Games

The Abandoned Review

Posted by on Apr 30, 2016

All about first-person survival.

Read More

Productivity

TacticalPad Pro Review

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016

A soccer coaching tool.

Read More

App Rundown

The Abandoned Review

Posted by on Apr 30, 2016

All about first-person survival.

Read More

Recent Posts

A look at TurboTax Mobile

A look at TurboTax Mobile

Apr 18, 2016

“Can I hear a ‘what, what’ for tax time?” (said no one. Like, ever).

Look, it is a pain. No one will dispute that, no even the IRS itself (think about it… how do you think IRS employees feel during this period? Don’t beat me; it’s just food for thought)>

Win or lose, refund or payment, taking or giving, the fact remains, tax preparation can be stressful. In an increasingly mobile, do-it-yourself world, there are several options that are geared towards providing a reasonable experience on smaller screens.

TurboTax is well positioned to do just this, with several tools on the biggest mobile platforms.

This year, it unveiled a new enhancement: a product especially prepared for folks looking to get things done via mobile browser. In several ways, this makes sense; I have been flirting with the idea of doing most computer-y things with a keyboard-docked Android tablet. Yes, armed with an Intuit-provided review code, we decided to take on the child.

Using the Chrome browser, we easily were able to start the program. From a visual perspective, it retains the color scheme of the application and desktop browser, with whites on grays plus blue and red accents. The text flows professionally. The interview questions are easily discernible, and the program is partitioned well.

One great feature is that the entire system syncs. One is able to save and sign out of the mobile browser, and pick right off in the app or the desktop version, truly allowing one to work on one’s returns whenever, however on almost any type of mainstream connected device

Basically, the mobile build is a self contained option, and it gives a filer the opportunity to get stuff done in an easy way. The experience is not degraded at all, and in many ways, is better with its well designed mobile component.

Toodledo gets update

Toodledo gets update

Apr 16, 2016

Task management utility Toodledo is getting a pretty expansive update that is available now.

The changelog (courtesy of Google Play):

WHAT’S NEW

+ Fixed a bug where sharing an image with Toodledo would cause Toodledo to crash
+ Fixed a bug where Google Now “Note to Self” used with Toodledo was causing duplicates
+ Fixed a bug where editing a subtask was causing duplicates
+ Fixed a bug where editing a task note and then tapping to edit another field without saving the note was causing the note changes to be lost.
+ Lists, Outlines and Habits updated with a number of small bug fixes

Toodledo is free on the Play Store.

Burstle Arrives on Google Play

Burstle Arrives on Google Play

Apr 15, 2016

Developer Cerebellio has dropped a new game on Google Play called Burstle; it looks to be a bit reminiscent of Tetris — with a DIY twist.

Per Google Play:

The rules of Burstle are simple: put at least 3 tiles of the same colour next to each other and burst them to score points.
The snags of Burstle are numerous: you must reach your score target, whilst navigating special tiles such as walls and wildcards. To be successful in Burstle you’re going to have to be a great player!

There are a number of powerups you can unlock along the way as you level up your character. Bombs allow you to burst all surrounding tiles. Sniper strikes search out all tiles of the colour you select to destroy them. There are many more secrets to unlock as you play!

[FEATURES]

• 600 levels ranging from very easy to very very difficult!

• 4 difficulties: Casual, Normal, Hard and Insane

• Over 40 trophies for you to unlock as you progress

• Powerups, colour schemes and grid shapes for you to buy with your hard-earned coins!

• Consistently soothing sound effects and animations make Burstle a joy to pass the time with

#burstle

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

S.E.D.: Special Enquiry Detail Launches on Amazon Appstore

S.E.D.: Special Enquiry Detail Launches on Amazon Appstore

Apr 15, 2016

G5’s S.E.D.: Special Enquiry Detail – Criminal Investigation Hidden Object Game is now on the Amazon Appstore.

Are you a born detective? Then put your skills to the test with this riveting hidden object game!
Join the famous S.E.D. Detectives Turino and Lamonte and help return law and order to the streets of New York. A series of sensational murders has turned the city upside down, from a bleeding portrait on a wall to a dead body found with a deer head. And that’s just the beginning….
Head to the crime scenes and show your sleuthing abilities. Search every nook and cranny, gather evidence, interrogate suspects and analyze forensic material in the advanced crime lab. Be painstakingly diligent as even the tiniest hair could help solve these dreadful crimes. Plunge into the unforgettable stories of S.E.D.: Special Enquiry Detail today and bring the killers to justice!

