TouchMyApps » Ed Fonseca 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, 17 Oct 2014 21:42:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 Octo☆Touch in Review – Match my Octopi! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/21/octo%e2%98%86touch-in-review-match-my-octopi/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/21/octo%e2%98%86touch-in-review-match-my-octopi/#comments Mon, 21 Dec 2009 19:48:11 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=25009 Do you like intense action/puzzle games with octopi and squealing Japanese voice-overs of colorful anime characters? Maybe, just maybe, Octo☆Touch might be for you! Developed by Compile Heart, Octo Touch features some very funky music and a frentic match ‘em style of gameplay. With its 2 gameplay modes, 3 levels of difficulty, several unlockable characters … Read more]]>

Do you like intense action/puzzle games with octopi and squealing Japanese voice-overs of colorful anime characters? Maybe, just maybe, Octo☆Touch might be for you! Developed by Compile Heart, Octo Touch features some very funky music and a frentic match ‘em style of gameplay. With its 2 gameplay modes, 3 levels of difficulty, several unlockable characters and special attacks for each persona, this puzzler will keep you entertained for hours, or even just a few minutes in between breaks.

The two aforementioned game  modes are Octo Puzzle and Endless. As the name suggests, Endless mode is, well, endless. Octo Puzzle is where the fun happens. A Mortal Kombat tournament style matchup against everyone else ensues, with you picking one of the available default characters. You shouldn’t worry too much about the characters’ superpowers if you’re only playing Rookie mode, as the matches end long before you get a chance to use them.

That’s not to say OctoTouch is easy, even in Rookie mode. The gameplay consists of a square you control, which you use to shuffle up to 4 octopi in, trying to move them step by step to numbered pads. Once you get the required number of octopi of the same color on the pad, they disappear, and sea urchins of the same number are launched unto your opponent’s field. You can continue to chain octopi of the same color together in the mist they leave behind for additional damage to your opponent. The urchins can’t be removed with the numbered pads, instead you have to push them into the mist.

OctoTouch has two control schemes. The default control scheme, while good in its own right, leaves me wanting for something more precise. The directional pad and button for shifting the circle often cause problems for me. The circle would turn, turn, turn when I wanted to move left/right or up/down. The placing just feels a little awkward at first, and when you’re deep in the game and make a slip up, it could easily cost you the match.

The other control scheme has you swiping your finger across the screen to move the pad, and I personally find this more user friendly. Whichever control scheme you pick, the action is always blazing in this game. It’s a bit like Tetris, in that you never know if you’ll get the octopi you need. As you progress, you get more colors of octopus, which adds more and more levels of difficulty in trying to chain them together to clear your screen.

Your character’s special ability can really turn the tide of the battle, doing anything from filling empty spaces in the opponent’s field to shuffling his octopi around. It does take several matches for your special gauge to fill up, but once it does the attack is performed automatically, which keeps you concentrated on the octo battle at hand.

Ultimately, the fast pace and quick thinking make this puzzler a gem for short bursts of boredom-killing, though the default control scheme may frustrate some gamers at first. If you enjoyed the ever-popular Super Street Puzzle Fight and/or love your match ‘em type games, Octo Touch is indeed a very solid and fun iDevice title to check out.

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App Summary
Title: Octo☆Touch Developer: IDEA FACTORY CO., LTD.
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.0 Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $4.99 App Size: 28.7 MB
  • Puzzle action keeps you engaged
  • A range of characters with different abilities
  • Can be enjoyed even in short spurts
  • Colorful visuals
  • Default control scheme leads to frustrating mistakes
  • Regular price of $4.99 more expensive than other match 3 type puzzlers

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This review was brought to you by TouchMyApps contributor Ed Fonseca. You can find him on twitter here.

