October 6, 2012

Tiliard by 2 Key Players

(5/5) Tiliard for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is an amazingly unique puzzle game. Tiliard is based off of the popular game billiard, but in puzzle form. You must place the cue tile (not ball) and then tap on it once more to get it going. You can only place the cue tile next to a number tile. The tiles move the number of spaces that are on them. For example, a 7 tile would move 7 spaces before coming to a stop. The goal, like billiard, is to get all of the tiles to fall into holes that are set around the sides of the screen. The graphics are colorful, and I love the art style that the developer used. The music is great, not too loud but not too subtle. The controls are simple, just a series of tapping. Overall, Tiliard is definitely a hidden gem of a game on the App Store. Go check it out for only $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiliard/id526999566?mt=8

September 16, 2012

Rail Rush by Miniclip.com

(4.7/5) Rail Rush for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a game that is extremely similar to the iOS classic, Temple Run. You can play as one of many different characters, which each have their own abilities. The gameplay is entertaining, with a similar tilt/swipe mechanic to Temple Run. The graphics are good, with the characters, powerups, etc. modeled in 3D along with the multiple different environments to travel through. Powerups like magnets and speed boosts will help you on your minecart journey, as they will help you gain distance, survive longer, or gain more gold. The music is fitting, as it sounds like something that could be put in an adventure movie. Overall, Rail Rush is a game that you should pick up if you have had your fill of Temple Run and want to play a different, but similar game. Rail Rush is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/rail-rush/id501947104?mt=8 

August 26, 2012

Toybox by Barrel of Donkeys

(5/5) Toybox for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is is an extremely unique game that requires your full attention. The game is very simple, it has no plot or anything of the sort, it just has two games that you play at the same time. On one side of your screen is a scrolling shooter in which you must avoid getting shot and shoot at enemies. On the other side there is a match-three game. You must move around pieces that are going to fall in order to match three. The pieces come in 4 different colors, and you can only make matches with blocks of the same color. Making a match will give you some points, but it will also affect the shooter. Making a match causes any enemies and/or bullets on the screen to disappear, which racks up even more points. The controls are set up well, and are easy to use. The ship for the scroller is controlled by swiping in the direction you want to move the ship (it auto-fires), and the blocks for the puzzle game are moved around by tapping and dragging and then letting go. The difficulty slowly ramps up, but at a reasonable speed, so you don't feel overwhelmed. The game(s) require both hands, your attention, and deep concentration. The graphics are great. The backgrounds look nice and are detailed, along with the characters/blocks being detailed and very smoothly animated. The music is soft and subtle, but it adds a nice touch (it doesn't distract you at all). Overall, Toybox is a great game. It can take some getting used to in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, it is a game that can keep you coming back time and time again. Toybox is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/toybox/id501210011?mt=8

August 23, 2012

Analytiks by Stelios Petrakis

(4.9/5) Analytiks for the iPhone and iPod Touch is a beautiful Google Analytics client. On your first startup, you will be asked to log in to your Google Analytics account, and you will be able to chose whether you have a black or white iPhone (this changes the theme, you can switch between the white and black themes in the settings. The overall UI is minimalistic, which is helpful for an app like Analytiks. Near the top of the screen is the site you are currently viewing the statistics of. A bit further down you are shown how many pageviews your site has gotten today, along with what percent of your viewers were directed from Google, Facebook, and Twitter. You are also told what percent higher or lower you have gotten from yesterday. There is also a number showing how many unique visitors you have had viewing your site. Below the current day's stats are the combined stats from the whole month. This includes the total pageviews, percentages from Google, Facebook, and Twitter, the percent up from the previous month, and a number of unique visitors. Further below that, a graph is displayed showing dates (x-axis) and the number of visitors (y-axis). In the top right corner, there is a small symbol that resembles a gauge from a car.When tapped, it displays info such as viewer demographics, the browsers people are using and what percent of your viewers are using certain browsers, the percentages of desktop vs. mobile and PC vs. mac, the average amount of time spent on your site, and the percentage of new vs. returning viewers. This entire list of info can be sent via email or saved to your photos. Back on the first screen, you can access settings from the bottom right and refresh the stats on the bottom left. Everything is represented with nice, minimalistic glyphs and a beautiful font. The entire interface is gorgeous, and is a huge reason why Analytiks stands out from the crowd. One turn-off is that there are no sounds at all, which would be a nice touch. Analytiks is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/analytiks/id427268553?mt=8

