TouchMyApps » Time Management 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 Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:08:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.3 Fix-it-up: World Tour (Full) in Review – Time management isn’t only about running a spa! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/10/fix-it-up-world-tour-full-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/10/fix-it-up-world-tour-full-in-review/#comments Tue, 10 Jan 2012 13:27:37 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=63959 G5 Entertainment is certainly among the more established iOS publishers, best known well known for their superb Hidden Object (HdO) and Time Management titles. I’m not a big fan of HdO but an occasional frantic spin on the next Sally’s Spa can easily suck me in for hours. As you may have guessed, our victim … Read more]]>

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G5 Entertainment is certainly among the more established iOS publishers, best known well known for their superb Hidden Object (HdO) and Time Management titles. I’m not a big fan of HdO but an occasional frantic spin on the next Sally’s Spa can easily suck me in for hours. As you may have guessed, our victim today is of the latter persuasion and also a follow-up to the reasonably successful Fix-it-up: Kate’s Adventure (Full), putting you in charge of a auto-repair shop. Not too imaginatively titled Fix-it-up: World Tour (Full) it follows the adventures of Kate and her two unlikely partners in bringing their business across the globe.

Fix-it-up: World Tour is a hard-core time-management title. Having enjoyed immense success back home Kate, along with Steve and Martin decide to go global. To have better coverage they decide to split up meeting new people and having adventures of their own. But in the end there can be only one! Sorry, wrong movie. But still, Kate will have to make up her mind in the end so stay tuned for the final showdown between the partners for the heart of the beautiful girl.

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Playing Fix-it-up: World Tour is in essence like any other time management title. You have to buy cars, fix and upgrade them and then sell for a nifty profit. Not focusing on sole profit however, the game throws various goals at you to complete within the allotted time frame, which range from the mundane pure money-related stuff to more specific tasks like fixing a certain amount of a type of cars and the like. I also like the additional source of income from renting cars that you’re not ready to sell yet.

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And there’s quite a lot to spend the cash on. Apart from buying cars themselves you have to keep a stock of spare parts that are consumed with almost each operation, as well as enough workers to do them. While most actions increase the value of the cars, some are more specialized like a waxing job to keep it from getting dirty or insuring it against damage. Fix-it-up: World Tour offers an impressive 18 unique locations with localized visuals for your pleasure, for a total of 54 levels that will surely captivate you for hours on end.

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Overall the graphics quality is superb – everything has been drawn to the minutest detail, making me appreciate the Retina display even more. The controls are intuitive, which is a godsend since the gameplay may often get a bit frantic. Some of the tap-targets could have been a bit bigger though since I found myself missing the destination building a couple of times.

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Fix-it-up: World Tour is definitely one of the best time-management games I’ve played. It embodies the essence of the genre, all the while spicing it up with parts and personnel management and various tasks to perform. I’m not sure I would recommend it for the more casual player, at least one that’s bent on getting the gold for each level, but you’re definitely not required to be a seasoned veteran to play Fix-it-up: World Tour. The story is a bit cheesy and the interface could enjoy a minor tweak or two but the gameplay has enough in it to keep you busy for hours on end.

With this I declare Fix-it-up: World Tour (Full) officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Fix-it-up: World Tour (Full) Developer: G5 Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $4.99 App Size: 245.82MB
  • Addictive gameplay
  • Varied goals
  • Original elements
  • Lots of levels
  • Cheesy story
  • The gold targets are a bit too hard

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Youda Survivor in Review – Robinson Crusoe didn’t have to deal with this! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/12/05/youda-survivor-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/12/05/youda-survivor-in-review/#comments Mon, 05 Dec 2011 15:54:12 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=61756 I think the story of Robinson Crusoe, though sad, has in many respects a lot of romance to it as well. Certainly the prospect of having a Friday of your own 7 days a week is a tempting one. I’m sure many have dreamed or at least tried to imagine what it would be like. And … Read more]]>

I think the story of Robinson Crusoe, though sad, has in many respects a lot of romance to it as well. Certainly the prospect of having a Friday of your own 7 days a week is a tempting one. I’m sure many have dreamed or at least tried to imagine what it would be like. And when our imagination fails, us we have but the App Store to turn to. Thanks to G5 Entertainment – the masters of time management – a deserted island will become much less deserted with you on it in Youda Survivor.

Youda Survivor is at its heart a variation on the time-management genre. You are a lone survivor of a shipwreck washed upon a shore of a beautiful tropical island. Here you meet a friendly tribe of natives who recognize you as the hero of their legends. But to prove you truly are the savior you’ll have to go through a series of trials testing your skills and resourcefulness.

Interestingly enough the said tests mainly involve gathering resources and cooking, with some occasional pirate thrashing and hidden object diving. Youda Survivor takes you through a series of levels (and don’t get me wrong – it’s a whole LOT of levels) where you gather water and foodstuffs, process and combine them into potions while using mystic rituals to keeps the water supply available. Each level has a number of objectives and you are awarded a bronze, silver or gold star depending on the time it takes to finish them.

Youda Survivor can be split into several aspects. First of all, you have to dig wells to get water with an occasional rain ritual to keep them full. This water is consumed by birds which lay eggs you can then use either in recipes directly or process further into boiled eggs, then flour and finally the pinnacle of cuisine – tacos. The other supply chain is coconuts followed by split coconuts and coconut oil. To build the processing equipment, as well as performing rituals, energy is consumed. This energy can be replenished by cooking the foodstuffs into potions, with special recipes packing an extra punch. To keep you on your toes pirates occasionally attack, which you have to fight off the good ol’ tap ‘em way. And some ingridients are only found below the sea level in a hidden object style mini-game.

