TouchMyApps » Music 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 Wed, 12 Nov 2014 17:09:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 Santa Rockstar in Review – Heavy Metal Christmas Cheer http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/12/17/santa-rockstar-in-review-heavy-metal-christmas-cheer/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/12/17/santa-rockstar-in-review-heavy-metal-christmas-cheer/#comments Mon, 17 Dec 2012 14:24:21 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=71366 There’s something to be said about holiday themed games, and that’s by and large I don’t care for them.  When it comes to Christmas these days the games usually seem to revolve around delivering presents or destroying renegade elves, both of which might be good for one or two variants apiece.  Now don’t get me … Read more]]>

There’s something to be said about holiday themed games, and that’s by and large I don’t care for them.  When it comes to Christmas these days the games usually seem to revolve around delivering presents or destroying renegade elves, both of which might be good for one or two variants apiece.  Now don’t get me wrong – Santa Rockstar is still about saving Christmas, but at least the game format is one that hasn’t been touched so far in the holiday makeover realm.  Ironically enough I’m not really a big fan of Tap Tap Revenge style music games, but in this case the theme and choice of music seems to make all the difference in the world.

If you’ve never played this type of game before, basically you need to tap one of four buttons when a block of the corresponding color comes down that row.  The playing field is laid out like a guitar fretboard (don’t worry, I didn’t know that term either), so I guess it’s supposed to make you feel like you’re playing a guitar.  It doesn’t.  At any rate, the idea is that the blocks are moving with the beat, so if you have good rhythm you should do well.  Yep, as you might have guessed this game is all about timing, since the blocks have to be in a certain location before you tap the corresponding button.  Too early and you can at least try again, but if you tap too late it counts as a miss.  If you do that often enough you’ll lose the round and have to start over.

The game is divided into 5 locations with 3 levels each, and there are two additional locations that you can unlock either with IAP or if you do well in the game (the more challenging of the two requires you to get 5 stars on every single level playing at the hard difficulty setting).  Thankfully you earn money along the way that lets you buy new guitars and better sound equipment which in turn give you boosts to things like score and number of allowable mistakes before it affects your bonus multiplier.  The guitars are a permanent boost, while the other bonuses only last for either one or three levels, depending on how much you want to spend.  You can also unlock three bonus characters, which come at a rather steep price tag – in game coins, mind you.

Control is simply a matter of tapping.  Of course when you tap is the key to success, but the game is very responsive, so if you make a mistake it’s only because you just don’t have the timing right.  A lot of newer rhythm games try to introduce everything from swipes to holds to shaking the device into the mix, which can certainly add some variety, but once in a while the basic approach is just as entertaining.  As it is the game gets challenging enough when you get into the medium and hard difficulty levels and you have multiple rows to tap at the same time.  I actually haven’t tried hard yet, but I’m struggling as it is with the medium level.

The visuals are pretty stunning, which is kind of ironic since for the most part you won’t get to appreciate them as you’re concentrating on the task at hand.  Thankfully every once in a while there’s a lull in the action so you can appreciate Santa and his reindeer band travelling along in their decked out sleigh in 3D rendered goodness.  I’d love to see the characters in a game where they would act as more than a backdrop.  There isn’t much in the way of sound effects except for a grating noise that lets you know you missed a note.  The music… well, who doesn’t love a good Christmas riff?  Granted these particular mixes have a heavy metal slant to them, but it’s amazing how well Christmas songs adapt to that particular style of music.  I was just happy that I was familiar with most of the songs, because at least I stood a chance of staying with the beat.

In the end, Santa Rockstar managed to take two things I’m not fond of – Tap Tap Revenge style gameplay and Christmas themed games – and combine them into something I actually enjoy.  I’m not ecstatic over the game, but there’s certainly not much to gripe about.  It would be nice if there were more upgrades that weren’t one time boosts, but otherwise this is a simple, well rounded rhythm game that’s sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Santa Rockstar Developer: Clarin Global S.A.
Reviewed Ver: Min OS Req: 4.3
Price: $0.99 App Size:
  • Simple tap controls
  • Difficulty settings nicely balanced
  • Slick visuals
  • Excellent selection of music
  • Needs more persistent boosters

appstoreicon

Check out these other music/rhythm games on iOS:

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/12/17/santa-rockstar-in-review-heavy-metal-christmas-cheer/feed/ 0
Mad Acorn in Review – Secret Agent Squirrels With Rhythm? http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/06/17/mad-acorn-in-review-secret-agent-squirrels-with-rhythm/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/06/17/mad-acorn-in-review-secret-agent-squirrels-with-rhythm/#comments Sun, 17 Jun 2012 14:55:55 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=68615 There was a time when I was really into the original Diablo, and like many players I thought I was going to wear out my mouse with all the button mashing.  Mad Acorn is that game for my iPod Touch.  In fact, sometimes I get worried that I’m going to leave a finger indentation on … Read more]]>

There was a time when I was really into the original Diablo, and like many players I thought I was going to wear out my mouse with all the button mashing.  Mad Acorn is that game for my iPod Touch.  In fact, sometimes I get worried that I’m going to leave a finger indentation on the screen where my thumb is most active.  Then I forget about my concerns as the next wave of bad guys roll by.  I’ve never been a fan of Tap Tap Revenge style games, but when a game in an established genre tightly integrates music into the mechanics, that’s a whole different story. Not to mention that Mad Acorn is the cream of the crop in that regards.

