Tuesday 31 January 2012

Facebook for App Marketing

In previous posts in this series we've looked at other ways developers can market their apps. In this post we're going to move on to looking at Facebook as a valid way of advertising. What many ad industry  pundits are saying is that Google even though it still is  the dominant force on the internet ad-industry is not enjoying the stranglehold on our ad bucks that it once did. 
Other relative new comers have been allowed a gap into the advertising market and app developers or anybody else with any sort of net savvy would be silly not to exploit that gap. specifically Facebook, with it's 'Always free' Policy has been making inroads into Google's ad revenues. Actually exploring all the ins and outs of Facebooks advertising policies would take too long for this short blog post-suffice to say that the normal ways of advertising your app are open to you -such as the Pay per View ads and the Pay Per Click Ads. Depending upon budgets as a large generalisation the Pay Per View Facebook ads for advertising your game might not be the best way forward unless you're looking to build brand awareness for a particularly best selling app then pay per click with a link through to Itunes or the Android market might be the best way forward.

Facebook Advertising's Continued Growth
Thankfully advertising your app on Facebook is not at all about spending large amounts of money. Many app developers I know and including game reviewers like myself can attest that paying to market your app on Facebook is probably inferior to having a well connected and liked Facebook page.

Just like we showed previously a way for an app or game to establish legitimacy is to have a presence on Twitter, it thus naturally follows that since Facebook is even more well known and widely used than Twitter that the same principles should apply. So best app marketing advice for Facebook: Unless you're a large iPhone or Android Developer save your marketing money and establish a Facebook page. Encourage interested parties to like your page and respond in kind to their pages. All of these links and likes will increase brand awareness for your app and be infinitely cheaper app advertising than paying  for it.
A good start is to search out GAMETRENDER , like us and we'll like you back on facebook to start you on the road to the videogame, smartphone and app loving community appreciating your app more.

Monday 30 January 2012

Best Travel and Camping App for Smartphones

Described variously as 'The best and most popular Camping App' and 'The best Iphone App for a RoadTrip' after giving  CAMP AND RV  a thorough going over we can only conclude that this travel app is not done any justice by its descriptions that attempt to pigeonhole it as a mere 'camping app' as it is just so much more.

Top Camping App
ALLSTAYS has existed as a travel website for over a decade and is well known for their no compromising attitude of revealing everything about all possible stays. The fact that they are not sponsored by large camping or leisure sites has resulted in them giving a warts and all overview of any possible camping or accomodation in an area WITHOUT FAVOURITISM.
Details about the most basic accomodation to the most luxurious can be found.
The Allstays App is clearly a labour of love that is being continually improved by a dedicated community who clearly loves travel and the great outdoors.

App to find ALL accomodation
However what  impresses most about this crucial travel app is not just the fact that over 20 thousand Campgrounds and other accomodatio in is listed in  the USA and Canada but the app also has an amazing list of filters that list any and every travel need. From amenities to whether an area is pet friendly and a host of other details are listed in the app. Of course don't only expect Campgrounds and Hotels. Even overnight parking and Walmarts with Overnight Parking reports are shown in this app.
If you plan to do any sort of travelling then this true labour of love created by passionate and enthusiastc travellers is an absolute must have.

iPad in Education: iTunes U and other ideas

Recently there's been much talk of Apple raising the educational bar yet again with quite a few app based educational innovations being announced and being spotlighted , both in the classroom and the wider iPad/iPhone hungry world. Students working on their online education will be thrilled to hear this.

iTunes U ,while nothing new to iOS education, now has its own dedicated app. University Blackboard Apps and other college based Smartphone learning efforts have been of increasing popularity in recent times. iTunes U itself has been around since 2006 and enjoyed support from many leading educators, such as Stanford who have released numerous quality lectures on iTunes U. The App is presented with the expected Apple flourishes and has multiple ways for students to interact with their lecturers and coursework. Teachers can use the app to keep students updated and keep coursework current and relevant. A useful commercial side to the app is the ability to have one click access to iTunes for any relevant course publications.
Current University offerings on iTunes U such as Harvard University's cooking and science lectures (We wonder what their 'Meat Glue Mania' lecture involves!) and Harrisburg Community College offering free astronomy courses all bode well for this app being an educators best friend.