August 22, 2012

Mikey Shorts by Beavertap Games

(4.9/5) Mikey Shorts for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is an absolutely amazing and fast-paced speedrun-centric platforming game. You play as a young boy named Mikey who woke up as the only person left. Everyone else had been turned into statues by some unknown being. There are two game modes- story and challenge. Story mode, which has 24 levels, has you going through the level as fast as possible to beat your best time, while collecting coins and saving people on the way. Challenge mode, which has 48 levels and is unlocked when you get 24 stars in story mode, has you running through levels before the clock runs out. Even if you run out of time in challenge mode, you will unlock the next level (you just will have a score of 0). Both modes have different environments to dash through, like dark caves and snowy mountains. The controls are very simple, but extremely well-made. There are two buttons on the left for running, and two buttons on the right, one for sliding under walls and one for jumping over gaps and obstacles. They can be moved around in the options screen, just in case you don't like the default setup. The music is bright and cheery, and sets the game's mood (along with the bright and colorful backgrounds). The graphics are great. All of the characters are pixelated, while the backgrounds and platforms are nice and smooth. There are also over 100 disguises to wear (hats, glasses, and facial hair/decorations), which are purchasable in the in-game shop with collected coins. My one and only complaint is that the game goes by very quickly, but I'm sure that sometime in the future, Mikey Shorts will be updated with more levels. However, there is already a lot of replay value. All in all, Mikey Shorts is a great game that is definitely worth your time, and is a bang for your buck. Mikey Shorts is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mikey-shorts/id508176435?&mt=8

August 17, 2012

Random Heroes by Ravenous Games

(4.6/5) Random Heroes for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a game that has you controlling some unlikely heroes, hence the title. There are many different playable characters, such as Abraham Lincoln ( 16th US President) and Neo (The Matrix). You have to control one of the characters and use a multitude of different guns to destroy a race of intergalactic zombie space invaders. The difficulty quickly ramps up, which annoyed me. The great controls from the League of Evil series have been carried over to Random Heroes, which is a very good thing. However, the quick gameplay wasn't carried over. The characters jump slowly, and sometimes one would miss a platform, but another character with the same abilities and stats would make it with no problem at all. There are three worlds to play through, each one with 10 levels, including a boss level. The music, just like the League of Evil games, is catchy and fits well with the gameplay. The graphic style is the same pixel art that so many of us loved from League of Evil 1, which is a major plus. The controls, as mentioned earlier, are extremely tight and responsive. The in-game shop allows you to purchase new characters and weapons, each with different stats and special abilities. Overall, Random Heroes is a good game for people that loved the League of Evil games, but are looking for a slower platforming game. Random Heroes is also great for people who like games such as Nintendo's Mario series. Random Heroes is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/random-heroes/id540353158?mt=8

Preview of Mikey Shorts by Beavertap Games

Mikey Shorts, an upcoming game from Beavertap Games, is a speed-run centric game that will work on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad (universal). From what I have played, the game runs smoothly, the music is catchy, and the controls are extremely responsive. The game(play) is similar to Mos Speedrun, but with more levels, more colorful backgrounds, 16-bit graphics, and nicer music. I can definitely guarantee that you won't regret buying Mikey Shorts. It releases on the app store Wednesday the 22nd of August for $0.99. Check back on Wednesday for our review, and scroll down to view the trailer.

August 15, 2012

Flip's Escape by Shaun Inman

(5/5) Flip's Escape for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a spin-off of the critically acclaimed game, The Last Rocket. The story picks up when Flip and his robot manufacturer, AMI, are escaping from their mothership as it is pulled into a star (hence the title, Flip's Escape). Flip flies from side to side automatically, which poses a threat. Oncoming asteroids could hit Flip and destroy him, so you must tap and hold for him to slam the brakes and stop temporarily. You can't brake for too long, however, because a wave of heat is coming from behind you. Your score is measured in light years traveled, and the number of stars you collected. Stars orbit around asteroids, and if enough are collected, you will be able to take an extra hit from an asteroid. Collect even more after that, and you will go into warp mode. In warp mode, you must tap the screen as fast as possible in order to increase your speed, helping you stay alive a little bit longer. In the in-game shop, you can purchase consumable items, speed upgrades or downgrades, friends to help you, and hulls (costumes). These items are purchased using gems, the game's currency. Gems can be earned by playing the game or buy in-app purchases. Flip's Escape has pixel-art style graphics (which, if you've been reading my reviews for a while, you know I love) that are similar to Shaun's other games, particularly Flip's Escape's predecessor, The Last Rocket. The music is upbeat and sounds awesome, along with adding to the effect of Flip's Escape being a retro arcade game. Flip's Escape is definitely a great spin-off/sequel to The Last Rocket, and is my new favorite game. Available now on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flips-escape/id546109449?ls=1&mt=8

