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US-based Instagram Users Get Region-Specific Update

Posted by on Aug 26, 2016

Instagram gets an update in US.

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Games

Dots and Co Review

Posted by on Aug 26, 2016

"Nice" is the word...

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Productivity

Slack Gets an Update

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016

Slack update goes live.

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Sponsored Features

Tip the scales in your favor with Online Casino X

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016

Sponsored content

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Moon Kid’s ‘Satellina Zero’ Launches on Google Play

Moon Kid’s ‘Satellina Zero’ Launches on Google Play

Aug 17, 2016

Satellina Zero is a new arcade game that just arrived on Google Play, and for now, the Android version has an exclusive: achievements.

Game details:

In this fast-paced, addictive follow-up to the indie hit Satellina, swipe and tap to collect a stream of colorful descending particles, generating original soundscapes as you go. Get into a flow to beat your score, unlock new colors and music, and reach ever more dangerous speeds.
* Addictive gameplay
* Simple control
* Multiple color palettes
* Procedurally generated music
* Compete against the world with global leaderboards
* Endless mode on all levels, plus unlockable, super-challenging secret mode
* Android version contains exclusive achievements

The game is free (with in-app purchases); check out the trailer below.

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Shadowverse Review

Shadowverse Review

Aug 15, 2016

A bugbear of mine is game reviews that rely heavily on simply comparing the game they’re talking about to another, more popular game. Sadly, there’s no way I can talk about Shadowverse without mentioning how much like Hearthstone it is.

Seriously. It’s really like Hearthstone. Really.

You have 3 cards to start with and you’re in a 1 on 1 fight. The fight progresses in rounds and in each round you’re given points to spend. The first round you can spend 1 point, the 2nd round you can spend 2… you get the idea.

These points are spent on playing cards. Cards that have been played are placed face-up in front of you. More powerful cards cost more points, so you’ll only be able to play them in the later rounds.unnamed-11

Cards have 2 values that are important when they’re in-play. A defense and an offense value, these two numbers represent how much damage the cards do and how much damage the card can take before they ‘die’ and are taken off the table. The aim for you is to attack your opponent, which is made harder by the fact that your opponents cards are trying to attack you too. Do you hit your target this turn, or should you remove some of their cards from the table, lest they hit you back?

Honestly, it’d be so much easier if you just went and played Hearthstone.

One thing that Shadowverse does that’s totally unique is an ‘evolution’ feature. In each battle you have 3 evolution points to spend. These allow you to evolve your cards which can result in better stats or entirely new abilities becoming active.

Much like Blizzard’s competitive card game, Shadowverse has a wide range of cards, all featuring exquisite art. There’s hundreds of the things for you to collect and building your own deck is a chance for you to create something that’s unique to the way you play. A lot of cards have abilities that suite one style of play over the other, though sometimes they’re written poorly and take a bit of trial and error before you fully understand how they work.

Another criticism would be that card’s stats aren’t clearly identifiable when you’re in the middle of a game. To be able to see what affects the cards have, what their attack and defence values are, you have to click on them. This might not seem like much, but when you’ve got 4 cards on the table and six in your hand, it can become confusing as you try and figure out what each card does and how they’ll affect each other.

One aspect that Shadowverse has over Hearthstone is the single-player offering. There’s a large number of characters to play as (each offering their own unique decks) and there’s fully voiced dialogue between each battle. The story is your normal fantasy nonsense of magic and evil, but it’s useful for players that want to learn how to play offline, rather than getting their decks kicked in.

Shadowverse is blatant in what it’s trying to do – copy Hearthstone. In fairness, it does this well. Whilst not offering too many of its own unique ideas, aside from the evolution feature, it’s well made and just as fun as Blizzard’s own.


‘Sorcery! Part 4: The Crown of Kings’ Set for September Release

‘Sorcery! Part 4: The Crown of Kings’ Set for September Release

Aug 15, 2016

The final installment is nigh…

Sorcery! Part 4: The Crown of Kings has a firm release date.

