Think Quick and Act Fast in Caldera

caldera

Caldera
Price: Free
Rating:
iPhone Game Review by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

Reviewed by Marilyn Chau

Reviewed by Marilyn Chau

Caldera is a simple yet challenging game that is easy to pick up, difficult to master, and impossible to put down.

Requiring rapid hand-eye coordination, this app will keep you challenged to think quickly.

Features:

With bright colors and easy controls, Caldera, from Hellstorm Studios, is a game that will appeal to many players.

The object of the game is to clear the screen of different colored paddles. This is done by matching the color of the paddles with the color of the incoming color-changing ball. The player controls the rotation of the paddles while the ball bounces from north to south.

It sounds easy, but after the first few levels, the game demands quick thinking and timing. For some, Caldera definitely will have a feeling of being a sort of “throwback” game, reminiscent of PONG.

I particularly appreciated the simplicity of Caldera. It doesn’t require a long time to complete a level; if you mess up, you’re able to jump right back in.

This is great for those times when you have a little break and want to do something to keep you occupied and entertained. As players progress through the levels, the game gets pretty challenging.

Caldera iPhone Game

Caldera iPhone Game

The game requires quick thinking and taps to control the “wheel” of paddles. It could possibly be frustrating for some, but rewarding to others.

I found myself struggling, since you can’t know when exactly a ball might change colors.  

Instead, the game requires you to make the taps in a short period of time. Still, this fast-thinking adds to the appeal of Caldera, particularly for players who appreciate good time-challenged games.

Appearance and Layout:

Similar to Caldera’s actual gameplay, the game features a simple, yet fun style.

The game incorporates bright colors that contrasts the black and white paddles and ball, lending to an overall pleasing aesthetic.

Since the actual core gameplay of Caldera is simple, there isn’t much needed in terms of appearance and layout. Navigation through the game’s menus is easy, just like the controls for the game itself.

The actual gameplay is its main feature, and the rest is icing on the cake.

Value:

Caldera is free to download with occasional advertisements and a $0.99 IAP to eliminate them. Overall Caldera is a very well crafted game that will offer up hours of entertainment.

caldera-qrCaldera requires iOS 7.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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Battle to Victory in Mech Rush

mechrush

Mech Rush
Price: Free
Rating:
iPhone Game Review by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

screen322x572 (7)

Reviewed by Marilyn Chau

Booty Bay Limited brings Mech Rush to the ever expanding lineup of endless runner games.

Mech Rush is well designed, tremendously fun and challenging game that really sets itself apart from average endless runners with very cool personalization features throughout.

Features:

The features of this app could pretty much be guessed just based on its name alone. Mech Rush is a mech-based free runner app that sets players free to create their own characters.

Each decision you make can alter the way your Mech conquers in-app obstacles; this makes it possible to switch up the skill sets of your character really easily to allow for maximal personalization.

In-game levels are all different, with impressive graphics throughout the different worlds you have to run/battle through.

Thankfully the controls on Mech Rush are easy to use and really make sense, particularly if you’re used to other similar endless runner games.

Bosses of each world keep this game interesting, with each one being an entirely different challenge to conquer.  Mech Rush loads and operates smoothly on compatible iOS devices; I didn’t have any problem with lag when playing this app.

Appearance and Layout:

Mech Rush iPhone App Review

Mech Rush iPhone Game

Mech Rush, like many other games in its genre, doesn’t have to focus on graphics and appearance as the main contributor to its appeal.

However, the makers of Mech Rush definitely put a good deal of attention into the graphics of their game; Mech Rush’s characters and levels all have details in them that are way above par for free apps of its type.

The screen for setting your particular Mech options seems a little bit crowded, but this can be expected when considering the number of different ways that Mech Rush allows you to vary your character design.

Navigation through Mech Rush is easy as well, and for anyone who is already familiar with endless runner concepts, Mech Rush won’t be hard to get the hang of at all.

Value:

Mech Rush is a free app. It has got great graphics for a free runner game, and the controls work well for the style of the game.

Mech Rush is definitely a challenging game, but the level of difficulty is far from impossible.

While it’s hard to recommend Mech Rush over a lot of the other free runner apps on the market today, it is fair to say that this app can certainly hold its own.

In fact, for fans of Mechs, Mech Rush just might be the ideal free runner game.

download (3)Mech Rush iPhone app requires iOS 7.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

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Swipe Away with Elemelons

icon175x175Elemelons
Price: Free
Rating:
iPhone App Review by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

screen322x572 (9)

Reviewed by MC

Elemelons is a diverting game that challenges your fast thinking and swiping skills. Offered for free, Elemelons by Andrea Probst features a quirky storyline and simple to understand gameplay.

