TouchMyApps » Kenneth 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 Fri, 27 Mar 2015 02:23:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.5 Lunar Module 3D in Review – Great way to remember Project Apollo’s 40th Anniversary!! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/26/lunar-module-3d-in-review-great-way-to-remember-project-apollo%e2%80%99s-40th-anniversary/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/26/lunar-module-3d-in-review-great-way-to-remember-project-apollo%e2%80%99s-40th-anniversary/#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2009 20:44:03 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=16344 It’s just such a coincidence that I received Lunar Module 3D during the week that Apollo XI landed on the Moon forty years ago. I have been reading, hearing and watching news and movie clips on this event for a number of weeks leading to the actual anniversary of the landing. What better way to … Read more]]>

lunarmodule3d_1

It’s just such a coincidence that I received Lunar Module 3D during the week that Apollo XI landed on the Moon forty years ago. I have been reading, hearing and watching news and movie clips on this event for a number of weeks leading to the actual anniversary of the landing. What better way to celebrate than to digitally re-create what Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin did in this historic event.

Upon loading Lunar Module 3D, the player is presented with a number of missions to land the LEM. Obviously, with this historic date, of course I chose Apollo XI.

lunarmodule3d_2

Once Lunar loads, the game will present the user with a 3D view of the LEM, and various buttons to control the classic machine. Also, it shows various displays such as fuel, speed and altitude.

Once the situation is clear, and it is evident where to land, you tilt the iPhone/ iPod Touch to control the LEM. Typical input for any plane simulation games is the control scheme (i.e. tilt forward to rotate the LEM forward and vice versa, and left/ right to rotate the LEM left/ right). Pressing the “Thrust” button on the screen will initiate that single thruster on the landing stage of the LEM. However, be warned, because there is less gravity, and because there is no air for friction, braking the LEM will require reverse thrusting, rather than not thrusting like all plane simulators. Also, because the LEM is a unique vehicle in that it doesn’t land like a plane, controls can be hard to get used to at first.

lunarmodule3d_3

In order to properly land the LEM, the player must pay attention to all three readings on the meter because there is no way to “estimate” distances and speed, and also to make sure that proper reverse thrust is used because the LEM will move horizontal infinitely due to the nature of space. However, unlike space, the Moon has gravity, so the LEM will fall if not controlled properly. I admit I had a hard time playing the game the first few times.

lunarmodule3d_4

I did find this game fun, mainly because it offers quite a different experience from other apps. From what I know, this is one of the very few space related games, in contrast to the multitude of plane simulators on the iTunes Store. Lunar Module 3D seems accurate enough to me, since it’s a “game” and not a true “simulator”. Also, the way that it uses the accelerometer very effectively to control the LEM; it’s neither too sensitive nor too blunt. When all is said and done, and despite the fact that its gameplay does get somewhat repetitive after awhile, Lunar Module 3D manages to squeak into our Grab It rating with its intuitive controls and fun “moon landing” factor.

grab

App Summary
Title: Lunar Module 3D (v1.0) Developer: J-Squared Software
Price: $1.99 App Size: 0.4 MB
  • Many stages that correlate to the actual Apollo Program in the 1960s
  • Good calibration of accelerometer for controls
  • Feels “Pretty” accurate
  • The game is hard to learn at first
  • Graphics could be better, although still very acceptable
  • Gameplay could feel repetitive after many landings

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/26/lunar-module-3d-in-review-great-way-to-remember-project-apollo%e2%80%99s-40th-anniversary/feed/ 0
Battleships Classic in Review – A nice new twist for a true classic http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/24/battleships-classic-in-review-a-nice-new-twist-for-a-true-classic/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/24/battleships-classic-in-review-a-nice-new-twist-for-a-true-classic/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2009 17:27:53 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=16342 I don’t think Battleship needs any introduction; it’s such a classic that everyone must have played it at least once, whether it’s the actual board game, on a computer, on the web, or on a mobile phone. At the iTunes Store, there are quite a few implementations too. However, Battleships Classic, developed by Hiccup Studios, … Read more]]>

battleshipsclassic8

I don’t think Battleship needs any introduction; it’s such a classic that everyone must have played it at least once, whether it’s the actual board game, on a computer, on the web, or on a mobile phone. At the iTunes Store, there are quite a few implementations too. However, Battleships Classic, developed by Hiccup Studios, has a new twist that makes it more interesting and strategic.

battleshipsclassic3At first, Battleships Classics will ask whether you would like to play against another person, or with the computer. In this case, I chose computer. Then it asks you to “hide” your ships on the grid which is surprisingly bigger than most Battleship incarnations, and thus, a little harder.

