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Monthly Archives: April 2012

SUBTERRAN [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (40%)

Subterran is a 3D dodge game released by Imperial Penguin.

“Take the controls of a ship specially designed to fly dangerous missions through enemy tunnels in this exciting game. You will start off as an ensign, and if you play well, finish as an admiral. But don’t expect to make that rank on the first try. You’ll have to be the best of the best to achieve that goal.”

This game puts you in control of a spaceship that needs to dodge its way through enemy tunnels.

Gameplay wise, you can maneuver your spaceship around the sides of the tunnel, the tunnels are narrow and your craft is fairly big. If you hit an barrier or wall, it is game over, to you will need to play again.

When I loaded this game, and clicked new game I was given a page of mission briefing. “Operation 1: Feet”, yes, operation feet. I pressed start and immediately crashed and exploded into a barrier. Where the game displayed in big red letters. Game and two large buttons for “Try” and “Menu”.

Needless to say this was not the best of starts I have ever had for a game, and I clicked on try. Luckily this time the barrier right next to the start was slightly more to one side and I got past it, I rotated the Touchpad as another barrier was fast approaching and I slowly turned right into the barrier. Boom, game over.

After a few goes and lots of explosions within seconds of launch I had finally tweaked the controls enough to make it playable.

Gameplay wise, it is limited with very little to do by dodge the oncoming objects, or collecting items in later levels.

Control are done by tilt controls, left and right to rotate around the tunnel.

The graphics and sound are both fair.

On the upside:

  • The developers have a cool name…

On the downside:

  • Controls are pretty poor.
  • Lackluster gamplay.
  • Lack of polish (spelling mistakes, a few seconds to allow you to get orientated at the start of the level)
  • Portrait only.

Overall, this game disappoints on several points. As a reviewer I tried to give it a fair amount of time to practice the controls and try to advance, changing the sensitivity levels etc. However, after all that I still found the game hard to control and unforgiving. The developers need to do several tweaks to get this application to a recommendable level.

Rating: 40%

Size: 15.6 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.79

Link: Subterran – Imperial Penguin

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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Game - Arcade, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

BIRTHDAYLIST {HOMEBREW} [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (75%)

BirthdayList is a birthday reminder application and is released by Ahsirg.

(screen shot edited to remove images and contact names)

“The application shows all your on-device contact’s birthdays (from all accounts) and allows to add reminders to them.”

This is one of the simpliest applications I have ever used, as it really only has one real function and required no setup on my part, it just works.

BirthdayList opens up and immediately links to your webOS contact list. If there is a birthday for that contact it will immediately be listed within the application.

Therefore, if you have not linked your contacts via Synergy then this application is likely to be blank, however, if you have linked your Synergy account to facebook or yahoo it is likely the application will be full of birthday dates.

As I linked my account to facebook I had a near complete list of birthdays on my screen immediately. The birthdays are shown in a list in date our, so the next birthday will appear at the top of the list.

Each birthday shows the image of the person (from facebook for example), the birthday, and age if it is available.

You can set a reminder for a birthday by tapping a clock icon on the line. This offers to add the birthday details direct to your calendar. Tap on the birthday entry and it will open that persons contact details, so you have all the contact details to ping them a happy birthday message if you wish.

Clearly if you wish to add additional people to the list you need to add them into your contact list.

The only real shortfall of the application is there is no way to filter out people who you are not really that interested in without removing them from facebook etc.

On the upside:

  • Simple and Easy to use.
  • Does exactly what you expect.

On the downside:

  • Filtering of list would have been nice.

Overall, this is a very simple application that does exactly what it is designed to do. The more contacts you have linked the more useful the application becomes, especially if you hate to miss other peoples birthdays.

Rating: 75%

Size: 1 MB

Price (at time of review): Free

Link: BirthdayList – Ahsirg

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in App - Social, Homebrew, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

NEVERBALL [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (68%)

Neverball is a 3D ball rolling game released by Studio 3D.

“Tilt the floor to roll a ball through an obstacle course before time runs out. Neverball is part puzzle game, part action game, and entirely a test of skill.”

The idea behind the game is that you need to guide the ball to the target as quickly as possible, but making sure you collect enough coins on the way to reach your goal and therefore activate the target so you can exit the level.

The basics of the game is to move the ball around the platform areas of the map. In the easy starting levels you have barriers stopping you from falling off the side and no real dangerous areas. The only thing you are up against is the time limit. As you progress, the barriers are removed, more holes are added and things like lifts are added into the mix.