Harrisons Medical
Textbook on iPad
Apple has been very much in the spotlight recently for other educational innovations such as their programme to transform textbook use in classroom into iPad based textbooks. While it's a noble goal, particularly given that textbooks cost an awful lot of money and are not very robust in the hands of your average pupil. The cost of an iPad is of course the biggest downfall to the iBooks based educational scheme. The iPad cost can be mitigated somewhat by schemes such as as Apple's Ipad Lease scheme for schools and the hintings of an iPad 3 that will lower the cost of the current iPad.
Textbooks in  e reader form are certainly the way forward , providing cheaper ;more robust access to educational books and more ways for students to interact with the textbooks. Such as the aforementioned iTunes U apps and numerous other Blackboard type apps. With influential names in textbooks such as McGraw Hill bringing their much lauded Medical Textbook to iPad : Harrison's for the  iPad (Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine is probably the foremost medical textbook in the world) To see such a famed textbook now being published on iPad is truly groundbreaking- on the iPad Harrison's Medical Textbook  will cost just shy of $200 whereas to buy a harcopy of the medical textbook will cost the same but you obviously won't have access to all the interactive features of the iPad Harrisons.
So is the iPad going to be as revolutionary for books as the Gutenberg Press? Only time will tell.

Sunday 29 January 2012

Best iPhone games on Twitter-Ways to market your App

Twitter being one of the bigger social networks is a great driver of opinion and ideas. If you're an App developer or have an app you want to promote you need to be on Twitter. Often when I'm asked to promote apps one of the first things I will do is see what presence that App, whether it be an Android App or an iPhone App, has on Twitter. A website for an iPhone product  or a link to iTunes is all well and fine ,but word of mouth is still one of the best measures we have of determining if an app is making an impression on Smartphone users or not.
Since Android and iPhone is a globally dispersed network with millions of stakeholders the word of mouth for small localised businesses just won't wash. However with a Twitter account we are able to log on to our social feed and search for apps and games both by keywords , the apps name or the developer's name.
If an app has no presence on Twitter that is a clear indication that it has not risen to prominence or infamy whatsoever.
The correlation of this is that Smartphone apps being a technological commodity are of necessity used by both serious and casual users. If the user base is large enough or the target market is interested enough then they will be using social networks,Twitter in particular, to either recommend or deride their chosen Apple or Android apps.
Some Stats for You:
  • Angry Bird Followers on Twitter: Over 335 thousand Followers
  • Coca-Cola Twitter Followers:  450 Thousand Followers
  • Call of Duty Twitter Followers: 290 Thousand Followers
  • Instagram on Twitter: 973 Thousand Followers
That's a lot of people following Angry Birds and Instagram-however since Instagram is all about sharing isn't it to be expected that they have a massive social network Following. Coca-Cola was my non app choice for comparison since it is one of the largest and most famous companies in the World. And yet followers of Angry Birds outnumber those of a company over a century old! Proof that Mobile Phone users take their Twittering seriously?

On the day of writing this article I typed in both the words 'Android' and 'iPhone' into Twitter.
Top Twitter Result for Android Keyword: An article from GigaOm
Type in iPhone and the top Tweet : GigaOm with the same article!
Now as you might or might not know, GigaOm is a very popular website for technology,smartphones etc. Of not their Tweets are top because they are sponsored Tweets. So if this reputable and very accoladed and popular tech website is actually paying to have their work at the top of the Twitter feed ,then just borrow a leaf out of their marketing research book , and read between the lines and what will be blatantly obvious is : Smartphone users WILL use Twitter to find , discuss or criticise the apps they buy.

So get Twittering, start an account and get the name of your app known. Tweets from friends and family can spread the word and if you want lots of followers fast use a service like Twiends. After all, it's free marketing for your app and it works!

Saturday 28 January 2012

ThinkMobile Tablet Usage Study-Is a Tablet better than TV?

As Android Tablets and iPads make their way into every home so big business is putting their substantial funding into the tablet market.The iCloud is takning off and millions are performing free downloads on Tablets amongst other things. Here I've given you access to one of the more reputed studies of Tablet usage conducted by ThinkMobile in conjunction with Google. You can find the entire Tablet Study Here.

