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My Android App Addiction: Business Calendar

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015

Business Calendar defines the term "anchor app."

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Games

WARSHIP BATTLE:3D World War II Review

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015

Seafaring battle.

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Productivity

SmartNews Review

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015

SmartNews: news. Simplified.

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App Rundown

WARSHIP BATTLE:3D World War II Review

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015

Seafaring battle.

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Recent Posts

EA SPORTS UFC Review

EA SPORTS UFC Review

Jun 23, 2015

If anyone should try to tackle a sports sim, it should be EA Sports. And tackle fighting it did with EA SPORTS UFC.

Somehow, the tutorial is quite enjoyable on it’s own. It’s of the hands-on variety, so one is able to learn while doing with visual cues that help folks to understand the control system — which incorporates gestures and swipes to control the basics. With said tutorial we see attacks and special attacks, defensive maneuvers, take-downs and even submissions. The controls require dexterity and a keen eye, as there are times a very precise tap is needed. The teaching tool also doesn’t clear until one is able to execute the moves proficiently.

After this, one is able to get into a practice “fight,” which gives one an opportunity to bring the recently learned moves to bear. The same goes for the next level too. After those two are completed, one can decide to try out the other modes.

The battling is straightforward, with two fighters going at it; the game engine feels realistic, and the artwork and animations are excellent, from the authentic-looking fighting area to the simple things like the UFC logo on the mouthpiece. One can pick a fighter, and it’s pertinent to note that a recent update brings female fighters to the fold.

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After each fight, performance determines how much game cash is awarded; the health left determines how many stars are given.

So, it does boil down to a war of attrition, as the overriding goal is to ensure that the opponents life bar is depleted before the player. At the base level, in career, one keeps on fighting and trying to move up the ladder — much like a real MMA pugilist would. Of course, as one makes his/her way up the charts, the competition gets better, which is where “training” and earned coins can be useful. The in-app store has a bunch of boosts and training packs and such that can be used to improve a character’s chances. Real cash can be used as well.

It all comes together well: nice graphics, fun options (like Live Events) and familiar names. It’s an easy way to fall in love with the sport it portrays, which underscores its value.

Spider Square Review

Spider Square Review

Jun 22, 2015

We did wonder just what Spider Square is all about. What better way to find out than to, well, play it?

Graphically, it looks like a basic affair; the game uses bright splotches of pastels, and is presented in 2D form. The animations are crisp, and as we see when we get into the action, the colors do frame the gameplay quite well.

When we say “simple” with regards to the gameplay, we mean just that. The idea is so easy to grasp, the game barely needs a formal tutorial. It’s an arcade game that is delightfully cloaked as a platformer. The action “moves” from left to right, and the main concept is to get a square, uh, spider(?) to keep moving rightwards (forward) for as long as possible. The main tool is a rope, and the cube moves by swinging from said rope attached to the roof of the playing area. The kicker is that the cube can’t touch the floor or ceiling.

The rope is evoked by longpressing, and the cube swings forwards automatically; releasing the screen makes the cube release the rope. The basic idea is to release and make a new rope, and to continue swinging forward, much like Spider-Man.

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The main problem is the travel area, obviously. Neither floor or ceiling is regular; there are segments that jut out, and then there are straight obstacles in the middle, and touching them ends the run. So, one has to get the timing just right, avoiding (or using) obstacles all the way. It is quite an enjoyable romp, even if the gameplay is more than a little hard.

There is gold that can be collected on runs, and these can be used to unlock other blocks or even extend runs. I like the simple unlock process, which allows for real cash if one so chooses.

Even before Flappy Bird — and heaven knows, to infinity after its release — difficult games have had a place in mobile gaming. What Spider Square does well is that it allows for different modes to make continued gameplay even more attractive. You get an enjoyable multiplayer challenge, and the perverse requirement that the easy mode has to be unlocked is a cheeky aspect I like.

All in all, it’s a pretty fun game. It is perfect in bunches, small or big, and it manages to do one thing well in different ways.

