Saturday 30 June 2012

Games for QuadCore Phones

Games for quad core phones
Lightopus now on Android
2012 has seen a Turing revolution of Android phones with Quad Core toting beasts like the Samsung Galaxy S3 competing with rivals like the HTC One-X and other powerhouses like the Nitro HD and Razr Maxx to be the most overpowered handsets currently on the market. But what's the use of all this hardware madness unless you have apps to make the most of the power at your disposal. 
Well Lightopus comes with the warning that it is a game for Android that is both CPU and GPU intensive, so is a worthy title to be though of for inclusion on a list of games best for quadcore Android phones. Is it?

Stylistically gamers of recent Android titles will notice the neon brilliance of Lightopus and automatically see the similarities between Robotek ;Radiant and other neon games for Android. But this is not a neon game, it's an amazing tour de force of what programmers can do when taxing Android phones. 
A vivid Radiant like graphics style, coupled with GPU intensive moving backdrops is the canvas upon which these master developers have chosen to paint their beautiful game. And it works gloriously. The soundtrack coupled with these flickering and evocative sprites leads you gently into a by turns frantic and peaceful world where your "Last of its kind" Lightopus sets forth to rescue it's kin. 
Graphically intensive Android game
Android neon brilliance
The arcade like game oozes zen like addictiveness, some reviews have panned the control system as not being precise enough, but have completely missed the point. The floaty, imprecise nature of your Lightopus' movement as it floats through the abyss and by turns avoids and takes on monsters, when it has it's rescued "Bulbies" in tow makes the game a joy to play, not just for the score hounds amongst us, but also for those that just love to be immersed in a game. 
The nature of the realms and beasts that you are personifying and fighting against are so alien that the game becomes a pure escapist pleasure.

Lightopus was recently featured on the Appstore  and now that it has made the transition to Android we hope that the graphically intensive and mesmerising game will bring gamers touting both Quad core phones and lesser devices as much pleasure as it has brought iPhone owners.

As to the question posed in the opening paragraph: Is it a game to play on Quad core Devices: Graphically superb and immensely playable; you'll be certain to get the most out of Lightopus if you own a powerful Android Phone.

Gadget Lovers Android Alarm of Choice

Alarm Clock Ultra
It's a sorry fact of life that every weekday most of the Planet has to get up and go to work. Well Android owners, your amazing Smartphones, whether the sexy HTC ONE X or the quad core Beast that is the  Samsung Galaxy S3 or any other Android for that matter can't change that simple fact of work life (yet!) but they sure as Hell can make a working man's day more pleasurable by waking you up with one of humanity's finest Android Alarms!

Alarm Clock Ultra Free is the Android alarm clock that Royalty and World Leaders would wake up to if they didn't have personal assistants. It makes old school analogue "beat it to stop it annoying you" alarm clocks look barbaric in comparison.
Put the Android alarm app up against rivals and you'll just be left shaking your head in despair at how poor others are in comparison.

In fact after using this rather nifty time sorting app I feel like protesting against the worthlessness of other Google Play offerings by using them and simply refusing to wake up in the morning, then when I lose the day job I'll be sure to send my calls for charity to support myself to the other app developers, because really and truly other alarm apps NEED to be of the same stellar brilliance that Appsdev have been able to come up with!

Quick Sleep Alarm
Really Gametrender, you're asking, is it true and not just pure bombasticness?All you eager Android users who are looking for the best alarm app available on Google Play are certainly wondering what all the fuss is about. Quite simply , before I list the multiple features (oh, and did I mention how massively customisable and easy to use the alarm app is) let's just say that if you're looking at any time dependant tasks that need a premier smartphone to handle them then this alarm app is for you.

A nice little checklist of what the perfect alarm app should have:
Android alarm app
Puzzle to Stop your Alarm

  • Multiple featured alarms with a huge amount of features
  • Stopwatch and Timer included
  • An Eggtimer!
  • And we absolutely love the ability to one button press for a quick snooze to a two hour siesta
Cleverly enough unlike many "dumb alarms" these ones featured in this chronological masterpiece make you work hard! Now you could just wake up and turn your alarm off, and probably go straight back to sleep, or you could use Alarm Clock Ultra and have to solve a simple puzzle or a maths problem to turn your alarm off. Now that's a sexy feature that will really wake you up and get the brain juices flowing for a productive day.
Join the horological Android revolution by downloading:
Alarm Clock Ultra

