TouchMyApps » LordCrom 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 Ow My Balls! – Erupts onto the iTunes Market Place + 5 Promo Codes! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/06/ow-my-balls-erupts-onto-the-itunes-market-place-5-promo-codes/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/06/ow-my-balls-erupts-onto-the-itunes-market-place-5-promo-codes/#comments Wed, 06 May 2009 16:43:33 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10436 A couple of weeks ago we gave you the lowdown on the withdraw of Ow My Balls! from the iTunes market place by its developer Jetson Creative. We promised you then, we’d keep you informed of future developments. That magnificent day has arrived. Ow My Balls! has resurfaced at the app store and I set … Read more]]>

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A couple of weeks ago we gave you the lowdown on the withdraw of Ow My Balls! from the iTunes market place by its developer Jetson Creative. We promised you then, we’d keep you informed of future developments. That magnificent day has arrived. Ow My Balls! has resurfaced at the app store and I set down (through e-mails) with head of development Josh Michaels to bring you all the juicy details.

How does it feel to have your, “balls” once again exposed to the gaming public?

It feels great to finally get My Balls out there after all this time. They were getting a little musty sitting around.

What was the inspiration for the creation of the, “balls” project? Possibly something traumatic, like a swift kick to the forbidden fruit from a loved one or an unexpected and embarrassing exposure to a large crowd of people?

There were a lot of different ideas and experiences that inspired the game. Looking at the big picture, we wanted to make an app that would make people laugh. You can look at iFart as a stupid fart application, or you can look at it as something that has brought humor and laughter to millions of people.

We figured if we could make something that would make people consistently laugh, even for 20 minutes, we’d not only bring joy to the world but hopefully have a successful application. We found validation in the fact that even after playing the game for thousands of hours we still laugh at it.

What issues were you able to correct with your recent abstinence of the App Store?

We discovered three crashing bugs in the game after we shipped. We fixed two of them. The other bug isn’t actually with our code, but relates to behavior of the UIImageView cache under certain conditions. We’re working on a work-around for that one which we’ll hopefully have out soon.

The really exciting thing about this release is the new sound effects recorder. This feature evolved back when we thought we were going to have to remove the word “Balls” to get the game into the store. We wanted to give people the ability to add the word back if that was acceptable for their personal tastes. In the end we were allowed to continue with the word “Balls”, so now people can use the recorder to add other words like “Nuts”, “Family Jewels” and “Bollocks.”

With the UIImageView cache not yet corrected, there’s still the possibility some players will experience a crash, any advice to those fans of the game when this occurs?

Yep, it’s pretty simple to avoid the remaining crashing bug. The crash only happens on phones that have been running for a long time (7 days+) and/or have a large number of background applications running. The easiest thing to do is restart your phone before playing. One step better is to grab an application like “Free Memory” and run it before you run the game. Doing either one of those should guarantee a crash-free experience. If you do experience a crash please let us know – we’ve got a good support page with instructions on submitting crash reports.

And to all developers out there, read this article . It describes in a nutshell what we’re dealing with and how to resolve it.

Having the sound effect recorder in the game, allowing individuals to create their own verbal phrase when your player, “takes one for the team.” Are you worried that some individuals will push the boundaries too far? Posting videos on sites like YouTube, bringing the wrong type of attention to your game? Possibly causing Apple to pull it from the market place?

I really hope people record hilarious sound effects and post videos of the game with them to You Tube. That would be spectacular. As long as we don’t make that content accessible through the game itself I assume we’re in the clear.

It’s hard to know where the line is for what is acceptable for the App Store. We definitely struggled with that on this game. I could spend hours talking about this, but I’d rather play with My Balls. If you want more details check out the “breaking my balls” section of our blog.

What are your future plans for the continued growth of your, “balls?”

We would love to do a new version for 3.0 that contains multiple levels and improved game play. We’ve got all sorts of ideas for it, but are waiting to see how the public responds to My Balls before digging in. We have a number of other projects in the cooker including one that was submitted for review last night.

In what ways do you feel you could improve game play?

We get a lot of feedback that the game is too short. There isn’t enough replay value. It’s interesting because most of the people reporting this didn’t find the actual end to the game, meaning we aren’t making the goal clear enough. When you’ve reached the end you will know it, believe me.

We designed the game to be short; we wanted it to be something that was funny for at least 20 minutes. I think we hit that mark, but we should have shot higher. A variety of small improvements could make this more repayable, from randomly moving the objects on each turn to varying factors like gravity and farts on different levels. We’re going to try out a bunch of stuff and see what works. The controls could also use some improvement.

What other locations would you most like to add to the game?

We’d love to have international locations in the game – Bangkok, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Baghdad – all of these are candidates. We like the idea of having people kick balls around the world.

Any chance our readers could get a sneak peek behind the curtain on this new project you’ve submitted? Is it a game? Will it be similar to, “Ow My Balls?”

Sorry, no sneak peeks on this one :) It’s much simpler than Ow My Balls! but has the same general goal – make people laugh. We want to build applications that inspire humor and also make a point. So that should give you a sense of where we are going.

[End]

Thank you for the interview Josh. There you have it folks. Ow My Balls! is out now and keep your eyes peeled for Jetson Creative’s next project to appear on the market place soon.

