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Archive for June 2010

QuikReview: Puzzlequest for iPhone

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If you like jewel-matching puzzle games(like Bejeweled) and you like fantasy RPG quest games, then Puzzlequest is the game for you.

Pick a character class, choose your skills, then travel around the world map picking up quests to complete and level-up. Battles are fought through jewel-matching puzzles that generate mana you can use to cast spells.

Quests follow a fairly engaging storyline that’s light enough to pick up whenever you feel like it, with a large array of side-quests to keep you going for a while.

And the game gets deeper still with levels of skill specialisation and citadel-building (which unlocks new spells) that you can delve into if you want.

All in all, a deep and engaging game with long gameplay potential, good for a long-term campaign as well as the time-killing puzzle battle now and then.

Plus, you never really die in the game – you just have to retry the battle again, which guarantees addiction for sure.

Written by tokyotribe

June 27, 2010 at 5:37 am

Posted in Games, iPhone, QuikReview

QuikReview: World Cup iPhone apps

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Tried a bunch of them to stay up to date with the 2010 World Cup and finally settled on two that were stable, rich and had sensible user experiences.

Goal.com

Very rich app, that tells you what you want to know – live scores, match timetables (for your timezone), scores for each stage and latest news. Live scores are up to the minute, so you won’t miss a goal if you’re not in front of your TV.

The added bonus is that beyond the World Cup, Goal.com also serves live scores, results, fixtures and news for other leagues like the Champions League, EPL, Serie A and Bundesliga. Handy all-in-one for football fans.

International Football

Straightforward app for the latest World Cup live scores, results and fixtures. The UI is fancier than Goal.com’s and to some extent works well in focusing attention on latest scores and results.

The offering feels a little more limited, although they have plans to serve other leagues in future. In the meantime, it’s a good app if all you need is the your latest World Cup fix in a quick prominent display.

The choice between the two probably comes down to UI preference.

Written by tokyotribe

June 27, 2010 at 2:48 am

Posted in iPhone, QuikReview

QuikReview: Song Summoner Encore Lite for iPhone

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Fun little turn-based RPG ditty from Square Enix. The hook is that the characters in your party are generated using tracks you select from your music library. Yes, that’s a little gimmicky, but fun, nonetheless, to find out who you’ll get next. So far I’ve landed myself a C-rated archer and a B-rated monk.

Final Fantasy tactics fans will find the character classes and battle mechanics familiar, and you can generally count on Square Enix for a fun storyline.

Not sure yet how deep the free lite version goes, but the high $9.99 price of the full version is keeping me from upgrading right away.

Verdict: Worth a go on the lite version for free and waiting for the $9.99 full version to go in the bargain bin.

Written by tokyotribe

June 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Games, iPhone, QuikReview

QuikReview: Command & Conquer Red Alert for iPhone

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Good RTS fun on the iPhone with EA’s Command & Conquer Red Alert.

Lots of fast-paced action, kitschy graphics, great sound effects and an apt, if sometimes monotonous soundtrack. And you even get your own hot Russian military babe commander to guide you through the game.

Touch controls are playable for an RTS, but you might find it a tad frantic swiping through the map, selecting units with your finger and reinforcing groups if you’re more used to swift mouse selection and keyboard controls.

On the downside is the short single-player campaign for each faction – only 5 missions of about 20 minutes of playtime each – which means most gamers will get through a faction’s campaign in about 2 hours. That isn’t much gameplay for the $6.99 list price, but OK for the current $2.99 sale price.

Verdict: Pick it up while it’s still on sale and play through it like a rabid war dog. Then do whatever you can to get that blasted tune out of your head.

Written by tokyotribe

June 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

Posted in Games, iPhone, QuikReview

Evernote vs Simplenote

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I spent some time trying out Simplenote (SN) for iPhone coupled with Notational Velocity (NV) for Mac today to see how it stands up to Evernote, which I’m currently using.

What intrigued me about Simplenote was its simplicity and search-centric workflow. The process of creating a note on SN and NV seems quicker and a lot more intuitive than Evernote and I can see myself churning out searingly quick notes this way.

While Evernote has a much richer feature set, including voice notes and photo notes, I don’t find myself using anything other than text notes on it, so for my usage, SN makes sense.

Evernote’s bugginess has also been bothering me lately and I’m yearning for a more stable app that doesn’t chew up line breaks or puzzlingly convert notes to uneditable HTML when copying and pasting note text in and out of the app.

But the SN web app feels a lot slower and clunkier than Evernote on the web, especially when searching for notes. And the biggest downside for me is the lack of folders on SN, which makes my library of 100+ (and growing) notes on Evernote unmanageable without an equivalent to Evernote’s multiple notebooks feature.

I’m not about to give up on SN yet, because I still find it’s simplicity attractive, but I think I’ll be sticking to Evernote for now as my main note-taking (and organising) app. I’ll just keep SN around on the iPhone for when they hopefully implement folders in an update.

Give both a try and see which you prefer.

Written by tokyotribe

June 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Posted in iPhone