You play a secret agent squirrel trying to thwart some nasty bad guys, and while you don’t have much in the way of fancy gadgets you do have a couple of things going for you: some mad skillz and a keen sense of rhythm.  You might say it’s your job to beat some heads in, but I’d probably get fired for such a bad pun.  All you have to worry about is tapping the screen, but you have to do it at just the right time to perform the necessary actions like hitting, kicking and jumping over things.  What action you perform is simply based on what obstacle is in your way.

The game is proximity based, so the closer the object is when you strike, the better your score.  Too close and you get hit, losing a heart.  If they are too far away nothing happens.  The one exception is if you happen to tap on a beat with no enemy near by this is considered a “hidden” beat, and you’ll actually get points for that.  To rack up your score you’ll want to make sure you are getting “greats” and “yeahs” with your timing, because successive rankings at those two levels build up chains that earn you crazy amounts of points.  Levels are ultimately scored with an A, B or C, which earns you 3, 2 or 1 stars respectively.  Unfortunately there is nothing to indicate what you need to do to move to the next score level.

The game currently has 16 levels spread over 4 cases.  That might not seem like a lot, but it really depends on how obsessive you are about scoring.  There are 30 achievements to earn, so the combination of that and the desire to get A’s on each level could keep you busy for quite a while.  Additionally, though, at the end of each level you’re given a percent complete for finding hidden beats.  If you really want a lofty goal, try getting 100% of the hidden beats on all 16 levels.

I have to admit that when I first started playing the game I didn’t think much of the graphics.  However, after seeing some of these levels many times, I’m really starting to appreciate the hand drawn visuals.  The backgrounds are pretty detailed, everything is well animated, and there are certainly some interesting character designs.  The cut scenes are illustrated with roughly drawn comic book like panels, which are probably the most disappointing part of the visuals.

I love the sound effects, and while normally I’d mention that it seems like the bad guys are awfully quiet, it doesn’t really matter in this case.  The voiceover is great as well.  The music, on the other hand, is not something I’d normally listen to.  That said however, in the context of the game it’s perfect.

It’s not like I didn’t already have an inkling, but I’ve learned without a doubt from Mad Acorn that I have no rhythm.  Still, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this game ranks in the top three rhythm games I have ever played.  I’m won’t say which position it takes or what the other two are, but suffice it to say Mad Acorn is quite awesome.  I just want to know where to send the bill when I need to buy a new screen.

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Mad Acorn Developer: APD Inc.
Reviewed Ver: Min OS Req: 4.1
Price: $0.99 App Size:
  • Awesome combination rhythm / running mechanic
  • Addictive game play
  • Slick hand drawn levels
  • Excellent sound effects
  • Might need a new screen
  • Not big on the music

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/06/17/mad-acorn-in-review-secret-agent-squirrels-with-rhythm/feed/ 0
Replace your drummer with Beats+ for iPhone http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/12/15/replace-your-drummer-with-beats-for-iphone/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/12/15/replace-your-drummer-with-beats-for-iphone/#comments Thu, 15 Dec 2011 19:00:38 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=62597 Ninebuzz, developers of some fine guitar apps for the iPhone (i.e Guitar Jam Tracks – Scale Trainer) has just released Beats+, a multi-genre drum loops app for all (aspiring) musicians. BEATS+ is a simple and fun collection of drum loops for stress-free jamming and songwriting accompaniment. No assembly required! Ranging from 1 to 4 bars in length, … Read more]]>

Ninebuzz, developers of some fine guitar apps for the iPhone (i.e Guitar Jam Tracks – Scale Trainer) has just released Beats+, a multi-genre drum loops app for all (aspiring) musicians.

BEATS+ is a simple and fun collection of drum loops for stress-free jamming and songwriting accompaniment. No assembly required! Ranging from 1 to 4 bars in length, these loops are great for casual practice or exploring song ideas. Plug into Hi-Fi speakers for the best sound (or just play right from your iPhone!).

The app comes with over 50 drum beats created by a professional drummer, including loops in the Pop-rock, blues, jazz, and R&B categories. A one-touch tempo control also lets you easily adjust the tempo from 60 – 190 BPM. A simple enough app for sure, but having these beats accompany your jam session is pretty awesome – especially for only a buck. If only apps like this existed a few years back, I may have saved myself $200 with the M-Audio Blackbox. Take a look at the cool demo video of Beats+ after the break.

Beats+ Ninebuzz Software, Beats+, – $0.99

App Description

★ BEATS+ is a simple and fun collection of drum loops for stress-free jamming and songwriting accompaniment. No assembly required! Ranging from 1 to 4 bars in length, these loops are great for casual practice or exploring song ideas. Plug into Hi-Fi speakers for the best sound (or just play right from your iPhone!).