August 10, 2012

Prestige-HD by Fif7y

(4.8/5) Prestige for the iPhone and iPod Touch is a complete theme, available on both Cydia and Theme it. The Theme it version is more up-to-date, and is the version used for this review. Prestige customizes nearly every user interface element, which includes icons, widgets, loading screens, status bar icons, a music player skin, and much more. I like this, but if you want to remove a certain part of the UI changes, you have to search through all of the files until you find the file you want changed. There are also an assortment of extras, such as SBSettings themes, Color Keyboard themes, Fonts, Lockscreens (with weather info, iFile or OpenSSH is required to change your location), and a Snowcover 4 theme. Many other user-made mods are available on the official user-made mods page on the Theme it blog. Along with the theme comes two interesting widgets, Facet LS and Facet SB. The Facet lockscreen theme makes a spinning 3D cube effect, with pictures (set your own using iFile or SSH) on each side. The Facet springboard widget stays on the last row of the springboard, and rotates between the time, date, and weather. This can prove to be distracting, and may or may not affect your device's battery life. Overall, Prestige-HD is an amazing iPhone and iPod Touch theme that customizes nearly everything on your iDevice to make it stand out from the crowd. Prestige-HD is purchasable from the Theme it app, which can be installed through Theme it's cydia repository (http://themeitapp.com/repo) for $3.50. Prestige-HD is a near-perfect theme, and is worth your time and money. http://www.themeitapp.com/themes/theme-details.php?package=com.tit.prestige.hd

August 9, 2012

Pastry Panic by Underground Pixel

Review Update:
(4.8/5) Pastry Panic has been greatly improved with the latest update, released this Monday. Any control issues have been fixed, and the characters are much easier to control. The in-game store has had new additions. There are now a total of 20 hats available, 4 filters (rainbow, vintage, etc.), and a third unlockable character.A new soundtrack has been added. You can change between the new and old soundtracks in the options menu. New power-up donuts have been added, the dynamite donut (destroys all bolts) and the laser donut (lasers destroy bolts, allowing you to focus on pastries). A third game mode, Jumper, has also been added to Pastry Panic's Arsenal. You must jump from conveyor belt to conveyor belt and collect the pastries and bolts before they disappear. If you pause and unpause the game, you now have 3 seconds to get ready to continue playing the game. Other than gameplay, a new loading screen has been added when you start the app, and the app's icon has changed. I can now feel comfortable reccomending Pastry Panic to anybody, young or old.

Old Review:
(4.1/5) Pastry Panic for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a retro "eat everything" game. You play as a blue dinosaur, named Dino, and you must eat pastries. The pastries give you points, and some are power-ups. As you eat pastries, metal items will move, and you must eat them before they destroy the conveyor belts you are on. The game's controls are simple. In one game mode, you must use one finger to move around and go from conveyor belt to conveyor belt, and in the other game mode you are stationary and all you have to do is tap on pastries and metal. The music needs improvement, it is just one chiptune repeated over and over again. Pastry Panic has retro 16-bit graphics, which are great. The in-game store allows you to purchase playable characters and clothing articles. The game can become very dull and boring after a while though, which ruins the game. Overall, Pastry Panic is an okay game that could use some more variety. Pastry Panic is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/pastry-panic/id505856278?mt=8

