Friday 28 September 2012

Downton Abbey App

Downton Abbey on iPad
For those fans of Jessica Fellowes' Downton Abbey series you now have your own Downton Abbey app.
As far as iPad niche apps go this is probably one of the most obscure that we've seen. Our British readers will know of the soap that chronicles the lives of those upstairs and those down below, for our American and other readers despite the ominous sound of 'Those below' ,Downton Abbey is not some cult gothic horror now brought to vivid life via the app on you IPad; but merely a British period drama of servants and rich folk set during Wartime.

If you're a fan of Downton Abbey the app will let you explore the Manor to your heart's content and find out more of the Fellowe's story that might not necessarily be in the third season of the rich period drama. Also look for more info about new characters like Martha Levinson and enjoy behind the scenes looks at season 3 of the NBC show. If you're not a fan it would be a hard job to convince you to like this niche television inspired app, but you could always explore it if British social class dramas are your forte! Enjoy niche app hunters!

Fantastic Titles now free on AppStore

Just a week after the iPhone 5 release it seems that game studios have gone crazy by discounting and making free many top class iPhone games for the end of the week. Here's a selection of the best free and budgeted games on the AppStore today:
Tiger Woods 2012 EA's top class titular golfing game is just a short year after its release now unbelievably free, what's even more exciting about this great free sports game is that it promises cross platform rivalry with Tiger Woods on console too.
TinyTroopers and The Last Driver are just two of the Chillingo games that have gone free, Chillingo promises that if you visit their Facebook Page you'll be kept abreast of even more of their apps being discounted all the way down to nothing this weekend.
GibsNGlory from the makers of Trenches is yet another free app that promises more of the same WWII action on IPad that we enjoyed before.Except now this alphas become a free IOS Zombie game with you playing the role of the Zombies versus the ravaging British Forces.
The Avengers Initiative is unsurprisingly heavily discounted this week. With the movie now out on DVD it's no surprise that Marvel Entertainment is promoting their brand with a sale. What's great though is that Avengers initiative is one of those games that we've been keeping an eye on for a while,with the opportunity to play as the Hulk and later other Marvel Heroes, console like IPad graphics and Infinity Blade like gameplay the app is well worth the sales price (£1.99 in the UK)
A console generation or two ago and we would have happily not only played but also been awed by Gameloft's Dark Knight. As it is the Batman starring title might not be the quality we'd expect on Xbox 360, but it's easily comparable to an Xbox game. What's not comparable is the AppStore sales price of 0.69 pence, we dare you to find even an 8 year old secondhand Xbox game at that price! So if you want similar gameplay to Arkham Asylum and Arkham City with some Battastic action then take advantage of Gameloft's generosity.
As more and more studios this weekend try to outdo themselves with sales and IOS game giveaways we'll try keep you informed and hope you join in the fun by adding those free apps you find in the comments section below.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

A Different Kind of Strategy Game (App Review)

Are you looking for a different kind or just a fun and great strategy game? Are you looking for a game with more details than just a typical flash game? Majesty: Northern Expansion clearly fits those two requirements. There's not many expansion packs on apps. That's usually a computer game thing. However the app DID originate from PC. It's original and unique playstyle doesn't give you direct control over your people. You give your warriors "incentives" to explore(blue flag) or fight(red flag) for you. Increase a flags reward to increase your influence. You have all your major classes of people from the chivalry days and more including knights(warriors), wizards(magicians), Paladins, Barbarians, Necromancers, Healers(not sure on the name), Dwarves, and Elves.

   I must admit that I haven't played the original Majesty:Fantasy Kingdom Sim. The first Majesty game was for the PC and Mac computers and was developed by CyberLore Stuedios in 2000.  In 2011 it was finally brought to your smart devices by the award winning developers of HeroCraft. The app version is quite popular, got declared one of the 5 Winning Games for Tablets by the New York Times, and has more than 100,000 downloads for the paid version.

While playing the game, it becomes clear that the game was a great PC game back in the days. The amount of details put into it's cartoon graphics are not just up to par with todays 2D app appearances, but even surpasses them. So much is going on in the background. During gameplay you can even get information map objects that in no way effects gameplay. The pixels are small, and that's a good thing. Attacks and effects are detailed. The animation of attacks are in sync with the timing of hp being taken away. Trees and rock formations must be walked around, but most of them may be build upon like flat ground. Each hero even has their own name. You don't name them, you just train them and they become available to your influence upon training. The controls are so smooth and precise that it's actually a little unbelievable that this wasn't first developed as a smartphone app. The tutor/adviser or explanations don't just stop after your first mission(tutorial). The extra noobie tips from the game remind you each match, most likely you didn't remember all the units from just the first time around.

Don't feel too much like you don't have any control over your team/minions/empire/kingdom. Decide when to upgrade your buildings or build new ones. Some buildings have requirements and if you try to build one without fulfilling those qualifications, the noticebar will alert you on what you need to work on. The bar will only tell you one of the requirements at a time, but there's usually only 1-2 requirements and they show up from this order (amount of warriors/heroes needed, then amount of gold needed). Other requirements may be to upgrade another building first, or to not currently have another type of building that cannot coexist with the one you are trying to build). If you are trying to make a building that you already have, the new one(s) will cost more than the previous one. Once buildings are destroyed, they are still detailed and can be build upon like it wasn't there.

    When starting you may not have a hero yet. No problem, your castle will have guards that will come and protect your settlement. They have average strength and defense and do not count as one of your heroes. However they are not influenced by your flags and do not level up. Specific buildings, called "guilds" are needed to build certain heroes. Tap on the building to access it's menu/options.Unlike other strategy games (Command and Conquer, Red Alert, Starcraft) you can only have up to 20 heroes maximum. So you can't just build an big army and go on the offensive. In fact, being too offensive in this game will leave less heroes for defense.When creating a hero, or upgrading, a blue progress bar will be shown below that building's health bar. You may not have a building "elven bungalow"  for elves and a building for dwarves at the same time. Having an Elf building doubles your income. Having a Dwarf building increases your building and possibly reconstruction speed. You have to choose. Elves use bows and arrows and can attack far range, but do less than average damage and can take less than average attacks. Dwarfs do little damage but they can take in a lot of damage.

