My App Addiction: Swagbucks

My App Addiction: Swagbucks

Jul 31, 2017

The internet is one great window shopping trip. For me, at least, it is. I love finding cool, useful stuff, especially gadgets. Now, the whole process works for me because I have one crazy flaw: I dislike buying stuff at full price. I will if I absolutely have to, but usually, I’m perfectly fine not purchasing an item if it isn’t on sale at that point in time.

Consequently, I’m always looking for a deal. Yes, one has to consider the ROI of deal-chasing, but still, Swagbucks is a great tool to have when it comes to pulling the trigger with specific retailers.

Swagbucks is a way to earn “swagbucks” for answering surveys and shopping. Said swagbucks can be redeemed for cool goodies like Amazon gift cards. Some of the surveys feel more invasive and time-consuming than others, but the shopping aspect is compelling; what essentially comes to cash back for shopping and the like can be addictive. For example, buying stuff at Macys.com can net you 6% in swagbucks… basically, 6 swagbucks for every dollar spent.

Bucks can be redeemed for gift cards from Amazon, Target, Paypal, Walmart and several other big name companies.

Of course, for folks that are especially mobile — self humbly included — it wouldn’t be as cool without a companion app.

Now, I use the app more for reference. If I am out and about, and see something on sale (or am notified of a great price via another one of my addictions Slickdeals), I usually check to see if it a seller that gives out swagbucks. If it does, I figure it might be better to purchase online, maybe even via my phone, so as to get the affiliate link.

It’s also possible to do the aforementioned surveys on the go. As noted, these can be quite inquisitive, but for those that don’t mind answering truthfully, it can be a great way to answer these surveys and earn bucks while hanging out at the doctor’s office or during have time of a sporting event.

The mobile app also allows users to rack up bucks by watching videos. Now, this is not the quickest way to garner points, no, but just like the surveys, it’s a great, mobile way to get these done. Now, even cooler if you love watching movie trailers.

The app, of course, also provides notifications with regards to swagbucks-gaining opportunities. It’s the best way to find out about the so-called swag codes that pop up on Facebook and elsewhere. Such codes can be entered right there within the app.

Swagbucks is far from something new, or especially unique at this point. What makes it relevant for me is its ability to potentially make an already sweet deal even sweeter. The app helps keep track of where I am on the go, and to effect sensible purchases when I am away from my desktop or Chromebook. It takes an important app to earn a lasting spot on my primary devices, and Swagbucks has earned one.

Last Day on Earth: Tips and Tricks

Last Day on Earth: Tips and Tricks

Jul 31, 2017

Zombies are the in-thing, and Last Day on Earth: Survival is a game that really brings them to life. It’s an expansive game, and even as it makes its way to full release, we can’t stop talking about it.

Here are some tips and tricks — for the true newbies — to help you get going.

Get a stash of edible resources
Food and drink are very important (duh!). As you play, there are hunger and thirst meters that inexorably tick down to zero. Reaching zero on either means death, so it is important to consume sustenance when warning pangs begin to appear.

Along these lines, it might be a good idea to always have a snack and/or drink handy when out and about. Depending on the locale, it might also be a good idea to pick up some berries or even rustle up some game meat to supplement your eats.

But don’t forget that water. “Regular” food does help with thirst, but nothing beats a bottle of water.

Don’t throw stuff away
This one is obvious, but crafting makes up a huge part of this game. When you are out and about collecting stuff, you’ll most likely find pieces that might not feel that important. Keep them.

Being a beta and all, there are quite a few teased vehicles that aren’t available yet. Those pieces will become important.

Opportunity costs abound; choose wisely
So much of the gameplay comes down to choice.

Right from the beginning, you accumulate limited resources. Then, you have to decide what to use these resources to do. Some things might feel more important than others… that rain catcher, for instance, is a great pickup. One might be able to hold off on making, say, a gunsmith table, even after it is available.

