Amazon Appstore FAOTD: TerraTime

Amazon Appstore FAOTD: TerraTime

Aug 12, 2015

TerraTime is free on the Amazon Appstore today.

Product Description

The amazing, interactive, real-time virtual Earth! Globe and map use current satellite imagery to simulate day/night, clouds, seasons, sun & moon; clock shows rise, set, twilight, & transit times for sun & moon. Everything you need to stay connected to the world you live in.

· Real-time simulations include clouds, city lights, sea ice, and more, generated from actual satellite imagery
· Clock and compass also show sunrise & sunset; moon phase, rise & set; twilight & transit times
· Globe and map are fully interactive, using touchscreen or phone sensors
· Easily show any date, any location
· Clock and globe widgets, in 4 sizes each
· Live wallpapers for ALL Android devices!

It’s usually $2.99.


Keeper Password Manager Review

Keeper Password Manager Review

Oct 2, 2014

At this point, we hope that the need for a good password manager is akin to common sense. We’re regaled with stories of database intrusions daily; it’s smart to protect one’s self with the basics of password security: using different unique password for different websites. Also, passwords should be changed to new unique ones at regular intervals.

But, if one even has only a dozen websites to log in to every now and then, those passwords start to blend together; that’s where mobile password keepers shine. Keeper Password Manager looks to be another option in this category, and we got to take it for a spin.

First thing to do is to to sign in with a master password. Off the bat, I liked the UI options; who says a productivity app can’t have some personality? It’s possible to change the main color, and while this isn’t life-changing, I feel that one can’t put a price tag on the ability change up looks.keep3

But a UI that can be adjusted visually is still only as good as the overall product; Keeper tends to work because it feels intuitive. Towards the bottom of the main screen, there are navigational buttons here, marking quick-add, sync, settings, help menu and one to re-lock the app with one button press.

Data entry is easy to perform via the “+” icon. One gets to list data by file, and then add name and password. For the latter, I liked the dice roll functionality; when tapped, the software generates a random password for that item. Something that was of special interest to me is the app’s ability to store files and photos; this could come in handy. Additionally, websites can be added and acted upon from within Keeper; the FastFill” option is speedy entry method I enjoyed, as is the share functionality.

The premium add-on allows one to use Keeper’s Cloud Based backup, secure sharing, multi-device sync and a web-based desktop client. Features like auto-locking and multiple wrong password data destroy go hand in hand with the 256-bit AES encryption.

All in all, it’s a robust option, with a lot of functionality, and it easily lends itself to one’s productivity flow. Some might not prefer the premium subscription model, but with a 30 day free trial, there’s no excuse to not give it a try, especially with the cross-platform functionality.

Word Puttz Review

Word Puttz Review

Mar 5, 2014

Word games come a dime a dozen on Android, and thus, it takes a decent game to make headway. Gotta tell you, with the elements Word Puttz brings to the table, it might just have more than a passing flirtation with success.

At first blush, it reads like one’s run-of-the mill crossword puzzle, except for the limited area. But the first glance is deceptive, and leaves one wondering how word search, scrabble and putt-putt (yes, people, the mini-golf game) get added to the mix.

The game uses spoon-fed tutorials to highlight the game play at pertinent points. The playing area is made up of squared grid, with a golf-style cup at one end. The most prominent element is the word search; using the tray of sevenwordfi letters that are replenished as they are used, words have to be constructed using a placed start letter, with the end goal being using crossword strategies to create a word that crosses over the aforementioned cup. No diagonal constructions are allowed; one has to go down or across.

To add to the challenge, words created score points, and each letter tile has assigned points that resemble Scrabble scoring; for example, a worth with a “J” in it is of high premium. The Scrabble element introduces the possibility of using strategy, as general rules of that game are observed, like the creation of combo words. it is also possible to “dance” around the cup while trying to earn more points, as points control the assignation of level measuring stars à la Angry Birds. There is a tile exchanger, “hintz” and reversal button, and real cash can be used to stock up on some of the boosts, including wildcard “octo-balls.”

As the game progresses through the higher levels, more challenges are thrown at the player: optional gold coins that can be crossed over for bonus points, point thresholds to open the cup, the need to spell backwards and even a race to the cup versus the game UI. Just when one suspects the gameplay might get a bit too monotonous, the developer adds in some flair.

While the game is an all-rounder of sorts, I did wish the challenge level rose faster. An optional means of shutting down ads apart from real cash might have been nice, even if it was hard to do.

Still, this is a fun free-to-play game, and one that I spent a bit too long “trying” out.

NBA 2K13 Review

NBA 2K13 Review

Jun 7, 2013

While the NBA season is winding down with the NBA Finals (Editor’s Note: That will hopefully end with the San Antonio Spurs crushing the Miami Heat), with basketball simulations, the season does not ever have to end. This is why NBA 2K13, the port of the ever-popular console basketball game for Android devices, is potentially such a breath of fresh air.

The actual graphics are, in a word, fantastic. The definition is superb, and there is a clear flair added. Movements nba5are fairly realistic, with special care given to adequately replicate basketball movements. The background scenery was impressive, with exacting care seemingly paid to different NBA arenas. The animations are good as well; I especially like the little things, such as the ubiquitous daps given between free throws. The replay sequences are nice, and even the entertainment/timeout clips looked believable.