Once the computer’s ships are also “hidden”, the computer will then start the game, but the player gets to call the first shot. The new twist is right here; rather than firing one shot at a time like in the traditional rules, the game lets you fire nine shots on the first turn. That first salvo will first be resolved and then, the computer fires its return. This formula of shoot and be shot continues the entire game, but the catch is that the number of shots per turn will decrease as the game progresses.

battleshipsclassic4The thing about this new element in the game is that it makes the player think a lot more strategically in terms of placing ships and placing shots. This is because with nine shots and that the shots decrease after each turn, placing the ships and the shots at the right place at the right time is more critical. If your opponent is lucky or smart enough to get two ships in one turn, the damage is higher and losses are greater as turns build upon turns. The need for ships to be strategically placed hedges against a “lucky” opponent and shot placement is of utmost importance. Since the grid is bigger, the game is more fair than my description would seem, but the importance of well-placed shots cannot be underestimated.

battleshipsclassic1In terms of the presentation of this game, I think it’s done quite well, although at times, the game gets very intense and the in-game animations sequences can get annoying because it is impossible to cancel their playback. Also, one might say that for a $1.99 game, the visuals and coding quality are overly simple. However, in my opinion, I think that for such a straight-forward game, Battleships Classic’s presentation is adequate. Overall, I think it is a very good purchase for fans of the battleship genre, although at times I wish the game allows the option to play with classic rules.

grab

App Summary
Title: Battleships Classic (v1.0) Developer: Hiccup Studios
Price: $1.99 App Size: 4.9 MB
  • New rules for a very classic game
  • Good simple user interface
  • The graphics might “get in the way” during an intense game
  • Lack of a “classic mode”

appstoreicon

battleshipsclassic2 battleshipsclassic1 battleshipsclassic4 battleshipsclassic3 battleshipsclassic8Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/24/battleships-classic-in-review-a-nice-new-twist-for-a-true-classic/feed/ 1
Solitaire City (Deluxe) in Review – A Very Comprehensive Game http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/22/solitaire-city-deluxe-in-review-%e2%80%93-a-very-comprehensive-game/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/22/solitaire-city-deluxe-in-review-%e2%80%93-a-very-comprehensive-game/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2009 10:16:46 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=13865 Solitaire is very much a classic that on every platform and there are at least a million different implementations by a million different developers of the game. I mean, seriously, every time a new platform debuts that allows a public SDK, a version of Solitaire is bound to appear within a month, if not sooner. … Read more]]>

solitairecity1

Solitaire is very much a classic that on every platform and there are at least a million different implementations by a million different developers of the game. I mean, seriously, every time a new platform debuts that allows a public SDK, a version of Solitaire is bound to appear within a month, if not sooner. If there isn’t a public SDK, the developer of the platform will make a version themselves.

However, this version is the first I’ve played on the OS X iPhone platform, and I think this is one of the best versions I’ve played, regardless of platform.

solitairecity4

App Description

The award winning Solitaire City collection is now available for iPhone and iPod Touch. Compete against player’s from all around the world via Wi-Fi or cellular networks and see your name and scores in lights on real-time, daily, weekly and champions hi-score tables that are automatically synchronized with a central server.

Numerous game rules offer over 60 solitaire variations – Spider One, Two and Four Suits, FreeCell (7 variations), Klondike (12), Demon (4), Poker Squares (4), Pyramid (4), Cribbage Squares (3), Golf (4), Casket (2), Alternations (4), Eliminator (3), Yukon (3), Tri-Peaks (2), Double Klondike (3) and Spiderette One, Two and Four Suits.

FEATURES

  • Landscape & portrait support
  • Rotate the iPhone during play to switch orientation
  • Impressive graphical effects
  • Timed scoring system
  • Online hi-score tables (play offline too)
  • Listen to iTunes music while playing
  • Fun sound effects
  • Enticing background graphics
  • Choice of detailed card designsInteractive training
  • Unlimited undos
  • Saves game position when the phone rings
  • Left and right handed options
  • Serious addiction

One of the first reasons I think Solitaire City is one of the best versions of Solitaire I’ve played is purely because of the touch controls. On other platforms (Windows, Mac, Palm, Sony Ericsson, whatever), it requires control via buttons, mouse, pointers, or a stylus. Although it’s not a big thing, it just doesn’t come close to real cards. However, with touch controls on the iPhone, it’s completely natural, coming closer to the feeling of playing actual cards, but without the bother of shuffling, dealing and those snooty looks from your opponent (that is if you play SOLOtaire with an opponent).

solitairecity3

Solitaire City is a comprehensive solitaire game with 15 game modes and an average of 3 or 4 different rulesets for each game. It’s quite like having 60 games in one which makes it feel a better value. Although gameplay is typically solitaire, the different rules and different methods of gameplay, replay value is very high. There is also a helpful training mode and online leaderboards to help serve deal up that competitive spirit within each player!

