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Monthly Archives: October 2011

SAVING MOO HD [IPAD] – REVIEW (80%)

Saving Moo HD is a bizarre defense game released by Clickgamer.com.

“It’s a well-known fact that a farmer’s greatest fear is bunch of alien invaders stealing their cows. In Saving Moo, it’s up to you to prevent that from happening.”

This game really has a bizzare story line, with a farmer who has been kidnapped in the past by aliens and getting psychic powers and now is defending his herd of cows by strapping strange weapons to their backs to fight off the advancing alien fleet.

Gameplay wise, you are able to purchase things with “moo sacks”, bags that are dropped by your cows as they eat grass. Think along the lines of the sunflowers in plants vs zombies, but a bit more smelly.

With these moo sacks you can purchase weapons, like egg launchers and arm up your cows to defend themselves. Alien ships will approach and the moos need to have enough fire power to blow up the alien ship before they are pulled up onboard.

The game has you trying to balance having enough cows to produce the moo sacks and enough fire power available to defend them.

There is a campaign mode, that has you unlocking new weapons and abilities every level to protect your herd. These include a large bull (able to carry the heavy weapons), a de-cows (decoys), chicken launchers and a few others.

There is a survival mode, which has you surviving as long as possible with the weapons and abilities you have unlocked so far in the campaign.

Needless to say as the game progresses larger and stronger alien ships will appear and you will have to very strategic in your use of bulls and cows along with their weapons.

Another issues is that if your decoys or cows are dropped too far from the alien ship, then the decoy is blown up or their cow loses its weapon.

The graphics and sound are both very good, with the graphics having a nice cartoon style.

On the upside:

  • A very different type of defense game.
  • Tough to get the tactics right, so tests your defensive skills.
  • Fun to play.

On the downside:

  • Repetitive game play.
  • Lose one cow, and you will more than likely game over a few moments later, no way to rescue the level.
  • Not universal (iPhone version can be purchased for £0.69)

Overall, this is a fun defense game to play and has some humour thrown it. I cannot help by feel the likeness to plants vs. zombies on this one, even though the gameplay is very different. The game is a bit too tough at times with several alien ships appearing in the sky at once and you are limited to only five cows. If this game has some difficulty setting and a larger campaign mode it would be greatly improved. As it stands, defense game lovers should take a look if they are looking for something a bit different and a few laughs along the way.

Rating: 80%

Size: 32.3 MB

Price (at time of review): £1.49

Link: Saving Moo HD – Clickgamer.com

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Game - Defense, iPad, Reviews

 

FACE THE SPACE [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (72%)

Face the Space is a vertical scrolling dodge game released by Stefan Hartingher.

“You are a pilot in Earth’s space defense fleet sent to protect the settler colonies on the edge on known space. But your task is not easy, asteroid fields fill the space between planets and an alien virus threatens the colonists. Are you ready to protect them? Are you ready to face the space?”

This game puts you in control of a lone spaceship who’s job is to avoid asteroids and complete the various missions set by your commanders.

Gameplay wise, you can maneuver your spaceship around the screen to dodge the oncoming asteriods. You have a gun on the ship that fires vertically, however, it has very limited fire power and overheats after only a few shots and takes forever to cool down again.

Most of the asteroids are normal and will damage your ship if they hit it, once your shields are gone your ship is destroyed and it is game over.

Some of the asteroids have a special feature: green contains ore and needs collecting, red asteroids have the infection and need destorying and the blue asteroids have ice and can cool your guns.

In the campaign mode, you are given missions and can purchase power ups for the ship with the credits you earn in game.

The quick play is really just a survival mode with you trying to dodge asteroids as long as possible.

The graphics and sound are both reasonable, however, the coloured asteroids just seem a bit half finished with an almost straight line to the green glow.

On the upside:

  • A solid dodge game.
  • Several different missions to keep the interest up.

On the downside:

  • The controls become unresponsive at times, which can be deadly in a game like this.
  • Firepower often overheats will no ice to cool them down.
  • Lack of difficulty levels.

Overall, this is a reasonable little game, but has nothing that will keep you coming back for long. I think with a few tweaks like difficulty levels and a more fleshed out campaign this could be a good little dodge game. However, with the sometimes unresponsive controls and a unpolished feel in places it just falls a bit short at the moment.

Rating: 72%

Size: 28.9 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.79

Link: Face the Space – Stefan Hartingher

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Game - Arcade, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

STORMY ICLOUD [SOAPBOX]

iCloud has not been the introduction to the Cloud that many had hoped, and here are my experiences.

With the launch on October 12th brought us iOS 5 and iCloud. Quickly about ten percentage of iOS users upgraded to iOS 5 and immediately iCloud began to stuggle a little. I, for one, was not able to upgrade for almost two days due to having a Mobile me account, so we prevented from upgrade “due to demand”. Late on October 13th I managed to join the iCloud.

