Category: Mobile App Reviews

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Do you like city-building? Strategy? Games where you can compete against other players and against a computer opponent? If so, you will find this Massively Multiplayer Online hybrid RTS an interesting and exciting mobile app for Android and iOS by Gameloft.

World at Arms is cast in a modern, slightly futuristic, “world” where you take on the role of the United States military rebuilding after a devastating attack by Russian and North Korean Forces, the “KRA”. While an exaggerated theme, Hollywood also produced several movies with a similar theme – Red Dawn (1984), Red Dawn (2012). This is a game though, so it needs to be evaluated more on entertainment value than geo-politics and authentic operational capabilities. A “TLA” would be knocking on my door if I did otherwise...

World at Arms is Free to Play but has an in-app store as should be expected. As with all games produced by Gameloft, you can expect very nice graphics, an intuitive user interface and smooth gameplay.

baseYou start out with a small military base with only a handful of buildings. Your first task will be to build a place for your soldiers to eat – a messhall.

Expanding your base, expanding your production capabilities, building your army and fighting enemy forces (and other players) is the meat and potatoes of this game and entire genre.

Progress in developing your base is guided through the customary “quest” type system. By completing buildings, training units and fighting, you get rewards of many different types. You’ll be setting up barracks, oil production, mechanized factories all the while collecting their production so that you can buy more buildings and units.

Your forces start off with some infantry and a few Humvees with heavy weapons, but will eventually include tanks, helicopters, aircraft, naval vessels and higher tech “mech” units.

storeThere are special buildings and units which can be acquired mainly through in-app currency (like on the left). As you play and complete missions, you will earn a good chunk of in-app currency for free.

You also receive a daily “random drawing” which can reward you with extra units, resources, or other items only available through the in-app store.

Games of this nature favor the socially active. If you can get your friends to play, not only will you have a stronger, more reliable alliance for competing against others, you will get extra bonuses – via sharing on Facebook. Ultimately, you will want to become part of an alliance or have your own. World at War is not a “pay to win” type game – as an alliance with many active, non-paying players can be as strong or stronger than a smaller alliance of paying players, active or not.

There are many more features to this game such as being able to fuse weaker units into stronger units, deep sea exploration and creation of titan-type Mech units such as the Atlas.

Being a wargame designer and an avid wargamer myself, I have high expectations. I’ve played almost all of the different games in the city-building, wargame strategy genre – from Ebony to Soldiers, Inc., for mobile and personal computers, and I honestly World at Arms the best entertainment value in its category – especially for being available on mobile.

Far too many of these games reduce Combat down to mathematical equations. Combat in World at Arms is more interactive, with opportunities to heal your units or blow up enemy units – above and beyond the capabilities of your own units. Stronger units will perform better, but between terrain and a some “strategic options” (like off-board missiles) you can take on stronger forces while striving for “force preservation” of your strongest units. That is, you can lose units faster than you build them if you are not paying attention to the broader picture.

Try World at Arms out today – it’s free and you can get it on Opera Mobile Store – Android version / iOS version.

 

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Combine a rugged mountain climber and an expert crossbowman living in the Swiss Alps and you get William Tell. This mobile app is about the Legend of William Tell, a prominent patriot in Swiss history whose accomplishments helped spark an uprising against the famed Habsburg Empire. It’s an incredible story and it is (mostly) all true!

edelweissIn this Swiss App, you get to play William Tell along a long-winding series of more than two dozen adventures across the Swiss Alps. This means you will be taking in beautifully rendered comic-style scenery while dashing along your quest avoiding the Habsburg guards. While running along, you also get to partake in a lot of authentic Swiss activities – like collecting Edelweiss, eating Swiss Cheese to replenish energy, and eating Swiss Chocolate to make you run faster.

You have a simple set of controls:

  • Left Arrow and Right Arrows to move left and right,
  • an Up Arrow to jump,
  • and a crosshair button to shoot your crossbow.

Avoiding the guards is easy enough starting out.  If you want, you can just jump over them. Or, you can make use of your crossbow. You can jump on other things, too – sheep, barrels, cows, Shooting hidden apples gives you a bonus. Eventually, you will fight tougher creatures – wolves and bears.  Each adventure builds on the last in things to do and level of difficulty.

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Every adventure is timed and scored, so you will find ample replay value if you like beating your old scores.

Sound effects are funny. They’re good. Starry-sounds, schwing sounds, bling sounds, and a yodel. Jumping on the heads of the Habsburg guards also makes a funny noise. Like all sound effects, the amusement will wear off after a while, but the fact that they are amusing and not a nuisance deserves kudos.