Also, in addition to the potential for replaying, I think the game design is very well thought-out. Solitaire City allows for both portrait and landscape gameplay in any mode of play. This is a great feature because it allows users to play one-handed in portrait-mode whilst in tight spots like the train/ bus, and two-handed whilst sitting down at their leisure. The background music and sound effects are also very well integrated; it’s entertaining enough to not be irritating, a very common mistake with these types of games. The colour scheme too, is not garish: it is just right for a good night of solo solitaire.

solitairecity2

Now, onto my final opinions of the Solitaire City. At $7.99, it is quite expensive, however, the fit and finish of the game are very good and along with graphics, sound and overall quality of play are phenomenal. Details such as the training mode, online score board, layout orientation, size of cards, controls are of great quality, which makes me very much interested in playing the game (I honestly haven’t played Solitaire in a long, long time). However, given that there is a lite version, my opinion is that unless you really love this game, go for the lite version first.

grab

App Summary
Title: Solitaire City Deluxe (v1.40) Developer: Digital Smoke
Price: $7.99 App Size: 4.5 MB
  • Great simple touch interface
  • Many variations of rules and games
  • Excellent matching music and colours
  • Expensive. At $7.99, you’re definitely paying a premium price for this Solitaire.

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/22/solitaire-city-deluxe-in-review-%e2%80%93-a-very-comprehensive-game/feed/ 0
Clue in Review – Very addictive!! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/09/clue-in-review-very-addictive/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/09/clue-in-review-very-addictive/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2009 09:42:47 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=12674 To be clear: I haven’t played the board game before, so I am reviewing Clue® based purely on its presentation and gameplay on the iDevice. Well, I found out that Clue® is a murder mystery which I set out to solve! Once loaded, Clue®’s main menu presents the game’s various settings, gives some background on … Read more]]>

review-games-clue-img_0001

To be clear: I haven’t played the board game before, so I am reviewing Clue® based purely on its presentation and gameplay on the iDevice. Well, I found out that Clue® is a murder mystery which I set out to solve!

Once loaded, Clue®’s main menu presents the game’s various settings, gives some background on the characters and statistics about the game. Given that I’m an adventurous man, I went directly to “Play!”. On my first go, the system automatically took me to an “Internship” or guided tour on the game. This is especially useful for the Clue®[less] uninitiated like myself and effectively guides the player who has never had the chance to play the board game. Once through the guided tour, I started my first “official” game.

review-games-clue-img_0002

Within the game-screens, there are various buttons on the top-left corner of the screen for interrogating other characters as well as a “flashlight” to examine objects in a particular room. When the button is pressed, the room goes dark and only examinable objects are displayed in colour. Some of these objects and all NPC characters will give clues to toward finding out the mystery. All of this summarised in the “Notes” panel. From there, the “Crime Map” and “Suspicions” panels can be used to deduce the answer: murderer, murder weapon and place of crime. Of course, everything is timed, and once submitted, an answer is given a ‘star’ evaluation based on time.

review-games-clue-img_0003

Given that I had not played the board game, nor have I played any other related games, I was slow to pick up the tricks required to successfully finish each level (I won’t divulge them here; they are for you to discover!), so I was actually quite frustrated. However, once I got the hang of the game and its features, I was hooked!! Each level has multiple endings, so this makes the game a real bargain and subsequent levels rising in complexity, Clue becomes more and more fun.

As for my comments on the build and finish of the game – Clue® has the typical EA quality of finish. The game is treated to great background music that enhances the gameplay, and the graphics are in-line with the theme of the game (although they aren’t complex like SimCity or NFS). Clue® also has auto-save, which is great because a game might take a while given that there are many clues to analyse. Having to answer phone calls does not mean that a game has to be restarted.

review-games-clue-img_0004

However, I do have concerns about the speed of the game; perhaps it’s because the game has quite a few big algorithms to work on in the background, but I just feel that the loading speed is quite slow (I used an iPhone 3G). Otherwise, I really think that this game is great and I can recommend it to anyone!!

kiss-icon

App Summary
Title: Clue® (V 1.073) Developer: Electronic Arts
Price: $4.99 App Size: 6.9 MB
  • Simple yet very effective user interface with complementing graphics and background music
  • Increasing complexity
  • Multiple endings
  • Great re-playability
  • Auto-save: a crucial tool in this genre of game
  • Slow loading times

appstoreicon

Other EA games at TMAare below:
Sims 3, SimCity, Need for Speed Undercover, Monopoly, Star Trek, Anytime Pool, Tiger Woods PGA Tour®

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/09/clue-in-review-very-addictive/feed/ 5
Geotap in Review – Educational Fun http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/25/geotap-in-review-educational-fun/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/25/geotap-in-review-educational-fun/#comments Tue, 26 May 2009 00:40:49 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=11451 I’m actually a big fan of mini games and quick pickup-and-play games; ones that don’t take much time and effort and can entertain me for short spurts while I feel bored, e.g. daily commute, waiting at a restaurant, etc… Hence I don’t particularly enjoy games that require me to spend lots of time passing levels … Read more]]>

geotap1I’m actually a big fan of mini games and quick pickup-and-play games; ones that don’t take much time and effort and can entertain me for short spurts while I feel bored, e.g. daily commute, waiting at a restaurant, etc… Hence I don’t particularly enjoy games that require me to spend lots of time passing levels and learning overly complicated controls/gameplay. This is why I like Concentric Sky’s Geotap quite a bit!!

