Pulse News iphone app review

Pulse News iPhone app gives you access to news from your favorite sources in a neatly organized panel. With Pulse News in your iPhone, you won't have to manually open websites of your favorite news sources in your one by one - it brings them all to you in one page.

Pulse News iPhone app screen shots.
The Pulse News iPhone App has customization tools so you can select and add your favorite news sources.

Pulse News iPhone app lets you customize your news by browsing through its existing news sources catalog, and touching the "add" button. All the news sources that you add can be seen in the app's Home page, which you can browse vertically (to see your complete news source choices) and horizontally (articles and updates from each news source). You can even add more pages so you can  organize news in categories. This app also lets you add a pre-filled page called a "pack" for news categories like Technology, News & Analysis, Business, Entertainment, and more. With Pulse News, you never have to miss your daily dose of news - plus it let's you do news reading in style.

Tempe Run iPhone review

Tempe Run iPhone review
Temple Run is a free iPhone (and iPad) app developed by Imangi Studios with full game controls and amazing upgrade features.

This week's iPhone app is Temple Run, an endless treasure hunting game where the hero gets chased by monsters as he jumps over cliffs, slides under fire traps, and collects gold coins along narrow ancient trails. Developed by Imangi Studios, Temple Run is one of those free iPhone games that actually give you a lot of controls. Five controls, to be specific, in the free app version: swipe up to jump, swipe down to slide, swipe right to turn right, swipe left to turn left, and tilt iPhone left or right to collect coins. The tutorial is enabled  only during the first launch  of the app but it can be turned on again by going to the Main Menu > Options.

Temple Run free app version has 36 Objectives. These objectives start easy: Novice Runner, where yo have to run 500 meters without dying; Pocket Change, where you have to collect a total of 100 coins; and Adventurer, were you have to score 25,000 points - 100 points is earned every time the meter is filled full and the meter is filled incrementally each time you collect coins. The harder objectives are 5 Million Club, where you have to score 5,000,000 points; The Spartan, where you have to earn 1 Million points without using Powerups - Powerups are gears and cheats that you can buy from the Temple Run Store with the coins that you have collected; and the ultimate 10 Million Club, where you have to score 10,000,000 points.

Other stuffs you can buy from the Temple Run Store are Powerups: Invisibility, 250-m Boost, Double Value coins after 1500 meters; and Utilities: Resurrection, Boost 1000 meters at start of game, Mega Boost 2500 meters at start of game. You can even change your Character. You can select from: Guy Dangerous (default - spell Indiana Jones); Scarlett Fox, a cunning escape artist (also a redhead); Barry Bones, a city cop with an attitude; Karma Lee, the fastest legs in the Far East; Montana Smith, the second greatest explorer ever; Francisco Montoya, the conquistador, and Zack Wonder, the football star. All these characters can be unlocked with a corresponding price. You can even download Temple Run Wallpapers for 5,000 coins and it will be automatically saved in your Camera Roll album. A Stats is kept for your character which contains your Highest Score, Longest Run, and Most Coins records.

There are also several ways to die in Temple Run: if you jumped or fall on the waters, you'll be fed to the alligators; if you hit a rock; if you get burned by the fire traps; if you failed to dock and got your head cut off by an overgrown tree; and if you jumped short and fall down the cliff.

Temple Run hint: each time you hit on the walls of the trail, or almost miss a cliff, the monsters reappear to chase you. If you hit and almost miss again before the monsters disappear, they catch and eat you, and game over. I'm betting Temple Run will make it to the top iTunes Apps at the end of 2012. Download your free app now.

Joe Danger Review

Joe Danger made a splash on the Playstation network a few years ago, selling at least 100,000 copies and earning itself a sequel in 2012. Hello Games has now brought the character and his friends to iOS, using the strengths of the touchscreen to create a different but equally engaging game.

The Hello Games team says it was inspired by playing with an Evel Knievel stunt bike toy, and Joe Danger himself bears a strong resemblance to the canyon-jumping daredevil. Unlike Knievel, Danger only does his tricks on a series of racetracks, but the tracks are crazy platforming constructions worthy of Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario. You’ll find yourself collecting coins, looping loops, dodging spikes and even jumping sharks.

The iOS version is a little simpler than the Playstation game. Joe only goes in one direction, while you control his jumps and tricks with taps and swipes. You also tap the screen to collect flying coins and other objects in the game, such as letters that spell out ‘DANGER’ in some of the levels.

Check out my sweet moped.