———————————-
★ KNOWN BUGS (fix coming ASAP!):
Two beats currently don’t loop properly :(
1) Pop-Rock/ Tom Thumper
2) Starter Pack/ Jazz Fusion Groove
———————————-

FEATURES:
✓ Gorgeous, Simple Design
✓ Over 50 Drum Loops (Various styles)
✓ Beat Pack Store (coming soon)
✓ Includes “Hit Song” Pack
(remakes of beats from 12 chart-topping songs)
✓ Easy Tempo Changer (60-190BPM, intervals of 10BPM)
✓ Loud and Clear Sound (Professionally Mastered)
✓ Save Favorites
✓ Randomizer Button
✓ AirPlay & Multitasking-enabled

HOW IT WORKS:
1) Tap a beat to start playing.
2) Tap ‘Tempo’ to change the speed.
3) Tap ‘Star’ icon to save a favorite beat.
———————————-
★ WHY IS THIS APP UNIQUE?
Beats+ was created for those who simply need great beats fast without fiddling with machines or waiting on a human. The app store has plenty of drumkit simulator apps, as well as more complex beat-making apps – but for the musicians who just want great beats on-demand, there were no serious options – until now. And unlike other ‘instant drum’ programs or loops, Beats+ has been optimized for ease of use and creative accompaniment.

★ A VARIETY OF BEATS
Beats+ ships with 50+ loops created by a professional drummer and offers out of the box accompaniment for almost any types of music imaginable. Expandable packs cover even more ground with more genre variations, niche collections, or lesson specific offerings.

★ EASY TEMPO CONTROL
One-touch tempo adjustment. Each beat is sampled at the following speeds:

60 BPM
70 BPM
80 BPM
90 BPM
100 BPM
110 BPM
120 BPM
130 BPM
140 BPM
150 BPM
160 BPM
170 BPM
180 BPM
190 BPM
———————————-
★ TWO WAYS TO PLAY
1) Tap a beat name to play.
2) Tap the ‘Randomizer’ to quickly audition random beats. (Great for fresh inspiration!)
———————————-
★ BEAT PACKS INCLUDED:

✓ STARTER PACK:
A collection of 16 must-have drum beats spanning rock, blues, jazz, as well as artificial. Think of this as the ‘Pack of All Trades’.

✓ HIT SONGS 1:
12 beats modeled after some of the most popular and easily recognizable songs ever recorded. Perfect for playing along to the hits or making entirely new creations!

✓ POP-ROCK 1:
Whether you’re looking to write your next hit song or just add spice to your practice, this pack offers 22 fun and versatile beats.

✓ R&B ESSENTIALS 1:
From slow jams to phat monster grooves, this pack is perfect for keeping things fresh and funky with 14 fantastically useful beats.
———————————-
★ HIGHLY EXPANDABLE W/ ‘BEAT PACKS’
(Coming soon)

Add to your collection of loops with a growing selection of both free an paid content. Capture an entire genre, vibe, or specialty with a collection of beats that is as endless as your imagination!

Got an idea for a pack? Let’s us know and we will create it!
———————————-
★ AUDIO TIPS
For best sound quality connect your iOS device to external speakers (such as a sound dock, stereo, computer, etc). Keep your device at 80% max volume to prevent distortion.

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/12/15/replace-your-drummer-with-beats-for-iphone/feed/ 0
Groove Coaster in Review – The Beat Is Mighty Fine http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/08/05/groove-coaster-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/08/05/groove-coaster-in-review/#comments Fri, 05 Aug 2011 14:19:28 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=55876   I’m not what you’d call a die hard fan of rhythm games, but there have been occasions where I’ve been quite intrigued with the concept – Thumpies (TMA Review) comes to mind in this regards.  I’m proud to say that I can now add Groove Coaster to that small list of games.  As I’ve been playing … Read more]]>

 

I’m not what you’d call a die hard fan of rhythm games, but there have been occasions where I’ve been quite intrigued with the concept – Thumpies (TMA Review) comes to mind in this regards.  I’m proud to say that I can now add Groove Coaster to that small list of games.  As I’ve been playing this new release from Taito I’ve tried to wrap my mind around how to describe it, and the truth is it’s not all that easy.  However you want to look at it, though, it’s one of the most engaging rhythm games I’ve ever played.  The best part is that even when you don’t care for the tracks, the game is still fun.

If you’ve ever played a rhythm game before, you know the basic premise behind all of them is to tap, swipe, drag or hold at just the right moment.  In Groove Coaster you follow a little avatar along a track, and at the appropriate time you either tap or hold to keep time with the beat.  For every successful tap or hold maneuver you contribute to a chain that builds up your “groove meter”.  You can only complete a track when the meter is full, so be sure to get your groove on.  If you miss you’ll be robbed of some groove, but thankfully it’s not a catastrophic loss.  You should be able to complete most tracks even with a few misses.