The same applies to making runs. Limited space to carry all those things, so you have to decide what is most important… or spend valuable energy on multiple trips.

Fight. A lot
To get the important stuff unlocked, you need to reach specific XP thresholds, and one of the best ways to reach those markers is to dispatch zombies. Hey, find some and go to town, and watch the XP pile up.

An added advantage is that some zombies have goodies you can pick up, including those ultra important bunker access cards. Other survivors can be tricky, but the payoffs for taking them out can be well worth it.

Bonus tip: crouching and creeping up on enemies is the way to go.

…but don’t be scared to run
Look, discretion is sometimes the better part of valor. It might behoove you to sneak away. Other times, running at a fast clip to avoid gruesome toxic spitters or floater bloaters is smart. No shame in staying alive.

When you die in-game, you re-spawn at your home… with nothing but the red underwear you started with. That means you lose any food, weapons, raw materials and the like that you acquired. This can be painful, so knowing when to flee to the safe green areas bordering the environments is important.

Bonus tip: if you die away from home and lost a bunch of stuff, you might be able to recover the loot from your dead body (no, really) if you go back immediately after re-spawning. It’s an interesting game quirk.

Farming is key
You’ll need raw materials, and a lot of them. The batch that is accessible in your home environment is simply a starter stash, and you’ll have to travel to get more. So, get storage boxes, and get those materials. Wood, ore, limestone plant fiber, seeds and the like. Plant seeds are great; along with a garden or two, they can provide a never-ending supply of carrots. Wood is a biggie, as is iron ore — down the road.

Bonus tip: see if you can get rid of all the zombies, and then activate “auto” to let your character farm automatically. XP galore!

Remember: it’s a beta
Officially, this one is still in beta. There is talk about the eventuality of a server wipe when it really goes live.

Enjoy!

[Google Play link]
[Our beta review]

Last Day on Earth: Survival Review: an impatient first look

Last Day on Earth: Survival Review: an impatient first look

Jul 31, 2017

Look… we’re not that hard to please. Drop, say, a survival game on us. Toss in crafting, fighting and zombies, and you might just get mobile gaming nirvana.

AKA Last Day on Earth: Survival? We hope so.

This one takes the newbie player small dab in the deep end; you get in and feel your way around. The player takes on a grim persona… as one of the few — very, very few — survivors of Just Another Zombie Apocalypse. That, along with the violence that erupted amongst those left behind effectively decimated 90% of the world’s population.

It’s a tough place to be. Back to the basics, human raiders, scarce resources and gruesome undead.

Let’s go.

The game utilizes a top-down view in the core action screen, with a virtual joystick to control primary movement. Visually, you get simple representations and effective animations. It’s isn’t overly complex to the eye, and it works.

As noted, it just starts. You plop down in a wilderness with items like trees boulders and the like. Some can be gathered, and others can be interacted with in some way, especially if one has the right tool. Intuitively, you collect all collectibles, and use them to craft tools that can help get more resources. Playing around helps to figure things out, too. Need a hatchet to chop down trees? Well, check out the crafting section, find out what you need to make it, and find those items.

ldoe3

The developer does do a good job of adding a good degree of logic. You have to have food and water. So, it makes sense to keep limited spots open for such necessities. Raw meat is great, but it behooves the player to unlock recipes to use with a fire to cook it. Empty water bottles and cans have value, as do seeds for future farms. Bathing is important, as nothing attracts the undead better than ripe BO; remember to relieve yourself when nature calls, because few things are as inconvenient as being attacked when using the little boy’s tree.

Actions acquire XP, which replenishes the lifebar. Said lifebar can be adversely affected by attack, famishment, and such. Yes, you can be revived, but you lose what you have on you if you die, which can be painful.

ldoe2

Several elements are level-restricted, so progress is key. For example, it helps to be able to hire farm workers, but one cannot hire such at lower levels. Also, making one’s way to a watchtower helps find new areas to visit, but that can only be achieved at a specific threshold.

