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Archive for the ‘app reviews’ Category

Apologies, I’ve Been Busy With New Site – Please Come Visit

Hi!

I miss this blog so much, I haven’t had a chance to ramble on and on at all since I launched AppTudes – a fresh site for app and game reviews for all interests, which I launched on Father’s day. I have been so lucky! I managed to get some amazing writers from other big sites like my own 148apps.com, my former home appadvice.com, and padpadget.com, appolicious, and some serious bloggers.

We’ve almost hit 1oo posts and our number have been through the roof! It’s so exciting, in seven months this is only my 86th-ish post, but that what’s great about having a tea. And the support from the developer and publisher community has been overwhelming. I hoped to do a launch-week push of giveaways, but we just hit the one month mark I don’t think a day has gone by where there wasn’t at least one active contest going, most days we have several.

And for those of you who like my SAHGeekMom picks, trust me we have a ton of kid stuff, art apps, and culture there too, but also real gamer games, general inteerest apps, and we just got an iPhonegraphy expert on board too!

By the way, if you review or have skills like copy editing, wordpress guruship, web or graphic design, come on over and check it out because we’re hiring! That page has most of our staff bios, but we have three newcomers so it’s time for an update. And, if you have skills, we’d love your face up there too.

I only have a minute, but I stopped by because I am going to flood my blog with the reviews I’ve written since I’ve been gone. In fact you are even getting on AppTudes doesn’t have…yet.

But remember when you see the posts, if there are contests attached they are being held on on apptudes.com and through our twitter account anf fcebook page, so you’ll have to pop on by if you want to enter. I hope you do, I have a lot of parents and educators on board and you might discover altogether different kinds of app, like I have been, that aren’t one I tend to run into.

I’m going to start using this blog again soon though, but less for reviews and more to discuss iOS news, and topics of interest that go beyond reviews. But don’t worry, wherever you find me writing, I’ll be focusing on only the very best apps for iOS. Hope to see you everywhere soon.

Happy App Hunting

The 

Blast Off Into Action-Gaming Goodness With Chillingo’s Rocket Bunnies

  • Publisher: Chillingo
  • Genre: Action Game, Family Game, Casual Game
  • Platform: iPhone/iPod touch and iPad sold seperately
  • Price: $.99 or $2.99 HD
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 4.75 Stars
  • Pump gives it: 4.0 Pump’s Up
  • Recommended Age: 8+ (Subject matter is G-rated, but the gameplay quickly gets too difficult for mini-gamers)

If you are a fan of pick-up-and-play action games Chillingo has a new title that should have you flying high and planet-hopping with glee.

Rocket Bunnies and Rocket Bunnies HD, developed by Android game devs, Defiant Development, have landed on the App Store with an already established a following, an excellent concept and killer style.

The game is simple, and almost obnoxiously fun. You are Rocket Bunny – your job is to careen across the universe saving baby rocket bunnies stranded on two galaxies in 60 different environments.

First, it’s a simple matter of timing your blasts from planet to planet with the brilliantly responsive single-touch control.

But, soon you are dodging singing suns, blasting through webs, avoiding electric currents and other obstacles and collecting hats. (Yes, you read that right.)

The environments are quite varied for this type of “complete one level to unlock the next” game and the graphics are vibrant.

You will be as compelled to laugh at Rocket Bunny’s antics as you will be to play Rocket Bunnies over and over.

The use of the word addictive is over-used, especially in reference to iOS games, but this one will have you saying “just one more time” for hours.
There is a sound Rocket Bunny makes when he has a close call that actually makes me laugh out load.

If you have ever seen the now defunct Fox animated series King of the Hill, do you recall that sound that Hank Hill would make when upset? It sounded kinda like “mawwhahaha?” Well, Rocket Bunny sounds just like Hank on helium!

Seriously though, this is a very polished offering. The devs had a chance to work out the kinks on early Android versions, and with Chillingo behind the iOS port, there is a promise of a third galaxy, Game Center and Crystal Gaming Network integration with leaderboards and achievements, and a GUI spit-shine.

Check out the trailer:

The learning curve is gradual – there is a tutorial world to teach you the tricks to safe bunny space flight. The instructions, though few are needed, are clear and the animated scenes will crack you up. This game is not cute – it’s cartoonish eye candy.

That said this game is really fun for kids, just a bit too difficult from the middle levels onward. Pump laughed at everything Rocket Bunny uttered or did. But, he was quit before the second galaxy because of the steep rise in difficulty. He is a kid though, so he doesn’t mind repeating the first levels over and over.

