Thursday, 25 December 2014

Out Of Circle - 3.5 Stars

What is it?
Out of Circle is a tap style game with the aim to escape a rotating circles. I was contacted on Twitter to review this game so was pretty excited to get started. I think this is a love or hate  app game as it can be very frustrating. 

The game is a white circle  outline with a gap rotating around a dot, you tap the screen to release the dot but if you hit the edge you die. Once out of the first circle you move to another and so on an so forth. The style, speed and direction of the circle change between moves and the longer you stay alive the more complex it appears. 

One frustration that I did have is that you can't tap anywhere on the screen as you are restricted to a circle at the bottom of the screen. This was particularly annoying when you were into the game, missed and lost the flow. 

There are three modes to the game: Arcade, Time Trail and Chirstmas (which I assume means Christmas with an unfortunate typo!). As it is Christmas I mainly played the Chirstmas version. The screen has a few colours that it changes to between plays, with stockings hanging from the header and festive snowfall. 

The normal version is the same as the Chirstmas game but is a  full colour screen, which I feel is a little plain and would benefit from having anything on there to liven it up a bit. 

If you have played DashUp then this is very similar to it. The colours and set up are the same but the format of the game play is different through the use of circles and not sliding white bars. 

Thus far my highest score is a mere 11 but my partner has scored 13 and is forth overall in the world with the highest being a mere 16. This is a bit of an indication to how difficult the game is to master and that there are some frustrating adverts, that I must admit has made me kill the game a few times. 

Now for some ratings.....

Ease of use - 4 
This is a pretty simple game to get a grasp off but it is difficult. If you have poor reaction speeds you will quickly get angry with it but it is interesting for in home challenges. The main frustration is that you can't tap anywhere on the screen to play and if you miss the tap circle you lose your flow. 


Price - 5
This is a free game with no in app purchases. 

Adverts - 2
This game is riddled with adverts. There is a constant banner at the bottom of the screen, but it doesn't interrupt game play. After three plays there are full screen ads, these start off as manageable but after about 8 plays they turn into 5 second screen invaders. After 4 of these in a row the game got switched off. As this game is difficult you don't want to break your concentration but the ads do it for you!

Overall Rating 1
I have struggled with rating this app but I am going for 3.5 stars. The adverts are annoying and the game is a little difficult to play. The inability to tap anywhere on the nearly blank screen is also frustrating. With that said it has remained on my phone and from starting the review to now i have upped my score...but will I get the highest in the world. 

Keep, jury is out or delete - Keep
I will be keeping this for a little while longer as I enjoy the competition, but if the adverts get any more annoying it will have to go :(

Where to find it:


Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/out-of-circle/id943841480?ls=1&mt=8

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Gopher Chase - 4.5 Stars


What is it?
The Gopher is a fast paced flappy bird-esque game where you get points for moving a Gopher through a never ending course. As you go forward, left or right, you get a point each move, whilst avoiding rocks and running out of time, as you attempt to go the furthest distance. This is a brightly coloured game which is easy to learn but difficult to master. 

When you first open up the game you are greeted by a lovely bright menu with a cute Gopher dancing in the middle of the screen and flappy bird-style fonts. From this screen you can 'Rate' the app, tap 'Top' to see the leaderboard or press 'Play' where you choose from a range of game modes.

From the 'Play' button you are taken to an option screen where you can choose from eight options, some that are time-driven and others that are points-driven. I started on Classic mode as that seemed the Normal, or Standard, mode! 

The game screen is split into two parts. The bottom of the screen is taken up with a left, right and up arrow with the main body being the game. The game is green in background with a scattering of rocks. The aim of the aim is to go as far as you can without hitting a rock. I kept dying without hitting a rock so was getting a little annoyed...then I noticed the timer bar at the very top of the game.  Basically you have to keep going as quickly as possible and it keeps your timer charged up, if you delay for even a second the timer runs out.