As you complete tracks you’ll earn experience (though I don’t believe it’s ever actually phrased that way), and eventually you’ll “level up”.  This usually earns you a new avatar or a new skin.  Avatars, skins and items can be changed each time you start a new track.  Avatars do things like speed up the filling of your groove meter or provide hints as you’re playing the game.  I’m not quite sure what skins are used for yet, other than they change the visual appearance of the track.  They might be purely aesthetic.  As for items, so far the only ones I’ve seen are the ones you can buy through IAP, and I’m not real impressed with their capabilities.  Oh, and items are limited in use, so after 10 plays with an item you’ll need to buy it again.  According to the status screen in Groove Coaster there are 297 items, but I have as yet to earn one for leveling up.  You can also buy avatars and new tracks in the App Store, but those are unlimited use.

I originally started this paragraph with “control is a simple matter of”, but as I’m playing more of the normal versions of the levels (each level has an easy, normal and unlockable hard level), I’m finding that there’s more to this game than simple tap or tap and hold.  Some areas might have you tap and then drag back and forth, while other spots might require you to flick or do other things.  The one thing I do know is that each successful motion is ranked on a scale of good to prefect, and helps build your chain.  Any botched motion is ranked a miss and breaks your chain.  There are Game Center achievements to be earned, and unlike most games that often go as far as blocking the game play to display a new achievement earned, the display in Groove Coaster is very subtle.  In fact, you might not always see it, so they’ve kindly provided the option to check your achievements in the status screen.  The main thing that has really impressed me so far is the fact that I haven’t gotten bored on a single track, even if I didn’t particularly care for the music.  That’s a pretty decent accomplishment in itself.

Speaking of music, that’s the heart of the game, right?  Well, yes and no.  It’s true you wouldn’t have a rhythm game without music, but there are actually a few tracks I don’t care for.  What makes the tracks work, even if you don’t enjoy them, is how they interact with your motions.  You are in effect “adding” beats with your motions, so if you’re not on time, the track might not sound quite like it should.  It’s actually a great mechanic.

Visually the game is stunning in its simplicity.  Wireframe objects and particle effects abound, and for the most part it all works together really well.  The avatars even have a little bit of animation going on as they are zooming along the track.  The main problem is that sometimes the effects can actually get in the way and make it hard to tell what’s going on.  The same can be said for the layout of the track itself.  The last track in particular has a lot of loops and corners and things that make it difficult to judge where exactly the “tap” points are.  Still, it’s a minor inconvenience for the most part, and the visuals are a big factor in the engrossing nature of the game.

I highly recommend Groove Coaster to any fan of the rhythm game genre.  If you’ve never played such a game before, or have and decided you didn’t care for it, I’d suggest giving Groove Coaster a try anyway.  You probably haven’t experienced much like it on the App Store before.  It’s challenging, engrossing and fun, and between the 3 difficulty levels, the achievements and the avatars, items and skins to earn, there is incredible replay value.

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Groove Coaster Developer: TAITO Corporation
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.0 Min OS Req: 4.2
Price: $0.99 App Size: 71.6 MB
  • Incredibly engaging
  • Tons of replay value
  • Amazing visuals
  • Some songs are great
  • Special effects can impede game play
  • Tracks sometimes hard to follow visually

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/08/05/groove-coaster-in-review/feed/ 0
ROCK BAND Reloaded (for iPad) in Review – Tap Tap Tapping on Heaven’s Door http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/12/10/rock-band-reloaded-for-ipad-in-review-tap-tap-tapping-on-heavens-door/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/12/10/rock-band-reloaded-for-ipad-in-review-tap-tap-tapping-on-heavens-door/#comments Fri, 10 Dec 2010 16:50:03 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=44336 If frantic touching and the occasional guitar riff turn you on, Rock Band Reloaded may have you out of your shorts faster than you can say “Alice in Chains”. The truth is that EA’s ROCK BAND Reloaded is titillating: it’s got frantic action, good music, and a load of well thought-out tweaks that make gaming a … Read more]]>

If frantic touching and the occasional guitar riff turn you on, Rock Band Reloaded may have you out of your shorts faster than you can say “Alice in Chains”. The truth is that EA’s ROCK BAND Reloaded is titillating: it’s got frantic action, good music, and a load of well thought-out tweaks that make gaming a pleasure.

Breaking away from a game, or losing connection in the middle of bragging all over Facebook can be rough. There simply is a lot of game to love. You’ve a choice between guitar, bass, drums, and vocals to tap tap tap to, PLUS fun multiplayer options like head to head and band play (Wifi). Before Rock Band, my wife and I would get off with Shrek Kart, and to tell you the truth, Rock Band Reloaded, simple as it may be, is much more polished.

Of course, the addictive concentrated tap-tap-tap of the original (and like a million clones) is perfectly preserved. The notes still come at you from the top of the screen and you still have to hammer them at just the right time. If, like me, you are uncoordinated, you’ll have a devil of a time passing levels, but if, like my wife, you can tap a perfect rhythm till the iPad screen cracks, you’ll get on royally. Me? I get away with some pretty mashed up songs, which is pretty cool. If you miss a strum, a riff, or a beat, the music goes wonky.

