Pie Face Presents Mess-Free Alternative to Traditional Food Flinging

Price: $.99     Score: 5/10     By A. Papachristosbadge appstore sm Pie Face Presents Mess Free Alternative to Traditional Food Flinging

When people drive you nuts, sometimes you wish to lash out.  Your patience wears thin and all you can do is dream up ways to make that certain someone pay for making you so angry and aggravated.  With Pie Face by Michael Schwartz, users now have a non-violent, private way to indulge their inner devil by tossing pies, darts and cannonballs (amongst other things) at a photo of the culprit in question.

Pie Face begins by requiring users to press the Start Game button, making one believe that the application is truly a game.  However, when you realize that your flinging fun never results in accumulated points, or a beautifully mangled photograph, you discover that this “game” simply consists of you tossing virtual items at a photograph of someone you just cannot stand.

Once you press start, you will see a sign and a cannon.  The cannon will shoot any of the given weapons, which can be shot simply by tapping the first button in the line up.  Next to that, users will find the button that allows them to choose their desired weapon.  Choose from the traditional pie, or get a little more creative and feisty with a cannonball, fireball, paint or darts.  Whichever item you choose will shoot from the cannon every time you tap the explosion button.  The third button allows users to choose the photo they wish to destroy with their weapons.  Use any photo you may have in your Photo Library.  The Pause button at the end of the row simply allows you to halt your game if necessary.

Unfortunately, throwing things the calm, cool and collected way doesn’t quite seem to have the same effect as taking out your aggression in real life.  Yes, it alleviates the potential mess and the violent ruckus that an actual fireball or cannonball may create, but when the damage caused automatically disappears after a few shots, one is left still feeling annoyed. Instead, if you truly have some aggression issues to deal with, perhaps a good game of paintball or darts would relieve your angst much more successfully.  Shoot your paintball gun at someone wearing a photograph of the person in question, hang their face on a dartboard, or even tape their picture to a punching bag and give it a good whack.  Getting out and exerting some energy will increase your endorphins and make you happy naturally!

Pie Face [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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INSPIRO Inspires Imagination Stimulation

Price: $3.99     Score: 8/10     By A. Papachristosbadge appstore sm INSPIRO Inspires Imagination Stimulation

Creative block can become a serious issue for anyone working in a artistic manner.  Whether a writer, singer/songwriter or artist, conjuring up concepts for your latest piece of work doesn’t always come easy, even if you’re a natural.  But with INSPIRO by BPMboutique, thinkers now have a helper when it comes to generating new ideas, or at least a little laughter.

INSPIRO boasts a clean and easy-to-use interface, which you will immediately notice upon startup.  Press the button to enter and you will find the main menu, which provides buttons to the three different sections available: The Muse, Scenarios and The Daydream Machine.  In the top right corner, users will find a gear icon that indicates the Settings page, which allows users to choose the ratings of their results.  Choose from G, PG, or R.  Back on the main menu, users will also see a small ‘V’ icon.  Here, users will find an alphabetized list of all the available vocabulary categories, which are then broken into subcategories within their section.  Simply by choosing a category, users can then add their own new subcategory or single vocabulary word, making INSPIRO customizable to your needs and style.

‘The Muse’ – the first listed section – provides basic word forms (adjectives, adverbs, nouns and verbs) mixed in random, interesting configurations that shall hopefully get your creativity churning. ‘Scenarios’ deals with developing characters and their personalities, which, as mentioned, could be a very entertaining and helpful way to generate inspiration for comedic inspiration.  ‘The Daydream Machine’ presents the most interesting “imagination stimulation” for it randomly provokes thoughts you otherwise might never ponder.  Of course, as with the other two sections, some of the randomization ends up making no sense as a coherent concept.  However, ‘The Daydream Machine’ has the potential to evoke the most creativity.  And if you find any of the suggestions from all three sections to be worthwhile, feel free to copy it to the clipboard or send to friends via email using the arrow button alongside the gear icon.  Not only will you instigate creativity, but discussion as well.

Personally, when it comes to my own writing endeavors, such idea generators detract from my creative process, for many of their suggestions seem juvenile and never quite along the lines of what I’d hope to produce.  However, I will not deny that INSPIRO allows the most versatility, with a vast database of vocabulary that you can contribute to as time goes by.  And for those who truly need a strong boost to break through their writer’s block, INSPIRO may just be your best available application of its kind!

For a video demonstration of how INSPIRO works, click here.

INSPIRO [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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Piperoll: A Puzzle Game That Gets the Logic Flowing

Price: $.99     Score: 10/10     By A. Papachristosbadge appstore sm Piperoll: A Puzzle Game That Gets the Logic Flowing

Games often no longer test your brainpower, but how quickly your trigger finger reacts to virtual enemies.  They no longer require you to think, only to survive.  But a we get older, we constantly look for ways to improve our brain functions and keep our minds young.  Piperoll by Navigation-Info Kft brings back the puzzle game concept with an old-school twist that makes it both nostalgic and thought provoking at the same time.

With Piperoll, users must use the pieces of pipe provided to link two or more areas using the same underground water system, adjusting the pipes alignment until all are connected so the water may flow freely.

First-time players will have to start from Level One, though once you have reached any of the 100 levels available, you will be able to choose precisely where you’d like to begin your game the next time you return.  Within each level, users will find four different possible liquids flowing through the pipes, all reaching ground level in either a country or city setting.  However, no matter where you begin, you will have a hard time ever putting your device down.

