by a game.  Sure, some games are great and lots of fun, and I’ve played my share…but few are outstanding.  This game has already won a few awards, and rightfully so.  Even as I write this review, I do so with a huge smile on my face, knowing that I’ve just experienced an incredible game.   I don’t feel there is anything I can say that does justice to the sheer beauty, artistry and experience of playing Zen Bound.

To say I Kiss this app is the understatement of the year.   Thank you for being one of the most original and beautiful games I have ever played.  *wipes tear from eye, and goes back to playing Zen Bound*

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App Summary
Title: Zen Bound (v1.0) Developer: Secret Exit (Published by Chillingo)
Price: $4.99 App Size: 37.8 mb
  • Graphics are Gorgeous
  • Music is Fantastic
  • Controls are Superb
  • Polish is unlike any other game
  • Did you read this review?  There are NONE

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Are you seriously still reading this review??? You honestly haven’t tried the game yet???
Seriously???

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Sway in Review – Let me PerSWAY you to get this!!! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/02/26/sway-iphone-in-review-let-me-persway-you-to-get-this/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/02/26/sway-iphone-in-review-let-me-persway-you-to-get-this/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2009 09:36:48 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=5693 How can a game that is so simple, be so challenging and fun at the same time? I mean really? I have never played a game where the instructions were so short and simple. I watched the tutorial video and thought to myself this was going to be simplest and easiest game I’ve ever played. … Read more]]>

sway1 How can a game that is so simple, be so challenging and fun at the same time? I mean really? I have never played a game where the instructions were so short and simple. I watched the tutorial video and thought to myself this was going to be simplest and easiest game I’ve ever played. There must be something more to it than that right??? Maybe I should stop asking so many questions and give a few answers.

First, Sway is basically a game where you are using physics and momentum to sway your character from one end of a level to another. Your goal is to collect a certain number of stars within a specified amount of time. Get the number of stars within the time limit, and you’re golden. That’s it…but good luck on that. That’s all I have to say. Good luck.

sway2While the controls are not only ridiculously simple, they also work flawlessly. This game was made for your touch screen. The right side of the screen controls your green hand, the left side of the screen controls your red hand. Use your thumb to sway your character, release to have them let go, and grab again with whichever hand you like to keep your momentum going. Although the main character is a lizard, in my mind, I felt more like a monkey simply because of the swinging along the level. Anyways….while the controls are extremely simple, they still somehow take some time to get used to. But once you’ve gotten a “hold” of them, you’ll be king of the jungle in no time (see what I did there? Hold…king of the jungle…no monkeying around in this review…bada boom!)

sway3There are a total of 15 worlds to “swing your way through” and 7 characters to unlock, each with their own skills. One character will have longer arms but be a bit slower, another one will be extremely fast and so forth. So while there may only be 15 worlds to explore which sounds rather short, the amount of characters you can replay those levels with, means there is more replayability to be had than first meets the eye. In fact, you’ll need to use each character’s strength to beat the level goals to achieve that ever elusive golden award. Some levels are easy, but once you get into the obstructions, and the moving platforms, you’re in for a real challenge.

sway4The cartoony graphics are extremely bright, crisp and suit the game perfectly. Just as importantly in a physics type game, is that there is no stuttering of frame-rate. This game runs buttery smooth with no slow down.

I only have 2 complaints. The first is probably just me me, in that I found my thumbs were hurting after a while. Maybe it’s the actual device or the fact that I was pressing too hard on my screen due to the intensity of this fast paced platformer. The real complaint is the fact there are only 15 levels. Yes, it is extremely challenging to get gold, but at the end of the day, there still are only 15 levels. However, that’s it. That’s my only real complaint.

sway5Honestly, there is a ton of fun to be had in this game. It’s extremely cute, polished, the controls are perfect for the game, and it’s tough at the same time. Simple controls, plus tough game-play equals a great game (I know you like my math!). When you play this game, you know very well it was made for this device from the ground up. I really think it’s one of those games that you have to try for yourself to understand the ingenuity, and how perfect the controls feel. Rest assured, this is not a simple port, but rather an original game that you must play if you have an iPhone or a Touch.

