SideSwype Review

SideSwype Review

Apr 10, 2014

Nice to meet you, SideSwype.

The playing area is a 5×5 grid, with space for 25 squares of different colors. if filled all the way. The sparse white background is a great counterpoint that highlights the coloring of the squares, and the smooth animations are just what we’d expect from a game that uses gestures as the main form of movement and problem-solving.

The game is fairly easy to understand: match 3 or more squares and strive to keep the board as empty as possible. In other words, the run ends when the grid is full of squares. To prevent this from happening, it is possible to slide the boxes present in either of the four cardinal directions (or, relative to the grid, to the right or left and up or down). The unique thing is that the squares all move in unison but obey physical logic. Squares that are plush against immovable squares or the walls of the grid will not move, but others will move until one of those side1conditions are met.

Any sets of three or more that are formed as a result of a gesture action will cause a mostly welcome reaction of dissolving the squares (according to rules of the gameplay), thereby opening up space and keeping the run alive. Countering the smashing of blocks is the replenishment system; like Tetris, there is an indicator telling the player which blocks are coming next, and after every swipe, the new ones are added; thus, constant removal is necessary for success. Points are awarded for smashes, and high scores are recorded.

There are special blocks with special powers that require just a bit more strategy. The game also allows for some customization with regards to sound and looks.

All in, it’s a fun, consuming game, priced to move ($1.99) and no extra purchases needed.


Hovering Controls Review

Hovering Controls Review

Sep 18, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flick Tennis Review

Flick Tennis Review

Jul 3, 2013

Flick Tennis — from Rolocule Games — is a completely atypical simulation that thinks outside the box with regards to gameplay.

It chronicles developmental amateur career tennis (college, in this case) and has an excellent graphical comic as an enjoyable cloak to tell its story

Where Flick Tennis excels is creating a relatively easy tennis simulation that has enough oomph to make it truly enjoyable.

It has a decent tutorial, which is something I like in games of this type. The tutorial consists of a diagram with four tours of shots, and that is followed by an interactive version that explains the mechanism of serving and flicker1returning shots. Using mostly gestures, it is possible to control direction and to create exchanges that looked fairly realistic. Unlike a lot of great sims out there, this game has something really cool: visual players.

The graphics are well defined and built to please. Looking at the dirt court for example, practically invokes the smell of matching surface. The animations are very well done, with the mannerisms of actual tennis players making it that much more life-like. The different shots reflected realism, and the player movements looked good; I enjoyed the subtle things, like the serve sequences and how the players tap the soles of their shoes with their racket in-between points.

In the base 1v1 matchups, one gets to select a player and court and play with an abbreviated and well done perspective, with my player in the foreground. The aforementioned gestures are easy to understand, and after a few mishits, I was doing quite equitably. Scoring matches conventional tennis scoring.

The game comes in several other modes as well… multiplayer was fun. It allows two players to play local games from a top-down view. After the perspective of the 1v1 games, it takes some getting used to, but it made sense. In career mode (Story), the comics come into play, with some interesting storylines and nice artwork.

Many players and courts need to be unlocked; which is cool; if one character and/or location does attract the attention too early, it/they can be unlocked via in-app purchase.

Once again, it’s a fantastic game with fantastic elements that will be hard to put down by anyone with even a basic love of tennis.

Free App Recap February 5 – Search Apps

Free App Recap February 5 – Search Apps

Feb 5, 2013

Our phones have the ability to access the collective knowledge of mankind. To find that information, we need a little help searching through it all. This weeks list of utilities is all search apps for Android. While the Google Search app comes on most devices, there are other options out there to make searching easier and to help target searches a bit better.

Quick Search Widget

Much like the search bar in browsers like Firefox, Quick Search Widget is a fast way to search the web from engines other than Google. Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, eBay, DailyMotion and lot of others are available. Being a widget, the search is a lot more accessible. Set up a different widget for each of the most used search engines.

Download Quick Search Widget

Image Search

Sometimes I am talking to someone and want to show them a picture of something we are talking about. Searching for just an image isn’t always so easy though. Image Search makes searching for and finding the right image a super easy. It’s pretty much like going to Google Image Search and looking for the image. Filter by the type of image, color, size and a lot more. Once the right image is found, viewing, downloading or going to the site hosting the image is quick and painless.

Download Image Search

Google Gesture Search

Like Google Search for a phone or tablet. Once Google Gesture Search indexes the device, items like contacts, apps and other things can be searched for by drawing the numbers or letters on the screen. If for example “T” is drawn and the search is for TuneIn Radio, keep spelling out the name and the search is refined more. Search for a contact by drawing their phone number on the screen. Way easier than using the small keyboard on some phones

Download Google Gesture Search