Things to do on your Tablet

The infographic of Android tablet usage not only makes for interesting reading ,but als can give you as a tablet user more ideas on what you can actually do with your tablets. I'm sure many people , especially early adopters, just jump on the tech bandwagon and never fully realise the potential that their Tablet Pc has.

Using a Tablet to Watch TV?

As with the advent of any new technology old forms of entertainment and old tools to get the job done are often replaced by the new. That's why the abacus gave way to the calculator; quill pens gave way to typewriters and silent movies gave way to 3D blockbusters (hopefully viewed on your iPad!). Whilst many reactionaries might look on this tablet infographic with scepticism and raised eyebrows, it is perfectly natural and understandable that wonders like the iPad 2 are becoming the primary means for us to both do our work and entertain ourselves. That is why innovations like Apple Tv are becoming standard and even relative unknowns like the Akash Tablet are making news in the tech world and in peoples' homes.
Where do you fit into this mobile Pc Study? If you're an iPad owner or an Android Tablet owner (Samsung, Sony or any other Tablet type) we'd love to hear how big a part these useful tablets play in your work and leisure life.

Friday 27 January 2012

App advertising-Mutiple successful ways of advertising your app

For a while we have been dipping a toe in the waters of app publicising and app marketing. As both iTunes and the Android Market are burgeoning with Mobile growth in all directions, so has it become harder for an app to become more visible to Smatphone Users. In this article we will look at various ways that Developers can market their apps. Cost of App advertising will be critiqued and a general analysis given as to what can result in multiple app sales.
First things to consider is that the Android Market and iTunes are too very different means for a publisher to release their apps and two very different programming eco-systems. Apple notoriously keeps a very close hold on what is released for the iPhone and iPad, design criteria are strict and an app needs to be highly polished and virtually bug free before being released on to iTunes.
Google takes a very different approach with the Android Market. Google has being both praised and criticised for allowing developers a virtually free rein in publishing their products for Android Phones. This has of course resulted in a lot of fly by night app developers with very low standards, but on the other side of the coin it has also granted much easier access into the world of app programming for potential developers. As a large generalisation it can be thus assumed that Android Developers taken as an average have access to a lower budget than Apple Developers, who due to stricter guidelines and larger developer fees, are on average using larger budgets for their software projects.

As a case study with this in mind let's first consider a marketing project that Gametrender has been running for some time now: Fivver Marketing. We've had multiple clients who have taken on one of our Fivver gigs for Android/iPhone to increase their app sales. Of note though, despite the above mentioned statement that Apple developers have more money for marketing it seems that despite a Fivver Gig costing a paltry Five Dollars I've probably only publicised a handful of Android Apps but dozens of iOS apps. Is this because Android Developers are reluctant to market or not as app marketing savvy as App Store Developers, or is there any other reason?
Comments would be welcome as together we can find better solutions for app marketing.

In forthcoming posts we will be looking at Twitter,Review Sites and Flurry as other app marketing solutions.

Thursday 26 January 2012

A New gaming Generation discovers Donkey Kong Returns: A Review from the Classroom

The game I reviewed was the Wii game,  Donkey Kong Country Returns. Donkey Kong Country Returns uses the Wii remote to jump, climb, and run. The controls can affect a player’s ability to play this game because the person playing may not be able to hold two different buttons down at the same time.
Donkey Kong for the Next Generation
 The music sounds like jungle drums. The screaming sound effects occur when either Donkey Kong or Diddy Kong dies. The screaming is very effective because it makes you want to keep trying until you beat the level you are stuck on.

 The graphics are also effective for the game because it makes the picture pop out so you can see the screen better. Donkey Kong Country Returns is challenging but not impossible because if you are stuck on a level, the game sends in another monkey that helps you beat the level. That is my review on Donkey Kong Country Returns.

-- Taylor B.
Link to Game: http://donkeykong.nintendo.com/ 
Podcast version: http://www.box.com/s/yux5kdjf0h8z6m9554vt 

As part of Gametrender's Reviews from the Classroom in association with

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Explore Android Movies, music, games and more. Pandora just the tip of the entertainment Iceberg

With an Android phone connected to the internet the entertainment world is your oyster. Amongst the many streaming and downloadable entertainment apps for Android there are Pandora internet Radio stands out as one of the slickest and most polished music streamers for Smartphones. In this article we're going to take a little look at Pandora and some of the other services like downloadable movies and games that your Smartphone can offer.