Killer Bean Unleashed : Years of Hard Work

 Games and apps that are based on movies are almost always bad, correct? Well Killer Bean Unleashed takes on that challenge. The smartphone app is a classic style shoot 'em up with a very unique theme. Everyone in the game is a bean, similar looking to Mr. Potato Head of Toy Story but with longer arms and legs and with a tendency to hold guns. The graphics are smooth sprites of 3D rendered objects. Background environments are 3D. Killer Bean Unleashed fits into the genre of Run and Gun (Metal Slug, Contra). You play a spy with an attitude and two handguns covered with golden dragons who's been betrayed. Luckily there are not any civilians in the game, just you and the bad guys. Unload on them for FREE.

Killer Bean Unleashed is based on "Killer Bean Forever", an 85 minute CGI movie with tons of action and choreography with smooth graphics by Jeff Lew.  

In Killer Bean Unleashed, you have a health bar so you can actually take more than one hit. Double Jump allows you more freedom in the movement department.  Cutscenes are detailed screenshots like a comic book (speech bubble included). This reduces load time and app size versus using actual videos for cutscenes. The cutscenes also probably look better like this than if they were 3D rendered by the phone. They also remind me of detailed Final Fantasy backgrounds on my Android ,that were drawn to look fabulous (lighting is usually better this way) instead of imitated by programs to look real. Although the game plays in 2D style, the 3D background has a little depth that changes the view  as you walk. There are health packets (medkits) and special ammo in the levels so that you may continue your rampage. You'll need them. UNLOCKABLES include a Triple Jump ability, an increased healthbar, and 9 other types of ammo. His shoes reminds me of Michael Jordan Basketball Shoes. Types of ammo include Magnum Bullets, Electron Bullets, Fire Bullets, Exploding Bullets, Grenades, Photon Bullets, Rockets, Beam Splitter Laser, and Fire Bomb.                        

With all the work put into the game's eye candy features, maybe they didn't want to invest more into the game, so they cut back a little on the gameplay. For example, you can only shoot straight horizontally. No up, down, or diagnonal shots allowed (The bad guys can shoot at angles). One feature that was added into the game was the ability to jump on enemies to kill them (like Mario but with multiple landings needed). Not many platform shooters have this in their game. In those games, you can't touch the enemy. The enemy is treated like a untouchable indestructible bullet. Adding a melee capability would probably change  KBU's mechanics, but it's a thought. A retry button in the menu during a level would also be appreciated. 
Tips for Killer Bean Unleashed:
         -Beans with yellow jacket drop heath and ammo.
         -Shooting at beans may require less jumps on them to kill them.
         -There is a chance that your bullets hit an enemies bullet, defecting each others shot.

How do I get coins in Killer Bean Unleashed?
One thing the tutorial forgets to teach the player is that after a mission, on the left hand side of the screen, you must press "award coins" to receive coins before pressing on "Next". Award Coins is a little blended in with the briefing page, while Next if bright blue, so one is easy to miss. For a while I avoided the award button because I thought it meant Purchase coins. I'm not sure why it is an option to press or not press award coins. In my opinion it should be automatic that the player receive earned coins without further input from the player. 

The game is extremely difficult and I cannot pass level 4. I haven't bought anything in the game or seen any boss fights besides the screenshots of the tank and helicopter(both 3D looking). Shoot 'Em Up's are not my thing, but still I expect to get farther than that and be allowed to see more of the Killer Bean's cool, ironic, joking, spy, shoot em up attitude. It's kind of interesting to see that the difficulty isn't a more common complaint in the user reviews on Google Play. BTW it has over 4 out of 5 stars.

Your regular bullets look more like those from a Civil War musket.
The Developer(s) at Killer Bean Studios  have the game Xperia Play Optimized. The touchpads are only used for moving a cursor to make selections in the menu, but it's a lot slower than using your touchscreen to make the selections(which is allowed too). The R, L, and Select buttons switch your weapons (up and down) while the X button is for jumping, and the SQUARE and CIRCLE buttons shoot your weapon. If you consider yourself  pro at Platform Shooters then I suggest you give this game a try. It's FREE so don't worry about that.

Quite impressive especially considering it's based on a movie that doesn't look very low budget at all. The movie itself is also on sale right now for $5.99 until July 4th 2012. Regularly it's priced at $9.99.
You can check out the The entire first scene on the killerbeanforever channel on Youtube. The channel has Over 2 million views. This app uses Unity, something we've written articles on before.