One thing that did bug me about the games is that once you have selected a mode you can't get back to the main menu to change to another. To overcome this I had to force close and re-enter the app.  This was a little annoying but I am sure not too complex to fix. I will say that after a few plays of this, I found that if you hit the pause button, you can return to the main menu, but i would have thought this would be available from the 'Game Over' screen.

As I (I should say we as my partner loves this game!) was reviewing the app I wanted to look at all the game modes, and although it was frustrating to force close the app, it was worth it. So here they are:

10 seconds / 30 seconds mode - these are speed modes where you have to gain as many points as possible within the selected time.

Marathon mode - score as many points as you can within 100 seconds. If you die before the 100 seconds is up then it is 'Game Over' but its a great opportunity to test your tapping speed and agility to move around the screen. 

Impossible mode - as you tap the buttons to negotiate the course, they randomly change directions, i.e. the up button becomes the left button, so you have to take it slower to get a lot of points here. It's a good twist to the game as you have to pay attention and be very quick...I am rubbish at this mode!

Stop and Go - is a mode that's a little like musical statues! Basically you play as normal but the screen will flash up STOP and you've got to resist hitting any buttons or you die. When the screen flashes GO you can resume play. Obviously if you hit a rock you still die (which I did often!). 

Relay mode - is split into two stages 'Easy' and 'Hard'. In the Easy version you are given 8 seconds to get a score of at least 40. If you do, then you are given another 8 seconds, and so on until you do not hit 40 within the 8 seconds. In the Hard version you need to get 50 to get another 8 seconds, and this really is difficult to do unless you have an insane tapping action. You can still die in either mode if you hit a rock.

I did notice that the GameCenter only records the Classic and Impossible mode score and a collective total, which is a shame as we have had great fun trying to beat each other on the various modes. 

I enjoyed this game, its strongly addictive but highly frustrating!

Now for some ratings.....

Ease of use - 3.5 
This game is simple to use, once you figure it out. The game would really benefit from providing some instructions or a tutorial for the first time user. There are no descriptions for any of the modes within the game itself, but I did find them on the App Store, which I rarely read. 


Price - 5
This is a free app and I didn't notice any in app purchases. 

Adverts - 3
There are ads in this game. They tend to appear every third game play but are easily closed.  The please rate me window also appears as frequently and doesn't have the option to stop asking. 

Overall Rating - 4
There are a couple of things that have stopped me nudging this to a five, but I do really like this game! The inability to change the mode of play from the game over menu is frustrating and it did take us two days to find the option from the pause menu. The other frustration is the lack of in app instructions or tutorials.  Please don't let these minor items stop you from downloading this app as it is highly addictive and well made. This is a definite hit in my household!

Keep, jury is out or delete - Keep
No doubt about it this is a keeper! We have had great fun with the Gopher and even if you are watching people play it is very amusing, due to the frustrating screams when the timer catches you. 249 is the highest we have achieved in Classic mode, and 515 in Marathon mode... dare you to beat it!

Where to find it:
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/the-gopher/id947291741?mt=8

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Dash Up - 5 Stars

What is it?
wasn't sure what this was but I stumbled upon it when I searched for 'Christmas Apps' on the App Store and scrolled like a lunatic to find the less popular or featured not offering.  Dash Up  can be compared to the popular follow up to Flappy Birds, Swing Copters. The aim of the game is to tap the screen, navigating a bauble to the top whilst avoiding obstacles. If you hit an obstacle you break the bauble with a shattering smash.

I have been thinking of the best way to describe what the obstacles are and I might be having a slow day but basically they are white blocks that close together like elevator doors. If you hit them whilst closed or get the bauble suck between them then game over. 

I haven't fully mastered this game yet, with my pitiful score of six (which was smashed by someone getting 25 as I typed this review), but I like this one. I found Swing Copters infuriating and I couldn't get past one, much to the delight of who I was playing against! Dash Up on the other hand isn't so brutal and is much easier to play, but do not be fooled into thinking it isn't frustrating! 

