MOS Cable System Hardware Review

MOS Cable System Hardware Review

Nov 29, 2014

At any given time, I am blessed with an opportunity to review a lot of devices and accessories. I enjoy pitting products against each other, and I love the prospect of squeezing functionality out of our mobile devices by pitting accessories against each other. Survival of the fittest

There are very few downsides to this, but if I were to nitpick, I’d whine about the proliferation of cables. They are all over the place, seemingly sticking out of every outlet. With so many devices, and such a need for juice, it’s understandable, but even my workspace does descend into an infuriating pile of cables quite frequently.

This is where MOS comes in. MOS (Magnetic Organization System) is a simple setup that looks to save us from the chaos of cable with a simple main unit and optional secondary pieces.

As exemplified by the review box we received, the central piece of the solution is the MOS itself. It looks somewhat amorphous at first glance, but really leans towards a triangular presentation, with a curved top; it’s designed in such a way that it lightly rests on a surface, with a suction bottom. It is surprisingly portable, but not flimsy in hand, and feels polished with its black finish. The box also contains three magnetized cable ties, and an optional wall-mounting sticker. For those looking for color options, the MOS can also be had in white and/or anodized aluminum.

In essence, the MOS is a magnet. The idea is that it keeps the metal-ended cables we use daily in an organized fashion by having them adhere to it. In reality, it works well, too. The sleek design is very becoming, and the overall efficacy is increased with the optional ties.

mos2

Another element is the optional use of the well-made USB cables one can purchase with it. We go to work with the Indestructible line of cables: Spring micro-USB, Spring Lightning (for newer iOS devices) and 3.5mm male-to-male Spring audio cable. The inner conductors are all coated in a special woven exterior that protects while being flexible. They all have anodized aluminum ends that help with use with the MOS, and the manufacturer willingly parades a no-questions-asked replacement policy if the unit fails for any reason.

Impressive.

All together, the solution is an effective one that looks good. I like the design and the ability to use it in several ways. Refrigerator. Desk. Car. Living Room. It can be used just about anywhere a random cable appears. Also, the solution can be built to suit. On the flip side, having a magnet besides electronics does make a tad nervous. I’d also prefer more ties; extras can be obtained though.

All in all, this solution is a fine one with potential uses in different scenarios.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Pricing for the MOS can be found at the MOS purchase page.

Sniper 3D Assassin Review

Sniper 3D Assassin Review

Nov 29, 2014

Sniper 3D Assassin has the player assume the role of a consummate professional sniper. Perched on rooftops and sometimes at street level, each mission gives the player some background and a photo of the target. The player then finds this person among the throngs below and ventilates their head. No cheesy objective arrows here, just good old spotting!

Completing missions earns the player coins which are used to upgrade guns and even buy new ones. Extra cash is given for headshots.

Screenshot_2014-11-23-14-27-56Sniper 3D Assassin’s sniper action is lot of fun. You aim the rifle by tilting the device and this works extremely well and feels very precise. There is a shoot and reload button and reloading takes about four seconds at the outset, so players can’t afford to miss.

The game also likes to mix up missions, which keeps the game interesting. The target may be in a crowd of people and difficult to kill cleanly, in a moving car, forcing a well-timed shot or there may even be multiple targets or hostage situations. Killing an innocent fails the mission and rifle bullets go right though bodies like paper, so often the player has to think about how to take the shot. This is excellent stuff.

Sniper 3D Assassin has some annoying and easily fixed issues however. The worst one is the way that the reload button is right next to the bullets that are tapped to fire. This means that often the player will reload by accident, ruining missions and making misses very costly indeed. This could have been easily prevented by moving the button.

Sniper 3D Assassin also lacks a way to invert aim. Lots of players do not like their aim inverted in first person shooters but that is the only option here.

Screenshot_2014-11-23-15-09-38Freemium also makes an appearance, although not as overtly as some other games. The way that the game locks away missions until the player’s gun is upgraded enough is annoying, but the game often hands out enough coins to keep the gun upgraded. The game also features a dreaded energy system but players can get quite a lot of missions done before they bump into that barrier.