This game is fun.

What makes it funner is linking up with mates via wifi (yes, it works), or sharing the iPad between yourselves and bumping heads and scores till only one is left standing.

But what good game is complete without a few, shall we say, oversights? Well, as much as I like this game, I cry to think that small graphical bits go unpolished. Things like the central button showing jagged, un-erased pixels is a small travesty on the big screen. Ditto the inability to mix around the band. I would LOVE to shuffle the players around or even change their clothes. I’d actually prefer a universal binary, but then again, I ain’t no rockstar to whom others acquiesce.

Still, those are small issues in a game that works pretty damn well on the big iPad screen. The only issue that I really have is that unlike the iPhone version, the tap zones are further spread out. That means that it is easier to miss-tap a tune. Combos are also a bit harder. Overall, however, I think it is a challenge that I am happy to meet.

Rockband Reloaded, you are pretty much a spot on title for my second favorite portable device.
kiss

App Summary
Title: ROCK BAND Reloaded for iPad Developer: Electronic Arts
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.0 Min OS Req: 3.2
Price: $9.99 App Size: 155 MB
  • Great graphics
  • Great gameplay
  • Great multiplayer
  • Some graphical glitches

appstoreicon


Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/12/10/rock-band-reloaded-for-ipad-in-review-tap-tap-tapping-on-heavens-door/feed/ 0
Atomic Tom rocks out on NYC subway with iPhones [video] http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/10/22/atomic-tom-rocks-out-on-nyc-subway-with-iphones-video/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/10/22/atomic-tom-rocks-out-on-nyc-subway-with-iphones-video/#comments Fri, 22 Oct 2010 18:05:51 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=41468 When it comes to jamming on the iDevice, we already know that the platform has plenty of quality apps for creating music. We’ve seen Applegirl and Guiz belt out some sweet tunes using nothing but the iPhone. And more recently, Atomic Tom, the rock quartet from Brooklyn, took it one step further by playing their … Read more]]>

When it comes to jamming on the iDevice, we already know that the platform has plenty of quality apps for creating music. We’ve seen Applegirl and Guiz belt out some sweet tunes using nothing but the iPhone. And more recently, Atomic Tom, the rock quartet from Brooklyn, took it one step further by playing their single Take Me Out on the NYC B Train earlier this month — with their iPhones as instruments.  Using apps like iShred, PocketGuitar, Drum Meister and Virtuoso Piano Free 2 HD, the talented group treated those on the train with an awesome “live” performance of their catchy song.

Check out their video that’s since gone viral after the break. It’s definitely worth watching.

[Billboard via Art of the iPhone] … Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/10/22/atomic-tom-rocks-out-on-nyc-subway-with-iphones-video/feed/ 1
Thumpies in Review – Likably Offbeat http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/17/thumpies-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/17/thumpies-in-review/#comments Wed, 17 Mar 2010 11:23:05 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=29492 The name “Thumpies” evokes cotton candy clouds and fluffy balls of fun. When I was asked to review it, I imagined a procession of cute little creatures (bunnies, emoticons, you name it) drenched in the colours of the rainbow, and musical notes floating around them. When I finally got my hands on Thumpies, however, what caught … Read more]]>

The name “Thumpies” evokes cotton candy clouds and fluffy balls of fun. When I was asked to review it, I imagined a procession of cute little creatures (bunnies, emoticons, you name it) drenched in the colours of the rainbow, and musical notes floating around them. When I finally got my hands on Thumpies, however, what caught my attention is the opening hysterical little laugh that you’ll hear all through out the game. It’s the kind of insane little laugh that burrows itself in the back of your head, and worse, invade your nightmares. That’s not all, though: the Thumpies I had in mind were not the creepy little bouncing heads that look like they were part of a head hunter’s collection. Feel free to discuss this review of Thumpies in our forums.

I said to myself, “This why I’m a reviewer and not a developer.” Clearly, the aesthetics behind Thumpies is not your run of the mill, flowers and sunshine type. The artwork is reminiscent of the whimsical drawings of Where The Wild Things Are, and the thumpies themselves look a lot like the Madballs of yore, but a little more grotesque.

These oddball creatures drive the beat of this rhythm game, and entering their world means getting them to dance to the beat of your drums. Thumpies descend from above landing on mushrooms and tree stumps – your job is to bang your organic drums as quickly and accurately as you can. The ‘drum‘ is highlighted green if you get it right. If you get a particular block of beats right, the thumpies are electrified and you score double points.

Each level comes with three progressively difficult layers/motifs. You’re supposed to fill up a progress meter in order to advance to the next layer, and the one you complete becomes part of the musical motif of the next layer. Finish all three and you complete the level. Catch the little butterflies that flit about to unlock higher level thumpies.

Levels are arranged in non-linear fashion on tree branches, and offer three modes of difficulty. You can replay the earliest lower levels and the thumpies you unlock make an appearance at these levels. You can choose from two to three different levels to play at any given time depending on the number of thumpies you’ve unlocked.