August 8, 2012

Draw Breaker by Elevate Entertainment

(4.7/5) Draw Breaker for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a very colorful "breakout"-like game. You must draw lines and bounce a ball of of the lines in order to destroy square monsters. Each time you draw a line, the previous line you drew will vanish. There are power-ups that can be used that can help you in ways such as allowing your ball to bounce off of the bottom of the screen instead of taking away a life,  having multiple balls, etc. A feature that I don't find necessary is how you will lose your progress if you quit a mission before you have finished all 9 rounds. This caused me to have to re-play the first mission multiple times, which wasn't too fun. Along with that, every few seconds, a new row of monsters will come down (after a while, the new monsters will stop appearing). The added row of monsters will push other monsters down. If a monster passes a certain point, you are forced to restart the round.  The graphics are colorful and bright, and all of the characters are cartoon-ish, and are given their own unique personality.  The controls are very simple. As mentioned before, you just draw lines by sliding your finger, and the ball will bounce off of the line, hitting monsters. Monsters have different amounts of health, and some take longer to destroy than others. The music is somewhat fitting, but I'd prefer a more cheerful-sounding tune rather than a tune that sounds (to me) like it belongs in a spy game. Overall, Draw Breaker is a good game, but it has it's flaws. However, Draw Breaker is a new way of playing "breakout"-like games, and is probably the best of its kind on iOS. Draw Breaker is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/draw-breaker/id513957614?ls=1&mt=8

August 3, 2012

Toxic Frog by Ramble Interactive

(4.2/5) Toxic Frog for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a fun timing-based game centered around a hungry amphibian. The frog that you control can move left, right, up, down, and diagonally in any direction on lily pads. On some lily pads, fireflies will be waiting. Some fireflies glow different colors, which indicates whether they will kill you or help you. The dangerous fireflies will stop glowing for a few seconds, which gives you an opportunity to eat them and gain points. If a firefly is eaten on a gold lily pad, you gain extra points. You will have to avoid some things too, such as the titular toxic frog. Once you eat twenty fireflies, you can hop on an arrow and proceed to the next round, or continue eating fireflies on the same level. There are also leaderboards and achievements which can be earned through either Openfeint or Game Center. The graphics are average, with non-realistic looking fireflies, lilypads, etc. but realistic frogs, backgrounds, etc. The music is some sort of "tribal" music that is somewhat fitting,but a softer and more subtle tune probably would've worked better. Whenever you move, you will hear a somewhat annoying springing sound effect, which can be turned off in the options (thank goodness).Toxic Frog becomes repetitive quite quickly, but is good for short five-minute play sessions. Toxic Frog definitely has potential, but needs some more work on variety. Toxic Frog is available in the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/toxic-frog/id442740957?mt=8

July 29, 2012

Fieldrunners 2 by Subatomic Studios

(5/5) Fieldrunners 2 for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is the long-awaited sequel to what was once the most popular tower defense game on iOS, Fieldrunners. Fieldrunners 2 feels like the original Fieldrunners, but with improved graphics, new towers, more levels, and a new level select screen. The enemies are the same, with some new additions. The tunes, just like the first game's, are catchy and sound great. Each level can be played in either easy, normal, or heroic mode, each one providing one, two, or three stars based on the difficulty level chosen. Stars unlock new towers, which allows you to chose which 5 weapons to use for a level. In between each level, you can use coins (earned in-game) to purchase items that can help you, such as time-rewinds, land mines, etc. Fieldrunners 2 is a large improvement from the first game in the series, and is definitely a good game to purchase if you enjoyed the first, or like tower defense games. Fieldrunners 2 is available on the app store for $2.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/fieldrunners-2/id527358348?mt=8

July 26, 2012

Rat Fishing by Miniclip.com

(4.4/5) Rat Fishing for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a puzzle game that is unique. You must lure rats into pits, mines, etc. in order to kill them. Every time you kill a rat you receive a coin, which can be used to buy hints, skip levels, and unlock worlds. You have a certain amount of cheese balls that you can use in a level. The puzzles require you to occasionally allow one rat to eat the cheese, but kill another one that was lured to the same piece. Eventually, all rats must die. There are multiple worlds to play through, and each world has ten levels. Rat Fishing has  cartoonish graphics, which is nothing new for Miniclip's games. The music is composed by a xylophone and a flute-like instrument on the menu screens, but the actual levels have only background sounds (like waves crashing). Rat Fishing is an interesting puzzle game, and it's worth checking out on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/rat-fishing/id531073963?mt=8