Lastly, some guns can only be bought with diamonds. Diamonds are rare as hen’s teeth and players will only get one when they level up unless they buy packs in game.

For the most part though Sniper 3D Assassin keeps its freemium out of the player’s face and it’s possible to enjoy the game without spending a penny.

Sniper 3D Assassin looks excellent. It feels very realistic as you scope down from a nearby roof and search for your target among the other passerbys below. The blood and gunshot effects are well done as well. The sound works well too, from the crack of your rifle to the hubbub of the city around you.

Sniper 3D Assassin is a very well done sniper game with a few silly problems that will hopefully be patched out. It has minimal freemium and varied missions and players should get at least a fun few hours out of it.


Recoil Winders Hardware Review

Recoil Winders Hardware Review

Nov 28, 2014

So, if you’ve been keeping tabs on our hardware reviews, you probably know that my latest rallying cry is organization. Yes, through all the fantastic accessories — and especially amid all the cables we use to power said accessories — we could all definitely use a helper or two when it comes to corralling the requisite wire.

Enter Recoil Automatic Cord Winders.

Its premise is quite simple: it looks to reduce clutter/promote organization by creating a method to “wind up” cables. Think of those extensible cables that one tugs on to make retract. Well, the Recoil Winders kind of takes that concept and runs with it. And, oh, it promises to do so without the ignominy of tangles and such.

The review box the manufacturer sent reveals an unassuming set of items; the winders come in three general sizes, and come in several different colors. The three pack set also has a storage rack to put the Winders in. Outside the box, the Winders look somewhat like a groovy roll of tape sans the tape. The inner barrel rotates on a spring axis, and has a clip. Now, the way it works is that the user takes cable he/she already owns and inserts it unto the Winder.

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To use it one with my USB cord, I folded it into per the instructions, and hooked it unto the unit. The piece automatically winds up the cord when the ends are pulled down, creating a tidy roll-up. Pulling upwards releases it, and releasing the tug locks the unit.

I tried it with several different cords… earbuds, charging cables, audio cables and more. Each time, the unit worked as advertised. My biggest concern is based off the “old school” all-in-one units, that almost always broke and/or gave in to kinks, but so far, the Recoil Winders have been flawless.

Big ups to the manufacturer for just about hitting the Golden Accessory Trifecta: price, choice and functionality. They’re intuitive in design, and the ability to use them with one’s existing arsenal is priceless.

RETRY Review

RETRY Review

Nov 28, 2014

RETRY is one of those games that is frustratingly great. Like the Flappy Bird of yore it is capable of frustrating the pants off of any player but also to keep them coming back for more.

Screenshot_2014-11-24-12-48-58RETRY’s concept is as simple as can be. The player guides a small yellow plane from the beginning of a course to the end. These courses feature lots of up and down slopes, small tunnels, water and sometimes even moving blocks. Along the way are checkpoints the player can unlock to begin again from that point.

The catch is that the plane controls very weirdly. Pressing down hard on the throttle causes the plane to flip and loop and eventually probably crash into whatever is above it. There are no directional controls. The player must control the plane entirely by pressing and releasing the throttle.

Screenshot_2014-11-24-10-52-30As awful this sounds it is also deeply satisfying. With careful use of the throttle the player can flip and loop though obstacles and feathering it at just the right rate allows the plane to glide along at the perfect angle and land safely. This is a lot of fun.

Whenever the player crashes, which will happen a lot, they can restart at a number of checkpoints found along the way. These checkpoints must be unlocked however. The player can use coins to unlock them. These coins are found along each course and often placed in positions that will cause players to crash if they aren’t careful when picking them up. Coins can also be bought with real money. Lastly – and this is the most controversial choice – they can watch a 15 second video ad to unlock the checkpoint.