YOU CAN UNLOCK ADDITIONAL BONUSES VIA IN-APP PURCHASE FROM WITHIN THE GAME!

*Game available in: English, Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

– 10 uniquely horrific cases to crack, with many more to come via free updates
– Over 40 unsettling crime scenes to investigate
– 20 thrilling mini-games to master
– 45 collections to gather for bonuses and awards, plus more on the way
– An Interactive Detective Case Board for organizing clues
– Regular free updates with loads of new content

The game is free (with in-app purchases); the official trailer is below:

Capital One launches CreditWise, a credit monitoring tool for Android users

Capital One launches CreditWise, a credit monitoring tool for Android users

Apr 14, 2016

Capital One is expanding its mobile offerings with CreditWise, a free tool that allows users to monitor their creditworthiness. As an added plus, one need not be a capital One customer to use it; it is completely and freely available to all.

Specifically, the service monitors TransUnion reports.

Use CreditWise to understand what makes up your score and find helpful ways to take action to improve it. If your score is where you want it to be, use CreditWise to keep an eye on your accounts and get alerts when something changes on your TransUnion® credit report.

Used by millions of Capital One customers, CreditWise (formerly Credit Tracker) is key for anyone who wants to know, improve, or monitor their credit score. Using CreditWise won’t hurt your score, and you won’t ever be asked to enter a credit card number.

All features are free:
● Weekly credit score provided by TransUnion.
● Use the Credit Simulator to see how everyday decisions affect your credit score.
● Learn about the key factors that make up your credit score and how you’re doing on each of them.
● Alerts letting you know about changes to your TransUnion credit report.
● See what accounts are open in your name, and their balances, all in one place.
● Simple, everyday tips on how you can take control of your credit.

CreditWise is still in beta, and is available now.

War Dragons launches on Google Play, gets TV spot

War Dragons launches on Google Play, gets TV spot

Apr 14, 2016

War Dragons is now on Google Play.

War Dragons is a visually stunning 3D real-time strategy game that puts you in control of the ultimate dragon army. Join a guild, help your teammates launch attacks in PVP, and hold off enemy raids in true real-time fashion.
BREED LEGENDARY DRAGONS

War Dragons has more than one hundred unique dragons possessing different attack styles, spell abilities, and classes. Breed your hunter, warrior, and sorcerer dragons to create an even more powerful army. See if you can unlock the furious behemoth Khrysos and dominate the battlefield!

COMBINE FORCES WITH FRIENDS

Start or join a guild to combine forces with other dragon lords. With true synchronous multiplayer, experience PVP like never before by chatting with teammates in real time and coordinating attack and defense strategies against other guilds.

BUILD IMPENETRABLE FORTRESSES

Strategize and build your island fortress with the optimal combination of lightning, ballista, and archer towers to best protect your base against enemy fire.

ASCEND TO THE THRONE

Participate in a wide variety of weekly multiplayer events with the chance to win rewards, such as rare dragon eggs and treasure hunts, for you and your guild. Claw your way up the leaderboards to achieve victory and assert yourself as one of the world’s top dragon lords.

EXPLORE THE CHAOTIC BEAUTY OF WAR DRAGONS

The game was built on the Mantis Engine, a proprietary 3D game engine, featuring state-of-the-art graphics and cinematics. Experience mobile games like never before with the ability to visually explore all facets of its stunning world.

Additionally, the game has a new ad by J.J. Sedelmaier called Dragon Days. The cheeky commercial takes a look back to the origins of human-dragon interaction, and is to start airing this month.

The game is free (with in-app purchases); the trailer is below:

Game of Dice has been updated with a spooky new Mysterious Mansion map

Mystery Mansion Title

Remember Game of Dice, that hit mobile board game? Well, it’s just received a brand new update that includes a spooky new Mysterious Mansion map that changes the mechanics.

How so? Well, the ‘Jail’ and ‘Crimson Aura’ tiles now create a Toll increase and the location of ‘Fortune’ Road’ has moved.

You can now also buff yourself before a game in the new ‘Goods’ menu, which houses over 20 equippable buffs that help give you an upper hand, and you can trade unwanted Dice Fragments in the Powder Shop for items you require.

