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Posts tagged ‘giveaways’

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 

Win iTunes Gift Cards Now With Tweet – Huge App & Game Promo Code Giveaway Coming Soon!

UPDATE June 16, 2011, 10:45pm EST

New chance to win June 17, 2011 9:00pm EST – this time the prize is a $15 tunes card, but you will have to work for it. This is NOT a random draw, the more attention you bring to us, the better you chnaces of winning! Random chances at iTunes cards and even early free apps, are available by liking our Facebook Fan Page here! When we hit 200 likes someone will win a $15 iTunes card, at 300 a $20 card etc. – details here.

We also have a twitter party planned for Tuesday, June 21, from 6-8pm EST – Click Here For Details

Win extra goodies just use the hashtag #swagathon starting at 6:00pm EASTERN time and for two hours we will be giving away extra swag and answering your questions about apps and the new site – please join us!

Did that make no sense? I know right, I went to my first about a week ago – it’s simple copy and paste #swagathon into twitter’s search bar when it’s time and you will automatically see everything everyone is saying and be able to reply. You can ask us questions and win big!

If you want to win you need to be following @apptudes and we have to follow you back so we can DM (direct private message) you with the code for the app you win!

Note:

We awarded the first iTunes card for Tweeters tonight, June 16, 2011, at 9:00PM EST. The prize was a $10 iTunes card for following and tweeting this and anything else that gets apptudes.com and @apptudes or our Facebook fanpage (where you can win ever more, click here) and I even gave an extra prize to someone who has been tweeting so hard for @sahgeekmom. Since we are all the same, it seemed only fair =D

Also visit and like our Facebook page to win free app promo codes starting NOW! And more chances to win Itunes gift cards! No limit to how often or how many you can win!

ORIGINAL POST:

Do you want a chance to win some of the best bet apps and games on iOS, Mac and Android?

What about free iTunes gift cards? Free subscriptions to premium online services?

Then mark the date: Father’s Day, June 19, 2011 and start following @apptudes on twitter!

Below are just some of the AppTudes launch week Swag-A-Thon sponsors.

All the apps you see below and mnay more will be yours to win, along with other amazing prizes.

To promote this event you can WIN iTunes Gift Cards starting right NOW!

Just tweet this page once a day between now and launch (we will be updating it constantly) and we will start picking winners on Thursday, June 16 from those who are doing the best job of spreading the word.

Be sure to follow me too, @sahgeekmom to keep up to date!

Check out our press release here to learn more about apptudes.com, the freshest site in iOS, Mac and Android Apps, and look forward to more great giveaways added daily

You Can Win These great iOS, OS X Apps and their PC and Android cousins too – new apps and games are coming in so fast this is only a partial list and will be updated as often as possible. These are some of the top apps, we have award winners, and we don’t review or giveaway anything we don’t absolutely love ourselves. You really don’t want to miss out on these!

                                                     

Here are some of our amazingly generous Swag-a-Thon sponsors. they are giing out iTunes gift cards, premium memberships (think Slacker Radio!) and unique prizes.

Apps:

