Weather-Cam By Ruqqia Begum iPhone Review

20130801-215553.jpg

Do you live somewhere south like Florida or Southern California and never get to see snow? Maybe you’re tired of seeing your friends pictures and videos on Facebook of their white Christmas. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could post the same videos of your family? Wait for it….yep, there’s an app for that. With Weather-Cam you can take pictures and videos and add animated snow, hail, rain, or lightning. You also have the option to switch on realistic sounds as well as choose an existing picture from your photo album.

If you enjoy photo apps we all know the App Store is flooded with all different kinds. That’s why it’s so important that apps like Weather-Cam get reviewed if they have any chance of success. This is the first app for Ruqqia Begum who is from the UK, and I think it’s a very good start for what she wanted to accomplish. At the same time it is a first app, and some of the weather effects could be more realistic. Most of them work much better if you are actually outside. If you plan on using the rain you’ll need to make sure the rain drops are even with the ground, and the lightning could be more in the background instead of right in your face.

The app itself is nicely put together with a storm background and only sliders and buttons you need. To take a video or picture all you have to do is choose your effect, and then decide if you want to take a picture or video with a simple radio button. This is also where you would choose an existing picture. If I were to pick my favorite features in Weather-Cam it would be taking videos using the snow effect. Taking a video of your dog with real-time snow and swirling winds feels and sounds pretty realistic. I can see it now, Facebook Post: “Look at my Becca playing in the snow waiting for Santa to come”. Well I raise your Becca with a video of me in the pool in the middle of a snow storm!

Of course you must have a way to save your pictures and videos, and once you click capture to take your photo/video, you are given the option to save to your library or share on Facebook. We’ve all seen apps that forget to navigate you easily through their screens, and Weather-Cam does not fail that category. I never asked myself what should I click next, and if you need to cancel something there is always an option. So if you’re a photo and video app altering lover, it’s time to cough up .99¢ because Weather-Cam has taken the App Store by storm!

20130802-014932.jpg

20130802-145120.jpg

20130802-145204.jpg

Advertisements

Depixelate By PixlBot Studios iPhone Review

20130728-020441.jpg

If you see someone looking at their iPhone like a librarian with glasses hanging off their nose, there’s a good chance they’re playing Depixelate. Get ready to be challenged solving tons of pixelated, aka blurred photos. At your disposal are fourteen letters to tap as you guess what each photo is. Sounds pretty easy but most pictures are very hard to make out, but that’s the whole point. If you tap the picture you can spend two coins to “depixelate” the picture just a little bit. If you’re still struggling you can spend two more coins to “depixelate” the photo even more to help you out. Hopefully at this point you can finally make out what you’re looking at.

The graphics are clean and most everything works perfectly. The best feature of Depixelate is that you have four categories to choose from. Your options are random photos, product logos, and even movie stars! Music Stars was just added as an update, so now you have even more! The category menu will show you how far you’ve gotten in each level so you can brag to your friends how far behind they are. As you stare down each picture you might as well be drunk because all you can really make out are a few shapes and colors. Like many word games you can keep plugging in letters to hopefully figure out the picture, but you won’t be able to slide your letters around. Being able to scramble your letters around like Scrabble is a plus for me, so hopefully we’ll get an update.

Everyone loves free games, so you’ll be able to enjoy Depixelate for free with the option for in-app purchases. Each picture you solve gives you one coin and you can “depixelate” your picture with two coins, or purchase some if you run out. There are multiple coin packages to choose from starting with 10 for .99¢ all the way up to 1,000 for $19.99. It’s up to you how much money you’re willing to spend, but coins are definitely needed if you plan on making it far. You also have the option to ask your friends for help on Facebook by touching the icon next to your word. This is pretty neat as it posts your pixelated photo, all your letters, and your message instead of some annoying advertisement. If you say no to Facebook and change your mind, simply go to your settings and Facebook to turn it on.

Tons of apps sound fun, but very few of them end up actually engaging you for long. Let me tell you how it’ll go down from my experience if you have some friends over and try Depixelate. You and your friends will have a blast sharing pictures as you desperately stare like zombies and dumbfounded. All of a sudden your friends eyes light up and bursts out, “it’s a deck of cards damn it!” Yeah, it gets entertaining quick. This is the first game for the two-person recent graduates from Sheffield UK with more to come. I’m impressed with any indie team that creates a successful app, so if you enjoy a good puzzle word game, it’s time to Depixelate!

20130727-174819.jpg

20130727-174832.jpg

20130727-174842.jpg

Creature Stumble By Asymmetry Games iPhone Review

20130721-033909.jpg

Get ready for some nonstop creature killing pinball with loads of power-ups and physics! In Creature Stumble you’ll slingshot metal balls and try and kill all the little creatures in each level. In your way is a wacky world of rocks, bombs, power-ups, and black holes to bounce you around the screen. Sometimes it helps to aim your shot, but most of the time plan on some crazy chaotic pinball physics to knock out your creatures.

I was fortunate to test Creature Stumble prerelease, and it’s always good news when I like the game as opposed to having to say, “um, please don’t release your game to world”. What’s great about testing apps is being able to provide important feedback and fixes so you never see it. My first concern was the need for a tutorial so you and I understand everything that is happening. They did add a small tutorial on the first level, but I would have liked to see more information about each feature. I also wanted to see a little bit larger objects because we all know the iPhone screen is limited, and the monsters are a bit hard to see. Through the testing process the developers determined this was the size that worked best. What caught my eye in Creature Stumble was the vibrant level menu screen which has 4 chapter locations to flip through. Plan on opening the app a lot because you have 40 levels to complete before you can unlock the next chapter and so on.

