ALO Audio’s The International headphone amp/USB DAC in review

ALO The International BW

It’s off to the races again. This time, ALO have suited up their youngest and most exciting audiophile offspring, The International. This amp features at 24/96kHz USB DAC, discrete analogue/digital sections, a powerful battery, extremely low noise floor, and the must-have feature of the decade: balanced input and output. With all that under the bonnet, you can be sure this youngster will turn heads as it swishes by.

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Metal Slug 2 in Review: Who Needs 3D?

I’m all for the latest trends in technology.  In the end, though, I just want my games to be fun.  If there’s one thing the METAL SLUG series has proven over and over again it’s that you don’t need the latest 3D accelerated graphics or quad core processor to make an enjoyable game.  In fact, as a whole it seems like ports of older games provide some of the most intense scrolling shooter experiences available on the iOS platform.  Besides, there’s something about awesome pixel art and classic 90’s video game tunes that’s hard to beat these days.

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Mushroom Wars in Review: Spores Are Fungis Too

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I’ve always been partial to turn based strategy games because I tend to have difficulties processing everything that’s going on all at once when the action is real time.  However, I began taking an interest in the real time side of things again when I was introduced to what I call “strategy lite” games where you basically have one screen full of stuff to deal with and the action is mostly relegated to simply trying to take over your opponents’ structures.  With no resource management, no complex troop management and advanced quests providing fun but unnecessary diversions, games like Mushroom Wars still provide a decent level of strategy but supply it in a nice pick up and go package.

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Glove.ly touchscreen gloves in Review – Don’t let a snow storm stop you from using your iPhone

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If you’ve ever been out in the bitter cold and wanted to use your iPhone (or smartphone in general), then you already know just how much it sucks to do so as your fingers feel like they’re about to fall off. Thankfully, there’s a solution to this and it involves non other than a pair of touchscreen compatible gloves. Some simply have cutout holes at the fingertips, while others are actually made with conductive fabric and no digits need to be exposed. One such pair is the Glove.ly touchscreen gloves, and they’re designed where the entire glove can interact with the iPhone’s display. They’re smartly designed, look great and even have two magnetic points that help keep the gloves together.

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音茶楽 Flat4-楓 Ocharaku Flat4-KAEDE earphone in review

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I have a hunch that Mr. Yamagishi, the former Sony headphone and speaker designer behind Ocharaku was drinking tea before he ever sipped into the idea of the Tornado Equaliser. That singular technology has since revolutionised the upgrade earphone market among price-conscious portable audiophiles in Japan. And with the introduction of Flat-4 SUI – and TE’s successor, TEE – in 2011, the technology has found itself in a new, better pot. Twin Equalised Elements (TEE) is the new leaf that Mr. Yamagishi turned over to create SUI and now KAEDE. If you’re interested in a few different views of KAEDE, check out Ω image’s KAEDE post.

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Triad Audio L3 Headphone Amplifier in Review

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Triad Audio’s L3 is one of the biggest battery-powered carry-around headphone amps that TMA has gone over. The other, MST’s FiQuest, is a champion of customisation and performance. While not nearly as customisable as the FiQuest, the L3 commutes from HiFi component to road warrior with less hassle. It is also one of the handsomest large amps this audio fool has seen.

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Jelly Duel in Review – Match 3 Against The World

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Lately I’ve been more focused on RPG hybrids when it comes to my match 3 experiences (like Dungeon Story), but I’m all for a good old fashioned pure match 3 romp, given the right game.  Sadly, those options don’t come along much any more.  Now we have Jelly Duel, however, and my faith in the genre is slowly returning.  Unfortunately, this game will only do you some good if you have WiFi or data connectivity since it is an online offering.  Still, as much as I don’t like “connected” gaming, I’m seeing a lot of potential in Jelly Duel. Continue reading…

Block Blasters in Review – This Is Why You Shouldn’t Play With Bombs

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I love physics puzzle game, but there is certainly more than a fair share to choose from.  Still, if one seems to offer something new or do something proven really well I’m more than happy to give it a shot.  In the case of Block Blasters you get to use various forms of explosives to shuffle the board around, so who wouldn’t want to give that a go?  Unfortunately, while the game is conceptually intriguing, in practice it’s more burdensome than anything else.  Imprecise controls, frustrating puzzles and annoying sound effects highlight what should have been a fun little puzzle game.

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Dungelot in Review – Rogue-like At Its Best

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Back in the day, by which I mean a time I barely remember and which many of you probably weren’t born yet for, there existed a game called Rogue that quite possibly started one of the first trends of copycats, known as rouge-likes.  The games were simple in some ways such as consisting of only ASCII graphics, but complex in others like having a myriad of commands to remember and randomly generated dungeons that were revealed as you moved through them.  While I actually enjoyed several games of this type, I’m happy to see that modern variants such as Dungelot have revamped graphics and streamlined control schemes.  Unfortunately one challenging feature still remains in many modern rogue-likes: death is death.

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Pudding Monsters HD in Review – No Bill Cosby But Still Fun

Cut The Rope was one of the first games to be billed as an “Angry Birds killer”, and while I don’t believe it quite made it to that status, there’s no denying the game’s impact on the mobile puzzle game genre.  The developers are back with an entirely different concept in Pudding Monsters, but the important thing is that the game is just as entertaining as Cut The Rope.  Gamers looking for a challenge might be a bit disappointed, as the current level sets are a bit on the easy side overall, but those looking for a cute casual gaming experience are sure to love the whole package. Continue reading…