  • ESPN iScore Baseball
  • Nascar Junkie for iPad
  • Martha Stewart Cocktails
  • How to Cook Everything – All Version!
  • Slacker Radio (Premium Subscriptions)
  • Procreate
  • Auryn Ink
  • iQuarium
  • Pimp Your Screen
  • Radio By Spreaker (Premium Subscriptions)
  • Writing Prompts
  • Packing Pro (as featured on CNN)
  • iMuscle (Nova) iPad
  • Comic Life for Mac and iOS
  • Dramatic Music App Plus
  • Debt Payoff Pro
  • Let’s Create! Pottery
  • Let’s Create! Pottery HD
  • Autopainter HD
  • Autopainter II
  • Autopainter Express for Mac
  • Dynamic Autopainter for PC
  • Wig Booth
  • Everyday Golf Coach HD
  • 1-2-3 Draw
  • Make-A-Monster
  • Overdamped Artists Series – giving away a TON of their huge catalog!
  • Album App
  • LitterBug
  • Talking 3D Lab Mat
  • Green Genie
  • Max and Molly
Games:
  • Dress Up Rush HD (released today, June 17, 2011)
  • Grim Joggers
  • Cavemean (Lemmings!)
  • Snuggle Truck
  • Smuggle Truck
  • Azkend
  • Crux (Crosswords – the best!)
  • Jack Of All Tribes HD
  • AR (Augmented Reality) Misslie -(iPhone and iPad 2)
  • SwipeTapTap
  • Sparkle the Game
  • Royal Envoy
  • Robot City
  • Heros of Kalevala
  • Sailboats Champions Pro HD
  • Teddy’s Playground
  • ColorFlys
  • Egg Drop Soup
  • Doggie Day Spa
  • Joining Hands
For Kids:
  • Hop On Pop
  • Auryn’s Little Mermaid
  • Stack the States
  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go
  • Nosy’s Crow’s Three Little Pigs
  • My Word Wall
  • Grimm’s Rapunzel – 3D Interactive Pop-up Book
  • Once Upon a Potty: Boy
  • Bunny Fun
  • Enchanted Tales: Snow White
  • Ansel and Claire’s Adventures in Africa
  • Teddy’s Day
  • Roxie’s A-MAZZE-ing Vacation Adventures
  • Teddy’s Night
  • Stack the Countries
  • Aesop in Rhyme Series from Auryn
  • Toddler Email
  • Alpha Books
  • Toddler Toy Factory
Please take a moment to visit out amazing sponsors below and tweet now to start winning!

                OVERDAMPED ARTIST SERIES           v   

Watch Out Pandora: Slacker Radio Updates iOS App For iPad And It’s A Game Changer.

Watch Out Pandora: Slacker Radio Updates iOS App For iPad And It’s A Game Changer:

  • By: Slacker Radio 
  • Genre: music, online radio, music streaming, music discovery
  • Platform: Universal
  • Price: Free (additional features for subscribers)
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 5 Stars
  • Recommended Age: All Ages 

Hello again,

As busy as I am with the upcoming launch of apptudes.com (see our press release about the new site in iOS and Android reviews coming Father’s Day!)  I haven’t abandoned my post at appadvice.com or my commitment to you, my loyal readers.

Slacker Radio has graciously agreed to be part of apptudes.com’s launch-week swag-a-thon (click here for just some of our amazing sponsors) so if you miss out on the appadvice giveaway, stay tuned or follow me on twitter @sahgeekmom for more chances to win coming soon.

Slacker Radio (Free) by Slacker, Inc. may be a relatively new native iPad app, but iPhone users have had access to the online radio and music discovery service for a while now.

It’s an alternative (a better one with 10 times the catalog), to App Store darling Pandora. If you have an iPad, it’s time to change your home page. Slacker Radio’s app is a must-have for music lovers.

I know Slacker well, because while Pandora is on every “what to download first for iPhone” list in the known world, its service is not available in Canada, but we do get Slacker. Since I knew their service having listened on my Mac and PC, I grabbed their app a week after I got my first iPhone.

But, when a friend who uses a US IP for work had me over, I was so excited to finally try out Pandora’s app.

To my surprise, the service (he is a paying member) and the app didn’t blow my mind. They are great, but I was suddenly happy that I had “picked” Slacker. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the border!

I will get into their services and subscription plans, and tell you how to win a year of premium service for free, but this is first and foremost an app review, so let’s start there.

Slacker’s bright shiny new iPad version is eye candy. It presents your music, in either orientation, using the iPad’s brilliant display and multi-touch interface to maximum advantage (since the iPhone GUI seems largely unaltered, the screenshots are from an iPad 2.)

In the “Now Playing” area (you can just pick a station and start listening) you have a neat cover flow display, which, depending on your subscription level (most people use this service for free) shows passed and upcoming track info.

You also get instant in-app access to artist bios, album information and lyrics, when allowed by the music distributor.

You can sit back and let any of the over 100 pre-programmed stations in popular genres like rock, alternative, pop, hip hop, indie, and country music get you grooving.

But, Slacker is not about a passive music experience, it is about customizing radio to suit you. Many services try, Slacker does it best, especially if you spring for the full premium package.

The app allows you to use most of Slacker’s mobile features minus a handy auto-caching option for Blackberry and Android, due to Apple’s (self-defeating) refusal to let enyone but Apple access hardware. Caching on iOS must be selected manually if you have the paid service and want to listen offline.

