Category Archives: Reviews
IT’S THE POWER OF THE KEYBLADE
Roughly 14 years ago I entered the world of Kingdom Hearts. An unlikely pair, Square Enix and Disney were fused together in a way that shook the world. There is no denying that the game changed my life, or at least altered it in ways that allowed my imagination to flourish.
Since that first instalment there have been countless titles across many platforms that all tie into the main theme; the heart. The heart hold tremendous power and the key to the entire series.
Before I get carried away by the story, I’ll admit now that this game isn’t for casual gamers, it’s more for die hard fans and those that have dipped their toes into the world of Square Enix or any of the Final Fantasy games. The gameplay is dynamic and feature rich and involves synchronisation, dress grids, levelling up weapons and many other additional tidbits that prove useful to the progression of the story. It’s a game that lends itself to the side story of Kingdom Hearts 1& 2 and the upcoming console game that’s still in development.
If you’ve ever played any of the Kingdom Hearts series I strongly recommend you play this one, it’s fun, familiar and the battle system is pretty neat for a side scrolling 2D mobile game.
Purely out of my love for the games, this is another 5 Taps from me.
THERE’S NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE, FOR FREE.
If you’re like me, you most likely failed or got a low grade in your languages in high school. I never really saw the point in learning another language, I was always under the impression that i’d never have to use it; everyone in the world knows English right? Oh man I was wrong, as i’ve gotten older, and more exposed to various cultures, the thought of speaking another tongue excites me. I’m sat here wishing i’d paid attention in French and taken it seriously. If you’re reading this thinking the same as me; please, read on.
Duolingo has been hailed as the future of language education. It’s the holy grail of multilingualism. It could be what separates you from another job prospect or partner or a life changing opportunity. It could be what saves you from a writers block, a creative block or even something more personal. Why should your language be limited to one you were taught as a child? In the digital age this issue has never more prevalent. And there’s a ton of help out there, let me enlighten you.
“Far and away the best language-learning app.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Duolingo may hold the secret to the future of education.”—TIME Magazine
PC Magazine Editors’ Choice for Language Learning: “Among iPhone apps for learning or practicing a language, you can’t beat Duolingo.”
It’s free, it’s playful and it’s just the right kind of challenge. In the time i’ve been using it to learn French i’ve expanded my vocabulary vastly, more than I ever thought possible. All without the need of an establishment or learning programme, just 20 to 30 minutes a day in the comfort of my own home, I can access the tools to learn another language that’s fun and personal to me. You can go at your own pace, whether that be slow and steady or super speedy, you learn as you’d want to.
If only this was accessible to the entire world, maybe we’d find more in common with one another. Now has never been a better time to start learning, let this be your starting point. I promise you, you’ll astound yourself.
Thank you Duolingo, I imagine i’ll owe parts of my future to you; 5 Taps!
SING ALONG TO THE KARAOKE APP YOU NEVER THOUGHT YOU NEEDED.
It’s not a game, I know that. But it’s an issue that has plagued everyone for as long as I can remember. There comes a time in your life where your fav releases a new song and you have no idea what the lyrics are. You just end up ad-libbing all the way through and it’s not really that cool, or fun for anyone else but you. Believe me, i’ve been in those situations were a friend is singing along, messing all the words up and that said song becomes unlistenable thereafter. It’s torture, it’s inhumane and the world doesn’t need this.
Well, in steps Musixmatch, putting subtitles on the music you love and the music you discover! With a simple and intuitive interface, the days of not knowing the words to your favourite song are over. You can connect it with Apple Music and Spotify straight from the app so there’s no awkward flipping between apps to log in and load accounts; it’s all done in house. What sets this apart from all the other lyric apps out there are the cool features it has. You can add and edit the lyrics of any song, create artworks from the lyrics that give you the feels and explore more from the artists that take your fancy. There’s also a Shazam like feature that can listen and pin the song that’s playing around you.
For me this is an essential app to have on my phone, it’s a 5 Taps from me!
THIS ONE IS ON US, YOU’RE WELOME.
Okay, some time back I reviewed the second instalment of this game. Kingdom Rush: Frontiers was an iPad exclusive during it’s release and for me, that would have been a good enough reason to buy an iPad. It’s a little dramatic but I couldn’t be more serious.
So recently I was browsing the App Store and came across the games again, I was super excited to find that the original game was now available for the iPhone, and having a 6S Plus seemed so fitting! It was free and from the minute I downloaded it, I haven’t been off since! The gameplay is pretty much the same as what i said in my last review, it’s a tower defence game in which you stop the enemies from going through the check point. It’s clever, it’s beautifully animated and the easter eggs that are hidden in the game provide moments of joy!
Get it whilst it’s free and to point out, the limited screen size of the iPhone doesn’t take anything away from it’s appeal. If you’re looking for a game that doesn’t require an internet connection, minimal loading times and constant entertainment, this is the one for you. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed!