The visuals in Youda Survivor certainly don’t have the oompf of games like Infinity Blade but are reasonably serviceable and do the job. Full support for the Retina display is included in the mix, so that’s a plus at least. The interface is quite well thought out – a must for any time management game. The only thing I missed is a more obvious indication the storehouse is full, as most of the time you’ll notice it only by the game refusing to collect items.

Youda Survivor is quite an advanced example of the time management genre. G5 Entertainment threw everything but the kitchen sink in the mix – mystic rituals, figting pirates, diving for shrimps and even cooking. A fan of the genre will certainly find themselves lost in Youda Survivor for days building up his/her tribe cred to prove their worth. That said though, I wouldn’t recommend it for the casual player as the gameplay is quite complex and many will probably tire of it quite soon. Still, for the price of FREE, you can’t go wrong giving it a try yourself (unlocking the full game via IAP currently costs $4.99).

 

With this I declare Youda Survivor officially touched!

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: Youda Survivor Developer: G5 Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free App Size: 133.63MB
  • An advanced time-management game
  • Mystic rituals
  • Pirate fighting
  • Diving
  • Cooking
  • FREE
  • A bit too complex for the casual player
  • Some minor interface issues
  • Doesn’t really hook you in

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Farm Frenzy 3 in Review – Yep, It’s Really That Crazy… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/11/farm-frenzy-3-in-review-yep-its-really-that-crazy/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/11/farm-frenzy-3-in-review-yep-its-really-that-crazy/#comments Fri, 11 Nov 2011 13:22:34 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=60571 The Farm Frenzy franchise has always been a bit of a standout amongst the time management games that I’ve played.  It’s more goal oriented than its brethren, and as the name implies, it can get quite hectic, pretty much on every level after the first four or five.  It’s a nice change of pace from … Read more]]>

The Farm Frenzy franchise has always been a bit of a standout amongst the time management games that I’ve played.  It’s more goal oriented than its brethren, and as the name implies, it can get quite hectic, pretty much on every level after the first four or five.  It’s a nice change of pace from the typical storefront type management sims, though it might be a bit much for the more casual gamer.  So far Farm Frenzy 3 is no exception to the rule, and it’s a great reminder of why the series is so popular.  If you’re tired of serving food, running a boutique or managing a hotel, maybe it’s time for a bit of frenzy in your life.

The first surprise is that there is no comic book like intro setting up the events in the game.  In fact, there really is no story at all, not that one is particularly needed.  The important thing to know is that every level presents you with a certain set of goals, and those goals must be met to advance to the next level.  While money is certainly one of the potential goals for a level, you will also get tasks like collecting a certain number of eggs or baking a particular number of cakes.  It’s nice to see a time management game where the focus is on the overall accomplishments the player makes, and not just about earning enough cash.

A level’s goal might be something like “collect X number of eggs” or “spin Y balls of yarn”.  In some cases there might be multiple ways to reach your goal.  For example, if you’re asked to collect ducks you can either buy them outright or put eggs in an incubator to hatch them.  Other items require multiple steps in the process – making a cake has you running eggs through two different machines, and then combining that with flour (which you buy from the store) in order to get the finished product.  Some items eventually count towards multiple goals – an egg counted towards the goal of collecting eggs can then be used to make a cake.  However, if it says you need X number of ducks, don’t think you can get half way through that goal and then sell off the ducks for quick cash – those ducks suddenly won’t count towards your total any more!

Your biggest adversary is time.  You need to get into a rhythm such that multiple things are going at once, or you’ll never have enough time to reach all your goals, at least if you’re interested in getting a silver or gold cup (and the bonus stars that go along with that).  Completing levels earns you stars, and getting a silver or gold cup earns you extra stars, all of which can be used to upgrade your equipment.  Note, however, that having the ability to upgrade equipment doesn’t mean you automatically start with those upgrades at the beginning of the next level – a lot of times you’ll need to earn money within the levels to actually activate the upgrades.

Everything is tap based, and the controls are quite responsive.  The main problem is that there’s often so much on the screen that it might take you two or three taps to get around to what you’re trying to tap.  Also, the clutter does make it hard sometimes to tell if things are waiting to be picked up.  The other thing that can be a bit of an issue is the contents of the warehouse.  Because of the way items are represented in the farm view, you often can’t really tell how much of something you have until you either try to use it or until you click on the warehouse like you’re going to sell stuff.

The visuals are nice.  The critters look cool, and the buildings bounce up and down when they’re being used.  While the general farm layouts are the same, each farm has its own buildings and animals, so you shouldn’t get bored with what you’re looking at.  The sound effects are decent as well.  The birds get riled up when there’s no grass left, the transport honks when it’s back from the market, and even if you don’t see it, you’ll know when a bird has been eaten.  The music is nice, and so far each farm has had its own theme, which is always a bonus.

