Eliminate – iPhone Game Review November 11, 2009Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : First Look/Reviews, Mp3 players and iPods, Video Games , add a comment
Not to be confused with Halo.
And, once again, I return to that wonderful gaming platform, the iPhone/iTouch. That’s right readers, another iGame review. This time, I’m talking about Eliminate Pro, the new online 4-player FPS that just came out. Also, its free. Kinda.
First off, what is Eliminate? As previously mentioned, its a iPhone first-person shooter. The quality of the game is way up there – some of the nicest graphics on the iPhone, especially considering that it’s running online with 4 players. There are 5 maps and a total of 6 weapons, 5 of which need to be unlocked, as do a variety of armor types. Weapon and armor attributes, like rate of fire and speed are also upgradable. You play up to four players online, with a matchmaking system based on skill ratings to provide as fair a match as possible. Private games are also available, which is nice for when you want to play some people you actually know. There is also an offline mode, but it’s somewhat limited, allowing you to play against 3 computer opponents, but it doesn’t allow much customization.
Gameplay is awesome – the maps are pretty small, so the action is pretty frantic, and fun. A variety of powerups, including heath regeneration, invisibility, superspeed, damage increase, and the always fun jet pack are scattered around the maps, adding to the chaos. Controls work well, with your left thumb working movement, and right thumb aiming, with tap to fire. Those used to playing console first person shooters should easily adapt.
So, I mentioned before you need to unlock and upgrade things. And you do that through credits, which you earn through playing games online. And thats where the monetary aspect of the game comes it. The game itself, as I said, is free. But unless you have “energy” while playing, you won’t earn any credits, which are used to unlock weapons, armor, and upgrades. You’re given a free energy recharge every four hours for about 3 games or so, but after that, if you want to play AND earn credits to upgrade (you CAN still play for fun), you need to buy energy through the in-app purchasing system. Personally, I can understand why they run the system this way, since its the only way to support the game and keep it free, but I can’t say I’m a fan of the nickel and diming.
However, even without energy, the game is still fun, and that’s what counts in the end. And since it’s well, free, I suppose I can’t really argue against it. Check it out on iTunes here. (Note: iTunes Link)
Dropship – Review August 17, 2009Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Apple, Cell Phones, First Look/Reviews, Video Games , add a comment
Dropship. Retro made awesome.
Ok, so this is an older game on the iPhone platform that I’ve been meaning to review for a while now, and one of my favorite games all time – Dropship. So, why now? Well, because ngmoco, the dudes who make it, just made it free, so now’s the time for a review so you all can check it out.
Dropship is effectively a 2.5D (not quite 3D gameplay, but looks 3D, so you make the call) space shoot. There are 2 basic modes to it – Missions, and Free Play. The Missions mode basically has you flying through a maze, retrieving a glowing green box, and dragging via tractor beam out. This is complicated by the maze, and the hordes of turrets seeking to blow your glowing, retro-style ship to nothing. Blowing up these turrets results in a shower of particle effects, and they’re more then just for show – flying towards them allows you to absorb them for energy, which is essential, seeing as flying take energy as fuel, and crashing into walls and being shot loses you energy. However, you aren’t unarmed. You have a gun. As it happens, initially a pretty lame one. However, by carefully rescuing humans scattered around a level, you get temporary (read: ammunition) upgrades – one human gets you rapid fire, another while you have rapid fire spread shot, then laser, then hyper laser. These are almost essential for winning. As for free play mode, it’s similar, except less maze and the objective is instead to rescue x-amount of humans. It’s much more fast paced and progressively harder then the missions. Also, the game has an achievement system, giving you something to strive for.
Finally, though, are controls – the make it or break it factor for any iPhone game. Dropship takes the crown in this over any game I’ve ever played. Dropship has a two stick control system – left side movement, right side weapons. Standard stuff. Except in Dropship, the digital controls aren’t static – where ever you place your left thumb – thats the left control. Ditto for weapons. This is the crucial factor that makes Dropship not only playable, but fun.
Overall, Dropship is a great game – good graphics, great controls, and just fun to play. Best of all, as mentioned before, its free. So go grab a copy and give it a shot.