RETRY embraces its old school vibe in a way few games have on Android. Older gamers will grin from ear to ear at this game’s presentation. A great fresh, colorful visual style with pixel art really gives RETRY that warm old school vibe that many games on the Play Store shoot for but few hit. The sound is extremely good as well. Dangerously catchy chiptunes warble away in the background and suit the game exceptionally well. The actual sound effects are very limited like you’d expect from an old game. There is the putt putt of the plane’s engine and the “tack” of smacking into yet another obstacle. Particularly great is the super triumphant sound that checkpoints make when you unlock them. RETRY is a smile stretcher.

For all its old school charm however RETRY feels a little dirty. The way the player can choose to watch ads to unlock checkpoints feels..unclean like the game is taking advantage of the player in a way games really shouldn’t. If the game wasn’t as hard as it is this would be less of a problem. The game also has an ad on its pause screen, which is less excusable. It doesn’t help that this is labelled “Rovio News” like its actually something interesting rather than the upteenth shrilling of a certain overexposed game license that should have ended long ago.

RETRY is fun stuff, a real challenge and it is a unique idea which isn’t often seen on mobile. Despite the insidious ad system RETRY is definitely worth a look.


All-Star Basketball Review

All-Star Basketball Review

Nov 28, 2014

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of basketball, meaning that I have no idea how the game is structured, what the player positions are, and even how long the rounds last. And that’s fine, because All-Star Basketball doesn’t require that kind of knowledge. Because it’s not a damn basketball game, it’s a free throw simulator. And it doesn’t actually have any stars – well, there are star shapes, which I guess is technically correct.

All-Star Basketball gives the player control over the loneliest basketball player in the world, whose pastimes include throwing a ball in a net in an empty stadium, throwing the ball in an empty field, and in a range of other equally empty locations.

The actual technique of proper throwing in All-Star Basketball is still a matter of guessing for me. To throw the ball, the player simply needs to flick the finger up the screen with proper speed. But the player changes positions every fourth throw, just when you get the correct way to throw, and then you have to guess it all over again. It’s not that difficult, of course, but it’s barely impossible to actually master it to get long series of throws. And it’s a requirement, All-Star Basketball 2since the longer your hit streak, the more gold and points you get. The gold is required to purchase levels, modes, other stuff, and play in multiplayer, and points are worth literally nothing.

The game modes, that are absolutely impossible to unlock, slightly change the throwing circumstances. I can only guess if they are more interesting than the original mode, since in two hours that I’ve played the game, I couldn’t even get closed to the sum required to unlock one. There’s also a multiplayer mode, in which the poor sod shares his seclusion with another guy. Both parties chip in for 25 gold, and whoever wins the series of free throws, gets the money.

All in all, All-Star Basketball is actually not a bad game, although it does take a whole lot of loading time to start playing, and the throwing mechanics could be more varied from “swipe at the right time and speed”. It’s got okay physics and what looks like a fair difficulty, as well as a great amount of gear to unlock, and even several game modes. I guess that it’s going to be fine for people who like simple sports sims, and aren’t put off by the ads.

Mmm Fingers Launches on Google Play

Mmm Fingers Launches on Google Play

Nov 27, 2014

Dexterity testing high score challenge game Mmm Fingers is making its Android debut today.

The game is based on randomly generated mazes, and looks to set itself apart from other games of the same type with the level of polish.

How long can you protect your fingers from the hungry monsters?!
Mmm Fingers is a fun, single touch high score game oozing with charm from the creators of Small Fry and Flappy Golf. Touch and hold the screen as long as you can. Don’t lift your finger or hit anything with teeth or else CHOMP, it is game over. Compete against your friends using in game leaderboards to see who can survive the longest.
Features:
– Leaderboards and Achievements
– One Touch Control Scheme
– No In App Purchases

As noted in the Google Play page, the game is completely free with no in-app purchasing.