What I liked about this Christmas app is that it is festive. When you start there is a little festive jingle that plays that soon builds up into Jingle bells. The app uses bold festive full screen colours with crisp white snow falling and Christmas Trees. The bauble is red and decorated and I really liked the whole package, though I appreciate this may not be to everyones liking. Another nice touch to the game is that when you get past the white obstacles you hear a festive jingly ping.

I will be honest I am not a fan of the flappy phenomena that took the world by storm this year but I am liking this. I think the crisp, although basic graphics, and the absence of the abnormal bird with huge lips instead of a beak has done it. I am not adverse to pixilated games but it is nice to have a game that has a similar format and is modern.

From the main menu there is a 'Mode' option. There are four modes, each of different colour and the one I have been playing is 'Christmas'. I like that the app can still be played after the festive time without the Christmas features.  In the other mode you play with a white ball, and because I am in a festive mode i am going to refer to it as a snowball, but of course the music changes!

The game is on the GameCentre so you can complete ;) You can also remove Ads, if you pay but to be honest there are only banner ads at the bottom which I hardly noticed. 

I think there will be a contest in my home this week with this app which I will without doubt lose at but I will try!  

Now for some ratings.....

Ease of use - 5
Can you tap? If yes then you can play. 


Price - 5
This is free, you can upgrade to get rid of the ads, but I wouldn't bother as they are not intrusive.

Adverts - 4
There are ads, but only banner ads at the bottom and they do not interfere with game play, after a while I forgot that they were there. You can upgrade the app to remove the ads, but unless they do an update to add more I wouldn't bother. 

Overall Rating - 5
It could be my festive mood or the watching of frustration on peoples faces playing this app but I really like it!! It is not often that I like this type of game, so I am very impressed!

Keep, jury is out or delete - Keep
Keep, no doubt about it!

Where to find it:
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/dash-up!/id910959738?mt=8 

3D Santa Run & Christmas Racing - 2 Stars


What is it?
Ever played Temple Run? Well imagine that with a funny looking village, Ginches and a sort of 3D Santa and that is the game. I play Minion Rush, well I did until the latest updates with Jelly Labs that have ruined it for me, so I am used to pretty good graphics. This game wasn't exactly what I was expecting in the graphics, especially from the icon. The graphics are a little clunky, but they don't really disturb game play, but equally they don't encourage you to want to keep playing. 

The game is basically to make Santa run for as long as you can, sliding and jumping over obstacles and turning sharp corners. You dodge obstacles by tilting the phone from left to right so pretty easy to use.  Like Minion Rush the more points, coins and Grinches you collect the more points you earn to increase your multiplayer. When you increase the multiplayer you get more points each time you play.

If you have the sound on the game plays you festive music which is a nice touch.

As I am sat here writing this, I am struggling to say that I liked the game. It is a bit of festive fun and delivers on its promise of a Christmas theme, but I think the clunky graphics let it down. 

Now for some ratings.....

Ease of use 3 
If you have played these games before then this will be easy to pick up and play. I did like in the game that there are instructions as you play the first few times. If quick paced games aren't for you then I wouldn't recommend this one but if you like Temple Run then you may like this. 


Price - 5
This game is free.

Adverts - 2
There are adverts of various types but they are not as frequent as I have seen in other games.

Overall Score2
I just didn't take to this game. I only kept playing because I had decided that I was going to review it. If you like Temple Run and don't mind less jazzy graphics then this is worth a try, it is Christmas after all.

Keep, jury is out or delete - Delete
I hate saying delete when I can see that effort has gone into a game but I just don't want to play. This game is already off my phone, but mainly as I just upgraded to the iPhone , but I am not going to download it again as it just isn't for me. 

Where to find it:
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/3d-santa-run-christmas-racing/id938177866?mt=8

Monday, 15 December 2014

Mahjong Worlds - 25 Days of Gifts - 2.5 Stars

What is it?
I found this app looking for some festive fun. I love Mahjong, I always have, so I was looking forward to matching Santa, holly and baubles in a recognisable way! The opening screen promises festive fun, very bright and colourful with Christmas images galore, but then I went into game play I was disappointed :(

When you first access the game play screens there are different stages, the first being Eldorado. Having a look at the the other stages there are some that could be Panto names but nothing that screamed Christmas. 