But, if Slacker Radio online does it, this app does too and in a way that will make you want to pop your iPad in a speaker dock and start rocking. Trust me, you’ll make your Apple-hating friends want an iPad 2, too.

Slacker has the pre-programmed channels in popular genres, including artist spotlights, and lots of ways to make your listening experience all your own for free.

And, you can access a DJ for some stations, and turn on news updates provided by ABC news, or listen to their dedicated station,with the entry-level “plus” subscription plan (which is a bit more than Pandora’s, at $3.99/month, but includes unlimited skips, the 10 million song catalogue etc.) or at their new “premium” service that comes with a premium price tag of $9.99 a month.

One account and subscription covers all devices: the existing iPhone app, this new iPad version, and it’s good on your computer, other mobile devices or you can even purchase a Slacker-specific portable unit.

The GUI is rich and intuitive; the app is a treat and not just for your ears. But, audiophiles report that if you listen with high-end headphones, Slacker’s sound quality is best in class.

Here’s a complete tour of the iPad version, also available in-app:

Slacker Radio, like their competitors in this field, know the bulk of their listeners aren’t going to pony up any cash.

Slacker, therefore, is available at no charge; you can still create custom stations (playlist creation, on-demand songs, and complete album playback are reserved for premium-members) and you can skip six songs per hour. That’s a huge plus, not offered by Pandora.

For free, you don’t get the bells and whistles, but you also don’t get slapped with a 40-hour per month listening cap. Check out the cool iPad 2 feature in the screenshot below.

You can take a picture from the iPad 2’s camera, and customize your station or playlist icon. Sweet! It’s great for easy navigation through everyone’s favorite playlist in your home.

Slacker is more than an online radio programmer. Their service, and their apps, are not just about listening. Slacker is all about music discovery.

My screenshots may belie my age, so I’ll admit that before I met Slacker (and kin), just a few years ago, my idea of “new” music was anything from the late 80’s or early ‘90s.

I am a die-hard classic rock lover, yet after 40 years of the same soundtrack, I was eager to find new artists. But, where does someone with long-established tastes begin looking for new music that won’t offend?

Easy. Just put the type in the name of a favorite band, and you’re off.

I started with The Grateful Dead and it immediately brought up (using a tag search I assume, but an advanced one) not only other classic rock artists, like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd, but also stations that feature The Dead, and newer jam-bands. (Who knew there was anything post-Phish!)

By looking at the suggested artists, it’s easy to rediscover names long forgotten, (Hot Tuna, anyone?) and when I moved seamless from classic rock to singer/songwriters a new world opened up.

While adding James Taylor and Simon and Garfunkle to favorites (you can pick favorite artists and songs so Slacker knows to play them more often, or ban specific songs and artists; Slacker adapts), I was, in moments, meeting Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, the Kings of Leon and others that may not be new to you, but to were to this geezer-geek.

Once you find new artists, they lead to others, and the next thing you know you are populating stations not only with your old standbys, but with fresh content, new to you anyway.

Slacker offers an amazing amount of configurability. You can fine tune most stations which is my favorite feature.

When listening to The Beatles I want to go fringe, I never need to hear Yesterday again, thanks. (It’s just overplayed, don’t hate me.)

But, I love finding old B-sides and obscure cuts from, say, a George Harrison solo album. When it comes to the Black Eyed Peas and Coldplay, however, I want hits.

What balance your stations strike is up to you. Pick new songs, or aim for older tracks, add more new artist discovery, or limit yourself to mostly your favorites. Slacker let’s you decide what you listen to, that’s the whole point.

The iPad version of the Slacker app is fantastic, the iPhone version could benefit from a landscape orientation, only, really, for easy alternation with a GPS app in the car, and I like the clean look on the iPad better, but it’s still slick and has all the same features, in a GUI intended for the smaller screen.

Subscriptions:

Slacker Radio’s free service is the best in class, with a huge catalog of songs and limited free skips. It has advertisements.

The “plus” service, $3.99/month, removes the adverts, gives you unlimited skips, caching for offline listening, optional news and lyrics.