Pump’s Point: This is a really really funny game. I love Rocket Bunny and when he makes funny noises or is in the little movies. The game is fun too, but maybe you should let a grown-up or big kid play after a few rounds. It’s fun to watch too.

There is little to complain about. Several hours of testing revealed no bugs or crashes on either iDevice and gameplay is great on both iPhone and iPad.

The responsiveness and simplicity of the one-tap control mechanism is superb.

A little more logic to the galaxy maps, and a bit more information on the hats thing would be nice, but otherwise this is an almost perfectly executed game. I haven’t completed the game yet, maybe the hats make sense later?

If you are looking for fast-paced action, served in small fun helpings, Rocket Bunnies is a must-have. Grab it!

I’ll be here and on 148apps.com again soon! In the mean time here are some of my recent reviews and most popular lists for you to enjoy:

Happy App Hunting

The 


The Best Interactive Books (Book-Apps) For iPad And iPad2


Edited 6/8/11

The iPad is a great ebook reader, but it also offers a unique platform for a growing number of book-app hybrids that are pushing the limits of digital publishing. We have seen these interactive iPad books featured prominently in the New and Noteworthy and Staff Favorite sections on the App Store home page, and the titles are often amongst the top-grossing iPad apps around.

A lot of that has to doing with their pricing points, these are also some of the more expensive offerings on the App Store. And, while often featured by Apple, I noticed it is pretty hard to find a lot of user or critical reviews of these book-apps.

So, I have collected some of the best non-fiction offerings right here for you. Whether you love history, science, music, art, space travel or just love the digitally enhanced written word, there’s a book-app just for you.

Remember please that lists, unlike guides, are in no particular order, these are all great choices, depending on your interests. If I forgot your favourite, please leave a note in the comments too, I would love to discover more of this sort of App Store fare.

The Elements: A Visual Exploration

by Element Collection, Inc $13.99

If you’ve seen the original iPad ads, you’ve already met The Elements the first in a series three books (The Planets and Gems and Jewels being the others) from this publisher. They all seem to use essentially the same user-interface (UI). This original title covers the periodic table of elements, in a way that will engage even the least scientific of readers.

From the opening song listing the elements to the ever-catchy tune of “A Modern Major General” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, to the optional 3D specs you can purchase from the publisher to see each of the building blocks that make up our world pop before your eyes, this app puts the entertainment into edu-tainment in a serious way.

There isn’t a text per se; the data is pulled from superlative science search engine WolframAlpha, but that’s a plus since their information is the best. While this app  can’t replace a chemistry textbook, it will certainly get you through a good part of your chem 101 final in a more pleasant way than the dry tome you will likely pay $75 for in September.

Virtual History – Roma

by Mondadori.it $9.99

The first of a series of interactive books for iPad from Italian publishing giant Mondadori, Roma (read full review here) is simply astonishing. I picked this title only because it may have a more broad-base appeal than it’s equally mesmerizing sibling,Virtual History – The Last Supper, (read full review here.) Both set the bar in digital publishing for iOS.

Using a proprietary technology to incorporate a feature they call a “Bubble Viewer,” the reader can immerse themselves in a fully three-dimensional environment, by rotating the iPad as you would rotate your head to view a surrounding.

Whether it’s the Roman baths or the market at Pompeii the experience is one of seeing everything, from all sides, up and down, in rich detail, and combined with features like interactive timelines, 3D objects to rotate, overlays and more the book-app will enthral; the use of new technologies alone makes this app well worth the $10 investment.

How does it read? Remarkably well, Roma is not an academic title, but the prose is fluent and the breath, from pre-Roman Italy to the rise of the empire-toppling “barbarians” is outstanding. Whether you like art and history, gladiators, architecture or mythology, if it happened in Ancient Rome, Roma has it covered in an insightful new way.

Expect new titles from Mondadori coming soon and only The Stay at Home GeekMom will bring them to you first!

Our Choice

by Push Pop Press, Inc. $4.99

Al Gore has transitioned from yet another former Vice President on the Wally World ribbon-cutting circuit, to being one of, if not the, preeminent spokesman for the Global Warning movement. Seriously, he is at least as well known for his books and speeches on the subject as for anything he did in office.

The Vice President greets readers of this book-app with a video explaining the importance of the subject matter, and then you can swipe through the visual table of contents and pop open a page with a tap.

The app is based on the apparently text-richer book by the name title, and is loaded with videos, of course. The unfolding photos and photo commentary are standout features. If you care about the subject matter or want to see how non-fiction can exploit the digital publishing landscape you should definietely check this one out.

