APPS


Asphalt 8: Airborne

posted Mar 15, 2015, 8:37 PM by Barny CK

Asphalt 8 is racing video game by Gameloft. It is the tenth game of the Asphalt game series. Recently, this game won the best game app at the Mobile World Congress' Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona for its stunning visual,  the extensive use of simulated HDR rendering and pixel shaders, most notably the sky and reflections on the road surface, and a fun gameplay with its innovative use of control options. Asphalt 8 also brings to its stable a wide variety of super fast cars; the Lotus Exige S Roadster, Aston Martin V12 Zagato, Nissan GT-R NISMO, and the legendary Enzo Ferrari just to name a few. 

True to the game's namesake; Airborne, Asphalt 8 features a lot of jumping, as evident by the large number of ramps in a given race. Players earn points by putting their cars through a series of jumps, spins (drifting onto a ramp) and barrel rolls (hitting curved ramps). These jumps help players earn nitro boost, which will be used to win the race because then players can accelerate to the finish line. There is now a new feature call "Perfect Nitro", sort of like an even more boost during a normal nitro boost. 

There are a total 180 race events divided into eight seasons. When players start playing the game, only Season One is available to be played. The other subsequent seasons are unlocked using stars earned by winning a race or by in-apps purchase to "Season Unlock". There has been a total of 11 app updates since Asphalt 8 was launched, with additional challenges added to the seasons. In online multplayer mode, the game can be played both via Wi-fi or through the internet and this mode, there is a "world Series" competition amongst other players.

Asphalt 8: Airborne is available on iOS, Android, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10


Vainglory

posted Mar 12, 2015, 8:37 PM by Barny CK

In September last year, when Apple unveiled its newest iPhone, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple invited a budding Game Developer to showcase an iOS game that uses Apple's latest Metal graphics API. That game was Vainglory and the Developer company, Super Evil Megacorp. Vainglory is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) mobile game. The graphics is wicked. 

Vainglory is kinda like DOTA on a smartphone. Players chooses an avatar or hero as a playable character and the main aim is to crush the opponents' base. At the beginning, players begin in their base at one end of the map and they will need to work their way to the other end or ends of the map to the opponents' bases. The paths from home base to opponents' bases are called lanes and players need to control the lane in order to gain an advantage over their opponents. Players will ultimately win the game when they have infiltrated their opponents bases and destroy their Vane Crystal. 

The gameplay of Vainglory is pretty normal, as expected of a DOTA style game. Every avatar/hero has their own strengths and weaknesses. There are skills which the player will have to upgrade from time to time to gain and maintain a dominance in the game. What I quite like about this game is the breathtaking background scenery which I've almost never seen before on a mobile phone. 

The character design on the other hand,were somewhat disappointing as it didn't meet my expectation, at least for this game. Because, for a game with such a rich graphics and attention to detail, the characters felt rather inadequately designed. That and also the special attack moves. The attack moves weren't remarkable. All I can see were some fast, undistinguished animation. I expected more. However, it's a fun game to feast your eyes on.  

Vainglory is available on iOS and will be available on Android sometime this year (2015).

Tiny Troopers 2 Special Ops

posted Mar 10, 2015, 8:01 PM by Barny CK

Tiny Troopers 2 Special Ops is a real-time strategy game. This is a sequel to Tiny Troopers. The premise of the game is pretty straightforward. Bring a bunch of soldiers and kick the enemy's ass. But what's interesting is the miniaturisation of the soldiers themselves. When I play Tiny Troopers, I'm constantly reminded of Super Deformed Gundam because the troops are quite cute to look at. As you command them into the enemy base, they will start doing their battle cries in a kiddy and squeaky voice, kinda like the ewoks in Star Wars. 

But don't underestimate Tiny Troopers. As you progress the levels, it gets really hard, and then you'll die. And when your soldiers die, they really die. So I was like playing this one mission and I got my soldiers KIA, when the game returns to the menu, I couldn't find my Chief. Where I was supposed to see him and his trusted lieutenant getting ready for battle, I see two new privates. And I'm like, "Where is my Chief?" So try not to lose your soldiers. This isn't like any other game with some generic soldiers fighting for you; they have names! 