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Underworlds in Review – The return of the click click click clickity click RPG http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/06/underworlds-in-review-the-return-of-the-click-click-click-clickity-click-rpg/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/06/underworlds-in-review-the-return-of-the-click-click-click-clickity-click-rpg/#comments Wed, 06 May 2009 12:41:23 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10524 For those of you that smiled at the title of this review chances are you were either a fan of computer games in the mid to late 90’s, who logged a serious amount of hours with the RPG Diablo from Blizzard Entertainment or you shared a room with someone who did (Possibly going clinically insane … Read more]]>

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For those of you that smiled at the title of this review chances are you were either a fan of computer games in the mid to late 90’s, who logged a serious amount of hours with the RPG Diablo from Blizzard Entertainment or you shared a room with someone who did (Possibly going clinically insane in the process). I’m aware of a few individuals who had to replace their mouse on more than one occasion and know of one individual who had to drop an entire semester of classes in college due to the amount of time spent playing. So after seeing the first footage of Underworlds from developer Pixel Mine, Inc. creep onto the internet, I along with a number of gamers dared to ask, “Has Diablo come home to my iDevice.” Were we right? Read on to find out.

You begin by choosing between one of four warriors as your character, two males & two females. Next you will select from one of four levels of difficulty, Easy to Extreme. From there you’re dropped into the game with no option to load out your character. You’re given the basic level of equipment to work with armor, weapon, shield along with a necklace and bracelet. It is here you meet McTavish. He runs a traveling caravan that has been under your protection for some time now, but with the arrival to a new town, he’s no longer in need of your services. He informs you of Albrect, a nearby town that has recently suffered a mysterious attack. Giving you a point of contact when you get there he gives you a teleport charm and opens a portal that will have you arrive just outside of town. You’re able to use a teleport charm at anytime to return to him and sale your loot for gold and purchase new items. With that, you step into the portal and the adventure begins.

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You’ll come across NPC’s as you progress through the game; each one supplies you with information and tasks to complete that progress the story along. You have two options when moving your character through the world, you can either tap the screen in the area you wish to go or place your finger over the vertical direction controller that can be placed on either the bottom left or right corner. I found the option of tapping the screen to be less receptive than the use of the vertical control. To walk up to a particular character I would dance around him with the first couple of taps before finally getting close enough to initiate a conversation. This along with the fact it’s just faster to get your character around using the vertical controller makes it the ideal way to move throughout the world. The vertical controller itself has issues, there are times it doesn’t react to your movement and you have to lift your thumb up and place it down to get going again. This is something you can adjust to and won’t ruin the experience over the long haul.

During combat you can tap the screen on the creature you wish to battle or press the action button when you are within reach. One tap=one swing, this is where the, “clickity click” comes into play. Any enemy you fight will require a number of swings to kill, so keep tapping your action button until your foe is dead. As you progress through the game you’ll have an opportunity to train in three special moves Slash, Shield Bash and Berserk. Using them will require the use of vitality potion that can be purchased from McTavish or picked up from fallen enemies. A symbol for each is placed on the screen; simply tap it to use it. A short period of time will be required for the ability to recharge before using again.

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The games graphical look is perfect for the feel and time period the designers were going for. The graphics aren’t the best you’ll find on the App Store, but they weren’t intended to be. This is meant to give you the same feel of Diablo and for that; they’ve knocked it out of the park. There are multiple different creature designs in the game and each one is unique and specific in its detail. The locations each have a distinct look of their own from the exterior green grass and trees to the wooden look of the tavern and its basement to the charred ground and boiling lava of the underworld. The one area where the game drops the ball is your character itself. Regardless of what equipment or weapon and shield you are carrying, your character looks the same from beginning to end. When you go from your silver sword to a black one or from a silver shield to a purple one, you should be able to see that change on the screen.

The game doesn’t currently offer a musical score, but the developers have stated one has been submitted with the first update. I hadn’t notice the lack of one until having read about the update. You get great sounds out of everything in the game. The bashing of your sword against a creatures skull, the squealing of pain from a dying rat and the sounds of doors as you pass through them all go a long way to create just the right atmosphere for this type of dungeon crawl.

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For fans of classic RPG’s this game is a joy to own. You get an opportunity to kill a number of different creatures, discover new weapons and equipment and get involved in a campaign that took me just over 3 ½ hours to complete on the normal difficulty setting, plus the option to go back and play it again at a higher difficulty. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but I get the feeling there may be a sequel in our future. Of course, what RPG worth its salt wouldn’t offer such a potential future outcome (or developer)?

The game isn’t without its faults. The controls need to be tweaked for better sensitivity; the developers have said they submitted a fix for that to apple already. When your character picks up new equipment, you should be able to see the change. Outside of that there is very little to dislike about Underworlds.

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This game will satisfy a significant number of RPG fans who don’t have enough of this type of experience on their device. If you’re looking for something that you can pick up for a few minutes at a time or spend a good while digging into, Underworlds is the game for you! My recommendation is that you (virtually) run to the App Store and pick this one up, you’ll be glad you did.

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App Summary
Title: Underworlds v1.0 Developer: Pixel Mine, Inc.
Price: $2.99 App Size: 47.3 MB
  • Perfect for fans of Diablo or any solid dungeon Crawl.
  • Hours of gameplay and multiple difficulty levels for replayability.
  • Large mix of creatures and details.
  • Controls need to be tweaked for better sensetivity.
  • Character appearance needs to change with new armor, shield & weapons.

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The Best-Selling PC Franchise of All-Time comes to your iDevice this June with the Sims 3 http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/05/the-best-selling-pc-franchise-of-all-time-comes-to-your-idevice-this-june-with-the-sims-3/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/05/the-best-selling-pc-franchise-of-all-time-comes-to-your-idevice-this-june-with-the-sims-3/#comments Wed, 06 May 2009 03:53:39 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10514 Have you set around playing SimCity on your iDevice and said to yourself, “Building this city is fun, but I’d really like to walk the streets.” Or been selecting the color of the clothes your golfer will wear in Tiger Woods PGA Tour and said, “If only I could choose from a larger variety of … Read more]]>

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Have you set around playing SimCity on your iDevice and said to yourself, “Building this city is fun, but I’d really like to walk the streets.” Or been selecting the color of the clothes your golfer will wear in Tiger Woods PGA Tour and said, “If only I could choose from a larger variety of clothes and hairstyles.” Well to those of you who talk to yourself while playing your games I’m here to tell you, EA has been listening and come this June they will bring to you the game that does what you’ve been asking for and more in The Sims 3.

