Archive for the DEFCON Review Category

Review: The Creeps!

Posted in DEFCON Review with tags , , , , on April 7, 2009 by Bryan

The Creeps!

“I always feel like

Somebody’s watchin’ me…”

-Rockwell, Somebody’s Watching Me

Press Start:

As a child, bedtime always seemed to send a signal for my imagination to go into overdrive. With the lights turned off in my room, I remember the world suddenly becoming a very scary place.  Normal shadows and sounds quickly became monsters preying and lurking within the darkness. Super Squawk Software’s,  The Creeps, demonstrates that our imaginations did not lie. For indeed there were monsters trying to get to us; monsters even our parents could not help combat until now. The Creeps! is an imaginative tower defense app that allows players to protect an innocent child from the horrors of the night. Do you dare to combat the human imagination at its worst?

Ideology/ Worldview:

Monsters are real. No joke.

Gameplay

Interaction/ Gameplay:

Boomerangs, glue, and laser turrets are but a few of the tower choices at your disposal against the creeps.  Strategic placement as well as tower choice determine the outcome of the battle.

In the End:

The Creeps! (link will open iTunes) is a fantastic addition to the App Store that revels in its unique art direction and imaginative game design. Priced at $2.99, The Creeps! deserves a spot on the iDevice in your life.

Review Score:

DEFCON 5 – Just buy it already

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Review: Pole Position Remix Lite

Posted in DEFCON Review with tags , , , on March 7, 2009 by Bryan

Pole Position

Pole Position: Remix Lite

Namco’s Pole Position has been remixed for the iDevice in your life. Race along thrilling non-banked tracks in an attempt for first place. Beware though, hitting another car will cause your car to explode in old school glory.

Pole Position is one of those games that I would have preferred to leave in my childhood. A new coat of graphics cannot hide the dated gameplay. I guess any game is good as long as it makes a quick buck. Would have been nice for the developer to add multiplayer or some other type of incentive. In the end, bringing back retro games is a great idea as long as the original game is worth revisiting and reinvigorating.

DEFCON 2 – A glimmer of hope

Review: Falling Balls

Posted in DEFCON Review with tags , , , on March 7, 2009 by Bryan

Falling Balls

Falling Balls: Tilt your iDevice back and forth to help a stick figure escape falling balls. Really. This free app has proven to me that I would never be able to survive the end of the world. My skills at avoiding falling balls deserves a ranking of at least an F-. The app itself features solid execution of controls and concept. The sound effects however, are in need of improvement. While memorable as an apocalypse simulator, Falling Balls has no addictive qualities to bring me back to the iTable.

DEFCON 2 – A glimmer of hope amongst an otherwise spoiled app

Review: Action Bowling Free and iBowl

Posted in DEFCON Review with tags , , , , on February 16, 2009 by Bryan

Monday Monday, can’t trust that day,

Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way

Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be…

– The Mamas and the Papas

Welcome to the Monday App Wrap. This Monday finds Cold War Fruit rolling out of the garage and putting the blog into gear. Driving ahead this week, we will have a review for tower defense game The Creeps.  Today though is all about free bowling apps. Enjoy!

Action Bowling Free

Action Bowling Free features hot space bowling action set to music from The Hooks. Never heard of them? Neither have I. Let me try this whole thing again. Action Bowling Free is a marketing tool for The Hooks. So, if you want to rock out to The Hooks go for it. I’m not going to stop you from having a good time. The app is free…but certainly a pointless download. Unless you like The Hooks.

The Hooks

DEFCON 1 – Avoid at all costs

photo3

Now with bowling trivia!

iBowl

Next up on our Monday bowling adventure is iBowl. Featuring a highly original name, iBowl allows players the choice of four different bowling alley themes. Once the theme is chosen, players position their ball, hold down the bowl button, and make a bowling motion with their iPhone/iPod Touch. One does not know the outcome until he checks the screen afterwards.

photo5

Even though I am a total sucker for motion controls, I feel that iBowl does not accurately simulate the bowling experience. The speed at which I simulate throwing the ball does not translate well into the game (if at all). I can be sitting down, barely moving the iTouch and the ball moves at the same speed as if I had made a quick motion. Motions controls aside, the frame rate also stutters quite a bit in this version (3.0). iBowl seems to be on the right lane to greatness. Innovative multiplayer (you can play with a friend online) adds an extra layer of icing. However, further polish is needed for iBowl to become a  solid app.

DEFCON 3 – Unpolished

The week is still young. Don’t let Monday get you down!