I started in Eldorado and there are few levels in the world, the game is easy enough to start by tapping in the unlocked level. You are then taken to the tile selection, only the classic version was unlocked, the Christmas tiles were there taunting me, but I couldn't access them :(

If you know Mahjong, the game of pairs with tiles in a stacked order, then this does what it says on the tin. As you go through the levels the difficultly and number of tiles increases which is good and keeps you interested.

There are ads throughout the game and some can be a little annoying. I will be honest, I have stopped playing in search of true festive game but if you like Mahjong, then this is free so why not?


Now for some ratings.....

Ease of use 5
Do you know how to play Mahjong? If yes then this is simple to play. If you haven't played you basically make pairs until all the tiles have gone, but be careful some are locked in or hidden below other tiles. The selection of the tiny tiles is surprisingly easy and I can honestly say I made few mistakes. 
Price - 5
This is free. 

Adverts 2
Annoying. I encountered a 15 second ad, yes 15 whole seconds!! In a positive there aren't layered ads that frustratingly result in visiting the app store and crosses to close most of the them are easy to spot.

Keep, jury is out or delete - Jury is out
I like Mahjong, but I was looking for something festive, so I have mixed thoughts about this game. The game is easy to play and considering how small the tiles are they are easy to select, view and pair :)

Overal Rating - 2.5
I would have loved to give this more, but it didn't live up to festive expectations. 

Where to find it:
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mahjong-worlds-25-days-gifts/id433618104?mt=8

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sumdoit - 3.5 Stars


What is it?

I found this app through the Touch Arcade forum - a great place to see what indy developers are producing and a brilliant sharing community for hints and tips to getting your app right.

This appealed to me from the word 'puzzle'! When I went to look in the App Store I saw that it was a maths puzzle game. After my horrendous attempt at Financial Controls revision in November I wasn't sure if I was in the right frame of mind for this one, but hey ho ho (get it?) I gave it a shot.

When you open the app you are presented with three options 2x2, 3x3 and 4x4. Within those options you can choose from Easy, Difficult, Extreme and Insane... obviously I started on easy! To select the game you select your desired level and then press the play button (Sounds self-explanatory but I just constantly tapped the level to start the game - d'oh).


The easiest way to describe the game is from the 2x2 setup (pictured right). There are four blank squares in the middle and four answer squares around the edge. Above is a bar containing a selection of numbers that you need to drag into the the blank squares to create the appropriate sum that gets you the right answer. Once you advance to the Difficult level you have to also add in the +, -, x or / to the grid with the numbers again to get to the correct answer for all of the numbers around the edge.

If you do not like maths then this is not the game for you but if me you like a cheeky, numbers-related, brain teaser then this is pretty good game. I would even say it would help kids with thinking of maths in a different and interactive way (well as good as maths can be outside of counting Christmas presents!).

Being picky the app doesn't flow as easily as it could from one level to the next. Each time that you complete a level you are taken back to the main level and have hit play again. 


Other options available on the main menu include a heart, a connection icon, a question mark and a pie chart. The heart takes you back to the App Store to rate the app. The connection icon allows you to share the app with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Email and via iMessage. The question mark gives you a summary of the game, but not in-depth instructions. Finally the pie chart takes you to the GameCentre to see how you are doing against friend and other players.

It took me a couple of games to realise that each level that you play is timed, with the scores collected cumulatively and displayed on the main menu. This then goes on to the Game Centre, but I am not sure how this is worked out as the person in the lead has used just 3 seconds so it must be by level!

There are ad's in the app and they are screen invaders with countdowns that are a bit annoying. 


Now for some ratings.....


Ease of use - 4
I am one of those people that will just try anything on an app or computer and if I break it, it's not my issue. But not everybody is like me and can be hesitant to just have a play. Personally I think that this game is relatively easy to grasp and use, but some instructions or tutorials would be good

Price - 5
This is a free app with no in app purchases. 