Enjoy Puzzle games? Check out our other reviews here:

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Alternatives to VLC on the Mac http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/18/alternatives-to-vlc-on-the-mac/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/18/alternatives-to-vlc-on-the-mac/#comments Fri, 18 Dec 2009 18:37:30 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=24934 VLC’s Mac port has been suffering for a while. Little to no development has left that side of the project stagnating. Many Mac blogs are circulating this story, crying about VLC’s imminent demise. But not all is doom and gloom. There are always some alternatives, and no, I’m not talking about Perian. Here’s a list … Read more]]>

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VLC’s Mac port has been suffering for a while. Little to no development has left that side of the project stagnating. Many Mac blogs are circulating this story, crying about VLC’s imminent demise. But not all is doom and gloom. There are always some alternatives, and no, I’m not talking about Perian. Here’s a list of a few apps which you could use to replace the bloated old VLC.

MPlayer OSX Extended

MPlayer OSX Extended

MPlayer OSX Extended is an up-to-date port of the popular MPlayer, the Movie Player for Linux. Like VLC, development on the official MPlayer for OSX has been rather slow, so the project was ‘forked’. MPLayer OSX Extended keeps its codebase in a single branch, throwing out more frequent updates with more features than MPlayer OSX has. The most important part; MPlayer plays all the video formats VLC plays, and is lighter on system resources as well.

Cog

Cog

Cog is a very simple audio player with support for a ton of formats VLC has, but iTunes doesn’t, such as FLAC, OGG and more. There’s also Last.fm support, much like recent versions of VLC. If you often used VLC to play audio files in order to avoid using that mammoth beast known as iTunes, this is the app for you.

Vox

Vox

Vox, like Cog, is another simple and light audio player. What sets Vox apart from Cog is the inclusion of audio effects like Equalizer, Reverb, Time Stretch, Pitch Shift, Echo, much like a Vox amp.

Plex

Plex

You may have heard of Boxee, the social media center that seems to be the darling of everyone’s eye, but have you heard of Plex? Plex is a media center built on the same open source technology as Boxee, XBMC, and as such, has support for the wide range of video and audio formats as Boxee does. It also plays online content such as Hulu and Netflix through various webkit plugins, and can even connect to your iTunes library, Aperture photos and more. With Plex’s versatility, it can be considered an all purpose replacement for not just VLC, but also for Front Row, OSX’s built in media center.

Thanks to the comments on this reddit thread for pointing out the audio apps, I hadn’t heard of them much til now.

This article was brought to you by TouchMyApps contributor Fonseca and it first appeared on his blog here.

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Beat It! In Review – Tap dance like a monkey http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/14/beat-it-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/14/beat-it-in-review/#comments Mon, 14 Dec 2009 09:41:13 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=24627 Beat It! is a beat-matching game for iDevices available at an App Store near you. Developed by Glu, this game has quickly risen through the ranks to be one of the most downloaded games as of this writing, and it’s easy to see why. Beat It!’s mix of music game, puzzle solving, and the bright … Read more]]>

review-beat-it3Beat It! is a beat-matching game for iDevices available at an App Store near you. Developed by Glu, this game has quickly risen through the ranks to be one of the most downloaded games as of this writing, and it’s easy to see why. Beat It!’s mix of music game, puzzle solving, and the bright 8-bit style visuals sets this game apart from anything else I have played on the iPhone.

The goal of Beat It! is simple: 1. Listen to the track 2. Lay down the notes and 3. Match the beat. That’s all there is to it. When you first enter career mode, the game has several “Getting Started” stages that will teach you how to play. Your speed in finishing the stage and unlocking power-ups will affect your overall score for a stage.

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First, a slider appears at the top, to show the tempo of the song as a light bar travels through it and the song plays. You have to listen very carefully (headphones work best) because this is the beat you’re gonna recreate. A countdown starts…and you’re thrust into the playing field: an empty grid ready to be filled by your skilled fingers! The game includes a button to replay the beat in case you didn’t get it the first time. Every time you place a block in the correct place, it starts shining. Once you’ve placed every one, the music stops and they all light up. Congratulations, you’ve beaten Beat It!…or at least this stage. Be ready for more and more instrument tracks!

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This fun and unique approach to music puzzle games will keep you hooked for hours. It may seem staggering at first, but Beat It! gently raises the difficulty, so you can learn while never being overwhelmed. You get a visual aid to show your progress in the form of the growing city in your background. It grows as you grow, which I find a nice, personal touch by the developers. However, not all is perfect in this game.