The History of Jazz – an interactive timeline
by 955 Dreams $9.99

 

Music lovers have a plethora of great book-apps to choose from. The History of Jazz is one of the best and most popular. The publishers call it an “interactive timeline” which aptly sums up what this book-app offers. Music is meant to be heard and performances watched, not read, so the app is a tad text-light, but very video-rich.

Using a navigation menu that look like construction paper piano keys, you can explore this uniquely American musical genre from its birth in the 1890’s through to the present day. The History of Jazz is crammed full of YouTube-hosted videos showing performances by everyone from the great Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton, to Joshua Redmond, the African-American, Jewish, Berkley-based saxophonist, whose “Molten Soul” music is leading Jazz in daring new directions.

Ragtime, New Orleans Classic, Dixieland, Chicago, “Jazz Age” Big Band, swing, bebop, cool jazz, slow fusion, acid jazz, even vocal jazz, it’s all here, in a simple engaging format. Don’t plan on enjoying the app offline though, it requires an internet connection to stream the videos. But, Jazz fans and the uninitiated will learn from the minimalist, but informative text, and performances by Kenny G, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and almost every other Jazz great. It’s treat for the eyes and the ears.

Man In Space

by Bristol Magazines Limited $4.99

Man In Space is a digital rendition of the 50th anniversary edition of “Sky at Night Magazine”. While not a book, per se, both the print issue and the iOS version have much more to say than many of the “books” on this list.

The app traces the history of space travel from Yuri Gagarin’s first spaceflight in 1961 to the International Space Station and into the future. This BBC (Bristol, the publishers, are the BBC’s magazine division) pack this book-app with cool videos and interactive features. It contains everything in the print addition; this app is not an abridged text as are many others here.

The GUI is wonderful. The menu system is intuitive, the images are crisp and the text is well-integrated with the digital features. The 3D images are a standout. Man In Space, unlike others on this list like Woodstock or The History of Jazz, contain all the videos embedded within the app.

This is great for off-line reading, as the other books require an internet connection to stream from Youtube, but it does mean the book will use a lot of memory on your iPad. If you like outer space it’s well worth the iPad space.

Kings and Queens by David Starkey
by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd $6.99

If you are love British history, and you don’t know David Starkey it’s time to get yourself acquainted with the masterful author and BBC documentarian. His scholarship on the topic of England’s monarchies is irreproachable. He also has knack for bringing potentially dry and academic, but actually bulging-with-intrigue, stories of the great northern European island kingdom and it’s most salacious characters, to life in vivid colour.

This book-app brings you some of Starkey’s best writing, with a host of interactive features including of course, videos from the TV persona himself, but also timelines, detailed family trees, and the abridged version of the text book.

It’s too late to see it now, but a neat feature was the live in-app coverage by Sky-news, of the Royal Wedding last month. But if you are a fan of Wills and Kate, the archive is well stocked with great information and the videos too. A must-have for any history buff, Phillipa Gregory reader, or fan of TV show The Tudors.

On the Way to Woodstock

by 955 Dreams $9.99

On the Way to Woodstock, is another “interactive timeline” book, by the same publisher as History of Jazz which was updated literally the moment this list was being written, to address some broken video links, and technical glitches. But, it already had over 120 almost-perfect ratings from users, so you know the content is great: app-buyers, especially at this pricing point, are not usually so forgiving of technical mishaps. But, I get it. I also would have given even the flawed version a 4.5 star rating too, it’s really cool.

The book-app follows the tried-and-true format and essentially uses the same GUI as Jazz, but turns it attention instead to the American experience in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It was that idealized, baby-boominh American era when everything seemed possible, but a time in which any given day seemed like the most important and potentially the last on Earth. (Sound familiar? Those who don’t study history…)

Videos and text take you from the idealized 1950’s through the social, cultural and political upheaval of the 1960’s and only then delves into the Woodstock music festival, which in many ways was the culmination of the epoch.

Whether you wore tie-die and watched Jimmy Hendrix shred the Star Spangled banner live, you went to a revival festival, or you are just intrigued by this most American of times, this digital book and its grooves, can’t be beat.

Shakespeare In Bits: Macbeth iPad Edition
by Mindconnex Learning Ltd. $14.99

There is also a Romeo and Julietversion of this unusual and wholly unique offering from Mindconnex. It’s a clever new approach to studying the Bard’s works, and it’s so much fun I hope to see Hamlet, King Lear, A Midsummer’s Nights Dream and the rest of the complete works severed up in the same GUI soon.