Adverts - 4
This app does have ads and pretty annoying ones. Full screen ads are all over the place and some are timed so you have to endure them for 5 to 10 seconds and yes I ended up in the App Store!

Keep, jury is out or delete - Keep
I liked this and will probably have the odd play of it over the next couple of weeks especially after the pain on my Finance exam has passed ;)

Overall Rating - 3.5
I like this app it is a good maths puzzle game :) 

Where to find it:
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/id933510213?mt=8 

Space Mousy - 2.5 stars

What is it?
As the title say's it is a mouse in space! The aim of the game is move the mouse to avoid the comets that fire across the screen in different directions.

When you launch the app you are greeted by the Mouse in the centre of the screen with several other shaded versions with numbers. These are additional characters that are unlocked if you reach that distance. The menu screen also has a sound button to turn off the repetitive music and a link to the Game Centre. Your 'Best Distance' is displayed near the top of the screen below an odd white bar (I assume this is for banner ads that aren't being displayed). At the bottom of the screen is 'Tap to Play'... literally you have to tap those words to start the game!

Throughout the game and the menu bar there are graphics of white dots falling diagonally across the screen. Although these are stars (clue in the title ;) ) it actually looks like a snow storm, and at this time of year I liked the effect :).

When I eventually tapped to play I immediately died! In actual fact this happened three times! I eventually figured out that you don't tap the mouse to move it around you tap where you want it to go.

As I said the aim of the game is avoid the comets that fly across the screen in quite cute graphics. It is a bit of a game of pot luck if you move the mouse to the right place and even when you think you have just cleared the comets path it sometime gets you (bit like those stupid pipes in Flappy stupid Bird).

Once I figured out how to control the game I was looking forward to getting into game play...but then I found a bug :(. After four attempts at saving the mouse a full screen animated ad was displayed. I hate ads that you are forced to watch but this did allow you to close it but the cheeky thing moves where the cross is during the ad so I ended up in the App Store... but that isn't the bug. Once the advert has played and you have closed it, you return to the main menu but when you Tap to Play, nothing appears to happen. I had the sound on while playing the app and quickly realised that the game was in fact playing as I could hear the sound of the comet hitting the mouse. The only way to get back to game play was to force close the app to and reload, which does take several seconds to get back into the action. After 10 times of doing this, with regret I put the phone down. 

This app has potential to be very addictive, especially in my competitive household but the bug is just too frustrating :(


Now for some ratings.....



Ease of use 3 
Once you figure out the controls this is ok to play but this game could really benefit from a tutorial or some instructions. I imagine as the game gets further your thumb will get in the way of play if comets are darting everywhere but I think this will add to the skill and frustration that will make it super competitive. 
Price - 5
This is a free app, but there is a paid version on the store too that I didn't review. 

Adverts 1
There are ads in this game and I believe the inclusion of them has introduced a bug to the game. The ads are animated and can be difficult to switch off :( Unfortunately even if you do switch them off it kills game play :(

Keep, jury is out or delete - Jury is Out

Overall Score - 2.5
I feel terrible for having to give this score but the bug killed it for me. This game has potential and if it was fixed I am sure I would be playing it to the point that the phone gets thrown across the sofa in frustration then quickly retrieved to try again. I don't often do this but if the game was updated I would happily re-review to see if my suspicions about its potential are true. 


Where to find it:
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/id936540390?mt=8


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Christmas Pics Quiz - 4.5 Stars


What is it?
I decided to get into the festive swing of things so did a search for 'Christmas' on the app store and stumbled across Christmas Pics Quiz. I had 100 Pics on my phone a while ago for a play off in work to see who could complete the categories first... a very productive week! This game gives a bit more as it also combines the with the awesome game Guess the Emoji! I loved the original game of this and completed it within a few days. Unfortunately I lost my score in the great washing machine incident where, god rest its soul, my iPhone 5 went to phone heaven! I couldn't face going through the 200 levels to get back my score, so this game had ultimate appeal!!

