TouchMyApps » ChiffaN 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 Jurassic Park: The Game 2 HD in Review – Not exactly the family-friendly theme park http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/08/30/jurassic-park-the-game-2-hd-in-review-not-exactly-the-family-friendly-theme-park/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/08/30/jurassic-park-the-game-2-hd-in-review-not-exactly-the-family-friendly-theme-park/#comments Thu, 30 Aug 2012 14:10:18 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=69519 I think few franchises have ever captured the imagination of the public like the famous Jurassic Park trilogy by Steven Spielberg. Books, toys, even theme parks – the world has seen it all. And even a couple of video-games, though they weren’t really worth mentioning. Until now that is! Telltale has struck again, taking an … Read more]]>

I think few franchises have ever captured the imagination of the public like the famous Jurassic Park trilogy by Steven Spielberg. Books, toys, even theme parks – the world has seen it all. And even a couple of video-games, though they weren’t really worth mentioning. Until now that is! Telltale has struck again, taking an age-old intellectual property and twisting it in new and interesting ways. As a serialized interactive movie adventure none-the-less.

Not surprisingly the second installment of the series (TMA review of episode 1) continues the interactive movie approach to adventure gaming with a dab of the traditional point and tap. A couple of mercenaries have been sent to the island to find and rescue the missing scientists we acquainted ourselves with in the previous chapter. Meanwhile, we get a bit more of the story of the mysterious thief and the scientists themselves.

Jurassic Park captures the spirit of the movies thanks to the fast-paced action sequences where you have to swipe and tap in time with the hints on-screen to avoid danger and keep your protagonists alive. The difficulty is well balanced and most of the time the game is quite forgiving if you miss your timing, only bringing down your score a notch. I was pleasantly surprised how immersive the experience was – a few times I all but dropped my iPad startled by an unexpected move from a dino.

The story bits are portrayed through the more relaxed adventuring scenes, where you get the chance to look around, explore the environment and do some talking. Oh yes, and solve some puzzles while you’re at it as well. The dialogues are well written and give a good feeling of the characters’s backstories and motives. If you’re not deep into adventure games – don’t worry. There is no inventory or anything like that and the puzzles won’t offer much of a fight.

The graphics in Jurassic Park are excellent – rich colours, detailed models and backgrounds – the dinos come alive under your fingertips. Unfortunately this comes at a price: even on the New iPad I noticed a lag here and there. The audio work is excellent, both the music and voiceovers; this is definitely a game I would recommend playing with headphones on. The controls are simple and intuitive both in the action sequences and the adventuring scenes. I do have to note the parabolic gestures are not always recognized completely as you’d like in the action portion, so it’s a good thing there is room for error.

Jurassic Park 2 is an excellent followup to the first chapter, keeping the same immersive cinematic experience and advancing the story of our heroes. The adventuring scenes allow ample time to catch your breath between the swashbuckling finger-twisting, tapping and swiping of the action sequences. And the graphics and audio further work together to bring the experience ever closer to the mid-90s vision of what television in the future would be like. If you enjoyed part one there’s no reason not to pick this one up.

With this I declare Jurassic Park: The Game 2 HD officially touched!

Note: As of writing, Ep.1 is still free on the App Store, with episodes 2 to 4 on sale at $2.99 a pop.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Jurassic Park: The Game 2 HD Developer: Telltale Inc
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 4.2
Price: $2.99 App Size: 424.12MB
  • Nice graphics
  • Excellent voiceovers
  • Balanced gameplay
  • Immersive action
  • Performance issues

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Jules Verne’s Journey to the center of the moon in Review – The genius of Jules Verne in Space http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/23/jules-vernes-journey-to-the-center-of-the-moon-in-review-the-genius-of-jules-verne-in-space/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/23/jules-vernes-journey-to-the-center-of-the-moon-in-review-the-genius-of-jules-verne-in-space/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 12:55:05 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=67769 Jules Verne is arguably one of the most prophetic tech visionaries of all time, second only to Leonardo DaVinci. His 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea predicted modern era submarines in amazing detail. From the Earth to the Moon, of course, looks a bit more naive these days describing the journey to the moon using a … Read more]]>

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Jules Verne is arguably one of the most prophetic tech visionaries of all time, second only to Leonardo DaVinci. His 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea predicted modern era submarines in amazing detail. From the Earth to the Moon, of course, looks a bit more naive these days describing the journey to the moon using a giant canon. On the other hand, modern-era rockets might be considered the same in spirit, if not in principal. Tetraedge and Microids however, decided to stay true to Verne’s classic vision in their superb Jules Verne’s Journey to the center of the moon – Part 1/Part 2/Part 3.

As other Tetraedge releases, Journey to the center of the moon is a classic first person adventure. Drinking can have drastic consequences, as famous adventurer Michel Ardan quickly learns to his dismay. After a night out with a couple of other celebrities, he wakes up in a capsule speeding away from Earth surrounded by the corpses of his compatriots. With his head hurting and only a rooster for company, he not only tries to figure out how they ended up here, but to make sure he lands safely on the Moon and eventually make his way home.

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You see the world through Michel’s eyes as you explore first the confines of the capsule and later the vast expanses of the Moon. The gameplay is a traditional adventuring mix of inventory and dialogue based puzzles, with a noticeable skew towards the former. The puzzles themselves are very creative – up to the point of some clever cooking and mixing. And even though some of the original ones have been cut out of the iOS version, you’ll never feel like the game doesn’t give you enough of a challenge.