Another 5 Taps from me.
CANDY CRUSH, WITH POKEMON. IT’S A WINNER.
One thing we can almost all agree on, Pokemon has been mega successful throughout the last 20 years. The games are almost 8 generations in and the word Pikachu has slipped off the edge of every tongue around the world, regardless of your age, gender, ethnicity or sexuality, it’s global appeal transcends social and economic norms. Nintendo and the Pokemon company have created a behemoth of a brand and it still to this day, impacts my life and many others around me.
Hopefully by now you’ve experienced one of the games on any of the consoles, whether that be a DS, 3DS, a Nintendo Wii or a Wii U, if you haven’t, you’re either living under a rock or you’ve ignored the mainstream media for the last two decades. Get on board, play one of their games then come back to me here, i’ll show you what to do next.
I don’t know about you, but my favourite Pokemon has always been Squirtle, it comes from my childhood, I once wanted a turtle of my own and to name it Squirtle as a baby, Wartortle as a teen and then once it got older, it would be aptly named Blastoise. Sounds fitting right? Short story, it didn’t happen. So maybe this is where my love for this game comes from.
Let’s get into it, the game is pretty basic, you match different Pokemon in lines of 3 of more to defeat the opponent and potentially catch them. The more you catch the better chance you have at defeating the bosses at the end of each stage. You get to see cute animations, some cool mega evolutions and every so often you’ll see a familiar face you’d completely forgotten about. It’s not the smash that Pokemon were hoping for and the game is pretty dated compared to the rest of the App Stores’ offering but just for the nostalgia i’ll let it pass.
I’m more looking forward to Sun and Moon, but for now this game provides a little bit of fun and easy gaming.
From me, it’s a modest 4 taps.
RELIVE THE SPLENDOR OF THE DISNEY CLASSICS
So here we go. Another post about Disney and it’s heavy presence on the app store, but this time, it’s simple trickery and lending of an already popular brand provides many moments of accomplishment, annoyance and nostalgia. The original Crossy Road was a massive success for the team at HIPSTER WHALE in 2014, they even got their own segment to show off their app at an Apple conference. To me, they’ve already made it. With that in mind, they seemed content with the app they had, I never imagined the team at Disney to even consider approaching such a popular, yet in comparison, tiny developer. I couldn’t have even imagined what they’d create together. But alas, they’ve made magic.
Fundamentally the game is the same as the iteration before it, but it’s the Disney spin that provides the most fun! All you have to do is tap, swipe left or right to dodge various obstacles and get the highest possible score you can. It’s basic. It’s simple. What keeps me compelled are the endless Disney characters that i’m so familiar with. You start with the original Mickey Mouse and from there you unlock parts of your history that you’d forgotten about. I’ll keep those under wraps for you as I don’t want to ruin the fun but you’ll be pleasantly surprised and the smile that comes with it stretch from cheek to cheek.
The game has so many little easter eggs and different ways to boost your score, it’s a game that just keeps on giving! Well done HIPSTER WHALE and Disney, you’re union has brought me much joy and awakened the child inside of me, I’ll probably die of excitement when I unlock my favourite Disney character! Until then, please keep the additional content coming! 5 Taps from me!
FEED HERBIVORES AND CARNIVORES WITH YOUR FINGERS
Well, this game is for you. It’s cute, it’s simple and did I mention it had dinosaurs?! The objective of the game is to create a theme park for your guests, an enjoyable place for them to see the dinosaurs, have a cup of coffee and to spend as much money as possible.
You start off with a little budget to buy your first dino. After that it’s up to you to decide what you spend and on what. The more your park has, the more visitors you get, eventually you’ll be bringing in the big bucks and you can pimp your park out as much as you want.
You have the option to build all sorts of attractions, from a coffee shop to a balloon stand, it’s all at your fingertips.
It’s a completely free to play game, no in-app purchases or adverts. Just you, your dinos and your finger.
The developers are still working on updates, like extra content and dinosaurs but it has a decent amount of tasks to keep you occupied.
I’m gonna give this app 3 taps, it’s great, but it still has so much more to offer.
- Dinorama – Kids App (jancwatford.com)
- Dinorama – Fun Learning Game App for Kids Gone Free! (funeducationalapps.com)
- New Jurassic Park Movie Will Be Called Jurassic World. No, It Will Not Take Place On A Dinosaur Planet. (tor.com)
- ‘Jurassic Park’ dinosaurs will roar back in 2015 (nbcnews.com)
TWITTERS FRESH NEW LOOK
Twitter has recently released an update available for iOS devices (iOS5, iOS6 and iOS7 ready) with a brand new look. This review is just taking a look at what’s new and how it looks now. Immediately you’ll notice the App icon has now been changed to fit in with the new iOS7 style (see above) this is a good move, I mean you don’t want a horrid looking icon on your main screen do you? I certainly don’t…
When you open the app you’ll notice that Twitter has taken on board the new trend of having flat images instead of any other styles it may have used in the past. The main header is now a nice Twitter blue which I personally think is a really nice touch I mean, Twitter has always had the blue in past images and logos but never really used it in past Apps. You’ll see that the Me page is pretty much the same with a few of the images changed to fit in with the new style (flat images).