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Earn to Die

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Earn to Die

Jun 22, 2015

Earn to Die is a zombie derby game that is the FAOTD from Amazon.

Product Description
Drive your way through a zombie apocalypse!

Are you ready to drive for your life? The hit online game series that has enjoyed OVER 200 MILLION PLAYS has been revamped and re-engineered and is now available on Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD.

You’re stranded in a desert surrounded by zombies. With only a run-down car and a small amount of cash at your disposal, your mission soon becomes clear – to drive through hordes of zombies in order to escape… alive!

THE BEST OF THE ACTION, DRIVING AND UPGRADE GENRES
Earn to Die sees you not only driving your way through hordes of zombies, but allows you to earn cash to upgrade, unlock and customise new vehicles. Is your vehicle not strong enough? Why not add a gun, or boosters, or even a spiked frame?

Key Features
– A brand new and extended STORY MODE which sees you driving cross-country during a zombie apocalypse
– 8 VEHICLES at your disposal, including a race-car, a truck and even a school bus!
– UPGRADES GALORE! Just unlocking a vehicle isn’t enough, customise each vehicle with a range of upgrades
– Zombiesssssssssssss… Plenty of zombies… Be sure to introduce them to your car’s front bumper
– A realistic ragdoll physics engine that allows you to crash into zombies and send them flying!
– Awesome animated sequences
– Race for the best time in Championship Mode
– Survived the zombie apocalypse? Smash through pumpkins in Halloween Mode

With over 200 Million Plays to the original online version, be one of the first to download the new and improved version of Earn to Die for your Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD.

The game usually costs $1.19.

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AlphaBetty Saga Review

AlphaBetty Saga Review

Jun 22, 2015

Yes, AlphaBetty Saga is a word game, but clearly wants folks to know it is more than simply that; it packs in elements across the board, from Scrabble, word search, matching, and even a lit bit of Tetris-y gravity play… and then some. It does a lot, which helps it come out the gate strong.

At first glance, it’s easy to see developer King’s handprint on the visuals. The game employs bright colors and graphics that lean towards the whimsical without necessarily stumbling into the cartoonish. As a word game, it relies heavily on tiles, but the developer isn’t so jaded as to forget splashing character into the background. It’s a vivid presentation, and it mostly works in the plying area, which usually consists of random word tiles.

The gameplay, as noted, is a conglomeration of concepts. The core concept is the word search using tiles that hearken to word formation games. Using gestures, one can “dissolve” tiles by forming letters with them; the forming rules are fairly liberal, and one slide forwards, backwards and diagonally, and even cross each other. As long as the stream is connected by adjacent letters and it is a recognized word, it’ll probably count. When a word is made, the letters used to form it disappear, and. the resulting gaps are filled by randomized cascading new tiles. As one would expect, longer words are good, and it’s possible to earn power-ups and to make use of the occasional special tile that drops in.

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It’s around this cornerstone a lot of the gameplay is built; the leveled gameplay has the player complete tasks like dropping an item or group of items from the top of the grid to the bottom, or popping a set number of special bubble tiles, using formed words. To up the ante, there is usually a set number of moves one can make per level, so strategizing becomes key. Each level is graded on a three-star system.

Added all together, it makes for a relatively engaging experience. There is an energy requirement, but it can be alleviated by prior success or real money.

When it’s all said and done, AlphaBetty Saga is a cool journey that is easy to pickup and consume in tailored gulps, and that’s why it’d probably a safe bet to try.

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: All-in-One Mahjong

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: All-in-One Mahjong

Jun 21, 2015

All-in-One Mahjong is the today’s Amazon Appstore’s free app.

Have fun!

All-in-One Mahjong is an addicting solitaire game where player is challenged to eliminate all pieces from the board.
Two game modes:
• Time mode (with shuffle ability, match all pairs as soon as possible)
• Score mode (no shuffle, play until you win or lose)
• 42 different layouts!
• Global leaderboard with people playing all over the world.
• Keep track of your own records.
• Big selection of backgrounds.
• Nice music.