Healers and Necromancers are dark and light versions of each other.  Both their buildings (at stage or level 2) enables a spell to bring up the dead, one by reviving and one by raising the dead. To activate this spell, you must select the fallen target and ues the spell before their body disappears. Necromancers may summon bones(you can also activate this spell once you have their temple) to help a certain hero(must target the hero). Healers automatically heal a surrounding allie. They tend to follow that allie and continuously heal that hero, but may not notice another allie that is close by that may need more help. Both healers and necromancers are fragile and can perish with two or less hits. Necromancers have a really annoying death scream upon dieing.  Luckily there are no mana/mp in the game, but activating a spell costs money.

Most levels only allow you to builder certain classes of heroes. This is usually predetermined and you cannot change it. For example, some of these levels (at least for the beginning) only allow you to build either the paladins, or the warriors of discord (you don't get to decide on these stages on who you prefer between these two).  These two types of heroes do the most melee damage and can take a good amount of damage and cost 1000 gold to hire. I've reached at least one level that didn't let you train any of these two damage dealers. It was a tough round. Mages do the most damage, even doing AoE damage, but can only take a hit or two.

Notes on Expanding 
 As your settlement in each match starts to bet bigger, you will get small houses randomly created around your buildings.  These increase your income, but can also be demolished by the enemy units. Once your settlement is big enough, you will automatically get water fountains to represent your wealth. IDK if these fountains increase any stats like income, but they look nice and will get attacked by enemies and look distasteful once destroyed. As you expand in an area, a sewer entrance/exit with rats that come out of it will appear randomly by your kingdom. These rats will attack your buildings. Usually a tower or two will be able to handle them(but will have more trouble if the rats get help from other attackers). After you have lost a good(or bad) number of heroes, a cemetery will appear that will generate skeletons that will attack you. Although they sound more dangerous than giant rats, they pose about the same level of danger to your neighborhood. If you're not sure what a building does, click on the unit. If you're in the build menu, you can highlight(tap) the building unit, then press the "?" button under the close menu (X) button to get more information. My only small suggestion for a fix would be to include this "?" option for heroes as well because it would be fair to know what they do before making their building and training them. I would also appreciate if the tax collectors were explained, kinda simple and not necessary, but it's an area that feels a little less polish compared to the rest of the game.

 That lightning spell along with that eye spell make the game a lot easier. For a small amount of gold the eye lets you look at an area without having to explore it or wait for heroes to come by after placing a flag. The lightning spell does a huge amount of damage to almost all enemy units except paladins, but come at a huge cost of gold (1500).

WARNING:Some people experience problems with saving their games. I myself had this issue for a few days. I kept trying to connect with the game with the server(allow it to access the internet), reinstall, and restart my phone before trying to play the game. It took a few annoying tries but once it worked, it got fun. Even with saving enabled, I recommend getting a match/round done within a day because for me if I waited too long I would forget the type of build I was going for and the direction in which the enemies were attacking me the most. Sometimes the game lags or slows down for a few seconds during late game. Also, it can my tricky to use spells on a hero during a fight. I once brought an enemy back to life. Try clicking on the unit to confirm who you're targeting before using a spell.

Retreating:You don't decide when your heroes retreat, they do. Once they do, they won't turn back for at least a while. Even though sometimes they can stay and fight with reinforcements, they are in panic mode and rush to get back to base. This makes them take damage that they could had avoided or they could had at least make their last seconds alive useful, but oh well.

If you haven't played before, after a few rounds you may start to wonder "There's a dragon in the main menu, so where are the dragon(s)?" Answer, be patient, they will come into the game. Dragons are cool and not suppose to be for beginner warriors to battle(except in Skyrim), so it would make sense that they would be used later in the game, like a boss. This rightup is a bit disorganized, tends to happen when there are so many different things for me to cover. I will add more to the article if I think of things that I might had left out.

As you will find in the user reviews of the app on Google Play, the game has it's hilarious storytelling moments. The humor really adds to the games experience unless you only want action, you can skip it too. I don't mind the explanations as to why I'm fighting(in a game), even if they are silly and funny. As far as I can tell their is a FREE Lite version with an "L" at the end of the app name. That one contains 3 levels according to one review(it isn't stated in the app description). The three levels don't go buy too quick in minutes so they should give you a good feel of how the full version will be like. The full version of the Northern Expansion costs $3.00 (not $2.99). You may also get the original Majesty app for $1.99 for it's L version for FREE. All four versions have a Google Play rating of 4.4(even number but odd how all of them have the same rating). That's not bad at all. This is still just a Lite review and guide, not a thorough walkthrough as the game walks you through a lot already. I didn't really give any strategy guide because I only played on normal(there's 3 difficulty levels), and part of the fun would be to come up and experiment with your own strategies. Give it a try and tell us what you think.


How to improve your score on One Epic Knight

run 10000m in One Epic Knight
One |Epic Knight All time High Scores
One Epic Knight is carrying on the great tradition of Temple Run as an addictive endless running game. If you haven't yet heard of One Epic Knight, you'll soon be addicted to achieving all the feats and running 10,000m into the dungeon. It is a slick and amusing game and lends a lot to the endless running genre. Set in an endless dungeon complete with traps, pits, monsters and lots and lots of loot your task is to get your knight as far into the dungeon as possible. Here's our guide to getting high scores in One Epic Knight.

There's plenty of appropriate power ups to be had in this IOS 3D runner and you need to consider your best tactics for using them. Firstly it's highly recommended to upgrade as soon as possible, both the sword and shield power ups will last much longer once you invest some money in them.
Spend gold in One Epic Knight
What to upgrade first in One Epic Knight?
So how does this help to get a higher score? Firstly you've got to remember that there's a score multiplier ; bash things with your shield- whether that be a cheeky wall in your way, a swinging scythe or even a creature and your score multiplier increases. Improve your shield and not only will a newer and tougher shield be yours, and very nicely graphically presented too-the upgrade even shows as a new type of shield-but your Epic Knight score multiplier will increase too.
And the same goes for the sword ,upgrade your weapon and it will be able to slice through even more creatures, gaining you an increased multiplier. An upgraded weapon is crucial to some of the achievements, for example try collecting 20 individual swords, extremely difficult, but when upgraded one pick up will give you Two or even more swords.
Strategy wise you've got to think whether you want to keep your sword and shield in case you bump into a creature or trap by accident or whether you want to increase your multiplier as fast as possible by bashing and slashing as soon as you make the pickup.
What does Rage and Mana Madness do?
If you pick up one of the turkey legs hanging from the ceiling you'll go into rage mode, for a limited time you can smash through obstacles and creatures and increase your multiplier. Upgrading this power up generally makes the rage mode last longer. Mana madness is the frantic adrenalin burst mode where your knight goes berserk and runs uncontrollably through the dungeon without your control. He'll destroy everything in his path and jump gaps and pick up every treasure for a limited time,all on autopilot. Beware when the Mana Madness mode runs out though as you'll quickly be back in control. We especially recommend the early Mana upgrades which make the crystals appear more frequently,as they seem to be rather rare otherwise.