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Along with the ability to create your own Sim, with those optional clothing and hairstyles you (I) mentioned earlier and being able to move around an ever-changing neighborhood exploring the open world gameplay, you will also have the option to play 4 separate mini-games including fishing, gardening, cooking and housing repairs. Of course as with all Sims games you’ll also have the option to develop complex relationships with friends and even fall in love. When the Sims 3 arrives you’ll never have to live in the real world again!

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The game will come packed with over 10 hours of gameplay built inside a beautiful 3D world and support the iDevice’s touch and accelerometer controls. So for those off you looking to create an entirely new life (virtually) for yourself, keep your eyes directed to the market place this June.

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Top Gun Flies into the Highway of the Danger Zone and onto your iDevice http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/05/top-gun-flies-into-the-highway-of-the-danger-zone-and-onto-your-idevice/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/05/top-gun-flies-into-the-highway-of-the-danger-zone-and-onto-your-idevice/#comments Tue, 05 May 2009 13:58:26 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10442 Remember the summer of 1986? Every man wanted to be Tom Cruise and every woman wished their man looked like Tom Cruise, had his money, and didn’t sit around the house like a couch potato. Well that was then and we can’t go back and change it, but every man can live out their dream … Read more]]>

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Remember the summer of 1986? Every man wanted to be Tom Cruise and every woman wished their man looked like Tom Cruise, had his money, and didn’t sit around the house like a couch potato. Well that was then and we can’t go back and change it, but every man can live out their dream of taking on the role of Maverick and becoming the greatest Top Gun Fighter pilot the world has ever known. Thanks to developer Freeverse and publisher Paramount Digital Entertainment, this combat flight simulator has arrived on the app store. Sadly, for every woman who wished their man looked like Tom Cruise and had his money, your dreams haven’t become reality and you’ll simply have to keep on waiting. Gameplay video after the break!

You will have an opportunity to shoot enemies out of the sky, dodge air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles as well as navigate dangerous environments. Take on the role of a new recruit who trains under Maverick and Iceman. Sadly there is no Goose, Goose is dead, still. Choose between an F-22 Raptor and b-2 Stealth Bomber. There are 10 missions total. The best part, you get to listen to Kenny Loggins classic, “Danger Zone.” What more could a man ask for? Ladies (and gents), sorry your man doesn’t look like Kenny Loggins either.

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Top Gun is in the app store now for $1.99. Good luck pilot! I salute you!

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Cops & Robbers has Arrived – Let the Game of Cat & Mouse Begin http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/04/cops-robbers-has-arrived-let-the-game-of-cat-mouse-begin/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/04/cops-robbers-has-arrived-let-the-game-of-cat-mouse-begin/#comments Mon, 04 May 2009 11:57:20 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10407 Cops & Robbers from developer Glu gives the player the opportunity to play on both sides of the law. You’ll start each level as the criminal; making your way from beginning to end, collecting as much money as possible while attempting to find and steal a diamond, all while being closely pursued by the Fuzz! … Read more]]>

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Cops & Robbers from developer Glu gives the player the opportunity to play on both sides of the law. You’ll start each level as the criminal; making your way from beginning to end, collecting as much money as possible while attempting to find and steal a diamond, all while being closely pursued by the Fuzz! Complete the levels in the time allotted and unlock the ability to play through as the police. Be sure to check out our gameplay video after the jump!

When going back and playing through as the law, you will be up against a ghost run of your previous criminal play through. It’s your goal to outpace the robber and make it to the end of the level before he does. If you complete this task, you’ll be successful in arresting both him and his partner.

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During the course of play, your character will run through streets, back alleys and along high rise rooftops. Besides attempting to avoid cops, you will also have to maneuver over boxes, under beams, swing from flagpoles, climb up the side of buildings, and slide down railways.

There are 9 levels in the game and your times are recorded to allow you to go through again and again attempting to improve your best time. Included is a safe cracking mini game to be solved with each attempted theft of a diamond. You have the option to choose whether to play through with a male or female character and change the color of their jacket, pants and shoes.

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Available now in the app store for $2.99, grab your copy and compete with your friends.

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iLauncher – Giving you the Power to Obliterate your Enemies using your iDevice http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/03/ilauncher-giving-you-the-power-to-obliterate-your-enemies-using-your-idevice/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/03/ilauncher-giving-you-the-power-to-obliterate-your-enemies-using-your-idevice/#comments Sun, 03 May 2009 15:30:48 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10350 Ever been in a situation where your mortal enemy was in the cubical next to you? The one individual who causes you to look inferior in front of your boss, because he completes his work on time while you’re desperately trying to slack off? Has the thought ever crossed your mind that if you had … Read more]]>

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Ever been in a situation where your mortal enemy was in the cubical next to you? The one individual who causes you to look inferior in front of your boss, because he completes his work on time while you’re desperately trying to slack off? Has the thought ever crossed your mind that if you had control of a missile launcher in the palm of your hand, you would cause his being to explode all over Suzie, that cute receptionist who refuses to date you? If you’ve answered yes to all of these questions and aren’t currently in a padded white room, iLauncher is the application for you.

