TouchMyApps » Bulkypix http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:45:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.3 Candymeleon HD in Review – Chameleons Like Candy Too http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/05/31/candymeleon-hd-in-review-chameleons-like-candy-too/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/05/31/candymeleon-hd-in-review-chameleons-like-candy-too/#comments Fri, 31 May 2013 16:05:08 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72684 My first thought in regards to CandyMeleon was “oh great, another one of those games”.  You know, the ones where you have to feed a cute character candy all day long?  Sure enough it is, but at least there is no rope cutting or fan blowing or gadget positioning of any kind.  In fact, this really … Read more]]>

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My first thought in regards to CandyMeleon was “oh great, another one of those games”.  You know, the ones where you have to feed a cute character candy all day long?  Sure enough it is, but at least there is no rope cutting or fan blowing or gadget positioning of any kind.  In fact, this really isn’t any sort of physics game at all.  Instead it’s a good old fashioned arcade game where you have to grab the good stuff, avoid the bad stuff and last as long as you can.  It’s also quite addictive once you get into it.  There’s no brain power required here, and it’s a nice change of pace when it comes to games about consuming sweets.

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You control the candymeleon, and your task is simply to eat as much candy as you can before you lose all your hearts.  You get three to start with, and so far I’ve not seen any cases where I’ve been able to earn one back.  There are certainly plenty of ways to watch your hearts disappear, though.  Candy marked with a skull and crossbones are the most basic element of evil.  Then you get fish that are friendly on the way up but ready to chomp on you on the way back down.  Ladybugs will swipe your hearts if you don’t eat them before they reach your life meter, and falling rocks will just knock you upside the head.  The only non-lethal opponent I’ve run into so far is the spider, but if your tongue gets caught in its web you’ll be stuck for a short amount of time, during which other bad things can get you.

To move the candymeleon you just tilt the device back and forth, and tap the screen to unleash its tongue.  You can consume candies if they get close enough without using your tongue, but keep in mind this applies to the bad candies as well, since apparently the candymeleon can’t tell the difference without your help.  As you continue to play the same game you’ll go through various levels which introduce more types of bad things and generally just get harder.  As you complete games and achievements you’ll actually advance levels from a skill perspective, which means you’ll unlock new locations, power ups and candymeleons.  The power-ups are active when unlocked, but power up upgrades as well as the unlocked candymeleons and locations must be purchased using coins that you earn during play or buy with real money via IAP.

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There are two game play modes in CandyMeleon: Tournament and Time Attack.  If you really want to challenge yourself, play Time Attack.  You get 60 seconds to start, and while they seem to have dispensed with all the evil except for the bad candies, every good candy you get knocks 2 seconds off the clock.  You also don’t get all the upgrades you’ve acquired in Tournament mode, and it’s quite difficult to even earn a single star out of the three available on each level.  For now I’ll stick with Tournament mode to keep this a truly casual experience, though it’s nice they’ve included Time Attack for the more seasoned player.  The game has all the usual connections with Game Center, Facebook and Twitter so you can stay socially in the loop as well.

Visually the game is cute, with bright, cartoon like graphics.  The candymeleon makes some amusing facial expressions if you can take a couple seconds to pay attention amongst all the chaos.  The backgrounds are nicely drawn and sometimes look like paintings.  The sound effects compliment the Saturday morning feel of the game, and the music is light and bouncy to keep your spirits upbeat and maybe even your toes tapping.

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I think mobile devices have become synonymous with casual games, which makes perfect sense.  The theory is that you won’t be spending a lot of time at once in front of them, unlike playing a PC game or visiting a virtual world on your console.  As such, CandyMeleon is a perfect fit for your mobile collection.  The game is simple, fun and addictive, and it hits the trifecta of usefulness: pass it off to your kids to keep them occupied, keep it for yourself when you want to play without thinking, or actually sit and take turns playing it with your kids.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: CandyMeleon HD Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: Min OS Req: 5.0
Price: Free App Size:
  • Simple, addictive game play
  • Bright, colorful graphics
  • Good sound effects and upbeat music
  • Can’t take upgrades into Time Attack mode

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Yesterday in Review – Today or Tomorrow, What A Game http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/07/05/yesterday-in-review-today-or-tomorrow-what-a-game/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/07/05/yesterday-in-review-today-or-tomorrow-what-a-game/#comments Thu, 05 Jul 2012 13:40:52 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=68903 These days it seems like when you visit a web site dedicated to “adventure” games they’re talking about the latest hidden object game from Big Fish or the newest FPS from whomever.  When I was growing up, however, adventure games were a lot more special.  They were about stories and talking to interesting characters.  There … Read more]]>

These days it seems like when you visit a web site dedicated to “adventure” games they’re talking about the latest hidden object game from Big Fish or the newest FPS from whomever.  When I was growing up, however, adventure games were a lot more special.  They were about stories and talking to interesting characters.  There were interesting settings, and several sometimes mind boggling puzzles.  It’s clear that the developers of Yesterday grew up in that same era, or at least have done their research.  I also thank BulkyPix for helping bring this tale to my iPad screen.