One Epic Knight game guide
Feats in One Epic Knight
Other hints and tips for One Epic Knight
The 3D endless runner by Simutronics plays brilliantly on IPad and is very addictive, but to get the most from the game you're going to have to earn and invest that gold. We've tried to stay away from one use potions that give you boost starts or increase your score and tend to invest in mana/weapon and shield upgrades. Of note though is that treasure adds dramatically to your score so upgrading the loot makes more valuable jewels appear more frequently the deeper into the dungeon you get. There are many hidden areas in this Tiny Heroes spin off,so look for culverts to slide into, hidden doors and dragon's lairs to smash into in Rage mode or using your shield.
This is by no means a guide to One Epic Knight as it would be silly to give a sword slash by shield bash analysis of a frantic game like this, we will say that as far as AppStore endless runners go this is one of the funniest ones we've played, the main character has a lot of witty Monty Python like humour and the pacing is just right, now look forward to our guide to One Epic Knight Feats (achievements) coming soon ( now where exactly is that Dragon's Lair and Stairway to Heaven!!!)

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Qualcomm to make a real life Tricorder

We like it when mobile phones come up with new ideas ( hang your head in shame iPhone 5) , we like it even more when scifi tech becomes part of our everyday mobile use.
For StarTrek fans the Tricorder needs no introduction, for others this medical device of the future is a handheld machine that can diagnose ailments. Great so what does this scifi doctor have to do with current gen smartphones?
Medical Diagnosis for Mobile Phones
Qualcomm Foundation is the charity arm of the Qualcomm chip makers who seem to have their powerful mobile CPUs and GPUs in an enormous amount of Android phones and other mobile devices. They've teamed up with the Nokia Sensing X Challenge to come up with the Qualcomm Tricorder X Challenge: the contest seeks to bring medical sensing technology to smartphones in the future and aims to challenge developers and scientists to builds handheld device that will use sensors to diagnose up to 15 medical ailments.
The contest will run until 2015 but registration finishes in January.
The idea of a real Tricorder in your Android or IPhone is not as unrealistic as you would believe with even contemporary apps being able to read your pulse and act as diagnostics via questionnaire apps and Wiki like medical source materials . So if you want to register than look for the Qualcomm Foundation on the net or like me you can encourage them to add medical tech as well as phaser tech to the next generation of smartphones! Now that would make Captain Kirk jealous!

Monday 24 September 2012

Google Maps for iOS 6

Google Map next to Apple map
Google Maps vs Apple Maps
I want to use Google Maps on my iOS 6 iDevice has been a rallying cry across the internet over the last few days . So how do you replace the Apple Maps App on your new iPhone 5 or other iOS 6 using device?
How to use Google Maps in iOS 6

  • Go to on your iPhone 5

  • Give Google permission to use your current location by pressing  okay on the notification permission .

  • Add this to you iPad or iPhone's Home Screen (select  the share icon in the lower menu bar and choose the "Add to Home Screen Icon", then click "Add" in the top right hand corner.

  • That's it you're using Google Maps on your iPhone 5 again. The icon that you've added lets you use Google Mapping in iOS 6 if you have access to the internet. 
Reasons to use Google Maps on your Apple Device
Despite Apple putting a lot of effort into their maps app there has been an almost universal clamour against the nav enabled new addition to their iOS. Some claims have even gone as far as dubbing the app dangerous! Google Maps still provides a slicker experience, the indoor views of many locations are unparalleled and Google's multi sourced info about businesses and areas is still superior. Apple has been quick to point out that their cartography is crowd sourced and will be continually improved. The above steps to use Google Maps on an updated phone or iPad are of course temporary and Google's dedicated Mapping app is apparently going through app store approval as we speak.

Sunday 23 September 2012

Making the iPad Business Friendly

iPad Cases for business use
With all the upcoming developer and gaming conferences that we've got coming up (anybody else going to AppsWorld in London next week?) we're increasingly having to adapt our iPad usage from being 70 percent Gaming machine versus 30 percent Business (this popular app and gaming blog number amongst the business uses) to a slant more towards a business Pad.

I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of using MS Office functions (Powerpoint included-check out CloudOn for a small headsup) but going to keep this post simple and look more at the functional side of using an iPad as a business device.

Primarily what I'm considering is the best cases to transform your iDevice into a slick note taking do everything, go anywhere device. At the moment the SmartCover that I'm using simply doesn't cut it.After a lot of research into probably over a hundred different iPad cases the one that I'll be choosing for all my business needs comes from HappyOwlStudio. Their memory foam topper protective wrapping , "The Clutch" should fit most business needs. being not only a case but also a folio and a multitude of pouches for many devices, mobile phones, pens etc. it looks to be the most versatile of iPad cases.

Friday 21 September 2012

Magic: The Gathering now on iPad

The title says it all really: Magic : The Gathering is now on iPad! Just released the iOS collectible battling card game from Wizards on the Coast is a free download in the form of Magic 2013.
Of course in app purchases are supported but the initial starter decks are completely free with the download of Magic 2013. With the massive cult following of the premier and legendary card game we can expect it to be downloaded multiple times for the iPad, so no shortage of people to battle against then. We will be bringing a full review of Magic 2013 to you as soon as we've sorted the decks out and won our first few battles!
After a few single player games of MtG 2013 Planeswalker it's apparent that it is a classy piece of work with some vibrant art. Having never played Magic before it was quite baffling, but the tutorial and pop up hints were very handy. If you're going to take the deck building game seriously though you'll definitely need to use the in app purchase unlock. The most notable features missing from the free version are the majority of levels, only 5 levels of the single player Shandalar campaign are available but more cutting is the fact that you'll have to pay to be able to play online multiplayer.