About the game:

THE CROWN OF KINGS
Adapted and expanded from Steve Jackson’s bestselling gamebooks, Sorcery! is an interactive fantasy story told through thousands upon thousands of choices — all of which are remembered to make every adventure unique.

The legendary Crown of Kings has been stolen by the evil Archmage and taken to the Fortress of Mampang, high in the mountains. You have been sent, alone, to get it back. Armed with only a sword, a book of spells, and your wits, you must negotiate the cruel mountains, break into the Citadel, and sneak through the city within to confront the Archmage himself. You cannot hope to survive — but sometimes even death is not the end…

AN EPIC FINALE
Whether you’re starting here or completing an ongoing quest, Sorcery! Part 4 is the longest, most complex, and most devious installment of inkle’s acclaimed narrative series. Here’s just a small sample of what this open-world adventure has to offer:

– A full tutorial gets new players situated while suitable difficulty challenges those continuing on.
– Past choices and old friends will come back to help — or haunt — as you look for a way into the Archmage’s impenetrable Citadel.
– Disguises will allow you to slip around unnoticed, but be warned, some people you meet won’t like who you’re pretending to be!
– Multifaceted supporting characters can be befriended, betrayed, manipulated… and even seduced.
– Over forty magical traps await your unique, cunning, and devilish solutions.
– Stunning new cartography, hand-drawn by illustrator Mike Schley, includes 3D buildings that can be explored inside and out.
– A plethora of possible endings are in store — both triumphant and tragic.

Launch date is September 15th.

Check out the trailer below:

Tiny Archers Review

Tiny Archers Review

Aug 15, 2016

No goblins allowed in Tiny Archer.

The game starts with aplomb, and Adam is a character that the game nudges one to pick. Our boy Adam happens to be the Guardian of the Northern Kingdom. We also learn that he is tasked with protecting the tower from dastardly goblins, and he accomplishes this task by keeping the monsters away with his rusty bow and arrows.

The shooting mechanism mostly defines the game. The archer is perched up high, arrow ready to fly, waiting on individual goblins to break into view on the right. The game utilizes an arcing line to show the arrow’s projected flight path; this can be adjusted by dragging a finger on the screen.

The interesting trick is not to just get the arrow to hit a stationary enemy, but to gauge its forward progress, such that one has to actually aim a few “game feet” ahead; when one gets it just right, it’s possible to kill or slow down an oncoming goblin. The built-in tutorial is helpful here, and practice makes perfect.

Headshots are especially valuable, and other hits generally reduce the monster’s lifebar. You can’t let a monster get to close, because the shooting angles become impossible when it get’s closer — too many monsters accumulating at the base of the tower means death to the defender. After a set number of incursions, the level is hopefully passed and goodies issued.

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As the game goes on (and XP increases), the enemies get tougher, and so do the weapons available. There are other archers that can be unlocked too. You can use boosts, and craft more weapons in between. Bosses, multiple incursion paths, enemy projectiles… yep, yep and yep.

The gameplay develops at a reasonable pace, with advanced weaponry mostly becoming available right in step with the arrival of tougher villains.The other elements aren’t too tough to comprehend, and the changes in pace help keep the concept somewhat evergreen.

The combination of graphics and shooting mechanism work well, and allow this title to live a bit beyond the confines of its genre.

Nonetheless, it is a tough genre to break into, and even with the engaging action mechanism, it might feel a tad monotonous after a while.

Nothing wrong with doing what it does well.

Unison League’s surprising update is inspired by Evangelion

Ateam’s Unison League lets you travel across a troubled land with a band of warriors, defeating monsters as you go. You build your own hero, choosing your class and customising your appearance, and develop guilds with other players. The game was released on mobile platforms last year – but there’s a brand new update on the way.

UnisonxEvangelion148Apps

In an unexpected crossover, the latest content for the game is inspired by hit anime Evangelion. The franchise took Japan by storm with its blend of dystopian sci-fi, subversive symbolism – and giant mecha bashing the bits out of angels. The latest film series, Rebuild Evangelion, takes the story further.