Soldiers fight and they get experience. The more kills, the more experienced they become and the higher their rankings. As with all strategy game, what's the fun in the game if you can't upgrade? The more missions you complete, the more coins or medals you earn, hence the more upgrades you can do with your troops. You can hire more soldiers, upgrade the weapons and armours or just customise their military gears, like this.

Tiny Troopers 2 comes with in apps purchase, in order for you to buy more coins and medals. I mentioned earlier that when a soldier dies, it really dies but you can actually revive it using a medal. However, you often can only earn 1 medal per mission which is really pretty slow so the bait to spend money to buy more medals is really tempting.

Tiny Troopers 2 Special Ops is available on iOS, Android (Google Play), Android (Amazon), PC Steam and Xbox Windows Phone.   
So gentlemen, let's go kick ass~

TileArt; make 'wallpapers' on Windows Phone

posted Feb 8, 2015, 9:07 AM by Barny CK

Microsoft have become cool again. For quite some time, there's something Windows phones could not do that Android phones and iPhones can do without hassle since their inception; set a wallpaper. Funnily, even I didn't realise such a situation with Windows phones until this app came along. It's definitely those "Duh! Why didn't I thought of it?" moment. For one, Windows should have realise this flaw all along. But then again,  the fact that Microsoft published this app marks another step in the right direction. 

TileArt lets you choose not only the picture for your wallpaper but also customise the tile layout. There's a TileArt gallery with pre-sized images for you to download and you can even share these customised layout for others to download. 

TileArt is available on Windows Phone Store, only.
Duh!  

How to make Origami

posted Feb 5, 2015, 10:01 AM by Barny CK


Continuing from Photo Posing Ideas, How to make Origami by Sergey Burlakov does not deviate much from the Posing app. Simple and concise, the app is very focused on it's objective, which is to teach. However, there are some neat animation to make the teaching effective. 


Upon installation, there are some basic shapes with which to make, such as Birds, Boats, Clothes, Flowers and many others. There's even a difficulty rating on each shape. For instance, the Pigeon 2 is given a Middle or intermediate difficulty rating. Let the fun begin!

 
I kinda like the illustration and animation is played out where it is needed. I guess action speaks louder than words. 
 Look at the attention to detail. 

 Draw some eyes, and the pigeon is complete! YAY!

Notice in the beginning, there appears to be only 1 type of Origami bird to make? Well, if you like this app, you make in-app purchase to buy some more origami models. Clever marketing!

And yes, care to download some more apps by Sergey Burlakov?

How to make Origami is available on iOS.

Photo Posing Ideas

posted Feb 3, 2015, 10:14 AM by Barny CK

You know, the App Store is so vast and there are just so many apps that there is practically any app for just about anything, including photo posing tips. Photo Posing Ideas by Sergey Burlakov is just that app. Just touch the "Poses" button and the app will bring you to the different categories you or your kids (assuming you have kids) can try to pose for a neat little picture. 

There's a category for couples, kids, men, pregnant women and, what else? Women, not pregnant women. Tap in, and you will get some nicely drawn pictures of people posing. And that's all. Yeah...

Oh, but if you would like to tag some pictures as your favourites, you may do so. I think the beauty of this app  is that with all the endless types of apps with complex algorithm and functions, it's nice to have some really simple apps that just, well, give tips about things, just about anything. There are also other apps made by Sergey Burlakov that just teaches you how to do some things such as How to Make Origami, How to Tie a Tie and many more. 

I've just downloaded How to Make Origami and at first glance, it's a pretty interesting app but I leave that review for next time. Until then, ADIOS!

Photo Posing Ideas by Sergey Burlakov is available on iOS. 

Google's Inbox is like Facebook for emails

posted Oct 30, 2014, 8:27 PM by Barny CK

I've recently requested for and received an invitation to use Google's Inbox on my phone. So my verdict is this; Inbox is like Facebook for emails.
 