This also applies to the Home page too, not much has really changed here about from some minor colour changes however you can see that the Thread feature recently released now also looks a lot better with the fresh new look. One of the nicer changes is on the actual tweet page where you can see it fits very nicely with the new keyboard and also has taken a feature of iOS7 with the Cancel and Tweet buttons no longer being buttons but just text instead.
Twitter have made this the perfect companion for iOS7 and it’s worked really well. I give you a great 4 Taps for the new look!
- The New and Improved Siri in iOS7 (tapthisapp.net)
- Twitter redesigns for iOS 7 (theverge.com)
- iOS 7: The little things (tuaw.com)
- Multiple Data Sources Suggesting iOS 7 Adoption Rates Well Ahead of iOS 6 (macrumors.com)
KEEP ROLLIN’ ROLLIN’ ROLLIN’
Everyone loves those simple games that just get you fuming in less than a minute of playing them right? me neither. Roll is a Free App available from the App Store and was brought to us by Gourmet Pixel Ltd. I decided I’d download a random App to review today and wow this one really pissed me off. I thought it’d be something simple to keep me busy when I was travelling to work or something but…No, The game infuriates me which would never be good in the back of a taxi.
Why does it infuriate you so much Nathan? Well I’ll tell you why and lets be honest It’s not going to be pretty. The game starts off with two balls which you need to put back into their original slots by tilting your phone around, sounds simple enough? well the first level is easy and you’re loving life. Then the madness happens they add another ball and the game suddenly becomes a challenge, not to mention the timer ticking away at the side of your screen.
There is nothing I hate more than a timer telling me how long I have to complete something which is slowly driving me insane. I wouldn’t mind but when you do get the balls in the right slot you can knock them out with another ball but alas if you put the wrong colour in the wrong hole the game is OVER and you must try again?! I think I got up to level 3 or something and got too annoyed to play any more. This game might be right up some of your streets but it certainly isn’t up mine.
I’ll not be playing the App again for the good of my health, Roll you’ve scored a very annoying 2 taps from me.
- What Do You Think of Games that Use Simplistic Pixel Graphics? (toucharcade.com)
- Dumb Ways To Die Review (tapthisapp.net)
- App Review – Pivot (stegadget.wordpress.com)
- Six iOS apps you’ll thank me for (you’re welcome) (reviews.cnet.com)
APPARENTLY KATE MOSS‘S FAVOURITE GAME
Dumb Ways To Die is a game brought to us by Metro Trains Melbourne Pty Ltd. The App is free from the App Store so you won’t be needing to pull out your wallet any time today 😉 The game it’s self is very similar to the old Idiot Test on the internet/iPad. You go through stages in which you have to react quickly before the timer at the top of the page runs out.
Now I’m always dead awful at these games as they require some sort of precision but this one is brilliant. The game starts off slow and your aim is to gain points. The more you gain the better the prize gets that you unlock, from new characters on the start screen to music videos and much more.
You can gain points by completing stages fast and also by doing absolutely nothing the game sometimes rewards you. The more you play the faster the game gets and you’ll find yourself having to move your finger to clean up vomit from your screen at a super fast speed, everyone’s dream right? I knew it. The levels are well designed and always have a fun idea behind them, like having to duck from a bear attack or simply tapping away some wasps wanting to sting your face.
This App is right up my street and for that I’m giving it a great 4 Taps. You’ve got to download it and give it a try, it really is addictive!
I have to say Nathan, you really do pick your games. Definitely think they designed one of the characters after you ;).
Enough of the virtual flirting and back to the reason i’m here. Dumb Ways To Die was kind of a flash in the pan for me, I tried it when it first appeared on the App Store and I loved the quirkiness. After a while though I felt the game lacked any sort of continuous excitement, the levels were just the same, but faster, like everything was playing in a loop. Loops get boring.
On a positive note, I liked the UI and the animations were smooth and fluid, entirely from a design perspective, the game looks great.
Maybe I just don’t like death or I’m being unfair, I challenge you to make your own decision and try it out. Sorry DWYD, you get 1 tap from me. Peace.
- Dumb ways to die, the game! (goldenquake.wordpress.com)
- Dumb Ways To Die iOS review (mobot.net)
- Games that make you want to throw your iPad (don’t do it!) (reviews.cnet.com)
- Dumb Ways to Die (campaignsworthsharing.com)