Access an NYC Street Map and Find Addresses Offline

Price: $1.99     Score: 8/10     By M. Schustermanbadge appstore sm Access an NYC Street Map and Find Addresses Offline

Having access to a good street map offline can be valuable, as we tend to rely heavily on either wi-fi access or 3G networks that aren’t always available. New York Offline Street Map and Address Finder is one for both tourists and residents to consider.

Designed by TapCoder, this app provides you with a map of NYC that you can access regardless of Internet access. The zoom in and out works great, but a few of the other features feel a bit clunky. Next to the Map button at the bottom, you’ve also got “Street” and “POI.” For both, you’re presented with a list of the first numerical options; the “100-1000″ streets, or Points of Interest that begin with the number “1.” You can scroll only so far until the instruction appears to enter text in the search box for more results; in other words, you can’t sort alphabetically or numerically, save for entering the first letter or number into the search field.

The POI section does have a filter option by category, which actually helped me see how little POIs are on the app. For example, I filtered “mobile phone” shops and came up with two. The other issue is you can’t see their address, so the only way to discover if it’s the shop you want – and I’m assuming New York City has more than one AT&T shop – is is to add it as a pinpoint to your map. And once a pin is on your map, I see no way to delete it. I also searched for the Empire State Building and Trump Towers and came up with nothing.

However, being able to search for an address offline is useful, so long as you know the specific address. After choosing a street name, you can enter a number (there is no selection to choose from),  then tap “add to map” to see the location.
Depending on your need, this app could prove itself worthy – I can see an iPod Touch user visiting NYC getting good use out of it in particular.

New York Offline Street Map and Address Finder [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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‘Ninja Ultimate’ Top Notch in Classic Simplicity

Price: $.99     Score: 9/10     By A. Papachristosbadge appstore sm ‘Ninja Ultimate’ Top Notch in Classic Simplicity

As the world of gaming progresses, creators try to one-up each other, adding new twists and turns to help their games stand out.  However, the more one tweaks the typical role-playing game, the more difficult one’s gaming experience becomes.  While one looks to be challenged by their gaming endeavors, being bombarded by rules and details makes the task daunting rather than fun.

However, Ninja Ultimate by Morning Egg Inc presents users with a classic format that incorporates exciting challenges with an interface reminiscent of older RPG video games.  With Ninja Ultimate, users aim to defeat a specific number of enemies in a given amount of time, moving on to an endless amount of more challenging levels.

When you begin, you will first be asked whether you’d like the sound on or off, and if you would like to enable OpenFeint.  Those with an OpenFeint account need only log in, while those who wish to create one will need to register.  With OpenFeint, users may then share scores via Facebook and Twitter, as well as compare their score against other players worldwide.  Once these preliminary steps are complete, you will find the Main Menu, which features every necessary button: New Game, Load Game, Profile, Options, Help and Score.  Of course, the busty blonde may distract users as she takes up the majority of the screen (though she does not resemble any ninja I’ve ever seen.)

Under Profile, users can create multiple profiles, so they can track their game progression while letting others test their ninja skills as well.  The Options button simply allows users to adjust their sound choices.  The Help button takes users through a tutorial, teaching them what each button does and how they can train their ninja, and Score, of course, brings users to the OpenFeint leaderboards.

To play, users will use the bottom toolbar to navigate their character’s way through each stage.  Like the side scrolling of classic RPG games, users simply move left and right, using the up arrow in the right hand corner of the screen to jump.  The red button to the jump button’s left allows your character to swing her sword, attacking the enemies as they approach.  You will see their life diminish by observing the green line hovering over their heads.  Once they die, each will drop something useful, including bottles that replenish your health.  As one progresses, gaining experience and unlocking more powerful short and long range weapons, users will also be able to trade their experience points for ninja training sessions so they can increase their health and mana, which is exactly what they will need to cast the ninja spells they acquire along the way.

Ninja Ultimate truly possesses that classic feel that grabs one’s attention.  While the challenges continue to increase, the controls and premise remain simple, luring in those who long for an iPhone game that entertains but doesn’t overwhelm.

Ninja Ultimate [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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Slide Your Way to Success with Slipnosis

Price: $2.99     Score: 8/10     By A. Papachristosbadge appstore sm Slide Your Way to Success with Slipnosis

Puzzle games will never go out of style.  With their simple interfaces and challenging concepts, users need only apply logic to zip through levels of brain-boggling fun.  With Slipnosis by Pflexagon Games, users will slide their way through the 197 non-linear levels of varying difficulty, unlocking 20 hidden levels and gathering helpful hints along the way.  From simple levels, to the downright diabolical, Slipnosis offers a challenge for any and every gamer around.