One of the best features for this personalised music player is the ability to create individually personalised song lists. Search for a music artist on your phone by name or track and Pandora does what it does best by creating a radio station that is unique to every user that will only stream your favourite tracks and songs similar to it.Pandora free music is a must       have for any phone.( or try rival PBS which is also starting to make waves with downloadable music)

2012 smartphone gets better and better as Pandora TV has also come to Android!
Now a word on this , apparently this Android television streamer is great for streaming UCC Television. It took me ages and some research to find out that the meaning of UCC Tv is User Created Content! Initially I thought it was a Far-East television channel! UCC Content is thus quite simply any video that a creator has uploaded on to the internet and if that content happens to be some of the best soaps, dramas and new movies out at the moment. And you're luck enough to find it after sifting through Korean Dramas and Chinese Art Tragedies then be sure to enjoy and share with others. It is sometimes difficult to find good television shows on Pandora so other alternate Television Streaming Apps you can use for your HTC , Samsung or any other ice-cream sandwich or Gingerbread powered phone are:
Movie Streaming
Get the latest movie trailers and reviews with IMDb movie in theaters will never be the same again as not only will you be able to use this app to find all movie listings the amount of trivia on the shows and actors that it allows you to access is simply staggering.

Great films on Playon
Playon television and content streaming for Android Handsets is mightily impressive. Able to access content stored on your computer running Playon. Your phone can connect either via wi-fi or 3g to access a huge list of entertainment for your mobile including: Hulu; The Ultimate Fighter; CBS and many more. All shows streamed directly to your phone. Free movies for Android is just the tip of this enormous entertainment ice-berg.

And Games for your smartphone; just to namedrop off the top of my head: FAAD; The Android Market itself; Gameloft Store; Ea online; Getjar and many more, so much content out there that you could quite happily look yourself away in your bedroom for the rest of the year with just your phone for company and still never be able to get through all the great content out there.
Boring train journey? Deploy television powered by Android!

Tuesday 24 January 2012

A new Spartan :Halo Reach Review from the Classroom

Halo Reach
Halo Reach is an Xbox 360 console game. It is about the Noble Team on Reach who need to destroy the Halo. The aliens -- such as grunts, jackals, brutes and elites -- are trying to kill you and blow up Reach with the Halo.

Halo Reach Fail
Halo Reach Epic Wins
The controls are the Xbox 360 controller. They are easy to control and soon, you will be a natural. The sounds affect the mood of the game. If you are in an intense battle, different music will be playing than if you are in the intro (of the game). The graphic are amazing. The water looks real. So does the trees, rocks and guns. The difficulty varies on which level you are on, and what difficulty you have set. I would give this game a 9 ½ (out of 10).

-- David H.

Link to Game: http://xbox360.ign.com/objects/142/14276699.html
Podcast Review: http://www.box.com/s/7okxn1eb6lyhmyj23kes 

As part of Gametrender's Reviews from the Classroom in association with

Monday 23 January 2012

Videogames and Apps for Charity

Gametrender has been around for just over four months now since we 'properly' got started. We've covered a ton of apps: iOS Apps,Android Apps and lots of great information for iPhones and every other kind of Smartphone. So we've made a little bit of money from our Ad-Sense ads , due to an increasing app hungry population we're now getting about 1500 readers a day, all wanting to find out the latest iOS and Android Apps. 
So what's this all about then? Just a random article saying how popular Gametrender has become and thanking all our awesome readers and developers who publicise through us?
Not Quite. You see Gametrender loves apps , but we also love the fact that we can reach out and get thousands of readers who also love apps and make a little bit of money to try to improve our world. Here's the first of these fruits of our labour, not exactly a charity app, but a bit of the money that we made from Adsense has been put into a Fivver Gig (We cover Fivver as a way to market apps in an article in about a weeks time) . The money that we've paid to get our name on this Youtube video has gone to feeding homeless animals.
So truly apps for charity, thanks readers, let's see how much more we can use Apps and Videogames to change the world in the future.

