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Archive for the ‘children’s contests’ Category

Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition For iPad – Win Promocodes At Apptudes.com

  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Genre: Board Game, Family Game
  • Platform: iPad 
  • Price: $9.99 
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 4 Stars
  • Pump gives it 4.5 Pump’s Up
  • Recommended Age: 6+
  • To win a PROMOCODE visit my new app and game review site Apptudes and follow the direction on the original post there.

MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition for iPad, by Electronic Arts has just been released and if the original Monopoly appeals, this is the same game you know and love but, with an international twist, gorgeous animations, and a lot of customizability.

In 2008 Hasbro decided Monopoly, a game about making money by acquiring real estate needed a 21st century international edition and Monopoly – Here & Now was born.

EA has long had classic Monopoly for iPad and released an iPhone version of Here & Now in December ’08, but never adapted it to the big screen – until now. If you have an iPad 2 and love the game it’s a must-have.

Gameplay is the same, but instead of the familiar Pennsylvania Aves and Park Places, an open vote put my very own Montreal in the money spot, along with international capitals and places you might need Google Earth to help you find to fill out the rest of the actual board.

There also a change of currency, which raises salaries and property costs, but maintains the original profit ratios. And, Here & Now has factlets about the various places on the board on the “flip side” of every Chance and Community Chest card.

So, why buy this if you have the classic on iPad or own this version on iPhone? Well, if you have an original iPad, maybe now isn’t the time, but for iPad 2 owners, EA has given the GUI a gorgeous makeover and four distinct gameplay modes.

There is the familiar “Play Now” option, where players go up against one or several human and AI foes and “Teacher Mode”, which is a single payer against an AI opponent with guidance to introduce the game concepts.

There is also a local multiplayer option, which works via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Up to four players can compete, on individual devices.

But the biggest change – and the best selling point – is the “Tabletop Mode.” You can play with up to three friends, exactly as you would with the physical game. Players take turns playing on a board that, like a cardboard one, works in every position and both orientations naturally so there’s no passing and twisting the iPad.

What appeals to me most is the degree of customizability in the game. Almost every household I know has their own rules for “Free Parking”, or what to do if a player lands directly on “Go”. All of these options, and more to increase or decrease both the difficulty and the duration of the game are tweakable.

I tested the game on iPad 2 was impressed by how smooth everything was, and how vibrant and fresh the game looked. When I went to test the local multiplayer features, however, I broke out my original iPad and understood the complaints I was seeing on the App Store. On original iPads the game crashes and the animation is choppy.

But, that brings up an interesting issue. Is a game company’s obligation to make a game that works equally well on all devices, or should they use the latest technology to push the boundaries of what their games can do?

What follows in my opinion, and I invite debate in the comments:

Apple’s mobile devices, unlike, say, PCs, are uniform and there is only a single new model introduced each year. iOS users are spoiled – we have come to expect all products to work on all devices, even two generations old, despite the fact it’s common knowledge that tech toys at all pricing points have intentional built-in obsolescence.

There are so many Android devices that the Market is full of apps and games that only work on some – but we seem not just to expect, but demand and complain vociferously about backward compatibility.

This is neither realistic nor fair. The iPad 2 is into its second quarter in a life span of four, and as someone who paid good money for the faster processor and other advancements I want companies to take advantage of what this puppy can do before the iPad 3 rolls out.

EA should absolutely clarify that the game is iPad 2 optimized, or offer a mode that doesn’t use some of the advanced features if they continue to market to the entire iPad market. And being that they are EA, and deeply invested in iOS, they will likely update and perhaps lower the framerate of the rich animations or something comparable.

But if we don’t let the big players use new technologies to their maximum advantage, across all platforms, gaming and gamers suffer. Does anyone else see the inherent absurdity in asking for a downgrade in an update?

MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition for iPad, takes a classic that was already modernized and uses the latest iOS technology to brilliant advantage.

On iPad 2 the fluidity is amazing, the multiple game table environments are rich, the pieces on the board are animated flawlessly and even with humor, and there are enough variations in gameplay from modes and settings, to make this the most replayable Monopoly since Parker Brothers first brought out the game. If you have the latest iPad and love board games, don’t pass Go, don’t collect 200 dollars, just download it and start having fun today.

Or… head over to Apptudes.com and win a promocode! See details here and Good Luck!

Happy App Hunting

The 

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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 

My All Time Favorite Kid’s iPad Book Is Donating $1/Download To Apps for Children with Special Needs: Review of Little Mermaid – Auryn

Take An Underwater Journey Through A Classic Tale: The Little Mermaid

Posted by Lisa Caplan on: March 1st, 2011, 7.33 pm on appadvice.com – reprinted March 23rd, 2011 in order to feature the Donations to Benefit Apps For Children With Special Needs. Plus a new introduction for SAHGeekmom.com and info on how to win Auryn Ink!