The $9.99/month “premium” service can replace your iTunes app and mp3 collection, as well as your cloud service. It gives you everything in the “plus” package, and on-demand playback, lets you create playlists as you would in iTunes, and listen to albums played as they were meant to be heard, with the tracks in order.

All users can purchase the songs they like; a tap takes you right to iTunes. And, social media integration, via twitter and email, lets you share your custom stations and music tastes with the world.

No matter how you get your Slacker Radio, there’s is a must have app for iOS (and Android) music lovers.

Remember you can enter to win a year of Premium Slacker service here on appadvice.com, and stayed tuned for another Slacker-sponsored giveaway coming soon to http://www.apptudes.com!

Added: 6/3/11: Slacker Radio graciously put my review on their Facebook wall. And, when I went to check it out, I saw you can get a free month of premium membership and enter to win more year-long gift certificates too, click here for more details.

I’ll be back with a new app list and more reivews and sneak peeks at hot apps and games soon. In the mean time here is a post about my new app review venture, apptudes.com, and some of most recent reviews and most popular lists for you to check out:

Happy App Hunting

The 

Welcome AppTudes! A Brand New Site For App Reviews: iOS Mac And Android Coming Soon

Happy June! The Stay at GeekMom is proud to announce:

Please welcome AppTudes: New attitudes about apps!

Watch for www.apptudes.com, going live: Father’s Day, June 19, 2011.

Our team of experienced writers will bring you side-by-side app reviews, exclusive contests, App Store shopping tips, insider looks at hot apps before they launch, and breaking mobile-tech news. Look for side-by-side Android vs. iOS match-ups too.

What is apptudes.com?

What sets apptudes.com apart from other review sites, is our attitude towards apps and games on iOS and Android devices – we love them!

We are super-jazzed about bringing them to you in a new format of side-by-side reviews from two or more experienced writers at one time.

You may get an “Android vs iOS match-up”, a “he said – she said,” or “home user vs. small business vs. power user” review, depending on the app in question. We will give you multiple viewpoints to help you spend your budget wisely on the apps best suited to you. We are an opinionated group, so expect lively debate!

If it’s hot, we’ll have it. Our staff of writers will look at chart-topping or buzzworthy games (tons of games) and apps, with a “10-tudes” multi-angle rating system that will steer you to just the right apps and games for your Apple iDevices, and coming soon, Android devices.

Jailbreak apps on the Cydia Store will be covered too.

Keep your eyes peeled for “break it down for me” guides that will look at apps in a single category and tell you which ones you need, and which ones to stay away from. We’ll help you navigate through the App Stores’ chaos, and provide laughs along the way.

Swag-a-Thon Sponsor

Stay tuned for more developments coming soon! Be sure to follow Sue (@technopinksue) and Lisa (@sahgeekmom) on Twitter for what’s coming up and to get access to promo codes, iTunes gift cards, special contests, giveaways and swag.

You can add @apptudes now too, so you’ll be the first to catch our huge launch-week swag-a-thon full of giveaways and contests.

Here’s just a sneak peek at what’s coming you way from our Father’s Day Launch Week Swag-a-Thon sponsors:

            

  • Free premium online and multi-mobile platform radio subscriptions from the best music discovery and custom station provider, Slacker Radio (www.slacker.com)
  • Overdamped Artist Series (Van Gogh HD, Monet HD, Vermerr HD, Da Vinci HD etc. huge catalog) mega-promocode slam
  • Free app and game promo codes from Nosy CrowMochiBits, Dreamix Studios and many more
  • Quick-Contest giveaways on Twitter (coming soon to Facebook)
  • iTunes gift card contest sponsored by Kid’s Corner and My Scrap Life developer Dirk Bost
  • Something very special from developers Owlchemy Labs, creators of the smash game Smuggle, er Snuggle Truck!.

And, those are just some of our upcoming prize offerings; you’ll have to follow us to catch them all!

Thank you in advance for your support and follows. We are passionate about mobile devices, apps, and developers. We can’t wait to bring you great information on how to get the most out of your iDevice.

Please direct press and general inquiries to info@apptudes.com and we will see that it gets to the right person for a speedy reply.

Advertise on our site! Amazing monthly and annual deals for launch day sponsors: info@apptudes.com

Developers, writers, and job seekers please click here for more information on our dev corner and dedicated forum, as well as a list of open positions for experienced applicants and student/novice internship options.