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Another pleasant surprise was the excellent spacing of story and puzzles. While many other adventure games feel like a lot of freedom is given during the first half of the story (which then quickly turns into a track further on), Journey to the center of the moon is void of such design. Instead you’ll unlock even more areas as you progress without restricting access to the earlier portions of the game. At the same time the areas where the story bits have been completed are rather obvious, relieving you of the necessity of checking each and every scene time and time again.

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Visually Journey to the center of the moon looks great. The graphics are crisp and rich in detail and colours. Utilizing the usual Microids/Tetraedge full 360 degree view and the intuitive one-tap interface, navigating the game is a breeze. And the interface makes managing the inventory a snap as well. Full voiceovers are present, along with an eerie soundtrack to accompany you on the moon.

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Jules Verne’s Journey to the center of the moon is one of the more engaging and balanced adventures I’ve played on the iPhone. It embraces the spirit of Jules Verne’s creation, combined with excellent graphics and well thought out gameplay. Intriguing and creative puzzles will keep you occupied for hours on end without leaving you feeling like you’re at a dead end. In short – it’s a must have for both fans of adventure games and the more casual gaming crowd.

Note: Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Moon is also available on the iPad: Part 1 HD / Part 2 HD / Part 3 HD.

With this I declare Jules Verne’s Journey to the center of the moon officially touched!

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Jules Verne’s Journey to the center of the moon – Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 Developer: Microids
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.2
Price: $1.99 / $1.99 / $1.99 App Size: 482.74MB / 518.25MB / 523.09MB
  • Jules Verne authentic atmosphere
  • Well balanced story and puzzles
  • Excellent graphics
  • Split into 3 parts and still not universal

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Straandlooper announces a gruesome slate of quirky new titles http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/23/straandlooper-announces-a-gruesome-slate-of-quirky-new-titles/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/23/straandlooper-announces-a-gruesome-slate-of-quirky-new-titles/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:17:38 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=67757 As I was whiling away time on the beach on an unexpected vacation/team-building/business trip last week, a surprise piece of news dropped into the Mail app on my brand spanking new iPad 3. Straandlooper, the developers behind the hilarious and witty old-school adventure HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review) / Ep2 / Ep3, are hard … Read more]]>

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As I was whiling away time on the beach on an unexpected vacation/team-building/business trip last week, a surprise piece of news dropped into the Mail app on my brand spanking new iPad 3. Straandlooper, the developers behind the hilarious and witty old-school adventure HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review) / Ep2 / Ep3, are hard at work on all new projects after the success of the trilogy (If you’ll recall, Badge of Carnage caused so much buzz in the adventure gaming scene that Telltale teamed up with Straandlooper to bring Hector to multiple platforms). Yes, projects as in plural – in fact, all 3 of them! For all you fans of the developer, check out the official details after the gap.

Press Release

The Northern Ireland indie Animation Studio and Games Developer today announced a slate of new IP to build on the success of the highly acclaimed games trilogy Hector:Badge of Carnage, which it launched back in Summer 2010 and completed with U.S. Publisher Telltale Games in September 2011.

Armed with a Slate Development loan from Northern Ireland Screen to match their own funding, the Straandlooper team is working on three brand new games and two new short films.

The team behind the Hector games, Dean Burke and Kevin Beimers is at work on two new properties – Burke’s new creation Thunder in Donford and Beimers’ brainchild Schrödinger’s Cat; while company founders Alastair McIlwain and Richard Morss are brewing The Sirrush Conundrum, created by Morss.

Thunder in Donford
Creator: Dean Burke
Designer: Dean Burke
Game Design: Dean Burke and Kevin Beimers

Like the Hector games, Thunder in Donford is packed with preposterous point- &-click style irreverence. A boisterous, non-stop cross-country ricochet across Britain, slapped together with the meticulous delusions of a paranoid conspiracy theorist lorry driver, Trev Duvay. Part time trucker, full time loner on an unforgettable crazy road trip that will probably scar your fragile mind for life.

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Schrödinger’s Cat
Creator: Kevin Beimers
Designers:Kevin Beimers and Dean Burke
Game design: Kevin Beimers and Dean Burke.

Schrödinger’s Cat – part puzzler, part platformer, part punch-up – stars a dark, dimension-jumping feline superhero who’s both dead and alive, unwittingly charged with disentangling the secrets of time, space, the atomic, the astronomical and the infinite. Up against anything from an unruly band of disagreeable leptons to the sinister creeping tendrils of Dark Matter,

Schrödinger’s Cat is sure to blow the lid off all the things you never knew about life, the universe and everything.

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The Sirrush Conundrum
Creator: Richard Morss
Designer: Alastair McIlwain
Game design: Richard Morss and Alastair McIlwain.

An epic puzzler delving into the hidden worlds of espionage and the dark underside of global business’ relations with governments. Accompany outspoken politico and ‘toff’ dissident James Newton Wellbeloved aka Newt as he runs from a kill order and at the same time has to unravel and foil a labyrinthine and outrageous international plot that leads him into the far reaches of alternative archaeology and – for a lifelong skeptic- a mind blowing immersion in so-called ‘psychic’ techniques.