I first met Auryn Apps WAY back, 2 months ago, when I was just starting off my blog. I reviewed the amazing watercolour painting app, Auryn Ink (not the app being reviewed or connected with charity, just backstory) along with a favorite sylus of mine, from Pengo.

It was that review (click her e to read it, but bear in mind it’s, um, vintage…lol) and my app stalking guide (useful still, CLICK HERE TO READ but again let’s call it retro), however amateurish they were, that l turned this blog from a lark for friends, to, well, to whatever it is now, and got me writing for appadvice.com.

Since that time I have come to know one of the people behind AurynApps. After I reviewed their app, we tweeted a bit and she sent me the promo code for Mermaid, etc. I have to confess I consider her a friend now, but I wrote my reviews before we had spoken.

Anyway tomorrow Auryn Ink will be featured (With A GIVEAWAY) on Robin Rhys’s Video Review Show AppAdvice Daily, on Thursday 3/24/11, and now Auryn’s helping to raise funds for a fabulous cause I support wholeheartedly, (see About MeApps for Children Children With Special Needs

So please, check out the most beautiful fairy tale in the App Store and help get iPads to children with special needs. They are the most amazing tool for Special Education and disability access.

And please pass the news along. If recent events have shown anything it is the power of social networking to bring about change and allow large numbers of people, do small thing to great effect.

Here’s my appadvice.com review:

The Little Mermaid - Auryn by Auryn Inc. iconLittle Mermaid – Auryn ($3.99) by Auryn Inc. is a minimally interactive, beautifully animated new e-book for iPad that tells the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, The Little Mermaid, in a way you haven’t seen before. This app is absolute eye candy.

Renowned children’s book illustrator, Lizbeth Zwerger, whose art has decorated the pages of this whimsical undersea story for years, lent her work to this app, and the result is nothing short of spectacular.

The Little Mermaid - Auryn by Auryn Inc. screenshotThe While most books of this sort are aimed at the preschool crowd, Auryn’s The Little Mermaid will delight anyone who enjoys the masterful 19th Century storyteller’s iconic works.

Umesh Shukla, CCO and founder of Auryn Apps, explains that this latest title in their catalogue of iOS books is meant to “capture a wider audience. From 6-8 year olds to a more sophisticated child audience, and even adults who are young at heart.”

The app is interactive in as much as it has a read-aloud feature, and there is a watery interactive surface, much like the many Koi pond apps you can find on the App Store. You can make the water ripple, and have fish follow your fingers on the alternating text and art pages (it is art, you really have to see it). And, that is all the flash you get, which is a lovely change for an App Store kid-lit offering.

Auryn manages to achieve the elusive balance between using technology to maximize the user experience while still allowing room for the content to speak for itself. The Zen-like interface sets off Zwerger’s illustrations perfectly and complements the tranquility that pervades this rendition of the beloved story.

The Little Mermaid - Auryn by Auryn Inc. screenshot

The narrator’s tone is fluid, and as melodious as her merfolk subjects, making the book a pleasure to hear as well as read. The gentle ambient underwater sounds reinforce the serenity making this a perfect bedtime companion for children of all ages.

Since this is the original 150 year-old text it is not trite. There is a basic love story, and just enough suspense to appeal to children of both genders, but don’t expect singing lobsters or a Disney-style happily ever after.

On a deeper level the story is a meditation on the value of the temporal life and the eternal soul. Auryn’s The Little Mermaid will put anyone in a reflective frame of mind to quietly ponder these questions.

It’s also refreshing to read about a princess who saves a man, instead of the other way around. Girls as old as 12 should enjoy this story on many levels.

This is a must-have e-book for any young person, and even an admirable coffee table book to show off your iPad. The only complaint I have is that the story had to end.

When it comes to striking a perfect balance between substance and style in the genre of interactive children’s fiction, Auryn has set a new standard. I hope to see more of this sort of well-balanced brain food soon, and will be watching Auryn apps carefully in anticipation of similar future offerings.

Thanks for reading or re-reading and you will love this book and be helping a great cause, so please check it out!

Happy App Hunting,

The 

Quik Kontest: Win Talking 3D Lab Mat or MosaicHD HD Promo Codes For ReTweet!

Quik Kontests:

Win MosaicHD, yesterday’s Edu-App No-Brainer by commenting, tweeting, reposting and all that fun stuff 🙂

3 Codes left!! Enter now!

Win Talking 3D Lab Mat or Talking 3D Lab Mat HD for ReTweet!

3 Codes Left!

If you want a copy of Talking 3D Lab Mat or Talking 3D Lab Mat HD read on!

(see Contest Page for general information please)

How To Enter

Read my Review of Lab Mat


Follow @sahgeekmom on Twitter.

I will Tweet about Lab Mat before 12:00 PM (Noon) EST.

Retweet my Tweet and 2 Random winners will be selected to win a code for theom for their preferred Lab Mat version.

I will post winners on this page twice by 9:00PM PST so check back often!

Good Luck! I know you’ll love it!

The 

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