While most casual games claim to be “easy to learn but difficult to master,” Thumpies is one of the few games that makes good on such claim. The initial levels start out easy enough with only one of the bouncing creatures to manage. But as you move up, more thumpies bounce around and often in offbeat fashion. The game is a true test for the uncoordinated.

The levels all have bizarre names and pronounced for the player’s benefit – not that the names or sounds make sense, though. Motifs, beats and vocals vary wildly, adding to the generally surreal feeling while playing the game. The layers tie in nicely to form a catchy musical track – catchy enough to get your feet tapping while trying to get the sequence right.

While the unstructured approach works for the most part, I found myself longing for different game modes and an additional purpose to the game – a time challenge, for example, or mini-games. An even better deal would be a level editor, letting the player mix and match these odd but memorable snatches of music to create different kinds of sounds.

I’m expecting online leaderboard and social media integration, including achievements, in the coming updates, as well as multiplayer options.

With gorgeous, vibrant artwork and a bizarre soundtrack, Thumpies is one twisted rhythm game that is definitely worth a slot on your iDevice.

App Summary
Title: Thumpies Developer: Big Blue Bubble
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $2.99 App Size: 132 MB
  • Gorgeous, vibrant artwork with bizarre characters
  • Odd, memorable, offbeat music
  • Irreverent, quirky vibe overall that makes the game incredibly likable
  • Limited replay value: needs additional game modes, a level editor, etc.
  • No leaderboard or social media integration

appstoreicon

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

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/17/thumpies-in-review/feed/ 2
Profiting from Piracy – Tap Tap’s Revenge http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/26/profiting-from-piracy-tap-taps-revenge/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/26/profiting-from-piracy-tap-taps-revenge/#comments Tue, 26 Jan 2010 09:08:36 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=26737 Tap Tap Revenge is an addictive music game which appeals to all ages and players. No wonder it has been pirated nearly as much as it has been legitimately downloaded. But rather than sitting on their collective thumbs, Tapulous infused Tap Tap with a little wonder called in-app purchasing. Pirates too can enjoy padding dev’s … Read more]]>

Tap Tap Revenge is an addictive music game which appeals to all ages and players. No wonder it has been pirated nearly as much as it has been legitimately downloaded. But rather than sitting on their collective thumbs, Tapulous infused Tap Tap with a little wonder called in-app purchasing. Pirates too can enjoy padding dev’s pockets by buying virtual goods and songs in-app. OS 3.0 brought with it myriad new features, but this in-app purchasing alone may help devs recoup some of the losses incurred from rampant iPhone piracy.

If you care to see what all the fuss is about, try out one of Tapulous’ exciting Tap Tap games:

Tap Tap Revenge 2.6 Tapulous, Tap Tap Revenge 2.6 – $0.99

Tap Tap Revenge Classic (paid version) Tapulous, Tap Tap Revenge Classic (paid version) – $0.99

Tap Tap Revenge 3 Tapulous, Tap Tap Revenge 3 – Free

Tap Tap Coldplay 1.1 - 13 Tracks Tapulous, Tap Tap Coldplay 1.1 – 13 Tracks – $4.99

Lady Gaga Revenge Tapulous, Lady Gaga Revenge – $4.99

Nine Inch Nails Revenge Tapulous, Nine Inch Nails Revenge – $4.99

Metallica Revenge Tapulous, Metallica Revenge – $4.99

Dave Matthews Band Revenge Tapulous, Dave Matthews Band Revenge – $4.99

Christmas With Weezer Tapulous, Christmas With Weezer – $4.99

More after the gap:

Tapulous has been profitable since June of last year and boasts a user base of 25 million. In-app purchases can have great benefit to devs and artists alike because  their customer base, is to some extent, locked in. Adverts and affiliate sales may well be the best tool savvy software devs have against the trend to take without paying.

Of course, some devs have noted that piracy doesn’t really hurt their bottom line. Many people pirate just for the sake of owning that game which everyone raves about; many people will never use that item and represent the smallest of threats to developers.

[via mocoNews] … Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/26/profiting-from-piracy-tap-taps-revenge/feed/ 1
Robbie Williams Racing in Review – Racing with the stars http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/16/robbie-williams-racing-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/16/robbie-williams-racing-in-review/#comments Wed, 16 Dec 2009 10:36:51 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=24828 I used to intensely dislike Robbie Williams for a good number of years – I honestly couldn’t understand why this ex-Take That member and quintessential bad boy had the world at his feet. I hated nearly all of his songs, avoided his videos and wondered about Gary Barlow instead. It was until I heard his … Read more]]>

Review-Games-RobbieWilliamsRacing-IMG_0479

I used to intensely dislike Robbie Williams for a good number of years – I honestly couldn’t understand why this ex-Take That member and quintessential bad boy had the world at his feet. I hated nearly all of his songs, avoided his videos and wondered about Gary Barlow instead. It was until I heard his fantastic cover of “My Way” many years later that I begrudgingly conceded that Robbie Williams had truly emerged from his ‘boy band’ roots and bad boy ways to become a great artist in his own right.