HogFrog Hilarious iOS Puzzler ribbits it's challenge to other iPhone games

Turkey is not the first country you think of when you think of iPhone games, but HOGFROG is all the better for this unusualness being an hilarious iOS puzzler with a very crazy backstory. 
A collaboration between Turkish App Developers DreamHarvesters and MutinySoft this iPhone puzzler looks to be something special. With standout,bright and colourful cartoon graphics being the first thing you notice in this app. It is made even better by a very quirky storyline involving frog Mafia and  mosquitoes as currency.
The puzzle app certainly has longevity with four ponds and multiple levels available as you flick your frog's tongue across the screen to get mosquitoes and increase your froggy worth so that Tore, the hero of this iOS puzzler , can win the hand of his beloved Frog Mafia Boss daughter Rosina.
To add to later complications there are also other perks and challenges such as poisonous frogs and turtles to overcome, which change the puzzling from challenging to head scratchingly complicated. But still fun!
HogFrog Puzzle Fun on iPhone
This quirky iOS puzzle game is definitely worth checking out especially for the backstory which I'm sure you'll find just as strange and funny as we did.

Sunday 22 January 2012

PPT 2: Sequel to hit iOS game ProPolice Training

Slick Shooting on iOS with Pro Police Trainer 2
Nice ,no nonsense press blurb describes PRO Police Training 2  with the words " Be the Sharpshooter on the Go" The original PPT on iOS was a massive hit and the sequel promises to be even more so. 

I'm sure that all police work doesn't just involve being a crackshot but this is what this tap shooting game is all about and it looks to be doing much the same as its predecessors but better. There are many different weapons and perks in Pro Police Training 2 and it promises to take on the best shooters on iOS like Contract Killer and Wild West Guns.
It's also a free to play game with weapon and perk unlocks via points or credits from the in app store. Different modes already add to the phenomenal 121 shoot 'em up levels , expect updates with Zombies and new weapons such as the Magnum and Glock 18c. Become the best sharpshooter on iPhone and work your way up from Rookie to Sheriff with ProPolice Trainer 2 now free on iTunes 

iOS Kids Driving App: Young Kids Switch and Match Driving Fun

Colourful Cars for Kids on iOS :Kids Switcheroo

What is it about cars that so fascinate young kids, and for that matter what is it about iPhones  that fascinate kids too? Combine cars with iPhones and you're on to a sure fire winner for young kids who adore car apps. That's just what Raleigh Green has done with his simple and fun kids app for iPhone;iPod and iTouch: 
                   KIDSSWITCHEROO combining car fun with iPhone brilliance.
Visit Raleigh's Twitter Feed (@kidsswitcheroo) and part of his profile shows that he is not only an app developer but also a 'Dad'. And it shows so much with this driving app with perfect combinations of colours; sounds;music and child friendly car pictures that will delight and entrance your iPhone loving child.

Fantasy Cars on iPhone will delight the Kids
It's a simple app for kids and that's what will make Kidsswitcheroo so appealing for little ones as they amuse with an app that encourages open ended play and is instantly gratifying . Kids will have a great time on this app endlessly swapping colourful backgrounds; cars; trucks and fantasy vehicles . If you like your child to be happy with simple app fun,and want them to develop a vivid,creative imagination while developing their motor skills, than make sure you give KIDSSWITCHEROO a look.

iPad App with free Promo: Furball Princess

Here's something different for your iOS device a review for an app with free promo codes! Get them while they're hot! Is Furball Princess any good ?
Epic and Fun iOS storyline
Well here's the catch use one of these promo codes for the free iPad App (actually works on any iOS Device) 
But use the promos quick before they're all gone-all we ask is that you leave a comment below saying whether you think FURBALL PRINCESS is any good or not!
It's also free for a limited time (the promos used to unlock content) and looks pretty sweeet with an epic storyline, numerous evil bosses to fight off and a cute and quirky style that reminds us of the PSP classic Patapon. The game is bright and colourful and with many fun app levels is sure to be a hit. So use the promos to get your free app quickly and be sure to leave your comments on recommending FURBALL PRINCESS to our other readers.
Fun iOS app with limited time Promos : Furball Princess

Saturday 21 January 2012

Project Exonaut: A Review from the Classroom

Project Exonaut
Project ExoNaut
I chose to review Project Exonaut, a free-to-play 2D scroller on Cartoonnetwork.com. You play with the W, A, S, and D keys (on your computer keyboard) or the arrows to move, and the left mouse (click) to shoot and the right mouse to use your jet pack.
Project Exonaut Jetpack and More!
You also aim with the mouse. The music is great because it fits with the battle map while the sound effects are mechanic-y. The graphics are great. They put together 3D graphics on a 2D scroller (game). It’s rating is perfectly balanced with playing against actual people, making it fun and no end means (the game is not) impossible to complete. But the awesome thing is that no character is controlled by the computer. If you like playing shooting games with your friends where you can’t die, then play Project Exonaut.

