Android App Review: SkyDroid – Golf GPS

Publisher: Paul Goldstein
Platform: Android (1.5 and above)
Cost: $1.99
[AppBrain Link][Official homepage]
Release Date: April 5, 2010 (v. 1.6)
Version Reviewed: 1.6

Apologies for missing my regular Tuesday time-slot.  I was out all day yesterday putting this app to good use.

Are you a golfer with an Android phone?  If so, SkyDroid is the app for you.  SkyDroid is a golf GPS application that provides similar functionality to standalone golf GPS devices for a fraction of the cost.  SkyDroid uses your phone’s GPS function to provide accurate distance to the green and other notable course items (bunkers, water hazards, etc.).  As a golfer, the ability to know exactly how far from the green you are can be invaluable, especially if you find yourself off the main fairway.   No more searching for sprinkler heads or yard markers – the data is right on your phone! Continue reading Android App Review: SkyDroid – Golf GPS

Android App Review: Tweetdeck Beta

Platform: Android (2.0 or higher)
Cost: Free!
[Signup Link]
Release Date: August 12, 2010
Version Reviewed: 0.9.3

With great fanfare, Tweetdeck announced the release of the public beta for their Tweetdeck Android app.  Tweetdeck has been working on the application for several months, and promised to “push the boundaries” of the Android app experience.  Have they delivered?  Read on to find out. Continue reading Android App Review: Tweetdeck Beta

I tried to review Osmos for iPad

I tried, I really did. I bought the game before it was even in the top 100 (its now #1 in popularity and gross sales). I beat the Odyssey campaign in about two hours, and I even logged a couple hours in arcade mode. This was the middle of last week. Since then I’ve tried to play it every day, and every day I shut it off a minute later and go play more Small World.  I get that its trippy, I get that. I also understand that if I habitually used LSD, this game would be AWESOME. Here’s the thing: I don’t, and this game gets really boring, really fast.

The core concept is proven. You absorb things and get bigger. Yeah, like that game, and that one, also this one. I could go on. It falls apart about the time you beat the Odyssey and realize that whats left is the exact same thing you just played, only ten times harder. I don’t have a problem with challenging games, but I do have a problem with turning a casual arcade game into a hardcore puzzle game without any kind of a learning curve. I have a feeling the developers finished the core game, polished it, realized they needed to add more content, and then piled on a bunch of gameplay modes and additional levels without properly tuning them.

I want to give Hemisphere the benifit of the doubt and believe that they will continue to update the game into a better experience. Frankly though, I doubt I’ll have the motivation to pick it up even if they do.

Hijinks Reviews: Command & Conquer Red Alert for iPad

Red AlertPublisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
Cost: $12.99  [iTunes Link]
Release date: April 1st, 2010
Version Reviewed: 1.00

Let’s jump right in, is it worth $12.99 you ask? Good question. I really have mixed feelings about its price point, though I suppose when you consider that I paid more than $13 for almost every game in the Command & Conquer series for the PC it seems a little more reasonable. That said, unless you’re a die hard Red Alert fan and someone who finds these types of campaigns engaging, you might want to hold out for a lower price. This isn’t a bad game, but as in introduction to the series it’s not that impressive, and it really could use an update to fix some serious bugs.

When I first heard Red Alert was coming to the iPad I was pretty excited, I’d downloaded the Lite version for the iPhone in the past, but didn’t buy the full version because of screen size issues. So I figured the iPad would be a perfect platform for an RTS game like RA, and I still think that’s true, but EA needs to get their act together before someone else comes out with a better RTS for the iPad. The controls in this game are sloppy at best, unit highlighting isn’t precise, selecting buildings often results in accidentally selling them (how hard is it to add a “Are you sure you want to sell this building?” dialog?), and the build interface in general could use some tweaking.

Other than using a touchscreen interface, the game hasn’t changed much from its PC counterpart. Your goal is still to destroy everything in sight, all while managing the mundane tasks of generating enough money and energy to keep everything running smoothly. Graphics are nice, but not awe inspiringly so, and they suffer from the occasional stuttering problem when there’s a lot of action going on. Continue reading Hijinks Reviews: Command & Conquer Red Alert for iPad

Hijinks Reviews: Tower Madness HD

Publisher: Limbic Software
Platform: iPad
Cost: $7.99 [iTunes Link]
Release date: May 21st, 2010
Version Reviewed: 1.4

Have you ever played a tower defense game? Yes? Great! I don’t need to write that boring explanatory paragraph, and you don’t need to buy this game because you can already download a hundred more just like it for free, right? Too harsh?

Tower Madness HD is exactly what you’d expect a close-to-launch tower defense game for the iPad to look and play like. You place towers on a grid by touching the screen and choosing your tower from a popup menu. You may wish to use the pinch gesture to zoom down from the default isometic perspective into a 3D point of view. The single player campaign has a good variety of maps. The tower designs are diverse, and they throw enough different enemies at you to keep you on your toes. Honestly, there is nothing inherently wrong with the game. I actually liked it. Continue reading Hijinks Reviews: Tower Madness HD