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One of the faults I had with earlier versions of my previously reviewed app, Dopplerpad, was the lack of exporting of your creations. Newer versions have since added a wifi sync option. In Beat It’s free play mode, you can create and save tracks, but there is no way to export them. Being able to save and share your creations and challenge your friends would be a nice ‘multiplayer’ touch on this game. The absence of this feature is a shame, because the simplistic nature of Beat It’s music creation would appeal to those who find Dopplerpad’s advanced features confusing. This is the only blemish I could find in an otherwise outstanding game.

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App Summary
Title: Beat It! Developer: Glu
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.0 Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $2.99 App Size: 0.6 MB
  • Outstanding yet simplen music puzzle concept
  • Growing city in the background a nice visual touch
  • Lack of exporting custom tracks

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This review was brought to you by TouchMyApps contributor Ed Fonseca. You can find him on twitter here

There are loads of good music apps out there. Below are a few:

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DopplerPad in Review – iDevice music creation squared http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/09/dopplerpad-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/09/dopplerpad-in-review/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2009 10:08:33 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=24444 According to Retryonyms website, DopplerPad is an expressive touch instrument designed exclusively for iPhone & iPod Touch. Experienced electronic music creators will recognize this as the iPhone version of a Kaossilator. Whatever you call it, Dopplerpad is one of the most fun and useful music apps available on any mobile device, and at only $10, … Read more]]>

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According to Retryonyms website, DopplerPad is an expressive touch instrument designed exclusively for iPhone & iPod Touch. Experienced electronic music creators will recognize this as the iPhone version of a Kaossilator. Whatever you call it, Dopplerpad is one of the most fun and useful music apps available on any mobile device, and at only $10, a much better introduction into electronical music and sequencing than $100+ equipment such as the Kaossilator.

Music apps are only as good as they are intuitive on mobile devices, and Dopplerpad excels in this area with simple touch driven controls. The main screen is divided between Pad A and Pad B on the left and right respectively, and a central area where you can save up to 14 tracks which can be dragged to each pad for editing. There’s a slider below this area to shift the channel to either Pad A to Pad B. Being able to use this to dynamically shift from two different loops takes some practice, but it’s not impossible.

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Once you get into the actual recording interface, you’ll be amazed, and perhaps a little bit intimidated at how much they managed to pack into this application. There’s a variety of synth and drum instruments available, many of which you can tune to certain keys, and adjust the repeating rhythm of each. You can also adjust the tempo and the beats the recording last, from 1 beat all the way to 16 beats.

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Actually playing is easy. Just tap the screen. You’ll see a square appear where you tapped, and you’ll hear your instrument play. Those lines in the background? Those correspond to your instruments sounds. Tapping with a bass synth selected will instantantly play a sound, and dragging a bass synth across the screen will result in it going from a lower to a higher sound. Playing drums works in a similar way, though you can’t really drag a drum around. The more you play around with the key selection for the synths, the better and crazier sounds you’ll be able to get.

Learning to keep a good beat is crucial in order to sound better than the crash of tonnes of pots and pans on the floor…unless that’s what you were going for. If it is, you’ll be pleased to know that Dopplerpad also allows you to record up to 4 samples, and then use the tapping controls to playback bits and pieces of your samples. The app only allows you to use a microphone for this, so it may lead to some lo-fi sounds, but just having it is great in case you want to add some vocals, or some sounds in your environment.

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The accompanying video is a good introduction to DopperPad and its features, so dig in. But take it from a long time user, if you have any sort of electronical music inclination, this is the app you want. One of the very few criticisms of DopoplerPad’s launch version was that tracks couldn’t be exported. You could make terrific mixes, but had no way sharing them with others besides manually recording through the line out. Dopplerpad now offers wifi sync, which allows you to connect to Dopplerpad through your computer and download your saved audio as .wav files. It also has an audiocopy feature, which copies the audio you have into a “compatible app”. These features can be accessed by tapping Tools in the main menu, in the bottom of the screen.