Thursday 28 June 2012

Great Britain Comes Alive with a Featured Travel App

Explore Great Britain

Great Britain and particularly London are once again back in the news with the impending Olympics. "Is there an app for that?" Did someone say?

Yes, and we're not just talking about an app to explore London and its surrounds(plus some other major UK cities) during the Olympics. But an app to show you around London any time of the year and whenever you should choose to visit .

Why there's Tower Bridge; Buckingham Palace and a thousand other attractions that have been there for hundreds of years, and hopefully many hundreds to come. I've had the privilege of living in London a few years back and I wish I had this app then , it would really have opened my eyes to what it means to "Live by the River".

But to call this a London Tourist App would be to do this massively comprehensive Great Britain guide a massive disservice, London is just one of the major cities featured, there's 37 other major destinations featured in the mx Great Britain Guide app and we love all the features that the UK Travel App gives us.

Discover Olympic Venues app
App to find London Wifi Spots?
An astonishing set of features in
this Travel App
In fact if you're an infrequent traveller to Albion and have just come for the Olympics make sure you stick to your itinerary as this app will take you down the path less travelled.

You'll really marvel at the full feature set that just seems to cover so many bases and comes in such a well wrapped and colourful icon packed app. Need Transport? Flights; Eurostar; Ferries; Coaches and more in Britain are covered.
Perhaps the UK is not best known for its fine cuisine but all stops have been pulled out for Great Britain Guide app to make it seem even more impressive than many dedicated foody apps. Use the app to "Discover the Taste of Britain"; the ever popular "Wine ; Beer and Cider Tours" and more. 
Okay , I've finished waxing lyrical about the abundance of options this travel guide for Britain can give you, put your Olympic Racing Shoes on already and get yourself down to Google Play or the Apple Appstore to download the free travel app and see for yourself what a difference it can make to touring Great Britain. See you at the games; or the Suffolk Cider Festival; or the Cowes Yacht  Race or.....
mx Great Britain Guide on Google Play
mx Great Britain Guide on the Appstore

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Technology to Transform Lives

Self Help App ipad
LiveBetterYou : Happiness
On a day to day basis our mobiles are constantly with us. These everyday business and entertainment tools are so meshed in with our daily lives that they can and do exert a strong influence on us. Into this technological maelstrom steps Gigi entertainment, with an app to transform and liberate us. If your gadgets are going to be with you all the time, then it makes sense for them to improve not only our business and entertainment but also our very lives themselves. From adversity springs newly budded hope, Live Better You was born from a very human and moving story: 

Being the father of a Make A Wish Child and another unhappy person stuck in the technological rat race inspired the creator behind Gigi Entertainment to make the Live Better You App which is described as :
... unlike any app ever created. It's part self-help app, part TedX, and part game engine. It's real-life stories, ideas worth spreading, and real-time 2D/3D animation (with Unity). I hope you like it! 

Apps for Happiness

The story told by Live Better You: Happiness is beautifully evocative and moving. Told through a mixture of cutscenes and interactive storytelling the app gives ideas about ways of living that echo so many positive thought processes . Initially when "playing" the app I wasn't to sure what it was about , but as the story unfolds, made more poignant by the emotionally evocative storytelling of a real person who has lived through adversity, you find yourself drawn in and seeing so many correspondences with your own bad habits and negative thoughts, that you really believe that the app can make a difference.
Divided into days in a seminar; confessional story type format. I haven't rushed through the app to review it, as it really is a self help app to be savoured. enjoyed and reflected upon.

Movies and books have been emotionally enmeshing us for years; "LiveBetterYou: Happiness" is the first app that I've seen that crosses the emotional barrier betweeen this type of technology and the human element in all of us. Will the app improve your life? Perhaps, but it will definitely change your perceptions as a beautiful  story unfolds in app format.

The Creator of this emotionally charged app  speaks out as to how your real life events can help you to be a better app developer and person
You know how it goes. You're sitting at the character creation screen, and for the life of you, you can't decide what to name your character. It shouldn't matter, and yet, it does. My kids and I were sitting on the floor, taking turns, with Oblivion (ES4). Now, it was my turn to make a character. And together, we picked the name, Gigi. And thus, Gigi Games was born. 