Download here. [iTunes Link]
Apple's App Store Turns 1– What's your Favorite App? July 12, 2009Posted by Eli Blumenthal in : Apple , add a comment
If you haven’t been paying attention to the giant banners in iTunes for the past week (like the one you see above), the Apple App Store for the iPod Touch and iPhone turned 1 yesterday, and Apple is taking the time to celebrate by promoting some it’s favorite apps– both free and paid. Apple’s got a lot to celebrate– 1 billion apps, tons of new iPhones and iPod Touches sold thanks to the App Store, and the envy of pretty much every other cell phone maker– think bout it, because of the App Store, there is now a BlackBerry App World, Palm’s App Catalog, Google’s Android Marketplace, a Windows Marketplace for Mobile (coming to Windows Mobile phones later this year in Windows Mobile 6.5) and countless other mobile app marketplaces trying to get in on the action.
But we’re not writing this post just to congratulate Apple, but seeing as the App Store is the most popular of the “App Stores”, we wanna know what’s your favorite apps– whether for iPhone or iPod Touch, free or paid.
Me? My favorite apps (right now at least) are ESPN ScoreCenter (free), MLB At Bat (paid version– about $10), AIM (free version), Tap Tap Revenge2 (free), iheartradio (free), and Facebook (free).
Sound off with your favorites in the comments.
Blink – Review April 14, 2009Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Apple, Cell Phones, First Look/Reviews, Mp3 players and iPods, Video Games , add a comment
Blink. Like Pong, but shinier.
If you’ve play a video game sometime since the creation of video games, then you probably have played some version or another of the original game of all time: Pong. And of course, on the iTouch/iPhone, there are tons of Pong games out there, including the one mentioned here, Blink.
Blink stands out to me for several reasons: The quality – it’s not just a basic black background, white bar game. It looks nice and professional, with a modern look, as it should in 2009. Also is the modern update it adds, with powerups ranging from multiball, to shot tracking, to acceleration. Purists, take a moment to breath as classic play is also included. Blink has 1 and 2 player modes (although not over multiple devices – hopefully will be updated in the 3.0 update which makes this significantly easier.). Best of all? It’s free. So go and download it and give it a shot.
Apple Contest to Download the 1 Billionth App April 12, 2009Posted by Eli Blumenthal in : Apple, Mp3 players and iPods , add a comment
We all know how popular the iPhone and iPod Touch are (unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year– in that case your excused ), and how awesome it is to be able to download apps right to the device using the App Store. Well, for those of you who don’t believe how popular the iPhone and iPod Touch have become, just check this: Apple right now is running a contest for the person who downloads the BILLIONTH app. Yup, as we said in the title, thats BILLION with a B!
This is rather amazing, considering it’s been really under a year since the App Store launched (technically it came in July of ’08), but it gets even better for us users! Like what Apple did a couple of years ago when they were closing in on selling their 1 billionth iTunes song, they’re giving away a boatload of gear to the lucky soul who happens to download that 1 billionth app. What kinda gear you ask? Well, try a 17″ MacBook Pro; an iPod Touch 32GB; a $10,000 iTunes Gift Certificate (yes 10 GRAND– honestly, this is crazy!); and an Apple Time Capsule (basically a back up hard drive for your Mac or Windows PC that will automatically back up your hard drive using your wireless network). Total Retail Value of all the prizes? $13,746 (again– WOW!). You can follow the countdown to 1 billion apps at Apple’s site here.
Wanna know something even better? The app you download doesn’t necessarily need to be a paid app! You can just download a free one and you could win.
Listen, this won’t be easy to win, especially as they’re going at about a thousand apps every 10 or so seconds (at the time I’m writing this at least), but hey best of luck to ya!
BlackBerry Launches App World April 1, 2009Posted by Eli Blumenthal in : Cell Phones , add a comment
BlackBerry App World
Today was a pretty big day for anyone out there with a recent Blackberry with OS 4.2 or later in addition to either a touchscreen (currently referring to the Storm, a phone we already anticipated getting an App Store last year here) or a trackball (most BlackBerry’s made within the last 2 or 3 years). As of today you finally get… APPS!!!!
Yup, RIM (the makers of BlackBerry’s) finally released it’s own app store for the BlackBerry called App World — a much lamer title than the iPhone/Touch’s App Store), and boy does it look great. Not only does it give you easy access versions of all your standard programs, including games, Facebook and MySpace, AIM, Pandora (a radio app that lets you listen to music on your phone over the internet) but also boasts apps resembling ones for the iPhone, like Shazam (it finds all the info for the song you’re listening to by just listening in).
