Stay Alight Review

Stay Alight Review

Dec 31, 2013

Stay Alight is a great physics-based game. The goal of Mr. Bulb is to free the very polluted world of the green microbes who took over the undersea where he lives. The quick explanation of the game is Mr. Bulb tosses a little bit of light at the little green guys. The direction and velocity of the light is user controlled. That’s the hard part.

Stay Alight-5The first couple of levels are a tutorial. I thought some of the directions were a little harder to understand. There are just fingers displayed on the screen indicating which way to tap the screen. Other than that, the controls for the game are pretty easy to use. As the game progresses, there are different weapons available. While this makes Mr. Bulb’s job a little easier, other obstacles make it more difficult. Things like bushes will actually absorb the light limiting the ability to get a ricochet like desired.

There’s only a limited number of light bursts available to throw. The less used the better and the more points earned. Many times there are ways to hit multiple green guys with one light throw. Sometimes it’s throwing a light burst at a barrel or corner of a platform will results in a chain reaction backing out several enemies.

I understand that they need to make money, but the ads interrupting gameplay are a little inconvenient. I would almost rather have them in a bar at the top or bottom of the screen. Or even if it placed the ads in between levels, that would be less intrusive. Where the advertisements are placed, it really wrecks the flow of the game. Making a purchase is the only way to eliminate the advertisements.

I really like the graphics and even the music in the background is not too bad. The controls are pretty easy to use, they are just a simple tap and drag style. There were few instances where placing a finger on the screen inadvertently made it hard to readjust the angle and power of the light burst.

This great physics puzzler is worth checking.

Middle Manager of Justice Review

Middle Manager of Justice Review

Dec 3, 2013

I have to say, Middle Manager of Justice is a pretty different take on the superhero game. Instead of being the superhero all of the time and fighting the evil, this game takes the role of the organizer. The person behind the scenes who manages all of the paperwork and all the stuff the superstars don’t have time to deal with.

What I liked about Middle Manager of Justice was the different angle it took. Usually games involving the games out there involving super heroes, the game is usually played from the point of view of the super hero or the villain, not a third party like an office manager.

middle-manager-of-justice-5Starting out, a hero needs to be recruited. There are a few to choose from in the beginning but the choices increase and change as the game moves forward and the manager can afford more. Right away, there are a couple of bad guys to fight. Give it a whirl and see how it goes.

When the heroes are not fighting bad guys or saving people from other mishaps, they hang out at the office. The office has a place for them to rest and regain health. Also, there are places to learn more and gain skills.

Playing as the manager, there are also specific skills and abilities to increase productivity and earn more when the heroes sent out to do the good deeds.

I like how the fights are on autopilot for the most part. A few actions like using special items or abilities are controlled by the player.

I have to say Middle Manager of Justice is a pretty fun take on the superhero game genre. I like how there is a lot to do but it’s not focused on the action like most super hero games. When playing, it’s easy to get lost in the game and I found it pretty replayable.

FIFA 14 Review

FIFA 14 Review

Oct 2, 2013

I am a big fan of soccer (or football for anyone not in the US). I have been playing the game for the better part of my life. In my years of soccer and playing video game, I have played a soccer game or 3. A lot of the games are pretty decent. Part of hard parts of taking a game mobile are the graphics and the controls. FIFA 14 does a good job with both.

fifa-14-16FIFA 14 is a free download and lets some of the options be played at the free price tag. To have full access to the game, it will cost a few dollars. Paying a few dollars will open up things like tournament in manager mode. Both of these are pretty fun additions and worth the money in my opinion.

What really helped me enjoy the game was the alternative controls. What I mean is they get a choice between a the screen controls or a swipe style control. The swipe controls are what I used for the majority the testing and it worked great. Once a few the basic moves are learned it’s pretty easy to use. What I thought was pretty cool was being able to curve the ball while taking a shot.

Speaking of controls, there are some limitations to using the swipe style controls. One of the limitations is not being able to control the cameras. It’s limited to an overhead view. When in the classic style controls, there are a lot of other options for the camera as well as controlling the team. For example there is a skill button. This takes easier to do tricks or fancy moves. There’s also an option to use two fingers to swipe across the screen to change whether the team is in attacking mode, and balanced or defensive mode.

I thought the manager mode was pretty cool. It lets the team be managed like a real pro soccer team. There are things like salary caps and that aren’t always in many games. Also there is a board of directors to deal with.

The tournament mode has all of the popular trends from around the world including the FA Cup, US Open, MLS Cup and lots of others. Select the team to play as and the others will be automatically selected. It works pretty slick.