Most of the time the controls work well. Joe jumps and ducks when you want him to, and he can do a surprising number of tricks with the swipes. (Each trick raises Joe’s combo meter and scores more points.) The only problem is when there’s a collectible object under your thumb when you tap to jump. Joe inevitably wipes out when you don’t jump as expected, and you have to restart the level. This happens often enough that it may have been intended as an additional challenge by the level designers, but it’s frustrating to find a comfortable grip on your tablet and then to have to change it in the middle of a level.

Fortunately, this problem doesn’t crop up until later in the game. The early levels of Joe Danger are almost sedate. The learning curve is so gentle that we began to wonder if there was something wrong. We were completing the objectives with ease, so why was our score so low?

Then we started playing with the tricks and combo system. It turns out that the early levels are easy, as long as you’re just riding. If you want a high score, though, you’d better be ready to pop wheelies and flip your bike all over the place. That’s a lot harder, especially once the levels start filling up with complicated sequences of obstacles.

We’ve fallen into a blueprint.

Joe Danger gets hard enough to test your patience by the end of the game. You’ll have to master precise series of jumps, double jumps, drops, and ducks just to finish the track, never mind collecting the bonuses or ramping up combos. You may find yourself playing a level twenty times before you get every little jump right, but it’s satisfying when you make it through.

Unfortunately, by the end of the game the levels get so complex that they may overload your device’s memory. Our first-generation iPad crashed repeatedly on the last few levels, but owners of more recent devices should have no trouble.

If you and your iPad can avoid wiping out, then Joe Danger is fast-paced, colorful, and as difficult as you want to make it. It delivers all the fun of jumping schoolbuses and none of the broken bones, and even Evel Knievel would approve of that.

Swashbuckler Review

Julius, the popular Paul Frank sock monkey icon, now has his own endless runner that takes him across several islands to rescue his buddy Birdie. How does he do so? In a variety of different ways. Julius is forced to contend with several hazards during his run, but this bright and cheery endless runner doesn’t break any new ground. It’s a mishmash of familiar concepts, and we’ve seen those concepts done better elsewhere.

Julius tackles several islandic paradise-like levels teeming with items to collect, a smiling sun in the distance overseeing the actions going on below, barrels, and other hazards that serve to keep him from reaching his beloved girlfriend. He’s quite the acrobatic little monkey, as one might expect, and his moves range from sliding, jumping, and gliding, all to be used in a bid to cross widening chasms, barrels, and every single impedance that could stop him from making progress.

When you don’t invite bad guys to your picnics, they get really jealous.

Unfortunately, Swashbuckler has little to no content within it to suggest any awesome swordfighting is about to ensue, or anything really, beyond collecting coins and making a mad dash to safety. Swapping out between Paul’s regular running stance is done via swipe and touch gestures, but it can be a bit difficult to differentiate between which modes you’re using when the game speeds up. Most levels find you running at a decent enough speed to account for possible input errors, but when things heat up precision becomes key. This can result in some easy deaths, so it’s best to stay alert and remain as precise as you can with the sometimes fiddly controls.

There’s a decent amount of action going down in each level, with cannons that blast Julius from place to place, volcano passageways, and other attractive decor that makes the journey less mundane. But in the end, Swashbuckler simply feels derivative, as if it weren’t injected with enough personality to make it work. Simply slapping a well-known designer and mascot onto a game doesn’t make it a formidable adventure, or worth picking up. Swashbuckler feels much more like a collection of well-known tropes imprinted with colorful overlays and silly mascot characters than an honest-to-goodness, brand-new swing at the endless runner genre. Perhaps the bizarre, brightly-colored stages lend an unbelievable lilt to it all, as it feels very much like a cash grab.

Pirates work for peanuts.

Even so, there’s plenty of content here. The main adventure is comprised of five worlds with several different stages, and two minigames to boot. Clancy’s Emerald Frenzy is a puzzle game all its own, and Pufak’s Dash is an additional endless runner meant simply for players to advance as far as possible. Both are interesting additions to the main content, and they didn’t have to be included as extras, so it’s certainly appreciated that even for a less-than-creative title there’s plenty to see and do.

Fans of Paul Frank and these types of games will likely see Swashbuckler as another cheap toy to add to their collection, but for discerning app gamers, this will be a pass for something with a little more substance, and maybe something with some real swashbuckling. Sorry Julius, you’re cute enough, but this is just bland.

Dead Trigger 2 Announced

Madfinger Games has been a busy company lately. At the end of last summer they released Dead Trigger, a frenetic first-person shooter with jaw-dropping graphics. They’ve just announced that the sequel, Dead Trigger 2, will be coming to iOS in a few months. Check out some screenshots below.