Like on the Apple App Store, some apps will be free, others will cost money, though going through apps look to be just as easy as on the App Store’s for the iPhone and T-Mobile G1. You can download App World for your BlackBerry here, and see a video of App World here.
So now all you BlackBerry users not only get the famed, awesome BlackBerry keyboard for texting, but you also get apps! How you feel bout this, and what apps you get so far?
(Oh, and by the way, this is NOT an April Fools joke )
iPhone/iPod Touch Software 3.0 is Coming Soon! March 12, 2009Posted by Eli Blumenthal in : Apple , 14comments
Apple today let loose some pretty cool info, saying that come next Tuesday, it will show the world the next verison of the iPhone/iPod Touch software: Version 3.0!
Now why would this be so important? Like Version 2.0 of the iPhone/iPod Touch software that came out last July, this proves to be a pretty big software update that promises to bring a lot of cool (and in some cases very needed!) features. These features could be anything from finally allowing Apps to run when you’re not using them directly — for example, having AIM continue to run while your playing a game in a different app (this feature is called Push Notifications) — to full usage of the GPS, to a wireless headphone option, to copy and paste, to something insane that Apple just thought of!
Luckily though, Boy Genius Report.com has learned some of the new features to expect in the 3.0 update:
- send and receive picture messages (called MMS or MultiMedia messaging),
- use you iPhone as a wireless modem to connect to the Internet on your computer using your cell phone signal (something we’d assume Apple and AT&T would make you pay extra for)
Those we know are coming for the iPhone, as for what would also be included for the iPod Touch we’ll have to wait till Tuesday.
Oh, and if you develop apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch, Tuesday’s also your lucky day, as Apple also plans to show off a whole new SDK which should promise to give you the ability to create even more cool things!
Let’s hope that both the software and the SDK get released to all of us soon after Apple shows it off; whatever it ends up that they show off on Tuesday, we know we’ll probably want it asap!
We’ll of course have it all covered here on Tuesday, so don’t worry, and make sure to check back
Anyways, we gotta ask– what are you praying/hoping/wanting to see in the new iPhone software 3.0, and while we’re at it, what apps you still wanna see out on the iPhone/iPod Touch (you never know who’s reading and could make it happen ). Let us know in the comments.
Tap Tap Revenge 2 – Review March 5, 2009Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Apple, First Look/Reviews, Mp3 players and iPods , add a comment
The Even More Psychedelic Tap Tap Revenge 2
Back in November, I wrote a post about my formerly favorite game for the iPod Touch/iPhone: Tap Tap Revenge.
It was a great game; a Guitar Hero-inspired game, but with enough iPod Touch specifics to make it unique, portable, even had a few good songs. And of course, it was free.
Now, after many months of taping, tilting, and shouts of frustration as I break my 300+ note combo, Tapulous (they make TTR) have finally answered my wishes and given us a totally reworked, and quite insanely awesome, Tap Tap Revenge 2.
So, what’s different this time around? What justifies the download?
For starters, its also free. So, price ain’t exactly an issue here. But there is quite a few upgrades that make this blow the previous game away. 1st, the entire interface — both for getting to the songs and downloading new music — has been reworked: instead of plain text lists, songs now have actual information (time, artist, album art even, best score, etc.). Also, online play has been similarly reworked, and is overall easier and better.
Now on to gameplay. Aside from the by-and-large lack of licensed music (that’s the price you pay for a free app.) my two biggest complaints in the previous games were the lack of Guitar Hero style chords and held notes. Well, that’s been solved. Notes now also come in pairs (and sometimes triplets), and can be held down as well. Not only does this add variety to the game, but makes the Hard and Extreme Levels (which I found a little bland in TTR), well — Hard, and Extreme. Like really hard; carpal tunnel syndrome inducing hard. But it’s even more fun for it. Also added is an achievement system that Tapulous says will be expanded over time.
Finally, as you can see, the background also has undergone major upgrades, as you now fly into space. As for the coolest part of the game, Revenge Mode? Well, that one you have to see for yourself.
Wrap-up - There’s still no license music (although 2 license spin-offs — TTR Nine Inch Nails Edition, which features NIN music, and Tap Tap Dance — both do have licensed music, but cost money), but the overhaul of the rest of the game, as well as an addition of dozens of new music, and of course the unbeatable price of free, make this one definitely one to go for.
Pick it up in iTunes here (Note: link opens iTunes).