Farm Frenzy 3 definitely lives up to the expectations that previous entries in the series have left.  Each level has different goals, there’s always plenty to do to meet those goals, and you’ll be rewarded well for meeting certain time milestones.  More importantly though, is that this game is geared more towards hardcore players.  After getting a few gold cups I quickly devolved to silver and then to just passing a given level.  If you’re looking for a truly challenging time management game that’s also fun, Farm Frenzy 3 is where you want to be.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Farm Frenzy 3 Developer: Alawar Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: Min OS Req: 3.1.3
Price: $2.99 App Size:
  • Plenty to do
  • Varied goals
  • Challenging in a positive way
  • Looks good
  • Each farm has its own song
  • Screen can get too cluttered
  • Hard to tell how much is in warehouse

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Virtual City Playground in Review – Build your city for free, no strings attached http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/08/virtual-city-playground-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/08/virtual-city-playground-in-review/#comments Tue, 08 Nov 2011 15:31:22 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=60391 I reviewed the original Virtual City (TMA Review) last year and found it to be an entertaining casual variation on the build-your-own-city theme. Though much closer to the Transport Tycoon franchise in spirit than SimCity, the mixing of various gameplay elements and the addition of quests to guide the development made for an excellent package. Building … Read more]]>

I reviewed the original Virtual City (TMA Review) last year and found it to be an entertaining casual variation on the build-your-own-city theme. Though much closer to the Transport Tycoon franchise in spirit than SimCity, the mixing of various gameplay elements and the addition of quests to guide the development made for an excellent package. Building on this quest system G5 Entertainment has done what seems to be the fashionable thing these days and has gone freemium with Virtual City Playground.

Virtual City Playground follows the same basic city-building idea as the original. This time there isn’t any sequence of separate scenarios; instead you’re thrown into a semi-open playing field (extension bought separately) to build and run that city you’ve always dreamed of. Take that, Mr. Mayor!

The basic idea is to build up various production facilities and organize supply chains to earn money. Freedom reigns, as in theory, you’re presented with an open field and left to your own devices as to how you’re going to earn the cash. In reality, however, almost all building options are locked until you complete preceding quests, which generally guide you through building up individual product chains one step at a time. As well, some population oriented tasks are thrown in for good measure. Of course, you can spend loads of investment points and unlock any building right of the bat, but where’s the fun in that, right?

And herein lies the conundrum. Very quickly you’ll run up to a point where you’ve filled up all available space and want to expand. Expansion costs real cash and the aforementioned investment points can only be earned at a measly one point per level, or thanks to the recent update – for dutifully checking in the game everyday. Considering that each consequent expansion costs even more in both investment points and cash, though the latter is never a problem, you’ll almost immediately run into a serious deficit of them. Especially since some of the buildings can only be constructed with said points. Loads of cash for more investment points, anyone?

Visually Virtual City Playground builds on the base of the original by adding new buildings and landmarks. The graphics still hold up quite nicely, so you won’t be left wanting in this respect. The controls however are a bit clunky both in terms of construction and everyday management. Tapping-n-dragging through 10+ pages of environment buildings is frustrating as hell. And the preciousness of real-estate makes you pack the buildings in as dense as possible, thus making it nearly impossible later to select the one you actually want. Lastly the addition of being able to close the app and have your city continue to live and breathe for making money offline looks great in principle. In reality it leads to the necessity of recalculating all the changes on each switch-back to the game, adding loading times even when restoring from the multitasking tray. And waiting for the game to load after a good night’s sleep for a reasonably built-up city can easily take a whopping 5-10 minutes (or even more) on an iPhone 4.

Overall Virtual City Playground is quite a nice addition to the sandbox building genre. It offers all of the features of the original well-balanced city-builder and more for a hefty price of FREE. Unfortunately some interface flaws, along with the horrendous loading times will often test your patience. But at the zero price point offered, Virtual City Playground is definitely worth a try, only if to make you buy the superb Virtual City.

With this I declare Virtual City Playground officially touched!

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: Virtual City Playground Developer: G5 Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: 1.2 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free App Size: 58.44MB
  • All features of the original Virtual City
  • Very nice quest system
  • Makes money minimized as well
  • Free
  • Very restricted in ways t earn investment points
  • Horrendous loading times once the city is built-up

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Freebie Alert: Cooking Dash and Wedding Dash for iPhone now free for limited time http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/09/14/freebie-alert-cooking-dash-and-wedding-dash-for-iphone-now-free-for-limited-time/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/09/14/freebie-alert-cooking-dash-and-wedding-dash-for-iphone-now-free-for-limited-time/#comments Wed, 14 Sep 2011 16:03:12 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=57655 Time Management aficionados are no doubt familiar with Flo’s Dash spawning franchise. In fact, Diner Dash is arguably the most well known among the crowded and addictive genre. So if you’re a fan of TM games and are new to the series, this freebie update is for you! Playfirst has dropped two of their iPhone … Read more]]>

Time Management aficionados are no doubt familiar with Flo’s Dash spawning franchise. In fact, Diner Dash is arguably the most well known among the crowded and addictive genre. So if you’re a fan of TM games and are new to the series, this freebie update is for you! Playfirst has dropped two of their iPhone titles to free for a limited time: Cooking Dash (TMA Review) and Wedding Dash (TMA Review). Normally priced at $2.99, both games feature 50+ levels and plenty of mad-finger-dashing challenges. Additional IAPs are available should you wish to unlock other locales ($0.99 each).

Cooking Dash PlayFirst, Cooking Dash (TMA Review), 110 MB – Free
Wedding Dash PlayFirst, Wedding Dash (TMA Review), 53.0 MB – Free

Cooking Dash

★ New: Serve glamorous movie stars and picky directors in Crater Café, a tasty new restaurant packed with fun Dash gameplay!
★ With over 14 million downloads to date, Dash is one of the biggest gaming franchises ever on the iPhone and iPod touch. Thank you so much for your support!
★ Cooking Dash delivers fast-paced, addicting fun that is optimized for playing on-the-go. Keep customers happy by prepping everything from burgers and fries to sushi and dumplings. Tap and slide to seat customers, serve up hot dishes, and collect big tips! Help our heroine Flo keep five DinerTown restaurants up and running… if you can stand the heat!