No specific release date has been announced aside from Q2 2013. That’s all we know about Dead Trigger 2 so far, except, to quote Madfinger CEO Marek Rabas, that it will be, “Bigger, better, and much more addictive” than the original. Thanks, Marek. We’ll keep you posted as more info comes to light.

Mighty Wardens iphone Review

While most games provide some form of plot, other games rely on nonverbal cutscenes and visual cues to give you a gist of where you are and what you’re doing. Mighty Wardens is one of those games. It’s filled with button-mashing combat and is occasionally interrupted by cutscenes of orcs beheading noble-looking monarchs to convince you that you’re fighting for the good guys. Of course, plot isn’t really the selling point of a side-scrolling action game, but we appreciated the non-intrusive story delivery all the same.
In Mighty Wardens, you choose one of four classes to help out the monarchs through a single-player or co-operative multiplayer campaign, or you can instead choose to go straight for glory in battle against one to three other foes in an arena. Your progress with each class is saved, so if you level up your Druid, it will remain at that level even if you decide to roll with the Battle Mage for a while.

Hey! If you’re going to fight, do it outside!
Regardless of class, the game mechanics are very simple: a mostly invisible joystick and three buttons, one each for attacking, jumping, and using a special move. You encounter waves of not greatly varying enemies as you venture through each level, which include somewhat generic settings of forests and castles and mountains, and do battle with them using simple but fun combos and class-specific attacks. You can save items in your inventory to be used by your other characters, and you can buy more in the surprisingly infrequent shops– however, loot you find usually serves you better than the shops, which serve more as prompts to spend real money on the highest-end weapons and armor.
The game benefits from a simple design that doesn’t require much attention be paid to inventory management or skill development (good or bad depending on the gamer), leaving more time for paving your way through hordes of enemies. We hesitate to say that these enemies are cute, but the relatively charming animation calls for that term; stunted characters with occasionally bulging eyes carrying disproportionately-sized weapons are rather adorable, even when they are hacking away at each other.

That’s better.
The multiplayer modes have potential, but only if you bring friends, because the auto-match times we experienced were long and lonely. While this is no fault of the developer, we found ourselves turning to the single-player campaign more often than not. There are enough achievements and reasons to replay the campaign (four reasons to be precise– one for each class) to redeem the multiplayer weakness, but the game doesn’t have enough variety to make you want to max out the levels for all four classes. Still, fans of the genre will enjoy this well polished and simple action experience.

Noble Nutlings Review

Do you know that old nursery rhyme that starts off, ‘Rub-a-dub-dub, three squirrels in a tub?’ No? Well, there’s not much to tell you beyond the fact they all went flying off a cliff at a magnificent speed. Noble Nutlings is a game about a trio of rodents’ decision to challenge gravity in makeshift carts. It’s nearly as much fun as it sounds, but the in-app purchases are a bit of a roadblock.

Noble Nutlings is a game by Boomlagoon, a company with ex-Rovio employees on its staff. The influence is clear: the Noble Nutlings are a trio of goofy, differently-colored squirrels that seemingly suffer no permanent damage even when they land on their heads after a long fall. Unlike a certain pack of birds, however, the squirrels don’t boast individual abilities. They’re just going for a ride, and you’re in charge.

“Mom! Tell Skippy to keep his tail on his side of the car!”

Noble Nutlings is a racing/physics hybrid. Every level is full of loops, lumps, and jumps, and you need to reach the end within a reasonable amount of time if you want to earn Stars. True to many physics games, Stars are necessary to unlock new levels and progress to new worlds.

It’s a very simple premise, and it works well because unlike games of a similar pedigree (say, Bad Piggies), you don’t need to stress about collecting all the stars within a level. You earn acclaim for simply moving as quickly and safely as possible, which lets you sit back and focus on speed and crazy stunts. The levels in Noble Nutlings are cleverly-designed and challenging, so it’s nice to simply appreciate them for what they are instead of having to explore every nook for shiny things. You can even challenge your friends’ times on a level via Facebook.

They’re the fastest things alive.

Unfortunately, Noble Nutlings trades one stress for another. Earning all three stars on a level typically means you need to progress at breakneck speed– but your ‘ chilli pepper’ boost empties quickly, and refills need to be purchased with coins, the game’s soft currency. These refills are costly (you can buy more coins with hard currency, of course). You can collect coins as you race, but when a game lets you progress depending on how quickly you can complete a level, it hardly seems fair to put any kind of price tag on the boost button. Worse, some of the times required to grab the third star in each level are kind of insane.