Neverball offers lots of levels to play, with well over 120 levels available at time of release.

The game is controlled by touching the screen to tilt the maze around you allowing the ball to roll in that direction. Annoyingly, there appears to be no on-screen button to pause the game or return to the main menu etc.

The graphics and sound are good, the areas and balls are nicely drawn in 3D.

On the upside:

  • Nicely Design Levels

On the downside:

  • The touch controls are not the greatest even after tweaking the sensitivity. Tilt controls would have made the game far more playable.
  • Lazy port with references to mouse and keyboard shortcuts, like press Esc to return to the menu.
  • Time limits can be tough.

Overall, this is a nicely designed game, but suffers from being a lazy touch screen port. It tilt controls had been used or even giving access to the keyboard short cuts on the touch screen could have improved this game. I hope the developers will make use of the Touchpads abilities in a future update. If you can get the hang of the controls the game does offer a lot to do. However, younger kids will give up before they get any real enjoyment from the game.

Rating: 68%

Size: 136.2 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.79

Link: Neverball – Studio 3D

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2012 in Game - Puzzle, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

ODDBLOB FOR TOUCHPAD – REVIEW (79%)

OddBlob for Touchpad is a puzzle game released by Astraware Limited.

“Meet OddBlob: the groovy clay dude who loves to bounce! Help OddBlob bound across the squishy maze to grab bonuses, chomp fruit, and win points as quickly as he can as the chasing tiles disappear behind. Watch out for bounce and double bounce tiles that can help you reach your goal or throw you through the gaps to impending peril below!”

The idea behind the game move OddBlob around a maze of platforms collecting food were possible to reach safety on the other side of the maze. Within the maze. there are special tiles that can force Oddblob to move, jump or block his movement. There are also tiles that collapse after you have stood on it once.

There is a simple tutorial that takes you through the basics of how to move and how the various tiles work.

Once this is done you can select to play in either Panic mode and Strategy mode.

Panic mode, is more action based, with you racing through the area as the platforms collapse behind you at an alarming rate. Your reactions and quick thinking are tested as you rapidly collect what you can in your race to safety.

Strategy mode, is slower with platforms collapsing slowly, but it gives you much more time to plan your movements and to gather as much as possible as you move through the maze.

The gameplay is simple, with you looking at that tiles around you and you can jump one block in one of eight directions. As you progress in the levels the maze areas become bigger more holes and blocks appear on the map and the rather of collapse behind you slowly increases. By level 16, especially on Panic mode, the floor is collapsing almost as fast as you can move.

There is also a little mini game if you collect a cake, where you are given a screen filled with movement tiles, a few pieces of cake and a few holes. You need to work out which direction to move to be pushed by the tiles to a piece of cake, rather than falling to your doom.

The game is controlled by tapping in the direction that you wish to move.

The sounds and graphics are both very good, the claymation is very good.

On the upside:

  • Unique graphical style.
  • Fun gameplay tailored to action or strategy.

On the downside:

  • Overlap of text when awards are show after the game.
  • Difficulty levels change the starting level rather than being able to make it easier for younger kids.

Overall, this is a nice mix between puzzle and action game. With fun gameplay and nice graphics it draws you into the game. My young daughter loved the look of the game, but it was fairly difficult for her to play. I would have liked some tweaking to the difficulty levels. This game is been out of iOS for a long time now, but this is a solid port that works well on the Touchpad. It is well worth a look if you like your action/puzzle games.

Rating: 79%

Size: 15.1 MB

Price (at time of review): £1.59

Link: OddBlob for Touchpad – Astraware Limited

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Game - Puzzle, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

FREE APP ROUND-UP (APR 26 2012) [TOUCHPAD]

Another two application get the round up treatment.

Word Finder : 68%

This is a simple application. You type in a group of letters, and the application (via a website) will process the letters and come up with as many words as possible. The application then lists them all, starting at the shortest and ending in the longest. A useful application if you are playing scrabble or a similar game. You can even enter wild card characters, which may help with crosswords. For me, I would have preferred it listed the longest word first, but there you go. Overall, a basic application, but it does exactly what it claims to do.

19niny1 : 5%

This application is meant to help you find fans of webOS on Twitter. When I opened this application I was presented with a grey box at the top of the screen, and the rest of the screen is black. Tried the various preferences on offer, but to no avaialble. Rebooted the Touchpad and reloaded, still nothing. Finally tried to got the developers website, and it goes to a GoDaddy default page. Feels like abandoned software to me, so why leave on the App Catalogue?

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Free App Round Up, Touchpad, webOS