GAME FEATURES:
★ A STAR-STUDDED NEW RESTAURANTS!
Dish up futuristic fare at the Crater Café available for in-App purchase!

★ PLAY 50+ EXCITING LEVELS!
Heat up the kitchen as you take on the most challenging restaurants in town! Can you keep up with the pace, and hit the Expert score on each level?

★ MASTER THE ART OF PERFECTLY PREPARED MEALS!
Master global cuisine skills as you cook Japanese, Italian, and more! Spruce up your restaurants with brilliant décor upgrades and super-charged appliances!

★ MEET 10 QUIRKY CUSTOMERS
From yoga instructors to body builders, everyone’s got to eat! Dish out quick service to hungry locals to become the hottest lunch spot in town.

Love the fast-paced fun of Cooking Dash? Try our other addictive games! Diner Dash, Hotel Dash, Wedding Dash, Soap Opera Dash and Egg vs. Chicken are all available on the App Store.

Wedding Dash

 

★ Plan unforgettable destination weddings in three NEW venues, the Royal Ice Palace, Golden Lotus Beach, and Aquarium D’ Amour!
★ Meet and greet with two new customers and thirty new couples!
★ With over 14 million downloads to date, Dash is one of the biggest gaming franchises ever on the iPhone and iPod touch. Thank you so much for your support!

Plan ultimate dream weddings for picky brides and grooms! Help Quinn launch her fledgling wedding planning business, starting with simple backyard weddings and advancing to elegant ballroom receptions. Choose all the details, manage comical disasters, and keep guests happy – or risk the wrath of Bridezilla!

Features:
PLAY THREE NEW DESTINATION LOCATIONS
Face the frost in the Royal Ice Palace, walk along the warm sand on the Golden Lotus Beach, or dive into romance in the Aquarium D’ Amour.

PICK THE PERFECT DETAILS
Select decadent wedding cakes, tasty entrees and gorgeous bouquets based on the personalities of each happy couple.

STOP DISASTERS IN THEIR TRACKS
Keep an eye out for pigeons, fires and angry bees before they derail the big day!

ORGANIZE SEATING REQUESTS
Everyone loves the social butterfly, but be sure to save a seat on the end for snoozy Aunt Bea, known to fall asleep in the middle of the meal!

PLAN 50 UNFORGETTABLE WEDDINGS
Wedding Dash has 50 levels and 5 beautiful wedding venues to master.

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Jack Of All Tribes in Review – The Master Of Most? http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/07/07/jack-of-all-tribes-in-review-the-master-of-most/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/07/07/jack-of-all-tribes-in-review-the-master-of-most/#comments Thu, 07 Jul 2011 15:58:07 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=54524 Well they’ve managed to do it again.  Every time I get a game from G5 Entertainment to review I’m just a bit concerned that it’s going to fall into the “been there, done that” category.  So far it has been needless worry, however, and Jack of All Tribes is no exception to that rule.  This … Read more]]>

Well they’ve managed to do it again.  Every time I get a game from G5 Entertainment to review I’m just a bit concerned that it’s going to fall into the “been there, done that” category.  So far it has been needless worry, however, and Jack of All Tribes is no exception to that rule.  This TM game takes a little different approach to the subject, where instead of having one central focus to work on, you’re jumping from one part of the island to the next, building up everything in your path.  It’s just different enough to feel fresh, and the overall atmosphere is fun and playful in a way that really sucks you in.

You’re name is Jack, and in an 80’s D&D cartoon sort of way you get teleported to a different world thanks to a freak roller coaster.  In this case, though, you end up in an ancient civilization.  Your ultimate goal is to make your way home, but along the way you need to help the poor folks rebuild the once proud villages.  You’ll have 40 levels with which to prove your otherworldly prowess, and so far each level has had something to offer that’s different than the last.  The amount of things to do almost gets a bit overwhelming at times, but thankfully you manage the activity and not the people.  When something needs to be done an indicator will be displayed above the task, and you simply tap on the task to bring the citizens to it.

So what sorts of activities must you engage in on your journey?  You’ll get to plant and harvest pumpkins, construct and upgrade buildings, search caves and put out fires, just to name a few.  You’ll even have the opportunity to fight off rival tribes by repeatedly tapping on invaders.  And, in a move that surprised me, you have at least one chance to search for items “hidden object” style.  That was quite a welcome surprise.  Some activities are simply for the survival of the clan, while others will earn you resources and more importantly, help complete the goals for a given level.  Some goals are spelled out through dialogs, while others are simply designated by little pictures at the bottom of the screen.  If you complete the goals in a certain amount of time you will earn a gold star, but you can always finish a level simply by completing the goals at all.

There’s not a ton of replay value, since it’s not real exciting to walk through a level again once you’ve beaten it.  However, there’s always the chance of earning that gold star if you don’t get it the first time around.  There are also 12 trophies to earn, so that might be incentive to play through some levels multiple times.  Still, we’re not talking about levels that only take a minute or two to complete, so even if you don’t have the desire to play them all ten times apiece, 40 levels should get you a sufficient amount of play time.

The graphics are wonderful.  Everything is well drawn and fluidly animated.  It’s very easy to tell when there’s a task that needs to be handled.  And once you’ve successfully completed a level, the villagers will even clap for you.  The sounds are a great compliment to the atmosphere of the game.  It would be nice to hear from the dinosaur (or if it does make noise it needs to be louder), and voices for the dialogs would be cool.  The music is nice, though it does kind of get lost in the shuffle with everything going on.