There are several categories within the app, but my main game play has been Christmas pics, of which there are about 20 (easy to complete) and then the 100 levels of Christmas Emoji which was a welcome surprise!

The aim of the game is to guess what the series of emoji's are, for each correct answer you earn some coins. Each level appears by showing the available letters, normally more than needed, the blank boxes to create the words and the emoji's hidden below four squares. Each square you remove shows part of the clue but also reduces the amount of coins that you can win. 

There are a great mix of items in there, but some repetition. If you are good at word puzzle games, there are some levels that you don't have to uncover any of the emoji's. With that said there are some that did my head in! I mean seriously in German and Italian so some Google help was required. 

The coins are important as they can be traded in for clues. You can reveal a letter that will appear in the answer section, this was my favourite hint tool! You can also remove letters from the selection, but for the Italian and German ones this was of no use to me. 

The coins quickly run down and the game does, maybe a little too eagerly, offers to let you buy more. The game also asked you after a wrong guess if you needed help and offered to sell you coins, this was a little frustrating when I had only guessed wrong twice!

A good feature of this game is the notifications. On the first night I played it got turned off in a bit of a huff as my tired brain couldn't figure out what the hell the answer was. While in work the next day running between meetings I had the normal notification of 'come back and play' but with the awesome addition of a freebie clue of a free letter!

I will be sad to complete the series of festive levels but I am looking forward to trying the Winter, TV Shows, TV Stars and Cartoon sections!

Now for some ratings.....



Ease of use - 5
If you have played any of the Guess the Emoji type games then this will be second nature to you! If you haven't, then it is just tap on a letter to add it to the board or tap it again to remove it! Very easy game!
Price - 5
Free! There are in app purchase and some of the other categories are payed. Although that may be frustrating the free categories have up to 100 levels and are good fun!

Adverts - 3
There are adverts in this game and sometimes they can't be avoided based on how quickly they show up between levels. There are banner ad's throughout the game but they don't interfere with game play. I will say that the ad's didn't make me put the phone down unlike games like Scrabble and the god awful Christmas Cracker game last year (it still angers me after 12 months!).

Overall Rating - 4.5
This would have quite easily been a 5, but the full screen adverts that popped up resulting in me in the App Stored just stopped it :( 

Keep, jury is out or delete - Keep
Without doubt I will be keeping this game until it is complete! My deadline for this is December 17th when my shiny new iPhone 6 WILL be arriving.... if only my scores would be transferred over! Definitely recommend this to people that like word games and are partial to a bit of Catch Phrase! Happy guessing!


Where to find it:
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/christmas-pics-quiz-fun-festive/id755281885?mt=8 

Monday, 1 December 2014

Virtual Beggar - 2 Stars


What is it?

I was browsing for some new apps to review and stumbled across Virtual Beggar. I literally did a double take when I saw the name. When I started to read about the app I couldn't believe my eyes that someone would actual create a game about a homeless person. I wasn't alone in my shock in some comments made but there were several that said it was addictive, so I decided to see what it was like.

The game starts by you basically tapping to earn coins. At first I thought that you had to tap the people that walk past the character to get coins, but no, just tap anywhere. I will admit this got boring quickly. The more coins you collect the higher levels your achieve. With the coins you can buy things but, and it might be that I am playing on an iPhone 4s, it was difficult in the pixilated text to see what I was buying.

As I continued tapping, I won a card, and somehow this led to me buying a shop and being able to hire staff. Now the game wanted me to keep putting the hired staff to work as well as continuing to beg. It is a little like a SIM game. To put this into context when I was a child I gave my Tamagotchi away as it was too much effort with little reward. I did however, continue and put the employees to work.

After playing for a good thirty minutes, I am sorry to say that I lost interest in the game and if I wasn't reviewing it I would have lost it a lot sooner. Even the little notifications weren't tempting me back.

I imagine if you like Tapped Out and don't mind to controversial topic of a homeless person begging while owning a business this could be one to look at. However, if like me you don't like SIM games and like something that has an immediate purpose then this might not be for you. 

Now for some ratings.....