Usually, this is where I delve into my self-indulgent rant about the gross unfairness of every requirements. Yes, this game has one, and yes, it somewhat restricts gameplay. It’s implemented interestingly enough, such that one had a choice. You see, it’s the main means to facilitate far travel, but of can choose to walk versus energy-consuming “running.”

I gotta say… I cottoned to this one pretty quickly. It’s fun (albeit beta) endeavor, and just as easily played in spurts as it is over long periods.

Video of the Day: Fleet Glory releases multiplayer action trailer

Fleet Glory is a recent naval thriller from Oasis Games that packs in realism, action and WWII-themed battles into a tidy mobile package.

Now, we here that multiplayer is nigh. Check out the trailer:

Can’t wait… bring it on. The game remains free (with in-app purchases) on the Play Store.

[Google Play link]

App giveaway: Graphing Calculator + Math PRO is free!

App giveaway: Graphing Calculator + Math PRO is free!

Jul 31, 2017

Hey, you never know when you might need that special piece of equipment. A reset pin, for instance. Or, say, an air compressor.

What about a graphing calculator?

We got you, fam!

Mathlab Apps is offering its Graphing Calculator + Math PRO for the nice, astounding price of FREE.

That’s down from its regular price of $6.99.

And this one looks to do just what its title says; it does scientific and graphing functions, yes, and provides multiple workspaces, and can even be used when one doesn’t have internet connectivity.

It can be used for algebraic operations, probability/statistics, and fractions, plus more. Chromebook support is an additional plus.

No word on how long it’ll last, so get it while the gettin’ is good.

[Google Play link]
[via Slickdeals]

Authoritarian thriller ‘Beholder’ adds features via update

Authoritarian thriller ‘Beholder’ adds features via update

Jul 31, 2017

Beholder (from Creative Mobile Publishing) is all about Big Brother and choice.

Don’t do it!

Or should you?

It’s shadowy — both physically and gameplay-wise — with great CYOA elements, and now, it’s getting an update.

The newest build brings cloud support (yay!); now, it is possible to pick up and play the same game across connected Android devices. Also notable in this update is that the app is slimmed down (according to the changelog, it is 260 mb smaller now).

There is also a new animation added, which allows players to see the lead character moving to a selected action.

Finally, there are bug fixes.

Now, we were somewhat smitten with Beholder when we took it for a spin way back when; we’d be selfish if we kept such goodness to ourselves. It comes in two flavors: free and full for $4.99.

[Our Beholder review]

Jon ‘Bones’ Jones launches own emoji app: BonesMoji

Jon ‘Bones’ Jones launches own emoji app: BonesMoji

Jul 30, 2017

BonesMoji is a new emoji collection app, and is the fruit of a notable collaboration between UFC great and current Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones and AppMoji Inc.

This one comes just in time to mark Bones high profile victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 on July 29th.

On Android, the app installs as a keyboard extension, and gives the user access to full library of Bones-inspired graphics. They are atypical to say the least, and do lean towards the creative side. There are more than 60 of them, and they mark unique moments from Jones career; the fighter himself helped curate them.

AppMoji Founder and chief Oliver Camilo talks about things he and Jones have in common. “Jon and I both come from the same hometown in Upstate NY, which made this a logical fit for us,” he says. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Jon and First Round Management for this exciting release.”

Not all of us and kick butt like Bones, but we can send messages like him… for $1.99 via the Play Store.

[Google Play Link]

Introducing Fishalot, a new game from Playfiber

Introducing Fishalot, a new game from Playfiber

Jul 30, 2017

Indie studio Playfiber has just launched a new game called Fishalot on Google Play.

If the title makes you think about fishing, then it’s probably done its job; indeed, this one is a casual fishing game, but one which looks to emphasize the, well, enjoyable aspects.

