Drisk Review

Drisk Review

Aug 2, 2013

Remember playing the board game Risk back in the day? If so, I bet one of those memories is how long it took to play the game. In fact, it took almost as long if not longer as a good game of Monopoly. Well, the makers of Drisk came up with a game really similar to Risk but won’t take 6 months to play a full game.

Starting out with Drisk, there will be the choice to play a local game or an online game. When playing a local game, the number pf players can be selected as well as if they are actual people or computer players. When playing online, the sign in is done through a Scoreloop account. This is mandatory to play online.

To get the hang of the game, it’s a good idea to watch the tutorial. It goes pretty quick but it gives you a basic idea of how the controls work. If any questions arise, take a look at the help button on the main menu screen to hopefully answer them.

drisk-6Drisk has about 30 maps to choose from some are more broad than others. A fun one is playing just the USA. The overall idea is to conquer all of the states. Some of the other maps are the entire world. The idea is the same through every map and regardless of the number of players… conquer the entire map.

Initially the plan is to reinforce the areas currently held, be it a state or country. The number of areas currently held will determine how many reinforcement troops are available. Once the reinforcements are settled, it’s time to attack the surrounding territories. There needs to be at least one more troop in a territory held than the one about to be attacked.

Once the attacks complete, there’s the chance to move around troops to fortify other areas that might be weaker and possibly be conquered on a player’s next turn. Once the areas are fortified, it’s time to end the turn by swiping over to done.

The controls are tapping and dragging. There really isn’t that much to them. One thing that’s easy to forget is the cards available.

Playing a game with three computer players and myself took about 20 minutes.

Pocket.do Review

Pocket.do Review

Oct 10, 2012

What is Pocket.do? Why, it’s an incredibly powerful tool for remotely accessing an Android device, one that provides useful features, but at the cost of battery life. A lot of it.

Start by downloading the app and running it on the phone, setting up a unique passphrase required to access the phone. The app can be remotely accessed from any web browser in one of three ways: by connecting a Google account, connecting a Facebook account, or by scanning a custom QR code on the phone itself in order to authorize the app. Then, the five features can be accessed. Text messages can be read from the web and responded to. New messages can be sent, and it’s possible to export lists of messages to a computer.

Need to remotely access contacts that are on the device? That’s posssible with Pocket.do. Pictures can be uploaded to the app and made accessible. Granted, these are both functions that other apps like Dropbox have also done, and have done them very well, so this may not serve much use.

Now come the fun things. Location allows for a device to be found based on its current map location. It can also be tracked to see where it is going. Need it to make an alarm sound? That’s possible through the map function as well. Great for finding that phone. It may serve as a rudimentary anti-theft feature, though turning off Pocket.do is pretty simple. It also would make for a very poor spying utility.

Also, there’s a Spy-Cam feature, which opens the camera and takes photos every 2.5 seconds. Flash can be enabled, and torch mode for illuminating what’s around. Note that the photos do seem distorted on a 16:9 device, there’s no actual video capture, and only the front-facing camera can be used with it.

The downside to Pocket.do as a tool for regularly checking SMS from the web is quite simple: it uses up too much battery life. I noticed at least a 15% drain in about 45 minutes on the Galaxy S III; not something for leaving around with the phone unplugged. As well, it sent about 35 MB of data over cellular at the time; if on a tiered data plan with wifi unavailable, that could be problematic. A low-power mode for just sending/receiving messages would be a great addition! Until then, this app serves as an interesting diversion, but maybe not quite the useful tool that it really could be.