Shakespeare In Bits offers a fully-animated and voiced study edition of the play, dynamic text features, easy-to-access modern language translations, and a complete study guide in an easy on the eyes and the brain package. The voice-actors are wonderful, speaking in a cadence to promote understudying, but with inflection and appropriate accents.

Because it’s animated doesn’t mean they dumb it down; this isn’t a Cliff Notes-style app. The full text is presented and spoken, just made more engaging, especially for young people. Whether you a Shakespeare-lover, a willing college student, or a high-schooler being force-fed Macbeth in a dry, formulaic and uninspired way, you have to check out this app and this series. iPhone version sold separately.

Andrew Zuckerman: Music
by PQ Blackwell Limited $9.99

This app is a rockers dream and has been teasing me for a long time by making frequent appearances on Staff Favourites, so I had to check it out for this list. It’s a full-course feast for music lovers, and while it’s not the newest app in digital publishing it holds up well.

It will appeal to a braod cross-section of rock lovers as there seems to be no genre barrier for Zuckerman, who has published a paper book with the same title. This book-app features over 50 musicians, from across popular genres, who “provide their perspectives on one of the most universal and yet unexplainable art forms.”

Expect portraits and videos of each included musician with extra goodies like interviews and more short films. Sorting is simple, sharing irresistible and the app links to iTunes if you want to purchase the music you hear. A no-brainer for an old groovesters and young ‘uns into the latest alike.

Ansel Adams

by Hatchet Book Group Inc, $13.00

If art and photography are more up your alley, iconic American landscape photographer Ansel Adams has a coffee-table book of some of his works out on iPad that is a treat for fans of his work.

This book-app contains 40 high-resolution photos highlighting some of his best works taking full advantage of the iPad beautiful display. This is a paring down author Andrea Stillman’s 400-piece collection in print, and focuses largely on his shots of the Sierra Nevada mountains, one of several place he called home.

You can pinch-to-zoom into the breathtaking shots or listen to the captions read aloud. The app includes a section on “Letters and Images,” “Ansel’s postcards” and a collection of three short videos featuring the genius himself. Its sumptuous eye candy for photography lovers, and those who want to see how art can shine on iPad and iPad 2.

Here On Earth

by Arcade Sunshine Media, LLC., $11.99

I first picked this title as an ideal choice for my Earth Day App List, and it still stands as a great choice for the science-minded looking for more serious fare. Or anyone interested in evolution, and all the sociological and scientific issues that attend.

Tim Flannery’s book about Darwin, Dawkins, evolution, and how to reshape our thinking on those matters, is amazing and meaty. The multimedia version of the bestselling work, “traces the history of the planet, the history of humanity, and the impact that we have had on our planet.” Before you balk at the price, the text iBook is only a dollar less; in print, it’s more. Here the text is accompanied by 25 Interviews with the author, videos from award-winning filmmakers, social network integration, even Air Play support.

It’s not for the intellectually timid, but the special features make the app much more accessible than the text-only book. Another benchmark for digital publishing.

War in the Pacific
by Gameloft, 4.99

What an unexpected surprise to find game powerhouse Gameloft teaming up with Carlson to bring great interactive books to iPad. The result of pairing a gamehouse with a publishing house of their respective statures is what you would expect: fantastic. 

And if you like this offering look for War Planes slated for release next week. Like Here on Earth, this is a serious non-fction book, by author and WWII history scholar, Richard Overy, and the app faithfully renders the text.

Features added by Gameoft to the digital version include a foreword by Dale Dye, Senior Military Advisor to HBO’s The Pacific and Band of Brothers, which engages the reader from word one, by clearly delineating the experiences specific to soldiers in the Pacific theatre, along with archival documentaries from 1945, animated maps and some really interesting facsimile documents.

Even if you didn’t catch the mini-series, and you’re not a war votary, there’s a lot in Overy’s fluid prose for any reader to connect with. This one should not be missed by anyone looking to enhance their understanding of the Second World War.

Of course there are many other great choices, I can’t cover them all, but if I missed your fave please leave a note in the comments.

I’ll be back later with some really big news, and of course have fresh reviews, contests and other fun stuff for you later this week. For now, please enjoy some of my most recent and most popular reviews and guides from the list below.

Happy App Hunting

The 

 

Burn it All – Journey To The Sun is Smoking Hot!

Burn It All  – Journey to the Sun Is Smoking Hot!