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Monkey Island Tales 3 in Review – Look, a two-headed Pinocchio! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/03/15/monkey-island-tales-3-in-review-look-a-two-headed-pinocchio/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/03/15/monkey-island-tales-3-in-review-look-a-two-headed-pinocchio/#comments Thu, 15 Mar 2012 13:00:43 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=67066 Ah, love… What men (and women) won’t do for love, at least if it’s true. And if your beloved is infected by a horrible evil zombie plague, who would think twice about embarking on a journey to find the mythical zombie-sucking Giant Sea Sponge. I know I wouldn’t and neither did Guybrush Threepwood. Though the … Read more]]>

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Ah, love… What men (and women) won’t do for love, at least if it’s true. And if your beloved is infected by a horrible evil zombie plague, who would think twice about embarking on a journey to find the mythical zombie-sucking Giant Sea Sponge. I know I wouldn’t and neither did Guybrush Threepwood. Though the chance that his own possessed hand might be cured as well could have something to do with it… nah… it’s just Monkey Island Tales 3.

As with previous installments [TMA review of M.I.T 1 and M.I.T 2], Monkey Island Tales 3 is a classic point and tap adventure. Part 2, if you’ll recall, left our daring hero just as he was swallowed by a giant manatee Pinocchio style. And quite to his surprise, inside he finds the long lost adventurer who was also on a quest to retrieve the mysterious La Esponja Grande. Guybrush has to team up with these unlikely allies to find a way out of the belly of the beast while Elaine and LeChuck go around setting the monkeys free… Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture?

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Quite unsurprisingly the gameplay follows the traditional guidelines of the series. For part of the game you’ll have several concurrent tasks to complete in any order you choose, while other times it will stick a single signpost right before your nose and send you questing. This time around, your adventures will mainly take you around the insides of the sea creature (which is a bit gross if you ask me), and the traditional open sailing will not be available. The puzzles are more environment than inventory based here and you’ll even have a minigame-sort of puzzle to tackle.

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The writing gets better and better with each episode. The cast of characters would rival a blockbuster comedy and the gags manage to stay above the waistline – for the most part anyway. But considering where Guybrush finds himself, the writers deserve praise for their sense of humour. I especially enjoyed the manatee dating simulator that brought fond memories of when my wife and I first started dating. Oh, the good times.

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The graphics are solid but still suffer from not having support for the Retina display, at least on the iPhone 4/4S. And even without such, the performance is more than shaky with occasional and significant framerate drops. The audio on the other hand is simply amazing. Full voiceovers are provided and the acting is superb, which further enhances the overall experience of the adventure.

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Monkey Island Tales 3 is a solid continuation of the series and I imagine anyone who played the first two games will pick it up as well. Don’t expect any major changes in gameplay, visuals or, sadly, performance but the writing gets even better. You’ll find out how Pinocchio felt, meet a few new faces and even bring together a couple of manatees destined to fall in love. The cast of characters is superb and Monkey Island Tales 3 is sure to bring you more than it’s fair share of laughs.

With this I declare Monkey Island Tales 3 officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Monkey Island Tales 3 Developer: Telltale Inc
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 4.2
Price: $4.99 App Size: 357.49MB
  • Hilarious writing
  • Excellent voiceovers
  • Memorable characters
  • Performance issues

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Law & Order: Legacies in Review – TV show live and under control http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/02/27/law-and-order-legacies-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/02/27/law-and-order-legacies-in-review/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 08:48:41 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=66806 Before I start, I would like to say that for better or for worse I’ve never seen a single episode of Law and Order. Ever. So as I laid my hands on the recent release from Telltale, I was completely unbiased, if a little surprised. It seemed to me that the TV show in question … Read more]]>

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Before I start, I would like to say that for better or for worse I’ve never seen a single episode of Law and Order. Ever. So as I laid my hands on the recent release from Telltale, I was completely unbiased, if a little surprised. It seemed to me that the TV show in question would not survive the transfer to videogaming well, let alone on an iOS device. Boy, was I wrong. But wait, the court’s in session and the jury have yet to reach a verdict on Law & Order: Legacies.

Law & Order: Legacies heralds another step away from the traditional point-and-click adventure genre for Telltale. This time the king of episodic adventures targets the detective/lawyer model made popular by Phoenix Wright. The gang is back together and they’re on the case, or should I say – cases, starting with a mysterious murder of a gorgeous maid in a run of the mill hotel.

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Law & Order has two distinct gameplay modes addressing the structure of the tv series. First of all you have to guide the detectives in conducting the preliminary investigation. Most of it is interviewing witnesses, though sometimes an examination of a crime scene is required. Noteworthy is the mechanic for the latter – you pan the screen to look over the surroundings and to actually verify if the hotspot is of interest, you have to draw a circle around it. The interviews are quite straightforward and require significant attention to what is being said since even through the course of the dialogue, you’ll be quizzed on whether you appraise the victim to be telling the truth or not and actually provide a basis for the decision. If you ace a particularly important question you’ll be awarded a star, and a certain minimum number of stars are required to pass the scene.

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Once the investigation is more or less complete, the hearing will begin. You will then alternate between questioning the witness and poking holes in your opponent’s testimony by a well placed objection. Based on your performance the jury will lean one way or the other. Naturally you’d want them to support your arguments, and mastering the objections in a variety of flavours is key. Sometimes you’ll even want to retract your objection before giving the grounds for it to disrupt the opponent’s speech without actually having a reason to.