What is iMpulse

iMpulse: Bluetooth gaming Fob for Android and iOS
We're in the business of playing mobile games for a living (and what a great living it is!), but there are still limits to the fun you can have with a mobile device. iMpulse is looking to add even more fun to mobile gaming.
What iMpulse does
Currently fund raising on Kickstarter iMpulse is essentially a key fob sized device that will sync with your Android or iPhone/Android and allow you to play games and control your apps with a real thumb stick and trigger buttons. There are a few products out that act as controllers for your Android and iPhone , but with its compact size and the ability to connect to your phone with Bluetooth we haven't yet seen a phone controller as versatile or so darned nifty as iMpulse.
So a Bluetooth joypad for your Android/iPhone 5 is that it? No, because the makers have clearly put a lot of thought into iMpulse and it has a massive feature set that really makes
us want to see the Kickstarter gaming project succeed. Design wise it is deliberately made to be key fob sized so it can fit on your car or house keys, and this provide a handy way to locate lost keys by using your mobile. It's designed to be tough, so from initial pictures it appears that the controls will be protected by a slide out panel. So you'll just keep it unobtrusively in your pocket until the time comes to deploy it for some mobile gaming. It can also be used to remotely control your mobiles camera and media playing facilities with the buttons and thumb stick doubling as volume controls and camera shutter controls.
So as mobile gamers we are very, very excited about iMpulse's Bluetooth game pad possibilities and wish the makers all the best in acquiring their Kickstarter funding for a very exciting new way of playing games on our IPhone 5's !

Ratfishing....wait Rat Fishing?

Okay, one more review on a fishing app. This fishin app is different however in that it doesn't Here the term fishing is used like the meaning "to lure". You lure out the rat because you probably don't want rat around or it's your job to clear them out. No fishing pole or fishing equipment is required. No having to choose the correct bait and tackle and weight/sinker or bobble. No hooking body parts. Just your smartphone. You get the idea.

How to play: Tap a spot on the screen (must be on the sky) to drop a piece of cheese that will fall from your tap. Once your cheese lands, it will start spreading an aroma for a certain distance. When a rat smells the cheese, they will become rat zombies and walk towards the cheese. In this world, there is almost always a way for them to fall off and disappear. So far they only towards smelled cheese, and their home. Each rat only has one home. I don't think they share routes like in the real world.

 There are other obstacles and techniques to get rid of them. Skip the rest of this paragraph if you don't want to know those spoilers. Drop rocks/boulders on a rat and that rat will be gone. Lure a rat into a screened area and you can fruit ninja their necks(hack and slash). I sometimes struggle with this slashing as it doesn't read my cuts really well. Maybe it should autocut when it understands what I'm trying to do. Drop Cheese onto rocks to start getting them to move. A rat is able to move a rock if it wants to. For example if it smells a piece of food behind a rock, it will push that rock in the direction of the cheese until it can't smell it anymore. Then it will go back to it's hole. If it's on the return to it's home and rock stands in its way, it can just keep moving forward with the rock until it reaches home. There are surely more tools and objects in the application. I haven't gotten very far in the game. Admittedly I'm stuck.

Ratfishing is available on both Google Play(FREE for Android) and the App Store($1 for Apple).On Google Play the smartphone application has over 100,000 downloads and an average rating of 4.3. Although the gameplay seems easy at first, it starts adding new tricks at an acceptable pace. The colorful graphics are not bad either and run smooth(no problems yet). You can also say that the mouse voices are cute.

Happy trappings.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Games optimised for the iPhone 5

Game studios have moved fast to update their AppStore products to make the most out of iOS 6 and the new iPhone 5's 4 inch screen. After all even though all apps will still work on the new iPhone who wants to play with big black bars on the screen?
List of the Best IPhone 5 Optimised Games

  • Minecraft - Pocket Edition 
  • Tiny Tower
  • Temple Run
  • W.E.L.D.E.R.
  • Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy
  • Touchgrind BMX
  • Bag It! HD 
  • Blast-A-Way
  • Happy Street
  • Siegecraft
  • Phoenix HD 
  • Clash of Clans 
  • Lili 
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Agent Dash
  • Spelltower
  • Eternity Warriors 2
  • Battle Nations 
  • Frontline Commando
  • JAM: Jets Aliens Missiles
  • Blood & Glory 2: Legend
  • Touch Hockey 2 
  • Hay Day
  • Stardom: The A-List
  • Nanosaur 2
  • Ironworm
  • Wild Blood
  • Asphalt 7: Heat
  • The Amazing Spider-Man
Now if that excites you wait until games start to be released on to the AppStore that are made with the iPhone 5 in mind. Of course it's not just the new,and much needed 4 inch screen, that needs to be taken advantage of. You know what secret device we're talking about, what all the hermetically sealed away Apple scientists dressed in mens scrubs have been working on:The new A6 CPU. With its 1 Ghz dual core the CPU promises speeds up to twice as fast as the 4S and this extra processing power needs to be taken advantage of. So far one of the biggest releases promised to make full use of the iPhone 5's extra horse-power is EA's Real Racing 3 and the new gaming blurb is "Time-shifted asynchronous multi-player". With the mobile being released on to the open market tomorrow we can't wait to see which A6 only optimised games will soon follow and what other uses studios will make of the extra power.

How to use the Clash of Clans Spell Factory

Clash of Clans Healing,Lightning ,Rage Spell
How to Use the Clash of Clans Spell Factory
Yes, I know it's another Clash of Clans article, but with the new updates these articles have been so popular that we've just got to keep on writing them! The Clash of Clans Spell Factory has just been added to the game and I'm sure you're as excited as we are to start using that magic to win your Clan Battles.

How to use The Clash Of Clans Spell Factory
The initial build of the magic crucible will take quite a few hours. That's the first delay to expect before you can get some serious wizardry on the go. Once you've created the Spell Factory you then need to create your spells. Again expect some hours before they are ready to use. At the moment we are creating a Lightning Spell-this will cause 300 Splash Damage to units and takes 14 hours to create! The factory can also be upgraded to a level 2 factory-allowing you to use the Healing Spell (400 Healing -area effect) and then finally to a Level 3 Spell Factory which enables the Rage Spell (Units Damage increases to 130% and Speed by 20).