Pro Zombie Soccer Review

Pro Zombie Soccer Review

Oct 2, 2013

Before I started playing Pro Zombie Soccer, I thought it was something totally different than it actually was. I thought it was going to be more like a soccer game against the group of zombies. When I started playing it was a lot different. In actuality, the main characters use the soccer ball as a weapon to kill the zombies.

pro-zombie-soccer-12The ball gets kicked at different speeds and either injured or kills the attacking zombie. The zombies come at different speeds and angles so it takes a little bit of planning and timing to get all of the zombies before they start chomping on the kicker. Once the zombies are right on the kicker, there isn’t really a good way to get them off of him quickly. Just keep kicking and hopefully things will work out.

While playing Pro Zombie Soccer , there are different special skills to acquire. They can be really helpful. One will slow the zombies down but not the kicker allowing the kicker to hit more of the zombies in a shorter time. Another will let the ball go through the zombie instead of just hitting the first zombie in line and bouncing back.

The graphics of Pro Zombie Soccer are pretty good. They kind of have a urban Japanese comic book feel to them. The music is decent but gets a little repetitive. I like the sound effects, it has some pretty good zombie sounds.

The controls for Pro Zombie Soccer are pretty easy to use. There is a button right behind the kicker is that if pressed the ball is kicked. If the button is pressed and held, energy is stored up and the kick is harder. Dragging finger up or down will change the angle of the kick.

After getting through the first couple of levels, the game did get quite a bit harder. At first Pro Zombie Soccer was almost too easy. However, it was great way to learn the best timing for some of the specialty skills.

Nun Attack: Run & Gun Review

Nun Attack: Run & Gun Review

Sep 30, 2013

When the second rendition of the Nun Attack series came out, Nun Attack: Run & Gun, I was really excited. I really liked the original version so I was curious how they were going to top it. Once I started play it, it is evident that they chose a different style of gameplay. With the popularity of games such as couple run and other somewhat side scrolling games, the kind of went this route. Nun Attack: Run & Gun has a lot of the same action and look of the original, but in a side scrolling set up.

nun-attack-run-and-gun-3The Holy warriors came back to fight another round of evil. Some the the Demon beings to be eliminated are werewolves, skeletons and other beings trying to kill the nuns and make the martyrs for the cause. Nun Attack: Run & Gun has many different nuns and weapons to add along the way. Different upgrades and powers make it easier to collect a lot of the coins needed to purchase upgrades and receive achievements.

As the game progresses, different nuns can be used. The different nuns have different abilities and/or weapons available to them just like in the original game. As you imagine, some of the nuns are more agile, some of them are better than with weapons and so on. Making the correct choice helps get you farther distances.

The music in the game is actually pretty cool. Kinda has a 70s feel to it. The graphics in the game are quite good. There cartoony yet really detailed, almost like a moving comic book. The controls are onscreen controls. There’s an up arrow for jump, down arrow for jumping down a level, slide button and a button used for shooting. That’s all there really is to. Overall, the controls are pretty easy to use in comparison to some other games. The controls are responsive and accurate as long as you keep them correctly.

I see this as a game I could play quite a bit because it goes on and on only to get harder and faster.

Quad Drawer Review

Quad Drawer Review

Sep 20, 2013

The past few renditions of the Android devices have had a lot more memory to store apps. The problem is, we can add more stuff to the phone because we have more space, so we do. When we have a hundred or more apps on our devices, it can take some time to find the right app to open. Quad Drawer is a great solution for most people to help find apps faster.

Quad-Drawer-8After it’s downloaded, Quad Drawer will run a check to find all of the apps on the device. Once it does, finding an app is super easy. The apps are found by simply typing in the name of the application. While this may sound pretty simple, the majority of phones and other Android devices out there do not have a feature like this.

Initially the keyboard is a non-smart phone style predictive text. Myself, I’m not a huge fan of this so I went into the settings and changed it to the standard QWERTY keyboard.

What I liked about Quad Drawer are the different columns in the search. This allows for apps to be grouped in difference matters automatically. For example, there’s a most used, a recent column, and a last downloaded option. Once a few of the letters of the name of the app are typed in, using a finger swipe to the left or to the right will change the columns displaying applications in a different order.

Another option in the settings is the floating window. The floating window gives quick access to the application search. It’s typically up in the top left-hand corner of the screen and out of the way of most application icons and widgets. When tapped, a screen with a search bar and the basic applications are shown. From this point on Quad Drawer works the same.

As I mentioned before, Quad Drawer might not seem like it’s a huge timesaver because it’s pretty easy to scroll through the apps in the app drawer. However, it actually does save a lot of time when the device has a ton of applications installed on it.