Jack Of All Tribes just goes to show that there’s still some life to be had in the time management genre.  The silly premise and fun characters will draw you in, while the challenging objectives will keep you playing.  Just make sure you have all your ducks in a row when the screen starts getting cluttered.

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Jack of All Tribes Deluxe Developer: G5 Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $2.99 App Size: 161 MB
  • Plenty to do
  • Goofy characters
  • Wonderful visuals
  • Complimentary audio
  • Real estate can get crowded

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Supermarket Mania 2 in Review – Awesome Game On Isle 2 http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/05/12/supermarket-mania-2-in-review-awesome-game-on-isle-2/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/05/12/supermarket-mania-2-in-review-awesome-game-on-isle-2/#comments Fri, 13 May 2011 06:14:35 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=52281 If I wished to stick with my analogy of Jane’s Zoo (TMA Review) being a Time Management Lite game, then Supermarket Mania 2 would be Time Management Deluxe.  While I love TM games I’m no expert at them, yet this is the first one in a long time that I’ve not been able to attain … Read more]]>

If I wished to stick with my analogy of Jane’s Zoo (TMA Review) being a Time Management Lite game, then Supermarket Mania 2 would be Time Management Deluxe.  While I love TM games I’m no expert at them, yet this is the first one in a long time that I’ve not been able to attain the expert level the first time around an almost any level.  For those of you wondering – that’s a good thing.  Usually time management game levels don’t take long to complete, and I don’t mind playing them 2 or 3 times to achieve the top ranking.  Add to that all the little bells and whistles, and this is probably one of the best games in the genre to grace my iPod Touch’s little screen.

For me plots have become mostly irrelevant in time management games, other than the fact that I like how they are usually told in comic book format, but if you’re really interested, you basically get talked by a family member into coming to manage a series of restaurants for him.  I’d say “as typical you start off slow”, but that actually isn’t the case in Supermarket Mania 2.  At a bare minimum you have to keep several counters stocked so that your shoppers can find what they want and remain happy.  Depending on your setup, you’ll also need to do things like order baked goods, make milkshakes, and keep the delivery guy moving by bringing him the goods that an external customer is waiting for.

In addition to all the things just to keep the customers happy there are ancillary jobs like mopping the floor, moving shopping baskets from one bin to another, and fixing broken equipment when vandals strike.  You even have occasions where you have to tap on the security guard to prevent mischief from happening in your store.  Thankfully everything is controlled simply by tapping the screen.  This works incredibly well, except for the rare occasion when you get in a hurry and tap the wrong thing.  Most objects are big enough to prevent this, but it does happen on occasion.  This is a straight time management game, so don’t be looking for any quirky mini-games.  I kind of miss that feature, but not really.  Supermarket Mania 2 simply doesn’t need it.

As one might hope / expect from a time management game, the graphics are quite good.  This is certainly one of the better ones as far as level of detail is concerned.  You watch as the shelves are slowly depleted of food.  When the jukebox plays little notes float in the air.  After a successful day of work all the employees give you a cheer.  Everything is extremely well animated, and the color palette is bright and cheerful and makes things easily discernable from each other.

The sound effects really add character to the game.  When the delivery man arrives he whistles to let you know he’s there.  Kids giggle when they are getting in trouble and cry when they get lost from their parents.  I’m a bit disappointed that certain client types never make any noises, but it’s no big deal.  The music isn’t bad, but the reality is that it is mostly inconsequential.  You’ll get so wrapped up with everything that you won’t even notice whether or not there is any music playing.

I won’t say this is my favorite time management game, simply because it seems every time I make that qualifier either something better comes along or I remember a game I used to play that I liked more.  However, I can say that any hardcore time management fan won’t be disappointed.  And this is not for the casual gamer, as it can quickly get overwhelming with all the different things that you have to do throughout a given day.  If you’re a fan of the genre and either just want a good game or feel like you haven’t been challenged enough lately, Supermarket Mania 2 is the perfect choice for you.

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Supermarket Mania® 2 Developer: G5 Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free App Size: 124 MB
  • Lots to do
  • Quite challenging
  • Excellent graphics
  • Decent sound effects
  • Gets difficult quickly
  • Sometimes hard to tap the right target

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Jane’s Zoo in Review – There’s More Than Food In Time Management http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/30/janes-zoo-in-review-theres-more-than-food-in-time-management/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/30/janes-zoo-in-review-theres-more-than-food-in-time-management/#comments Wed, 30 Mar 2011 16:14:42 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=50526 I’ll admit I’m a bit of a softy when it comes to Time Management games, because I don’t mind the fact that most of them have the exact same flow to their gameplay.  Still, it’s nice when something takes a little bit different approach to the genre, and I think Jane’s Zoo handles that quite … Read more]]>

I’ll admit I’m a bit of a softy when it comes to Time Management games, because I don’t mind the fact that most of them have the exact same flow to their gameplay.  Still, it’s nice when something takes a little bit different approach to the genre, and I think Jane’s Zoo handles that quite nicely.  It does feel a bit like it’s geared more towards younger players, but I’ve always considered myself young at heart anyway, and I’m rather enjoying the change of atmosphere and slightly simpler game play.  Hard core Time Management junkies might find it a tad too simplistic, but I think it makes a great casual game that’s an easy entry for those with no experience in the TM genre.

Jane has decided to take her time management skills and put them to good use by helping to take care of animals all across the world.  Your job is to help three zoos on different continents become sufficient in taking care of natures’ most beautiful (and sometimes deadly) creatures.  Each of the three zoos will give you several different animals to care for.  Jane takes care of providing food and water to the animals, while her uncle manages all the cleanup and maintenance in the zoo.  There are also a few mini-games in the form of tasks like washing the animals and helping sick animals get better.  None of the mini-games are difficult at all, but they still provide a nice diversion from the standard game play.