Spells are like troops and only a certain amount can be stored for use. It seems that a level 1 factory will only be able to store 1 spell at the moment. In the interest of balancing the game I suppose that makes sense.
Spells themselves can be upgraded from the laboratory, just like you upgrade troops. Whereas a builder is required to upgrade the Factory itself which will allow you access to higher level spells (Heal and Rage) and also increase the capacity.
Another exciting thing to look forward to is the fact that at the moment there are 2 empty slots for spells which definitely hints that yet another update with more spells will be ready in future.

Once we actually field test these spells we'll let you know how much of a game changer they are!

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Massive Update to Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans Spell Factory
Latest Clash of Clans Update ,now with Spell Factory!
Yet another update to the phenomenally popular Clash of Clans has arrived. The previous update brought some minor changes like Hidden Tesla Defences, this Clans update is absolutely huge with many new features. And good news for potential IPhone 5 and next gen Touch owners with built in support for your devices.
For regular and higher levelled Clanners we can now enjoy:
  • The Clash of Clans Spell Factory: spells include the Rage,Lightning and Healing Spell.
  • The New Battle Log is a brilliant feature. I can't wait for my village to be attacked now as I'll be able to replay the entire attack,find weaknesses in my defence and also perhaps learn some Alternative defence strategies rather than a giant or Archer rush strategy.
  • Higher level town halls allow you to add an extra wizard tower to bolster up your defences even more.
  • Visual improvements for upgraded troops. For example my level three archers now seem to be using fire arrows, and if you've upgraded a unit using the laboratory you'll now be able to see their rank as depicted by stars next to the unit.
  • iOS 6 supported with new Game Centre achievements.
  • And now for a disappointing new feature: You will now need a builder to build walls.Previously this was a builder free task, now even though the build is still instant you will have to free up one of your workers. A definite irritation factor as the higher up the levels you get the longer buildings take to construct. When you've got a lot of Gold lying about, it used to be the case that it could be spent on wall upgrades. Rather than leaving all that stored resource ready to be captured by a strong opponent.

A few other tweaks in housing , battle mechanics and other areas have also been added.
We can't wait to get that spell factory churning out some destruction and see a replayed battle in action.
Problems with Clash of Clans since the new update
Update: Since this mornings new features have been added I've found the game to be quite slow to load and the matchmaking seems slower than ever. A temporary solution for a non loading game is to just quit out and then stop the game from running altogether on your system. For example on an iPad, if Clash of Clans fails to load since the update then quit out of the game. Now double click the "Home" button and a list of recent and background running apps should come up in the tab. Long press any icon and they will all have a "minus" sign next to them. Just click that minus to stop all Clans activity and the next time you load it up it should proceed as normal. At the moment clearly there seem to be some server issues, perhaps as many people are logging on to download all the new and good stuff. For now persevere and we anticipate all problems clearing in a day or two.
Latest Info from Supercell to fix lag issues:
Supercell's official Facebook announcement as of 30 minutes ago:Maintenance break! It will fix lagging and connection issues, and we will be monitoring the situation. Thank you for your understanding and for your patience, we're working hard to get everybody back online!

Tuesday 18 September 2012

All the features of iOS 6

Guide to iOS 6
All the features of iOS 6
Apple's  new operating system  iOS 6 --will be released to iPhone and iPad users on Wednesday,19 September just prior to the iPhone 5 launch. Lack of overwhelming excitement for the iPhone 5 with its evolution rather than revolution of previous handsets,might yet be saved by some very exciting and overwhelmingly brilliant features of iOS 6. List of devices that will support iOS 6: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and iPad 3 (new iPad) and iPod touch 4G (the iPhone 5 will run the os out of the box)

All you need to know about iOS 6
Say good-bye to Google Maps, as Apple's own bespoke maps app comes online with the new operating system,Facebook becomes even more deeply embedded, and Siri will not only get some exciting updates but will now also be  supported on the other suite of Apple devices rather than just the iPhone 5 (and 4S), that's right you can now use Siri on the new iPod Touch and third-generation iPad starting Wednesday.
At the moment over 200 hundred innovations,improvements and fixes are set to roll out with the update, this article will take you through some of the most important:

Maps:Google Maps will be a thing of the past for iOS, Apple's Maps application includes new vector-based 2D map elements, 3D maps, detailed traffic conditions. Finally turn by turn navigation will be available too (albeit much later than most Android Flagship phones, a handsfree future is on the cards as Siri is deeply embedded in the Apple Map app and is not reliant on the device being unlocked.

Siri: Siri will now be usable on the new iPad and iPod touch models as well as the telephone handset. Aside from the incremental improvements that would be expected Siri will also be able to voice launch applications and post to Twitter and Facebook (Samsung's S Voice already does this-does this mean a potential patent lawsuit in the future-most likely) ! Foursquare has been very much more integrated into Siri and Football results are now much easier to get-whether the Foursquare and business support for Siri migrates to the UK and the rest of the World remains to be seen.
Facebook Integration: Previously Twitter allowed easy sharing of i Device content, now Facebook follows suit and also syncs its Events with Apple's iOS Calendar.
Phone Features: We mustn't lose touch of the fact that essentially the iPhone 5 is really just a very,very sexy telephone (albeit one Alexander Graham Bell wouldn't recognise) Apple hadn't touched the general Phone feature since it was introduced in 2007 with the first iPhone. In iOS 6, Apple has created more options for users to deal with incoming calls, including options to reply with a quick message, or a reminder to be set for a certain time or a certain place.
And now for those on the move who love FaceTime but aren't always able to get to a WiFi hotspot finally mobile networks including 3G will support Facetime.

Features From OS X "Mountain Lion": Just as Google Chrome allows users to continue browsing the web through multiple device synchronisation so will iCloud and Safari enable a similar synchronization of browsing tabs across laptops,computers and different Apple devices.

Passbook: As mentioned, iOS 6's "Passbook" keeps digital tickets, coupons, loyalty cards and gift cards organized in a simple location.  Passes in your Passbook can be time and location based, so if your flight gets delayed or you arrive at a Starbucks location, the user is immediately notified and Passbook is immediately launched.