geotap2The aim of Geotap is for the user to tap on the correct location specified by the game, and the player will be given points based on the speed and accuracy of his/ her answer. Answers requested can be either cities or famous monuments (at least up to level 4, the last level I was able to get up to).

geotap3The player will first get an entire map of the world, and the questions will be asked on the screen. The user can use the typical double-tap or reverse-pinch gestures from the iDevice OS on the touch screen to zoom into the map. The more accurate you are in being able to pinpoint the location, the more points scored per question. While this is a great idea, the implementation of this function still needs work; the zooming in and the rendering of the map is hideously slow, which makes the gameplay not very fluid. Also, because I’m timed on the speed of my answer, I just know that I’m losing precious time trying to get as close in as possible for maximum points (please note that here I’m using an iPhone; it could very well be quicker on a 2nd generation iPod Touch).

geotap4Onto my opinion of this game; I think GeoTap is actually quite addictive. The concept is very interesting and at the same time also very educational. It was only upon playing the game I had realized that there are so many places I didn’t know where it’s located; I mean I know where things are thereabouts… but now I know to the nearest mile how far off I am. This is also the reason why the game is so addictive; the two elements that you can control to achieve the highest score, i.e. speed and accuracy, are key in Geotap and it certainly makes it more challenging and fun. As well, seeing how the statistics are displayed immediately after solving the questions just makes me wish I could keep passing level after level.

If you’re looking for a game that is easy to pick up and play, addictive and educational to boot, then you should definitely check out Geotap. While it’s not perfect (zooming breaks up pace of the game) , the fact that you can have fun while learning something new makes this a worthwhile entry in the ever growing App Store.

grab

App Summary
Title: Geotap (v1.0) Developer: Concentric Sky
Price: $1.99 App Size: 19.0 MB
  • Simple yet addictive game play
  • Very descriptive scoring system that helps the gamer improve
  • Educational
  • Slow zooming in/ zooming out
  • No use of music; though this can make the game more intense
  • (My personal grief… it’s quite hard…)

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/25/geotap-in-review-educational-fun/feed/ 0
9-Toolbox in Review – Convenience at its best http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/23/9-toolbox-in-review-%e2%80%93-convenience-at-its-best/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/23/9-toolbox-in-review-%e2%80%93-convenience-at-its-best/#comments Sat, 23 May 2009 16:31:43 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=11392 Rather than calling 9-Toolbox “an” app, I would consider this a collection of apps; grouped together into one icon on the Home Screen of my iDevice, and allowing me to access nine different applications, all with different functionalities. I kind of like this idea a lot; I really hate to have to search through many … Read more]]>

9toolbox1Rather than calling 9-Toolbox “an” app, I would consider this a collection of apps; grouped together into one icon on the Home Screen of my iDevice, and allowing me to access nine different applications, all with different functionalities.

I kind of like this idea a lot; I really hate to have to search through many pages on my Home Screen to look for that particular app (although this will change with iPhone OS 3.0, but in the meantime it’s a pain). I now know that I only need to look for this particular app, and I can have access to “eight” useful utilities.

For me, of the “eight” tools, there are a few that I will use regularly; one is the currency converter. I particularly like this implementation this utility, because it has inverse and reverse conversion rate, and it also automatically shows the current exchange rate, rather than me having to enter “1” in one of the fields.

9toolbox2Also, the good thing about this utility is that it automatically updates the exchange rates from the Internet, which is a nice touch.

Another very useful utility of the entire suite is the weight unit converter. The reason I find this very handy is because of where I live. In Hong Kong, some people use metric and some do not, hence there is always a need to convert units.

The beauty of this tool is the grouping of the various types of units, which greatly simplified the user interface, and that the entry of the numbers are achieved via a custom keypad, rather than the iPhone OS keyboard, which is a lot bigger and easier.

9toolbox3I won’t dwell that much on the other tools; however, I want to highlight a fact about the entire suite. Having these basic daily utilities grouped into one single application has the greatest advantage of a single unified interface; in this case a single unified “simple” interface, which is key here. The reason being these utilities are daily tools, which serves its purpose best by being quick and painless.

All in all, I think that the idea of this application is great; all the daily utilities being grouped into a single icon, and that the tools are all presented in the same simple interface. The only fault that I can think of is the use of colors in the interface, which just makes the interface unnecessarily confusing. As a free tool though, I think it’s a must-have on any iDevice.