MANOS - The Hands of Fate by FreakZone Games

(4.8/5) MANOS - The Hands of Fate for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is an amazing retro action/platformer game. You play as Mike, the head of a family. You must traverse through deserts, inns, caves, etc. and defeat the small boss at the end of every stage. You start with 5 lives, and each time you run out of health or fall off a cliff, you lose one. Once you lose all of your lives, you start back at stage one. That's right, if you lose all of your lives, you don't start at the beginning of the stage, but at the beginning of the entire game. This is a turn-off, but luckily MANOS is amazing enough to make me want to keep trying. MANOS's graphics are stunning. As a person who adores pixel art, MANOS amazed me. The art is most likely the best of its kind on iOS. The chiptunes remind me of games such as Link's Awakening, an amazing (and old) Game Boy game. As for the controls, it's quite simple. Two arrows for movement, a button for jumping, and a button for shooting. There are a variety of guns to use in the game, my personal favorite being the shotgun. Occasionally, during the game, you will find hands. These hands can contain hearts that restore health or gems that give you points. In order to receive these items, you must shoot the hands. Some hands will flash multiple colors. These special hands are the titular "Hands of Fate". If touched, they increase your health by one hit. MANOS - The Hands of Fate is my current favorite retro action platformer, with great graphics and sound, that I can recommend to anyone. MANOS - The Hands of Fate is available on the app store for $1.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/manos-the-hands-of-fate/id538802870?ls=1&mt=8

Shellrazer by Slick Entertainment

(4.9/5) Shellrazer for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a simply epic game. You play as a giant turtle that has gunman, blacksmiths, wizards, etc. mounted on its shell. How cool is that? The premise is simple: your girlfriend was kidnapped by goblins, along with some men. Free the men, and they will help you in any way they possibly can to free your girlfriend. There are a lot of levels, along with unlockable units that have unique ways of demolishing wave after wave of enemies. Shellrazer's controls are quite simple. Slide away rom a tower to aim and attack. When you lift your finger, all attacking will stop. If you tap and hold directly on the turtle, you will speed up, and collect some extra coins. Coins can be spent on upgrading units, power-ups, or consumable items. These items will give you an advantage on the battlefield by destroying large amounts of enemies, healing towers, making your units invincible, etc.. Shellrazer is comparable to GlitchSoft's Destructopus. The graphics are very smooth, and look great even on older devices. The levels are well-designed, but they get difficult very quickly- even on easy mode. The rock-type music sounds great and fits extremely well with the entire game.  Overall, Shellrazer is a great game with a unique premise, enjoyable gameplay, and a ton of action. Shellrazer is very easy to recommend, available for $2.99 on the app store. http://itunes.apple.com/app/id512290900

July 21, 2012

Great Big War Game by Rubicon

(5/5) Great Big War Game is the successor to Rubicon's previous strategy game, Great Little War Game. In Great Big War Game (I'll call it GBWG for the rest of this review), you lead an army to war. You must defend your own base and your units while trudging on towards the enemy headquarters. The dialogue between levels is humorous, and explains most of the story. GBWG can be played in two different ways- solo campaign or multiplayer (either online or pass-and-play). Each unit has special abilities and attack ranges. The attack power, health, etc. can be upgraded using "battle points", which can be earned in-game or through in-app purchases. During one turn, your battle units can move around and attack. Some units, like the engineers and the scouts, have no weapons. They must be defended by battle units, or they will perish quickly during the enemy's turn. The engineer units have the special ability to capture buildings, oil derricks, and vehicles. Oil derricks give you coins at the beginning of every turn, which allows you to purchase units from captured barracks. GBWG has great graphics. The levels are detailed and are laid out well. The tunes in the game sound as if they were performed by a military marching band, which was most likely the composer's goal. Overall, Great Big War Game is a great strategy game that you should definitely download and play for $2.99 on the app store. http://itunes.apple.com/app/great-big-war-game/id508002149?mt=8