I’m going to try not to divulge much of anything about the plot, but you start out following two guys that are simply trying to help the homeless.  Throughout the game you’ll take control of three characters: Henry White, Cooper and John Yesterday, and the story will be revealed as you explore with each of these personas, solving puzzles and talking to different people that have influenced their lives.  One thing that really impresses me is that every time I think I’m getting closer to the end, the game throws a new twist or turn in.  The story is always interesting and so far has kept me on my toes.  It also does a good job of keeping cut scenes relatively short and letting you interact in places that some games might take control of for you.

You can tap anywhere on the screen to move, but if you tap on a hotspot you’ll move directly to that location.  Interactive spots appear in an inset on the screen, with two buttons in the lower right corner of the inset – one to examine the area and another to interact with it.  The second icon will be different depending on the appropriate action.  For instance, if you’re looking at a person then talk bubbles are displayed, or if you can pick up an item you’ll see a hand.  Using an inventory item is a simple matter of dragging it onto a hotspot or another inventory item.  If it doesn’t work as you’ve instructed, the game will be sure to let you know.  There are also buttons on the lower left side of the screen that provide hints and temporarily reveal all available hotspots.  The interface is quite intuitive and well suited for the iPad screen, though occasionally it doesn’t respond to a tap, especially if there are a lot of responses in a dialog tree.

The visuals are incredible.  Cartoon quality artwork that rivals the masters like Dreamworks and Disney fills the screen.  The characters are well designed and nicely animated.  The sound effects are well done, and because this is more of an interactive story you don’t have the annoying repetition of sound you find in many hidden object games.  They also did a great job of selecting individuals to voice the different characters.  I really enjoyed the music as well, though it wasn’t as noticeable as sometimes is the case in this style of game.

If you’re an adventure game fan that gets the point I was trying to make in the first paragraph, the only reason I could see that you wouldn’t like this game is because of the dark subject matter.  To that end, I wouldn’t play this around kids without wearing earphones if I were you.  Otherwise, I’d highly recommend getting this game and then sitting back when you have enough time to complete it in one sitting, because you’ll have a hard time putting it down.  I know I did.

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Yesterday Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: Min OS Req: 4.3
Price: $4.99 App Size:
  • Great story
  • Intuitive interface
  • Incredible visuals
  • Wonderful voice acting
  • Nothing significant

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Kung Fu Rabbit in Review – No Sharp, Pointy Teeth, But Still… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/05/17/kung-fu-rabbit-in-review-no-sharp-pointy-teeth-but-still/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/05/17/kung-fu-rabbit-in-review-no-sharp-pointy-teeth-but-still/#comments Thu, 17 May 2012 10:52:29 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=68162 Well, BulkyPix has managed to publish another extremely addictive action platform game with Kung Fu Rabbit.  Of course the fact that the protagonist is an oddly shaped rabbit wielding a deadly blade is beside the point.  It also doesn’t hurt that no matter how many times you fail a level there’s this bizarre draw to … Read more]]>

Well, BulkyPix has managed to publish another extremely addictive action platform game with Kung Fu Rabbit.  Of course the fact that the protagonist is an oddly shaped rabbit wielding a deadly blade is beside the point.  It also doesn’t hurt that no matter how many times you fail a level there’s this bizarre draw to give it one more try.  For various reasons I’ll choose not to disclose I’m not nearly as far in this game as I’d like by now, but it hasn’t deterred me one bit from playing, and in fact is probably the reason I’ve stuck with it so long.

You control a mild mannered rabbit that just happens to be a master of martial arts (or at least plays one on the video screen).  An evil force has kidnapped all the kids in your village, and it’s time for you to exact revenge and get the tots back.  Apparently the thought of free babysitting never crossed your mind.  Your journey will take you through 60 levels in three different areas, and in case you don’t feel challenged enough you will periodically unlock levels in the bonus cavern – I’m not sure of the true purpose for these yet other than to help you pull more hare out.

The levels are actually quite short for the most part, but the constant dying might lead you to believe otherwise.  You’ll face typical trials like tar pits, crumbling blocks, disappearing / reappearing blocks and more.  You’ve seen it all before, but Kung Fu Rabbit manages to do it in a fresh way.  There aren’t even that many different kinds of bad guys, but they provide enough of a challenge that you’ll forget that minor detail.  Each opponent can only be hit from certain sides which are conveniently marked with blue glowing spots.  Attacking is automatic when those spots are facing you, and your death is automatic when they aren’t.

A slider controls left and right movement and a button press jumps, with a longer press instituting a higher jump.  The game handles everything else, though it might not do it the way you want if your timing is off.  Occasionally the slider seems a bit touchy, but it manages well for the most part.  Each level has three regular and one gold carrot to collect, and these carrots allow you to buy a range of cool power ups.  Golden carrots keep coming back, so you can replay easy levels to earn more.  You also gain an extra special power up at the end of each world that will not really necessary is kind of cool.

The graphics are top notch between the square shaped bunnies, odd assortment of blob-like adversaries and some smooth animation.  The backgrounds are quite detailed and colorful.  And trust me you’ll really get to appreciate some of these levels visually as you play them over and over again.  The sound effects really bring the world to life, whether it’s the bubbling of deadly tar, the tapping of your rabbit’s feet as he runs across a long platform or the giggles you share when you’ve rescued a baby bunny and completed the level.  The music seems decent as well, but on my iPod Touch it seemed to cut out more than it was there.  Hopefully players with more memory in their devices get a better experience where that is concerned.