Ease of use 3 
Can you tap? Then you can play this game. The text on the menu to buy things and the speech bubbles from the players is a little difficult to read, but as I said this could have been that I am playing on an iPhone 4s. The premise of the game as it evolves does so without much explanation so I just kept tapping.
Price - 5
This is free and I didn't come across any in app purchases. 

Adverts - 5
From the time I spent using the app I didn't have any adverts. During my play I didn't come across any in app purchases but thats not to say there aren't any. 

Keep, jury is out or delete - Delete
I hate to say delete to an app but this one wasn't for me. I can see that a lot of work has gone into the app and the popular pixelated theme had been used for design. The game, for me, didn't captivate me sorry :(

Overal Rating - 2
I will give credit where it is due, this is a unique theme and designed well in the pixel world but it wasn't for me.

Where to find it:


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Fist of Fury



What is it?
Like quick apps that are addictive but don't take over your life? Then try this!! I love games that don't take up hours of my day, but allow me to be competitive, and lets just say this was punch contest in my house! Designed in a retro way, yes pixilated fun, this is a bright, simple, fun and addictive game!

The aim of the game is to punch, by swiping left, right, up and down, opponents/ninjas to stay alive! As you progress the game gets quicker and you find yourself manic across the screen. As you play more and get more points you unlock different characters! My personal favourites are the Vampire and the Cat!

A great feature of this app is your last play is recorded and can be uploaded straight onto YouTube! I think it would be even better if could record your reaction and speech at the same time but I fear that mine would have to censored as I do get quite...er... involved in the competition!

There are no big prizes, just the satisfaction of beating your friends... it took me two weeks to break the 200 mark and I unlocked all the characters. I still play this game when I have a cheeky few minutes, as my boyfriend is beating me at an embarrassing rate!

Now for some ratings.....

Ease of use - 5
If you have the freedom to swipe then you can play this. I would say if you have slow reactions then you may quickly become annoyed with this game. I will admit i had difficulty using my thumb for this game, but looking like my dad and holding the phone with one hand, sticking out my tongue and using my other hands index finger was very effective :D
Price - 5
This is free. Obviously there is an in app purchase to remove the ad's, but for the most part these aren't noticeable.  

Adverts - 4
There are ad's in this game pop ups about every four plays and some at the bottom bar during play. For the most part I didn't notice the ads, and I wasn't taken to the store to buy them. As a game with ad's goes this is ok. 

Keep, jury is out or delete - Keep
If you like Bruce Lee then you are bound to like this. I can't bring myself to admit defeat on this one yet and its still has pride of place on my phone. It makes me frustrated with myself but it is addictive! It is free so why not give it a try?!

Where to find it:
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/fist-of-fury/id913105070?mt=8 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

I am back, get featured!

I am back.... get featured!


I frequently read TechCrunch, NextWeb and Mashable and recently I have been wondering, what does it actually take to be featured? There are thousands of app developers out there and with the saturated market what is the actual chance of an independent 'indie' being picked from the crowd?


Over the past few months I have been watching this with interest, but if you aren't an ex-Google employee, current dominating app owner or Mr Zuckenburg himself then don't hold your breathe. 

Being based in the UK it is apparent that there is very limited exposure of people here in the big players articles.  Actually, unless you have a Valley post code or a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from your office window there is little exposure happening. 

Don't get me wrong, I would love to live and work in San Fransisco, and the inflated rent definitely justifies the exposure, but what hope do the average Joe have of making it in the mad world of Apps?

Even Apple themselves are making it increasingly difficult to get noticed. Individual charts have been limited to 150 and there is no 'new' section in most categories.  Unless you have a pretty awesome Marketing team, with a substantial budget, how do you get exposure???

Seriously, how?

Now that I am exam and high level of stress free I am getting back to blogging about apps that aren't immediately feature and from the big boys. This may be a small, and possibly insignificant vow, but hey everyone loves the under dog right?!

I  won't promise to create full reviews for every app I review but I will write something for every one I download, it could be an excited, angry, amazed or frustrated rant, but I am going to give it a go!