July 20, 2012

Pocket Minions by SiuYiu Limited

(2.3/5) Pocket Minions is a management game comparable to NimbleBit's Tiny Tower. You must manage a tower by collecting goods and services from hired workers, while keeping resident minions happy. The minions are kept happy by hiring maids to clean toilets, light furnaces, etc. Pocket Minions can be slightly overwhelming, as you must make sure to collect gold and goods, while keeping everyone happy and expanding your tower. Gold and goods can be purchased with in-app purchases (IAP). This leads to a major problem. You pay to get the app, but in the second level, it it becomes nearly impossible to proceed without purchasing some of the aforementioned IAP. This is what really ruins the game, as it's like paying an entrance fee and having to pay again and again. One your tower reaches a certain number of floors, you will be able to move on to another tower, and have the opportunity to have a fresh start.The graphics are good, and the rooms are quite detailed. Pocket Minions is a good medieval-themed game, and is worth checking out if you like management games. However, I would stay away unless you are willing to pay for IAP in order to advance in the game. Pocket Minions is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/pocket-minions/id490609532?mt=8

Mad Cows by Everplay Interactive

(3.9/5) Mad Cows for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, is the exact opposite of an original game. The single-player mode is almost exactly the same as the mega-popular Angry Birds, with differences only in level design and graphics. The multiplayer mode is the main point of Mad Cows. You can play against friends and try to destroy the most blocks and gnomes for points. Every time you take your turn in a multiplayer match, you spin a "slot machine" and choose one of three farm animals to launch. The animals available to use are a cow, a chicken that explodes and rises, a rabbit that splits into three, a ram that can speed up in mid-air, a pig that causes death through walls and other barriers, and sheep that can disappear. The graphics are bright and colorful, which is good for setting a cheerful mood. Mad Cows has good typical "farm" music that plays in the background. Overall, Mad Cows is a clone of Angry Birds that adds one new feature to the mix-multiplayer mode. Mad Cows is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/mad-cows/id499064176?mt=8

July 2, 2012

Unstoppable Fist by Ragtag Studio LLC

(4.7/5) Unstoppable Fist for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is an endless killing game. You play as Fist, an extraterrestrial fighter sent to save Earth from demonic animals. You must tap on the sides of the screen in order to kill bats, armadillos, piranhas, etc. Unstoppable Fists's controls need some improvement. They are very precise, but you must tap exactly on a spot or nothing will occur. Enemies are defeated by attacking using three buttons on each side. You can use them for power attacks, punches and kicks, and also attacks that hurt both sides. The onslaught of enemies coming at you from either side are either easy to destroy, a bit harder, or extremely hard. The music,which is amazing, is available on the Unstoppable Fist Bandcamp .The graphics seem great in my opinion, but it may just be because I love pixel art (you may not). Unstoppable Fist is great for both quick 5-minute and longer sessions. Unstoppable Fist can be yours now for only $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/unstoppable-fist/id432009086?ls=1&mt=8/

July 1, 2012

Squids Wild West by The Game Bakers

(5/5) Squids Wild West for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is the long-awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed Squids. You can have any of the squids from the original game on your team, along with many more new characters with unique looks and personalities. The unlockable and purchasable hats change your squids' looks and statistics. During the game, you will be able to read through the story while watching a sideshow of pictures depicting what the words tell. Each level either has you killing enemies or reaching a certain place. The characters are controlled by pulling back on their tentacles and launching them forward or backward. Enemies are defeated by launching into them until they die. You can use a character's special ability in many different ways, depending on the type of ability. Some abilities require you to tap on an enemy to shoot, and some require you to tap on a blue circle to cause a shockwave on the ground. Squids Wild West has great music, just like the first game. The graphics are exactly like the original Squids, 2D worlds and semi-3D characters. There are many worlds and levels, with more promised in future updates.  Squids Wild West is a sequel done right. Everything good from the original was improved upon, and the game has a great storyline that is easy to follow. Squids Wild West is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/squids-wild-west/id522145076?mt=8

Sketchman by Miniclip.com

(4.8/5) Sketchman for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is an amazingly addictive endless runner. Although the genre has been overdone and has become extremely old, I enjoyed Sketchman. You play as a mysterious character who is running from (or towards) something. While running, you must shoot at enemies and avoid obstacles (mines, spikes, etc.). The graphics are the same doodle-type that are used in many other games, but some of the characters "pop out" of the paper. There are two on-screen buttons: "fire" and "jump". They are both self-explanatory (and very responsive). The upgrades in-game cost a lot of virtual coins, which are sparse. This is obviously to promote the in-app-purchases, which shouldn't be needed in a paid game. Despite this, Sketchman is a good endless runner that managed to keep me occupied during my vacation. Sketchman is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/sketchman/id501943783?mt=8