We can’t wait for you to see our new attitude towards apps, coming soon: www.apptudes.com

Happy app hunting, stayed tuned for more info coming soon!

The 

p.s. Sue and Lisa are still proud members of the best iOS site on the web, www.appadvice.com. Watch for our reviews there and be sure to get our top-30 app here, to help you find the best of iOS for your device, right on your device!

iPad Scrapbooking Fans Of All Ages: My Scrap LIfe

UPDATE: June 19, 2011: My Scrap Life and Kid’s Corner had to be pulled from the App Store over a Copyright disagreement. The Contest is Closed.

My Scrap Life and Kids Corner

  • By: Dirk Bost
  • Genre: scrapbooking, creative app, children’s creative app, photo fun
  • Platform: iPad 
  • Price: $.99 (both apps, sold separately)
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 4.75 Stars
  • Pump gives it 4.5 Pump’s up!
  • Recommended Age: Kids Corner Ages 3-11, My Scrap Life All Ages

 

Do you love to make scrapbooks on your iPad? What about your kids, do they have a creative side and enjoy playing with pictures?

If so, you are going to want to read this article and enter this contest brought to you exclusively by developer Dirk Bost, The Stay ay Home GeekMom and appadvice.com.

I brought you a review of Kids Corner, a scrapbooking app masquerading as just plain kid photo fun, back when it was new. It’s a great creative and educational app for kids. You can read about it here.

It was recently updated, and Dirk did a bang-up job.

There are tons of new elements to play with, and the interface, which was always simple, is now perfect for a child, even a pre-reader to interact with. It’s fast, fluid and the results are so much fun.

Pump, you know him by now, my seven-year-old son and co-reviewer, is a serious shutterbug.

And, he enjoys playing with photo editors, but if I actually said the words “scrap” and “book” to him in one sentence, he’d run for the hills. (Or his “secret” fort in the neighbor’s yard anyway.)

I am trying to raise-a-reader and artsy-type, but I seem, instead, to be raising a giant ball of mud that zooms in, empties my fridge, and zips back out leaving a trail of grimy footprints and me with a muck-encrusted kiss-mark if I’m lucky.

He’s getting ready to visit his Auntie Loo Loo (yes, we have funny names in my family) and his cousins Noa and Kaya in New York, all by himself soon.

So we went ahead and created a little project to send to them, to let them know how excited he is.

It took us under 15 minutes to make this, and when I say “us”, all I did was hand over the iPad and then save the project. He even takes his own screenshots now. (See gallery below.)

I don’t want to dwell on Kid’s Corner, you have my review, and it’s been much improved since I raved about it here and on appadvice.com.

Pump loved making himself into a pirate and exploring outer space when we first tried it out; these screenshots are from the original review.

 

But, I have to tell you about My Scrap Life, Dirk’s new app for all scrapbook fans, before we can get to the contest, so let’s check that one out. I’ll start by saying both apps, at only $.99 are a steal.

With My Scrap Life you don’t have to spend hours fine tuning a project, you get amazing looking results with an incredible degree of customizability, in no time at all. But you might get lost for hours, there are so many designs to play with.

I will be doing list of the best scrapbook making apps here and on appadvice and this is one of my top picks, and certainly the best deal in its class on the App Store.

There are no in-app purchases, and as the update to the kid version shows, you will be getting new content rolled out in stages.

Speaking of the content, many scrap-apps I have tried are cutesy. My Scrap Life has plenty of cute, if that’s your thing, but there is an artistic feel to everything from the cartoons to the word art. The elements look (beautifully) hand-drawn.

It has the same retooled sleek GUI as Kid’s Corner, and the same lightning speed (I added about 10 elements at once, like tap tap tap tap… and no problems or crashes on either iPad model.)

You get borders, backgrounds, word art, letter sets, (a nice touch, only minimally available in Kids Corner) pictures and clip-art, a text tool, easy saving, and sharing by email from within the app.

It is simple to scale, resize, rotate, duplicate and move items to the fore and background with a single tap.

Of course you can import photos from the iPad library, but you can also use something like Clipish, or just a Google’s image search, to get more backgrounds and items.

