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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ( for $3.50. Prestige-HD is a near-perfect theme, and is worth your time and money.

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.

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.

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.