June 21, 2012

Launch Center Pro by App Cubby

(5/5) Launch Center Pro is an updated version of the original Launch Center (review), which is now outdated and obsolete. Launch Center Pro is much better than the original Launch Center, with many of the same features, along with improvements. The user interface is completely new, with customizable icons for actions and apps. Some of the actions that you can do are things such as: Google Search, text a contact, email a contact, and calling a specific number. These actions are composed just by tapping on their icon, and the action will be done. This is extremely useful if you want to be able to quickly email your boss, text your friends, etc. Launch Center Pro also allows you to launch apps. You can make the action lead automatically to a place in the app (eg. Instagram's camera), or just open the app. This works with a multitude of apps, and you can even add custom app URLs. Launch Center Pro has a beautiful new UI, useful functionality, and is much better than the original. Launch Center Pro is available on the app store for $2.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/launch-center-pro/id532016360?mt=8

June 19, 2012

Accent by Maarten16 and Subywrex

(4.3/5) Accent, a theme for the iPhone and iPod Touch, is a "complete" theme. Accent fully customizes the user interface, and adds things such as loading screens, carrier logos, etc. Accent's icons have parts that stick out from the icon, as shown in the screenshot below. As for third-party icons, Accent needs a lot more. Accent does well with the full UI customization and multiple color schemes (white being my personal favorite), but has almost nothing in terms of third-party app icons. However, more icons will be added later on, as the theme was recently released. There are a few icons, with a few more being added to the theme occasionally. The ModMyi forum thread for Accent has a few icons added every day, but not nearly as much as some other themes. Hopefully Accent will be updated with more of it's unique and beautiful icons. I would recommend Accent for it's unique UI and changes to all elements of the UI, but if you like themes with quite a few third-party app icons, Accent is hard to recommend until more icons are added. Accent is available on the Cydia store for $2.99. http://modmyi.com/cydia/mobi.macciti.accent

June 17, 2012

Neoteria by OrangePixel

(4.5/5) Neoteria for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a shoot-'em-up that could use some changes in difficulty. You fly through levels in easy, medium, and hard modes, each one with a different pilot. The easy mode was difficult, and the difficulty ramped up too quickly. Other than that, Neoteria is a good game. There are two control methods- a set of virtual buttons that actually work well, or 360 movement which doesn't work so well. Each level is detailed, along with the enemies. OrangePixel never disappoints with pixel art, and Neoteria set the bar for their games. Neoteria has new chiptunes that play in every world, and sound great (as always). Neoteria provides the experience of a retro Game Boy Advance game, and for only $1.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/neoteria/id503652796?mt=8

June 16, 2012

Jaku by William Szilveszter

(4.7/5) Jaku for iOS 4/5 is an amazing theme. Jaku fully customizes a lot of the user interface, and over 200 third-party apps. Each app has a meticulously designed icon, with a beautiful 3D style. Along with both subtle and not-so-subtle UI customization, Jaku changes the charging sound to something resembling the sound made in Super Mario Bros. when you grab a coin. Many of the icons in Jaku have alternate versions, which are usable if you rename icons using OpenSSH or iFile. There is also an extensive user-made icon archive (http://jakurepo.com/), with new icons added frequently. Jaku is truly one of the most amazing iPhone themes to date, and is available on the Cydia store for $2.99. http://www.szilveszter.ca/jaku/

Chrono&Cash by OrangePixel

(5/5) Chrono&Cash for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is an amazing game that I can't put down. Chrono&Cash has multiple characters to unlock and play as, including Dr. Cavo from Cavorite (1/2) and Commander Pixman from the game of the same name. Chrono&Cash can be played in either landscape mode or portrait mode, but landscape mode is less crowded. You must use two buttons for moving and one for jumping in order to avoid enemies and collect bags of gold, Egyptian masks, rocks, etc. The gameplay resembles Super Crate Box, but I enjoyed Chrono&Cash a lot more.  Chrono&Cash has wonderful music, which differs for every menu and level. As you probably know, I love retro graphics and pixel art, both of which OrangePixel always deliver. Chrono&Cash probably has the best graphics of any of OrangePixel's games, and is well worth the $1.99. Chrono&Cash is available now on the app store. http://itunes.apple.com/app/chrono-cash/id532308830?mt=8