As you move up in levels, you will begin to see the various liquids immerge as the brainteasers trickle in.  Users will soon go from connecting one set of pipes, to multiple sets in a single puzzle, each running a different kind of liquid to the other side of the screen.  And, while you needed to use every piece of piping in the early levels, your further progression will inevitably leave you with a bit of extra material lying around.

Piperoll’s simple concept challenges even the best of puzzle gamers, while hooking even the most casual of players.  Upon first run through, I zipped through the first thirteen levels (until I remembered I had to write this very review).  The timer in the top right corner tracks how quickly you complete a level, but this characteristic somehow seems to blend, making Piperoll more about the basic goal of trying to solve the puzzle rather than doing so in a short period of time.  The timer challenge leaves something for you to aspire to once you’ve given all 100 levels their first go-round.  Trust me – it’s easy to get caught up in the current!

For a video demonstration of what Piperoll has to offer, click here.

Piperoll [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 4.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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The Book of the Dragon Comes to Life on iPad

Price: $5.99   Score: 8/10    By S. Campbellbadge appstore sm The Book of the Dragon Comes to Life on iPad

The Book of the Dragon is a beautifully illustrated new interactive digital book for the iPad. Created by Argentinian-born fantasy illustrator Ciruelo, The Book of the Dragon is best described as not so much a storybook, but more of an encyclopedic treatise on dragons.

The book contains various chapters, with names such as “Dragons and Mankind”, “Social Organization” and “Psychological Characteristics”. Each part of the book features elaborate illustrations, sound effects and animations that draw you into the fascinating world that Ciruelo has created.

A running theme throughout The Book of the Dragon is that the dragons themselves have a long and rich history, personal attributes and customs, set against a background of long-running conflict and war with human kind. The pages are filled with magic, fantasy and lore.

Navigating through The Book of the Dragon is made incredibly simple – you can tap once on the screen and then running your finger along a slider, which cycles through little thumbnails of the books pages or you can select a page from the Table of Contents. While defaulting to English, The Book of the Dragon also comes loaded with four other languages – Spanish, Italian, German and French.

If you’re a fan of fantasy art, there is also the option at the end of the book to save some of the illustrations to your photo library for later use as an iPad background.

The Book of the Dragon [iTunes Link] is compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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Hit the Tables with Flick Hockey

Price: $0.99    Score: 9/10   By M. Schustermanbadge appstore sm Hit the Tables with Flick Hockey

I’m not a rabidly competitive person when it comes to games in general. I’m usually in it just for fun. But something about air hockey brings out the bug-eyed lunatic in me. One look at Flick Hockey and I was ready to show my iPhone how things are done.

You can adjust the game to be 3, 5 or 7 goals, change the difficulty setting to easy, medium or hard, and set the paddle offset. That’s it – you’re ready to play. Thumbstar Games did a great job on the graphics for this one, with realistic sounds (and, of course, a roaring crowd soundtrack to cheer you on to glory). The “camera” angle tilts with you as you move the paddle, which adds a nice realistic effect.

One thing I didn’t realize until after a few games is that you don’t need to keep your finger on the paddle the entire time. If you lift up your finger during a game, then touch down on another part of the table, the paddle will reappear in that spot. The equivalent, I suppose, of picking up your paddle and setting it down again – makes for quicker movements in some situations.

The paddle is really quite responsive, and you don’t have to put your finger right on it to control it; the paddle actually sits just in front of your finger, so you can see what you’re doing. Overall, a great deal at $0.99 for air hockey fans – rabid or otherwise.

Flick Hockey [iTunes Link] is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Requires iOS 3.0 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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DropZap 2: Shrinking Puzzle Game for the iPhone

Price: $0.99    Score: 9/10   By M. Schustermanbadge appstore sm DropZap 2: Shrinking Puzzle Game for the iPhone

DropZap 2, a game designed by Amir Michail, is aimed at strategy-game fans of Tetris, Drop7, Bejeweled, and of course – DropZap, the original. But instead of matching up colors or fitting shapes, your goal is to shrink the pieces.

At least, I think so. Judging by the fact that my first try yielded a score of 30 points, and my second attempt a score of 2,750, I was clearly relying a lot on guessing and luck.

This is definitely not the type of game you can just start playing and figure out – at least, I couldn’t.  There’s an optional tutorial, which is somewhat helpful, although the wording is a bit odd in places. For example, I’m still not grasping the concept of “when stack of pieces lands, only bottom piece in stack shrinks below and sideways.” Only one piece actually “lands”…I think. The way it’s phrased is confusing.

However, I do get the overall concept. Drag a shape down a column. It shrinks the shapes below and next to it. The red circles are the smallest, and disappear. The squares also shrink, but along with blank spaces, they block the initial shape from shrinking whatever shapes surround them. And each time, a new row appears with more shapes, causing everything to rise up a cell. The goal is to keep shrinking as much as you can without letting the shapes get above the grid.

The more I played, the more I enjoyed it. And you’ve got quite a few choices for gameplay; “Standard” mode (with a minimum of 50 pieces that must be removed before moving to the next level), “Relentless” (a never-ending level), “Action” (timed), and “Relentless Action.” There’s also a two player mode – the screen is split so that two people can play on either side of your phone. I enjoyed that the music was songs I selected from my iPod, rather than the typical game music. At $0.99, I’d recommend this app for strategy game lovers.

DropZap 2 [iTunes Link] is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch. Requires iOS 4.1 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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