P.S. This review was done when the program was available for free. When 9-Toolbox goes back to USD 4.99, my opinion of this application is entirely different. There are other conversion tools that are available for free at the App Store (MultiConvert, Convert Any Free); the only thing this eventual price tag brings is the unified interface and single icon. You’ll have to be your own judge to see whether it’s worth the dough. Personally, I would not part with that amount of money for those reasons, but it’s just me. If you’re going to be paying for a similar utility, be sure to check out Measures – Unit Converter and ConvertBot ; both are pretty solid tools for a fair price.

grab

App Summary
Title: 9-Toolbox (v1.2.1) Developer: e2ndesign
Price: Free ($4.99 thereafter) App Size: 4.1 MB
  • Simple, unified interface
  • Good performance
  • Easy access to daily tools
  • Excessive use of colors
  • Limited unit categories

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/23/9-toolbox-in-review-%e2%80%93-convenience-at-its-best/feed/ 1
BillTracker in Review – Useful Little App http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/21/billtracker-in-review-useful-little-app/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/21/billtracker-in-review-useful-little-app/#comments Fri, 22 May 2009 04:05:06 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=11092 With the power of mobile phones increasing by the day, a lot of manual note taking or task tracking has been shifted from traditional paper-based notepads to the mobile phone. The biggest reason, I think, is because any modern person cannot leave home without their mobile phone; combining the phone with other daily tracking functions … Read more]]>

review-finance-billtracker-02

With the power of mobile phones increasing by the day, a lot of manual note taking or task tracking has been shifted from traditional paper-based notepads to the mobile phone. The biggest reason, I think, is because any modern person cannot leave home without their mobile phone; combining the phone with other daily tracking functions is the next logical step. This is where BillTracker comes in.

Features of BillTracker:

  • Track information about each bill including due date, amount due, whether the bill has been paid, confirmation numbers for payments and more.
  • Easily create recurring bills!
  • Track account information including account numbers, websites, and phone numbers
  • Call account phone numbers directly from BillTracker or open account websites in Mobile Safari
  • Protect your data with a passcode
  • Due Date Reminders. BillTracker alerts you when a bill is due soon or past due and highlights those bills in the list so you won’t forget.
  • See complete history for each account: every bill and payment!
  • Use the currency format of your choice: BillTracker automatically uses the default currency set for your device.

This is a little application that the user can use to keep track of bills, alerting the user when a bill is due, and then reminded the user of the amount to be paid.

For its intended purpose, it does its job quite well. Simple in design, BillTracker allows the user to carry all information regarding pending bills with him/her at all times and to be alerted immediately should a bill be overdue. The interface for inputting all this information is very simple and intuitive and alerts are intrusive enough to get your attention, but not too intrusive that it affects your interaction with the iPhone/ iPod Touch.

Should someone wish to track a particular bill or group of bills, he/she needs to first add the account of the bills to be paid and details such as Name, Account Number, Phone Number and Website. Once that’s done, the user can then add the details of that particular bill, including Due Date, Amount and any particular notes. With this, the app will then track the dates and amounts to be paid automatically. This is achieved via buttons on the Icon in the Home Screen, as well as alerts when loading the application.

review-finance-billtracker-01 review-finance-billtracker-03

Onto the usefulness of this application; I personally don’t have a use for this because I have set all my bills to be paid via my credit card, and my credit card bill will be paid automatically via my savings account. Hence I don’t really know when my bills are paid because every step is automatic. However, I know of other people that might need such an application. Some of my friends in other countries don’t have the infrastructure or services from banks to achieve such a seamless process of bills, so this app really can help such users. The simple user interface makes BillTracker exceptionally easy to use. I honestly can’t find any major faults with this app; it does its job with ease. That being said, this is also its biggest disadvantage; the program isn’t that spectacular. It does its job well, nothing more. It has no function that is really value adding. I’m sure other smart phone users use their calendar alerts to replicate its function; it’s just that the application makes it easier, hence the Tap It rating.

tap-icon

App Summary
Title: BillTracker (v 1.2) Developer: Kelly Beck
Price: $3.99 App Size: 0.4 MB
  • Simple interface
  • The alerts of the application is not too intrusive
  • All bills in one place
  • Easy organization
  • Interface rather bland looking

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/21/billtracker-in-review-useful-little-app/feed/ 5
Eye Test in (Mini) Review – Nothing more than a laugh… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/15/eye-test-in-mini-review-%e2%80%93-nothing-more-than-a-laugh/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/15/eye-test-in-mini-review-%e2%80%93-nothing-more-than-a-laugh/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2009 18:39:01 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=9331 Now, just because I chose the above title doesn’t mean that I think Eye Test isn’t useful – it means that should you have a problem with your eye sight, you must seek proper medical advice rather than depend solely on this application! Now that I’ve got the possible lawsuit out of the way, let’s look … Read more]]>

review-medical-eye-test-img_0001Now, just because I chose the above title doesn’t mean that I think Eye Test isn’t useful – it means that should you have a problem with your eye sight, you must seek proper medical advice rather than depend solely on this application! Now that I’ve got the possible lawsuit out of the way, let’s look get to reviewing.