Hovering Controls Review

Hovering Controls Review

Sep 18, 2013

New phones come out all of the time. The problem is, the old phone might still be working great but the new phone could just have a cool feature. Most of the time, this new feature isn’t really worth $200 or more and the signing of a new contract. Hovering Controls is one of those features.

Hovering-Controls-4Currently I have a Samsung Galaxy S3. Even though many people have reception issues or other problems with the S3, mine seems to be working just fine. One of the features I really like on the Samsung Galaxy S4, is the hover controls feature. Basically what the hover feature does is allows the user to control features of the phone by waving a hand in front of the proximity sensor. Luckily, Hovering Controls is a much more inexpensive way to add some of this functionality to my older Samsung.

Hovering Controls gives three different hand gesture options for an extremely low price. The first gesture is holding a hand in front of the proximity sensor for a couple of seconds. This will activate a pre-selected application.

Waving a hand once across the screen will activate another app or there’s an option for was called carousel. The carousel will allow the end user to select several apps to be scrolled through by waving a hand in front of the proximity sensor with a single swipe. So, if there are five applications selected such as Flipbook, Twitter, Facebook, Feedly and Google+, it’s easy to change from one app to the other quickly by swiping a hand in front of the screen.

The third option is activating an application by swiping a hand one way across the proximity sensor and back the other direction.

After using Hovering Controls for a little while, I noticed it’s pretty sensitive. I chose Evernote to activate when hand is held in front of the proximity sensor. I didn’t have troubles activating this at all. The occurred with the single swipe option. I noticed I tended to activate this quite easily. I was constantly changing from one application to another unintentionally.

My recommendation would be to use the double swipe option as well as holding a hand in front of the proximity sensor to activate apps to avoid accidentally changing applications.

Other than the unintentional activation of applications, Hovering Controls seem to work really nice. The settings are very simple and controls are all hovering gestures.

Portal (Floating Apps) [BETA] Review

Portal (Floating Apps) [BETA] Review

Sep 5, 2013

Android devices have what is known as a notification bar. This notification bar is where all of the missed calls, incoming emails and messages, alarms and other important reminders show up. All in one nice neat little place. Well, there are alternatives to the notification bar. Portal is one of them.

portal-2Portal brings your notification bar out in the open and pairs it with a basic app launcher making it all the more useful. WHen I first looked at Portal, I was curious at how this was any better than dragging down the notification bar to see the same thing. Well, After playing with Portal for a couple of days, I found some things out.

First, it is easier to see what the notification is at a glance with Portal. I say that because the message scrolls across the little box below the Portal circle. WHile the circle can be a bit intrusive at times, it’s really easy to move out of the way or even make disappear.

Second, there are apps I use pretty regularly that automatically go into full screen. I know there are times when I am using these apps and am expecting an email or SMS it is much easier to glance over at the Portal bubble than to exit the app or game to see if it is the message I was waiting for.

Aside from seeing what messages are waiting in the notification bar, it is also a quick launch for some popular apps. Right now, there are four options for apps: SMS, Facebook, Twitter and a browser. These apps seem to be part of the Portal app. Twitter and Facebook ask for sign in credentials and do not redirect to a different app or a browser. This is nice because it can help if there is a concern about storage space on the device. One app can do the work of a few.

I am not sure Portal is for everyone, but there is a real use for it. Since the initial testing, I have toggled it on and off a few times as needed. I mostly use it as a quick access tool, not a total replacement for my notification bar.

Dinamotxt Review

Dinamotxt Review

Sep 4, 2013

Texting someone is probably most convenient way to talk to a person these days. I personally send thousands of texts a month. When compared to the few hundred minutes a month I talk, if even that many, I see the need for better messaging apps. NOt so much what the app can do, more like where I can use it. Dinamotxt is a pretty great way to text from any connected Android device, as well as a computer.

Dinamotxt-2In a nutshell, Dinamotxt lets the end user sign in via Google+. This is what links all of the devices together. When logging into the website (web.dinamotxt.com), make sure to be logged into the same Google Account as on the phone and/or tablet for everything to sync up.

Once all signed in, everything is pretty straightforward. When a message comes in, it can be read and replied to from any of the devices connected to the account. What I thought was cool too is, I am a longtime user of GO SMS Pro. SOme of the apps like this I have tried don’t work so well with 3rd party SMS apps. Dinamotxt works the same with the stock messaging app and GO SMS Pro.