Electronic music-making fans, this is THE app for music creation, so don’t shy away.

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App Summary
Title: DopplerPad Developer: Retronyms
Reviewed Ver: 1.6 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $9.99 App Size: 3.7 MB
  • Professional level music mixing
  • Intuitive controls
  • Wifi sync for easy export
  • Better be a musician to make best use of DopplerPad

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This review was brought to you by TouchMyApps contributor Ed Fonseca. You can find him on twitter here

There are loads of good music apps out there. Below are a few:

dopplerpad_desktop Review-Music-DopplerPad-Wifi Review-Music-DopplerPad-GUI-05 Review-Music-DopplerPad-GUI-04 Review-Music-DopplerPad-GUI-03 Review-Music-DopplerPad-GUI-02 Review-Music-DopplerPad-GUI-01Read more]]>
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Gaia GPS in Review – Finding adventures http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/09/25/gaia-gps-in-review-finding-adventures/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/09/25/gaia-gps-in-review-finding-adventures/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2009 15:24:48 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=20480 Ever get that feeling that despite your excellent (or perhaps because of your terrible) map-reading skills, you’re lost? You read the map, you check your GPS, but you still want a second opinion? Maybe you live for exploring, and want to record your outings and mark the places you’ve been to. Trail Behind’s new iPhone … Read more]]>

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Ever get that feeling that despite your excellent (or perhaps because of your terrible) map-reading skills, you’re lost? You read the map, you check your GPS, but you still want a second opinion? Maybe you live for exploring, and want to record your outings and mark the places you’ve been to. Trail Behind’s new iPhone app, Gaia GPS, might be just what you’re looking for.

You might think to yourself “Why do I need a GPS app, my iPhone’s built-in one works just fine”. To answer this, we have to know a little about Trail Behind. They’re a start-up with a love for camping, hiking, and all that fun exploring stuff. In fact, Gaia GPS is the only app in the store right now that features MyTopo, fantastic topographical maps. But it’s not just for hiking junkies: street maps, too are included. Some features such as GPS recording are understandably not available on iPod, and the compass is only available for the 3GS, though this doesn’t make this app any less useful for 3G owners.

I’ll be honest. I have a terrible sense of direction. In my first field test of the app going to pickup someone at a school, I missed the entryway by a whole street. I didn’t have good instructions or even the name of the school, just a set of vague directions. I recorded the trip using the app’s GPS Recorder which recorded every turn.

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The first screen in the app shows your location, heading/direction (N, S, E & W), and your altitude. The app conveniently allows you to choose between both Imperial or Rebel Metric by pressing the wrench. You can also toggle sounds, and the accuracy of the GPS. Doing so will result in less of a battery drain.

The four buttons on the right are for recording your trip, place marking your location, taking a photos and linking them to that place, and locking the screen. The screen lock option features a screen dimmer which helps conserve battery. Messing with the brightness settings will allow your battery to last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. Pressing the second button on the lower edge of the screen will bring up a large map mode, which allows you to search for notable places such as parks, airports, monuments, and more. This is a core feature of both the Trail Behind app and its website.

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The third icon will bring up a list of these places, and allow you to search for them, map them, get directions and email it to someone. It tells you how far away it is, the coordinates, and the elevation.

The fourth icon brings up all your recorded trips, place-marks and photos. Here you can choose to clear them or export them. Overall a handy place to look at the progress you’ve made on a hike or on a trip while on vacation. The last panel is for contacting the developers. Be sure to drop a thanks if you love the app, I know I already have.

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For $2.99, Gaia GPS is hard to beat. I hope the developers can keep the price of this app there, as it clearly beats out other apps which only have a small set of the functionality of this app. A list of upcoming features available on the app description such as spoken directions and others make this app worthwhile in the long run. Although it shouldn’t be used as your sole means of navigating the wilderness of even the suburbs, this app makes an excellent companion to any iPhone user’s travel kit.