-- Jarrod N.
Link to game: http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/games/exonaut/index.html 
The Podcast Version: http://www.box.com/s/sv6lncjmsftic1obchbo 

As part of Gametrender's Reviews from the Classroom in association with

Thursday 19 January 2012

Barbarian the Ultimate Warrior for iPhone

Oh, yes at last the Spectrum Hit made famous by that racy box art that I remember from my pre-teen days is making its way to Iphone. Barbarian the Ultimate Warrior was a brilliant fighting game, involving much hacking and slashing and even some decapitations back in gamings past before Mortal Kombat made blood and gore blase. In fact the Barbarian beheadings on the Amiga are still talked about by wistful, nostalgic gamers today.
Suggestive Barbarian Screenshots!
Anuman Interactive is the French Game Developer responsible for the iPhone remake of Barbarian now know as Barbarian the DeathSword , but despite this retro hack and slash supposedly being released in December last year we have ben unable to find it on the app store yet (current rumours have Barbarian being released early February). Don't worry we're salivating at the prospect of the Hack and Slash Game making a triumphant return to iPhone as much as you are and will keep you informed. In the meantime you'll just have to be satisfied with this Barbarian The Ultimate Warrior (Death Sword) on iPhone Teaser Video and these Barbarian screenshots showing all the mighty hero's enemies including of course Drax, Ragnar and Thulsa (BTW the way did you know the little guy that drags Barbarian's body off was called Serky?)
Barbarians Enemies

Ultimate Valentine's Day App: iPhone unveils the mystery of women

Chained by hormones and a rather depressing monthly cycle women are the joy and bane of a man's life. So,you ask, how can my iPhone help me have a good Valentine's Day? What is the ultimate Valentine's Day app for my iPhone? After much thinking and pondering and research we've come up with this app, which must be good because it's one of the only apps that we've seen that's garnered praise from such different press sources as Esquire; The Washington Post;'Glamour' and The Social. So what is
                CODE RED all about then?
Ultimate Valentine's Day App to avoid harm and increase your chances of  love

A tongue in cheek app developed by a husband and wife team, which quite simply tracks a woman's menstruation cycle! Never be caught out again as blind and senseless rages erupt in your household. Know when to hold her hand and when to run like mad! Your iPhone finally reveals all of womenkinds chemical mysteries and makes you know when to don your suit of armour or , ahem, other types of protection.

The app while of course very amusing is well laid out with some quirky and fun animations and alerts for every stage of your lady friends monthly cycle. It gives you advice how to weather the storm of a woman depending on what stage of the month she is at. And of course if you're in the mood to make some more little app lovers than RED ALERT will tell you the best time to go about it. Of course if you don't want to have kids and rather save your money for apps and games then this app will also point you in the right direction as to when to avoid those funtimes.
In a very nice touch the app not only tells you how to survive a woman and her periods but also has linkd to local merchants who can sell you goodies and presents to keep the love of your life placated. So this Valentines Day are you going to approach her with amorous tendencies or is it a better idea to just keep flinging chocolates at her until she's too stuffed to move? Red Alert will give you that Valentine Day Advice!

And some great Valentine's Day News: this APP IS FREE for a limited time DOWNLOAD CODE RED APP FOR FREE as of 19 Jan.

Skyrim still has Surprises! A Review from the Classroom

I’ve been playing Skyrim for about a month now, and I still have not unlocked the game’s full potential. Skyrim is an open world, first person, RPG (role playing game) which contains boatloads of compelling story, beautiful environment and creative gameplay. The game takes place in a Medieval land called Skyrim. The land of Skyrim is high north, with snowstorms which can randomly take place at any time, and snow-covered mountains that terrifying Ice Wraiths and Hairy Frost Trolls call home.