Review: Space Deadbeef

Posted in DEFCON Review with tags , , , on February 13, 2009 by Bryan

sdb1

Developer: I.D.P   –   Version: 1.01   –  Control: Touch   –   Price: Free

Press Start:

SPACE DEADBEEF is a side scrolling shooter that features a single level that increases difficulty with each passing fly through.

Ideology/ Worldview:

Missiles and justice for all!

sdb21

Gameplay:

Touch the screen to fire missiles and guide your ship.

Yeah, I had died 13 times by this point...

Yeah, I had died 13 times by this point...

Music/ Sound:

My biggest complaint concerning this game is the music/sound design. Plugging in my ear buds, I was surprised to hear such amateur sounding work in light of the highly polished visuals. The current music/ sound design sounds like circus techno music (if that even exists).  Obviously someone failed to coordinate the sci-fi visuals with sci-fi techno music. As a side note, I do not like how there is no volume control in game. Having the option to turn the music either on or off simply is not good enough.

In the End:

SPACE DEADBEEF features excellent visuals and addictive gameplay. However, I would hope that future versions of the game offer different types of enemies, levels, and polished music/ sound design. Check out SPACE DEADBEEF. It’s free!

Review Score:

DEFCON 3 – Unpolished

Flaming death.

Flaming death.

Two Apps That Should Be One: Fetch and FetchMMS Reviews

Posted in DEFCON Review with tags , , , , , , on February 12, 2009 by Bryan

For many people, the biggest complaints I’ve heard about the iPhone over the past year is the lack of MMS (pic text) support. The all wise comrade Apple has been promising us this feature, but I’ll believe that about the time I see copy and paste.

fetchFetch
The first App is Fetch, it solves the problem of having to use that horrible http://www.viewmymessage.com website. The app uses charter recognition to “read” the user name and password from the text message saying you have a pic text waiting for you on viewmymessage.com. The charter recognition isn’t perfect but correcting the mistakes are easy and usually very minor. The app then downloads the pic into it’s database and allows you to either save it to your phone or email it to someone. The speed of the app is fast enough over Edge (generally 30 seconds to download), and 3G and Wi-Fi speeds are very good (generally less than 15 seconds to download). This is the best app I have found so far to download pic texts and for only $1.99 it won’t break the bank.

  • DEFCON 4 – Not perfect but highly recommended

fetchmms
The second app is called FetchMMS. This app is a decent way to send pics to other phones. I know that there are someways to send pics using certain email extensions, but I have never been able to get this to work with Verizon. The App’s page promises the ability to receive pics, but I have never been able to get this to work. The biggest pro of this app is that it simply works, doesn’t sound like a lot but it is. The biggest draw back for this app is that you have to manually type in the phone number, it does not currently have address book support. According to their App site, address book support is coming soon and after that this app will be a very good buy. FetchMMS is also priced at $1.99 is worth the effort.

  • DEFCON 4 – Not perfect but highly recommended

Review: Distant Shore

Posted in DEFCON Review with tags , , , , , , on February 6, 2009 by Bryan

"Walked out this morning, don't believe what I saw  Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore  Seems I'm not alone at being alone  Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home  I'll send an s.o.s. to the world...  I hope that someone gets my...  Message in a bottle, yeah."  - Sting and The Police

"Walked out this morning, don't believe what I saw Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore Seems I'm not alone at being alone Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home I'll send an s.o.s. to the world... I hope that someone gets my... Message in a bottle, yeah." - Sting and The Police

Press Start:

Makers of the top paid application of 2008, Koi Pond, The Blimp Pilots have again unleashed upon the world an experience that is hard to classify. Distant Shore allows users to walk along sandy beaches, collect shells, and communicate with those beyond the horizon.

My first message in a bottle.

My first message in a bottle.

Ideology/ Worldview:

Based upon the mercy of the user and his/her own viewpoint. Experience will vary from message to message.

Interaction/ Gameplay:

Tap your way along the beach. Collect 5 shells to obtain a bottle. Write a message and toss it into the sea. Replies will be received via mail turtle.

Collecting shells...

Collecting shells...

In the End:

I am intrigued. Distant Shore is a modern day experiment in communication. The app weighs its entire experience upon users across the globe. The messages that are received and sent could contain almost anything from questions to statements to random thoughts. One will never know what message lies inside the virtual bottle. I will note that The Blimp Pilots have set up a system to report offensive messages. The subjective nature of what is offensive and what is not will surely keep the developer busy policing bottles. In the end, the longevity of Distant Shore will be based upon its users and the messages that they send. A curiosity at $0.99, the price of admission is low enough to recommend engaging in this social experiment.

Review Score:

  • DEFCON 5 – Just buy it already