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App Summary
Title: Gaia GPS (v1.0) Developer: TrailBehind
Price: $2.99 App Size: 2.4 MB
  • Large set of features at a low price
  • Large directory of placemarks
  • Only app with MyTopo maps
  • Compass only on 3GS
  • Directions not available in app yet, subsequent versions should have it

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Looking for directions? Our navigation section isn’t far away.
EnGIS’ 3D iPhone NavigationNavigon’s MobileNavigator

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I Am T-Pain in Review – Jumping on the Boat http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/09/15/i-am-t-pain-in-review-jumping-on-the-boat/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/09/15/i-am-t-pain-in-review-jumping-on-the-boat/#comments Tue, 15 Sep 2009 15:18:18 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=19919 Smule, creator of the fine musical app, Ocarina, has brought the Antares autotune popularized by T-Pain to the iPhone. I Am T-Pain is pretty simple, and does what it says: roboticisng your voice to in order to perform such classic hits as Buy U A Drank and I’m On A Boat. You can set it … Read more]]>

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Smule, creator of the fine musical app, Ocarina, has brought the Antares autotune popularized by T-Pain to the iPhone. I Am T-Pain is pretty simple, and does what it says: roboticisng your voice to in order to perform such classic hits as Buy U A Drank and I’m On A Boat. You can set it to different scales or just a generic T-Pain style, but more on that later.

A funkalicious silhouette of T-Pain greets you at the loading screen with all sorts of really small text. Don’t worry, there’s no fine print saying you have to be T-Pain’s backup singer (as far as I can tell). After tapping to continue, it is on to the main menu. But don’t be too hasty now shawty, you got to allow the app access your location.

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Now it is time to lay down a vocal track which will shock Cher into life. The default is Freestyle, which is just the autotune without any background beat. Depending on your voice, you might want to adjust the key so as not to do any artists a dis-favor. Where do you do this? Just click on TUN3 and up will pop:

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The switch at the top allows you to choose between a custom autotune settings, and a setting that closely imitates T-Pain. Aututone can be switched on or off with the flick of the I/O switch, and you can choose different scales. This part takes a bit of experimenting to find optimum settings, which is why the app  allows you to create 4 presets (which don’t require you to have much technical knowledge). You might even want to sing off tune, to give the effect a bit more T-Pain snap.

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Need a little bit of help to get you in the groove? No problem. I Am T-Pain supplies you with T-Pain beats, both classic songs and original beats. Accessed through BE4TS, there are a handful of free tracks to choose from, but there are also paid tracks which can be bought via micropayments. Of course, Buy U a Drank is blessedly included. None of the tracks are installed by default, so you’ll have to download each one separately. If only I am T-Pain had I’m On A Boat… Alas there are a few things missing.

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Got your beat? It’s time to record. You can pause (look to the top of the screen), and if you’ve picked a beat, you’ll get karaoke style lyrics so you can sing along. This is a very welcome addition for those of us not familiar with T-Pain’s vast number of hits. Once you’ve laid the autotune awesomeness down, click the floppy disk icon to save your opus, or perhaps restart recording if you botched a line. These simple, clear controls leave no doubt: you’re the star!

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Songs can be uploaded to smule’s servers, sent via email,or published to MySpace, Facebook, and other T-Pain widget-friendly online apps. Tracks you record come in .m4a (iTunes AAC) format, and everything else resides on Smule’s server. If you send an email, the song will be linked to your Smule profile.

Registration is done on the fly and the app generates an email which you can send to register an account. This is quite good as it eliminates the hassles of picking out your username, entering email address and the like which are usually accompany signing up for a new service.

I Am T-Pain is clearly in the toy category. You don’t get perfect studio quality, so if you’re expecting to be the next R&B star you might be slightly disappointed. If, however, you just want a fun party app that will get everyone participating in the fun, then this is the app you want. Just point the mic and say “Hello, T-Pain!”

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App Summary
Title: I Am T-Pain (v1.0) Developer: Smule
Price: $2.99 App Size: 6.2 MB
  • You can actually sing Buy U a Drank and sound just like T-Pain
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Adjustments to fit any voice
  • Ability to share your files via email, Facebook and MySpace
  • No access to files unless Freestyle
  • Prone to crashing

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This review of I Am T-Pain was brought to you by TouchMyApps contributor Ed Fonseca.