Each level allows you three metal balls to kill the creatures or you lose. As long as you are continuously bouncing around or the slingshot magnetizes your ball back for another shot, you are fine. When you hit the grass below your ball will eventually slow down and stop, or you might end up hitting some spiky rocks. The good news is some levels have multiple slingshots for you to magnetize to. Depending on how well you do you can get up to 3 stars per level as well as points for all your bouncing and creature killing. You really are at the mercy of the game as each object does its own thing whether the rock can be broken, a different bounce, and even some gravity spots. That’s where the pinball feel comes in as you could literally sit there and watch your ball bounce every which way for several minutes.

So there you go, 160 levels of insane slingshot pinball physics action at your fingertips. I find myself saying, “oh my god hit the last darn monster already!”, so be prepare to waste plenty of time in a mad bouncing frenzy with some pretty fun sounds as well. This is the first game for Asymmetry Games and what a great start. So be one of the first to download Creature Stumble, because WuzAPPenin thinks it’s sure to be a hit!

20130707-132258.jpg

20130707-133113.jpg

20130707-133825.jpg

Fizzy Factory By HangZone iPhone Review

20130622-134408.jpg

You won’t catch me playing many puzzle apps or joining the Candy Crush mania, so it took a contact from one of the developers to get me to download Fizzy Factory. Well I’m glad Tyler did because I’ve very much enjoyed HangZone’s first iPhone game. The play is simple to learn as you draw a flowing path from colored soda geysers to the same colored bottles inside your soda factory grid. Think you remember how your primary and secondary colors mix together? You better if you want to master this game!

Fizzy Factory currently has 384 levels within 5 different puzzle packs to unlock by collecting bottles. Each level is filled with the occasional obstacles, color splitters, color stations, and a slew of merging color combinations. If you mess up your path just hit the erase button to clear everything, or just simply touch your soda path. When the game brings in a new feature you are always welcomed with a nice quick tutorial. So many games forget to provide directions and expect you to know what to do. That’s why I like the fact that Fizzy Factory makes sure you’re never confused and even makes encouraging comments when you win each level. One thing I originally failed to notice is it shows a light blue or dark blue flow so you are aware you’ve done something wrong.

If you’re a fan of the trendy free app with the option for In-App Purchases, you’re in luck. Fizzy Factory has iADs but they are placed snug at the bottom and between levels not impeding your play. If you really want to get rid of the ads you can purchase a few new level packs or hints for a small price. The hints give you a clue of how you should go about bottling your soda. I have no problem with In-App Purchases if they are useful and cheap, and I give Fizzy Factory an “A+” in that category. If you’re really into this game I suggest you go to the HangZone website to see how you can have your name immortalized on their site by winning the Fizzy Factory Secret Password Challenge!

Overall everything seems to work great as well as providing you with all the options and tools needed for a smooth fun time. I’d like to see some more detailed graphics in future updates, but you can’t ask for much more from a free game that works. Don’t worry I won’t forget to tell you there’s access to the Game Center as well as achievements to play along with your friends. I’m only going to end up angry at some point when I can’t get any further and give up. So do me a favor and beat the whole thing and show the Bandy Brothers they need to come up with more ideas. Fizzy Factory is definitely worth a download if you’re an avid puzzle gamer, and the worst that’ll happen is you learn the fundamentals of colors again!

20130622-132847.jpg

20130622-132858.jpg

20130622-132905.jpg

My Dog Talks! By Appy Ever After iPhone Review

20130603-200652.jpg

Most of us have downloaded an app similar to Beardify or Fatify just to make someone laugh, and My Dog Talks is no different. If you are a lover of dogs you will definitely waste some time trying to make funny animated dog talking faces. Created by a family of four and a Roxy, a fun idea became a reality.

To start, my Dog Talks has the type of graphics I love to see. So many apps throw tons of buttons at your face with small letters you can’t read. You won’t come across that issue as you will find just the buttons you need to use. Those consist of a camera button to take a picture, camera roll to choose an existing dog picture, and a dog park to find saved pictures you’ve created in the app.

So what’s going to make you decide to download the app? Well if you love your dog like I love my Morgee, it’s funny to see what it would look like if your dog could talk. I figure my dog would say something like, “you have some serious issues dad”, or, “I can’t believe you let me lick your face after I clean myself”. A decent picture of your dogs face at a reasonable distance and angle is a must if you want My Dog Talks to work. You’ll find out when you try to pinch and drag the guide over your dogs face if the picture won’t work. Once you have the right photo lined up you can easily flip through six different mouths to cover your dogs face. The bad news is there is currently only six and I would love to see more options. The human mouth list consists of a smile, a woman’s lips, braces, a cigar, missing teeth, and vampire teeth. Once you’ve lined up your mouth of choice you can preview the mouth opening and then move on to deciding your dogs voice.

My Dog Talks gives you a few voice options like a high pitched or low pitched voice, but I like to use my own voice. Hopefully you’re not like me where you end up giving your dog the voice of Counsuela or Mr. Herbert from Family Guy. One neat feature before you hit record for your first of many takes is you can just talk and your dog will repeat it. You can easily record what you want your dog to say and just as easily watch your dog talk to you, but it will need to be a short video or it won’t work. The mouth of your dog should open and close as if to go along with what you recorded. It’s not perfect, but if you’re in a quiet room and speak clearly it’s actually pretty accurate. Once you’re set on a video you can simply drop it to your camera roll, or share it in the usual social media ways.

You won’t find tons of features to mess around with, but everything you are given makes it easy to create long lasting dog memories. My Dog Talks colors are attractive, everything is quick, and I’ve yet to find any errors. Even better news is Appy Ever After offers a portion of their profits to homeless dogs. So go ahead and download My Dog Talks as you’re sure to get a few laughs by yourself, on Facebook, or even at a party!

20130605-215925.jpg

20130603-195545.jpg

20130605-215932.jpg