Developed by InfiniTour.com to work with Newo’s (Dream Cheeky) USB Missile Launcher that you can purchase at Amazon, iLauncher gives you the mobility to move out of the, “Gore Zone” of the abundant blast radius and give yourself an alibi when those pesky government agents show up asking questions.

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Before iLauncher’s creation, you were required to be at your computer to release your, “Missile of Righteousness” with the use of your trusty mouse. Of course, this left little question as to who was responsible for the dismemberment of a fellow coworker. While still requiring a computer with a USB connection to attach your missiles too, it’s the magical use of Wi-Fi that allows you to remote trigger your, “Cylinders of Justice” with your multi-touch device.

Simply download and install the free PC Missile Launcher control at infinitour.com, connect your USB Missile Launcher to your computer, link your iDevice to the same Wi-Fi connection as your computer using the iLauncher application and your ready for mayhem. The USB Missile Launcher comes with three (possibly megaton) foam projectiles that can cruise up to 20 feet. This great distance may come in handy if your target bears witness to your launcher before you’ve had a chance to release the, “Shafts off Destruction” and makes a break for it.

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iLauncher is available now on the iTunes market place. TMA is not responsible for any injuries you or a fellow coworker might suffer while using the iLauncher application. Neither is TMA responsible for your ending up in a padded room because of any ideas you may have come up with from reading this article.

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Star Trek – Boldly taking your iDevice where it’s never gone before! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/02/star-trek-boldly-taking-your-idevice-where-its-never-gone-before/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/02/star-trek-boldly-taking-your-idevice-where-its-never-gone-before/#comments Sat, 02 May 2009 11:54:19 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10327 With only days left before the maiden voyage of an all new Star Trek film for an entirely new generation of fans to discover. An owner of Apple’s shiny little device may be asking them self, “Where’s my Star Trek game?” Anyone who plays games on a regular basis knows any summer blockbuster worth its … Read more]]>

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With only days left before the maiden voyage of an all new Star Trek film for an entirely new generation of fans to discover. An owner of Apple’s shiny little device may be asking them self, “Where’s my Star Trek game?” Anyone who plays games on a regular basis knows any summer blockbuster worth its weight in gold and significance on pop culture has a tie-in game. Well fans, I’m here to tell you your question has an answer. Thanks to the folks at Electronic Arts you’ll be taking control of the U.S.S. Enterprise in its intergalactic mission to seek out and destroy your enemies.

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During the course of play, you’ll have an opportunity to interact with the familiar faces of Captain Kirk, Dr. Spock, Checkhov, Sulu, Scotty, and Uhura while battling against the alien enemies of the United Federation of Planets, the Klingons, Romulans and the Cardassians.

You’ll be fighting alongside and against such well known ships as Keldon, Valdore, and K’tinga. Rain down a hail of phaser fire on your enemies by tapping the screen and be well on your way to earning super weapons for even more devastating attacks.

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Three options of control will be available, the accelerometer, a virtual joystick, or for those who prefer the hands-on approach take command of the Enterprise by your own hand with the power of touch. Enjoy the music of the original motion picture soundtrack while maneuvering through the menus, but once the game begins utilize your vast iTunes library to create the perfect mood for destroying your enemy.

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No release dates for the game have been announced but with the launch of the film on the horizon, expect to become the newest Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise soon. Stay tuned to TMA for future developments. Be sure to check out our movie ‘review’.

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Wild West Pinball in Review – “Fill your hands, you Son-of-a-Gun!” http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/01/wild-west-pinball-in-review-fill-your-hands-you-son-of-a-gun/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/01/wild-west-pinball-in-review-fill-your-hands-you-son-of-a-gun/#comments Fri, 01 May 2009 12:53:00 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10282 I enjoy myself a good western. Growing up, my parents would have a, “Cowboy Movie” on the old picture box all the time. My favorites were those that featured the, “Man with no Name” himself, Clint Eastwood and of course the one, the only, “The Duke.” There’s something mesmerizing about the old west, something you … Read more]]>

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I enjoy myself a good western. Growing up, my parents would have a, “Cowboy Movie” on the old picture box all the time. My favorites were those that featured the, “Man with no Name” himself, Clint Eastwood and of course the one, the only, “The Duke.” There’s something mesmerizing about the old west, something you just don’t see in movies today. So when I heard there was a new western themed game out for the app store that included the magical game play of pinball, well you better believe I’m there, faster than you can say, “YeeH…..”(That’s right, I’m already there)

Wild West Pinball from developer OOO Gameprom is exactly what the title says it is a pinball game for your iDevice set in the Wild West. During the course of play, you will have an opportunity to swing by Joe’s bar, visit the local Indian Village, take a ride on the railroad, hunt down and kill a wanted man, and of course rob a bank, all the while trying to avoid landing in jail. You’re also building up your score to rank among the greatest Wild West Pinball players in the world with the online leader board.

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Launching the ball into play requires you to simply slide back an old fashioned spring and release. You are able to place as much or as little tension on the spring as you like, but with the exception of only the slightest bit of stress, the ball is going to arrive at the same location on the board, the middle of the right flipper. Your flippers react perfectly in time to your thumbs request on the surface of the board. Although you never feel you have absolute control of the exact location your ball will go when you attempt a more precise shot. The option to bump the table in order to save a shot from falling into the dead zone or to continue adding riches to that ever growing bank heist is also available with the flick of a wrist.

The games look really gives you that old time Wild West feel. The board has a nice golden brown color scheme that reminds you of the Great Plains you’ve seen in history books and western films of the past. This is balanced with a red trim that allows the 3D board to pop of the screen. The sounds are reminiscent of those pinball machines of yesteryear causing you to feel you’re actually riding that train, robbing that bank, and standing toe to toe at high noon with that dirty outlaw as you draw your 6 shooter and drop him under the blazing sun.