Eye Test takes a number of approaches to check the user’s eyesight. It allows the user to look at various graphics at three distances to normalise the results, as well as offer a number of tests to determine the power of the user’s eyesight, colour accuracy and illusion recognition. These four tests allow the user to check how good or bad their eyesight is within reason. The user can record each day’s result by date to reference any degradation of eyesight over time or alcohol.

review-medical-eye-test-img_0003

However, this app cannot replace an actual optometrist; that’s why I didn’t focus that much on the actual eyesight testing aspect of the application. My attention is focused primarily on the colour accuracy and illusion recognition tests because they are fun. Eye Test examines the user by displaying many graphical images from which the user must choose the most detailed. It also gives historical information pertaining to the famous [test] graphics which explain each test’s goals.
review-medical-eye-test-img_0002

The reason why I like Eye Test is because it is fun – each person’s results can quickly become funny conversation pieces and solid proof  to laugh at. In particular, colour blind and illusion tests are good grounds for poking fun at friends.

In terms of the quality and build of the application: the graphics are very well integrated into the standardised user interface of the iPhone/ iPod Touch platform. This makes Eye Test very easy to use and understand even though there aren’t that many on-screen instructions. Also, the history portion of the application is implemented in a very simple way, offering very easy to understand explanations for the user.

tap-rating

App Summary
Title: Eye Test (v 1.3) Developer: Bokan Technologies
Price: $0.99 App Size: 3.7 MB
  • Simple user interface
  • Good combination of tests/ graphics to produce results
  • Test history
  • Not enough on-screen instructions/ descriptions
  • A limited range of available graphics

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/15/eye-test-in-mini-review-%e2%80%93-nothing-more-than-a-laugh/feed/ 0
Space Invaders in Review – Overly Nostalgic? http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/13/space-invaders-in-review-%e2%80%93-overly-nostalgic/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/13/space-invaders-in-review-%e2%80%93-overly-nostalgic/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2009 00:26:14 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=9130 I actually expect to be cursed for even writing that title, because I know there are a lot of people who love this game and explicitly hope that whenever a new device is released,  Space Invaders is ported, or emulated so that they can play the historic space shooter on the new piece of hardware. … Read more]]>

spaceinvaders1I actually expect to be cursed for even writing that title, because I know there are a lot of people who love this game and explicitly hope that whenever a new device is released,  Space Invaders is ported, or emulated so that they can play the historic space shooter on the new piece of hardware. I myself was introduced to this game when I was still very young on my family’s Apple II.

spaceinvaders2Firstly, I want to describe the presentation and quality; Taito had actually emulated the “entire” Space Invaders experience, complete with the graphics of the joystick and the button for shooting the laser gun. The player will have to maintain contact with the virtual joystick, sliding left and right to move the joystick accordingly. This means that what the user sees is the same as if he/ she is in front of the 1978 machine at the arcades. To make the experience more personal, Taito even allows the user to change the virtual joystick to left/ right buttons, and make Space Invaders monochrome too!

The game itself; I don’t think it needs any explaining here. The game is typical Space Invaders; you shoot the alien ships and dodge their gunfire as they try and take over the world.

spaceinvaders3Now, onto my opinion on why this particular version of Space Invaders is overly nostalgic: I think it is because it doesn’t add much to the game experience. I understand that there are some who love this perspective and want to relive the entire experience from the 1970s and 1980s. However, I actually want to see what the original developers of the game can do with such innovative hardware available on the iPhone OS platform, namely the touch screen and accelerometer. Perhaps they can make the game 3D? Perhaps they can increase difficulty by adding more elements to it? I don’t know… but I am very curious to see what these guys can come up with… But should the developers improve it, please maintain the original version as a side function so that nostalgic gamers can enjoy the iconic game as well on their iPhone/ iPod Touch.

tap

App Summary
Title: Space Invaders (v1.0) Developer: Taito Corporation
Price: $4.99 App Size: 2.8 MB
  • True to detail replication of the original arcade experience
  • Can be configured to your “own” machine from the 70s and 80s
  • A bit expensive considering other alternatives are available
  • Nothing else major to report here…

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/13/space-invaders-in-review-%e2%80%93-overly-nostalgic/feed/ 1
Cooking Mama in Review – Great little game for kids and teenagers!! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/07/cooking-mama-in-review-%e2%80%93-great-little-game-for-kids-and-teenagers/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/07/cooking-mama-in-review-%e2%80%93-great-little-game-for-kids-and-teenagers/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2009 16:31:41 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=8668 Cooking Mama really doesn’t need any introduction; it’s been one of the more popular games on the Nintendo platform, both the Wii and the NDS. However, there is problem – some “serious” gamers think that Nintendo consoles are really for kids due to the fact that that they lack violent games such as Gears of … Read more]]>

cookingmama1Cooking Mama really doesn’t need any introduction; it’s been one of the more popular games on the Nintendo platform, both the Wii and the NDS. However, there is problem – some “serious” gamers think that Nintendo consoles are really for kids due to the fact that that they lack violent games such as Gears of War. Hence I applaud Taito for porting Cooking Mama to the iPhone/ iPod Touch platform, because this way the game can be played by more gamers.