I feel like somewhat of a broken record lately when it comes to platform game reviews, but I don’t really feel like this breaks any new ground.  Fortunately, the ground it does break is so well done it doesn’t really matter.  I’ve been more than willing to repeatedly die on some levels just so I could ultimately walk away with all four carrots.  My main concern at this point is that I might actually finish the game, and then what will I do?

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Kung Fu Rabbit Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: Min OS Req: 4.3
Price: $0.99 App Size:
  • Great level design
  • Awesome visuals
  • Wonderful sound effects
  • Amusing achievements
  • Slider sometimes finicky
  • Music cuts out
  • Memory issues on iPod Touch
  • Want more levels

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Jazz: Trump’s Journey in Review – Blow Your Own Horn http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/03/06/jazz-trumps-journey-in-review-blow-your-own-horn/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/03/06/jazz-trumps-journey-in-review-blow-your-own-horn/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2012 04:24:27 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=66937 There was a time where it seemed like developers weren’t interested in making platform games for iOS devices, or the ones that were available weren’t that great.  Now we’re not only seeing a steady influx in this genre, but many of them are of a quality that’s on par with or even surpasses console games.  … Read more]]>

There was a time where it seemed like developers weren’t interested in making platform games for iOS devices, or the ones that were available weren’t that great.  Now we’re not only seeing a steady influx in this genre, but many of them are of a quality that’s on par with or even surpasses console games.  Such is the case with JAZZ: Trump’s journey.  Not only is it graphically in line with many console favorites, but the level design is quite intriguing and the difficulty makes me think the developers might have been Mega Man fans!  Overall the game has been quite entertaining so far.

If you want to know the true story about the jazz legend Louis Armstrong’s life, try reading a book.  On the other hand, Trump’s Journey is a fun, interactive tribute that just might teach you a thing or two about the artist’s humble beginnings anyway.  You play trump, and your mission is to find your trumpet, form a bad and usher in the era of jazz music.  Along the way you’ll get sagely advice from you granny and you’ll take a trek through a stylized version of New Orleans to boot.

All the typical platform elements are here – moving platforms, ropes to swing on, crates to move, pits to avoid and so on.  Once you find your trumpet, the trumpet button will freeze anything that has a treble clef with a green circle on it, and tapping the button again will unfreeze these objects.  Some cops and other items are also susceptible to this power.  This can make some puzzles really intriguing to figure out, and the game does a great job of using this mechanic to its fullest.  As for collectables (every good platform game has them), there are 80 notes and 10 photographs to be found on each level.  Notes are easy to spot but sometimes tricky to get.  Photos are often hidden and provide an extra challenge.

Controls are basic: left and right arrows for running and swinging on ropes, up and down arrows for climbing ladders, a jump button, an action button for things like entering doors and pushing / pulling crates, and a button for blowing your trumpet.  The controls are only on screen when necessary, and the levels are designed in such a way that the controls never really get in the way.

The only real gripe I have with the gameplay is in the checkpoint system.  There’s no way to pass a checkpoint without triggering it, which might seem good in theory but in a couple of cases has prevented me from going back to get some collectables I missed.  The other thing is that when you’ve been out of the game long enough you can only resume from a “major” checkpoint, and while I’m not 100% sure what that is I know on some occasions I’ve lost a bit of progress.  Not monumental but sometimes annoying.

The artist’s interpretation of New Orleans is quite stylish and really neat.  The characters remind me of an old fashioned cartoon, and while much of the dialog is done in new-fangled “The Sims” talk, important dialog is actually written out to the screen in a style reminiscent of silent films.  The sound effects are pretty standard platform fare, though I do like it when Trump blows his trumpet, and the sound policemen make when you jump on them is quite amusing.  If you like jazz music you should really dig the sound track, and there’s a good chance you’ll like it even if you’re not a fan.  Occasionally it gets repetitive, but for the most part it’s quite enjoyable.

I’ve struggled a bit with rating this game, because even with the cool time stopping mechanism I wasn’t sure the game rose to the “kiss it” level.  As I’ve gotten deeper into the game and experienced some of the more advanced levels, however, the struggle quickly faded away.  I’m still not crazy about the checkpoint system, but in the end there’s no question that if you’re a platform game fan you need to give Jazz: Trump’s Journey a try.

App Summary
Title: JAZZ: Trump’s journey Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: Min OS Req: 4.0
Price: $2.99 App Size:
  • Time stopping trumpet
  • Great level design
  • Slick, stylish visuals
  • Cool jazz soundtrack
  • So-so checkpoint system

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Corpse Granny in Review – Night of the living grannies http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/29/corpse-granny-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/29/corpse-granny-in-review/#comments Tue, 29 Nov 2011 16:15:27 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=61491 My wife and I have recently developed a strong passion for all kinds of horror flicks. The recent couple off weekends were devoted almost completely to various zombiexploitation movies, from the classic Night of the Living Dead to Welcome to Zombieland. What could be better than watching a heap of zombies snack on helpless victims, … Read more]]>

My wife and I have recently developed a strong passion for all kinds of horror flicks. The recent couple off weekends were devoted almost completely to various zombiexploitation movies, from the classic Night of the Living Dead to Welcome to Zombieland. What could be better than watching a heap of zombies snack on helpless victims, right? I guess it’s time to see them burn! Well thanks to Corpse Granny you can take matters into your own hands and bring righteous flames to the shambling undead.