Most actions are taken care of by tapping on the action request balloon, tapping on the corresponding item in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen, and then tapping on the request balloon again.  Things are small enough that occasionally I have trouble tapping the appropriate area, but that’s usually not an issue.  Mini-games for the most part require tapping gestures as well.  To clean an animal you tap on the dirty areas, to heal it you tap the thermometer when the temperature is in the right range, etc.  The one exception so far is blow drying the animals after a bath, which requires you to drag the blow dryer up and down by the wet area.  This one is kind of annoying, because if you don’t get it just right it might take a while; meanwhile, requests from other animals are piling up.

While I’m rather enjoying this slightly simpler take on the time management genre, there are a couple of things that bother me.  Now I’ll admit I’m playing on the basic mode, but it seems like the game does a bit too much handholding.  This is especially notable when it comes to upgrades, because there’s a pretty strict regimen you have to follow when buying new things.  The other thing that I don’t like is the fact that if someone has two tasks queued up, they’ll complete one task, walk back to their waiting spot, and then go to the next task.  That seems like an unnecessary use of time.  I suppose that adds to the challenge, but it seems somewhat counterintuitive for a time management game.

Whether you’re for or against the more basic game play, I think what will keep most people coming back are the animals themselves.  The visuals are a bit on the small side, but there’s still so much detail that it looks good.  If it weren’t for the fact that you actually had to do something to keep the animals happy and the zoo open, it would be fun just to watch the animals move and play around.  It’s definitely neat seeing them react to different things like being hungry or not feeling well.  I also like the stream of smiley faces that come from an animal when they are happy.

The sound effects work quite nicely.  I often feel this is what gives a time management game a lot of its personality, and there’s no question that it enhances the atmosphere here.  Listening to the animals chatter when they are content helps bolster the feeling that you’re doing something right.  The music is okay, and it’s certainly easy to listen to, but for some reason it reminds me of a bad public service announcement tune.

I hate to keep harping on this, but Jane’s Zoo will probably turn off some hardcore time management players due to its simpler mechanics.  As for me, after 23 levels I’m still enjoying every minute of it.  I’m not really an animal lover, but this group of playful beasts has certainly attracted my attention.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Jane`s Zoo Developer: G5 Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $2.99 App Size: 18.1 MB
  • Not your typical time management theme
  • Cool animals
  • Game is easy to get into
  • Mechanics a bit simplistic

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Zombies Ala Mode in Review – They Want More Than Just Braaaaains… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/02/15/zombies-ala-mode-in-review-they-want-more-than-just-braaaaains/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/02/15/zombies-ala-mode-in-review-they-want-more-than-just-braaaaains/#comments Tue, 15 Feb 2011 15:20:35 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=48022 A lot of people loved the game Scoops, and while I did find it amusing in small bursts, I was never really a fan.  Then along came Crawlspace Games, developer of the quirky clown assault game Knife Toss, and mixed a dash of time management and a whole heapin’ helping of zombies into the mix.  … Read more]]>

A lot of people loved the game Scoops, and while I did find it amusing in small bursts, I was never really a fan.  Then along came Crawlspace Games, developer of the quirky clown assault game Knife Toss, and mixed a dash of time management and a whole heapin’ helping of zombies into the mix.  The result is an interesting and quite challenging game called Zombies Ala Mode.  Don’t let its cute exterior fool you, it dishes out the difficulty in all kinds of flavors.

Zombies Ala Mode has three game play modes, two of which are locked to start off.  In Career mode you’ll work your way up through several days of serving ice cream to “friendly” customers, trying to earn enough money to make it to the big time.  At most you’ll have two customers at a time, but as the days go on they’ll get more demanding, since your cones will be able to hold more scoops and the boss will begin introducing more flavors of ice cream.

You’ll move your zombie back and forth with the accelerometer to catch falling scoops of ice cream, and then move all the way to the left or right and tap to give the cone to the customer.  If you accidentally get the wrong scoop of ice cream you can tap it to remove it, but keep in mind that you can only remove the top scoop each time.

If a customer waits too long they’ll get mad and leave, and money will be deducted from your total.  You also won’t get a bonus if customers leave angry.  Occasionally smiley faces will drop that when caught will temporarily satiate an enraged customer, but the key it to serve them quickly.  As you earn money you’ll be able to shop for items that will both help you earn more tips and protect you from the debris that starts falling after the first few levels.

I haven’t unlocked survival mode yet, but I’m assuming it’s like Career mode except without the levels or shopping.  Bug Attack mode is a long version of a mini-game in Career mode where you simply protect the ice cream shop from hordes of insects.  As a mini-game it works okay, but as a full-fledged experience it is honestly kind of boring.

The graphics in Zombies Ala Mode are very nice.  Your zombie avatar looks cool, the boss is appropriately frumpy, and there are a nice variety of objects that get tossed at you.  There’s also a lot going on in the “background” at the top of the screen if you can actually spare a few moments to look at it.  The one thing I am a bit disappointed about is that you only see the arms of your customers.  One of the best parts of most time management games visually is watching the faces of your customers as they reacted to getting served – or not getting served.

The sounds suit the game quite well, whether it’s the grunts of the zombies or you getting boinked in the head with some random object.  There is even decent ambient noise to compliment all the commotion going on at the top of the screen.  The music all around is good, but I especially like the theme that plays while the main menu is up.  I had the game loaded and my headphones plugged in while I was working on something else on my computer, and I found myself tapping to the tune more than once.

