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(5/5) Launch Center Pro is an updated version of the original Launch Center (review), which is now outdated and obsolete.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

June 14, 2012

Cardinal Quest by Joshua E. Day

(4.8/5) Cardinal Quest for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a nearly perfect "roguelike" game. Cardinal Quest has you take control of either a wizard, thief, or warrior, each with unique abilities. You must travel through randomly generated dungeons until you are eventually killed. The graphics are great if you love pixel art. The colorful retro graphics are really amazing, and the colors stand out. The music, composed by Whitaker Trebella of Polymer fame is, as always, amazing. The chiptunes are catchy, and vary during gameplay. The controls are my only problem. The characters would be much easier to control using a virtual joystick rather than the current control method-(awkward) swipes. Cardinal Quest allows you to keep on collecting items and battling monsters until you die. This, along with having a new layout every time, provides a large amount of replay value. In conclusion, Cardinal Quest is currently one of the best "roguelikes" on the app store, and is very easy to recommend. Cardinal Quest is available on the app store for $1.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/cardinal-quest/id532050659?mt=8

June 13, 2012

Exponential Invasion by Danny Perski

(4.7/5) Exponential Invasion is an extremely simple and unique strategy game. You must combine numbers to  add them together, in order to destroy "towers" (blue numbers). Your attacking number must be larger than the tower in order to destroy it. The graphics are extremely simple and minimalistic, with easy-to-navigate menus and simple level design. There is music, but it is turned off by default. The music, which is jazz, is the same throughout the game. I found the game to lose a lot of it's appeal with no background music. The game's controls are simple, just like the rest of the game. You just have to tap to select a number, and tap where you want it to move. There's not much else to say about Exponential Invasion. The game is pricey, it costs $2.99 on the app store, but it's a good simple strategy game.

June 11, 2012

Project 83113 by NCSoft

(4.8/5) Project 83113 (Belle) is a game developed by Fabrication Games, the makers of "Niko" and published by NCSoft. In Project 83113, you play as the titular (sort of) Belle, a pink organism that must save humanity from it's machine overlords. Project 83113's graphics are similar to that of Niko. The cel-shaded 3D really stands out in the crowd of games available on the app store. Belle is controlled using gestures, such as swiping and tapping to jump and sliding your finger to dash or dive. Belle automatically shoots at enemies, so you just have to pay attention to her health, which is quick to deplete. Along with the 3 worlds of levels played as Belle, you occasionally receive the opportunity to play as her robot sidekick. He must stealthily maneuver through the machines' hideouts, trying to avoid being caught by guards. At the end of each of these "safe haven" levels, you will receive a blueprint for a new weapon that Belle can use. Each weapon is upgradable, and has unique advantages and disadvantages. The music is great, and fits extremely well with the game's premise. My only complaint is that I was able to blast through every level in about an hour. More levels should definitely be added in the future. Other than that, I can definitely recommend that you download Project 83113 for just $0.99 on the app store. http://itunes.apple.com/app/project-83113/id508679689?mt=8

June 10, 2012

Unlock by Miniclip.com

(3.4/5) Unlock for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a puzzle game with a unique concept, but needs improvement. The game is about solving puzzles in order to free an orange creature from his cage. Unlock's controls were often unresponsive, not recognizing my taps and slides. You must rotate the puzzles and slide apart  the pieces until all of the pieces have been pulled apart and vanished. You have to tap and hold with one finger and slide with the other in order to rotate the puzzle on an axis or pull apart pieces. The graphics are both in 2D and 3D. The puzzles themselves are in 3D, but everything else is drawn and animated in a cartoon-ish 2D style. The music in Unlock is surprisingly good. Not Polymer good, but good nonetheless. Unlock has both beginner levels and expert levels, with more promised in updates. Overall, Unlock is a puzzle game that is hard to recommend due to it's wonky controls, which will hopefully be improved in future updates. Unlock is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/unlock/id477687682?mt=8

June 9, 2012

Zombie Carnaval by Mobigame

(5/5) Zombie Carnaval for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is quite possibly the best endless runner game on iOS. The game is just like any other endless runner; you have to run around, dodging obstacles like cars, helicopters, and mines in order to keep the number of zombies in your "horde" high. If your zombie horde is large, you will be able to flip over cars, buses, tanks, etc. Zombie Carnaval also has many different power-ups that help you survive long enough to eat tons of brains. Once you eat 100 brains (over the course of multiple games, not all in one game), you can scratch a lottery ticket to win coins for customizing zombies and upgrades, or backgrounds to run through. The graphics remind me of claymation shows, which you will either love or hate. In my case, I loved it. I found myself occasionally coming back to Zombie Carnaval to hear the astoundingly catchy music. The music is great on the menus and during gameplay, with unique tracks for each. Zombie Carnaval has taken the spot on my iPod as the number one endless runner on the app store, and is definitely worth the $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/zombie-carnaval/id529652920?mt=8