Corpse Granny is an original physics puzzle game obviously inspired by the now-classic Cut the Rope (TMA Review). No one knows how it happened (as usual) but zombies are advancing on the world – led by none other than grannies from the grave. A mysterious force is opposing them however, as juggling balls of mystic fire with the grace of a circus performer. And guess what – you are that force!

In terms of gameplay Cut the Rope’s influence is certainly felt. Each level presents you with a bunch of zombies that you have to kill. You can do so by dropping various fireballs on them, which are hung on chains. You have to cut the chains holding these balls and manipulate various elements in the environment to hit the zombies, thus sending them back to the grave for good. The levels do offer a surprising amount of interactive objects. Along with various planks, scattered boxes and barrels hanging on chains also available for cutting, you’ll get the chance to use cannons, elevators and other miscellaneous technical gizmos.

The fireballs are similarly available in different colours affecting gameplay. Along with the common yellow roller, you’ll get the chance to play with blue ones that are controlled by tilting the iPhone, purple crazy jumpers and the frustrating green balls, which disappear after a few bounces. And not all zombies will peacefully wait to be obliterated. Some brutes will take cannons of their own to defend against incoming threats and the dreaded grannies will do their best to escape.

One thing that can certainly be said about Corpse Granny is that all of this gameplay is wrapped up in one gorgeous package. The graphics are some of the most stylish I’ve seen in any puzzler. The interface is intuitive and features a nice combination of both touchscreen and accelerometer controls. Corpse granny uses the classic 3-star model of scoring based on the time it takes you to complete a level. If you’re a perfectionist however, beware, as the scoring is strict to the point that every fraction of a second counts to achieve the maximum stars. Even the early levels require you to start cutting before the level loading is complete to get the 3 star rating.

If you’re a fan of physics puzzle games, Corpse Granny is a must-have on your iDevice. The stylish graphics, polished game mechanics and diverse levels are sure to offer you hours of joy. I would caution the more casual players though, especially those with a perfectionist streak. Corpse Granny is one of the toughest puzzlers I’ve seen and getting 3 stars will likely set you back hundreds of tries per level.

With this I declare Corpse Granny officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Corpse Granny
Corpse Granny HD
Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $0.99 / $2.99 App Size: 59.35MB
  • Very stylish graphics
  • Intuitive interface
  • Diverse interactive levels
  • Very difficult to get 3 stars even on early levels

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GRave Defense HD in Review – A puzzle hidden underneath hordes of undead http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/09/grave-defense-hd-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/09/grave-defense-hd-in-review/#comments Wed, 09 Nov 2011 18:17:29 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=60479 Zombies and other types of undead have been among some of the more popular themes in all areas of pop-culture in the recent years – and the App Store is definitely no exception. There are scores of zombie games in all genres – from line drawing to action shooters, and card games to tower defense. … Read more]]>

Zombies and other types of undead have been among some of the more popular themes in all areas of pop-culture in the recent years – and the App Store is definitely no exception. There are scores of zombie games in all genres – from line drawing to action shooters, and card games to tower defense. Speaking of the latter, it has just been augmented by Bulkypix’s GRave Defense HD.

GRave Defense HD is on the surface a traditional fixed-path tower defence.  The world is running amok and undead are ravaging the population. As one of the few remaining pockets of resistance, you are put in charge of defending the base from the oncoming hordes. Can you hold your ground against zombies, ghosts, mutants and even Death?

If you look closely at fixed-path TD games, most don’t offer much in the way of originality, apart from a few trying to implement a decent RPG aspect. So, what innovation can be brought to the concept of hordes of enemies following a specific path in an effort to reach your base? The developers of GRave Defense thought the same and decided to throw in almost everything that’s already been implemented in a tower defense.

First of all, while the paths are indeed fixed, various waves of undead may use different ones to reach the exit. At later levels careful consideration of this fact is crucial as towers can only be placed on specific spots on the field. The enemies come in both flying and ground troops, with some having special abilitites, like healing, blowing up or disabling nearby towers on destruction. To counter this variety, you have your array of towers – and there’s a whole lot of them. I estimate around a dozen different types, and a few of the non-combat ones (aka support towers) each have 5 levels of upgrades possible. The catch is not all towers are available on every level, thus often requiring you to turn your brain inside-out to find the best application for the arsenal at hand.

Additionally, power-ups randomly drop from the eliminated undead, including cash bonuses, base restoration packs, slow-em-downs, explosives and even one to upgrade the surrounding towers. Unfortunately the base restoration packs and additional cash offer such a negligible bonus that it’s often not worth trying to catch them before they expire, which is all too fast in my opinion. The other ones however, can easily make or break a level.

Visually GRave Defense offers a decent view. The graphics are solid, but there is no zoom option to get a close-up view, so the game looks a bit small-ish on the iPhone. The good thing is that the game’s universal, so you can use an iPad to get the more comfortable interface. I do like the fact the developers decided to go completely transparent in all specs, so you can easily see quantifiable data on the towers and the upgrades that will affect them. The path of the current wave can easily be checked by a tap on an enemy, which is also a plus.

GRave Defense HD is certainly a noteworthy addition to the tower defence genre. Requiring skill and precision, it will challenge even the most experienced players, almost turning at times into a puzzle game due to the miniscule margin for error. And this already starting at the normal difficulty level! But fans of the genre will definitely appreciate the huge variety of towers and enemies across the 20 levels for hours of fun and biting their nails off.