Have fun!

This app is usually priced at $0.99.

Toca Hair Salon 2 is Free for Limited Time on Google Play

Toca Hair Salon 2 is Free for Limited Time on Google Play

Jun 21, 2015

Another one for the parents of young kids…

The current Google Play “Free App of the Week is Toca Hair Salon 2 from Toca Boca AB

Cut, curl, color and style – any way you want in Toca Hair Salon 2!
Our bestselling Toca Boca app, Toca Hair Salon, is back in an even better version with new characters, new tools, new accessories and even more hairstyling fun!
In this kid-friendly, Toca Boca super-creative kids app, you get to run your very own hair salon, with six fun characters to choose from. Cut hair, color and style hair any way you want, using lots of different hair styling tools – from a simple comb and scissors to a curling iron and a straightener. Trim mustaches, spray mohawks bright pink and give someone the curls they’ve always wanted!
Whoops – did you accidentally snip off too much hair? Make things right with our special tonic G.R.O.W. and then top it all off with hats, glasses and other fun accessories. Once you and your customer are happy with the way they look, don’t forget to take them to the camera booth for a snapshot!
What’s in Toca Boca’s – Toca Hair Salon 2?
– 6 completely new characters
– Fun hair makeover tools: razor, curling iron, a crimper and a straightener
– More realistic hair color spray effects – combine to make new shades!
– Accessories: hats, glasses and much more
– Cool photo backdrops
– Smooth and beautiful animations
– Better and more realistic hair styling – make any style you want!
– Support for Android tablets and new Android devices

The game is usually priced at $2.99; to redeem a free copy, click on THIS LINK, and then click on the green Free App of the Week tab, which should lead directly to the free offering.

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Floristry

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Floristry

Jun 20, 2015

There’s still some time to pick up today’s free app of the day on Amazon, which is Floristry.

Product Features
A fun puzzle game with a unique graphic look.
6 varied modes of play.
Fun for all ages and gaming skill levels.

Product Description
“Floristry” challenges players to delete a 3D cube of flowers comprised of smaller cubes by matching pairs of the smaller cubes. There are currently 6 modes of play that are sure to entertain.

The app is usually priced at $0.99. Hurry! It goes off the board very soon.

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Office Calculator Pro

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Office Calculator Pro

Jun 19, 2015

Amazon is giving us Office Calculator Pro for free today as part of its ongoing daily app giveaway promotion.

Office calculator with a virtual tape,
fixed point or floating point calculator,
various rounding modes, percent and tax calculation.
This is a calculator optimized for office tasks.

This is the Pro variant of Office Calculator without advertisement and without the need for network access.
A Free variant with ads is also available.

* Calculator with virtual tape
You can switch between calculator view and and tape view to have a full screen view of the tape.
The tape of the calculator can have up to 500 lines.

* Calculator allows annotations on the tape
You can write a comment to a tape line.

* Calculator support corrections on the tape
You can change values on the virtual tape to make corrections.
For corrections go to the context menu of the tape line with a long press.

* Calculator with fixed point arithmetic or floating point.
Fixed point arithmetic has 20 digits and 0 – 4 decimal places.
The floating point arithmetic has 64 bits (IEEE double precision).
By default, the calculator works with fixed point arithmetic and 2 decimal places as needed for most calculations with amounts.

* Calculator supports three rounding modes: up, down or 5/4.

* Calculator has percent calculation to add or subtract percent values.
The tape will display the percentage and the resulting value.

* Calculator has tax buttons (TX+, TX-) to add or sub tract tax (sales tax, VAT)
This makes it very easy to calculate tax amounts with the calculator.
The tape will display the tax rate and the resulting value.

* Calculator support operator precedence (multiplication/division over addition/subtraction) and displays interim results (optional)

The app is usually priced at $$2.19

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Death Race: The Game Review

Death Race: The Game Review

Jun 19, 2015

If Death Race: The Game evokes Jason Statham, that’s okay. After all, it is based on the major movie of the same name starrring the aforementioned actor. In any case, one can be promised a lot of gunfire, which makes it good enough to review, thank you very much.