Indie shops are different. Sometimes, they create runaway hits like Minecraft, and sometimes, they blow people away with artistic masterpieces. But almost always, when you go Indie, it's to answer a calling inside of you. 

I spent the last decade building games, but I got the itch. I needed to do my own thing. So, I started my own company, and I assumed I'd be creating games for myself. But, that's not what happened. I couldn't make myself finish the games I was designing. It's where the money was, but it's not where my heart was. I kept thinking of that moment, on the carpet, laughing with my kids, inventing hundreds of goofy names.

I'm an Indie, a designer, and a coder. A husband, a coach, and a father. My family is unique. And, when you mix all those ingredients in a bowl, what you get is LiveBetterYou. 

No one has told that story.
Curtiss-Creator of LiveBetterYou

Sunday 24 June 2012

What functions does the Google maps Update Give Me

Ancient Maps app
Google Maps to be replaced by MS Smartglass
So even Apple devices are rocking Google Maps nowadays (ironic as Google's Android is iOS's greatest rival). Google being the nice guys that they are has just released a bunch of updates for Google Maps. Particular features we like are the inclusion of Indoor Maps , where large companies have floorplans on the Google cartographic system. 
Google Offers is the commerce that is bringing Google maps the money it needs to expand. With nearby offers being shown on the maps. However while I'm always up for good offers, especially if I know they're nearby, but I think that the Maps themselves might get slightly cluttered with this. 
Also who gets featured? Does Google allow any business to list their offers, and if so this is just another way the small businessman loses out. 

I'd also like to see a bit more uniqueness and personalisation to a greater degree in these offers. For example why can't I find motorcycle parts nearby?

If rumours of an Apple powered map system, and some stirrings of a Microsoft SmartGlass powered tablet with custom MS Mapping is true, then perhaps Google needs to innovate a little more.

What to do with a lost iPhone

Phone finding apps
Last Alert: With built in compass and other
iPhone finding tools
There's a lot of ways to find your iPhone but Last Alert Pro brings a few different ideas to the "find your phone" app genre. 

Now a lot of people reading this will think that the generic app on their phone is good enough. Well you can never be too safe when it comes to a 700 dollar plus mobile , so if nothing else if you love your iPhone (and I've yet to find an owner who doesn't) you should consider Last Alert Pro. After all if you're driving in a car and you've got a seatbelt on, you're not going to turn the airbags off, just because you've got one level of protection!

What this phone finder app brings to the mix is three very interesting ways of functioning:

  1. Alarm notifications for when the battery is about to die.
  2. Last known coordinates of the phone are emailed and shown on Google Maps, accessed via a linked iOS device within the app, or via the email link.
  3. The app has a built in compass which also takes into account elevation. So on a linked device you can sonar ping your way to where the iPhone was before the battery died.
As an all in one solution for finding your iPhone the app works on a lot of levels and is more than accurate enough to find your precious mobile. 

Getting music on your Android Phone

November 16, 2011

Google Music Update: Out of Beta, Vows to help Independent Musicians and adds Social Network

If you are a US resident and if you were trying out Google Music Beta out of curiosity or if you were seriously thinking about choosing Google Music for your all Music needs, Google surely has put you in cross roads. Today, finally, Google took the wraps off its Beta service for Music and also made it available to all US residents (until now, the service was invite only).

Disappointingly comparing my Samsung Galaxy S3 to the wife's Iphone 4 S (and yes it does beat it hands down on so many levels) the only failing I've seen is that Google Music still does not seem to be available in the Uk. So until it is Android users have to use the million and one other ways they have of downloading tracks, including simply bluetoothing them from a friends mobile(let's see you do that iPhone!)
I think I'll have to be enquiring after buying a bougeut from an online floral arrangements if I keep up the teasing I'm giving my partner as to how superior the Galaxy S3 is to her iPhone 4S!

Free Streaming
As part of Beta program, Google offered early adopters storage and streaming for up to 20,000 songs at no cost. The great thing about today's announcement is the offer remains the same for all users as long as you are under 20,000 songs limit in your account!

Music Store
Music store has also been introduced under Android Market umbrella ( for the music enthusiasts to buy and listen to music on the go. You can currently find 8 million songs out of 13 million records that Google has rights to sell in its Music Store. The highlight of the Google's Music store is the stress it has given for the independent artists by making sure to strike a deal with the global independent rights agency, Merlin, as well as over 1,000 prominent independent labels including Merge Records, Wrap Records, Matador Records, XL Recordings and Naxos and also with the world's largest independent music distributors IODA, INgrooves, The Orchard and Believe Digital. Along with these deals, Google has also licensed content from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI.