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If you’re looking for an easy to pick up and play pinball experience where you don’t have to commit a lot of time to find a few minutes of joy, Wild West Pinball is for you. The controls are ultra simple; you rarely find a situation where your ball is falling into the dead zone between the flippers. The looks of the game along with the nice sound effects have you feeling as though you’re in a movie along side, “The Duke” himself or in the arcades of the 70’s on a Saturday night dropping coins into the slot for another few minutes of fun. Plus you have the option if you so choose to hunker down and reach for the sky as one of the greats with the online leader board.

Wild West Pinball is missing a few key ingredients for fans of both pinball games and a more robust experience on their device. The offer of only one board is rather limiting, if the developer offered 3 or 4 variations on the Wild West theme it would go a long way to increasing the value of the purchase and lengthen the amount of time the buyer will spend with the product. For those looking for a little more depth in controls, you’re not going to find it here. The ability to bump your board is a plus, but when there’s no finesse in the launching of your ball or depth of control when directing it off the flippers, more serious fans will turn away quickly or never take the plunge in the first place. An option to have two or more players compete at the same time by handing the device back and forth would be a welcome addition as well.

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For a quick game to pick up and play for a couple of minutes at a time with a nice western feel, you can’t go wrong with Wild West Pinball. Anyone else who is looking for depth of play or choice in boards you will want to hold off until the developer adds to the product or something better comes along.

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App Summary
Title:  Wild West Pinball (v.1.0) Developer: OOO Gameprom 
Price: $0.99 App Size: 6.1 MB
  • Art design and sound give you the feel of the Wild West.
  • Easy pick up and play controls
  • One game board only.
  • No depth of controls for experienced players.
  • No concurrent play with a friend.

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Car Jack Streets in Review – Grand Theft Auto for your iDevice? http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/27/car-jack-streets-in-review-grand-theft-auto-for-your-idevice/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/27/car-jack-streets-in-review-grand-theft-auto-for-your-idevice/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2009 17:24:37 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10156 Fans of the Grand Theft Auto series who own an iDevice have been praying to the gaming gods to deliver onto them a similar experience. When it comes to handheld gaming, the Sony PSP and most recently the Nintendo DS owners of the world have had their prayers answered. But for the now roughly 38 … Read more]]>

Fans of the Grand Theft Auto series who own an iDevice have been praying to the gaming gods to deliver onto them a similar experience. When it comes to handheld gaming, the Sony PSP and most recently the Nintendo DS owners of the world have had their prayers answered. But for the now roughly 38 million multi-touch Apple device owners, they are still waiting.

With the release of Car Jack Streets from developer Tag Games, a development team that includes members who worked on the original GTA, have the gaming gods finally listened and granted them the game they so desperately seek, or is this yet another pretender to the throne?

Car Jack Streets is a top down open world experience for your device. You take control of Randal Meyers moments after he’s been kicked out of another casino. Randal owes the Italian mob one million dollars in gambling debts and they’re ready to collect. You’re contacted by Frankie, the head of the family and told you’re required to pay him fifty thousand dollars a week until your debt is paid in full. If not, your life will come to a sudden and painful end. Lucky for you, Uncle Murphy is going to help you out. He puts you in contact with a number of shady individuals spread throughout the city who need particular odd jobs completed. You’ll begin boosting cars, delivering pizzas, and taking on the occasional security position to earn the money needed to save your scrawny butt from an early dirt nap.

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The game is based in real-time, so having one week to pay back 50k means you have seven days from the moment you start the game to make your first payment. The developers have built the game around the concept you’ll play roughly twenty minutes a day, five to seven days a week until your million dollar debt is cleared. Each day when you start up the game, you’re given a number of missions to complete. After you’ve completed those missions, you’re basically done for the day. If you want to continue playing beyond that, you have a couple of options, take control of a taxi or deliver pizzas. You also have the option to boost cars for Kirk’s Auto. Depending on the type of vehicle and condition it’s in, will determine on how much he’s willing to pay you. To an extent this is a game within the game. Not only will you have the money you’ve earned stealing these cars to pay back your debt to Frankie, but the total amount of the boosted cars goes toward the City’s Police Most Wanted list, which is actually an online leader board to compare yourself with others on daily, weekly and all-time totals. In addition, you will unlock new vehicles as you hit particular milestones, 100k, 250k, 500k and so on.

There is no option to turn off the real-time game play. This creates some interesting scenarios and a pretty significant problem. A lot of the fans that purchase this game are going to be what the community would refer to as, “hardcore.” That being said, they are going to want to sit with their device and play for potentially, hours at a time. Having the variety of your missions dry up after roughly twenty minutes of game play is going to be disappointing, taking control of a taxi or delivering pizza will be fun the first couple of times, but won’t sustain you for long. Boosting cars is going to go a lot further to extend that experience and having goals to reach will make that extended experience meaningful, but this will become a repetitive experience. You’ll get an idea of the closest location you can go to steal a car, so you can get it back to Kirk’s place to collect your cash. Turn around and run back to the same location and do it all over again. Why go any further out than you have to, to turn a profit and rack up the money you need to unlock more vehicles, when there’s no incentive to do so. After you’ve done this for a couple of hours, you’ve earned the following week’s payment to Frankie, yet you will not be able to give him another payment until the end of the real week is up. So you continue playing missions and boosting cars to unlock additional vehicles for the rest of the week, until you can make another payment. The first day of the new week comes around, you make your 50k payment and you still have a couple 100k built up that you won’t be able to give him until those weeks play out in real time. After a couple weeks of playing in this way, the additional vehicles will be unlocked and you will have collected a million dollars to pay Frankie back in full. Yet you have to wait twenty weeks in real-time to give him his money and see the end of the game. Even the most hardcore fan is going to lose interest and not return to the game to see how it finishes.