Graphics-wise, the game packs a punch. It manages to reflect the source material vividly with the dark tone and decrepit scenery. Everything, from the vehicles to the race environment conveys a feeling of dread and destruction. The sound is equally foreboding, with a judicious use of effects that embolden the gameplay.

And with regards to the gameplay, the game serves as teacher within, giving the basics of how to play as it unfolds. As one would guess, it leans heavily on the originating movie: a major depression causes crime to climb, and eventually private prisoners and, uh, pay-per-view hold sway. Of course we then get something similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Running Man: prisoner-based gladiator games. In cars, no less. Heavily armed racing cars.

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The controls incorporate tilting and touch, and, interestingly enough, consists of a few elements. Players learn the aiming mechanism, which needs a bit of practice, and other concepts like drifting. The “racing” is 1v1 in beat-down areas, and the idea is to work hard to outlast the competition by reducing that driver’s lifebar to nothingness before the opponent does the same to the player; thus it is a war of attrition. Combat and ramming take front stage; the vehicle moves on its own, and the former requires keeping a steely hand to ensure the weapons are trained right. In Ramming, it’s a matter of quick reflexes, as a decreasing circle measures the amount of damage one inflicts on the opponent. The pieces come on and off until one racer is destroyed.

Performing well allows one to level up and earn game cash, which allows one to get better gear and upgrade vehicle attributes; in many ways, it’s a self-contained adventure that rewards continued action. It doesn’t make the mistake of forcing canon accuracy. It is a lot of the same, but “same” here mostly works because the battles are not too drawn out.

It’s a cool game, with cool backstory, and one cool main dude. Carry on.

Angry Birds Fight! Review

Angry Birds Fight! Review

Jun 19, 2015

Angry Birds were first released in 2009 – six years ago. It’s literally a thousand years in internet time. Although the franchise has long been erased from the collective memory, the games are still being released, and judging by Angry Birds Fight, they’re still going quite strong.

Angry Birds Fight is a simple match-three arcade with some fighting flavor thrown in for a good measure. The player picks one of the birds that have different abilities and stats, and fights against other players in a simple 1v1 matchmaking multiplayer. The task is to get more of attack and defense boosts than your opponent until the time runs out. After this, the birds fight each other and the winning bird gets experience, gold and possibly – some items as well. Defeating a certain amount of enemies allows the player to fight against AI pig boss that, when defeated, will open a new location and spawn some random accessories as well.

The match-three mechanics don’t really do anything different to any other similar, arcades, the only difference being that the players can mess each others’ boards by making different combos, erasing four or five blocks at once. The inventory system is really unoriginal, and while it provides some variety, I found it a bit cumbersome for simple gameplay of Angry Birds Fight. Really, the whole game has too many elements and would work a lot better as a simple multiplayer match-three arcade without the lengthy campaign and useless ship battles.

Angry Birds Fight is surprisingly balanced, if you don’t count the obnoxiousness that is its FTP restrictions. While Angry Birds Fight 2the gameplay itself is rather skill-based – at least for the time I’ve played it – there’s the whole package of the free-to-play elements, including the gems, the item upgrading, and the energy shtick, which is as repugnant as it always was. But, if you’re okay with playing up to fifteen minutes at a time, the game is rather enjoyable.

Overall, it’s another game, ruined by corporate greed and desire to have the same elements that the popular kids have. Angry Birds Fight could be a really great, simple game with good design, just like original Angry Birds were, but it’s sinking under the weight of the obligation to include every single FTP mechanic there is.

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Hidden Object – Home Makeover

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: Hidden Object – Home Makeover

Jun 18, 2015

Hidden Object – Home Makeover is the free app today on the Amazon Appstore.