Win a Copy With A Tweet or Comment. An Exclusive Stay at Home GeekMom giveaway! – CONTEST CLOSED

  • By: BulkyPix / Pastagames
  • Genre: Puzzle game, casual game, addictive game, family game
  • Platform: Universal
  • Price: $.99
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 5 Stars!!
  • Pump gives it 4.75 Pump’s Up
  • Recommended Age: 6+ but not a kid’s game

Burn it All - Journey to the Sun by Bulkypix iconBurn it All – Journey to the Sun is only a day old in its iOS incarnation, and it’s already a hit.

That’s saying a lot because yesterday was a banner day for new games with several highly anticipated titles launching and contending for top spot and press.

Gears is great, I will be covering it tomorrow. I just gave Vampire Rush a glowing review, and Snuggle Truck (formerly Smuggle Truck) has backstory buzz galore. But Burn it All stands out for good reason. This game is smokin’! Just read the user reviews in the App Store.

Bulkypix teamed up with Pastagames, who together brought “retrofied” insta-classic Pix’n Love Rush to the App Store, and this time they offer up a must have action-puzzler.

Before you assume that Burn it All is a copycat of Burn the Rope, know it was released for Windows Phone 7 last August in advance of the tilt-to-control game that shares the theme.

And while both games are puzzlers that involve burning ropes and both are safe bets for kids, that’s where the similarities end. And frankly, Burn it All is by far the better game in every way.

What Burn it All gives you is 100 levels of finger-guided, pyro-powered fun. So much so, you hardly realize you’re thinking a lot too. And if you play for just ten minutes, you will find there is a lot more to burn here than just ropes.

The game starts off simply. Drag a little fireball to a rope-end and set it ablaze. If it burns in time, you clear the level and unlock the next.

Soon the challenges pile on. Your little firebug has to battle vampire bats, dripping icicles and gas leaks. And that’s just in the first 25 “easy” boards.

Further along you meet a blue flame that can ignite from any spot on an object and a green fireball that can singe its way through several objects. And you face all kinds of new elements in need of roasting.

As a final burn, Pastagames has a twist: “time looping”. Did I mention the game is universal and only $.99?

Burn it All requires dexterity and a fast touch, but it also requires thought. Different colored ropes burn at different speeds. Cord length and obstacle-dodging factor in too.

I thought it might be over Pump’s head (he’s my seven-year-old son and co-reviewer, see about me.) But, as usual, he was faster and better than I was in no time.

He wants you to know that: “This game is really really fun. You think you are just burning ropes and bats and stuff and then you have to think about it a lot too to get faster scores. I think it is good for kids and moms too.”

Well, this mom anyway and at least one GeekDad who is a pretty serious gamer too.

Check out the trailer, read the rest of this then go grab it before they realize they could easily charge five times as much and still be offering a great deal:

The learning curve is fantastic. Challenges are revealed gradually, with clear pictorial explanation. But, since you can earn up to three gems for fast completion times, there is a ton of replay value too.

Add Game Center and Open Feint plus email and Facebook bragging and you have a title that will keep gamers, casual and hard-core, coming back for more.

The only flaw I found was a slightly sticky control mechanism. It’s designed to stay out of your field of vision, but it’s also a bit counterintuitive.

By instinct I want to drag the fire right to the rope, but because touching anywhere works too, I found myself losing fireballs to old habits. It’s a small matter, well worth the adaptation.

Burn it All – Journey to the Sun may be the most innovative puzzler of 2011. It’s a gamers delight and poised to be a permanent fixture on App Store charts and your iDevice.

Want to win a free copy? This is NOT an appadvice.com contest, it is EXCLUSIVE to Stay at Home GeekMom readers.

All you have to to is tweet this review (and include @sahgeekmom so I can find it) or leave a relevant comment. Funny is good, but this one will be by random draw since the game is so hot!

You can enter once by each method, and check out my contest page to see how you can ern extra entries as well.

Contest Closes Monday, May 3 2011, 6:00pm EST.

Here is a slideshow of all the screenshots I took and the promo pics.

Check back often for the hotest game reviews and a new Stay and Home GeekMom Weekend Edition: Best Apps for News Junkies.

Developers! Want a review or to run a promotion os SAHGeekMom or appadvice.com? Check out my page just for you!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Until next time here are some popular recent reviews for you to chceck out:

Happy App Hunting

The 

SAHGeekMom Game Of The Week: SwipeTapTap

The Stay at Home GeekMom game of the week 3/21-3/25: SwipeTapTap

  • By:MochiBits
  • Genre:  arcade game, puzzle game, family game, swipe & tap game
  • Platform: Universal
  • Price: 1.99
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 5 Stars
  • Pump give it 5 Pump’s up!
  • Recommended Age:  5+

SwipeTapTap by MochiBits, Universal, at 1.99 is my game of the week, and perfect for any age.