The speed of Dinamotxt is great. Some other apps have a lag when sending or a longer refresh time for the web portion. Dinamotxt is really quick. I can hear the notification on my phone, switch to the open tab in my browser with Dinamotxt running and the message will be right there.

Sending a message from the website is pretty easy too. There is a little plus sign at the top of the phone pictured. If it’s not visible, press the back arrow on the phone pictured until all of the current message threads are shown. Clicking it will open a new message. Add the contact, type the message and press send. Pretty easy.

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded Review

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded Review

Aug 28, 2013

There are games that try to be cautious about how they present certain topics. For those out there looking for a little something on the other end of the spectrum, Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is something to take a look at. I don’t recall ever playing the original game, but Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is a good time. It’s a combination of puzzle game and a late night comedy show. This game has quite a few things one would consider adult content and a few more most people would consider adult content.

leisure-suit-larry-reloaded-4Something to keep in mind when starting out, touch everything and talk to everyone. There is information and objects to pick up everywhere to use later. In the first place Larry goes to, there are quite a few things to do and pick up. For example, he needs to buy a whiskey from the bartender, show the pimp some porn and talk to a hooker. Yeah, that’s just the demo portion of the game too.

Speaking of that, after toying around at the bar, it’s time to head out the the cab call box on the post outside. Continuing from here requires the full game to be purchased via in-app purchasing. I didn’t run into any issues like some people claimed in the reviews in the Google Play Store.

The controls tapping on the screen to invoke the menu or tell the game where to make Larry walk or touch. Keep touching everything and talking to everyone. There may be some useful information or something to be easily missed otherwise. There are two ways to get to the action menu. Press the icon at the bottom right of the screen, or long-press the screen. Long-pressing the screen will get you to a quick action menu. This way things like hailing a cab is easier.

I really like how Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is actually challenging and not just comical and crude.

KungFu Quest : The Jade Tower Review

KungFu Quest : The Jade Tower Review

Aug 23, 2013

I am an old timer. I used to go to the 7-eleven and pump all of my paper route money into the arcade games. Usually there was to of them so there was some choice. KungFu Quest : The Jade Tower reminds me of an old game I used to play there, so I was excited to do this review.

kunf-fu-quest-11The tutorial dojo is a good place to get and idea of how KungFu Quest : The Jade Tower is played. The side scrolling method of game play helps eliminate the need for an on-screen D-pad. I was glad about that because I am not a fan of those. Instead, on the bottom left side of the screen, there are left and a right arrows that work well. On the bottom right side of the screen are the attack buttons. The action button will punch and kick, the other is to jump.

As the game plays out, the need for knowing different moves is more essential. I didn’t really read anything about KungFu Quest : The Jade Tower before I played it because I wanted to not know what to expect. One of the things adding cool points for me was the old school end of the level Boss battle. The one that take all of the skills learned in the recently completed level to beat. So many games are getting away from this, I was happy to see it.

New strikes, or attacks, can be purchased at the store. As enemies are taken care of, coins are earned. The coins are not what purchase the moves though. The orbs purchase the new moves. These are earned through finishing levels and such. When a new strike is purchased, they can be added to an existing combo to make it faster or more powerful.

Overall I really like the action and ease of the controls. It made for a fun review. I am sure I will keep playing it as I get more moves and farther into the game.

DU Battery Saver And Switch Widget Review

DU Battery Saver And Switch Widget Review

Aug 22, 2013

Android devices are getting better when it comes to battery life. The problem is, we are using them for more and more things. So as the battery life gets better, we’ve found something else to suck equal or greater amounts of battery than we are saving. This is where a battery saver app can help.

du-battery-saver-1Some of the cool features are the charging calendar. This give the option to see everyday the phone or tablet was charged so a basic idea can be had about the charging habits or needs for the device. Another cool feature are the widgets. Part of the widget is the optimizer The optimizer, in the simplest explanation, shuts down anything running that’s not needed at that time. It’s a good idea to do this now and again to make sure no battery hogs are waking up and running on their own.

For some devices, having the battery level icon and information in the notification bar is great. I know when I get a new device and this isn’t an option, it’s one of the first apps I download. The icon in the notification bar shows the actual percentage, not just an inaccurate battery icon.

As time goes on, it will be easier to see the benefit of the data DU Battery Saver is. Some apps that run in the background may be apps hardly used. A good example for me is Facebook. I am rarely on it while mobile so I can regain 5% of my battery by deleting the app so it isn’t running in the background.

One of the biggest battery sucks is the screen. When the screen is on, the battery is draining much quicker than almost anything else the device uses. Keep this in mind when looking at the apps and functions listed. For my devices, it is usually 30 to 50 percent of the battery drain under normal usage.