Honestly, I haven’t played the Wii or NDS versions myself, so please don’t be expecting a comparison article!!

cookingmama2Cooking Mama starts off with an opening screen that allows the player to select either game mode, “Let’s cook” and “Cooking Contest”. Being a fast-paced person, I chose the “Let’s cook” mode which let’s me choose which dish to cook. After selecting a dish, Cooking Mama actually allows me to either make the dish, or go into a practice mode. This is a very thoughtful touch because a player can learn a dish’s actual cooking steps. After playing and practicing with a few dishes, I realized that there were many steps in creating a number of dishes. But what I liked about the game was that it takes full advantage the platform has to offer, i.e. the touch screen and the accelerometer. As a result, games can actually mimic the cooking process in a very fun way.

cookingmama3After practicing with a few dishes, Cooking Mama became quite straight forward. However, as I finished dishes and unlocked even more, the game presented newer procedures in order to complete stages.

Overall, Cooking Mama is very well designed, with intuitive menus which access various sections of the game. It also provides very good instructions to allow beginners to learn the ropes  and enjoy the entire process. The sound and music also is very well integrated, making gameplay very fluid and “exciting”. I really enjoyed playing this game, as it provided a lot of laughter for my buddies and I.

However, there are downsides to Cooking Mama; when a phone call comes, games are reset and I will have to start from scratch, and sometimes  touchscreen input is laggy. Other than these flaws, Cooking Mama is very well developed.

cookingmama4Even considering my positive comments, the pricing is a little steep, and that Cooking Mama might only appeal to kids, teens and those who enjoyed it on the Wii and DS. Regardless, Taito’s Cooking Mama is still quite a fun game for the iDevice, especially in short spurts.

grab

App Summary
Title: Cooking Mama (v1.0) Developer: Taito
Price: $6.99 App Size: 8.8 MB
  • Intuitive game play
  • Game takes full advantage of the platform’s characteristics
  • Graphics are fun and appealing to kids and teenagers
  • Incoming phone calls reset the game
  • Slight lag; might need some tweaking in future updates to improve

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/07/cooking-mama-in-review-%e2%80%93-great-little-game-for-kids-and-teenagers/feed/ 2
Who Has The Biggest Brain? in Review – Shows off the best of the platform http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/28/who-has-the-biggest-brain-in-review-shows-off-the-best-of-the-platform/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/28/who-has-the-biggest-brain-in-review-shows-off-the-best-of-the-platform/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2009 15:17:06 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=7951 The thing that attracted me most about Who Has The Biggest Brain? was the Facebook version; I’ve played it many times and I must say I really like it. The graphics are funny and that the multitude of simple games offers great entertainment and laughter. Most important, however, is that the game allows the competition … Read more]]>

whohasthebiggestbrain1The thing that attracted me most about Who Has The Biggest Brain? was the Facebook version; I’ve played it many times and I must say I really like it. The graphics are funny and that the multitude of simple games offers great entertainment and laughter. Most important, however, is that the game allows the competition between all Facebook users who play this game. When it was released for the iPhone/ iPod Touch platform, I immediately wanted to try it, because I knew that if the game was done correctly, then it can be tremendously fun on a mobile platform. As well, developer Playfish’s offering is also one of the first to use Facebook Connect, a protocol for developers to integrate its applications with the Facebook platform.

App Description:

Think you are smart? Join the 15 million players who have already played this addictive brain training game to prove it! Compare brain sizes and scores with friends by connecting to Facebook Connect on your iPhone or iPod touch.

With 12 different minigames, 27 brain types, a ton of unlockable achievements and a calendar to keep track of your performance, Who Has The Biggest Brain lets you exercise your brain in areas ranging from analytics to memory and visual processing and provide you with neverending fun!

Well, I’m happy to report that Who Has The Biggest Brain? was ported to the iPhone/ iPod Touch platform without any loss of quality; the entire game was ported to the platform directly so when I first fired it up, the interface was very familiar. The only difference was that I used my fingers to touch on the buttons and controls rather than using my mouse pointer to make my selection.

whohasthebiggestbrain2The first thing I did when I launched the game was to try out the Facebook Connect function; for those who don’t know what Facebook Connect is (if you still don’t know what Facebook is, please get off your couch and ask a friend!!), it is a protocol for developers to link their applications to the online world of Facebook, so that the app can link to your friends list, contact details and the like. With this game, the Facebook Connect function will allow it to upload the score to Facebook and compare it to other players, whether it’s the iPhone/ iPod Touch version or the Facebook version. Once logged in, I can view my previous score that I’ve achieved on Facebook, and see where I’m ranked amongst my friends. This is a very nice touch, as this adds more interactivity to my game, and allows me to continue to improve my ranking when I’m away from my Mac.