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Graphically Law & Order is quite impressive, with its detailed artwork and characters that nicely resemble the real live actors. The voiceovers are not performed by their television counterparts, but are close enough to the originals that you won’t give it too much thought. I was pleasantly surprised to see the game run quite well on my iPhone 4 which is certainly a rare treat from a Telltale adventure. Also the app is universal, which allows you to enjoy it on both the iPhone and iPad. And instead of releasing a bunch of separate titles, new episodes will be available via IAP as either separate purchases or a whole season pack ($2.99 per episode or $12.99 for all seven).

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I’m not deeply familiar with the Professor Layton subgenre of adventure games but what I saw in Telltale’s latest experiment impressed a whole lot. Law & Order: Legacies is both a solid TV show tie-in and a deep and balanced detective/lawyer adventure that sometimes verges on a simulation. The performance is great even on older devices and the fact that it’s a universal release doesn’t hurt one bit. I can safely recommend it regardless of whether you’re a fan of the genre or series, or simply looking for an enjoyable way to spend a few hours on your iDevice.

With this I declare Law & Order: Legacies officially touched!

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Law & Order: Legacies Developer: Telltale Inc
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 4.2
Price: Currently Free App Size: 160.24MB
  • Varied and balanced gameplay
  • Nice graphics
  • Authentic TV show characters and atmosphere
  • Universal
  • The episodes are a bit on the pricy side

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Blueprint 3D in Review – Now where did I leave that pencil? http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/02/02/blueprint-3d-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/02/02/blueprint-3d-in-review/#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2012 16:22:47 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=66198 Out of all my university courses, my least favourite was probably mechanical drawing. You know, where you have to meticulously prepare a technical image of an object to scale according to all the rules and regulations. I’ve had little problems understanding how it should look like, but doing it neatly – let’s just say that … Read more]]>

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Out of all my university courses, my least favourite was probably mechanical drawing. You know, where you have to meticulously prepare a technical image of an object to scale according to all the rules and regulations. I’ve had little problems understanding how it should look like, but doing it neatly – let’s just say that it didn’t always go according to plan. I’ve even had dreams about the sketches, though they were more like nightmares. And funnily enough, those drawings in my dreams looked almost exactly like Blueprint 3D.

Blueprint 3D is an original motion puzzle release from FDG Entertainment, publisher of Beyond Ynth and Cover Orange. The crux of the game is simple – you have to arrange the seemingly chaotic pieces of a blueprint to make a coherent drawing. Yep, just like in my nightmares.

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Offering a whopping 270 levels, Blueprint 3D will give your brain a workout as you try to rotate the numerous pieces of the blueprint to create a picture. There is something of a magical feeling when, with a simple swipe of a finger, you’ll see the random mass of lines arrange themselves into a crisp image. And depending on the time it takes you to do so, the game will award you up to 3 stars, though at times getting all 3 seems possible only if lady luck is on your side.

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On the easy difficulty Blueprint 3D doesn’t pose that much of a problem; after a decent amount of twirling the cloud of lines, you’ll see them starting to align. And once the image is more or less clear, a hint will appear to notify you it’s time to rotate the drawing upwards. A step up from easy and those hints are gone, but for most players, that shouldn’t be much of an issue. If that’s too easy for you, then bumping up the difficulty level is the way to go. Splitting the cloud into 2 layers, Blueprint 3D will give you a hell of a time trying to align both. So unless you’ve got the patience of a Tibetan monk, I’d advise to sticking to the easier levels.

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Visually Blueprint 3D is crisp and works very well for what it’s trying to accomplish. Even on the small screen of the iPhone, I had flashbacks of the good ol’ university days. This is further augmented by eight distinct themes the levels are spread across, each with its own relaxing soundtrack. The controls are very intuitive, though on the highest difficulty level, the task of revealing the final blueprint even after the endless turns and rotations can seem impossible.

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Strangely enough, of all the games I’ve played on the iDevice, Blueprint 3D reminded me most of Zen Bound 2 (TMA Review), probably because of the rotation-based gameplay. There is not that much of the game in it as such, but the process of twirling around a chaotic cloud of lines is akin to meditation. And when all of them suddenly come together to create a fully rendered object, it certainly gives a burst of satisfaction no worse than killing a very tough boss does in an action/RPG. For the measely sum of $0.99 for the iPhone version (Blueprint 3D HD for the iPad goes for $2.99) I’d say – go for it!

With this I declare Blueprint 3D officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Blueprint 3D Developer: FDG Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $0.99 App Size: 165.84MB
  • Original gameplay
  • Difficulty levels for all player categories
  • Lots of levels
  • Very satisfying
  • A bit too difficult on max level
  • Too hard to get the 3 star rating

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Monkey Island Tales 2 in Review – A human LeChuck is dumber than he looks http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/30/monkey-island-tales-2-in-review-a-human-lechuck-is-dumber-than-he-looks-2/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/30/monkey-island-tales-2-in-review-a-human-lechuck-is-dumber-than-he-looks-2/#comments Mon, 30 Jan 2012 09:29:14 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=65973 Pirates and zombies – these two things are just destined to go together. No wonder when LucasArts designed Monkey Island all those years ago the villain was made one. Now more than 20 years have passed and Telltale has boldly set out to show what the evil pirate would be like if he was human. … Read more]]>

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Pirates and zombies – these two things are just destined to go together. No wonder when LucasArts designed Monkey Island all those years ago the villain was made one. Now more than 20 years have passed and Telltale has boldly set out to show what the evil pirate would be like if he was human. Meet the dreaded LeChuck turn into a lovable oaf in Monkey Island Tales 2 – the follow-up to Monkey Island Tales 1 (TMA Review) and tremble with… well, not fear.