In Robbie Williams Racing, two seems to be the magic number. Two game modes – vs Robbie and the unlock-able Treasure Hunt; two kinds of terrain: duration and background music for the standard game. The rewards for beating Robbie a certain number of times come as media loot – additional photos, movies and behind-the-scenes videos from his latest album Reality Killed the Video Star.

Review-Games-RobbieWilliamsRacing-IMG_0480

Graphics and sound effects are adequate for a racing game, though the AI version of Robbie – perhaps to the disappointment of fans is as generic as the character you choose to race against him. RW’s mildly taunting and occasionally friendly soundbytes (“Playing it safe, mate?”) are pretty repetitive and grating at first, but mercifully fade into the background after a while – and you can turn down the volume in the options section, too.

Of course, the one advantage of the in-game music is the fact that it’s Robbie Williams. To give credit to the developers, they didn’t go into RW overkill. The goodies are tucked away as unlock-able achievements, and his presence throughout the game is limited to the music and commentary.

Review-Games-RobbieWilliamsRacing-IMG_0489

To race, you can opt to use the accelerometer based controls with accelerate and brake buttons, or use touch controls to direct movement. Personally, I prefer tilting to tapping – the latter is wildly unstable and difficult to control.

As for the gameplay itself, it’s standard fare – the game provides occasional speed bumps and obstacles along the way to make things a bit more interesting. A small guide in the upper right gives you an idea of your progress versus Robbie, who is usually just a little bit ahead, enough to overtake with a good solid push on the accelerator. After all, the objective is to unlock his music videos, songs and photos so making it too difficult will defeat the purpose of the game. Online leaderboard integration is also a nice feature thrown in.

Review-Games-RobbieWilliamsRacing-IMG_0491

Fans of racing games might find the offering on this one too limited, since as I said, most of the options come in two’s, and again, the unlock-ables are not directed towards the game so you won’t see additional game modes or race tracks, or even new terrains. RW Racing does not skimp on the media content, however, and that will please fans and non-fans alike.

Review-Games-RobbieWilliamsRacing-IMG_0492

As a basic racing game, RW Racing works well enough for (a) casual players who just want a simple, straightforward racing game and (b) Robbie Williams fans who aren’t there for the racing anyway. In reality, RW Racing is a clever marketing and sales gimmick for his latest album. It just happens to be disguised as a racing game. It could be puzzle blocks with his face on the tiles and would still achieve its objective.

However, should AI reach out to more than just Robbie Williams’ fan base, they will have to add more features to improve the racing bit of this racing title. The game isn’t badass as it should be. I have a feeling that’s what RW want a little more.

tap-icon

App Summary
Title: Robbie Williams Racing Developer: Artificial Life, Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.00 Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $2.99 App Size: 70.9 MB
  • Covers racing game bases
  • Good soundtrack (well, it is Robbie Williams)
  • Limited game modes & features

appstoreicon

Check out our racing game section for more Vroom Vroom.

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/16/robbie-williams-racing-in-review/feed/ 1
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.

review-beat-it1

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!

review-beat-it2

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.

review-beat-it5

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.

grab

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

appstoreicon

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:

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/14/beat-it-in-review/feed/ 2
Rock Band in Review – Superb rhythm and great musical taste a good game do make http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/04/rock-band-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/04/rock-band-in-review/#comments Fri, 04 Dec 2009 13:30:51 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=24214 When I think back on rhythm games, one of the first that comes to mind is PaRappa the Rapper on the good ol’ PS1. When I think of contemporary examples, Guitar Hero,its offsprings and rip-offs come to mind. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, its undeniable that Rock Band (one of the … Read more]]>

Reviews-Games-rockband-1

When I think back on rhythm games, one of the first that comes to mind is PaRappa the Rapper on the good ol’ PS1. When I think of contemporary examples, Guitar Hero,its offsprings and rip-offs come to mind. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, its undeniable that Rock Band (one of the more popular offsprings of Guitar Hero) has left its imprint on all the consoles. Now, the oft’ copied Rock Band has migrated to the palms of eager iDevice gamers.

Prior to Rock Band, I had a few other rhythm-based games on my iPhone, includingGuitar Rock Tour 2 and BeatRider Touch , to name a couple. Considering EA has had much success in the App Store thus far, I was intrigued by Rock Band. Thankfully, on the iDevice it is as close to the console version as you can get.

Reviews-Games-rockband-2

If you like intimidating white tigers, the menu is gorgeous. Carnivores aside, the game itself is broken down into three modes: Quick Play, World Tour and Multiplayer. In Quick Play mode, you simply choose a song, choose an instrument and difficulty (easy, medium, or hard), then you’re on your way. World Tour mode presents you with five options to choose from: Solo Tour, Play Online, Claims To Fame, Leaderboards, and Tell A Friend. Solo Tour is the campaign in Rock Band, where your band travels around the world to famous locations such as Boston, New York (unfortunately I couldn’t find myself in the audience), Seattle, Paris, and lastly Moscow. Each location has three different songs to choose from, and a mystery song that is unlocked once you complete the others. Depending on how well you perform a song, you’ll earn stars and fans. There is a maximum of five stars per song.