Ok to my GAME OF THE WEEK 3/22/21-25

I truly believe that despite it being on March, and despite the endless apps coming out for the new ipad2, SwipeTapTap is destined for the December year-end round-ups of best games. It’s really that good. Seriously.

SwipeTapTap has been steadily climbing the charts since its launch earlier this month, and is featured in the What’s Hot section of the App Store for good reason. It’s awesome!

This visually appealing swipe and tap game is hard to categorize. I have seen it aptly compared to: Simon says; Simon the game; and iOS games, Fruit Ninja, Chillingo’s Food Processing and Bop it!

SwipeTapTap is all about quick reflexes. The game is fun, fast paced, and dangerously addictive. It is also gorgeous and intuitive. There are various ways to play, but the premise to all is universal. The game flashes a series of brightly colored orbs and each has a specific action associated with it.

The game provides text and visual instruction for all the gestures required and each orb has an icon that makes it clear what you need to do to remove it. This made it instantly playable for Pump and any Pre-Reader.

There are four modes of play: classic, memory, speed and endurance. They are quite different from one another, which is why the game appeals to a broad cross-section of gamers. I was shocked at how different each one was, and understand the broad appeal now.

I like endless games, where I get credit for going faster and faster.

Pump loves the Simon-esque memory mode best and that’s great because the game is really an action game, but memory has a least some educational merit, and this is one fun way to train yours or your kids.

My husband who has little time except on the commuter train for games, plays speed.

And we are all trying to get the highest star ratings classic which is a perfect compromise between speed and endurance.

Also I noticed that while the game is identical on iPad and iPhone iPod touch, the game is totally different because of the different size screens. This doubles the replay value if you have one of each.

On the iPhone this game can be played one handed, I use two fingers. You can play two-handed of course, but for me it’s more natural and I score higher with one hand. On the iPad this is very much a two hand, not two-finger game.

That means you have to learn new sections to master both versions. The easy levels are even appropriate for kids. But don’t mistake this the game as child’s play, it’s not. If you like fast arcade games or challenging puzzlers this game is for you too.

How To Play:

An orb pops up on the screen and to remove it you must complete the required taps or swipes.

You start with just red and yellow single-tap orbs and progress until all nine are in play. It get frantic fast!

Both classic and endurance have a scrolling line of small orbs at the top. They indicate which big orb is coming next. The game ends when you let the line get too far ahead of you and the small orbs enter Death Zone on the left.

In classic you have set goals, in endurance you play for as long as you can. Memory mode requires you to repeat patters of gestures like Simon and speed is time-limited, like a blitz mode.

Check out this demo, to really see how it works:

There was one problem I encountered; some of my taps seemed not to be registering.

But, I contacted MochiBits and not at all to my surprise, since it’s becoming a habit of mine to fall for indie devs who work hard to bring great games and actually innovative ideas to the App Store.

Well I spoke to Kyle who was quick to acknowledge that the fingertip issue was known and that they are going to include a quick in-game tutorial to help with gesture mastery.

He explained that taps should be made with the fingertip, not your whole finger and avoid using your thumb. Most thumbs are so big the device registers them as a swipe.

Once I followed the simple advice, I was able to spend 30 minutes in this pressure-cooker of fun without a single misread gesture.

And not to my surprise either, he partner is a father of a young child, and he had her very much in mind as he designed this game. I can’t help but feel that personal connection to the child end-user is akin to adding the “love” ingredient we add to our meals.

All that would make this game a smidge better would be Game Center integration and Facebook posting. Beyond that it’s close to perfection.

And with the new update you earn stars for how well you clear each level, which adds even more replay value and new challenges.

MochiBits also has a new lite version so you can try before you buy.  And future updates will suit the diverse demographic with both a “cute” theme pack for kids and cute-fans and a “tough” pack for those who want to make this an even more intense action game.

SwipeTapTap has all the hallmarks of an instant classic. It’s addictive, easy to play, hard to master, and has a fantastic GUI. It might be the best new game of 2011 to date.

Please check out my Contest Page to see all the ways to enter a SAHGeekMom contest. My prizes can only be redeem in the Canadian or US iTunes accounts, but all the people I would consider ineligible for the other contest happily live in North American so be sure to enter, you are going to love this game.

Now excuse me, please, I have to beat my endurance record before I go into tap-swiping withdrawal.