Clock for iPad: Finally some basic clock function s come to the iPad with iOS6 :alarms, timers, and the ability to see the time in different places around the world.  Alarms is one of the more exciting features: Users can set their alarms, but also flip the screen to see their alarms all laid out on a planning calendar. The iPad Clock can also let the user choose any song from their iTunes Library to create as their alarm, this could very well spell the demise of non Apple clock apps.

Find My Friends Optimized:  "Find My Friends," which let users search and discover their iOS-owning friends on a map. In iOS 6, users can opt to receive alerts when a friend enters or leaves a certain location, which Apple calls "geofencing." In other words, if you're a worried father about his daughter's first trip to New York City for an interview, you can set up an alert to tell you when your daughter arrives in the city, and you can also alert yourself when she leaves the city, or arrives at the train station nearby. It's extremely useful for anytime people need to coordinate meet-ups, or if parents need to check on their kids' statuses when traveling.
Bluetooth Enhancements: Bluetooth is enhanced and easily accessible.
Updating Apps: No longer will you need to enter your password to update apps. The annoyance of being sent to the devices homescreen when an app download is chosen is a thing of the past too and you'll be able to stay on the Appstore and browse and download to your heart's content from that one area.
Accessibility issues addressed in iOS 6:  With integration into Maps, Zoom, and AssistiveTouch, Apple is looking to help blind or low-vision users, and the company is also looking for hearing aid solutions to give its users a quality audio experience.
"New" Banners: Newly downloaded apps will be tagged with the new banner to keep track of your myriad downloads.
Other assorted features in iOS 6( for full list seethe Apple Website)

Lost Mode (Send a phone number to lost device, which can be called with single tap)
Location-based reminders for iPad
Manual location entry for reminders
Autocorrection for every keyboard
Word highlights for speak selection
HDR improvements
IPv6 support for Wi-Fi and LTE
App in Safari search results
Music ringtones
Updated sharing menu with large icons

The new and revamped Apple operating system promises some very sexy features and goes hand in hand with their improved hardware.
Many thanks to Dave Smith of the International Business Times whose original article provided much of the inspiration and research needed to write our article.

Monday 17 September 2012

Maple Story's Champions Update

Nexon America has released a new trailer to preview MapleStory’s upcoming Champions Update, set to go live on Sept. 25. The Champions Update will introduce completely overhauled Warrior, Magician, Bowman, and Legends characters. Additionally, players will be able to prove their battling skills and emerge as a champion in “Grand Battle,” the new upcoming player-versus-player (PvP) mode. Grand Battle will only run during certain hours of the day and makes PvP mode easier by automatically matching players up based on their character’s level. For their efforts, champions – and those defeated in their Grand Battle challenges – will receive Gallant Emblems, which can be collected and exchanged for equipment. Participating players will also receive an EXP bonus for their efforts.

Spearfishing App (Saltwater Style)

During my fishing apps binge I stumbled upon this Spearfishing app. It isn't exactly fishing, however, you do get fishes in it. Go underwater in first person view in search for specific species of fish or just collect enough fishes for the total weight objective before time runs out. The 3D environment is really smooth and nicely done. It brings a certain liveliness that you wouldn't expect to have besides perhaps on a high end device. These fishes aren't just pictures that move, they actually swim!

Tuna included, they're just not edible and might be called groupers in the app.
Your HUD is through a point of view from inside a scuba gear diving mask. Paddle to swim faster. Your oxygen level is displayed in a yellow tank towards the left of your nose(your left). If you find yourself running out of oxygen, go back up to replenish your oxygen supply. Shoot/Release your spear and your POV will be from the spear as it follows it's trajectory. Kinda cool.

 What's that health percentage you may ask? Well, you are in the ocean so the game includes probably the sea's most feared creature, the shark. But that's not all, another dangerous sea creature also lurks in the game, the deadly stingray. Shoot them, on purpose or on accident, and they will pursue you for a few seconds(at least until they get a shot at you). One shot will hurt you 50%. How do you restore or get 75% health if they do 50% damage? Well, luckily for you this is a game, so there are some gray boxes of health at the ocean floor to help you from getting that "game over" screen. Tip: If you don't attack the sharks/stingrays then they won't attack you. Even if you swim right next to their mouths. Treat others like you would want to be treated, especially while you are in the water and if they are bigger, stronger swimmers in the water that are known for killing. The golden rule even applies here.

There is a Lite Version that is FREE and a paid version(Spearfishing Pro). The paid version of course has a few extra features like more fish species, more levels, and no ads. Both can be found on Google Play and was brought to you by the developers at Sparkin' Apps LTD. The free version definitely gives you a taste of the full version.

The graphics aren't super detailed and the ocean seabed doesn't look like the ones found in Pixar's Finding Nemo. But don't forget this is your phone simulating. The 3D environment doesn't look that bad. Plus Spearfishing 2 just came out a few days ago I believe. It also has a lite and a pro variant. The graphics seem to have been improved, naturally. I'll probably be checking it out after this post. Sea you later.

Sunday 16 September 2012

The Future of Music Technology

As current or prospective musicians in love with how technology can enhance your music profiles you should be very excited on changes that iOS 6 and it's updates will bring in the very near future.
It's long being rumoured that ITunes and it's much beloved and easy to use professional interface is due to move towards a subscription based model in the future. Some of you musos will be breathing a sigh of relief that this is not yet due to happen, even when IOS 6 rolls out around about October time. Others with more economic savvy will be praying for just the opposite to happen.
So when will ITunes become subscription only?
It is estimated that iTunes sells 70% of online digital music, but other entertainment based subscription services such as Netflix and Rhapsody seem to be thriving on the subscription model. Whilst iTunes music downloads remain lucrative there seems to be little reason for Apple to change their tune, so unlike Wall Street Journal's prognostications for an imminent change we believe that only when Apple truly sees a tangible decline in music sales that a subscription model will become the music industries foremost download services norm. 

Excelsior: Stan Lee and Apps

Stan Lee: Bringing more Heroes to iPad Apps
When you hear phrases like " Stan Lee can't be separated from his iPad", (to paraphrase Matt Kozlov; the CEO of Moonshark-more about them later in this article), you can't but help to be massively excited if you're in the app business (be you a consumer,journalist or studio).

Twice today doing app research I've come across the man; the legend Stan Lee, mentioned in conjunction with apps. You're going to love this article if you're a fan of Marvel, or Stan Lee and his creations and love mobile apps and games.