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Tyrian in Review – Old school shooter gets back in touch http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/08/10/tyrian-in-review-old-school-shooter-gets-back-in-touch/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/08/10/tyrian-in-review-old-school-shooter-gets-back-in-touch/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2009 16:13:17 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=17544 Tyrian for iPod/iPhone is a revival of the 1994 cult classic shooter by Eclipse Productions. The game is based upon an open source version of the original called OpenTyrian. I should mention before getting into specifics that due to licensing differences, you will have to download some data files in addition to the app itself. … Read more]]>

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Tyrian for iPod/iPhone is a revival of the 1994 cult classic shooter by Eclipse Productions. The game is based upon an open source version of the original called OpenTyrian. I should mention before getting into specifics that due to licensing differences, you will have to download some data files in addition to the app itself. This is perhaps due to the game’s use of files under a GPL license. The whole process only took about a minute on my wifi connection, so it shouldn’t take too long for most. So how does this classic shooter translate on the iDevice? Read on!

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Tyrian for iPhone features:

  • Full Story & Arcade modes
  • Four action packed episodes: “Escape”, “Treachery”, “Mission: Suicide” & “An End to Fate”
  • Sophisticated weapon upgrade system with hundreds of weapon combinations to chose from
  • 50+ levels
  • Seven difficulty levels
  • Support for cheat codes, secret game modes, easter eggs, mini-games etc.
  • 30+ music soundtracks by Alexander Brandon with a Jukebox.

Mobila Interactive publishes the game on the iDevices, and they’ve done an excellent job of bringing this old school shooter back to life. Once you begin, you’ll see options to start a new game, load a saved game, view instructions and read information about Tyrian.

Starting a new game, you’ll be offered two different gameplay modes; Full Game and Arcade Mode. Full Game mode allows you to upgrade your ship, while Arcade Mode is a more straightforward affair without the upgrade abilities. There are five episodes to play; each offers Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulties.

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Even if you’re a veteran of these type of old school shooters, you should begin in Easy mode. The controls for the ship consist of swipes across the screen with no visible control such as joysticks or directional pads. Weapons can be triggered through a bar, which hogs a part of the left side of the screen.

As I mention, you should try out the easy setting; the lack of visible controls make it difficult to move your ship at first, as you get accustomed to having your fingers block part of your view, and possibly a method of entry for your enemies. Enemies will fly at you from any direction and some, though not all are capable of shooting at you. You’ll also run into environmental obstacles that can deal large amounts of damage. These are indestructible, and must be avoided as they deal insane amounts of damage. The game introduces these as you near bosses, such as the first level’s spikes, which jut out from the sides threatening to tear a hole through your ship.

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If you’re playing in Full Game mode, you can upgrade your ship before heading out into battle. You can add various types of weapons, such as accompanying shooters, and rear weapons, and increase your shields. Due to the sheer number of enemies that attack you, it’s a good idea to get as many of these upgrades as you can, especially rear shooters which can literally cover your back as you zoom around the screen dodging enemies and shooting back at them.

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If you’re a fan of these types of old school arcade shooters, then this is a must buy. The controls will take a few tries getting used to, especially learning how to maneuver your ships around enemies without blocking your vision for too long, but once you’re adept, it will provide hours and hours of fun. The upgrade options available in the Full Game allow you to gain a handicap against an unfair computer enemy, and add more dynamism to your battles.

As a gamer with a lot of arcade nostalgia, I give this game a Kiss It rating. For those not familiar with this classic shooter or are somewhat hesitant at dropping $1.99 on the full game, Mobila Interactive has also released a relatively featured packed free lite version for all to try.

This review was brought to you by TouchMyApps contributor Ed Fonseca.