If you want 20 more of the best games for kids and everyone in your family for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, with the top 10 reviewed and with video trailers please see:

The Stay At HomeGeekMom’s Weekend Edition Part One 3/19

The Stay At HomeGeekMom’s Weekend Edition Part One 3/19

Enjoy the game and happy app hunting,

The  

Food Processing has Left the Kitchen To Play On iOS

Chillingo Releases New Game Today

Food Processing has Left the Kitchen and it’s Awesome

Remember click the icons to go right to iTunes.

  • By: Embattle Games
  • Published By:Chillingo
  • Version: 1.0
  • Genre: Casual Game, Dice Pop & Flick Game
  • Platform: iPhone/iPod Touch & HD iPad Only
  • Features: Crystal and Game Center Enabled
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 4.75
  • Kid’s Score: 5 Pump’s up!
  • Recommended Age:  All Ages 6+
  • Note: Lite Version Available.

If two of my favorite iOS games,Veggie Samurai HD and Cooties, were to collide, like peanut-butter and chocolate, you would get two great tastes that game great together.

Well they did, and of course Chillingo, the pre-eminent distributors of huge hits like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Infinity Fields, Toki Tori and Monster Mayhem to name only a few, snatched it right up.

Welcome to Food Processing!

I saw the icon (look way up) and realized right away that Chillingo was finally making a foray into the super-popular slicing game genre that Halfbrick Games made so popular with Fruit Ninja (if you love it, they launched a big update today with tons of new Dojo items (blades galore!) and some minor tweaks.)

When I know a new fast-paced slicing game is coming, I don’t wait to ask for promo codes, nor do I pause to look for reviews; i just get it. And for $1.99 (HD, .99 for non-hd) it was worth every cent. And then some.

I didn’t wait to read instructions, I had seen the screenshots in the App Store, but fortunately they popped up as I progressed slowly through the tutorial level (can’t skip it, thankfully.)

Read carefully. The game is easy, but you process each food that comes down the conveyor belt differently.

Some need precision slicing, some can be hacked at, some must be tapped, and others swiped, so pay attention, and lookout for rotten food. Miss three times and you lose. you get extra points for perfect processing and can rack up combos to earn big points and unlock new conveyor belts.

The instructions couldn’t be clearer. It only took me a few minutes to get the hang of things and play for 15 uninterrupted minutes before I missed too many and lost.

I frankly thought this one would be too much for Pump (my first grader and co-reviewer, see about me) but he watched me play one terrible round and he was off.

I wanted him to start nice and slowly like I did, but the only feature I couldn’t find was a way to change player or reset. You can renable tips in-game, but it seems for now you only get one learning-round.

Actually that’s  a good thing for the most part. You don’t need restore points; whatever skill-level you were at when you last played, that’s where you start from next. The pace increases and in time you unlock new foods, but there is no sitting around tapping peas (first food) for 3 minutes before things get moving. Nice touch.

And it turned out not to matter to Pump one bit. I explained each of the 6 foods I have been able to unlock so far and he beat my high score beat in no time.

I literally had to pull him off the iPad and he insisted I tell everyone “this game is great.”

Remember I ‘subject’ him (Poor dear. If I manage to make a career out of this I have no idea who will be happier between us!) to every new game and kid’s app I can get my hands on, a that’s a lot now that I have access to appadvice.com’s warehouse to review for them.

So he isn’t impressed easily and is used to mommy taking the toy back.

But I had to buy the iPhone version for him so I could get my Pad back and I haven’t heard boo from him since! That is high praise.

Here check out this video:

The game clearly has more features to unlock than I have discovered, and I been watching the App Scene for long enough to know when Chillingo is really backing a game 100% and they are in this one big time.

So expect plenty of updates and the same calibre (yes we spell funny in non-America) of service as always.

I didn’t try to reach the developer, their page was exclusively, fields included, in chinese, and I’m afriad I have neither the keyboard nor the intellect for that one.

But Chillingo is not exactly looking to share credit: no co-distribution deal like Cooties has with Clickgamer.com (they are connected somehow, I have to look into that;) a LONG enhanced Chillingo screen; a brief flash of Embattle Games whose website I suspect doesn’t even provide much information in China.

I don’t know what else to add except buy it.

It’s frantic enough for any gamer, easy enough for a young kid to jump right in, and while Veggie Samurai has not been replaced as my first love, it does take me about an hour to lose and my arm is numb afterwards, so for a quick fix of slicing goodness this Stay at Home GeekMom is going to be doing a lot of Food Processing.

And I don’t mean in the kitchen.