I don’t take a lot of art-quality flower photographs, I just got inspired from some My Scrap Lifr clip-art, opened Clippish Pro, did a search and ta-da.

(I believe I’ve mentioned my lack of talent before, so please, judge the app, not my creations. I look forward to seeing yours.)

I was so pleased to find all the same intuitive features of Kids Corner, but with a whole slew of new, more stylish graphic elements. The apps work alike, but are tailored for totally different markets.

I recognize a few borders from Kid’s Corner, but the content in this app is fresh, not recycled, and not geared towards younger kids.

It is, however, geared in part towards moms and dads, grandmas, teachers, and others who love to show off the kids in their world.

So you do find elements related to kids, but also to nature, parties, high school, art, even skulls and tattoos, and for all kinds of events.

The app has elements geared towards creating ecards and invitations, and has a full-functioning text tool for entering the details.

I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for Facebook integration, so I can torture more of my friends, but for now here’s something better.

EDIT JUNE !(, @)!!: Conest Closed, App No Longer For SAle

Purchase My Scrap Life and/or Kids Corner app for iPad. (Click on the icons up at the top, to go right to the app in iTunes)

  • Come up with your most creative scrap page.
  • Use the My Scrap Life or Kids Corner email feature and submit your work to ipadscrapbook@gmail.com
  • One $30 iTunes gift card winner will be selected for the My Scrap Life submissions.
  • One $30 iTunes gift card winner will be selected for Kids Corner submissions. (Creations from kids under 12 only please, moms and dads.)
  • The winner of each will receive iTunes gift cards, emailed from the developer, Dirk Bost, to the email address used to submit the scrap page.
  • There will also be one mega-winner of a $50 iTunes gift card for the best scrap page from both pools.
  • Winner’s scrap page will be featured on the My Scrap Life and Kids Corner website too.

Please, while not required, I’d love links to works in the comments, so readers can voice opinions and help Dirk pick the winners.

Look for more info, coming soon to appadvice.com, and start creating now.

Limit one entry per user, so be sure to send you very best.

The contest closes on 06/25/11 at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be notified by no later than 06/30/2011.

Please note, as you can read on my contest page, this is a contest I am happily helping to promote, but I will not be involved in the prize distribution.

I will be back tomorrow with something I’m very excoted to bring you. One of my most popular reviews, and my favorite interactive educational books on the App Store, Rome – A Virtual History (review here) has a new baby brother!

Mondadori Publishing has released Virtual History – The Last Supper. It’s simply incredible, but it’s not cheap. So read about it here and who knows, if you all keep clicking, I might just keep on giving.

More reviews and a new app list coming soon. For now please enjoy these recent reviews, lists and WeekEnd Editions. All previous contests are closed.

Happy App Hunting

The 

Web-Slinging Meets Rope Cutting in Chillingo’s New Spider Jack

Miss me? 

I plan on writing a lengthy post explaining my absence and how iOS devices and apps, as always, got me through a rough time, but for now suffice it to say that The Stay at Home GeekMom has some medical issues, and they flared up rather severely in the last weeks. But I’m back and raring to review so let’s go. I have a great action-puzzler for anyone in your home ages 5-105.

And, to make up for my absence, I am bringing you a special giveaway of a Gift Copy of Spider Jack or Spider Jack HD. Read the review below for details on how YOU can win!

  • By: Maxnick.com / clickgamer.com / Chillingo / EA
  • Genre: puzzle game, casual game, addictive game, family game
  • Platform: iPad & iPhone iPod touch sold seprately
  • Price: $1.99 and $.99
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 4.5 Stars
  • Pump gives it 5 Pump’s up!
  • Recommended Age: 5-105

Spider Jack HD by Clickgamer.com iconSpider Jack and Spider Jack HD, by Maxnick, and distributed by clickgamer.com  (AKA Chillingo) is a new physics puzzlers that bears not just a passing resemblance to the same publisher’s hit title Cut the Rope by Zeptolab.

If you are a fan of Cut the Rope style puzzlers, you are going to love Spider Jack. And if you’re not, this action-puzzler may be just the hybrid of genres to change your mind.

The game initially apes Cut the Rope so much, it’s easy to be dismissive and call it derivative. But play a few levels before you leave a snarky App Store comment. Spider Jack actually has more than enough variation in gameplay and even audience, to stand on its own merits.