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App Summary
Title: Tyrian (v1.1) Developer: Mobila Interactive
Price: $1.99 App Size: 1.4 mb
  • Old school shooter
  • Upgrading in Full Game mode
  • Offers plenty of challenge
  • Difficult controls
  • Only 5 episodes

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The Wars in Review – Battle through the ages http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/28/the-wars-in-review-battle-through-the-ages/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/28/the-wars-in-review-battle-through-the-ages/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2009 13:45:00 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=16489 The Wars is a game from clickgamer.com that employs strategy, action, and an upgrade system that sets it apart from similar games such as Tap Defense. You play the mighty general through the ages, sitting comfy on your (at first) stone chair, commanding your legions to attack your enemy’s fort, and defending your own. The … Read more]]>

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The Wars is a game from clickgamer.com that employs strategy, action, and an upgrade system that sets it apart from similar games such as Tap Defense. You play the mighty general through the ages, sitting comfy on your (at first) stone chair, commanding your legions to attack your enemy’s fort, and defending your own.

The game progresses through 5 ages, Stone, Medieval, Revolutionary, World War 2, and a Futuristic Age. Each age has 3 different type of soldiers, with one exception being the futuristic age, which has a near unbeatable 4th soldier. The 3 types are melee, ranged, and a powerhouse, such as mammoths, tanks, etc.

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Starting off in the prehistoric age, you’re supplied with a club-bearing caveman, a rock-hurling caveman, and a final Neanderthal who rides a mammoth. The cavemen with clubs provide melee attacks, which are moderately effective, while the stone chucker can attack from a distance and usually pop off other cavemen with just a few hits. Note that the computer controlled cavemen with rocks can kill you with one shot….this repeats itself throughout the ages, which makes the gameplay annoyingly difficult at times. The mammoth can take quite a beating and dish it out, so it’s a good idea to send it out in front and have the cavemen with stones behind it.

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As you destroy your enemy’s units, you’ll gain experience which will help you advance to a new age. Troops are created with gold, and you get the same amount of gold it cost to create a troop when you defeat it. The age following prehistoric is medieval, which grants you three different units, though they follow the same pattern as the age before: melee, midrange, and one super strong attacker; the difference is that in this age, your units are armed with swords and arrows.

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The next era, the gunpowder era, shifts the unit characteristics a bit. This time, the strongest unit can also fire, in this age being a cannon-wielder. What was midrange before is now a rifle wielding unit, and close range is someone with a sword. The cannon wielder costs 1000 pieces of gold, so it’s fairly difficult to send him out, but he can take moderate amounts of damage and dish out a lot more. Again, a good tactic is to protect him with cheaper and weaker units out in front

The last age, a futuristic one, changes the units even more. This time, all units have ranged attacks, and a new unbeatable character is introduced. If you can summon this unbeatable character, you’ve practically won the game, as it can receive incredible amounts of damage and not die.

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No matter what age you’re in, the computer’s equivalent units deal a lot more damage than yours do, sometimes one unit of one type taking down several of your own of the same type and barely taking any damage in return. This point, I stress a lot, since it’s the single most difficult and maddening part of this game. It feels incredibly cheap to have what should be equal units be disproportionately stacked against you.

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There is also a ‘Special Weapon’ which provides a great way to get gold quickly by unleashing special attacks that destroy large amounts of enemies on the screen. It recharges and is shown in a badge in the lower right. This is a nice fallback for when you’re losing, which will happen on the hard difficulty, as this game is very, very hard.

Several things I didn’t like include the aforementioned difficulty which makes it very frustrating to play on Normal and Hard difficulties, though autosave allows you to stop the game when you need a break to keep from breaking your iDevice, and allows you to return directly to where you left off. You can also mail an image of your high scores to friends, which is apparently the only component of this game that allows you to compete with others.

Another mark against this game, a history of glitches. After about two days of gameplay, I ran into a bug which is best explained in the picture below.

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That being said, gameplay will appeal to action/strategy gamers, as you get to pick between these different types to lay attacks against your enemy, or defend when he deploys his. It is a rather simply but effective “tower defense” type game which players of any age should be able to pick up quickly. If you aren’t put off by the difficulty, The Wars is a good game, but not great, or at least not great enough to get off with more than a tap from TouchMyApps.