Interactive Apps starring Stan Lee
iPad app starring Stan Lee's Narration
With Avengers and Avengers Origins -and yes the multitude of apps that they are spawning, some rather good like the newest Incredible Hulk themed Avengers App, comics are cool (again). Of course debatedly the Grand Daddy, the master of all, the graphic novel genius (before they were even known as graphic novels) is Stan Lee. Today I had the pleasure of stumbling across "The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story" . Spanning multiple genres from iPad borne graphic novel, to interactive book, to simple  super hero themed game the Super Hero Origin Story app, while highly polished and entertaining, stood out for an incredible reason: The app is narrated by Stan Lee himself!

The Origin stories uses many iPad features
The app harks back to the classic days of 1960's Spiderman and does an incredible job of leveraging the iPad's many features. Not only does the iconic voice of Stan Lee pace you through the gloriously HD story with artwork so reminiscent of a classic Spider-Man, but mini-games also act as small interludes to progress the narrative. These mini games can be played at any time through the pop up menu and aside from reaction timed touch screen escapades like firing off Spidey's web to swing between buildings, even the accelerometer is used in some chapters( Peter Parker's first wrestling match on iOS never felt so tangible). The mini games all bear relevance to the source material, there is not a Japanese puzzle box in sight here; but good solid Bam!Pow! old school heroics antics.

It's this kind of cross genre App encapsulated Marvel magnificence that makes Stan Lee starring iPad apps so brilliant. Excelsior indeed.
Apps created by Stan Lee: Verticus
Moonshark+Stan Lee = Verticus
Stan Lee's next Big App
Perhaps with all the Avengers excitement and Origin Stories being so popular ( the web slinger's digital story is free by the way and one of three Lee narrated digi tales: the other two being The Incredible Hulk and *tie in alert* The Avengers digital book). It's natural that this tech loving ; world and hero crafting savant is looking to do more with mobile games. Pow!Entertainment (owned by Stan the Man) has combined with a start up known as Moonshark. At the last Comikaze Expo the announcement for the Verticus Mobile game was made.
We're sure Lee's influence has been a driving force behind the creation of the future  Verticus iPad game, but he has the title of official consultant for the mobile game. Not only that,but just like his narration of the Origin Stories Apps Stan Lee will become directly involved in this app, starring as the protagonist's Mission Commander.
Double Excelsior!
Enjoy the Digital Graphic Novels which are out now and keep your ear to the ground for more news of Moonshark/Pow!Entertainment's Verticus which will hopefully be released this Fall.

Cap my...Photo Review-Photo Captioning for iPhone

Apps for iphone 5 camera
Cap My Photo...Plus
The iPhone in all its variations, including the soon to be released iPhone 5, has always had a camera to be proud of. But what about the apps to go with that iOS camera?

Cap my ...Photo seeks to bring some fun into your mobile camera experience. Much has been said about the 5 element lens and low light features of the latest iPhone camera, but the fact remains that no matter how good your picture is ,if it doesn't have that certain flair and attraction it's going to be yet another picture of a sleeping baby or banal birthday party. 

By taking pictures with Cap my...Photo (or using a previously snapped pic from the gallery) you'll have access to a bunch of fun features. With a few photo frames on offer to enhance your images the apps main selling point is the captions that it randomly assigns to your photos. Here's the lowdown on the caption app: You'll select a photo and it will assign a caption to it. That's the basic premise fleshed out with a few photo frames, font and text colour choices. You'll then be able to take that captioned photo and share it in the normal email and social network ways. 

The app has a low pricepoint and is currently on sale which is a definite plus. Hundreds of captions are promised which certainly adds a bit of fun to your iphone photography. For a budget app it's certainly worth a few laughs but could be upgraded with a few more features and perhaps a menu to select captions based on genre or even quotations from movies and other famous sources. 
Cap My...Photo Link

Tiny Bang Story: Android Hidden Object Game of Exquisite beauty

Tiny Bang Story now on Android
With a ponderous amount of Hidden Object Games on Android phones and most other mobile devices, some good,some bad but mostly rarely ugly, at your first glance of The Tiny Bang Story,you'd be forgiven for letting out a jaded adventure gamer's sigh. That feeling will last all of two minutes before a remarkably vivid and beautiful world mesmerises you.

And it's at that stage of the game that you realise that it's not just another Android HOG but something delightfully surreal and different. If you insisted on squeezing Tiny Bang into a genre then it could be best described as a Hidden Object/Puzzle genre. And it works really well , especially on the a larger screen phone like the Galaxy S3. If you're a Machinarium fan than have no doubts whatsoever, you are going to love this.

In a world shattered by an interstellar catastrophe you as the faceless protagonist are charged with resculpting the delightfully vivid , hand drawn world. I choose the word 'sculpting' very carefully as this world is truly a magnificent fragile work of art. A steampunk lite creation of quaint and whimsical objects await those lucky enough to venture into the realm
of the Tiny Bang Story.
Once in this world contextual puzzles and hidden objects lay littered about waiting for you to puzzle and seek out.
What is most remarkable about this app is how it is entirely dialogue free,simple diagrams and scene setting carry you forward with a rechargeable hint system to help you out.

As somebody who often gets frustrated with Android Hogs I was expecting similar before I began my review. I'd be remiss if I didn't say there was a little bit of frustration,but the compelling atmosphere of the beautiful world and ethereal music always seemed to buoy me along when stuck on the app( followed by one or two trips to Help Forums for this Hidden Object Game).

This app was reviewed via a Samsung Galaxy S3 and makes the most of a bright and colourful mobile screen. The Tiny Bang Story will mesmerise you.

Lord of the Rings 3D LWP

         The Lord of the Rings Franchise is well known by almost everyone. With this 3D Live Wallpaper you can enjoy your smartphone at a little more. Bring your Precious with you wherever you go. Most people who look at the phone should be able to recognize where that golden ring with engravings is from. If that isn't enough, there is a 3D environment background that can be viewed using the accelerometer in your phone. What's the background? It is  the Dark Tower (Barad-dur), easily noticeable with the Eye of Sauron on top of it. Use the accelerometer and you may also see another location. It's only Mount Doom where the ring was forged and many of the main characters in the Lord of The Rings Movie Trilogy tried to reach (by starting the Fellowship of the Ring) because that's the only place where the ring can be destroyed. The power to possess the ring if FREE on Google Play from Ragecreations.