Google+ Integration
During AsiaD 2011, Andy Rubin, Google's VP, was very confident when he mentioned the Google Music Store will be introduced and with a twist. And the twist is the first ever full integration of  a music store with a social network.

Google+ integration of Google Music Store isn't just to tell your friends about the music you just purchased and getting them to buy their own copy! You ready for this? If you buy a song and share it on Google+, people in your Circle will be eligible to preview the entire song but the ones that are not in your Circle but only follows you will be able to preview the song for standard 90 seconds duration.

Users can share the music content with Google+ during or any time after the purchase. This kind of social integration is introduced for the first time, something unique to Google Music Store.

Artist Hub
A few days ago, we wrote how Google was thinking beyond Facebook to create its stronghold in Social Network battle field ( With Google+, Is Google Picking up where Facebook Left off?) where we discussed how Google is readying to create quality content on its social network (Google+) rather than just being a distributor. And Google Music seems to be a continued effort to bring quality content to its ecosystem. With Artist Hub, irrespective of whether an artist on label or DIY type, helps artists to build an artist page, upload original tracks, set prices and sell content directly to fans, as long as he or she owns necessary rights to distribute music on Google Music. This enables artists to become the manager of their own music store.

T-Mobile Partnership
Google and T-Mobile continued their long standing partnership in mobile with Google Music by announcing additional free music for T-Mobile customers in US starting now until the end of this year. Customers using T-Mobile handsets can go to T-Mobile Free Tracks section under Music in Android Market to download weekly free music.

Overall, Google has done a really nice job at improving up on competition and not just becoming a me too music content distributor in the industry. We believe highlight of the Google Music is its integration with Google+ and the opportunity it will be providing for up and coming music artists via Artist Hub. What do you think? Will you consider Google Music to be your next stop for all music needs? Let us know.

Free ways to Market Indie Apps and Games

Hi to all regular readers and developers interested in publicising their apps cheaply. We've been around for a while and our articles and connections have helped many apps get free exposure.
Marketing iOS and Android Apps
This is successful Indie blog that focusses on new and indie iOS and Android Apps. The ways I've monetised the blog are very similar to ways that a small app developer can slowly start to gain capital.There's no big secrets-just adsense; paid banners; paid links and paid promotion of smaller sites and projects.
The one thing that my app friendly blog and your apps have in common is the need to be known. I grow with traffic (so become a regular reader please!) and you guys thrive on app installs-so get your name out there!
 I'll help your apps gain a little exposure via my blog, just for your good wishes and word of mouth to get Gametrender more readers! 

Stellar Physics game on Android

Bright graphics make the most of
the Samsung Galaxy S3's screen
Given a powerful Android phone and a massive HD type screen there's just some games that you'd expect to work well. Naturally when we got our new Samsung Galaxy S3 phone as game reviewers phone of choice to replace a broken Xperia Play we tried out top titles like Angry Birds Space. Just to see if the bright HD Super Amoled screen was worthy. It was and so we're happy to announce our first game review using the Galaxy S3: Electrofly Odyssey as reviewed on Samsung Galaxy S3

Electrofly Odyssey a game worthy of a Galaxy S3?

We're very excited about this Android game review, as it not only gets us hands on with a new and good looking physics title, but also gives us the excuse to play with Gametrender's new Samsung S3. So throughout this article we'll be not only looking at how well the physics, gameplay and overall fun factor of Electrofly Odyssey work. But also if it should be included on a list of games that Samsung Galaxy S3 owners should have.

Firstly it's free which is a great thing, so it's a no brainer to download for nothing. The paid version however gets rid of the ads ( which aren't obtrusive). Graphics wise it's a good choice to review on Samsung's flagship phone as the high pixel density 4.8 " screen really shows off the bright primary colours of the game. Naturally with a physics heavy game hand drawn Da Vinci graphics aren't the order of the day, so expect the type of graphics reminiscent of Osmos and other Android physics games. Graphics that stand out but don't distract nor detract from the precision type of gameplay. On the Samsung Electrofly's graphics look very good indeed.
Electrofly Odyssey
New gaming mechanics keep things fresh..and complex!
For a physics game the gameplay is paramount, while nothing to deter the quad core beast from it's 2012 top gaming machine pinnacle the physics are all there and present and used in a variety of ways. Objective wise simply get the Electrofly from one portal to the next. Simple until space type physics get involved in the form of Asteroid obstacles ; repulsors ; attractors and more. With the first few level it seems that every level has a new gaming mechanic introduced which changes the gameplay. Naturally the game is score driven with the fewest moves gaining the most stars, once you think you've got it cracked another gameplay element is introduced causing much confusion.