Main features:
– Story Mode: Help Emma restore her Grandparents’ old house back to its old glory! Make money from jumble sale which you can spend to buy a variety of furniture items!
– Game Modes: There are more than 10 distinct game modes, so you won’t feel bored playing this game over and over again!
– Tutorial: There is a tutorial for each new feature introduced into the game, so that you will understand completely what you’re doing!
– Unlimited Game: Unlimited levels which spans around 15 gorgeous scenes!
– Achievements: 9 challenging achievements for you to pursue!
– Player Profiles: Create up to 5 profiles so that everyone in the family can play!
– Stamp Collecting: On occasion you will also get to play an exciting Match 3 Minigame! A really fun and refreshing quick break from finding Hidden Objects!
– Item Hunt mode: Find 20 items of the same kind, instead of working from a list! There are 15 Item Hunt levels in this game, try to play them all!
– Extra Content: Play 4 different game modes
– Zoom feature: Help you look at smaller items!
– Bonus Useful Tips: So you can learn useful home tips as you play the game!

The game usually costs $1.99

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House of Marley Chant Wireless Speaker Hardware Review

House of Marley Chant Wireless Speaker Hardware Review

Jun 18, 2015

Yes, I admit The House of Marley intrigues me. Beyond the iconic name, the company makes some nice-looking accessories, and its commitment to use sustainable materials can only be lauded. It’s Chant Bluetooth Speaker looks to be an example of what House of Marley can bring to market, and we were quite willing to give it a try.

It’s cute, but can’t be accused of looking trivial; it possesses a small cylindrical shape that almost makes it resemble a small candle jar. It has a hard cloth/denim-like material on the exterior, with cutouts at the bottom and a zipper at the top, plus a caribiner and Jamaican flag accents; this is indeed the cover (which is made out of natural materials and recycled goods), and inside, the smooth, bamboo-trimmed main speaker sits. The main grill is at the top, with two smaller ones towards the bottom. There’s an on switch and LED at the top, and mini USB charging port, microphone and 3.55 mm plugin port. On its own, it looks okay, but when paired with the zip-up case — as it is meant to be — it looks a bit more defined. Officially, it is 5.9 x 4.4 x 4.4 inches and about 1 lb.

Pairing it is easy and intuitive; turning it on puts the unit into pairing mode, from which it can be discovered and paired to from a host advice. At this point, it’s a simple matter of piping audio through it, and we put it through the paces.

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The main output comes from the top; thus, the unit works optimally with the top of the case unzipped with the covered pulled back. With different types of music, we put the speaker on full throttle. It gets decently loud, but not as loud as bigger units. At higher registers, there is a hint of tinniness, but a decent helping of base. Laying on its side, it did provide decent directional sound. If vibrating chandeliers off the roof is the goal, these probably won’t suffice

It works well as a makeshift speakerphone; calls in are handled well, and fairly seamlessly.

If one were to nitpick, it would probably be about some minor things… like the mini-USB port. It does come with its own cable, but for folks that like to move around, using the more ubiquitous micro-USB standard makes it easier to use on the go… in theory at least.

As a portable entertainment extension, the Chant excels. It is very mobile, and can be used in a number of situations in different locales. It looks equally at home on a window sill or strapped to some handlebars, and does a good job of audio transmission. The ability to go both ways (wired and wirelessly) is a nice benefit.

The cool factor is just the cherry on top.

Get Three Live-Performance Classical Tracks for Free on Google Play

Get Three Live-Performance Classical Tracks for Free on Google Play

Jun 17, 2015

Even though I come across as this incredibly suave, rough and tumble dude, I do have my mellow moments.

I like my classical music. There. I said it.

Google Play Music is giving three live classic tracks for free:

One needs registered access to Google Play to get the free music; to redeem, simply open up the link in Google Music App on a compatible device, or access said links on a desktop. Scroll down to the song, which should be listed as “free” and click on the button.

[via Slickdeals]

New Game Death Race Due to Drop on Android… Tomorrow!!!

New Game Death Race Due to Drop on Android… Tomorrow!!!