Fundamentally, 'Inbox' has two main page; Inbox and Done. New mails arrive in Inbox like posts on Facebook and once you're done reading it, you can flag it as Done by swiping it to the right side of the screen. Then, there's other pages or Tags if you would like to group some emails together. Where a profile picture will appear on Facebook, you'll see tags like Updates, Social, Promos and many more. You can also create new tags for a customised layout. The tags are in different colours for clarity. 


Basically, I think Inbox provides a template with better visual to ease one's eye from the drudgery of a typically mundane  email layout because tags aren't something new. It's just that a phone screen size is only that much and Inbox helps display what you need, when you need. 

And then, there's some extra features like Reminder and Snooze. I particularly like Snooze because don't you hate it when a certain email comes to you early and you wished the email 'comes' to you later when you need it again? In Inbox, you can by Snoozing the email at another specified day and time and then the email will 'arrive' in the inbox like it's a new mail. 


All in all, I think it's high time all emails look like Inbox in the future because everyday, we receive tons and tons of emails and there's gotta be some more efficient ways to manage them. Google's Inbox has just hit the nail on the head. But if only they don't require us to request for an invitation to use it. 

BeautyPlus, the photo editing app for selfies

posted Oct 28, 2014, 6:34 PM by Barny CK


There's a new photo editing app and it's designed for users to take selfies. BeautyPlus by CommSource Technology takes the power of photo booths and puts it into the phone, or tablet, whichever you may like.


The app contains many powerful touch-up tools and filters that is focused to taking beautiful potraits, such as dark-circle and acne remover as well as skin smoothener. There's even functions to enlarge and brighten the eyes. Hmmm.... oh well.


And after you're done, you can share it on Facebook, Twitter or Flickr. BeautyPlus is available on iOS and Android.

RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile

posted Oct 20, 2014, 9:59 AM by Barny CK

When I was a kid, I used to play many simulation games such as SimCity, Theme Park, Transport Tycoon and RollerCoaster Tycoon. These games bring back much memorable memories of my childhood. And so, RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile to me is like the blast from the past. This game hearkens back to the days of the PCs and is the first version to grace mobile phones and tablets. RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile is a simulation game that lets you run a theme park with roller coaster rides. Since it is a theme park, there will also be other attractions for you to build. 

The aim is to be successful at running the theme park so in order to do that, you'll need bring in lots of bigger and scarier rides and earn more money to build even bigger and even scarier roller coasters. As a mobile app game, there will be conquests or goals to achieve to earn points and money. RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile offers in apps purchase in the form of coins and tickets. The coin allows you to buy more rides and the ticket gives you the option to skip wait time, because building rides in RCT4 takes time. 

Being a fan of the older RollerCoaster games, I'm biased to say that I'll thoroughly enjoy this game. We all enjoy a trip down to an amusement park so there's nothing quite like building your very own theme park. But then again,  I have some issues with this game too like there's no people screaming? There is no sound effects, the buzz of a crowded theme park and etc and etc. So for this, it's not going to be a full thumbs up from me. 

RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile  is available on the iOS and Android.

Clumsy Ninja

posted Oct 2, 2014, 6:48 AM by Barny CK


Clumsy Ninja is an interactive entertainment adventure game. The game focuses on a ninja which you will have to train so that he will become less clumsy. At first glance, Clumsy Ninja looks to me like Talking Tom but instead of feeding him, playing with him or bringing him to the loo, you train him up, quite literally. 


There are over 100 items that you can use to train him up starting with a punching bag. I'm quite surprised at the way the developers have thought of simple items that can be used to train a ninja up, like balloons. Apparently balloons can train a ninja to become less clumsy. 


The game is critically acclaimed, receiving more than 10 millions downloads in its first week of release. Clumsy Ninja is published by Naturalmotion in 2013 and is the first mobile game to use the euphoria game engine, which was developed in house. Personally, I thought this game was kinda cute. Although I didn't warm up to the game immediately, I sensed a very nice personal touch given by the developers to this game. The change from having a downright out of balance ninja to a skilled ninja is very subtle but convincingly believable. Also, ninja boy likes to get a high five from me. 


Clumsy Ninja is available on iOS and Android.

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