For example, no waiting forever on fish to bite. Fishalot employs a tapping system instead of “true” casting, such that reaction is a bit more important at the onset. There are different types of fish, and a host of XP to earn, which leads to RPG elements. To get better catch, you have to improve and build upon your base equipment.

Easy to understand and get into.

The independently created trailer (below) highlights a fun-looking affair, and if we go by looks, it definitely looks a bit much like a game we’d love to have a go at it.

Fishalot is free to download and try, and also has in-app purchases to expedite stuff if needed.

fishalot

[Google Play link]
[via game website]

Tiny Rails gets additions and fixes via update

Tiny Rails gets additions and fixes via update

Jul 30, 2017

Tiny Rails has hit version 1.4.3! Big shout-out to Tiny Titan Studio.

The latest build (which, if we may, seemingly underscores the developer’s drive to ensure the game remains as smooth as possible) adds a host of fixes and new stuff.

Amongst the fixes are corrections to grammar and spelling, as well smoothing out an issue with regards to players be unable to arrive at stations. Gold and gem earn calculations get a fix too.

The engine has what is described as “more appropriate” sound effects.

All in all, a fun game is getting better; it’s still available for free (with optional in-app purchases).

[Google Play link]

Five Noodlecake titles are on sale for a limited time

Five Noodlecake titles are on sale for a limited time

Jul 30, 2017

So…

This is one of those few times when we actually reported good news when we should have reported GREAT news!

Noodlecake is quite the cross-platform fountain, and several of our favorite games have the studio’s imprint. Right now, it’s possible to pick up a few of those games at a steep discount.

We did notice that two well-regarded Noodlecake titles — realMyst and follow-up Riven — were deeply discounted. Delightfully, we subsequently learned that there are few more titles to add to the list.

And yes, the discounts are deep all the way round:

Wayward Souls
Regularly $6.99; on sale for $0.99.

Ah this one is all about platforming adventure though procedurally generated levels.

Lumino City
Regularly $4.99; on sale for $0.99.

An award-winning graphical feast that packs in an enviable dose of adventure.

Last Horizon
Regularly $2.99; on sale for $0.99.

A genteel yet fun planet-hopping caper that is easy on the eyes.

These are all in addition to the previously mentioned Riven and realMyst. Potentially, it adds up to more than $20 in savings.
Not bad.

Reality check: this sale ends on Tuesday. Get to gettin’!

Flash-Sale3

[via Noodlecake Blog]

Bandai Namco launches ‘Tales of the Rays’ on Google Play

Bandai Namco launches ‘Tales of the Rays’ on Google Play

Jul 29, 2017

Great news!

Major mobile publishing house Bandai Namco has a new one out and available for Android users; this one is called Tales of the Rays.

In Tales of the Ray, the player gets to indulge in an expansive RPG with creative environment, merging dungeons, monsters and treasure. Our heroes, Mileena and Ix star in this one, and we hear the new Linear Battles system is something to look forward to.

But wait… there’s a bit more…

To mark the launch, the game has a cool engagement promo: players that log in every day for 20 days straight will get a reward of 1000 mirrogems. Mirrogems serve as in-game currency.

In any case, it’s live and ready to go, for free (with in app purchases). Check out the trailer:

[Google Play link]
[Developer site]

While on sale, realMyst gets an update

While on sale, realMyst gets an update

Jul 28, 2017

We just pointed out that realMyst, the full-fledged mobile port of popular PC game Myst is on sale. Now, right in step with that promo, the game itself is getting an update.

But wait… we do wanna note, again, that this one is on sale. For only $0.99, down from $6.99. Not a bad price for an excellent game at all.

Simple stuff, really… one pertinent change involves gamepads; the inversion feature no longer flips on the x-axis.

The Play changelog also notes the patching of a major save bug.

And yes, it’s still on sale. It’s our civic duty to encourage y’all to get in on this. While you’re doing that, check out our game review.

[Our realMyst Review]