With this new Unison League update, you get a brand new plot that will unfold over two weeks. Each chapter reveals the next piece of the story – and you get to unlock a load of new Evangelion-themed items too. You can customise your hero to look the spitting image of iconic mechas Unit 01 and 02 – or protagonists Shinji, Asuka and Rei. There are brand new attack animations thrown in, along with a log-in bonus – a speed queen version of Rei Ayanami.

Lobby Chat_1

If you’ve caught all the Pokémon and want a new game to give you that fix of Japanese culture, Unison League might be for you. It’s available for free from Google Play and the App Store.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel  Media Preferred Partners.

Laugh.ly — the “Pandora” of Standup Comedy — Arrives on Android

Laugh.ly — the “Pandora” of Standup Comedy — Arrives on Android

Aug 12, 2016

Laughly: Stand up Comedy Radio is a new app from Laugh Radio.

Hart. Schumer. Foxworthy… heck, is that Richard Pryor? On tap? With playlists too?

Laugh.ly is the app for stand-up comedy. With hundreds of comedians and thousands of hours of material, we have the jokes you are looking for. Laughter guaranteed!
Discover the funniest comedy from the most famous comedians and find up-and-coming comedians from around the world. Our curated comedy stations deliver laughs for everything from sex and marriage to religion and politics. Be the first to hear the next Donald Trump joke or a hilarious parenting joke to share with your friends who just had a kid.

It’s free to listen, so start making playlists with your favorite comedy acts and share them with your friends. You don’t want their lives to be dull and boring forever ;)

The app itself is free (ad-supported), with subscription options in-app for $3.99.

Slack Adds Message Remind Feature and More

Slack Adds Message Remind Feature and More

Aug 11, 2016

Slack is getting even more useful via update.

Per the release notes:

Highlights:
• Long pressing on a message and choosing Remind me will… remind you about that message after the interval you choose. Which is handy.
• Slackbot messages that only you can see have been updated to let you know when only you can see them.
• Fixed: Messages containing @ or # when they didn’t refer to a username or channel would sometimes vanish without a trace. They’re back.

Slack is free on Google Play.

[via Slack Release Notes]

Primal Legends Arrives on Android

Primal Legends Arrives on Android

Aug 11, 2016

Kobojo has a new game out called Primal Legends.

Game details:

Assemble an army to fight through the world of Theria and duel players in real time!
Become Legend!

FEATURES

– INNOVATIVE CORE GAMEPLAY
Easy to play, hard to master. Mix between classic match-3 mechanics and collectible card games.

– AN EPIC ADVENTURE
Persevere through the trials of Theria in over 200 levels.

– COMPETE AGAINST THE WORLD
Duel players from around the world in real-time battles

– BUILD YOUR ARMY
Adapt your strategy and build the strongest army. Collect and evolve your heroes to unleash their full potential!

– NEW HEROES IN THE TAVERN
Stay tuned and discover the latest heroes and their powers

– STUNNING ART STYLE AND GRAPHICS
Visually striking 2D graphics designed for a truly immersive mobile experience

The game is free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play.

New RPG ‘Raid Master’ Launches on Google Play

New RPG ‘Raid Master’ Launches on Google Play

Aug 11, 2016

Raid Master: Epic Relic Chaser, a new game from Bluehole, is now on Google Play.

Features? per Google Play:

★★★FEATURES★★★
• RECRUIT HEROES
Play along to recruit dozens of heroes with different skills!

• CREATE UNIQUE STRATEGIES
Strategize to create parties based on each hero’s specialty, and seal the Demon once again!

• AWESOME GAME MODES
Over 300 stages with various devils and demons await you!
– SECRET CHAMBER: The Ancient Demon is hiding his relic and weapons. Find them all and become the ultimate Chaser!
– ENDLESS CHAMBER: Epic weapons are not the only thing you’ll need. Only an ingenious strategy will save your heroes from being wiped out!

• CRAFT WEAPONS
Use trophies obtained from the Demon to craft weapons. Collect over 300 weapons and over 100 epic weapons for your heroes!

• MIND-BOGGLING TRADES
Bargain with merchants to sell relic at the highest price.
With successful bargaining, your Chaser will be ready to set on the endless journey!