We loved the way that the game kept us hooked by constantly shaking up the mix and making us play to get to see what physics type ideas the programmers could come up with next. Our only complaint is the lack of music and hopefully later versions will have achievements and change the types of Electroflies that need to be rescued.

A big win for both physics gaming on Android and a very worthy free title to play on the Galaxy S3 , or indeed any other Android machine.

Saturday 23 June 2012

Real Paranormal Events come to your Smartphone

Invoke Bloody Mary on iPad and Android
We all enjoy scares, whether it's of the gory Hostel type on the big screen, archaic tales of Vampires; horrific fireside tales or even Silent Hill type gaming. But now there's something new for your Android and iOS devices, something that's perhaps a little too close to our primal fears and brings terror to our Smartphones in unique and uncomfortable ways.

Is Bloody Mary Ghost Adventure a game for mobiles like the Silent Hills and Shattered Memories of the past , or does the fact it's on mobile offer something different. Yes, is the perhaps nerve racking answer, play for a little while and you'll understand why the thrills are cut through with some very close to nerve jangling moments. The use of your devices real time clock in particular lends a degree of ominousness to the horror app not found in other shock horror game versions. 
In true spirit to the review , we first started our initial play through at just before midnight. The sound and ambience brought about by the app making the experience really come alive. Like Dead Space on mobile it's recommended to play Bloody Mary with headphones. The audio for the game really brings about an atmosphere suitable for this type of scary app. 

The graphics too are very well wrought with a good mixture of 3d and Hand drawn graphics also bringing the horror to life. We've reviewed the game on a Samsung Galaxy S3, the large screen brings the horror to the fore, but on an Android tablet or the iPad it will be a very tense experience.

A real Ouija Board App? BM is filled with
ghost finding paraphenalia
Clever ideas like the already mentioned time bound dynamic events are joined by real world ghost hunting equipment with a so called EMF monitoring app running alongside the game. A good twist that combined with the subject matter makes you hesitant to just think of this interactive experience as a game.

Horror App with Hand drawn graphics
What we really like about  Bloody Mary Ghost Adventure is that the subject matter of the historical spook is lent a great deal of vivacity. All teenagers soon learn of the game to evoke Bloody Mary and the app plays upon this with the app description stating :
Bloody Mary Project is a mix of Adventure Game with real paranormal scanning, so if you meet Mary and succeed to invoke her using this app there's a high chance that your place is haunted.

The "game" doesn't start with a traditional "Start" button either, but the tempting but scary words "invoke her" will set you off on the path to damnation. I'm ashamed to admit that due to the lore surrounding BM I was hesitant to even press the invoke button, that's how much the game plays with your perceptions! The game is constantly updated with new chapters released each month with an indeterminate end state. As a new form of interactive entertainment for Mobile devices Bloody Mary Ghost Adventure( App store Link ; Google Play Link) is an experience to appeal to those who are brave or foolish enough to use their Android and iOS devices to explore the supernatural; we bear no responsibility for what might happen...

Quick Guide to Smurfs' Village on iPad

If you're a Smurfs' Village fan who could do with some help in the iPad game then read on... You've probably come to this article already addicted to Smurfs' Village , so you know what it's all about. We're going to give you some help with Smurf Village Farming; how best to use your Smurfberries; and some crucial advice about how to recover a reset Smurf Village Game.
Guide to Farming and harvesting Crops in Smurf Village
What are the best Smurfy Crops?
Definitely the  Blueberries. The Blueberries give the most coins and also the most experience per hour. The Smurf Blueberries need a lot of looking after though as they mature in only thirty seconds, if you're really fast with your Smurf crop maintenance  you can perhaps get 120 coins and experience points in an hour. The average player on iPad could expect to get about a hundred per hour.
If you want some shut eye and don't want to constantly monitor your crops before they wither then go for the  Tomatoes. They mature in 8 hours and give you a 21 coins and 105 XP
  The best  overnight Smurf Village crop is  Corn as it returns 
(15 coins, 155 experience).