After a cute opening  intro cartoon, the game begins like Cut the Rope in reverse. You are a spider intent on your next meal. The goal is to cast your web so it leads you up to (and later down and around to) your ensnared fly-feast. Simple enough, right?

But unexpected, clever elements come into play quickly. You have to float in bubbles, dodge electric currents, even use a hairdryer to propel you towards your goal. Some stars are time sensitive adding to the action-component of the game and time-warps come into play in the last of the three included worlds adding unpredictable mayhem.

This game is as much about timing, jumping, swinging and quick reflexes as it is about planning ahead. A straight drop may solve what all the well-planned drifts won’t.

Like other games of this genre, you can earn up to three stars per level. And while successful completion unlocks the next, Spider Jack has a nice “skip level” option if you get stumped.

There are 75 boards included with the promise of more to come, spread across three environments: a barn, a bathroom and a laboratory.

Check out the trailer:

Cute ain’t it?

An interesting, if not totally welcome, twist is that Chillingo or EA (who acquired Chillingo and recently took over their Crystal gaming network) has it set up so there are unlockable “gift levels”. If you invite (read spam) five of your social network contacts to join Crystal or play Spider Jack, (I didn’t check which, just shamefacedly deleted the offending Facebook posts and hoped for forgiveness), you can unlock five bonus levels per environment. That’s 15 invites for 15 extra levels.

I confess, this isn’t the first time I’ve spammed my friends for in-game rewards, but never on iOS, unless it was for Zynga’s Facebook game, Farmville, via the iOS companion apps. And at least those were other players.

I’m not sure it’s fair play for a paid game, but that said, you don’t have to get the gift levels either. Just know they are an option and they are a lot of fun, allowing up to five stars for successful completion. And getting them will annoy your friends.

While we’re playing true confessions, I have to admit, I don’t like Cut the Rope. Pump adores it, and in theory I see it’s a great game, but it’s a pure puzzler and I’m not the biggest fan of the genre. I don’t want to think too hard when I recreate; call me lazy, but I game to unwind. Thinking is for real life…

But, I do love quick-play action-puzzlers and where Cut the Rope often leaves me in knots, no level of Spider Jack is so hard, nor so time consuming, that you need to beat your head against the wall or Google for cheats.

Pump’s Point: “I really like this the best of all my new games better than Cut the Rope and Burn the Rope and Angry Birds. As fun as Burn it All at least! It’s faster and more fun and it’s easier for kids but it still makes you think a lot. I like the bathroom area the best.”

As usual my seven-year-old son and co-reviewer is better than me at the game already, despite my playing for hours while waiting for doctors. And even his younger friend, Kaitlyn, aged five, was able to play through many levels without any assistance.

Spider Jack’s web-slinging ways are zippy, and there are a number of different solutions to each level. It’s a perfect pick-up-and-play game.

If you love Cut the Rope, Spider Jack is a no-brainer. But even if you shy away from traditional puzzlers, this games serves up enough action, with great graphics, replay value and unexpected twists to be well worth the small price. Grab it and start spinning.

Want to win a copy?

All you have to to is tweet this review (and include @sahgeekmom so I can find it) or leave a relevant comment. Don’t forget to let me know which version you want. A winner will be chosen at random,  You can enter once by each method, and check out my contest page to see how you can ern extra entries as well. Because this is a gift app from me to you, not a promo code, it is limited to the US and CND app stores, and US prize may take some time to deliver. The details are on the contest page too. For easy tweeting and sharing click on the “share” button at the bottom of this post.

Contest Closes Sunday May 22, 9:00pm EDT Good Luck!

Here are the screenshots for you:

I have a ton of giveaways for you coming in the next weeks including exclusive previews of a new 10Ton game, a great email notifier and a slew of contests including a chance to win up to $50 in iTunes gift cards, and all new app lists, reviews, and giveaways so don’t forget to subscribe or add my RSS feed to your favourite feed reader.

will make up for lost time, but in the meantime here of some of my more recent reviews and most popular lists to keep you busy. Check out the all new Best Art Apps for iPad on Appadvice.com!

Happy App Hunting

The 

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