I don't like all Apps, in fact I am pretty choosy about what I do and don't like! I love logic, word and number games. I like apps that have a purpose not just a presence. Growing up I loved my MegaDrive, NES and I have every type of GameBoy released.  I attempt fighting games and driving games but I have limited skills and patients for them. My phone is frequently "borrowed" by a six year old so its not unheard-of for me to get his views on kids apps, he will do anything to use Aunty Gemma's phone. 

I have a honours degree in Computer Studies and have worked within the IT environment since I was 17 (over 13 years). I am not a tech nut, I like what I like. I can code but don't. After far too long of being a Windows girl I am now a full Apple convert.

I love watching TV shows back to back, it is driving me nuts waiting for a weekly instalment of The Walking Dead and American Horror Story: Freak Show. I Recently watched Mad Men 1-7 series back to back and of course I loved Silicon Valley.

I have just got a kitten, who is insane! She has figured out how to switch my phone alarm off and if that fails slumps across the phone to get attention.  

Sorry this has been a long winded ramble of words, but I am excited to get back to reviewing... role on the 17 December so I can see the apps better on the iPhone 6!

If you would like me to check out your app tweet me on @gemsappreview or mail me on GemmaELowe@gmail.com

Happy app developing, playing and enjoying! Gem 



Monday, 10 March 2014

Race the Stig - 4 Stars

What is it?
This is a driving game where you race the legendary Stig from the popular TV show Top Gear. If you like Temple Run and Minion Rush then you will take to this like a duck to water.

The aim of the game is not to crash into the many obstacles on your route or the Stig who intermittently challenges you during play. If you are a watcher of the popular TV show Top Gear then you will appreciate the various cars that are not only obstacles but that you can upgrade to. Additionally there are few of the shows host, Jeremy Clarkson, infamous caravans!

The operation of this game is all swiping the screen with no movement of the device to operate the character. The instructions are easy, swipe left to more left and swipe right to move right. An upward swipe makes the car jump and the a downward swipe makes the drive duck to go under obstacles. 

To advance in the game there are challenges for example land on three cars in a row, play for two minutes and use power ups. When you compete a series of three challenges you increase your multiplayer, which increases your score in the game. I am currently on a multiplier of 12. What I do like is that multipliers can be collected during play and at one point I ended up with one for 26!

During the game play there are cogs (tokens) that you collect which can be traded for power ups and changes to cars and helmets. The more you play the more you collect the more you can swap! Very like Minion Rush with bananas but this is a fairer game as you are not forced to purchase specific tokens to obtain the power ups, it just encourages more game play. 

In summary, I like this game but there are some frustrations, now for some ratings.....

Ease of use - 5
If you can play Temple Run and Minion Rush then this is a easy game to play. There are in game instructions to show you how to manoeuvre the car, jump and slide under obstacles. The power ups are also pretty self explanatory but i did have an issue when trading some tokens for one, but after forcing the app to close this then worked, so watch out for that one. Overall this is an easy game to play. 
Price - 3
This is a free app, but with in app purchases. You can pay to remove adverts and purchase more tokens to buy power ups and revives. I have given this app a 3 stars for price as although this is free, playing to remove the adverts is almost forced upon you as they are SO annoying!

Adverts 1
There are adverts in this app. I am not a lover of adverts and these are VERY annoying. Full screen picture ads appear if you go back to the main menu. After a few plays of the game your screen will be invaded by not only full screen ads but videos. These video ads must be endured for four seconds before you can cancel them and in some cases for the full length of it. Annoying! There is an option to remove the ads for £0.69 of $0.99 but I feel for a BBC app (for which I pay a TV licence) this is just too much!

Keep, jury is out or delete - Keep
I like this game a lot but then I do love Minion Rush, it is very addictive, especially if you are playing against friends on Facebook or in my case the other end of the sofa! I have dropped a star for the adverts as they are too much, especially with so many in app purchases!

Where to find it:
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/top-gear-race-the-stig/id675077614?mt=8