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Enjoy the game and good luck!

The 

App Stalking Report and 2 Edu-App No-Brainers!

Today’s  2 Edu-App No-Brainers & The Best Apps On Sale or Free for 21 February 2011

I apologize again for being absent. This time I have a great excuse though.

As I have hinted at, I was recently hired by appadvice.com to do reviews for them! This is very flattering and will help me get access to the best apps and developers to pass along to you.

But I did have to spend the free time I had between hockey and everything else this weekend learning the ropes, and today I have been busy on my first post. I am covering the app here too, but only in brief, so I do hope you’ll follow the link and check out my full review when it goes lives later this evening.

By the way, a new feature to make things easier for you. Just click on the App Icons to go right to iTunes and buy!

Ok since I still want to bring you some other stuff later today, let’s get right to it!

I mentioned this gem in one of my earliest App Staler Reports . A great new games for both kids and adults, Dino Rush, has been taking the App Store by storm.

The developer kindly gave me some promo codes to give away to you a while ago, but if you missed them today is your chance!  The game is still great and right now it’s free thanks to FreeAppADay (FAAD) who has been offering a much better calibre of free apps and games lately. I really urge you to check it out, but act fast.

Today’s Edu-App No-Brainer is a fantastic version of the classic boardgame BattleShip. iSink U for iPhone and is free today as well, down from .99. I have to tell you Pump can play with this game for hours. It’s got great graphics, and a rock-solid reputation. Download it today!

Yet another fantastic puzzle game, one for both iPad and iPhone, Midnight Mahjong is also free (it’s a really great day!)

I must tell you, I love solitaire Mahjong games and this one is my absolute favorite. (this month anyway!) The graphics are stunning, the interface intuitive, and it’s just plain fun. This game launched at $4.99 and usually hovers between 1.99 and 2.99, so get it while it’s free.

Do It (Tomorrow) HD, is is a brand new. It’s a super-simple Universal task-manager. It is 1.99, syncs across devices, and does as it claims – it helps procrastinators procrastinate. But it also helps you to determine what can and can’t be put off and does it with elegance.

Please read my full review on appadvice.com (I’ll let you know as soon as it goes live) to find out more details and to see screenshots.

What I didn’t say there that I will tell you here, is that this is a great first to-do list for kids from older grade-schoolers right through college. If your child needs a simple way to stay on task, this is definitely worth checking out.

For anyone who enjoys high-quality news, but especially for my fellow Canadians, I have another treat. CBC News has arrived at the App Store and it’s free. I really don’t have too much to say about it except get it.

The CBC is known for its journalist integrity and hard-hitting documentaries around the world. This app gives you their content on your iDevice for free. It’s the more grown-up Edu-App No-Brainer of the day.

For the younger reader, free today is Rapunzel – Tangled By Rene Retz. OK the name is off-putting because it’s a total keyword spam.

They have nothing whatsoever to do with Disney’s Tangled, not the app, the movie or anything related to it. But why they feel the need to try and trick buyers is beyond me, because frankly a non-disnified version of a classic tale is always wonderful and in spite how sour a taste this misnamed app left in my mouth, I have to admit it’s a very nice.

It doesn’t have any read aloud option, but it has some beautiful illustrations and animations and the copy is clean even if not it is the most elegant writing on earth. For free it’s worth checking out, but I urge you if you do to leave a review mentioning the name-thing. I know I will. I am sure, however, Disney’s lawyers will catch it eventually without our help. 😉

While we’re on the topic of free books, a nice but limited collection of Jane Austen’s works, with a search function is free today too.

And while you’re checking it out look for a more complete compendium of Jane’s great novels and many other classic fiction and nonfiction titles, many reduced today from the same developer.

This last one is really not my type of game, but it’s a HUGE action hit for EA. Mirror’s Edge (the iPhone version, NOT the iPad-only HD version) is one of the highest rated and best-reviewed games in the EA warehouse and today it’s only .99. It’s usually 4.99 (9.99 for iPad, wait for a sale!)  So if you have a fan of this genre in the house, snap it up.

Ok that’s all I have for you right now, but as soon as my review goes live on appadvice.com I’ll be back and hope you really will take the time to check out my new adventure in app-reviewing, and if I can, I might even get out the sneak peek of Chillingo’s Cooties, that I have been promising. If not tonight, I will get it ready overnight so I can bring it to you tomorrow.

Developers!

If you have a brand new app you want covered on appadvice.com or any app that suits this site reviewed here please check out my new Developer’s Page to find out how to submit your creation!

Have a great evening,

The 

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