As much as I want to kiss it because of the fantastic controls and awesome game-play, I have a hard time doing that only because there are 15 levels. At the end of the day, would you rather have 15 awesome levels or 45 so-so levels? I think we both know the answer is 15, but you still need to be aware of that number.

I’m kissing this app…but with a slight hesitation.

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App Summary
Title: Sway (v1.0) Developer: Illusion Labs
Price: $4.99 App Size: 7.3 mb
  • Controls are perfect
  • Graphics are super smooth
  • Original game-play
  • Very difficult to get gold awards
  • Only 15 levels

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Orions: Legends of Wizards in Review – A card game of legendary proportions http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/02/19/orions-legends-of-wizards-in-review-a-card-game-of-legendary-proportions/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/02/19/orions-legends-of-wizards-in-review-a-card-game-of-legendary-proportions/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2009 00:52:14 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=5335 I’ll be honest.  I’ve never played card games on computers or consoles.  Sure, I’ve played hearts on my PC, but that’s about it.  I used to play Hearts, Euchre and Crazy Eights when I was younger, but I really haven’t played any card games since then. After playing Orions: Legends of Wizards, I’m left wondering … Read more]]>

orions1I’ll be honest.  I’ve never played card games on computers or consoles.  Sure, I’ve played hearts on my PC, but that’s about it.  I used to play Hearts, Euchre and Crazy Eights when I was younger, but I really haven’t played any card games since then.

After playing Orions: Legends of Wizards, I’m left wondering why I haven’t played card games in such a long time!  I’ve spent a few sleepless nights and days at work dreaming about what my next move and/or strategy should be for my next battle.  That my friends, is when you know you’re playing a great game.

orions2Ok, so we know I’m addicted to the game, but what am I addicted to?  Basically, it’s a turn based strategy game, mixed with a card collecting game.  It’s the best of both worlds in my opinion.  This game offers a lot of depth.  You have the duel mode which is in essence a battle of cards between you and a human or cpu opponent.  But campaign mode is where all the action and strategy can be found.  And boy, is there a lot of strategy to be found here.

Let me say this right off the bat.  I was lost at first.  Yes, I read the instructions!  In fact, I read the instructions multiple times.  And by multiple times, I do mean more than twice!  In fact, I even played through the tutorial twice.  It’s really one of those games that the learning curve is high, but once you figure it out, you are in for a treat!

orions3In campaign mode, you will choose your character type based on an element (water, fire, wind etc.), and it’s on to the role of capturing the other worlds and defeating the “big boss” of each island.  For the islands you own and will capture, you will have the option to build buildings which will in turn provide resources that you can use towards upgrading your cards, and your skills.  Just this strategy alone makes this game have a ton of replayability.  We’re not even at the battles yet!

orions4In battles, you and your opponent have 5 slots to lay down your cards which I think of as weapons.  You each take a turn (hence the term turn based strategy) placing a card that that either attacks your opponent’s card below, or casts a spell.  Once your 5 slots are full, you cannot place any more cards until your card has been “killed”.  I look at your opponents cards as their shield.  Once their card is gone, you start attacking their character.  Until then, it’s really only doing damage to the card (unless of course you have a card that attacks the player directly).  Each card has their own special powers and attributes and in essence, their own pros and cons depending on your strategy and the cards your opponent plays.  If it sounds overly complicated, it’s not.  It just takes some getting used to and some understanding.  But once you do, it makes the game all worth while.

orions5As much as I enjoyed and am still enjoying the game, there are really a few minor points I need to point out. The first is that I wish battles had been better explained.  Maybe it was just that I needed to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each card, but I truly felt lost at the beginning.  I can imagine that some people might quit before actually understanding how the battles work.  But again, let me assure you that once you understand the battles, there is a plethora of fun to be had.

One personal issue I have is when the device only plays in landscape mode, but only in one direction.  Why must I hold my device with my home button facing left?  I prefer to hold it the other way, and most games automatically flip the screen as appropriate.  Finally, once you start owning many islands, it can become a bit tedious and time consuming building on each island separately.  As you can only build 3 buildings per turn per island, it would have been nice to have an option to build multiple buildings at once to save some time.