June 6, 2012

ichi by Stolen Couch Games

(4.6/5) ichi for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a unique one-button puzzle game. You must tap on the screen to rotate blocks and make a circle bounce into another circle. The name "ichi" Mia Japanese for "one", which makes sense, since only one finger is required to play the game. The game has a bunch of pre-made levels, along with a level editor and downloader. The graphics of ichi are extremely similar to the award-winning Crayon Physics Deluxe. The music is not one of ichi's strong points. The music seems unfitting, but that may just be me. ichi is a very simple puzzle game, but the puzzles and levels can be difficult to complete. For $0.99, you can buy ichi, a unique and addicting puzzle game that never runs out of puzzling levels to play. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ichi/id507985242?mt=8&ls=1

June 5, 2012

Wawa Land by Play Fripp

(4.3/5) Wawa Land for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is the closest thing to Mario on iOS. In Wawa Land, you control a rat-like creature that must run on two legs around a world. The controls are standard for a platformer- a virtual d-pad for movement and an A and B button for running, jumping, and using special abilities. The controls can be clunky to use, and can sometimes misinterpret finger movement. The character also slides around, and feels like he's always walking on ice. There are a lot of levels, each one having three slime-things to collect. The 2D graphics are smooth and colorful, just like a Mario game. The enemies are just like in Mario- jump on some once to kill them, some take two or more jumps. Power ups gained from defeating enemies can be used for things like jumping higher, spin-attacking, etc. The music sounds to be unfitting in some levels, but it is full nice and subtle tunes. Overall, Wawa Land is the best Mario clone available on iOS. If you are a fan of platformers, check out Wawa Land on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wawa-land/id469375521?mt=8&ls=1

June 2, 2012

Razor: Salvation by Crescent Moon Games

(4.3/5) Razor: Salvation for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a first-person shooter with a twist. Unlike other FPSs, you can not move around, you can only aim and shoot. This provides the effect of controlling a turret in a tower defense game. The graphics of Razor: Salvation are the game's major selling point. All of the unlockable weapons, enemies, and terrain are detailed and realistic. The music is good, but is almost always drowned out by the sounds of bullets firing. Razor: Salvation has standard FPSS controls. One finger for switching weapons and firing, one for moving around the character's view. The game is quite difficult, and I struggled to complete the first few levels (it took a few tries). You can also join or create seemingly pointless "factions" and share your faction code to allow people to join. Razor: Salvation has great graphics and is a unique way to mix a first-person shooter and a tower defense game, but the difficulty level could use some changes. Razor: Salvation is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/razor-salvation/id528471609?mt=8&ls=1

Timer : by App Cubby

(4.7/5) Timer : for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a timer that is simple, beautiful, and works. As soon as you tap on Timer : 's icon, you'll notice the subtle textures and the meticulously created UI. Each button has a set time on it, or you can use three buttons with changeable times. Along with being beautiful, Timer : has many uses too. There are many different buttons, each with different colors and time intervals. The time intervals are one minute, two minutes, three minutes, five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, 45 minutes, and one hour. There are also three buttons that allow you to type in the amount of seconds, minutes, and hours. Once you tap on a button, the timer will start counting down, directly on the button. Multiple countdowns can be going at once, which allows for easier multitasking. The changeable buttons also allow for uses such as a cooking timer, an alarm clock, etc. Timer : is a very minimalistic app with tons of functionality. Timer : is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/timer/id507518845?mt=8&ls=1

June 1, 2012

Ring Fling by Mugathur

(4.8/5) Ring Fling for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is an amazingly simple but fun multiplayer game. The game is simple- flick rings at stars and get them to the other side of the screen. However, this can become difficult as either the other player(s) or the AI get more experience. The controls are stated in the title of the game. All you have to do is fling as many rings as possible to overpower your opponent. You can play in a zone of four or two players, against friends, AI, or both. I don't fancy that there is an absence of music, but there are a lot of sound effects to go around. The graphics are simple but beautiful. The game's text and sprites are all solid, neon colors, which really pop out against the black background. Ring Fling is an awesome and simple multiplayer game that is a blast to play- both with friends or alone. Ring Fling is available in the app store for $1.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ring-fling/id516506046?mt=8&ls=1

Ghostbox Double Combo by Ghostbox

(3.7/5) Ghostbox Double Combo for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a combination of two games. Both use Unity 3D graphics, which look okay in the games. In Knight Marshal, you control a knight moving up and down between "lanes" to kill enemies with a single slash of a sword. The knight is moved by tapping on the left side, and attacks are controlled by a single, large button. The game can get old very quickly, as the monsters' only differences are their appearance. The second game, Cannon Courier, is a game that I have seen before (hint: Puffle Launch). In Cannon Courier, you control a retired clown who now works as a mail delivery boy. The 20 levels are easy to complete quickly, and there is almost no replay value. You tap on the screen to launch the clown from cannon to cannon, eventually landing by a mailbox. The music in both games is fitting, but the soundtrack just loops over and over, unchanging. Overall, Ghostbox Double Combo has okay visuals and gameplay, but the included games, which are somewhat dull (and clones of other games), need to be changed and improved a lot. Ghostbox Double Combo is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ghostbox-double-combo/id523545645?mt=8&ls=1