Naturally the second chapter still follows the traditional point-and-tap gameplay of the series. Having escaped Flotsam island, our brave hero Guybrush sets out to find his beloved Elaine as well as to track down the legendary La Esponja Grande – the only cure to the Pox of LeChuck. Having successfully found her after meeting a beautiful pirate hunter and losing his hand, he is shocked however to see LeChuck… who turned from a bloodthirsty megalomaniac into a lovable and somewhat oafish hero-wannabe.

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Gameplay-wise Monkey Island Tales 2 is a classic Telltale adventure. You explore the Jerkbait islands and minor surrounding bits of land, searching for the lost artifacts that can together summon the mythical sea creatures and thus take you to La Esponja Grande. And similar to other Telltale titles, you’ll have a bit of freedom at certain points in the game, where several objectives are available simultaneously to be solved in parallel. The puzzles themselves are well-balanced and most of the time you won’t struggle too long to get the hang of things.

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The writing is excellent and filled with humour; I can’t count how many times I was ready to laugh my head off. I especially enjoyed the buffoon human LeChuck turned into (you’ll even have a chance to guide him through solving a puzzle). Elaine seemed a bit fishy and out of character though and the fangirl pirate hunter was simply delightful.

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Technically Monkey Island Tales 2 suffers from the same problems as the original – appalling performance on the iPhone 4. Of course the owners of Apple’s latest and greatest are probably fine but the ones who’ve decided to hold out for the 5 (like myself) will have to struggle with framerate drops and out-of-sync sound. Speaking of which, Monkey Island Tales 2 has full voiceovers and superb music, so it’s a shame to play without it. The interface is well adapted to the smaller screen of the iPhone, with a simple two-finger tap to show hotspots and a handy wheel to toggle through them for times when hitting the sweet spot manually is just too much bother.

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Monkey Island Tales 2 is what it is – a natural continuation of the episodic reboot of the classic franchise. The gameplay is well adapted to the modern era with built-in hints and hotspot highlighting to avoid the most tedious and frustrating aspects of the good old adventure genre. At the same time Telltale has successfully managed to keep the spirit of the LucasArts’ classics thanks to excellent writing, creative puzzles and superb voiceovers. If only the technical performance was as good I’d give it a Kiss It rating. Still, for anyone who enjoys a dab of adventure gaming Monkey Island Tales 2 is definite must.

With this I declare Monkey Island Tales 2 officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Monkey Island Tales 2 Developer: Telltale Inc
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 4.2
Price: $4.99 App Size: 319.38MB
  • Hilarious writing
  • Clever Puzzles
  • Polished interface
  • Nice voiceover acting
  • Poor performance

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EPOCH in Review – Go save the princess, you tin can! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/26/epoch-in-review-go-save-the-princess-you-tin-can/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/26/epoch-in-review-go-save-the-princess-you-tin-can/#comments Thu, 26 Jan 2012 10:02:21 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=65755 At times it seems developers just miss that creative spark in terms of writing, leaving us stuck with stories full of cardboard characters and clichés. But every once in a while a streak of genius may turn such a seemingly boring tale into something new and original. And depending on the viewpoint EPOCH falls neatly … Read more]]>

At times it seems developers just miss that creative spark in terms of writing, leaving us stuck with stories full of cardboard characters and clichés. But every once in a while a streak of genius may turn such a seemingly boring tale into something new and original. And depending on the viewpoint EPOCH falls neatly into the latter category. Or not.

Epoch is somewhat of a cross between Infinity Blade (TMA Review) and a shooting range. In the distant future, robots have taken the weight of humanity’s shoulders quite literally by decimating the entire population. After years of peaceful servitude a mysterious virus has turned the docile butler and gardener bots into bloodthirsty lunatics. You play as presumably the sole sane surviving android – though not just any hunk of scrap. Our protagonist is the bodyguard of the princess and following its main directive, it sets off to find what happened to her. This is presented through glimpses of the preceding events via intercepted transmissions.

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Although obviously inspired by Infinity Blade, Epoch can in no way be called a rip-off. It takes the swipe based combat mechanic and merges it with the good old shooting range genre. You take charge of your daring bot as waves of not so friendly robots try to destroy you. Interestingly enough, instead of fully controlling the aiming, you simply mark the target and the shooting is done automatically. As such, you have to focus on avoiding enemy fire, timely reloads and use of the special abilities. A level usually consists of several vantage points, between which you can alternate to keep the damage to a minimum.

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In addition to the main weapon, grenades, rockets and special abilities become available as you progress through the game . These have the advantage of dealing damage without exposing you to enemy fire, though they do come with a cooldown timer. The abilities complement your style of play, whether by self-healing, giving you limited bullet-time or firepower boosts. Weapons and armor can be one of 5 types (think elements in Infinity Blade) and choosing the correct one to avoid enemy resistances in a particular level is often the key to success. All of this goodness is either acquired as salvage after a mission or available for purchase in the store. Money is also awarded for completing levels with bonuses for destroying hidden crates.