Most Destructive Skyrim Ice Spell?
The game was released on November 11, 2011, taking a solid six years to publish, with no sight of an official demo. And now I see why. If Bethesda (the game’s publisher) had decided to release a demo, they would never be able to pack the full game’s potential into a thirty-minute demo. Honestly, I’m surprised they could do as much as they did in the game completely.

I’ll probably be playing this game well into next summer. I’ve honestly had to set time aside for other video games and set an alarm to tell me to go to bed. This game is why I limit myself to one single-player-only game a year, because I sink right into them with no one to remind me that things like sleep and food are important. Skyrim deserves a 10 out of 10, and at $59.99 on the Xbox 360 console, this game is a steal.

-- Will S.

Link to Game: http://www.elderscrolls.com/skyrim/ 
Podcast Review: http://www.box.com/s/2nc1prju71tlxme511dv 

As part of Gametrender's Reviews from the Classroom in association with

iPad Puzzle Fun for Kids

Trunky Puzzles-iPad Kids Puzzle Game
We've covered a few iPad Kids games starring the loveable Elephant, Trunky. Well now Trunky is back in a really cute iPad Kids Puzzle Game: TRUNKY PUZZLES

 The kids app is quite simple which really adds to its appeal, as it is pitched at kids two years and older you don't want an app game to be too daunting! Trunky has really made an impression in his last few game outings on iPad and continues to be a great character for kids to play and interact with.
iPad Kids Puzzle that is both fun
and educational
As far as iOS puzzle games for kids go this is a  really stand out affair with very cute graphics and wonderful environments such as Cake Land and Music Forest that will really appeal to kids sense of play and creation. Puzzles are of course not too difficult and pitched at just the right level for children this age. As usual Upside Down Games adds a little extra by giving the app a few levels that will improve childrens' use of spelling and letters. These little app extras and an adorable main character, in the form of Trunky are more than enough reasons to download this fun puzzle app. However add to this the fact that Trunky Puzzles  is free and you realise that you really need to get this downloaded quickly!

One of the cutest kids puzzle games on iPad with a character that will only become more and more popular. We can't wait to see what Trunky gets up to next!
Many Great Puzzles in this wonderful kids appTrunky Puzzles also supports in -app downloads to access more free kids games on iPad-thanks to Upside Down Games we're able to give free promo codes for this kids app. To get these free app promos comment on this article and contact Gametrender with your email address. We'll give free promos to at least the first 2 comments.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Design House HD Review: Another in the Reviews from the Classroom Series

Design House HD
Inspiring Home Design on iPhone
So many people have dreamt of being able to design their own house, apartment, hotel room, or tree house. With Design House HD, you don’t need a college degree or years of architectural classes, to make your design come true. Home Design HD is made for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Since these devices are one-touch screens, the controls are simply tapping the screen in different places with your hands. The game is also very easy to figure out how to play. Home Design HD allows the player to not only design a building, but (to) pick out the floors, the wall color, and the furniture.

-- Barret L.
Link to Game: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/home-design-3d-by-livecad/id426123718?mt=8
Podcast Review: http://www.box.com/s/a6h2h948g1v55zmd689d
As part of Gametrender's Reviews from the Classroom in association with

Amazon Fire Game with Physics and Cows

A Cow Tipping App-Fun and Safer than the Farm
The Amazon Fire has blasted into the tablet market and now just needs a definitive app to call its own.
Physics apps are wildly popular on Android as a whole but tailored very specifically for the Amazon Fire is this physics app...with Cows!
Of course it's not just an Amazon Fire App with physics it's a crazy game based on the age old country tradition of tipping cows!
It's a lot safer to do a simulation on Android than it is to trudge knee deep in the smelly stuff and anger 2 and a half tonnes of Prime Beef. But for all those Country Kids who can't get enough of cow tipping and all those city slickers who want to give the beef a prod ,this app is just perfect!
With some very lovable cows HAPPY COW TIPPING brings lots of physics puzzle fun to your Amazon Fire. It's also pitched at just the right level and kids will love the Android Game whilst adults will get a lot of jollys from seeing Cows flying through the air too!

Cow Tipping on Android!
There's 30 levels of cow tipping fun to be had and the game will keep any physics puzzle app fan entertained. 
The main selling point is that the Amazon Fire doesn't have many quality apps yet, so when an app as fun as HAPPY COW TIPPING comes along it's expected that Fire Users will quickly jump at the chance to play what is in anyone's books, a really fun physics game. If more levels are brought out in the future this will certainly be a hit.