There’s also a bunch of new events linked to the update like ‘Get’em Goods’, which rewards 500 Gems and a Good Draw Ticket for five star Goods, and ‘Spooky Wooky New Map!’, which rewards daily play in the Mysterious Mansion map.

mistery_en_2048-1536_2

Spring has also come to Game of Dice with the ‘Tulip Festival’ which rewards you with Gems if you can make a tulip bouquet.

Haven’t played Game of Dice before? Well, it’s a mobile board game similar to Monopoly. You throw dice to move around a multi-tiled board and take all property you land on, with the value of all of your real estate increasing each time you complete a lap.

However, it does have its own mechanics like the unique abilities tied to all skill cards, characters, and dice which you can use to give you a helping hand during a game.

If you like the sound of this, head on over to the App Store or Google Play to check out Game of Dice and the new update right now for free.

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

Dream Machine – The Game Review

Dream Machine – The Game Review

Apr 14, 2016

Give me a great puzzler that has great graphics, and then I can go to town.

Give me Dream Machine.

The artwork that graces this game makes no bones about tricking the eye and teasing the brain. Color-wise, it is fairly sedate, evoking a somewhat steampunk-ish vibe even while mostly ensuring that one doesn’t drift too far away from the fantastical structures that are at the core of this game’s visual presentation.

Yes, they are definitely interesting. If one has a thing for impossible objects, Dream Machine will definitely be the dmg2game to mess around with. It has several uniquely adjustable structures on display, and it’s easy to forget the actual gameplay while enjoying the visual permutations. The animations are smooth, and work well with the soothing tunes.

The gameplay gets right to it. The main idea is to get our protagonist, non-conformist robot from point A to point B; the robot moves continually once started, and if it gets to a point where it can go forward, it reverses course, unless manually controlled by the player. To do this, one generally has to use a supplied lever to turn a piece of the structure in such a way that the robot can continue on a path that leads to the end point. The cool sideshow is the way the structures disregard the laws of physics; as one moves to create a new path, the optical illusions all but become attractions in and of themselves.

The game is leveled; make one’s way to the end point, and a new, invariably tougher level is open.

As the game pops off further, the puzzles do get more complex, forcing one to move things around a bit, and do things like doubling back and such. There are boss battles, which are enjoyable in their somewhat unexpected nature.

It comes together quite well, a bit predictable, yes, but still manages to be engaging. It brings great looks to the fore without over-relying on eye candy, which is no small feat.

D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plugs now work with Amazon Echo

D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plugs now work with Amazon Echo

Apr 13, 2016

Per an announcement from D-Link today, its Wi-Fi Smart Plug are now integrated with Amazon Echo via the companion mydlink app. This means folks can use Amazon Echo to control their wi-fi plugs using the key phrase “Alexa, ask mydlink to turn on the…”

The wi-fi plugs also get IFTTT compatibility.

This definitely adds a whole new layer of usability to both components of one’s connected home.

More About D-Link’s Connected Home Interactions
mydlink Home users can now create custom actions through the mydlink Home app, IFTTT and Amazon Echo for a personalized smart home experience:

· mydlink Home: In addition to transforming a tablet or smartphone into a remote control for D-Link smart products, the free app can pair D-Link Connected Home devices for a truly automated home. Possibilities include connecting a Wi-Fi Smart Plug and Motion Sensor, so a light turns on if motion is detected. For added value, D-Link’s solutions are Wi-Fi based and free of monthly subscription fees – no need to worry about a smart home hub.

· Amazon Echo: Experience the hands-free control and convenience of Alexa, who can easily turn on a light with the Wi-Fi Smart Plug when your hands are full. During the holidays, tell Alexa to turn off a Smart Plug connected to festive lights. Headed to work? Users can say, “Alexa, ask mydlink to turn off the coffee machine.”

· IFTTT: mydlink Home users can add or create “If This Then That” recipes for a range of tasks to simplify and enhance life. For example, D-Link’s Wi-Fi Water Sensor alerts users when water is detected with a push alert and alarm. Add an IFTTT recipe to make the lights flicker to get your attention before a leak becomes a disaster. IFTTT recipes can also schedule a Wi-Fi Smart Plug to turn on a lamp when the sun rises, turn a fan off whenever you leave the house, or even sound a Wi-Fi Siren when a favorite team wins the game. Users can create and share personalized recipes for a chance to win a range of D-Link Connected Home devices at us.dlink.com/giveaway.

We definitely liked the Wi-Fi Plug when we checked it out.