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Visually Epoch is superb – the graphics are detailed and atmospheric, with rich special effects showing the full power of the Unreal engine. The controls are perfectly balanced with a mix of swipe gestures and virtual buttons. With perfect performance on my iPhone 4, it’s definitely one of the most polished titles I’ve laid my hands on. And to top it off, it’s universal so you can enjoy it both on the iPad and iPhone for one low price. No save game syncing between devices though, which is a downer.

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Epoch is an original twist on the gameplay mechanic introduced by Infinity Blade. With amazing graphics, intuitive controls and addictive gameplay it will certainly provide a fun and satisfying experience. The downside is that it’ll not last too long as the game has only a handful of levels, which are far from enough to fully unlock the story bits and the equipment available – leaving you feeling cheated out of a conclusion. But while it lasts, Epoch’s a great game!

With this I declare EPOCH. officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: EPOCH. Developer: Uppercut Games
Reviewed Ver: 1.1.0 Min OS Req: 4.0
Price: $0.99 App Size: 234.80MB
  • Stunning visuals
  • Polished and addictive gameplay
  • Intuitive controls
  • Universal
  • Short
  • No save game syncing between devices
  • Poor incentive to start over

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Dimensions. Adventures in the Multiverse in Review – Ambient noise app meets foursquare and Farmville http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/18/dimensions-adventures-in-the-multiverse-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/18/dimensions-adventures-in-the-multiverse-in-review/#comments Wed, 18 Jan 2012 12:43:33 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=64716 As we all know – life can be stressful. And one way to make it a little bit more bearable is using an ambient sounds app to block out the annoying noises of everyday fuss. Whether in the office or outside they allow to, at least temporarily, shift your mind to someplace peaceful. Not content … Read more]]>

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As we all know – life can be stressful. And one way to make it a little bit more bearable is using an ambient sounds app to block out the annoying noises of everyday fuss. Whether in the office or outside they allow to, at least temporarily, shift your mind to someplace peaceful. Not content with only providing a listening experience, the developers behind Inception – The App released Dimensions. Adventures in the Multiverse, a unique app that adds some original gameplay elements to make it even more part of your routine.

It’s hard to classify Dimensions, proving once again the iOS is the perfect platform for innovation. Think of it as a hearing aid for other dimensions. But all of this is wrapped around a platform that Farmville itself would not be shy of.

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First and foremost Dimensions is an ambient/meditation sound producing app. However, unlike other similar releases, it does not have a pre-defined set of tracks for you to enjoy. Instead it utilizes the iPhone’s microphone and transforms surrounding noise to create a unique experience in realtime. The result is influenced not only by the source noise but the dimension within the app you are currently occupying.

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These dimensions are unlocked by performing specific actions – i.e. Tranquility, featuring music that’s more relaxing, is unlocked by being in a quiet place, while the more energetic Kinetic requires the iPhone to be in motion. Some dimensions even allow you to communicate with other players by creating a virtual space where you can send short voice messages. Once a dimension is unlocked you can visit it anytime without the hassle of matching the predefined conditions. Not all dimensions are available right from the start, thus requiring you to first open up a set in order to reach a new level.

But this is only the start. To make the experience more interesting (and to stimulate people spending more cash of course) the devs added a freemium minigame component. Every so often while listening to the mysterious sounds Dimensions produces, the game will say that something strange is going on. If you check the game at this point and hold the hotspot in the center you will get a map of your surroundings (powered by Google Maps of course), bathed in an eerie light with strange items scattered across the landscape. They might include Quantum (the game’s currency), artifacts and/or Nephilim.

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Quantum can be gathered by simply catching it in your beam of light while Artifacts will require a tractor beam to reel them in (which incidentally takes Quantum as fuel ). The Nephilim are the bad guys and you’ll have to use the same beam to repel them, otherwise they’ll steal the artifacts you found. To unlock the next level of dimensions you need to gather all artifacts in the already open ones. The artifacts can also be bought using Quantum. You guessed where this is leading to, right? Yep, in addition to be found in-game Quantum can also be bought using real-live cash.

The visuals in Dimensions are minimalistic but stylish. I especially liked the eerie way the map looked in the artifact-hunting minigame. I couldn’t help but think, however, the devs missed an opportunity to further integrate Augmented Reality elements using the iPhone’s camera. Hunting for quantum, artifacts and beating the Nephilim would’ve been ever so much fun if it was overlaid on top of a live feed put through some additional filters to make the video look more like from another dimension.

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Of course it would’ve been great to have the iPhone be a window to another dimension, fully embracing the augmented reality capabilities of the platform. But even limited to audio only, Dimensions provides a unique experience heralding the next step in ambient sound apps. The added game elements unfortunately suffer from a somewhat unbalanced freemium model pushing quite a bit to use real cash if you want to have access to all “tracks” in a reasonable timeframe. At $0.99 though it’s definitely worth a try, especially if you want a taste of what the future holds.

With this I declare Dimensions. Adventures in the Multiverse officially touched!