[Source: Noodlecake Press Release]

Nightmares from the Deep: Davy Jones Arrives on Android and Amazon Appstore

Nightmares from the Deep: Davy Jones Arrives on Android and Amazon Appstore

Nov 27, 2014

The third installment of the hit G5 hidden mystery thriller Nightmares from the Deep is finally here.

Officially titled Nightmares from the Deep: Davy Jones, this new game pits our protagonist against Davy Jones himself.

Excerpts from the press release:

Bold Sarah Black dared to dare Davy Jones and lost. As a result, her daughter had to sign a lifelong pact with this fearsome sea devil! Now you must aid Sarah in launching a rescue mission in the latest adventure, Nightmares from the Deepâ„¢: Davy Jones, Collector’s Edition, from G5 Entertainment and Artifex Mundi. Download this spectacular gem of a game on Google Play or Kindle Fire and find out how your favorite hidden object adventure series of games ends!

Museum curator Sarah Black would never have imagined where her study of Davy Jones’ legend would take her. After mentioning his name during a lecture, the infamous ghost pirate’s ship suddenly appears on the horizon, and Davy Jones himself breaks into the museum to kidnap Sarah and her daughter. Now, in order to save her mother’s life, Sarah’s daughter Cory has agreed to a lifelong deal with him.

You’ll have to join Sarah in this unbelievable journey to escape the wrath of Davy Jones and rescue Cory. Discover surprising secrets about the otherworldly origins of the pirate’s island and awaken strange stone creatures, the guardians of Davy Jones’s memories, to delve deeper into the sea devil’s past. Is Davy Jones as evil as legend makes him out to be? Or is he himself the sad victim of circumstances? Find out for yourself in this heart-pounding odyssey!

Nightmares from the Deep 3 preserved all your favorite features of the series and is even more polished than prequels. Mahjong mini-game as an alternative to regular search for hidden items, and silhouette type scenes that hide items which are parts of puzzles and help you find the clue on the same scene are here too. The fantastic locations pop with color, tricky, pirate-themed mini-games, like navigating a galleon across the board, so that it burns all the harbors or sorting hats on eerie skulls, ooze with a proper atmosphere, voice overs and sounds are just top-notch. Wrapped in an immersive story, Nightmares from the Deep: Davy Jones will take you on an unforgettable adventure for hours of gaming enjoyment. The game is developed by Artifex Mundi and published on Android by G5 Entertainment.

Key Features:

68 diverse and majestic locations to explore
29 addictive mini-games to master
32 achievements to unlock
12 mysterious statues to awaken
Three collections to gather – 12 sea horses, 10 pirate cards and 24 puzzle pieces
Cool extras such as the concept art and game music
An additional adventure to reveal the shocking truth about Davy Jones’s island

The game is available for free (with in-app purchasing) on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

Touch Racing 2 Arrives on Google Play

Touch Racing 2 Arrives on Google Play

Nov 27, 2014

Touch Racing 2, the supercharged sequel to Touch Racing Nitro, is not out on Android.

From the official press release:

Marvelous Europe and Genera Mobile have today released the iOS hit Touch Racing 2 for Android touch screen devices. With extreme speed cars, offroad vehicles and powerboats – the fast and furious arcade racer has everything a hot-rod gamer could desire.

The sequel to 2010’s hit Touch Racing Nitro, the game is the latest in the multi-title partnership between Marvelous and Spanish group Genera Mobile, creators of the multi-million downloaded RunBot and the mega-successful Disney Frozen Free Fall.

Touch Racing 2’s refined and intuitive ‘touch & drag’ interface is at the heart of a game anyone can learn in seconds, but with the skill, depth and strategy to keep players coming back for more.

“Touch Racing 2 brings the unforgettable gameplay of classic arcade racing games like Micro Machines or Super Sprint into the touchscreen era,” says Steven Tarry, Project Manager, Marvelous Games. “We’ve seen how successful the game has been on iOS, and we hope that Android gamers will love it too!”