The new app is available bow; check out the video below:

New ‘Goals” feature comes to Google Calendar

New ‘Goals” feature comes to Google Calendar

Apr 13, 2016

Google Calendar is doing its bit to help users reach goals in their lives with its latest rollout.

Just add a personal goal—like “run 3 times a week”—and Calendar will help you find the time and stick to it.

Goals are easy to set up

To set a goal (like “Work out more”), simply answer a few questions (like “How often?” and “Best time?”), and you’re all set. From there Calendar will look at your schedule and find the best windows to pencil in time for that goal.

Goals adjust to your busy life

Goals aren’t easy—especially when the unexpected comes up—but Calendar can help you adjust in a number of important ways. For example, Calendar will automatically reschedule if you add another event that’s a direct conflict with a goal.

You can also defer a goal at any time, and Calendar will make time for it later.

Finally, Calendar actually gets better at scheduling the more you use it—just defer, edit or complete your goals like normal, and Calendar will choose even better times in the future.

Calendars should help you make the most of your time—not just be tools to track events. So as Google Calendar turns 10 today, we’re excited to invest in more updates like Goals, and to help you find time for everything that matters—from your daily must-dos, to exercising more, to just a little “me time.”

The new feature is available in Google Calendar now. Check out the video:

[via Official Gmail Blog]

Chameleon Run Review

Chameleon Run Review

Apr 13, 2016

Tis the season of lizard games. Add Chameleon Run to the mix.

If one is looking for a visual treat, one need not look much further; Chameleon Run is veritable mix of glossy graphics and high-end animations that seemingly splashes color with every collision of virtual bits. In the default landscape presentation, the 3D imagery really pops. After a few goes, it’s hard to imaging playing the game in any other way than the angled view, and overall, it is a very becoming visual experience.

Extending into the gameplay, our protagonist animal is an agile being, and looks to get through the leveled action as quickly as possible. The opening tutorial level allows one to understand the basics of gameplay: the running area initially has gaps, and one taps o jump over the gapped or black areas. Secondarily to that, our running thingie has to match the color of the running area beneath it (the platforms change colors periodically). Thankfully, our chameleon can — yes, you guessed right — has the ability to change colors.

So, tapping on one side causes our hero to jump and tapping on the other side allows it o change color. To begin, the core idea is to navigate the holes and change colors quickly, back and forth as needed, and make it to the end of the run.

cr3

As one progresses, the gameplay becomes a bit more complex. One will find the need to double jump, look for aerial obstacles, take risks by dropping, etc to move on. There are collectibles as well, so one has to figure what is worth getting. There are tasks, including time trials, and each becomes a bit tougher as the levels become more intricate.

It’s a lot of the same — on paper. The way it is structured allows for levels to not only be repeated, but relatively evergreen with regards to advancement. It is an engaging experience that tests one reflexes on the way yo infinite pain and/or satisfaction.

TacticalPad gets updated

TacticalPad gets updated

Apr 12, 2016

Clansoft’s TacticalPad, a soccer coaching application we reviewed recently and liked a great deal, continues to get better, this time with an update.

Per Google Play:

WHAT’S NEW

– Advanced Player Profile
– Player photos
– Bug fixes

TacticalPad Lite is free; the Pro Version is $19.99.

Check out our TacticalPad Review.

Missile Defence WCP 1.2 Review

Missile Defence WCP 1.2 Review

Apr 12, 2016

“Simple” is the word of the day when it comes to App Entwickler Verzeichnis’ Missile Defence WCP 1.2.

Graphically, the game uses a relatively low frills template; the 2d-ish still image that makes up the playing area is presented in landscape, with a sprawling cityscape exists towards the bottom, populated with telltale skyscrapers of different sizes. The dark silhouettes do stand out, as they are meant to, and against the gentle horizon in the background and water body in the foreground, they almost look stately.md3

It’s an easy game to understand. All one has to do is to save the city from the missiles hurtling towards it from above; said missiles speed down all comet-like, with trails of fearsome white emissions making them loner — and more deadly — than they may be. They come downwards from the top of the screen, first somewhat singly, and then in waves which cause even more havoc.

The main tool to prevent destruction of the city are the two guns that are planted on either side of the playing area.
To get the incoming missiles before they make landfall, one needs to judge the path of an incoming projectile, and time the protective shell such that it hits the enemy weapon at just the right time, thus destroying it. Being off, even by a little, makes the protagonist fire miss. Some logical concepts are present, like the intuitive idea of it being better to take out missiles before they get closer to the buildings.