Understand that these comments are minor and should not deter you from enjoying this game.  The graphics are well polished, with some nice special effects when casting spells.  There’s a ton of strategy and fun to be had. Just as pleasing for me is that it can be both a pick-up-and-play or a game where you invest hours in one sitting.  It’s up to you…

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App Summary
Title: Orions: Legends of Wizards (v1.1) Developer: MoreGames (Published by Chillingo)
Price: $4.99 App Size: 16.1 mb
  • Lots of strategy
  • Campaign mode has lots to offer
  • Graphics of cards are nicely detailed
  • Can’t hold device the way I want to
  • Difficult learning curve
  • Can get tedious to build resources on each island

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Cake Mania 3 in Review – Can we have our cake and eat it too? http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/02/16/cake-mania-3-in-review-can-we-have-our-cake-and-eat-it-too/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/02/16/cake-mania-3-in-review-can-we-have-our-cake-and-eat-it-too/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2009 17:51:37 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=5179 As you all know from my previous review, I’m a real-time managing expert.  Ok, I may not be an expert, and I may not even be close to a professional, but I do know fun and intense games when I see them.  Cake Mania 3 is definitely on the fun and intense side, and probably … Read more]]>

cakemania1As you all know from my previous review, I’m a real-time managing expert.  Ok, I may not be an expert, and I may not even be close to a professional, but I do know fun and intense games when I see them.  Cake Mania 3 is definitely on the fun and intense side, and probably more on the intense side.


As with all time managing games, the object is to keep your customers happy.  Here, we’re building cakes of different shapes, colors, icing and toppings in a certain amount of time before the customer gets angry and leave.

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What is different in Cake Mania 3 is that rather than making multiple combos to earn double and triple the amount of cash, you now work towards a “sugar rush”.  A “sugar rush” basically puts you in super speed (or maybe in Matrix time of cake baking) where as soon as you put the cake in the oven, or put the topping on the cake, it’s automatically done.  No need to wait for anything to happen.  This is crucial to making good time and serving customers in a speedy fashion.

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One of the other nice features is that for each of the 5 different worlds you visit, each world has their own special power-up for that level.  For instance, the Cave World (as I call it) gives a club that knocks the customers over the head, in essence allowing you to give them whatever cake you want.  In one of the other worlds, you’re able to turn back the clock which allows you to keep the store open a bit longer and therefore allowing more customers (and more money) to be had.

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I must admit that I found this game quite challenging.  Don’t let the cutesy graphics fool you.   Yes, the graphics are highly polished and probably the best ones for time management games in the App Store today.  But this is a difficult and intense game.  There really is no room for error here.  And this leads to the final strategy element, the upgrades.

Choose your upgrades carefully.  They are necessary to improve your time and your speed.  Don’t buy 3 ovens and a TV before upgrading your feet.  You need to move fast in this game so I recommend upgrading the feet as quickly as possible (no pun intended). I will say that the game started off at a rather slow pace and this may have something to do with the fact that I was still walking slowly but before I knew it, I was running around the bakery building double and triple layer cakes.

And this would be my only real complaint.  When it came time to build 3 layer cakes, I sometimes found it difficult to decipher between the layers due to the small screen.  It’s not something that breaks the game, but it did cause me to pause an extra second trying to figure out if the second layer was brown (circle) or red (heart).

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Cake Mania 3 is a lot of fun.  It’s definitely highly polished, and an excellent port of the PC classic.  It’s also highly challenging.  There is a trophy room where you can look back at all your accomplishments, and this is one game where you can feel good about your success.

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App Summary
Title: Cake Mania 3 (v1.0) Developer: Sandlot Games (Published by Hudson)
Price: $5.99 App Size: 43.9 mb
  • Highly Polished Graphics
  • Very Challenging
  • Intense gameplay
  • Sometimes hard to decipher layer
  • Very Challenging
  • Starts off slow

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