SimCity to be released on iPhone

Written iPhone Game App Review

In a very exciting little piece of iPhone gaming news, SimCity for the iPhone is due to be released on the App Store later this month.

Produced by EA Games, SimCity promises to be a full-featured version of the ubiquitous Will Wright classic. See Kotaku for their full first impressions.

The best iPhone apps and the best iPad apps are reviewed by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

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Zippo Lighter App

Written iPhone Zippo Lighter App Review

The Zippo Lighter app is a free lighter simulator.

When it works (mine crashed repeatedly trying to open it for this review), you can open it by flicking your wrist and light it “with the turn of a thumb” – just as you would a real Zippo. The flame looks quite realistic and responds to movement and attempts to blow it out. There are several lighter designs to choose from, and some are customizable.

This app really won’t keep you entertained for more than about a minute, but it has proven quite popular in the App Store because it does have than initial “wow, that’s cool” element about it. Loses points for not being much more than a heavily branded advertisement.

Official virtual Zippo Lighter Demo:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH8QxlkfcOw

[rating:2.5]

The best iPhone apps and the best iPad apps are reviewed by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

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Drink & Cocktail Recipes App

Written iPhone Drink & Cocktail Recipes App Review

5800+ Drink & Cocktail Recipes is the name of the app that contains the largest freely available database of alcoholic drinks and cocktails for the iPhone

Considering how much most people enjoy a drink, it’s not surprising that Drink & Cocktail Recipes regularly sits in the top 10 most downloaded list in the App Store.

I didn’t count all the drinks to double-check the claimed 5800+, but there are a lot of drink recipes that come with this app. From the Martini to Abe’s Tropical Night in Hell – there are many to choose from. The drinks are sorted alphabetically, using the same interface that the iPod uses to sort music. You can scroll through the list, or search, to locate a desired drink. Each recipe lists the ingredients required and gives brief instructions on creating that drink. You add drinks to a list of favorites which is very handy.

You can find drinks by category, i.e beer, cocktail, milk, liqueur – but one major down-side to Drink & Cocktail Recipes is that you can’t search by ingredient or keyword. So if you know that you’re looking for a vodka-based cocktail, but can’t remember the name, there’s no way to search for drinks containing vodka. Also very frustrating if you only have a few ingredients and want to know what kind of alcoholic creations are possible.

5800+ Drink & Cocktail Recipes also has a tendency to crash. It’s been stable the last few times I’ve used it, but repeatedly crashed back to the iPhone ‘home’ screen when I first downloaded it.

Overall a good app, and very useful for a party or a night on the town – but still a little glitchy. If the inclusion of the aforementioned search functions were to happen, this would definitely be a 5-star…but it’s not there yet.

[rating:3.5]

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NightStand – Digital Clock App

Written iPhone Alarm Clock App Review

Price: $0.99    Score: 7/10    By Shaun Campbell Night Stand

Nightstand is a really simple app, but a very popular download in the App Store.

Nightstand is an app that essentially turns your iPhone screen into a digital clock display. The time (and day) are shown in an attractive luminescent blue, and can be viewed with your phone in portrait or landscape mode.

It’s a really useful app if you don’t happen to have a clock radio/alarm AND you have a dock to place it in. Not very useful if neither of those two apply to you.

If your iPhone isn’t plugged into the wall, leaving the screen on all night just to display the time is a sure way to eat up all your battery power.

The best iPhone apps and the best iPad apps are reviewed by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

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EyeTricks – Optical Illusions App

Written iPhone Optical Illusions App Review

EyeTricks is a free app that is best filed under ‘novelty’.

EyeTricks is basically a collection of just that –  optical illusions that play ‘tricks’ on your eyes. Some of them you would no doubt have seen before, but there is certainly some originality here. There are 30 illusions in total – each with its own instructions.

The pop-up instructions are necessary, as different tricks require you to do different things in order for them to work. For some illusions you need to stare at a certain point, or move the screen or even “look at a bright light”.

Some of the illusions are definitely more effective or more engaging than others – one I was impressed by was called “Coral Reef”. Here’s how it works:

  • You stare at black dot in the middle of a picture. (the picture is an orange outline of a reef)
  • After 30 seconds of staring, you tap the screen.
  • All of a sudden the picture of the coral comes into full color.
  • Look away from the black dot though, and you realize that it’s a black & white photo!
  • Your brain created the color – it was never there!

I’m not sure how often you’ll use EyeTricks, but in my opinion, the novelty factor it provides (however short-lived) warrants checking it out. I showed a friend of mine the Coral Reef illusion and they were blown away.

[rating:3.5]

The best iPhone apps and the best iPad apps are reviewed by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

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Review of Darts for iPhone

Written iPhone Game App Review

Darts is a dart simulation game developed by Fictorial LLC. Darts is one of the most popular free-to-download games currently available on the Apple App Store.

Darts brings the ubiquitous pub classic to your pocket, and does the job fairly well. It’s a must for any fan of the real thing. The game features an intuitive touch based control system, whereby finger swipes are used to launch darts at a virtual dartboard.

Darts uses a targeting cross-hair to enable the player to select which score they’re shooting for. Doubles and triples are naturally harder to hit, and call for finer speed control. You are able to vary dart speed by simply changing the speed at which you swipe your finger.  Be careful though – if you don’t get the speed right, you may end up falling short or overshooting the board completely!

It does take some time to get used to the movement – don’t expect to be scoring triple 20’s on every throw in your first game.

Darts has two main game modes: practice & competition. Practice mode uses only basic scoring and is designed for sharpening your dart-throwing skills. Competition against computer A.I. has three difficulty settings and two main game types – X01 and Cricket. In X01 your aim is to reach a score of zero before your opponent, by subtracting the score of each throw from the initial total (available totals: 301, 501, 601, 701, 1001). The object of “American Cricket” is to hit the numbers 15 through 20 and the bulls-eye three times each. I found the A.I reasonably easy to beat on ‘easy’, but ‘master’ was near impossible (for me anyway).

Darts features excellent graphics for a free game and utilizes a nicely rendered physics-based 3D view of the dart’s flightpath for each throw. The dartboard is attractively modeled and the scoreboard (situated at the base of the playing screen) is simple and unobtrusive. Sound effects are also simple, but effective. There is a re-assuring thud as your darts hit the board, and the sound of your points accumulating the scoreboard after each throw. That’s all there is sound-wise, but really all that’s needed in a game like this.

There is enough complexity and game-options in this app to make it worthwhile, and enough simplicity to make it enjoyable. If you’ve never played darts, it’s definitely a good way to learn the rules of the game. Those people with a real interest in darts will find this well worth the download.

Darts requires iPhone software update v2.1 and is available now from the App Store.

[rating:3.5]

The best iPhone apps and the best iPad apps are reviewed by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

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