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: Dimensions. Adventures in the Multiverse Developer: Reality Jockey Ltd.
Reviewed Ver: 1.5 Min OS Req: 4.2
Price: $0.99 App Size: 140.49MB
  • Experience unique to here and now
  • Original way of unlocking individual dimensions
  • Addictive minigame
  • A bit overused freemium element
  • Frustrating to unlock higher levels of dimensions
  • No augmented video

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Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World (Full) in Review – An old style point-and-tap from the kings of Hidden Object http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/13/kaptain-brawe-a-brawe-new-world-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/13/kaptain-brawe-a-brawe-new-world-review/#comments Fri, 13 Jan 2012 13:55:01 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=64215 As I noted pretty recently, G5 Entertainment can safely be called the reigning kings of both Hidden Object and Time Management genres. You can imagine my surprise then when shortly before Christmas, I received an invitation from them to review Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World (Full) – a traditional point-and-tap adventure that feels like it’s … Read more]]>

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As I noted pretty recently, G5 Entertainment can safely be called the reigning kings of both Hidden Object and Time Management genres. You can imagine my surprise then when shortly before Christmas, I received an invitation from them to review Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World (Full) – a traditional point-and-tap adventure that feels like it’s plucked right out from the golden age of the genre. Still expecting that something’s amiss, I dove into the game.

As I’d mentioned, Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World (Full) is a traditional point-and-tap adventure. Meet Kaptain Brawe, a not too smart but way too confident and cocky member of the interstellar police force. Responding to a distress call our brawe brave hero plunges deep into a galaxy-wide conspiracy involving a mutinous crewmember, a mysterious mercenary clad in black, a couple of brilliant balls of fur and a beautiful spy aided only by his trusty robot – Rowboat. reviews-kaptain-brawe-2

Kaptain Brawe follows the classic gameplay model of point-and-tap adventures. You explore locations, collect items, talk to various zany characters and find clever ways of using your inventory. I’d especially like to note that combining items is possible as well – an almost lost art in the this age of casual games, proving once again that Kaptain Brawe stays true to the canons of the genre. Despite this the difficulty level is very well balanced; puzzle solutions are never too obvious, and you won’t get the feeling of wanting to bang your head against a brick wall.

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Kaptain Brawe features some of the better writing I’ve seen in any adventure released over the last several years. All characters are authentic and even though many seem to follow common archetypes, they will show unexpected depths as the story progresses. But don’t expect any War and Peace style drama though. The dialogues and comments overflow with humour and add much to the atmosphere of the game. For example, at a certain point you’ll have to use your robot Rowboat as a… you guessed it – a rowboat.

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The visuals are on par with the rest of the game, portrayed in gorgeous detailed 2D. The artstyle is also superb, further augmenting the humor of the script. The atmospheric soundtrack is very nicely done as well, though unfortunately there aren’t any voiceovers whatsoever. The controls are fully touch-based with a handy button to show hotspots to help avoid pixel-hunting issues.

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Completely out of the blue, G5 Entertainment delivered a top-class adventure game true to the classics like Space Quest or Rex Nebular that will appeal to both hardcore adventurers and casual gamers. Even if I wanted to, I can’t really find anything to complain about apart from the minor quibble of the lack of voiceovers. Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World delivers a perfectly balanced experience complete with excellent writing, gorgeous graphics and polished gameplay.

Note: The Full version of Kaptain Brawe currently costs $4.99, though you can download the free version here if you wish to “try before you buy”. 

With this I declare Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World (Full) officially touched!

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World (Full) Developer: G5 Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $4.99 App Size: 284.62MB
  • Balanced puzzles
  • Hilarious writing
  • Gorgeous art
  • No voiceovers

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Jurassic Park: The Game 1 HD in Review – Daddy, look at those pretty dinosaurs! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/12/jurassic-park-the-game-1-hd-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/12/jurassic-park-the-game-1-hd-in-review/#comments Thu, 12 Jan 2012 08:26:00 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=64078 For years now Telltale has proven time and time again that they’re able to turn a famous franchise into first-class episodic adventures. We’ve seen this in reboots of Sam & Max and Monkey Island (Review) series, as well as excellent adaptations of Wallace & Gromit and Back to the Future (Review). But when Jurassic Park: The … Read more]]>

For years now Telltale has proven time and time again that they’re able to turn a famous franchise into first-class episodic adventures. We’ve seen this in reboots of Sam & Max and Monkey Island (Review) series, as well as excellent adaptations of Wallace & Gromit and Back to the Future (Review). But when Jurassic Park: The Game was announced I couldn’t help but feel skeptical as to how the unique cinematic experience of such a movie could be translated into an interactive title. Well, I can tell you right now I have been proven wrong.

To be very clear, Telltale Jurassic Park: The Game is NOT a point-and-tap adventure. Instead it’s an interactive movie. The story begins shortly after the events in the first movie where the power fails and the dinos are set loose. It’s is told from two perspectives – a mercenary (Nima) hired to retrieve the gene samples seen in the movie and the park’s chief vet (Doctor Harding) and his daughter Jessie. The story is delivered very fluidly and having seen the flick is definitely not required to understand what’s going on, which may be a plus for some.

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As noted above, Jurassic Park is a step away from the traditional Telltale gameplay for a significant portion of the game. While the pure adventure sequences more or less follow the classic guidelines – you explore one or several scenes, examine hot spots, and manipulate objects to solve puzzles. And of course engage in dialogues, with some even being focused solely on the latter. The difficulty level is completely suited for the casual player while the more hardcore adventure fans might find it a bit simplistic.