This game review was brought to you by TouchMyApps contributor Ed Fonseca.

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App Summary
Title: The Wars (Version 1.2) Developer: Clickgamer.com
Price: $0.99 App Size: 4.6 MB
  • Action/strategy
  • Variety of troops, ages
  • Difficulty
  • History of Glitches
  • No multiplayer

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Let me guess, into strategy? Check out our other strategy game articles:
Battleships Classic in ReviewSentinel 2 in ReviewSweetwater Defense in ReviewMechowars in ReviewStar Defense in ReviewArchmage Defense in Review

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I Dig It in Review – Drilling Right In http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/14/i-dig-it-in-review-drilling-right-in/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/14/i-dig-it-in-review-drilling-right-in/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2009 01:17:23 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=15514 I Dig It, brought to you by InMotion Software (developers behind Dungeon Defense), is the iPhone incarnation of the popular Flash game Motherload. You are entrusted with a badass digging tank charged with exploring the underground in search of items with resale value. It’s like an underground garage sale on your iPhone! App Description Fallen … Read more]]>

i_dig_it_review1I Dig It, brought to you by InMotion Software (developers behind Dungeon Defense), is the iPhone incarnation of the popular Flash game Motherload. You are entrusted with a badass digging tank charged with exploring the underground in search of items with resale value. It’s like an underground garage sale on your iPhone!

i_dig_it_review2App Description

Fallen on hard times, farmer Lewis converts an old bulldozer into a fantastic high-tech “diggin” machine. Help him dig up stuff to sell (60+ unique diggings) in a race against the clock to pay the mortgage and save the farm (campaign mode). In addition there are 5 mini-game challenge matches, plus open-ended free play mode and even a tutorial game mode for beginners, offering hours of game play.

Manage fuel, temperature, and damage while searching for diggins. Sell ‘em at the farm house to earn cash. Save cash to pay the mortgage, upgrade your digger, or make repairs. Use the on-screen “analog” joystick, or touch-screen to control digger movement. Watch out for rocks and caverns that disrupt your path. Have fun!

Gameplay is simple enough to pick up the moment the screen dumps your little tank on the ground. There are two ways to move your tank around. You can opt to get straight to gameplay and drag your finger around pointing towards where you want your tank to move and drill into, or you can read this review and know there’s a joystick in the bottom right.

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There are three gauges you must pay attention to: Fuel, Temp and Hull Damage. If any of these go to their max values, it’s GAME OVER! The deeper you go, the hotter and darker it will get, so you will want to buy some upgrades. You can upgrade hull strength to take more hits, coolant level to prevent overheating, drill strength to drill faster, your radar to see better further deep underground, your fuel tank in order to last longer, and cargo, to carry more items. One great addition is dynamite, which can block up a large square and speed up your digging.

Got a call in the middle of your gameplay? No problem, I Dig It pauses and saves your game, eagerly waiting your return and your continued high scores. Not content with just you knowing your high scores? I Dig It can connect to Facebook to post your achievements to your profile too.

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I Dig It is a fun exploration game anyone can pick up and enjoy playing. Having a set monetary goal and upgrades to your tank add a really engaging element to what would otherwise be a dull game. Yearning to dive farther to explore the unknown and upgrading your tank to drill faster, go deeper, is a thrill.

I would give I Dig It a Kiss It rating if it weren’t for the joystick control which at times can be frustrating. As the digging movements are in one direction, this can be somewhat difficult with the joystick, and it’s  entirely too easy to overlook the gauges until they start blaring and you’re seconds away from your tank going up in smoke. All in all though, the randomization of the underground items provides endless hours of fun, and makes this a great buy for $0.99.

TMA Hint: Hurry and take advantage of the 67% off available right now!

This game review was brought to you by TouchMyApps contributor Ed Fonseca.

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App Summary
Title: I Dig It (v1.0) Developer: InMotion Software
Price: $0.99 (sale) App Size: 0.4 MB
  • Engaging gameplay
  • Replay value
  • Upgrade system
  • Fun!
  • Joystick control is difficult at first
  • Easy to overlook gauges and fail the game

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