Zombies Ala Mode is a refreshing take on both the object stacking and time management genres.  The zombie theme certainly didn’t hurt things either.  The visuals are slick, the atmosphere is lighthearted, and the songs are quite catchy.  My chief beefs are that some the levels are insanely difficult (I’d spend more time being knocked out than actually playing), and it’s annoying to have the extra game play modes locked at the beginning of the game.  Otherwise, this is a nice genre mashup that should appeal to a wide range of players.

App Summary
Title: Zombies Ala Mode™ Developer: Elevate Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $0.99 App Size: 51.7 MB
  • Great concept
  • Cool visuals
  • Nice music
  • Have to unlock game modes
  • Some levels too hectic

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Hotel Dash in Review – Flo’s On The Go – Again! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/04/hotel-dash-in-review-flos-on-the-go-again/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/04/hotel-dash-in-review-flos-on-the-go-again/#comments Thu, 04 Nov 2010 15:34:19 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=42126 The “Dash” series of time management games has always been a big hit on the PC, and it’s made an excellent transition to the iPhone world.  Hotel Dash is the latest entry in the series, and it’s upped the ante in several ways.  If you’re a time management veteran you’ll feel right at home and … Read more]]>

The “Dash” series of time management games has always been a big hit on the PC, and it’s made an excellent transition to the iPhone world.  Hotel Dash is the latest entry in the series, and it’s upped the ante in several ways.  If you’re a time management veteran you’ll feel right at home and appreciate the additional challenge, but if you’re new to the whole concept this might not be the best place to start.  So far I’m loving it, and I can’t wait to see what the next installment in the franchise has to offer.

You play as Flo, who appears to be a very busy woman, since in addition to her job managing a variety of restaurants around the city she is now running three different hotels.  Your job is to help her get each of these hotels back into tip top shape for various reasons, whether it’s to impress a honeymooning couple or appease some bigwigs.  You’ll have 10 rounds to work on each hotel.  To improve the hotel you must make money, and to make money you must keep the guests happy.  Make sure they get to their room expediently, get everything they need, and check out in a timely fashion.  This will assure big tips and your continued advancement through the game.

In addition to getting your patrons and their luggage into a room, you’ll need to provide them with various amenities like dinner, towels, and extra pillows.  Just wait until you get those hungry men that need more than one meal!  Then there are the clowns that like to make messes wherever they go.  It becomes a real test of skills keeping everything flowing smoothly, especially when you consider that both you and all the guests are using the same elevator to get everywhere.  It seems like there are a whole lot more activities to do in Hotel Dash than in earlier Dash games, which is good for the challenge level but can prove intimidating if you’ve never played a time management game before.

The other new feature is the concept of fixing up a special room.  Each normal room can have between 1 and 3 stars – which must be bought – and rooms with stars will earn you “star bills” (they should have called them “star bucks”).  At the end of each level you can spend these star bills purchasing items for the master suite of the hotel.  I don’t think it ever came outright and said it, but I believe you have to purchase everything in the master room in order to complete the hotel.  If that’s the case, it will be a fine balancing act between purchasing stars for rooms and upgrades for the hotel to make your life easier.  Of course, rooms with stars earn more tips as well.

Graphically the game is on par with other Dash games, which means the visuals are colorful, detailed and fun.  There are nice little extras like the customers leaping up and down when you check them out of a room or a vase teetering before falling when a clown knocks it over.  And, like the other games, the cut scenes are rendered in a comic book style.

The sound effects are decent, but nothing really sticks out.  In fact, I think there were some missed opportunities in that the characters themselves didn’t have any distinct noises.  The music is standard “Dash” fare, and honestly when the action gets hectic it doesn’t matter much because you won’t be paying attention to the sounds.

From a challenge standpoint I’d say that Hotel Dash is the toughest in the franchise so far, which is a good thing.  I had a few issues with sluggish behavior and action buttons not responding as well as they should, but that could be a consequence of my older device (iPod Touch 2G).  Those issues aside, I still had a blast playing Hotel Dash, and I certainly recommend it to anyone with an interest in time management games.

As well, if you missed our interview with PlayFirst’s GM Chris Williams, you can read it here.

App Summary
Title: Hotel Dash Developer: PlayFirst, Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $2.99 App Size: 60.52MB
  • Challenging game play
  • Nice twist with the “special room”
  • Good graphics
  • Occasional slowdown
  • Unresponsive controls from time to time
  • Audio a bit bland

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Miriel the Magical Merchant in Review – A Time Management that’s pure magic http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/24/miriel-the-magical-merchant-in-review-a-time-management-thats-pure-magic/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/24/miriel-the-magical-merchant-in-review-a-time-management-thats-pure-magic/#comments Fri, 24 Sep 2010 16:05:26 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=40209 Miriel the Magical Merchant from Gamehouse is a time management game in the same vein as the like of Diner Dash and Sally’s Salon. In this particular game you play as Miriel, an “ordinary girl with extraordinary powers” who’s charged with the ever important task of running her family business and supplying her kingdom with food … Read more]]>

iPhone Screenshot 4

Miriel the Magical Merchant from Gamehouse is a time management game in the same vein as the like of Diner Dash and Sally’s Salon. In this particular game you play as Miriel, an “ordinary girl with extraordinary powers” who’s charged with the ever important task of running her family business and supplying her kingdom with food supplies.