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Now, let’s say you’re not a hardcore fan, you’re not worried about the leader board or earning new vehicles, you’re the type of individual who’s going to play the game the way the developers intended it to be played. You play twenty minutes a day five to seven days a week and you either reach a week where you don’t earn the 50k required to make your payment, or you take a break for a week and don’t get back to the game. Here’s where the significant problem comes in, you DIE, Frankie makes good on his threat and has you killed. If you were at week sixteen and you moved onto another game for a week or something happened in your life and you couldn’t play for that week. You lose SIXTEEN weeks of play and have to start over from week one. A game released in 2009, should not be built with this as its only way to play. Until an option is built into the game for the user to play at their pace, very few will see the final outcome of Randal’s story.

There are two control types in the game, one for when you’re on foot and the other for when you’re in your vehicle. On foot you have a d-pad in the lower left corner of the screen. The controls are responsive and work well for getting Randal around. You will find that a lot of the times being on foot is the best way to locate the 50 hidden packages around the map. Individually the packages don’t add anything to the game, other than giving you something else to do in the game when you’ve run out of missions. I’ve only found 44, it’s possible there’s something unlocked if all 50 are found. You will find while on foot that your character is unable to get over a wall or bush. If you are in a residential area, and a row of bushes stands between you and your objective, you have two options. Run around the entire city block to get beyond the homes with their rows of vegetation or car jack a vehicle and drive through them. If it’s a wall and there’s no vehicle ramp for you to jump over it, you will have to go around.

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In your vehicle, you have another type of controls. The d-pad on the bottom left corner becomes left and right directional’s while your gas and brakes are one on top of the other on the bottom right side. These controls are overwhelming when you begin playing. The learning curve is in the hours to get to a point where you can control your vehicle. My realization that you die at the end of a week if you’re unable to make a payment to Frankie, came when I was unable to gain an understanding of the controls in that length of time. On a number of occasions, I turned the game off in frustration from how out of control my vehicle was. If you don’t have the patience to spend serious time learning the controls, you shouldn’t make the purchasing investment in this game.

There are three speeds your vehicle can move while going forward. The first is a snail’s pace, Sunday driving type movement. The top speed will have you whipping the back end of your vehicle around turns leaving tire tracks and the middle speed is just that. The problem with the controls are that you never have enough control over your vehicle at top speed to allow you to do anything other than, run into walls, buildings, other vehicles and pedestrians, we’re talking a mass genocide amount of pedestrians here. The one exception is if you have a long straight away. Otherwise, be prepared to have four stars and more law enforcement than you can handle chasing you down, because that is all you are ever going to get a chance to experience at this rate of speed. When you lower your expectations for how fast you can go and take it down to the snail’s pace and with more experience move up to the middle speed, you really begin to enjoy a lot of what the game has to offer. If you understand this from the start of your experience rather than eventually figuring it out on your own you will enjoy Car Jack Streets a lot more.

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The game looks good. The city feels large and well populated. Architecture and landscaping are very appealing to the eye. You get a real sense of scale when moving from one end of the map to the other. If you unload your weapon into a vehicle enough times, it will explode into a ball of fire and smoke. Now if that vehicle is next to another vehicle which in turn is next to an additional vehicle, it will start a chain reaction that is a joy to watch and gives you a real feeling of satisfaction. There are minor clipping issues you may notice. If your car is sitting still on the sidewalk, pedestrians will walk through it. If you’re driving and turn into a light pole, you will continue moving as though it didn’t happen, same with trees, you can drive or walk through trees and it’s as though they were hovering in the air. With twenty plus varieties of vehicles to choose from, weapon types like shotguns and grenade launchers that each have a different visual effect when fired along with the size of the city and quality of its look, these are minor quibbles.

There are five radio stations in the game with a variety of musical tastes to choose from. You also get comical radio personalities similar to what you find in a GTA game. With over 80 minutes worth of music in the game, this is quite possibly its strongest component. Tag Games has gone out and found artists you’ve most likely never heard of before now, but will want to know more about after having played through the game. There is an option built into the menu that takes you to the artist’s itunes page when you touch their name. Something I believe will be occurring on a regular basis.

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When you reach an understanding of the controls, you will find the game is a pleasure to play. Moving around the world of Car Jack Streets at a slower pace, completing missions successfully, finding hidden packages, and unlocking cars is addictive. The number of previously unknown artists you will experience will have you sitting in your vehicle waiting for a song to end or passing up missions all together just to listen to what song will be coming on next. The size and design of the city will have you exploring every nook and cranny to see what else is available.

Finding the controls of your vehicle to be a nightmare with a steep learning curve in the beginning will have you wanting to throw your device across the room. Not being able to control what pace you go through the game or missing a payment that causes you to lose all progress which results in you having to restart from day one will lead you to deleting the game and never returning to it to find out the outcome of Randal’s adventure.

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There’s a very enjoyable game in Car Jack Streets although it’s buried underneath some initial and potentially future frustrations. If developer Tag Games listens to the outcry from the community and allows the user to play the game at their own pace while significantly improving the controls of the vehicle at a higher rate of speed or even toning down the police presence when you run over a genocidal amount of pedestrians, the game will have the opportunity to become the Grand Theft Auto experience millions of multi-touch owners are waiting for. If not, Car Jack Streets will become another, “what could have been” foot note until Rockstar Games delivers onto us the real deal.