With this I declare GRave Defense HD officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: GRave Defense HD Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: 1.4 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $2.99 App Size: 15.57MB
  • A LOT of towers
  • Multiple wave paths
  • Challenging game mechanics with a limited arsenal for each level
  • Transparent tower specs and upgrades
  • Universal
  • Very hard
  • Some power-ups are too weak
  • No way to zoom the battlefield

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Crazy Escape in Review – Penguins and Sheep? Apparently… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/10/28/crazy-escape-in-review-penguins-and-sheep-apparently/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/10/28/crazy-escape-in-review-penguins-and-sheep-apparently/#comments Fri, 28 Oct 2011 10:09:06 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=59821 I think Crazy Escape is an extremely appropriate name for this latest puzzle game from Bulkypix.  Thankfully, crazy isn’t always a bad thing.  Your quest to help two penguins rescue a bunch of sheep will take you through some pretty zany shenanigans, and I wouldn’t expect you to get through the game without chuckling a … Read more]]>

I think Crazy Escape is an extremely appropriate name for this latest puzzle game from Bulkypix.  Thankfully, crazy isn’t always a bad thing.  Your quest to help two penguins rescue a bunch of sheep will take you through some pretty zany shenanigans, and I wouldn’t expect you to get through the game without chuckling a time or two at least.  It’s nice to know that the line drawing technique can be used for things besides simple war games and millions of Harbor Master clones.

Yep, I brought up Harbor Master, but only to point out that this game is nothing like Harbor Master or any one of its legion of followers.  Crazy Escape has you helping two penguins that have taken up the cause of freeing defenseless sheep from the clutches of ruthless wolves.  To do this you’ll have to show the penguins the best path to take from point A to point B while making sure to pick up all the sheep along the way.  That’s where the line drawing mechanic comes in, as you simply drag your finger across the screen to draw a road for the penguins to follow.  You must be sure to avoid the wolves, but it also helps if you don’t run into things like barns or big trees.  Thankfully small trees and fences are not such formidable barriers.

There are plenty of sheep to free, some of which require keys to rescue.  While there may be multiple locked sheep on a level, you can only carry one key at a time.  After a few levels you will be introduced to the wolf leader, who gives you a slight head start and then comes chasing after you.  If the leader catches you the level is over.  Additionally, the wolf leader might have one or more sheep tagging along in front of or behind him.  These sheep must be rescued as well, and getting to them is usually a lot trickier than the stationary sheep due to timing issues.  As you progress through the levels you’ll start running into more obstacles like mud which makes sharp turns hazardous and terrain that leaves buildup so that you can’t cross over a road you’ve already made.

Besides the sheep there are three stars to collect on each level.  You must free all sheep to pass a level, but you don’t need all the stars.  However, without all the stars the highest medal you can get is bronze, the basic medal.  Assuming you get all the stars, your medal (bronze, silver or gold) will be based on how much road you use to achieve your goal.  As you reach certain star collecting milestones you’ll unlock bonus levels, but I really haven’t found a point to them yet, and they honestly aren’t all that fun.  Thankfully the main levels are sufficiently entertaining that the bonus levels don’t matter much to me.

The levels are fun and challenging, but the atmosphere puts this game over the top.  The visuals are nicely detailed and there are little effects everywhere like fish jumping in the lake and smoke coming from the chimneys of buildings.  Where the visuals really shine, however, is in the overlays.  If you sit for too long a little box will pop up showing one of the sheep or wolves doing something, or possibly even displaying the penguins looking at a map.  When a bad event occurs there’s a nice little overlaid animation to go with it as well.  For some reason it all reminds me of the Whammies from the old game show Press Your Luck.

The sound effects are a nice compliment to the visuals.  The world is filled with ambient noise, and the penguins make funny little sounds when they successfully complete a level or get into an accident of some sort.  The one thing that seems a bit out of place (though still quite amusing) is when the wolf leader catches you.  The brawl sounds more like a bar fight than a wolf and penguins rumbling.  There’s some great music playing when the game first loads and through the main menu, but sadly all goes silent on that front when you get to the actual game.

While I have nothing against games like Harbor Master, there are other genres where the line drawing mechanic could certainly be used to add a fresh spin on game play, and Crazy Escape does an ample job of proving that point.  Of course, the wacky atmosphere, slick visuals and funny noises don’t hurt anything either.  If you’re looking for a simple to play, tough to master line drawing game that doesn’t require you to keep vehicles from running into each other, Crazy Escape is a great choice for you.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Crazy Escape Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: Min OS Req: 3.2.2
Price: $0.99 App Size:
  • Challenging levels
  • Simple, fun mechanics
  • Cool visuals
  • Funny sound effects
  • Hand can block view at bad times
  • No in-game music

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Another World – 20th Anniversary in Review – Just go through the looking glass, Alice! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/10/21/another-world-20th-anniversary-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/10/21/another-world-20th-anniversary-in-review/#comments Fri, 21 Oct 2011 17:31:27 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=59478 It’s hard to imagine modern video games without the polygons. Building blocks of almost all 3D graphics engines, they are everpresent in the industry. But not many people know that one of the first games to use them was the legendary Another World on the Amiga back in 1991. Revolutionary in both graphics and gameplay … Read more]]>

It’s hard to imagine modern video games without the polygons. Building blocks of almost all 3D graphics engines, they are everpresent in the industry. But not many people know that one of the first games to use them was the legendary Another World on the Amiga back in 1991. Revolutionary in both graphics and gameplay approach it has sold over a million copies and been ported to many platforms. And now 20 years later a re-mastered edition has found its way to the App Store: Another World – 20th Anniversary.