Download HAPPY COW TIPPING game for the AMAZON FIRE -the best bovine based fun you'll have this year!

Monday 16 January 2012

Kids Love Nyan Cat: A Nyan Cat review from the Classroom

Nyan Cat: Lost in Space
Nyan Cat: Lost in Space is a beautiful game created by Is Tom Games KFT. The game is based on the sensational YouTube video, created by saraOOn.
Kids react to Nyan cat
In this game, you play as a cat with a pop-tart body running in the sky, leaving a trail of rainbows! You jump from platform to platform, trying to collect power-ups and bonuses. Nyan Cat: Lost in Space is a free game for iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads.
A real life crazy Nyan Cat! Meow ,Nyan Cat ,Meow!
The game is very simple: touch to jump, touch twice to jump higher. Background music is from the original YouTube video. Cool sound effects are heard when you collect bonuses. The graphics are beautiful pixel art, full of bright colors. The game is on the easy side since enemies don’t kill you, just take coins. Running on the bottom platform can be challenging. I give this game a 7 out of 10. You can find Nyan Cat: Lost in Space in the Apple App Store.
By Bristol S.
Link to Game: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nyan-cat-lost-in-space/id433592592?mt=8
As part of Gametrender's Reviews from the Classroom in association with

Education through Videogames- Games Britannia's Contribution

To engage a student you need to use material that will enthuse and interest them. That is why educationalists are increasingly looking to Gameification of learning syllabi and materials. Look at most universities course offerings and you will see some sort of Game related diploma ,degree or course. Great strides are being made in computer programming, 3D for games and entertainment, videogame design and scriptwriting and a host of other educational courses that have undergone gameification.

Videogame Earnings up to 2011.Reprinted from GamaSutra
There's little doubt that videogame programmers are todays Rock Stars with the videogame industry earning in excess of   16 Billion Dollars in 2011(and that's just how much the videogame industry in America earned in 2011!). In pre-videogame times parents would dream of and encourage their child to strive to a high paying job such as being a Doctor or even more aspiring parents would encourage their boys to become top league Footballers (unrealistic of course , but that's what dreaming is all about!) Well now as Geekdom seems to reign, and indeed what was once considered 'Geek' is now the bleeding edge of trendiness, the Videogame industry seems to be the one industry where all the finest minds are headed.

Now of course many universities and colleges are offering Videogame related courses (many sadly jumping on a bandwagon and offering little gaming industry educational value) , but a very grassroots campaign has caught our eye.
GAMESBRITANNIA Schools Videogame Festival
Founded on the very sound principles that kids all want to make games and that education through videogames is a way to both students' hearts and minds.
UK's Most Educational Video Game Festival
GamesBritannia prides themselves on being the inspiration behind tomorrows videogame industry giants.Now what GamesBritannia is leading up to is a youth orienatated videogame festival in early July. The amount of massive videogame industry names behind the project ( Gremlin; Sumo Digital) and the educational establishments throwing their weight behind Videogames (Sheffield Hallam University for one) is unheard of.
Sheffield Hallam: UK's
Best Videogame Courses?

 Not only that, but the videogame project has also attracted the backing of local government in the form of Rotherham Council. The videogame festival is going to be big news in July, but leading up to it there is going to be a key videogame moment this week.

GamesBritannia Next Gen 

As a precursor to the main Schools' Videogame Festival in July, at Sheffield Hallam on Thursday 19th Jan. a Press Launch to whet our appetites for the main gaming event in July, will take place. Interviews and appearances with Videogame notables such as Ian Stewart of Gremlin Graphics will take place. And of particular note the largest PS3 teaching Lab in Europe will open its doors to students to use PS3 development kits to see what it is like to create their own games! If this is just a Press Launch for the actual Game Festival than without a doubt the actual Game Festival in July is going to be out of this World!
If you are interested in the role that Videogames are playing in Education or are an educationalist looking to use the medium of Videogames in your classroom , then please read our other articles in our 'Reviews from the Classroom' Series.We are always looking to encourage young game journalists and creators.
How will Sheffield Hallams PS3 Lab compare
to this Future Vision?