The game incorporates an upgrade system that allows one to improve weapons.

In essence, the game has one major concept: save the city by intercepting the incoming missiles. Timing and use of angles make it a bit of a challenge, but the encompassing simplicity of the gameplay is never really concealed.

That’s an enviable strength.

NewFort Studios’ New Game ‘Plight’ Launches on Google Play

NewFort Studios’ New Game ‘Plight’ Launches on Google Play

Apr 12, 2016

NewFort Studios has just released its first game on Google Play… a puzzler named Plight.

Delve into the immersive world of Plight, where darkness has consumed the planet, and its up to you to re-energize it! Challenge yourself with over 90 handcrafted levels that put your puzzle solving skills to the test!

Journey through the three expansive areas that make up the world of Plight. Learn how to manipulate the energy pylons scattered throughout the land and charge the main power pylons for each level. Use beam, creation, refractor, splitter, teleport pylons and more, to bring the planet back to life!

Features:
-3 unique areas
-90 handcrafted levels
-9 hidden secret levels
-A rating system that challenges you
(Prove your skill by obtaining all of the elusive green stars!)
-No in-app purchases
-Immersive environments
-New challenges at every turn

The game costs $2.99; the trailer is below:

The Ghost Archives Review

The Ghost Archives Review

Apr 10, 2016

The Ghost Archives is an interesting hidden mystery caper from the crew that all but wrote the book on the handheld genre, G5. it packs in the mystery, puzzles and action that one inevitably expects from the Android development power publisher.

Shady Valley is our spooky town location. The game provides the option of two gameplay flavors: one gets Casual Mode, which is advertised as being a bit easier, with skip and hints that charge relatively faster than the alternative Expert Mode, which is geared towards experienced players looking for a challenge. Also, the latter has glints, while the former does.

The opening sequence does it’s part to create a foreboding atmosphere, detailing some missing folks in Shady Valley, and that leads one to an optional tutorial, which starts on a moving bus. The tutorial quickly and seamlessly gives the player an idea of how to play, and how to use things such as the inventory management system, the diary and the hints. Additionally, interactions are shown, as well as the use of objects to accomplish stuff. There are tasks to keep track of too, and these help keep one on gaming track.

ga3

The player takes on the persona of a S.O.U.L. agent, which is looking into the weird happenings; others have come before, though, which is a somewhat disconcerting fact. After the preliminaries, the true stuff starts.

As noted earlier, it all comes together as mainly a hidden object thriller, and this where it really shines. The artwork is particularly well done, with different environments and great use of virtual lighting. At some points, a simple touch to find items on a list mechanism works; in others, one might, say, move objects (by tapping) o recover concealed items. The game also manages to incorporate logic mini-games.

The different elements come together pretty nicely, preventing, to a degree, too much monotony. The mystery is cohesive, and is more than just the cherry on top.

Pull My Tongue Review

Pull My Tongue Review

Apr 9, 2016

Pull My Tongue, a new game from Noodlecake, is all about playfulness.

From a visual point of view, Pull My Tongue is quite inviting, with gentle characterizations, and a fun use of color that helps underscore the gameplay. It is brightly laid out in portrait, and the animations do the deed.

The game is simple enough to understand, and even easier to get into. Our chameleon is the friendly-faced protagonist, and it has a great craving for — of all things — popcorn.pmt3

Armed with a powerful, flexible tongue, the main idea is to guide said tongue in such a manner that the popcorn kernel can be collected. Therein is the the core game task: collect the popcorn to complete the level and move on to a subsequently newly opened level.

Simple.

There is one challenging, built-in element: the three star star system, whereby one can look to collect as many of three stars that are laid out in the playing area on the way to getting the  popcorn at the end. So, one need not collect all starts to move on, but why not? It’s irksome to just leave them there. The tongue cannot be pulled endlessly though, so one wants to carefully navigate with it. Thus, th stars are laid out, with obstacles and barriers of sorts that one needs to work around to finish the level.

The game delightfully evolves into a series of pseudo-physics puzzlers, where one needs to wind the exhaustible tongue round in a quest to collect all collectibles, even while the levels increase the difficulty quotient.

It does feel a bit like Cut the Rope with regards to gameplay — and that’s not entirely a bad thing in the least, as there is a reason that game is so popular. The three star system is easy to get into, and the infinite replayability of the game is definitely a plus.