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App Summary
Title: Car Jack Streets Developer: Tag Games
Price: $4.99 App Size: 102.1 MB
  • 80+ minutes of excellent music and radio personalities.
  • Large open world environment to explore.
  • Unlockable vehicles and achievements as you progress through the game.
  • Nice range of missions to complete.
  • Hours required to learn driving controls, still uncontrollable at top speed.
  • Real-Time 20 week game clock will result in few players seeing the final outcome of the game.
  • Not making required payment in any particular week results in characters death and restart from day one.

 

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Ow My Balls! – Suffers a Crushing Blow http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/25/ow-my-balls-suffers-a-crushing-blow/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/25/ow-my-balls-suffers-a-crushing-blow/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2009 15:24:22 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10090 Not a fatal one, at least not yet, but a strong enough blow to pull it out of the game and off the App Store. Ow My Balls!, is described by its developers Jetson Creative as, “A comedy game that brings top shelf kicked-in-the-crotch humor to the iPhone and iPod Touch”. Yet there was nothing … Read more]]>

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Not a fatal one, at least not yet, but a strong enough blow to pull it out of the game and off the App Store. Ow My Balls!, is described by its developers Jetson Creative as, “A comedy game that brings top shelf kicked-in-the-crotch humor to the iPhone and iPod Touch”. Yet there was nothing funny about the game’s release. Less than 24 hours after it’s eruption onto the service, it had to be yanked off due to a castrating crash bug hidden deep within its canals that play testers, “MariJane” and “Igor” along with others, were unable to find before its coming out party.

This was not the first obstacle; “My Balls” has had to overcome. In March of this year Jetson Creative received a rejection letter from Apple with their first attempted insertion of the game onto the market place. No details were given as to the reason for the blockage other than a reference to the “obscenity clause”. The developers withdrew for only a short time before emerging again with the version that spilled out this week.

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No need to fear for the future potency of, “My Balls.” When contacted by TMA on the current painful predicament his “Balls” were in, self professed “Left Nut” Josh Michaels who heads up the team offered the following comments.

“My Balls are getting ready to explode. We’re anxiously awaiting our update being approved and hope the game will be in the store late next week or early the following week. If anyone is looking for something to do while waiting check out our website/blog. There are a bunch of great nutshot videos on there and the full backstory on the development of the game from the first build.”

So there you have it folks. Ow My Balls!, may have come out of the gate premature, but the developers have reached around their hands on the product and quickly gotten off an update to the app store. Stay tuned to TMA for future developments.

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WordsWorth in Review – It’s FUNdamental! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/24/wordsworth-in-review-its-fundamental/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/24/wordsworth-in-review-its-fundamental/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2009 14:24:29 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10073 WordsWorth, as you may have already deduced is a word game for your iDevice from 99games Online Private Limited. The object of the game is to connect as many letters together as possible, earning points and bonuses to get the highest score you can in the thirty levels provided. The letters are placed on hexagonal … Read more]]>

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WordsWorth, as you may have already deduced is a word game for your iDevice from 99games Online Private Limited. The object of the game is to connect as many letters together as possible, earning points and bonuses to get the highest score you can in the thirty levels provided.

The letters are placed on hexagonal pieces laid side by side in a grid that can range from 4×4 to 7×7. As long as the next piece is touching the last, you are able to move left, right, up, and down to create your words. There are two modes of play to choose from: “Timed” and “Classic.” In timed mode you are given a limited amount of it to reach the score required to advance to the next level. This mode is best selected for those who perform well under pressure and enjoy an additional challenge. Classic mode is for the individual who enjoys a relaxing afternoon sitting around their home (or office) exploring the number of spelling possibilities found on the game board.

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If you find yourself without a word to spell, you have the option of shaking your device to bring in a fresh set of letters. This comes at the expense of a, “timed tile.” This tile will begin to countdown. If you don’t create a word utilizing it before the time runs out, your game is over. You also have a chance to earn bonus tiles. These tiles can improve your game by giving you additional points when creating a word or allowing you to bring in a fresh set of letters without suffering the dreaded timed tile. From time to time you will be given a random piece that can be used as any letter of your choice. You can also get a, “Buzzword” placed at the bottom of the board, which if spelled, will give you a large bonus and go a long way to gaining an even higher overall score.

The controls are simple. Place your finger on the first letter and snake it across the continuing letters until you reach the end. Lift your finger from the board causing the game to score your points, dissolve your letters, and replace them by dropping new ones in from the top. You also have the option of selecting each of the letters one at a time until your word is complete, than select the check mark icon at the bottom of the page and the game will do the rest.

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Graphically the game is fairly basic. The selection screen presents you with a man wearing a top hat, standing in a library holding a stack of books with game options written across their spine. Once you enter the game itself, other than the hexagonal shape of the pieces, they look very similar to the color and design of scrabble pieces with the print and placement of the letter and number values appearing identical. The music is one continuous looping melody that appears to be one minute in length for the duration of the game.

Wordsworth is designed for both the hardcore and casual fan of word games. The option to choose timed or untimed along with the size of the play field goes a long way to put the choice of depth into the players hands. It’s easy enough for a novice to pick up and have a fun experience, yet offers options to a veteran who wants to dig in and challenge them self to continually reach for a the number one position on the leader board.

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It could stand to offer a little more pizzazz in its presentation and some fanfare when you complete a level or get a better than average score would go a long way. Additional music or the option to pull in songs from your ipod would be welcome. The music is nice for a menu, but not an entire game. An option to play with a friend either in the room or online would increase the value exponentially. A weekly, monthly and all-time leader board exists and is nice for comparing your skills, but playing with others is twice the fun or more.