There are several good crops for different time frames. Just be aware that crops do wither so plan how long you will be away from the game.
How long before a Crop Withers?
A crop will wither in the same time it takes to grow. So for 
example: Blueberries will take 30 secs to grow  but also 
wither in 30 seconds (some sources say 5mins??) and potatoes will wither in 24 hours.
bluberries because that withers in 5 min. A good hardy crop 
that doesn't wither is sasparilla .
The Best Buys for your Smurfberries

Harvest Wagons (15 Smurfberries) can be purchased by using Smurfberries and used for unlocking the Autumn Bush and Golden Corn.
 Thanksgiving Statues aren't always available as they are time dependant , but when available are a good Smurfberry purchase. 
Getting More Coins and Smurfberries
Wondering how to get more coins faster in Smurf Village and also get SmurfBerries faster?
Coins: Blueberries are the best crop for getting coins. For example an hour of farming twenty plots with Blueberries can get you 20000 coins.

Getting Free Smurberries: Don't want to pay?Then  Jokey Smurf is the Smurf to see as he will have a daily Smurf Village Gift, also expect to gain a gift for every level you get.
  • Inviting more friends to play - Tap on the Invite Friends
 Icon at the far right of the Neighbor map. This will cause 
message to appear on your profile page at Facebook giving 
friends a link to download the game. Once they download 
the game and log into Facebook they will automatically 
appear on your friend list.

Inviting Facebook Friends is a great way to get Smurfberries and 
coins. Go to a friends Village and see Marco to get money and
 other goodies. About every 50 visits you will get Smurfberries

It works with the people you are friends with on Facebook- if none 
of your friends are playing, you cant share anything, but if they 
do- you can give/receive gifts that earn xp every 24hrs. It's a free 
way to get coins and gifts, even if you don't have Friends! A good 
way to get hints about the game is by seeing what other people do 
with their villages
Best Use of Smurfberries
The Harvest Wagon has become a substitute for  the Thanksgiving statue.  The Golden Corn is indisepsible between levels 12 to 22. Get higher than 22 and coin is less of a problem.
Buy the Harvest Wagon and grow Golden Corn while you sleep. This will make a massive difference to your playing style. Also Farmer Smurf saves you a lot of harvesting time
It is recommended not to get Painter Smurf as his game is very difficult, with only the easy ones being easily achievable but only giving 15 XP
Lazy Smurf is quite profitable, initially you will only get
less than 100xp a game.. But later if you get the badges Lazy
 Smurf's game will get you 500Xp per game..
An example of getting Xp from Lazy Smurf:  after you get 50 boots 
you earn 500 XP with every additional boot..
 Mining smurf is a good one to have. Look for the Golden Pick to 
make the most of him

What is the Golden Pick?
Access it from the same menu where you got Miner Smurf's mine. It costs 20 smurfberries and can be used to get rid of rocks twice as fast. The Golden Pick is great  for playing Miner 
Smurf’s minigame. If you click on the mine, then select the 
minigame, then scroll all the way to the right. It should be listed
 there for 20 smurfberries. Yes- I know that’s a lot, but you can 
break rocks really fast and therefore get money and XP that much 

Ways to Recover a Reset Smurf Village Game
If you are playing the game on an iPad ,link your game 
center and it will back the game up online. If you absolutely have 
to start over…. Start over from your game center. I had to start 
over my daughters game over and the game center version gave 
her 2600 smurf berries free at the beginning. So far I’ve got her to 
level 21 in just a few days. (Quote From Smurf Village Forums' 
Another good way to recover a lost Smurfs' Village game is  to recover the game from the previous back up point.

(AR) Augmented Reality for your Android

Augmented Reality Games are starting to be a "trend". Reality Fighters had a demo released with Taco Bell to promote the PS Vita's launch. Players who played that game had a chance to win a Playstation Vita. Nintendogs and Cats also used AR features. AR Games and apps use your device's camera to input your surroundings into the app. There is one app in particular that I want to review. That app is Droid ShootingAvailable on Google Play for FREE.

Shoot droids from all around you. Make sure you're in a well lit room with enough space to be turning around with the phone.  There are a few types of weapons to shoot. Press fire to shoot the center of your screen. The Minimap is really useful. Press the "refresh"-looking button to switch firing style.  The other weapons fire differently, not just animate differently.