Another World – 20th Anniversary is a classic Adventure/Platformer, but presented in an original style. After a mishap involving a state-of-the-art particle accelerator and a freak lightning storm, professor Lester Knight Chaykin is teleported into a strange alien world. Narrowly escaping death multiple times, he finds himself between a rock and a hard place; enslaved by indigenous aliens, he now has to take the lead in escaping with his new compadre.

Playing Another World is quite a unique experience. There aren’t any descriptions or even hints of what to do. Instead as you would in real life, you explore the unfamiliar surroundings, trying to stay alive. Running for your life from wild beasts, infiltrating an alien base, exploring vast caves – the game features a varied and involving storyline. And once you finally get your hands on the alien blaster it adds that bit of je ne sais qua, giving you the satisfaction of revenge on those brutes who had the nerve to capture professor Lester.

Remarkable in its approach, Another World doesn’t offer any HUD or on-screen controls whatsoever, at least for the purists. Using the model of Mirror’s Edge (TMA Review) you control your alter-ego using swipes and hot corners on the screen. This creates the original cinematic experience that made Another World a cult classic. The controls work rather well, though it’s quite easy to make an extra step or two, thus plunging you to your doom. For extra precision you may choose to toggle the virtual D-pad, though that does ruin the experience somewhat. The graphics come both in full HD and traditional Amiga, switchable by a simple two-finger swipe.

The early 90′s games are notorious for their difficulty level. Long before the advent of Angry Birds it was considered that people should actually put some effort into playing the game. Unfortunately, even despite the added lower difficulty level, Another World is still painstakingly hard. And I do mean HARD. Unless you do the correct thing at precisely the right time, you’re dead. And the checkpoints are way too sparse to make it comfortable. Also, the absence of any hints system doesn’t help one bit and I’d say the overwhelming majority of players will have to resort to the good ol’ internet to find a walkthrough to complete the game.

Another World – 20th Anniversary is a cult classic bringing a unique cinematic experience to the iOS generation in Universal HD quality. The original control scheme and gameplay make it almost a must for any self-respecting gamer. Unfortunately, few will find the strength to overcome the unforgiving difficulty, with even less doing so without the help of a walkthrough. For those who do, however, it will leave an unforgettable impression and the satisfaction of knowing – “I did it!”.

With this I declare Another World – 20th Anniversary officially touched!

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: Another World – 20th Anniversary Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: 1.2 Min OS Req: 3.1.3
Price: $4.99 App Size: 87.04MB
  • Unique cinematic gameplay
  • Excellent graphics
  • Cult classic
  • Universal
  • Insanely difficult
  • Unforgiving controls
  • No hint system
  • Sparse checkpoints

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Anooki Jump in Review – Yes, We Do Need Another Jumping Game http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/09/14/anooki-jump-in-review-yes-we-do-need-another-jumping-game/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/09/14/anooki-jump-in-review-yes-we-do-need-another-jumping-game/#comments Wed, 14 Sep 2011 15:05:51 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=57589 Every time I start up a new “infinite jump” game, the first thing I ask myself is “do we really need another infinite jump game?”  Unfortunately, by and large the answer to that question ends up being no.  Thankfully, however, there are times where a game manages to elude the negative response to the aforementioned … Read more]]>

Every time I start up a new “infinite jump” game, the first thing I ask myself is “do we really need another infinite jump game?”  Unfortunately, by and large the answer to that question ends up being no.  Thankfully, however, there are times where a game manages to elude the negative response to the aforementioned query, and Anooki Jump is one such game.  The developers of Anooki Jump have managed to turn simplicity into art, and in the process made an extremely entertaining game as well.  Move over Doodle Jump, Anooki is the infinite jumper for me.

I think this is one of those games that deserve discussing the visuals first.  The background is a solid color, the majority of the blocks that you bounce on are simple squares, and even the characters are basically complex silhouettes.  Despite all that, Anooki Jump manages to be an extremely appealing game visually.  There are a couple of little effects like when you pick up the flower or the withering ice block melts, but the game seems to rely more on your brain filling in the blanks for the details and actually succeeds.

The sounds are equally simplistic.  The characters giggle a little when they’re doing something fun, and most special blocks make some sort of noise when you land on them.  As with the visuals, it just works.  What’s even more intriguing is that there is no music, save for the simple note played each time you land on a basic block.  Quite often the lack of background tunes would bother me, especially in a game like this, but the individual notes actually enhance the atmosphere in this case.

So does the game play live up to the aesthetics?  I certainly think so.  You play two Eskimos trying to climb ever higher in this world of ice blocks and other things.  All you have to do is tilt the device left and right to move, although you do have to shake to free yourself from the ink blot should you get trapped in it.  Otherwise, the game pretty much handles everything else for you.  There are obstacles like half melted blocks that disappear when you land on them or bombs that temporarily disorient you and impede your progress.  On the other hand, balloons and stars give you a second or two of hassle free ascent.