Online play (via Bluetooth for up to 4 players) is very like the console version. There are unison bonuses and you can even save a buddy by activating overdrive mode when they are boo’d into oblivion. Overall, it is very good, but susceptible to a bit of lag. Claims To Fame lets you track your progress through the campaign by showing you which locations you have unlocked. You can also check up on your achievements (hallelujah!) and statistics (your favorite instrument, number of online fans, campaign completion, etc.) from within Claims To Fame. In total there are 22 achievements, some of which can only be unlocked via bluetooth multiplayer. I consider myself an achievementaholic, and I’m still struggling up to this day to unlock a few of the achievements. Anyways, Rock Band makes use of Facebook for leaderboards and to challenge friends. And, thanks to EA’s commercial mind, you can ‘Tell a Friend’ via email about Rock Band.

Reviews-Games-rockband-3
TouchMyApps representing in the Top 10!!

You simply tap the note that corresponds to its color at the right moment. As you correctly play a sequence of notes, the combo meter will fill up and increase your multiplier. Occasionally, glowing notes will appear and if you successfully hit them, your overdrive meter will start to fill up. Once the meter is filled enough, it can be activated by tilting the iDevice forward and back. When overdrive mode is activated, it is much easier to build a multiplier and be saved from being annihilated by an angry audience.There are also instrument solos that will give you bonus points depending on how well you do. In total, there are four instruments in Rock Band. Guitar, bass, and drums all have a similar feel to them and the vocals (if you can consider that an instrument) are like the instruments except the notes come from the right to left (instead of top to bottom). When first hearing that there’s vocals for Rock Band on the iDevice, I was both curious and confused. That is until I realized you don’t have to embarrass yourself by singing in public, that the notes replace the actual ‘singing’. However, I wasn’t too thrilled with the vocal instrument because it simply felt awkward tapping notes that corresponded to the singing in the song. Every time you hit a wrong note, the singer abruptly stops singing until the next note you successfully hit. Other than that, all the other instruments are great.

My biggest priority is the music and thankfully Rock Band does indeed have rock music, instead of Lady Gage bubblegum bonanza. There are twenty songs in Rock Band ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd to The Beastie Boys. There are also downloadable song packs that can be purchased for a dollar each via in-app purchases. There are a total of two songs per pack from artists like OK Go and Lenny Kravitz. So far, there have been two songs packs that were released for free as well as others that are a dollar – which is a good sign that EA will periodically update the app with new song packs.

Reviews-Games-rockband-4

My gripes for Rock Band are few. The first thing I was slightly disappointed with was the fact that there is no band customisation. But, the clips don’t loop and actually correspond to the song, so it isn’t that bad. For example, if there’s a guitar solo in the song, there will be a clip playing of the guitarist.

In the end, Rock Band comes out on top as one of my favorite rhythm games. It has the most polish and glamor among rhythm tappers and is a joy to play. With the addition of achievements, multiplayer, and in-app purchases, Rock Band definitely justifies its $10 price tag.

grab-icon

App Summary
Title: Rock Band Developer: Electronic Arts
Reviewed Ver: 1.1.71 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $9.99 App Size: 158 MB
  • 20 great rock songs
  • in-app purchases
  • bluetooth multiplayer
  • achievements
  • online leaderboards
  • 4 instruments
  • no customizations
appstoreicon

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

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/12/04/rock-band-in-review/feed/ 1
MEVO & The Grooveriders free for the weekend! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/02/mevo-the-grooveriders-free-for-the-weekend/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/02/mevo-the-grooveriders-free-for-the-weekend/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2009 20:15:58 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=20930 Red Rocket Games, the developers who also brought you Little Runner, have offered their well received MEVO & The Grooveriders as a free download at the App Store (only for the weekend). For those who have yet to play this delightful game, MEVO & The Grooveriders fuses the popular rhythm genre with a platform setting. … Read more]]>

mevo-and-the-grooveriders-promo1Red Rocket Games, the developers who also brought you Little Runner, have offered their well received MEVO & The Grooveriders as a free download at the App Store (only for the weekend). For those who have yet to play this delightful game, MEVO & The Grooveriders fuses the popular rhythm genre with a platform setting.

Mevo is a super-addictive rhythm game that plays like a Mario-style platformer. As Mevo grooves through 5 different worlds, you help him keep his beat by tapping along to the music.

You win Silver, Gold and Diamond Gruv awards for successfully completing each level.

MEVO is worth the price of admission at $0.99 and even more so now that it can be had with only a click of the mouse. If you’re into rhythm games like Guitar Rock Tour 2 and BeatRider Touch, I highly suggest you grab MEVO while the deal is still hot.

Red Rocket Games, MEVO & The Grooveriders, FREE, 39.6 MB
MEVO & The Grooveriders

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/02/mevo-the-grooveriders-free-for-the-weekend/feed/ 1