Top Collectible Card Gaming for the iOS: Shadow Era

Reviewed By: Philip Chan

Shadow Era - Kyle Poole

 

Price: Free
Rating:

Shadow Era, from Kyle Poole of Wulven Games (of Battle for Wesnoth iOS fame) is a solid collectible card game (CCG) with an emphasis on strategy and tactics, for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

The recent release of version 1.25 of Shadow Era has helped further solidify this game’s reputation as a top CCG for the iOS. Bug fixes, balance changes (Freeze now only costs 3 resources), and game play improvements (Hero weapon and armor info added to help section) were included with this latest fix. A complete list of the changes from 1.25 may be viewed at the Shadow Era forums here.

Gameplay:

For those not familiar with CCGs, the basic premise involves starting with a deck of cards containing a hero, soldiers, special powers and abilities, then playing that deck against opponents, both real and computer-controlled online. Players can then use in-game currency to purchase more cards or sell their own cards, or choose to spend real money on buying booster packs of cards to further supplement their deck. No deck of cards is the same, as players can choose how to best organize their set to come up with the best strategy possible. There’s a lot of room for innovation as gamers will constantly try different “builds” of decks to come up with powerful attacks. Overall, the gameplay is fairly similar to many other CCGs on the market today, with some noteworthy differences.

 

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Rows 3D: Four Here, Four There, Four Everywhere!

Reviewed By: Luke Patrick

Rows 3D - Pixeltin

 

Price: $1.99
Rating:

Are you tired of the average man’s connect four? Are you looking for some connect-the-points gameplay with a serious kick in a different direction, or even a different dimension? If so, Rows 3D by Pixeltin has you covered.

How is the Gameplay?

The gameplay of Rows 3D iPhone app is gorgeously simple: It’s your job to connect four of your rings by strategically placing them on a peg-board. Naturally, this is made harder by your opponent (either your iPhone’s CPU or another human via pass-off gameplay) who also attempts to connect four of their game pieces. You take turns slinging out rings until a winner finally manages to match up four of the same kind. Because rings can be stacked on top of each other (hence the 3D mentioned in the title) this can be accomplished in a myriad of ways: Vertically, horizontally, diagonally or in a stair-step pattern. With an added direction to go in, what is at first a simple game mechanic quickly becomes a serious brain-tease. And with several different computer difficulty settings, you’ll quickly find your iPhone is often much smarter at placing pieces than you.

 

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Plane Rush, Head Rush: What’s the Difference, Really?

Plane Rush - JTM Mobile Inc.

Price: $.99
Rating:

Plane Rush Video App Review


 

If you’re willing to overlook the fact that any pilot could be so negligent as to fly through a cave, Plane Rush, by developer JTM Mobile, offers a rush of difficult but entertaining gameplay that will have you bouncing off the walls—literally.

Reviewed By: Luke Patrick

How Does it Work?

The gameplay mechanic at the heart of Plane Rush is certainly nothing new—perhaps a dozen other apps in the AppStore feature the same “race down a corridor dodging obstacles and walls” play. And indeed, that is exactly what’s offered here. In Plane Rush you pilot a small airplane that winds its way down a long cave, dodging stalactites and stalagmites (good on you, if you can remember which is which) as well as traps and floating rocks. The game makes excellent use of the iPhone’s tilt controls, allowing you to fly up and down, as well as back and forth: Admittedly, I never found much use for going back and forth, other than to shy away from the onslaught of the Unknown. You can also tap the screen to fire, eliminating rocks with one shot and traps with two. All in all, what Plane Rush lacks in innovation it makes up for in sturdy, consistently entertaining gameplay. This is a well-made app that features classic gameplay.

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Keep a Custom Location Journal with Koodja

Reviewed By: Philip Chan

koodja - koodja

 

Price: Free
Rating:

Imagine an app that lets you record you locations and actions every day, allowing you to create a virtual electronic diary of your activities over time. If you have always wanted something like this, check out Koodja, from Farshid Ghods, a truly customizable journal app.

Koodja is a personal location journal, for the iOS, available for free through iTunes. Users can choose what and where they add locations and info to the app, with an array of options for location customization. You’ll need an active network connection and location services enabled for this to work, but it will save your information offline for easy viewing whenever you like.

Functions:

The depth of info that Koodja is able to record is quite impressive. Not only does it provide a location tracking function, but it searches out all the nearby establishments (commercial, residential, etc), lists them, and allows you to quickly pick from them to add to your entries. A Google Maps locator is featured with this page as well, really adding to the usefulness. Finally, the array of subcategories available for you to pick from when selecting the activity to record is really nice. There are Sports (with many different kinds of sports listed), Friends and Family, Work (subcategories with location, customers, reference # and notes) and much more.

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Guiltly: The iPhone Intervention You Didn’t Know You Needed

Reviewed By: Luke Patrick

Guiltly App - Michael D Irizarry

 

Price: Free
Rating:

If you’ve got a habit—whether it be an addiction to tobacco, food, sex, drugs, or rock and roll—Guiltly, by developer Michael D. Irizarry wants to pull your strings and push your buttons straight into recovery. Granted the iPhone app is little more than a sophisticated calculator, but it certainly brings the pain: With a little bit of self-determination, Guiltly could actually make a difference in your life.

How Does it Work?

As stated on the home page of the app, Guiltly uses data you provide about your addictions to guilt you into slowly letting up. If that sounds too generic to be helpful, Guiltly has provided an excellent in-app tour of its features to get you started. Essentially, the user picks a vice from a detailed list of areas-for-improvement, and then sets a goal date by which they’d like to have their addiction whipped. From there it’s all hard work and solid-design. When you feel the need to indulge, or do in fact indulge, you’re required to log it in Guiltly. The iPhone app remembers when you caved, and asks you to record what happened as well as how guilty you feel on a scale of one to ten. With all of that done, the data you submit is put into the app’s library. As time goes by, Guiltly provides an average of your events, labeling you with a guilt score. You can also record when you felt like caving but didn’t, which will lower your guilt score. However, you cannot change the date by which you want to kick the habit, which seems like a featured that should be added in future updates.

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Bowl Em Hoops Offers Nets, Balls, and Lots of Finger Play

Bowl Em Hoops - Hairy Monster Studios

Price: $.99
Rating:

Bowl Em Hoops Video App Review


Reviewed By: Luke Patrick

If you were ever a kid—and odds are pretty good you were—then you most likely remember those carnival booths with an array of hoops at one end and a pit of balls at the other. The mad, ball-chucking hilarity that ensues is self-explanatory, and if even mentioning that staple of festival fun makes you wax nostalgic, then Bowl Em Hoops, by developer Hairy Monster Studios, is right up your alley.

How’s it Work?

As stated, Bowl Em Hoops is a direct translation of a classic carnival game to the iPhone’s screen. Alone one end of a digital booth is a set of basketball hoops with point values affixed to their faces. You, at the other end, are charged with hucking balls up a ramp and launching them toward the hoops. Once lofted, they will hopefully hit nothing but net, scoring you mountains of points. However, Bowl Em Hoops isn’t all frivolous ball tossing. A timer along the top of the machine tracks your progress, and the festivities end when it drops to zero. Once it’s game over, your points are tallied up and traded in for tickets, which can be used to purchase prizes.

There’s a reason the gameplay featured in Bowl Em Hoops is a classic: It’s madly addictive. During the course of this review alone I found myself continuously saying, “Oh, just one more! I can beat my score!” No sooner have you finished one game then you feel the uncontrollable urge to start another, and I bloody loved it.

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