What’s real interesting about the game is that you control both Eskimos.  You start off with one, and whenever you see the other you can land on his board to switch places.  This is actually imperative eventually, because over time you lose health and if your health gets down to nothing the game is over.  The other way to replenish your health is to land in certain boxes with a heart next to them.  Not only will these boxes fill your health but they’ll shoot you up a few levels.  If playing simply for the fun of it isn’t enough, Game Center and OpenFeint integration provide leaderboards and achievements.  You can even brag over Facebook and Twitter if you like.

There’s not much else to say here.  Anooki Jump does everything a good ‘infinite jumper” should, it adds a couple of new elements to make it distinct, and it captures a look and sound that is both simple and incredible.  I don’t know if this is the best in the genre, but it is certainly a top contender.

App Summary
Title: Anooki Jump Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $0.99 App Size: 16.8 MB
  • Simple, addictive game play
  • Two character simultaneous action
  • Innovative life meter
  • Awesome sounds and visuals
  • I want my life back

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Last King of Africa 2 in Review – In the jungle, the quiet jungle, the panther sleeps tonight… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/08/31/last-king-of-africa-2-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/08/31/last-king-of-africa-2-in-review/#comments Wed, 31 Aug 2011 17:25:14 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=56975 In the jungle, a lone young woman is driving for her life in a truck with a panther in the back. If you think this is the start of the latest Animal Planet documentary, you couldn’t be more wrong. This is part two of the adaptation of the classic Benoit Sokal adventure – Paradise aka … Read more]]>

In the jungle, a lone young woman is driving for her life in a truck with a panther in the back. If you think this is the start of the latest Animal Planet documentary, you couldn’t be more wrong. This is part two of the adaptation of the classic Benoit Sokal adventure – Paradise aka Last King of Africa (TMA Review). On to Maurania once again!

Last King of Africa 2 is the second part of the first-person adventure/hidden object Last King of Africa. The story picks up after Ann escapes from the palace with the panther, only to find herself in a car accident. Coming to her senses in the middle of the jungle she has to once again find the panther and continue on her journey to find her long lost father.

The structure of the gameplay is in line with the classic genre traditions, and this time even more so. Almost all item-based puzzles have been stripped out of the game, replaced instead by minigame ones. The latter don’t pose any real problems, but there aren’t too many of them either. The hidden object bonus minigame is here as well, encouraging you to find the 3 emeralds on each screen hidden in the scenery. Keep your eyes open though, as some screens you get to see only once and if you tap on the wrong hotspot, you’ll lose the chance to get emeralds.

Last year I described Last King of Africa as “short series of dialogues and cutscenes mixed with long periods of finding items and places for employing them”. Unfortunately this time it’s the other way around, with dialogues and cutscenes prevailing above all else. In fact Last king of Arica 2 feels more like an interactive book rather than a full-fledged adventure. Not sure if this is the reason why it feels shorter than the original release.

The strong side of Last King of Africa – the superb graphics – have obviously found their way in to part 2 as well with, unfortunately, the same flaws. There is still no zoom feature, thus making your job of hunting for emeralds all the harder. Disappointingly the Retina display is also not supported, leaving you wishing for the HD crispness we’ve gotten used to during the last year. And the menu bar on the left side of the screen is also ever present, taking up valuable real estate on the not so big iPhone screen.

I was a bit disappointed with Last King of Africa 2. Having played through the original about a year ago, I felt the transition to the iOS platform went reasonably well despite losing its 3rd person view and most of the puzzles, thanks to the excellent visuals and storyline. Part 2 however went even farther in watering down the adventure part of this classic game and all but turned it into an interactive book rather than a full-scale quest. In short, if you can’t contain your desire to find out what happens next to Ann, your path definitely leads to Last King of Africa 2. Otherwise, I would advise you to take your adventures elsewhere.

With this I declare Last King of Africa 2 officially touched!

Tap Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: Last King of Africa 2 Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $2.99 App Size: 206.26MB
  • Embedded hidden object subgame
  • Nice minigame puzzles
  • Excellent graphics and story
  • A bit on the short side
  • Insufficient puzzles
  • almost no inventory based puzzles
  • Easy to skip some screens leaving no way to collect all emeralds
  • No Retina support

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Save Yammi in Review – Draw a rope, feed an octopus! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/08/23/save-yammi-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/08/23/save-yammi-in-review/#comments Tue, 23 Aug 2011 17:37:58 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=56572 When Cut the Rope (TMA Review) was first released in late 2010, it was simply out of this world, if only because Angry Birds finally had its hegemony challenged. And the game wasn’t all that bad either. Of course it couldn’t help but inspire competition; some have been downright clones, while others were of the more … Read more]]>

When Cut the Rope (TMA Review) was first released in late 2010, it was simply out of this world, if only because Angry Birds finally had its hegemony challenged. And the game wasn’t all that bad either. Of course it couldn’t help but inspire competition; some have been downright clones, while others were of the more creative variety. The latter has just spawned an interesting concept, something like an anti-cut the rope in Save Yammi.

Save Yammi is a unique action-puzzler, obviously inspired by the legendary Cut the Rope. Yammi, a young but enterprising little octopus is running for his life from the horrible evil shark when he is sucked into the sewers of a sprawling metropolis. Now he has to find his way out, not forgetting the value of a healthy diet.