The Lighting, engraving details, angles and smoothness of the app is amazing even without using its highest settings. Change the way the ring spins/rotates. The speed of rotation can also be altered. Scroll to different homescreens and that changes the zoom on the ring a little. A cool use of having different home screens.

According to the developer, restarting your phone after installation helps the application run smoother.

Become your own lord of THE ring. I usually don't keep Live Wallpapers on my phone in fear of battery drain, plus they usually have cookie cutter graphics /jagged edges and look really unprofessional. This Live 3D wallpaper is truly an exception with real 3 dimensional graphics.  This App comes out just in time for bragging rights as The Hobbit Trilogy will surely refresh peoples minds as to what this ring is.

 Be careful on your quest for the ring. When you tap on a setting, what pops out may not always be a toggle option. An ad may pop up. The app does try to stay friendly with a warning every time you enter the  main settings screen; a disclaimer is shown saying that if you click on one of the ads, your number and email may be shared with the ad provider/website. So just make sure to watch where you tap. Once your setup is done, you are good to go. There are no advertisements on the wallpaper, except the actual ring of the lord of the rings. It's a cool advertisement though.

Friday 14 September 2012

Three Games that Increase Your Health

Have you ever considered using an app for more than just personal entertainment? How about getting some games for your mobile device that double as a workout coach or running buddy? Here are just a few of the different types of fitness apps available currently that will be able to entertain you like any other video game, but will also help you meet your fitness goals in the process!

Zombies, Run!: So you like fun zombie games for your iPhone? Zombies, Run! is the definitely for you! This app is completely interactive, and you simply begin the game each time you start your running workout. The cool thing about this game is that you can set your own course for you run, in fact, it can even be played on your home treadmill! Whatever route you decide to take, the game will communicate with you through your headphones and let you know when a flesh eating zombie is coming a little too close. If you don’t pick up your pace, you will surely be eaten. As you go throughout your run, you can collect survival supplies to ensure that you are prepared to fight off any zombies that are too close for comfort. Think of this app as a live version of any other type of “get away from the bad guys” game. You will surely be entertained and break a good sweat while playing! Zombies, Run! sells for $7.99 on the app store.

Missile Wars: If you like playing interactive multi-player video games, don’t worry, you can still work out at the same time! Missile Wars is a fun game that can be played with friends or even strangers in your vicinity who are also playing the app. It uses a gps system to show the location of other players, and any player can send a missile to a target within the surrounding area. If you are in the “blast zone” you have 60 seconds to get out of there before the missile hits and kills you. The more players involved, the more fun it is, and you can get a great workout from all that running around! Missile Wars is a free game from the app store, so it’s definitely worth a try!

Fit Freeway: If racing games are more your style, don’t just sit there while you race. Fit freeway is a cool app that allows you to become the race car on a track, and the really neat thing is that it can be used with several different types of gym equipment. So if running on the treadmill isn’t your thing, you can easily switch over to the elliptical or the stationary bike, and the motion detection used by the game will be able to monitor your progress! The app will keep you from getting bored at the gym, while also boosting your speed because the faster you move during your workout, the faster you complete your races. A free LITE version of this app is available, and the full version is only $1.99 on the app store. So you have no excuse to try it out!

By now it should be clear that apps can help you with your weight loss and dieting needs! Games don’t always have to be played sitting down! So if you are one of the “couch potato” gaming types, get up and start moving while you play! Your body will thank you in the long run.

This article was provided by, the source for all of your treadmill and fitness information!

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Up to date iPhone 5 News

We'll be updating this article as the day goes on, 12 September being the (un)official IPhone five release day.
News so far today: ITunes version 11 to be released(possibly with Spotify streaming options and ability to use NFC payments) leaked pictures of the new IPhone's motherboard confirming a quad core A6 chip, links on the Official Apple Website for a product called ,you guessed it, iPhone 5! Don't try to follow the links there yet as they are not live.
As and when more news on the release and related information comes in we'll update this article and either confirm or deny the 'facts' we've already released.
iPod Touch and Nano will be updated too.
Possibly the new mobile will come in a variety of colour schemes, some apparently quite vibrant.
Tim Cook has just taken the stage, time to see if he lives up to the SteveJobs hype machine and also time to make the handset rumours into fact.
Would Steve Jobs have talked about a Barcelona Apple Store's building materials as part of a keynote?
Apparently Macs have outsold Pc's in the states for the last quarter,ummm well done Tim,now tell us about the new IPhone!
iPhone 5 price and release date
Photos of iPhone 5 from Keynote speech
Now on to solid IPhone 5 facts straight from the keynote:

Iphone Graphics in action
  • Resolution: 1136x640 with a 4 inch screen
  • I weighs 112grams and is 18% thinner than the 4s
  • A taller screen means some apps will have a black bar at the top and bottom,but all will still work. iLife will be one of the stock apps to get an update.
  • 4g (LTE) is supported with EE even being mentioned confirming it will have the super fast network capability in the UK and Europe too.
  • Apple claims the A6 processor is twice as fast as its predecessors.
  • An EA racing game with an unconfirmed title is being used to showcase the phones power.(This EA iPhone 5 game was later confirmed to be Real Racing 3-complete with Ghost uploads to race against friends Cars "Ghosts"

  • The battery life of the new handset will exceed that of the 4S. The fact that the battery hasn't been massively bigged up suggests that there is no major tech change there.
  • It has a 25% lighter camera with a new low light mode
  • The new connector is known as "Lightning" to match up with the Thunderbolt data Cables.
  • Say Good-Bye to Google maps and now use the new Map App which is demoed with San Fran and Westminster.
  • iOS6 allows you to sync your web browsing in Safari across devices.
  • Passbook gives you a better way to manage your e-tickeys
  • Siri is more intelligent and integrates FourSquare (no word on whether this is international)
  • Prices for the iPhone 5: 16,32 and 64GB variants are priced at $199,$299 and $399 (the same as the release price for the 4S)
  • Release Dates for iPhone 5: 19 September it ships in USA and 21 September in UK
  • Apple Earpods promise "incredible acoustic quality"
  • A new "tidier" version of Itunes with great iCloud integration is coming out in October-this new version seems to be designed solely for the iPhone and Ipad and not for PC or Mac.