If you’re an avid fan of word games, you will enjoy what WordsWorth has to offer for the length of time it takes you to get through the 30 levels and reach for the top of the all-time charts. A novice will appreciate the ease of the casual mode and options to play using smaller grids. Eventually though, both sides will wish there was a little more to the presentation along with additional choices in music and game play. Until that time, I recommend you give WordsWorth a, “Tap.”

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App Summary
Title: Wordsworth (v1.4) Developer: 99 Games Online Private
Price: $1.99 App Size: 9.6 MB
  • Options available for both a novice and experienced fans of word games.
  • Leader boards to compare your scores with.
  • No option to play against an opponent in the room or online.
  • Simple presentation, could use a little more pizzazz.
  • Short looping music that runs through the entire game, no option to use devices ipod music.

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iNetMania in Review – Board Game Internet 2.0 http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/22/inetmania-in-review-board-game-internet-20/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/22/inetmania-in-review-board-game-internet-20/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2009 12:36:59 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=9988 When I was growing up, there was no internet; we didn’t have these new fangled handheld game systems kids have today. No, the only form of entertainment we had during the great depression was board games. Ah yes, I can remember spending many hours enjoying such wonderful games like Yahtzee, Clue, Risk and Twister (hey … Read more]]>

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When I was growing up, there was no internet; we didn’t have these new fangled handheld game systems kids have today. No, the only form of entertainment we had during the great depression was board games. Ah yes, I can remember spending many hours enjoying such wonderful games like Yahtzee, Clue, Risk and Twister (hey it has a spinner board, that counts). After a long day of entertainment, these games did something else for us. They fed us, kept us warm and gave us a place to sleep. We would eat the pieces, lie on the game boards, and cover ourselves with the twister mat (now you see why I needed that to work). Hey, it was the great depression, what did you expect?

My favorite board game of all was of course, Monopoly. I was so obsessed with this game that at one point in time I had built up a winning streak against my friends and family. It got so bad that I started writing down the totals of all the money and properties I had collected during the course of the game. A way of showing loved ones that not only had I beaten them, but that I had crushed their very souls. Needless to say, this didn’t go over very well. I had family members angrily flipping game boards and stomping off through the house as I began to giggle with glee or sent friends home crying as I performed my world famous “Monopoly Tango” victory dance on the table. Strangely, my friends and family haven’t spoken to me in a number of years, but now with the release of iNetMania, for your iDevice, I hope to change that fact and begin a new dance, the, “iNetMania protect my iPhone from being thrown” victory twist.

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INetMania is based on the award winning board game Servermania created as a promotional piece by TechPad Agency for the 2007 HostingCon tradeshow. Developer Techpad Productions has replicated the feel of the board game for you idevice. Starting out as a brand new Internet Entrepreneur, your goal is to reach the finish line against as many as three other competitors with the most financially successful internet website. You accomplish this by avoiding slumps, “hiring a terrible Account Manager or needing to settle a copyright dispute.” Instead you hope to land on spikes, “investing in an affiliate program that takes off or hiring a PR Agency.”

The controls are simple and easy to use. Select a new game and enter the names of the players or hit quick play and the game will assign each individual a name. A window will pop up with the actions offered to the player, “Pay Marketing, and/or a Roll Die.” Once the player decides to roll the die, a cup will appear. You move the device in a circular motion to create shuffling, when you’re ready tilt the device on its side and the die will roll out. Your icon will move the correct number of locations and show what action was taken, “lose a turn/ double your payday” or what action you need to perform, “roll again/go back 3 spaces.” If a card needs to be drawn from the, “slumps or spikes” decks, the game will perform the action for you. Rinse and repeat to the end of the game. The motion of the shuffling and roll of the die are slow. If you were playing an action game you would think you were experiencing slow down. Considering you could be playing this game with three additional individuals, the slow process will begin to take its toll over the course of a game. If you’re playing against the CPU there’s no option to skip his turn.

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Techpad Productions have done a good job of recreating the look of a game board. Colors are bright and crisp, the words are easy to read the cards are basic in design but have a nice animation as they lift off the board, but you get the same slow motion as the die roll. The sound of the game is what you would expect to hear if you were sitting at a table with friends, the roll of the die and the tapping of pieces moving across the board.

The game is enjoyable if you’ve ever wanted to run a successful website but don’t know how. It takes between 30-40 minutes to complete a two player game. You are able to stop at anytime and comeback later to finish. Replayability comes in the form of 12 Achievements built into the game such as, “finish the game three times or land on five slumps in a game” and you can unlock a bonus piece to use as your icon. There are five un-lockable pieces to go with the four initially offered.

Besides the slow motion shuffle/die roll and inability to skip the A.I.’s turn, there’s also a noticeable lack of online play and leader boards. Playing against likeminded friends in person is good, but when you’re alone, the CPU gets old fast. There’s also no record keeping of wins and losses’ or achievements completed.

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The developer has stated they are patching the slow shuffle/die roll and are considering adding additional game pieces and an option to skip the AI turns. If they go as far as putting in online play with leader boards and record keeping, it will go a long way to improving the overall product. As it is, I can only recommend this game to hardcore board game fans and those heavily interested in the creation and success of a website. I recommend you give iNetMania a, “Slap.”

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App Summary
Title: iNetMania (v1.0) Developer: TechPad Productions
Price: $4.99 App Size: 4.9 MB
  • Easy to pick-up and play.
  • 5 un-lockables and 12 achievements add to replayability.

 

  • Slow shuffling of die.
  • Unable to skip A.I. turns.
  • No online play ability or leader boards.
  • No records of wins & Losses or achievements obtained.

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