It was also nice to see the players look like their real life counterparts. Players were pared down to scale, so it was clear who say, Tony Parker is when compared to Tim Duncan.

The game comes in three play modes: Practice, Multiseason and Practice, all fairly self-explanatory. Outside of that, there are also some cool challenges in the name of Greatest Games, where you play as an NBA legend and try to match stats from an iconic game he played in, like Shaq’s 63-pointer against the Celtics, or Iverson’s first triple double against the Clippers. This section is adding more legendary players, which is great.

The gameplay itself is extremely fun, with a fun game engine and intuitive optional controls (either virtual d-pad or gestures). The d-pad came with buttons on the right to control offensive and defensive actions. Difficulty is based on level chosen; there are five levels to pick from, ranging from Rookie to Hall of Fame. I didn’t get an opportunity to try the bluetooth multiplayer, but it is a great feature on paper.

I thought that the practice mode could have been significantly better refined; it is a bit bare with regards to learning defensive sets. Also, cool as the graphics were, there were a circulated frame or two. I also hope to controller support down the line.

I think it is an incredibly exciting game that wonderfully brings console-level gameplay to mobile devices.

INC Review

INC Review

Nov 21, 2011

INC is the latest game from OrangePixel, continuing their run of retro-styled action-platformers. This goal in each level is to try and activate three boosters in order to open up the level gate. The game has a light storyline about futuristic mega-corporations taking over the world and replacing people with robots. As such, most enemies are either random goons dressed and armed to kill, or deadly robots of all shapes and sizes. Players can get stars for killing all enemies, activating all the boosters in underneath the time limit, and for finishing with extra health. Players also can earn experience from killing enemies that can be used to power up their main weapon.

INC is great for short pick up and play sessions; OrangePixel seems to have the pacing of their games down pat. The game features cloud-based saving through OpenFeint, so stars and experience can transfer between devices. I don’t just mean between iOS devices, either; even the Android version of the game can load up cloud saves. The OrangePixel pixel art style is well in effect here, and the balance of monochromatic characters and backgrounds works really well to give the game a distinct look. Remote controls are supported, from Joypad and iCade on iOS, to keyboard and Xperia Play support on Android.

The level-up system is very annoying, in that gaining points to level up is extremely slow, then a huge amount is lost on dying. Pretty much the only way to level up is to replay the early levels over and over again, so that dying in new levels won’t reduce the meter that much. It’s just an extremely poorly implemented and user-unfriendly element that should have been revised or scrapped entirely. A lot of boosters are hidden in the environment, and thus require the shooting of random blocks in order to discover them, which doesn’t feel all that fair.

INC is not perfect, but it’s another solid action-platformer from OrangePixel. Fans of games with cloud-based saves and remote control support will want to check this one out.

Armored Strike Online Review

Armored Strike Online Review

May 12, 2011

Turn-based, aim-and-shoot style tank games have been around for a long time. We’ve seen a number of variations on the theme and even stepped into some weird territories with games like Worms. That said, the trick with any new game coming into the genre is to add something that makes the game fresh and exciting. Like new weapons, new tanks and online multiplayer. Throw in the mobility of a smartphone with a 3G connection and you’ve got yourself a game called Armored Strike.

In Armored Strike, you’re pitted against 3 other tanks on a battlefield of varying terrain. From hilly to flat, and sometimes featuring trees and other obstacles that block your shots and prohibit movement. If you’ve never played this type of game before, the idea is that each player takes a turn aiming and firing a projectile at his or her opponent. You have 31 different weapons to choose from that each do a varying amount of damage. Weapons vary from the standard unlimited shell rounds to bouncing bombs, hand grenades, acid barrels and incendiary bombs. Each time you hit an opponent, you get an amount of money based on the damage done. The money made is used to buy bigger, better weapons for later rounds.

What makes the gameplay in Armored Strike a little different is that paratroopers will occasionally fall from the sky. Simply move your tank over one to pick him up and you’ll get a random item. However, it’s a gamble when picking them up. Some items help you while others can hurt you a lot. Another nice addition to Armored Strike is that you aren’t limited to the same old, boring tanks. You actually have 7 different vehicles to choose from with different strengths and weaknesses. You can choose from “Mechwarrior-esque” walking tanks, larger siege tanks and a droid infantry unit. However, to use these other vehicles, you’ll have to prove yourself worthy by ascending the ranks to unlock them. That means you’ll be playing for a while if you want to unlock them all.

Finally, there’s the online multiplayer mode with in-game chat. It’s as simple as selecting multiplayer and finding an open game, However, be prepared for a massacre. You might find yourself in a game against much higher ranked veterans who aren’t in the mood to show mercy.

My only complaint with the game is that there is no asynchronous multiplayer option. All rounds are played in real-time. I would have liked to have seen a mode allowing for a more casual game where you take a turn and then put the app away while waiting for your opponent to take their turn. As such, rounds are usually quick and you can jump in and out of a game at any time.

Armored Strike is a very well-done game that offers a lot for fans of this genre. If you love the core gameplay mechanic of classic tank games and are looking for a good Android-based one, this would be the one to buy.