Features:

Elemelons challenges players who “think they’re good at swiping” to think quickly. In this unique game of color matching fun, games start out with stationary “melons” that need to be swiped to match their correct color wall.

The game quickly speeds up to include moving melons and redirecting these melons to their correctly colored sides gets pretty challenging. Even more moving pieces are added the further into the game you get.

In-app instructions guide you in basic gameplay, and they teach you how to use some of the special power-ups offered in the app. High scores are kept as well.

Overall, the concept of Elemelons was well translated into this fun, fast-paced game. I did experience some lag with swiping melons on occasion, which was a bit frustrating particularly since quick actions are necessary to succeed in Elemelons.

Appearance and Layout:

Elemelons iPhone App Review

Elemelons iPhone App Review

Matching colors is the main concept in this game and because of that, there is not much need for detailed graphics. Still, the creators of Elemelons made effort to make the characters detailed enough to add a certain charm to the game.

Instructions are provided for first time players, making it very easy to understand the goal of this game. The homepage is simple as well leading to effortless in-app navigation. 

While the graphics of Elemelons are somewhat elementary, they are still fun, quirky and match well with the overall feeling of the game.

Value:

As mentioned previously, Elemelons is a free app. In-app purchases for additional lives can be made if desired, but I felt that the difficulty of Elemelons was not so great as to tempt me to make such purchases.

The graphics are quirky and simple, and gameplay in Elemelons is very easy to get the hang of. The issue with occasional in-game lag, however, is definitely a setback for the value of this app; there’s nothing more frustrating than a lagging game preventing you from achieving high scores. If this issue is corrected in a later app update, players of Elemelons would find little to complain about.

Reviewed by MCElemelons iPhone app requires iOS 6.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

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RunNoahRun Is a Promising Retro Side-Scroller for iOS

noah

RunNoahRun
Price: Free
Rating:
iPhone Game Review by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

RunNoahRun is a retro side-scrolling game for iPhone and iPad has potential and seems like a more controlled version of Flappy Bird.

Developed by Bereket Tewelde, this fairly new game is off to a decent start but it needs a bit of work.

Concept and Gameplay:

If you’ve read other reviews of mine here on The iPhone App Review, you’ll know I’m a stickler for tutorials, whether they’re interactive or just helpful text bubbles when you first start a game.

Tutorials make it easy for new players to pick up a game and play it without getting frustrated. Unfortunately RunNoahRun doesn’t include a tutorial, but the four buttons on the screen control your characters vertical and horizontal movement.

I truly love retro 8-bit games, but RunNoahRun was a bit of a disappointment. The menu looks squished and distorted on my 6S Plus, and actual gameplay is very choppy.

Noah stutters across the landscape, which is frustrating. Character motion definitely needs to be smoothed out in order to make the gameplay experience better.

There are four stages to unlock, but it’s unclear how to do so. I couldn’t find anything in RunNoahRun that shows your score. You don’t earn points during gameplay, but you do get three lives before the game is over. Lack of score and direction on how to unlock additional stages is irritating to say the least.

Features:

Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

RunNoahRun iPhone Game

Unfortunately RunNoahRun is pretty bare on features. It doesn’t include Game Center integration so you can’t earn achievements or compete on leaderboards. I definitely think the game would benefit from powerups at the very least so players have something to actually work towards.

As I mentioned before, RunNoahRun doesn’t even keep track of your score, which is something that’s generally included in a game. Hopefully an update will include score tracking functionality so players are motivated to keep playing the game.

Value:

RunNoahRun is available to download from the App Store for free and is universally compatible with iPhone and iPad. The game is supported by ads at the bottom of the screen, but they don’t seem to appear during gameplay.

Overall, RunNoahRun certainly has potential when it comes to being a retro side-scroller. The basics are there, but vital features such as scores and smoother gameplay are missing. Once these issues are addressed, this will be a great iOS game to enjoy.

runnoahrun.jpgRunNoahRun requires iOS 6.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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Highlights Monster Day Teaches Your Preschooler Responsibility

Highlights Monster Day: Play at Home Game for my Preschooler
Price: $2.99
Rating:
iPhone App Review by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

Reviewed by MC

Reviewed by Marilyn Chau

Highlights Monster Day is a delightful game for young children that teaches values such as responsibility, compassion and independence.

Featuring a collection of friendly monsters, this app from Highlights for Children, Inc. is designed to be very child appropriate.

Features:

Highlights Monster Day: Play at Home Game for My Preschooler is a game designed to give children the joy of taking care of their own “monster” from day to day.