You can upgrade your cart’s wheels and body for better speed and balance, a process that also requires lots of coins. If you don’t want to spend real-world money, you should brace yourself for some grinding. There are worse fates since, again, the levels in Noble Nutlings are fun to play through, but you never lose the feeling that the odds are purposefully stacked against you. Noble Nutlings is cute, and it’s well-polished, but we’d rather pay our money up front and ditch the in-app purchases.

Table Top Racing Announced

Who doesn’t enjoy a little vehicular combat every now and then? Playrise, a studio started by a co-creator of the Wipeout series, has just announced that their first title will be Table Top Racing, a game inspired by Micro Machines and Mario Kart. Read on for details and screenshots.

In accordance with its title, the game takes place on eight miniature tracks set in familiar household locations. You control a tiny vehicle, racing and doing battle against other small automobiles, using an array of weapons and power-ups. The game has 10 cars that can be repainted and adjusted in an in-game shop. It has are six gameplay modes, including Hot-Lap, Speed-Trial, Combat, Pure Race, Pursuit, and Eliminator. You can even do online multiplayer races over Game Center.

The developer hasn’t decided on a price yet, but the game will be available early next month.

Wheel of Fortune Review

Wheel of Fortune has been around for three decades. To mark the occasion, Sony has released a new game to the App Store to allow fans of the show to celebrate by participating from the comfort of their own homes, or while on the go.
All said, the game itself is pretty straightforward, and plays out much like the show, complete with a silent timer ticking down until the end. On each turn, you choose whether to spin the eponymous wheel to earn money and guess a letter, buy a vowel (provided you have the money), or attempt to solve the puzzle, which consists of a secret word or words related to different categories, from food and drinks to things to celebrities’ names. When time is up, the person with the most cash gets to move on to the final round.
Wheel of Fortune Review

“Uh, n-nothin’, officer!”
Unlike some older video game versions of the show we’re familiar with, this iteration allows you to customize the experience by crafting your own player avatar, which has a rather cartoon-styled look. Nothing too sophisticated, but a little cheesy and charming in such a way that just fits. Unfortunately, Pat Sajak’s avatar is also a caricature, and a little creepy at that– particularly when he glances to the side. Meanwhile, Vanna White is nowhere to be found, but given the way Sajak turned out, that could be either a positive or a negative. Further customization is allowed as you are able to unlock various sets from the show’s 30-year history, ranging from the Eighties, Nineties, Millenium, and today.

Wheel of Fortune Review

To everything (turn turn turn) there is a season (turn turn turn)
And handy feature included is the ability to play with two other people on a single device by passing it around. Unfortunately, gathering around an iPhone to try to buzz in during bonus rounds is a little unwieldy. The game could have really been improved by the inclusion of a local multiplayer, where everyone gets to use their own phone, or even an online multiplayer.
Despite these shortcomings, the game has charm and the Wheel of Fortune spirit. If you love the show and don’t mind the lack of online components, then this one is an easy recommendation.

Town of Southington Cancels Violent Video Game Bonfire

Put away your hot dogs and marshmallows. Southington, the Connecticut town that proposed collecting and burning violent video games in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting has backed down on its resolution because it would ‘create an unnecessary amount of logistical details for us.’

Dick Fortunato, the spokesperson for the late Violent Video Games Return Program, told Polygon that even though the initiative is cancelled, it prompted people to talk to their children about violent media– effectively making the program a success before it officially started.

‘We succeeded in our program,” said Fortunato. “Our mission was to create strong awareness in Southington for parents and families and citizens and children. And we accomplished that. Our other objective was to promote discussion of violent video games and media with children and with the families at the home. And we’ve accomplished that in spades.
“So we deemed it became unnecessary to have the physical return on Saturday of violent games. Also because it would create an unnecessary amount of logistical details for us.”

Town of Southington Cancels Violent Video Game Bonfire

It’s not happening. Go home.
Said ‘logistical details’ may have something to do with the $25 gift cards for Southington attractions that would have gone out to anyone who turned in a violent game (even, say, a dusty PlayStation 2 bargain bin reject).
SouthingtonSOS, the organization behind the Violent Video Games Return Program, prepared a statement declaring a successful conclusion to the effort:
‘Today, after just one week, we are pleased to announce that awareness has been raised significantly, thanks to the support of the media and widely disseminated e-mail communications within our community through our local SouthingtonSOS member organizations. The result has been a swift, positive and supportive response of parents, young people and the general population of our community.
“Our mission now continues as a work in progress in the hands of a very caring Southington community.”
SouthingtonSOS spokespeople also stated that gift certificates will be going out to families that ‘had the violent video game talk’ with their kids, though details are currently not available.
The proposed fiery end to the Violent Video Games Return program sparked criticism from the gaming community, educators, writers, and websites, including us here at Slide to Play.