The game is free with in-app purchases; check out the below:

Pokémon Go Underscores Safety in Latest Update

Pokémon Go Underscores Safety in Latest Update

Aug 11, 2016

Pokémon Go is getting another update, and this one stresses user safety: don’t drive and catch Pokémon!

Post-update, when a trainer fires up the game, he/she will be greeted by a safety message that looks to ensure they are not driving.

Among the features in the latest update, that one is probably the most front-facing one, but there are more.

For example, trainers can change their names — one time only — from within the app. There are also some bug fixes that help correct some XP issues.

The full changelog (courtesy of Google Play):

WHAT’S NEW

– Added a dialog to remind Trainers that they should not play while traveling above a certain speed; Trainers will have to indicate they aren’t the driver
– Fixed a bug that prevented ”Nice,” ”Great,” and “Excellent” Poké Ball throws from awarding the appropriate XP bonuses
– Enabled the ability for Trainers to change their nickname one time, so please choose your new nickname wisely
– Resolved issues with the battery saver mode on iOS and re-enabled the feature
– Other fixes

The game remains free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play.

Uwe Rosenberg’s ‘Agricola All Creatures…’ Launches on Android

Uwe Rosenberg’s ‘Agricola All Creatures…’ Launches on Android

Aug 9, 2016

The Android didgital port of Uwe Rosenberg’s Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small is live now on Google Play.

Per Google Play:

Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small is a digital adaptation of Uwe Rosenberg’s award-winning two-player board game featuring farming and livestock breeding. You’re in charge of growing a farm from its simple beginnings — just a hut and some fields. Send your workers to the village market to barter for goods and livestock. Breed different animals. Eventually, with your ever-growing animal population and special buildings, you’ll compete against your neighbors to see who has the best farm! You only have three workers in each of the eight rounds, so make your decisions count. Play against AI, or claim your plot on a worldwide leaderboard and become a strategy game legend.

KEY FEATURES:
– Experience another faithful boardgame conversion from the studio behind Le Havre: The Inland Port and Patchwork.
– Engage in exciting 1v1 cross-platform multiplayer matches against players from all over the world.
– Focus on breeding the largest and most varied livestock.
– Use the Playback feature to review your best games and learn new tricks from the pros.
– Stay on your toes with challenging AI.

The game costs $4.99 (with additional in-app purchase opportunities) on Google Play. Check out the screens and trailer below:

agri3

Fall Hard Review

Fall Hard Review

Aug 9, 2016

There will always be room for good arcade games. Games that offer and require no story, that don’t change with each playthrough. PacMan, Galaga, Super Crate Box – these games are always the same each time you pick them up and that’s just great.

Fall Hard is an example of this too. You play as a ball which desperately wants to fall to the floor. It’s like an inverse Doodle Jump, where you want to get to the bottom rather than reach the top. The game doesn’t score you on the distance you travel downards but instead gives you a point for each green square you hit. These green square bounce you upwards, but disappear as soon as they’re hit.unnamed-9

Easy, right? Well, it would be if it weren’t for the natural enemy of green squares, the dreaded red triangle. Red triangles will simply kill you on contact and end your run. Game Over. Here’s you score. Please try again.

So the game’s dead simple and the controls work well. Touch the left side of the screen to move left, right side of the screen to move right.

The visuals are striking, with a neon colour pallette and a cool looking CRT filter applied to everything. Audio is not much more than simple blips and bloops, though this plays into the hands of the ‘arcadey’ feel of the game.

The game’s real issue is with the ‘fairness’ of the game. With a title like Fall Hard, you’d expect there to be difficulty, however it seems to veer into the impossible on occasion thanks to the squares and triangle spawning randomly. Sometimes it will feel like you’re funneled into a trap, with a green square popping you up into a red triangle and offering you no choice but to get killed.

This might have been me being rubbish at the game. Perhaps my reactions were too slow, I can’t say for sure. What I can say is that I quickly stopped getting angry at myself and started blaming the game. It went too far and it became no fun. I put it down and only went back to it because I needed to write this review.