Customers come to the shop and stand at the counter. Soon, they’ll decide what they want and you must begin preparing it as quickly as you can. The more quickly you serve a customer, the more money you’ll earn. Some items are simplistic and you just have to tap once to make them appear on the serving table. Others, however, are more complicated. For example, you may have to put two bottles of milk in the oven to make cheese, or add a strawberry to a cake to make strawberry cake, and so on. Naturally, the more complicated a recipe, the longer it will take to create, so make sure you’re keeping the customer happy – otherwise they’ll disappear and you’ll lose their money!

The idea of the game is you serve all your customers as quickly as possible throughout the level to earn the maximum possible points. If you don’t earn enough, you won’t pass the level. As well as merely passing, you can also get an extra bonus if you acquire enough points.

As in most games of this ilk, all of your customers have different profiles. Some are more patient than others. This means it makes more sense to keep the more patient customers waiting and serve the impatient ones first, because if they walk out, you’ll lose points. It’s a fine balancing act to keep everybody happy whilst making bread, cheese, cakes and more as fast as you can.

It doesn’t take long for one to realize that this is a really fun game. The graphics are simple but attractive, and the sound effects and music are great. They’re there, but not overpowering, so you can simply get on with playing the game without finding the sounds distracting.

Dotted between some of the levels is the opportunity to upgrade your kitchen equipment, for example your ovens, your table and a gramophone to help keep the customers happy. To upgrade, you must successfully play a minigame – which is essentially a match three game. It’s good fun and helps to break up the gameplay of the main levels, giving you a nice break from slaving over a hot stove.

As a totally peculiar added bonus, the game also includes real life recipes. If you successfully unlock recipes for various things that you create and serve during the game, you’ll be able to view a recipe which you can use to make things in real life! I’ve seen this done in games before but if I’m honest, I certainly wouldn’t dream of using this function, and I’m sure many people feel the same.

Overall, Miriel the Magical Merchant is a blast to play. There are tons and tons of gameplay to be had, which is fantastic considering the price of the game ($0.99). The only downside is that it isn’t particularly challenging. I managed to get the ‘Expert’ achievement on each level first time round – and I was never in any danger of failing a level. I think it could have been made that little bit more difficult in order to keep people interested.

That said, I’d still recommend the game to casual gamers, purely because it’s good fun, will keep you occupied for a good long while and it’s a total bargain at this price. For those with an iPad and can’t get enough of Miriel, Miriel the Magical Merchant HD is also available at the App Store.

grab

App Summary
Title: Miriel the Magical Merchant Developer: Gamehouse
Reviewed Ver: 1.00 Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $0.99 App Size: 17.8 MB
  • Nice graphics
  • Good quality music and sound effects
  • Fun gameplay
  • Tons of levels
  • Fun minigame
  • Excellent value
  • Little replay value
  • Not overly challenging

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Supermarket Management HD in Review – discounting your free time http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/22/supermarket-management-hd-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/22/supermarket-management-hd-in-review/#comments Wed, 22 Sep 2010 12:28:17 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=39995 I’m not sure if I should feel so weak in the knees every time I turn on Supermarket Management HD, but golly I do. Time management games can be fun, but when they are made with as perfect a rhythm and the cutest of graphics as SMHDis , they are the sweetest of high school … Read more]]>

I’m not sure if I should feel so weak in the knees every time I turn on Supermarket Management HD, but golly I do. Time management games can be fun, but when they are made with as perfect a rhythm and the cutest of graphics as SMHDis , they are the sweetest of high school romances. What follows is a true love story.

There’s no point in hoping for the best storyline. Time Managers are all the same. Similar to Supermarket Mania, in SMHD, you follow the orders of your boss to setup the best market the town has. Along the way, you show him new designs, upgrade the store, run sales, hire new employees and kick parsley. The thing you’ve got to remember is that besides money, your most important resource is your customer. Keep her happy and meet her needs on time, and your coffers will overflow.

... not a family game after all

The hard part is pulling it all off. In order to stock shelves, you have to direct either your avatar or the hired help to the right shelf. Tap tap tap it and you fill it faster. Cakes and sandwich stands require a more hands-on approach. You’ll have to tap the right ingredients in the right order to make the perfect purchase. The basic mechanic is just that: 1. waiting for the right moment, and 2. tapping.

Then sometimes, customers will stand next to the bread section wondering where the bread is – show them the way by dragging them along. If you can manage all of that and keep a cool head, your customers will be happy. Before a new game item, such as sales, comes along, you’ll get helpful tutorial prompts – the rest is up to you to figure out.

You can brag to mates on Facebook about your new scores and achievements if you want, but I can almost guarantee that you’ll be more interested in consolidating your energy for the next level. Supermarket Management HD is mad fun – so mad in fact that I finished over half the game for this review even though The game is basically sussed after a few levels.

The only problems that crap up are intermittent and touchy touch screen problems – particularly in the cheese aisle and at the cashier. Apart from that, I’ve seldom come across such an addictive, impossible-to-put-down title. Supermarket Management HD stands toe to toe with the best of the Time Management genre like Sally’s Salon and Diner Dash. If you don’t have an iPad, try out the iPhone version of Supermarket Management for your own sweetness and light love story!

App Summary
Title: Supermarket Management HD Developer: G5 Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req:
Price: $4.99 App Size: 51.33MB
  • cute graphics and sound
  • addictive gameplay
  • lots of upgrades
  • Facebook integration. (Is that a good thing?)
  • overall, great controls (just watch out for the cheese)
  • repetitive (but, that’s time management!)
  • little replay value

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Review-game-SuperMarketManagmentHD-1 Review-game-SuperMarketManagmentHD-2 Review-game-SuperMarketManagmentHD-3 ... not a family game after all Review-game-SuperMarketManagmentHD-5 Review-game-SuperMarketManagmentHD-6

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