The idea of the game is to move the sliders on the board up, down, left and right until they are all covering their targets.  However, the tricky part lies in the fact that the sliders all move together, not individually, meaning you must become accustomed to utilizing your surroundings in order to direct each slider exactly where you want them to go.  The first few levels truly help gamers get the hang of the nature of such sliders, as these easy, early levels help you get a great feel for how the sliders move, what strategies work, and how the landscape contributes to your success.

When you begin, the startup screen will present the main menu, which features the Start, Options and Instructions buttons.  The Options button allows users to adjust the animation speed, music volume and sound effects volume.  The Instructions button presents a detailed explanation of what one can do throughout the game, teaching the ins and outs of the landscape so you are never at a loss.

As we already know, sliders all move simultaneously when you swipe the screen up, down, left or right.  A level is rendered complete when a slider covers each target.  However, sliders stopped by a wall or redirected by a special square may help users move their sliders separately and right into the position they need.  For instance, ice squares keep sliders from moving if they can, while spinners throw sliders off at right angles, both in left and right hand directions.  Bounce blocks send the slider in the opposite direction, while magnet blocks prevent one slider from moving while repelling another.  A black hole will suck the slider in, sending it back to its starting spot if said spot is vacant, and broken sliders must first pass through a repair square before the level can be considered complete.

The more levels you complete, the more hints you accumulate.  These hints can be used when you are totally stuck on a level and need a suggestion to get you sliding in the right direction by indicating an arrow that will help with your current situation.  Use these hints carefully, however, for they are permanent.  For levels you complete perfectly, as in solving them in the fewest moves necessary, you will gain additional hints.  Slipnosis, in fact, provides an entertaining world of challenging puzzles that seem daunting at first, but quickly suck you in, like a black hole square, in fact – just when you think you’re about done, you’re suddenly right back at the beginning of another level, testing your logic and intuition all over again!

Slipnosis [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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Prepare Your Public Self with Presentation Skills

Price: $.99     Score: 8/10     By A. Papachristosbadge appstore sm Prepare Your Public Self with Presentation Skills

Fear is a natural response to many situations we face, even those we experience on a daily basis.  For many, standing up in front of a group of people and giving a presentation can induce the most paralyzing fear of them all.  Whether you are giving a speech, presenting at work or a conference, or simply standing in front of your classmates, public speaking can be quite a terror.

Luckily, with Presentation Skills by Marton House PLC, the shy, nervous and downright scared now have a chance to improve their skills and calm their anxiety.  Presentation Skills focuses on the four key elements of public presenting – Preparation, Props, Delivery and Feedback – providing over 45 minutes of high-quality video total to assist in teaching you how to hone the skills we all already have buried deep inside each of us.

The application itself is divided neatly into the four key elements, with a button representing each.  These buttons lead you to the page dedicated to the individual element, which provides easy access to the category’s video, podcast, fact sheet and top tips, for each category feature each of these items.  The videos present a visual tutorial, while podcasts are simply spoken word accompanied by a transcript of exactly what is said.  The fact sheets come in PDF form and highlight the important aspects of the issue at hand.  Top tips highlight the three most important sound bites of advice given for each element.

Not only does Presentation Skills divide by topic, but they also divide each feature up by videos, podcasts, fact sheets and top tips spread out in the bottom navigation bar.  This way, users can quickly access all of a certain type of media in one place instead of bouncing from subject to subject.  With such amazing organization, one cannot help but feel prepared and organized as well.  While the quality of the advice is subjective, they offer a great deal off suggestions, providing a little something for everyone.  In fact, they offer so much media directly within the application, that it will take up nearly 300 MB of room, so be prepared for a rather large, lengthy download.  However, if you gain even the slightest bit of confidence and knowledge from the lessons taught through Presentation Skills, it will have been worth the wait.

When you put your mind to it, you can do anything you wish and achieve goals you otherwise thought to be impossible.  Presentation Skills simply boosts one’s confidence, helping users of all levels come to grips with their fear and, as a result, deliver clear, articulate presentations as if public speaking were second nature.