whohasthebiggestbrain5Once started, it was very familiar territory, with the games appearing the same as the Facebook version, only which it seemed easier because I could tap on the object to choose, whereas on the desktop I have to manipulate the mouse. The only time the touch interface was a hindrance was when I had to key in numbers; I am more used to the number pad, and at first that affected my score but after a while it was not much of a problem.

whohasthebiggestbrain3One difference to the desktop version is that on the iPhone/ iPod Touch, it has a few more games; although they still belong in the same four categories, it just makes the game a lot more interesting and allows more re-playing throughout. Although these are considered “Pro” functions on Facebook, it’s good to know that these levels are already built into the iPhone/ iPod Touch version.

whohasthebiggestbrain4Overall, I think Who Has The Biggest Brain? is very nicely done; all elements of the Facebook version was carried over to the iPhone/ iPod Touch platform. This was improved further with the touch interface of the platform, as well as the new technology from Facebook that allowed the connection between a mobile device and the Facebook platform. This added a lot more interactivity between friends as usually with iPhone/ iPod Touch games I can only compete with myself. With Facebook Connect, the mini-games got a lot more competitive because I’m playing with other people I know.

Although I think the price is a bit steep for an essentially a free game online, I think that the improvements made to it during porting is definitely worth it.

grab

App Summary
Title: Who Has The Biggest Brain? (v1.0) Developer: Playfish
Price: $1.99 App Size: 9.8 MB
  • Exact port of Facebook version, with Facebook Connect allowing me to play with other friends
  • Extra levels compared to Facebook version
  • Touch interface makes the game a lot more fun
  • Lots of chocolate recipes
  • No option to switch off the music, unless I flick the silent switch on the phone
  • The game keeps asking me to log into Facebook Connect, when it has all my details
  • A bit expensive…

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/28/who-has-the-biggest-brain-in-review-shows-off-the-best-of-the-platform/feed/ 0
Airport Mania: First Flight in Review – Very Addictive Strategic Game http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/24/airport-mania-first-flight-in-review-%e2%80%93-very-addictive-strategic-game/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/24/airport-mania-first-flight-in-review-%e2%80%93-very-addictive-strategic-game/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2009 14:19:19 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=7477 When I first looked at the description of Airport Mania: First Flight on iTunes, I knew I immediately wanted to buy it. This was because I loved the cute little planes and that the theme of the game was very interesting to me. I mean, yes, the game is about airports and how to best … Read more]]>

airportmania1When I first looked at the description of Airport Mania: First Flight on iTunes, I knew I immediately wanted to buy it. This was because I loved the cute little planes and that the theme of the game was very interesting to me. I mean, yes, the game is about airports and how to best utilise the resources at that particular airport, but deep down it’s really a strategic game whereby the player has to fit the right pieces into the right place. This proved right when I actually finished this game; I haven’t finished a game in a long time.


airportmania2

When I first loaded Airport Mania, I was presented with a very user friendly tutorial that taught me the mechanics and instructions on how to play this game. The thing which surprised me was that the instructions were presented in an interactive way, allowing me to have fun right away. This definitely increased my interest in the game a lot as it meant I could immediately start to play with the little cute planes.

airportmania3Once I was done with the tutorials though, I immediately started to play the actual levels in the game. As expected, I began to meddle with the airplanes and was able to manipulate them to go to the right place at the right time. The first few levels were easy, but once the harder levels and the number of planes increased and their request increased (such as refuelling, repairing, and quicker turnaround time with the more passengers and bigger planes), this game started to become a bigger challenge. Luckily, with each level, I was able to increase the capacity of the airport, such as the speed of unloading/ loading passengers, the number of gates, the speed of the repair/ refuel facilities, and the number of runways. All these elements made Airport Mania a lot more interesting because it added complexities to the game.

Also, later on in the game, there were planes with special requests, such as pregnant women, donated organ shipments, or even Air Force One. These planes required extra attention which made this airport sim even more fun.

airportmania4Overall, Airport Mania: First Flight is actually a very good one; one should not be fooled by its childish graphics or simple theme. This is because this game requires strategic thinking (but not too much for the mobile environment) which actually makes this a good title for the daily commute, although it does require a very precise touch to the screen, which hindered my progress whenever I was on a bus. However, given the low cost of this game, it is a very good value purchase for me.

As an aside, I actually went to try out the desktop version of the game, and using the mouse compared to actually being able to touch the little planes was not as fun, so I definitely recommend the iPhone/ iPod Touch version.

kiss

App Summary
Title: Airport Mania: First Flight Developer: Reflexive Entertainment
Price: $0.99 App Size: 8.9 MB
  • Easy to learn, with great tutorial
  • Very addictive with complexities
  • When the number of planes increase, the screen was very cluttered, making it hard to tap the planes

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/24/airport-mania-first-flight-in-review-%e2%80%93-very-addictive-strategic-game/feed/ 1