Jun 17, 2015

Death Race, a game based on the major motion production featuring Jason Statham, is just about ready for Android courtesy of developer Genera Games; according to the developer, it is set for a June 18th release on Google Play.

For racing/combat enthusiasts, this can only be good.

Welcome to the Death Race, the most extreme sports event on Earth, where hardened convicts race to the death to earn their freedom. Now you can experience the supercharged, metal-crushing intensity of the movie in a game on your iOS or Android device!
You choose the weapons and the vehicles as you put your life on the line and race for your freedom in this explosive game. In a race where losing means death, are you ready to do whatever it takes to defeat your opponents, before they defeat you? With fast cars, big guns and realistic graphics, the Death Race will have you on the edge of your seat!

FEATURES

12 tricked out vehicles (sport, trucks, SUVs, and muscle!)
4 super sexy co-pilots!
Striking graphics and incredible courses.
Varied game modes: Story, Daily, Ladder, and Challenge.
Share your souped up car on Facebook!
Amazing jumps, drifts, battles and explosions!
Spectacular non-stop action – just like the movie!

According to the press release, the game will cost $2.99; stay cued for our review.

But of course… y’all want screenshots, and maybe even a trailer, no? We got you:

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[via Genera Death Race Website]

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: PDF Max 4

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: PDF Max 4

Jun 17, 2015

Today’s free app from Amazon is a mouthful — PDF Max 4 – Read, Annotate & Edit PDF documents plus Fill out PDF Forms — but that’s okay, as its official name gives us an idea of how useful it is.

The app is a PDF resource hub, allowing users to read, search, fill out and sign PDF documents… and more.

Product Description
PDF Max 4 is a desktop class PDF app for reading, annotating or signing PDF documents on your Android. Mark up document with highlights and handwriting, insert texts and stamps, fill out, sign, watermark, copy/paste PDF pages and much more. Any features you would expect in a desktop class PDF reader can be found in PDF Max 4. And, not only is PDF Max featured powerful PDF tools, it is also designed to be intuitive, gorgeous and touch-optimized for mobile devices. With over 1.5 million downloads across platforms, PDF Max helps hundred thousands of people over the world to go paperless everyday.

The app is usually priced at $7.99.

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Dude Perfect 2 Review

Dude Perfect 2 Review

Jun 17, 2015

To understand Dude Perfect 2, one almost has to be acquainted with the source franchise, which is based upon a group of friends doing trick shots and other guy things that make the rest of us jealous. If this game is a cute way to get us to live out that life just a little bit, we are grateful.

The game is zany in appearance, featuring a vivid use of color on an eye-catching template. The animations are fairly smooth, and off the bat, the design evokes a sense of playfulness. When it comes to the gameplay, the first series gives an idea of just what the player is looking to accomplish: making basketball shots. At first, it’s easy; to make a shot, the player manipulates a shot and distance meter to get the right balance and get the ball in the ball in the hoop. The less balls one uses, the better, and success yields points and cash. At the end of a series, a three-star system rates one’s performance.

Simple.

Except that it does get harder. As one goes on and opens up more levels, the physics puzzles get tougher, and more elements are added in. Soon, one needs to start thinking of bouncing and squeezing balls into tight places, and giving mind to momentum and such. After a while, there are bowling balls added as a smashing option, and levers with gates and more, such that making trick shots becomes a true part of the gameplay. The arcade element brings cool, consumable power-ups (hello, air drop) and there are even creative, time-sensitive combination plays that have to be made.

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Levels can be repeated, but there is an energy requirement that can be alleviated over time or with game cash or the real kind.

Essentially, it boils down to leveled gameplay based on physics puzzles; a little bit of Angry Birds sauteed with interesting power-ups.

Dude Perfect 2 is the consummate dude game. The trick shots contained therein are whimsical, silly and intelligent, ask at the same time. On the surface, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but one can’t help but enjoy the depth of its geometric riddles.

The dichotomy is very becoming.