“Creating Touch Racing 2 has been a fantastic experience,” says Gonzalo Santos, Lead Programmer. “We feel the game is suited perfectly to mobile devices, as you can play it in bite sized portions and still have a blast.”

Touch Racing 2 features:

• Race your way to the championship title in career mode
• Intuitive touch controls
• Compete online against Facebook friends & other competitors
• 150 performance upgrades
• Hundreds of customisation options – Neons/decals/tyretracks/paint and more!
• Responsible IAP

Touch Racing 2 is available for free (with in-app purchasing) on the Play Store.

[Source Marvelous Games Press Release]

Holiday Gift Guide: The Android Gamer

Holiday Gift Guide: The Android Gamer

Nov 27, 2014

Trying to find a gift for the Android gamer is no easy task. There is a myriad of options when it comes to accessories, and many of them can be considered useless. Our holiday gift guide will help you find the perfect gift for an Android gamer, whether you are looking for a more expensive gift or a stocking stuffer that won’t break the bank.

Nexus Player

Android gamers typically love the portability of mobile devices, but even the large screen of a tablet doesn’t compare to playing games on a TV. Of course, gamers can turn to full gaming consoles, but buying a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One requires a significant financial investment, especially when factoring in the cost of games. Google is attempting to fill the void this holiday season with the Nexus Player.

The sleek device plugs into a TV via HDMI and allows users to access Google Play apps on their TV. This is great for streaming video, but it also represents an affordable gaming option at only $99. Not all Google Play apps and games are currently available through the Player, but there is already a solid selection of games, and the collection will only continue to grow. Add the Bluetooth gamepad for $39.99. It will also work with any other devices. The Nexus Player and gamepad are currently available through the Google Play store.

MOGA Mobile Gaming System

The MOGA mobile gaming system has long been a favorite among Android gamers, and it is the perfect gift for users who love playing games on their smartphone. Holding the phone and using touchscreen controls is not comfortable, especially during longer play sessions. The MOGA controller solves this problem. The portable Bluetooth controller is equipped with a pop-out center that acts as a stand for smartphones. Devices up to 3.2 inches wide can snap into the port, making it a great option for on-the-go gaming.

Tablet users will also be able to use the controller without the stand via Bluetooth. While the controller has a list price of $29.99, it can often be purchased for much cheaper on Amazon. If the Android gamer on your list has been extra nice this year, spend a few more bucks for the MOGA Hero Power.

Antec LifeBar 10 Portable Charger

The Android gamer’s worst nightmare: not being able to play games because the device is dead or dying. The Antec LifeBar 10 portable charger is a solution that fits inside your pocket. The sleek handheld charger is equipped with two USB ports and one micro-USB slot, and is capable of charging any mobile device.

Android gamers on the go will appreciate the charger’s ability to hold a charge over several days, making it hassle-free power. It also has a built-in flashlight, allowing users to find their device even in the darkest times. Check out our review of the Antec LifeBar 10 here.

Nyko DualShock 4 Smart Clip

The Nyko DualShock 4 smart clip is the perfect stocking stuffer for hardcore gamers. If the gamer on your list already owns a PlayStation 4, this is a great complement. It clips onto the DualShock 4 controller and has a stand that will hold most smartphones.

While the smart clip is designed for use with the PlayStation app or PS4 Remote Play, more active Android users will find a way to make the controller work with Android games. The smart clip is available on the Nyko website for only $9.99.

Clash of Kings Review

Clash of Kings Review

Nov 27, 2014

If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery then Clash of Kings by developer Empire Game Studios must have absolutely loved Machine Zone’s Game of War: Fire Age as the two games are very similar indeed. Game of War was a fun game though so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Screenshot_2014-11-19-04-55-43Clash of Kings starts off with you, the king of your city taking it back from invaders, it’s unclear who they were or how you lost your city, but the only thing to be done now is to rebuild your devastated city and train a new army to ensure it isn’t lost again.