Most players will also find it difficult to come back if they’re not grabbed by the gameplay. This is because there’s little to unlock, except for some different looking circles. Aside from this there’s no change in the ‘enemies’ you encounter. You’ll always see red triangles and you’ll always score off of green squares.

Once you’ve played it the first time you’ll have seen everything. If the game feels fair to you, you might keep coming back to it. I, however, found Fall Hard to be more unfair than it was hard.

Suicide Squad: Special Ops Review

Suicide Squad: Special Ops Review

Aug 9, 2016

Summer is the season of the major motion blockbuster and — as an increasing norm — the major motion blockbuster companion mobile game. DC Hero spawns the anti-hero flick Suicide Squad, and from that, we get Suicide Squad: Special Ops.

Yes… the joy of living.

It action comes in first-person style, and landscape is how it is taken. The game is decidedly dark, with visual tools that give it a bit of an ominous look. Our three characters are easily identifiable: the keen-eyed Deadshot, the incendiary El Diablo, and the spooky Harley Quinn. Overall, the artwork and animations work well.

Each of our heroes has a representation of their telltale powers, and via use of cutscenes and an interactive tutorial, one gets to understand the basic idea which gets us here: the city is overrun by, uh, creatures, and the players job is to survive the wave of attackers and make progress.

The controls are pretty liberal: one side to swing the targeting module, and the other side moves the character. Shooting/attacking is done when the target has the movable sights on it and is close enough, so all one needs to do is be nimble enough to keep the baddies in front. The baddies do attack if they close enough, so it makes sense to keep them at arm’s length. One can select which hero to use every so often, and there is an opportunity cost associated with such a choice.

ss3

There are checkpoints and ammo depots and health packs to pick up; at certain junctures, one might be invited to upgrade an attribute which makes battling easier. There is plenty of city space to check out as well.

It’s all about survival.

It’s a simple, energetic romp, one which boils down to a first-person wave shooter; it has the benefit of having relevant characters, easy-to-understand gameplay, and the current movie tie-in definitely doesn’t hurt. It manages to squeeze in a usable task, a replenishment system, RPG elements… and more.

In some aspects though, it might be short of fulfilling. While it has the benefit of diving right into it, folks looking for a bit of a tangible backstory might be a bit miffed. The targeting system feels a bit rudimentary at times, and the controls could be a bit more reactive in the combat scenes.

The timing is great, and in the end, that’s the biggest asset; it looks to be a veritable companion game, and we won’t — can’t — complain about that.

Star Trek Timelines: Game on the Edge of Forever (Video of the Day)

Star Trek Timelines: Game on the Edge of Forever (Video of the Day)

Aug 8, 2016

Here’s a fun one for Trekkies (and specifically Star Trek Timelines feens): a new video from developer Disruptor Beam.

Why?

With the 50th Anniversary of the Star Trek franchise only a month away, the mobile game company Disruptor Beam today released a new video explaining the enhancements, changes and upcoming plans for Star Trek Timelines, the mobile game that lets players assemble a crew of their favorite popular characters from the series, including James T. Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard, Data, Worf and boldly explore the deep reaches of the galaxy.

Released at Star Trek Las Vegas this past weekend, the video discusses how Star Trek Timelines was originally envisioned as a Star Trek fan’s dream of uniting their favorite franchise characters to experience all that Star Trek had to offer, along with how the game has evolved since its launch in January.

Check out the video below:

Speed Kayak Gets Olympic with Rio-Themed Update

Speed Kayak Gets Olympic with Rio-Themed Update

Aug 8, 2016

Pixelgate Studios’ Speed Kayak is getting in on the Olympic spirit with an update that puts Rio front and center.

Here’s some info:

Control your kayak and go as far as you can!

Achieve the highest score you can!

– Tap anywhere to change kayak’s direction
– Collect nuts and unlock new kayaks!
– Complete challenges to get more nuts!

RIO update:
– Support your country and discover 54 new kayaks!
– Need more nuts? You can now buy them inside the nuts shop!
– Introducing challenge feature
– You can now share your score on Facebook. Challenge your friends!

The game remains free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play; below is some art and the update trailer:

speedkayak