On the 14th October, 4 million iPhone 4S accounts were added to the iCloud along with those still upgrading.

So since then, things have calmed down a little, but issues still continue. It has not been the dark days of MobileMe but just ongoing issues that have not given us the feeling that things are working correctly. During the last fortnight I have had the following issues.

My iPhone which has Pages and Numbers installed, so I can do work on documents stored on my iPad on the go, suddenly (on about the 20th October) the iPhone lost all the iWork files it had been syncing with the iCloud. The apps contained nothing but the demo document that is first installed. After trying several times to get the app to sync, nothing happened. I was on the move, but no documents to work on. Three days later I opened Numbers on the iPhone and it suddenly began to sync and has been working OK since then.

Mail has been having issues pushing data, I would open mail after not receiving data for several hours and then suddenly twelve emails appeared, including an urgent email that needed to be dealt with two hours before. It was my fault for not opening mail before, but I had been use to mail appearing as it came in during iOS 4 and MobileMe.

Several services have been unavailable for time to time, with the web version of mail not working.

Another issue has been the syncing of calendars, so I change an event on my iPhone for an appointment and it synced up to the Cloud, I returned back to the office to have the iPad calendar system bleep a reminder for the meeting that have been moved at the original meeting time.

I understand that there are millions of people using iCloud and that Apple could not test for all these millions of users at once, however, they had claimed that they had learnt from MobileMe, but the same issues seem to have carried into the iCloud service.

Hopefully these are just teething issues that will be sorted in the next month or two, as more users upgrade to iOS 5.

For now, however, it is really just a matter of remembering that for now that “It does not just work”, so keep an eye of things and be prepared for when it does not.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Article, Soapbox

 

CODIFY [IPAD] – REVIEW (83%)

Codify is an application development tool for the iPad and is released by Two Lives Left.

“Codify lets you create games and simulations — or just about any visual idea you have. Turn your thoughts into interactive creations that make use of iPad features like Multi-Touch and the accelerometer.”

The application basically allows you to create your own iPad application demos within the application using the tools provided.

If you remember programming languages like AMOS, STOS and Game Factory from years gone by, you have an idea of what this game offers.

I have programmed in several languages over the years, so was use to what this application was offering, a novice to programming would more than likely have been overwhelmed.

There are dozens of examples with in application to show how to program thinks like the touch controls, using the accelerometer and other features unique to iOS. There are some very basic game examples as well. 

Codify does not program the game for you, and you will need a knowledge of code to build a game. The interface will make it a lot easier and will give you an idea of the code that you could build a final product with.

This however is where Codify comes up a bit short. You are only able to test the application with Codify, once you are happy it is complete there is nothing you can do with it. I wish that you were able to export the game or the code in some way. I did manage to export the code via Cut and Paste to a text editor, but this is not a great way of doing it, especially with larger pieces of code.

The user interface is very good and the build in help and autofill text are great.

On the upside:

  • Beautiful user interface (help and autofill is excellent)
  • You really can program software on the iPad.
  • Lots of example programs to learn from.

On the downside:

  • No way to export or share the program or the code.
  • No way to Cut and Paste from the examples into your code.
  • A search to find things in the code would have been nice.
  • One of my games would not run after working fine before I closed and reopened the app.

Overall, if you have any knowledge of programming and an interest in programming for the iPad this is a great application. It is not true xcode, as it uses the Lua programming language. However, this is a great app to build prototypes and learn a bit more towards programming for the iPad. It still has a bit of a work in progress feel at the moment, with the lack of export and sharing of the apps you build is sadly missing. For those who do not know anything about programming will more than likely be completely lost and should not get this app. I look forward to see what future updates to Codify will bring.

Rating: 83%

Size: 10.5 MB

Price (at time of review): £5.49

Link: Codify – Two Lives Left

 

FREE APP ROUND-UP (OCT 30 2011) [TOUCHPAD]

Three more free Touchpad applications get the round up treatment.

APPY Geek : 68%

Lots of tech news all in one application. Taken from several sources the news stories can be a bit of a mixed batch. You have the preference on how often the new feeds are updated, but no real control of the sources of the news. This one is worth a go and see if it has the stories you want.

iUS States Atlas for TouchPad : 66%

Useful and fact filled application with information of each of the American states, including maps, key cities, flags and mottos as well as demographic information. Nothing that cannot be found on an internet search, but makes for a nice reference application that can be used offline. Good for those wanting to learn more about the USA.

GraphCalc : 60%

This application is more for the maths geeks out there who need to plot a graph on the X and Y axis, although it is not how I would have done it, it is more than likely I am wrong. Useful that it can export the graph to an image that can be saved out. I am sure that some people will find this app very useful, just not me.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Free App Round Up, Touchpad, webOS