To do this the player builds resource buildings, such as Sawmills and Farms. These resources are used to crank out troops such as militia infantry and a few cavalrymen and to research myriad upgrades such as faster farming, the ability to support a larger army or just upgrades for your troops to make them stronger in battle. Building up the city is a very slow burning process. Packed with timers, it takes about 4 minutes to make a basic unit of militia and upgrades and research take a long time. This is a common story in freemium games though and it is never really that annoying.

Slowly upgrading the city, gradually becoming stronger and amassing an army with thousands of warriors is just as interesting as it was in Fire Age. The game also allows players to skip building and upgrade timers with under 5 minutes remaining and other players can help build or research things reducing the timer as well.

Screenshot_2014-11-19-04-58-16Alliances are central in Clash of Kings. An alliance is a group of players that work together to build up their cities. Alliances can aid in constructing buildings for members or provide reinforcements. When a player wants to attack they can instead begin a war rally which allows other players in that alliance to add soldiers as well to form a large combined army of small alliance city armies, allowing for some truly huge forces to be fielded. Alliances are usually friendly and helpful and the game feels as much like a social experience as it does a game.

Clash of Kings looks very inviting for the type of game it is. Buildings and units look good and are very well detailed for a free game. Buildings also change as they are upgraded and the interface is well laid out. The way that troops line up on the side of the city as they are created is satisfying too, as players can watch their army grow. For a freemium city builder Clash of Kings looks impressive.

The sound is somewhat limited but what’s there is decent enough. Some good music helps the game along but it loops far too frequently. The music on the world map for example loops every 30 seconds which is a shame as it’s a good track. Aurally the game is limited to a few yells and clicks. Some combat sounds would have been nice.

Clash of Kings is a pretty decent wargame and even though it apes Fire Age it is still a fun strategic game in its own right.

TYLT Accessories On Sale For 50% Off For Limited Time

TYLT Accessories On Sale For 50% Off For Limited Time

Nov 26, 2014

TYLT, the renown smartdevice accessory maker with a penchant for visually appealing pieces, is getting in on the holiday spirit.

From Black Friday Through Cyber Monday, all products on www.tylt.com will be on sale for 50% off. This means that some of the sleekly unique gadgets and accessories that TYLT is known for can be had for a fraction of the sticker price during the sale period.

Additionally, TYLT is offering free first class shipping within the continental United States (by using promo code CYBER2014 at checkout).

We have reviewed a few of TYLT’s products, and really liked them. We had the opportunity to check out their portable power banks, Qi charging unit and more. The items generally straddle the thin line between form and functionality quite equitably.

As noted, the sale runs from November 28th through December 1st 2014, so get it while it is pipn’ hot.

tyltfi

Amazon Goes Big With Holiday App Deals

Amazon Goes Big With Holiday App Deals

Nov 26, 2014

Amazon Appstore is certainly in a giving mood, and this is reflected in the series of discounts it is unveiling for the holiday season.

From the press release:

Available today, Amazon Appstore is offering over $30 in paid apps and games to keep your whole family connected – courtesy of Verizon Wireless. Apps include titles like, Kayak Pro, Perfectly Clear, and Riptide GP2.
Starting on Thanksgiving Day, Amazon Appstore will offer a Free App of the Day Bundle with over $115 in paid apps and games for free on Android devices. Download favorite titles from developers like Sega of America, Big Fish Games, WildTangent, and more.

Also available tomorrow, customers can find up to 65% off select Disney titles, including Jake’s Pirate School, 50% off select ZeptoLab titles, like Cut the Rope HD, and Plex, a great streaming app for videos, music and photos. Select Nickelodeon, Dr. Panda and Bernstein Bears titles will be 50-80% off. And as a special Thanksgiving Day offer, Disney’s Castle of Illusion will be marked down from $9.99 to $0.99 for one day only.

Finally, for a limited time, when customers buy or gift Amazon Coins of any value, they can get up to a 20% discount (double the normal savings). Amazon Coins can be spent on apps, games and in-app items.