Monsters can go through a series of activities, from eating an impressive assortment of foods for breakfast, to brushing their teeth in the bathroom, to getting dressed and going off on the bus for a full day of school.

Part of the joy of Highlights Monster Day is just figuring out how to guide each “levels” interactions, since each scene offers entirely different ways to take care of your monster. However, unlike in many other apps, players are free to leave this app at any point and can pick up their monster’s day at any time when they return to play again.

The creator’s of Highlights Monster Day state that this app can be used to help children develop fine motor skills through their various interactions with the monsters, as well as help them learn how to independently care for their new friend (their monster).

Children can also take photos through the app of different parts of their monster’s day if they’d like to. As a whole, I thought that the features offered through Highlights Monster Day were well designed; the app is easy to get the hang of, and for children who like the idea of having their own virtual “pet,” this app will probably be a big hit.

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Highlights Monster Day iPhone App Review

Appearance and Layout:

This app is designed for children, and the appearance of it fully speaks to that intended audience.

Graphics are all very colorful and child-friendly; these monsters are far from scary and definitely fall more on the “friendly” side of the monster scale.

Everything about this high-quality app looks and feels fun and exciting; it’s obvious that the app’s designers put careful thought into their graphics and kid-friendly user interface.

Since the app is designed for very young children, most in-app interactions are non-written; players do not need to be of reading level to enjoy Highlights Monster Day. Simple arrows and other button illustrations guide you through your monster caring adventure. In addition, text meant for parents comes in 10 different languages.

Value:

Highlights Monster Day currently costs about $3 on the iTunes Store. While this app is well designed, has no IAPs or ads and is very age-appropriate with child-friendly features and a simple to understand storyline, this price still seems pretty steep and we’re concerned many kids who could benefit from it won’t see it because of the relatively high cost.

While we are fans of the “pay once” monetization model for kid’s apps (ie no IAPs or ads), we feel that $3 is about 300% higher than many other excellent preschool titles from lesser known companies and will cause many parents to pass it by.

This app is also available from Google Play and Amazon.

Editor’s Note: The publisher is offering a 3-day price promotion of Highlights Monster Day, their playful monster care game for kids aged 2+. 

The price will be cut from $2.99 to $1.99 for 3 days on the App Store, Google Play and Amazon from Fri 10 to Sun 12 June(Friday and Sunday included).

download (4)Highlights Monster Day requires iOS 7.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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Wordy Bee Is an Incredibly Fun and Addicting Word Game for iOS

wordybee

Wordy Bee
Price: Free
Rating:
iPhone Game Review by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

Word games are great not only for a challenge against friends, but also to strengthen your vocabulary.

Wordy Bee is a great game for iPhone and iPad that has the word game community buzzing with excitement and could easily be the best word game of 2016.

Developed by IJS Solutions, Wordy Bee is one word game you absolutely must try if you’re looking for an alternative to Words With Friends and other games.

Concept and Gameplay:

The first thing that came to my mind when I started reviewing Wordy Bee was that it reminds me of Boggle, the popular game that requires you to make as many words as you can with the letters you’re given. If I had to compare this game to others, I’d say it’s a word version of Catan or New World Colony.

Wordy Bee isn’t difficult to figure out at all, but it’s definitely fun to play. The goal of the game is to capture as many letters as you can by creating words. There are three difficulty modes to try – Easy, Medium, and Hard. The size of the board and number of letters scales by difficulty.

In order to create words you must tap letters on the board to form them. You can create words as long as the first letter starts with either a word you already made or a blank tile. You can include letters your opponent controls, making board domination a real challenge.

Features:

Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

Wordy Bee iPhone Game

Wordy Bee features online and local gameplay options so you can play it wherever and whenever you like. Playing against the AI is a great way to practice and hone your skills so you can crush your real-life opponents.

Another cool feature of Wordy Bee is that it’s available to play in 6 languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Bulgarian, and Russian. This means the game can be played all over the world and can even be used as a language learning tool for practicing your vocabulary.

Value:

Wordy Bee is available to download from the App Store for free and is universally compatible with iPhone and iPad. I couldn’t find any in-app purchases, so I’m fairly certain the game is completely free with no frills.

Overall, Wordy Bee is the perfect game for both solo and online players alike. If you’re feeling helpful, the developer says, “The Wordy Bee’s dictionaries recognize between 200K to 400K words per supported language.

Should you stumble on words that should have been included, please let the developers of Wordy Bee know by visiting their support site.

Wordy Beewordy_bee.jpg requires iOS 7.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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