As in the now well known predecessor, the main goal of Save Yammi is simple: feed the octopus his cookie. The catch though is instead of cutting the ropes to make this happen, you have to actually draw them on the screen to direct the cookie to Yammi. Also, unlike the original, the 3 yellow stars are now a must to collect on the way, with a couple of brown stars being optional. These variations make a completely different game of the same basic idea and what a game at that.

Of course simply drawing the rope just won cut it. You’ll have to interact with a variety of devices and powerups to get Yammi his daily dose of vitamins. From teleports to cookie enlargement, you’ll have to make good use of them to navigate around the dangers on the levels and get those stars. For additional control you can tilt the device to influence the movement of the tasty treats. Together with the timely nature of drawing the rope, the gameplay does get a bit hectic at times. More than once I wished you could do all the preparations in advance and then just sit back and watch the action.

The visuals are immediately familiar to anyone who’s ever laid eyes on Cut the Rope. So much so that I myself originally thought that Save Yammi was made by the same developers since the style is so similar. On the other hand, this is nothing bad to say about BulkyPix’s latest offering – the detail is amazing and the graphics make it a joy to experience on any device. The music however, still has some ways to go when compared to that of the catchy soundtrack found in CTR.

There’s no way in hell anyone could call Save Yammi a rip-off of the popular Cut the Rope. While the graphics and the basic premise are clearly inspired by Zeptolab’s hit title, the gameplay itself is a complete re-imagining of the newborn genre from the ground up and will bring hours of joy to anyone who makes a grab for Save Yammi. In fact, in some ways it will appeal even more to the players aiming for more control with the integration of tilt to change the gravity direction. In short it is one of the best puzzle games I’ve ever played and an easy recommendation for any fan of the puzzle genre.

With this I declare Save Yammi officially touched!

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Save Yammi Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $0.99 App Size: 19.66MB
  • Innovative concept
  • Addictive gameplay
  • Lot’s of levels
  • Cute graphics
  • Music could be a bit nicer
  • Can be hectic at times

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Burn it All – Journey to the Sun in Review – Fire, walk with me! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/05/26/burn-it-all-journey-to-the-sun-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/05/26/burn-it-all-journey-to-the-sun-in-review/#comments Thu, 26 May 2011 15:10:56 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=52528 Despite all my parents’ warnings, I’ve always loved playing with fire. The way the flames dance fascinates me and burning stuff is always fun. Verrry fun. And thanks to BulkyPix I can now do so on-the-go on my iPhone with Burn it All – Journey to the Sun – one of the most recent and … Read more]]>

Despite all my parents’ warnings, I’ve always loved playing with fire. The way the flames dance fascinates me and burning stuff is always fun. Verrry fun. And thanks to BulkyPix I can now do so on-the-go on my iPhone with Burn it All – Journey to the Sun – one of the most recent and highly acclaimed additions to the casual puzzle genre on the App Store.

Burn it All is an original casual puzzler, quite difficult to place in terms of a specific genre. It is a tale of passion, tragedy, comedy, love and war… NOT! Actually there isn’t any clear storyline presented as in many similar games, but the idea seems to be the following: three little Flames are trying to reach the Sun.

I know, the story doesn’t give you the remotest idea of what the game is actually about, so here’s the gist of it: you have to use your little flaming protagonists to burn everything there is to burn on the level in the least amount of time possible. Based on your performance you may be awarded with up to 3 crystals that, though not serving any practical purpose, give you an idea of how well you did and offer a reason to go back and retry some levels.

The basic mechanic is simple – you move your flame to light fuses of different types (and later – other objects and even bats). But as you advance the task gets progressively harder to achieve in the time allotted, especially if you want to get more than 1 crystal. Timing becomes crucial as fuses diverge into quick, medium and slow burning and vents and water gets introduced. And the different types of flames available (quick lights only fuse ends, slower lights any part of the scenery, and slowest burns through everything in it’s path) strive to offer variety as well. Still the game feels a little slow and simplistic for quite a large chunk, as the quickest way to get the job done is more obvious than not and the trick is only in the speed and accuracy of your finger.

That all gets thrown upside down, however, once the time loop concept is introduced. It’s kind of difficult to put in words but the idea is simple – you play the level over again with a second flame, seeing your actions from the original playthrough in parallel. This concept finally offers room for strategic thinking and truly gives new life to the game, making it far more interesting than all the previous levels put together.

Visually the developers decided to go for the cartoony-styled graphics and offer a delightful picture to look at. With full support for Retina quality graphics, Burn it All will have things ablaze on your iOS device look almost lifelike. Burn it All is also a universal application, which is always a plus in my book. The only thing left missing is the ability to sync your savegames and I would definitely call the game technically perfect.

Thanks to a creative and original concept Burn it All does well to stand out of the crowd of more than 250,000 App Store applications. While the game does start out a bit slow in terms of truly challenging gameplay, it gains its second, third and fourth winds once the time loop mechanic gets introduced. Burn it All certainly earns a firm spot right up there with some of the best casual puzzle games on the iOS platform.

With this I declare Burn it All – Journey to the Sun in Review officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Burn it All – Journey to the Sun Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 4.2
Price: $0.99 App Size: 57.14MB
  • Creative concept
  • Addictive gameplay
  • The Time loop mechanic brings new life to the game
  • Universal application
  • No save-game syncing
  • A little boring for the first hlaf of the game

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