Use Rocket Launchers, Lasers, Cannons and more.
Although it's a simple game. Some form of tutorial or explanation would be appreciated. The types of weapons isn't explained. My turning didn't exactly seem to work with the minimap(game) and bots moving too well, and/or I just wasn't really good at it. Sometimes it seems as though they were acting like ghosts staying behind my back as I made circles in one spot. The droids seem shakey and don't move with the camera.

 Like CloudStrife7 puts it on Google Play March 2, 2012 "Ok. Seems fun, but droids are shakey and don't move with camera" that well.

Maybe with better phone hardware and future updates of the app, this would run even smoother. However, Waves can simply be retried. Menu's are easy to navigate too. The sound effects and background music are decent.

. All in all, it's a really interesting and unique app that can certainly be fun and mind blowing. It's a new use of your camera and a new kind of game. With other 100K downloads and an average user rating of 4.0, a low storage size, and with quick loads, it wouldn't hurt to give this a try.

Wow right?

Friday 22 June 2012

Ceramic Destroyer - Slingshot Mines

So this week I discovered two apps that I should had known about earlier. The first one was the Coupon App. This review will be on the second app, Ceramic Destroyer. My little brother had been playing this for quite some time already (and he doesn't even review apps). Shoot sticky bombs at ceramics. Destroy up to 90% of the object to move on to the next level. This app isn't violent as the word "destroy" suggests. Your weapon is a Catapult (like a slingshot) with springs used to repel your shots at the target. High quality sound effects (cracking, exploding, shooting, clicking) and very nice looking coloful visual effects give this game a really good presentation.

Over 5 million Downloads and still counting.

That's no surprise considering how fun it is.

4.7 out of 5 stars average user rating on Google Play.

FREE with lots of different ceramic shapes to demolish.

Aim and shoot like a bow and arrow or like in ....Angry Birds.

The game is simple and easy to learn. That doesn't mean it isn't any fun. More strategy has to be used as the levels get harder. The tutorial teaches you what each shot does. It just misses a few things. Nothing minor, because the game is simple. No directions are actually needed as you can probably learn with trial and error(so you don't really need to read on), but it delivers a nicer experience if you're not having to learn by experience only. Plus an App/Game feels more complete and well polished that way. 

I don't think there was a text/tutorial letting you know that you can switch your current attack item with the next one (like in tetris, but without the hold). The app also forgets to tell you that shots bounce off the screen. Mines or Mini-Bombs (set by the level or player) don't explode by themselves, only when hit by other explosions. Pretty shiny lines connect mines to let you know that the mines are within exploding range of each other. So if one of them goes off, the other will too. Faded Icons or Symbols that slightly resemble each of the four Bombs will appear on some levels. Explode an area that overlaps enough of that icon, and you will receive more ammo of that type.

As far as I know it's impossible to have two shots on the screen at the same time (Blue and Green)

There are four kinds of bombs you can use. (they are simple to learn, as the tutorial teaches you)
Green Bombs - Sticks to the hit area and explodes after a few seconds.
Blue Bombs - Shoot it normally, then tap the screen to split it into 3 smaller bombs (mines). IF you don't split up the Blue Bomb, it will explode on impact like a Green Bomb.
Yellow Orange Bombs - Shoot normally, then tap to place a mini-bomb with each tap(the shell will travel over the ceremic, up to 3 times. The shell will explode at the end of it's course.
Purple Pink Bombs - Shoot, then slide or swap your screen during flight to adjust it's course. You can't control the bomb like a computer cursor, more like paddling a boat. This will explode after a set amount of time.

Very Rarely there are two errors that can occur. First, the catapult shoots from your release point instead of moving forward and then releasing the bomb. Second, the bomb sometimes flies towards you(down on the screen) after reaching the release point instead of flying towards the targeted ceramic.

Miscellaneous Thoughts:
The Yellow shots remind me of a Magnum Revolver handgun and look more Orange.
The Purple shots look like magical energy.
This game is FUN.
The Green Bombs reminds me of the sticky bombs Batman (Christian Bale) on a building in Hong Kong in the Dark Knight. After you play the App come back here to Watch the dramatic action scene below to refresh your memory and see what I'm talking/writing about.

I wonder if my younger brother is better than I am at this game? He's 7 years young.