Presentation Skills [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.1.3 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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Shoot False, Funny Photographs with Picture Perfect Animals

Price: $.99     Score: 7/10     By A. Papachristosbadge appstore sm Shoot False, Funny Photographs with Picture Perfect Animals

Whether you’re an animal lover who just can’t get enough of those cute, cuddly faces, or simply someone who enjoys tweaking their photos for fun, Picture Perfect Animals by Milk Drinking Cow lets you insert all sorts of animals into your photos by allowing users to choose the animal even before they take the picture.  Users simply choose the animal first, and then take a photo right within the application, allowing them to place themselves in the perfect, most humorous position possible.

Upon startup, users will arrive at the main page, which allows them to begin by choosing one of the three animal categories – Air, Land and Water – in which to search for the perfect picture companion.  Tap Air and you will find a mixture of birds and butterflies to select.  Under land, users will find various dogs and farm animals, even pandas and an ostrich.  With Water, users will find an array of fish and sea life, ranging from ducks to sharks and turtles to sea lions.  Each category offers 12 different animals to choose from, with more to come in future updates.

Unlike many other photo-editing applications, Picture Perfect Animals requires users to insert the animal before the picture is taken, not after, with the hope of creating a funny photograph, ranging from the realistic to the ridiculous.

On the main page, users will find the Info button in the bottom left corner, which provides a picture-by-picture tutorial of how Picture Perfect Animals works.  First, choose your desired animal.  Once you have been redirected to the camera portion, use the star icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to move the animal to one of its predetermined alternate positions.  Settle on a position for your animal so you may then position your main subject into the frame perfectly, using the camera icon in the middle to take the shot.  If you like the image, tap Save, or retake the photo.  When you’ve achieved the perfect image, feel free to share via Facebook, Twitter or email with the convenient menu that appears after the photo has been saved.  Share your silly images with friends and family or refer to it later, as it will be saved to your Photo Library.  Picture Perfect Animals shall certainly bring out your silly side!

Picture Perfect Animals [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone and the 4th Generation iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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Collect Teddy Bears, Swing Your Sword with Baby Ninja

Price: $2.99     Score: 6/10     By A. Papachristosbadge appstore sm Collect Teddy Bears, Swing Your Sword with Baby Ninja

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be… ninjas?  Well, with Baby Ninja by Michael Sandt ASteam – creating new media, users can put themselves in this baby’s shoes – I mean, diaper – rushing out into the open air to slay all the rotten fruit cluttering the skyline.  Wait, what?

Yes, with Baby Ninja, this silly run and jump game, users must collect teddy bears and healthy fruits to gain points, slashing the rotten produce that gets in the way in order to accumulate a high number of points.  Kick or slash the rotten fruits, collect the Ninja icons to run faster, and snatch up those teddies to  stay alive.

When you begin, users who want to track their scores against Baby Ninja’s worldwide leaderboard will want to enable OpenFeint by either logging in to their existing account or creating a brand new one.  After this, users will then proceed to the main screen where they will find the creepiest computer animated baby they have or ever will see.  Scattered around this sword-wielding infant, users will see buttons leading to the various pages available.  Scores allows users to access the OpenFeint leaderboards, while Options allows users to adjust the volume of the music and sound effects that accompany the game.

The Help button takes users to a page that maps out the entire game screen, explaining what each icon signifies and how each button functions.  You will learn how to perform the baby’s special kicks and swashbuckling sword maneuvers, figure out where your highest score and current score are displayed, and learn that you must catch those flying teddies or loose life instead.  For those visual learners out there, watch the How To Play video available on their website.  You will find a link to the video at the bottom of the Help page, though it regrettably redirects you outside the app itself, requiring you to reload Baby Ninja once you want to play.

Unfortunately, Baby Ninja fails to entertain for very long, causing users to lose interest because of its monotonous, repetitive game play.  The baby only has four moves (round kick, throwing star, quick sword and foot kick) they may use to tackle the total of six good and bad fruits scattered throughout each level.  Simply keep running forward, destroying the bad items and collecting the good.  However, it’s hard to run, jump and slash the bad fruits when one finger is entirely preoccupied with making the baby run, making it much easier to rack up a negative score quite quickly.  Baby Ninja begins with what feels like an addictive concept, but loses all appeal when you realize you are going absolutely nowhere, no challenges or accomplishments in sight.  And, with a rather lofty price tag for such a simplistic game, this may be one baby you just don’t want to mess with.

There is also a lite version of Baby Ninja that you can download for free if you’re interested in testing the game out.

Baby Ninja [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.1.2 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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