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The action scenes take cues from the classic laserdisc adventures like Dragon’s Lair (TMA Review), as well as the iOS original Hysteria Project (TMA Review). While stuff happens on the screen you have to frantically tap, slide and rub the various figures to help the protagonists survive. Most of the time you won’t get penalized too much for getting it wrong apart from having the score bumped down from gold to silver and further. In some more extreme cases, you can end up dying, though you’ll have to replay the scene from the beginning.

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Visually Jurassic Park looks very nice on the iPad 2, though it can’t really compare with recent AAA Unreal engine or Unity releases. Unfortunately Telltale’s dire and consistent issue is present here in full glory; even on the latest (for now at least) generation of the iPad, framerates occasionally drop far below the comfortable level, which is especially unnerving in the action sequences. At least the multi-tasking problems have been fixed, so you can now safely minimize the game at any time without fear of going through the long reloading process.

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Regardless of the performance issues I can safely call Telltale’s first experiment with the interactive movie genre a success. Playing Jurassic Park: The Game 1 HD is a thoroughly satisfying experience with action and adventuring scenes spaced with pinpoint precision. The voiceovers, writing and directing of the scenes are on par with some of the better movies out there. The mere fact that I mentioned the latter should be enough to emphasize the polish that went into making this unique new offering from Telltale. Both the casual players and adventure game fans will find something in it to enjoy, provided that they’re equipped with an iPad 2.

With this I declare Jurassic Park: The Game 1 HD officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Jurassic Park: The Game 1 HD Developer: Telltale Inc
Reviewed Ver: 1.2 Min OS Req: 4.2
Price: $6.99 App Size: 345.42MB
  • A superb adaptation of the franchise into an interactive movie
  • Balanced action and adventure sequences
  • Theater-quality writing and directing
  • Serious performance issues
  • iPad 2 only

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Naturespace updated with new tracks and features http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/11/naturespace-updated-with-new-tracks-and-features/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/11/naturespace-updated-with-new-tracks-and-features/#comments Wed, 11 Jan 2012 14:16:16 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=64023 A little over a year ago I started using Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep (TMA Review) – one of the best ambient nature sounds apps out there. Unique in the way it makes a fully engrossing surround sound experience even through the stock Apple earbuds, it has saved my nerve endings from countless deaths. And … Read more]]>

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A little over a year ago I started using Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep (TMA Review) – one of the best ambient nature sounds apps out there. Unique in the way it makes a fully engrossing surround sound experience even through the stock Apple earbuds, it has saved my nerve endings from countless deaths. And as we all know – nerves don’t regenerate. Well, I’m glad to say that shortly before Christmas (yes, I Know I’m a bit late on this but still) the developers informed me that they’d just rolled out a massive update, not only making an additional 15 tracks available for purchase but a few nifty features in the catalogue as well.

In my review my biggest concern was that the individual tracks seemed a bit expensive, especially considering there was no way to test them out beforehand. Of course the later added user review feature helped a bit. That said, to each his own and it’s difficult to rely on other people’s tastes.

Taking all of this into consideration with the latest update, the devs added a Visitor’s Pass (available as a separate product or unlocked automatically once you buy 5 tracks), which allows you to download a shorter non-looping preview versions of any track in the catalogue, giving you a taste before making you hand out the dough.

Additionally collections have been made available for sale along with Limited Time deals, allowing for further savings on acquiring tracks in the catalogue.

Official “What’s new” and app desciription just below. But seriously – it’s FREE so go download it now if you haven’t already.

Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep Holographic Audio Theater, Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep (TMA Review), 56.35MB – Free


What’s New

• Provides access to the 15 latest Naturespace releases
• Offers collections of tracks at a huge savings over buying them individually
• Ability to purchase a Visitors Pass, which unlocks previews of the entire Naturespace catalog
• System performance and efficiency enhancements

App Decription

Naturespace Holographic Audio provides an audiophile-class listening experience to all headphone users, including earbuds. Our 3-D ambiences transport the listener like nothing else on the planet. It is a truly profound new way of listening to the natural world.

It’s not just about nature’s sound, it’s about nature’s space. All 3 dimensions (including height) are accurately reproduced, providing the listener with a true “being there” experience. The impact that spatially accurate outdoor sound has on the brain is astounding; it is immensely relaxing and entertaining. Whether you take a 5 minute vacation to a Hawaiian morning sunrise, or an extended stay underneath a powerful thunderstorm, Naturespace provides the brain with the sense of openness and vastness that is so important to a balanced state of well-being. Naturespace is a spectacular catalyst for creative visualization and imaginative exploration. Just put on your headphones, and close your eyes. You’ll see.

For detailed information about Naturespace Holographic Audio, visit our website. Sign in to receive the latest info about new releases and giveaways.

Do you know of somewhere great we should record? Do you have a feature request? Join the Naturespace community by visiting our blog and tell us about it! And please, use the reviews as they are intended, as a forum to help others decide whether to download the app or not. We cannot respond to you there, so do not ask us questions that way. Thank you!!!

Features:
3-D sound over headphones
Earbud optimization mode (amazing with stock Apple earphones)
Created by audio professionals
Truly seamless looping
Vast catalog available via In-App purchasing
Drag-and-drop reordering of library
Supports multitasking on iOS4
Sleep timer
Efficient and elegant user interface
Unsurpassed audio fidelity
Six free tracks included. Enjoy without spending a penny!
No advertising (and there never will be)

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