Each adventure fits in as part of the real Legend of William Tell. The cut scenes between adventures are short, entertaining and educational. No history of Europe would be complete without looking at the Habsburg Empire and I think you will find the story intriguing enough that you will examine the history a bit more.

The Legend of William Tell  is a premium app in the Opera Mobile Store for $2.49 and well worth it for the ease of play and entertainment it will bring you.  It is produced by Pixcube and Moby Dick Games, both Swiss mobile development and gaming companies.

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Today, we get a special treat – a look into a new Top Secret Project that has Victor Shaburov at the helm. Word of his project, was leaked by CNet on Friday. Shortly afterwards, I received an unexpected call from Victor to “run with the story”.  If you follow us on Facebook, you may already be expecting this.

Victor, as you may know, founded Handster.com which went on to become Opera Mobile Store. He concluded his contract with Opera in April, he had a new start-up, Looksery, waiting for him. (Check out our interview with Victor, you will see he is not new to start-ups.)

The old argument of “Picture or it didn’t happen” is very 20th Century.  Just because we can’t see something, doesn’t mean it is not there. Likewise, just because we do see something, doesn’t mean it really is there.  What we are about to look at has the potential to fundamentally alter our perceptions of reality.

Looksery.com

Looksery is an app that enables mobile users to adjust, enhance and transform your appearance in video chat, photographs and more. Rather than describe how it works, let’s show you:

Impressive? I’d say so, especially considering Victor’s team is still working on their first release.   Real-time special effects – to make you look better, mesmerize your friends with that cool cascading eye-glow, get rid of blemishes faster than oxypads, or give conspiracy theorists a scare with the shocking ‘alien shark morph’.

Imagine this technology a few years down the road!

It sounds like Looksery will be made available on a freemium model with some special effects available as in app purchases for $1 or $2 each. According to CNet, Looksery will also be running a Kickstarter project to raise additional funding.

Victor promised that Looksery will be available on Opera Mobile Store first  (!!!) – one day ahead of its availability on Google Play.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more – what it can do and when it will be available.

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clickberryVideoSnaps is a free Android app by Clickberry that simplifies making your videos more interactive, engaging and effective.  Videosnaps can help your videos to generate 10 times as many likes and shares as regular vidoes posted to Facebook and other social media platforms.  Users are describing it as “a combination of Vine and SnapChat!”

emoji1Clickberry adds distinction to your videos by:

  • Immediately showing the most important person, object, or moment in your video
  • Allowing you to feature multiple friends or objects with tags
  • Easily add emoji, comments and Facebook likes directly into your videos
  • Convenient sharing of videos on Facebook, Twitter and by email
  • Simplifying curating and organizing of videos

Getting the most out of your videos has never been this simple.  A picture is worth a thousand words.   One picture can include many people or objects, say nothing of just a 10 second video clip.

Everyone’s on the move, so making your videos short and sweet by immediately showing your visitors the most important parts is important.  With multiple tags in a video, you also provide viewers the opportunity to like more than just one thing – that is an exceptional viral mechanism.

 

Clickberry simplifies adding extra context to videos without requiring a lot of or… really any technical skills beyond the very basics.

To use Clickberry, you just tap your screen to select the featured object, person or moment in a video.  Its interface enables you to add your comments, emoji and Facebook Likes directly into the video.

In addition to your regular day to day social sharing, several advanced uses of VideoSnaps come to mind —

  1. A top ten product list with links to each featured product (possibly using your Amazon.com affiliate account)
  2. Marketing tests – see which of several new logos, product names or covers gets the most Likes.
  3. A high school or family reunion – where you can have a link to each person’s Facebook page.
  4. Video documentaries – use links as footnotes to detailed information (wikipedia, infographics, articles, news stories).

It is an obvious grand slam for social media, but its functionality extends well beyond the social arena and into areas of education, interactive research, DIY instructions, marketing, chronological projects, etc.

You can get your own copy of Clickberry’s VideoSnaps on Opera Mobile Store – now, 100% free and without in-app advertising.

Clickberry also offers professional video editing products so you may also want to check out their web site, too.   You will also find Clickberry on Facebook – make sure to stop by and give them a like and share this app with your video-making friends!

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Find Orborun on Opera Mobile Store

Orborun is an easy to play, hard to master arcade game with touch and tilt play options where you control a robot (the Orbot) that curls up into a ball as it tries to escape iNsaNe mazes.

To get you rolling, Orborun starts you out with five tutorials to acquaint you with steering, items to bowl through to score points, speed boosts and obstacles to avoid like red glass windows which take away points.  Each level sends you speeding down a one lane highway suspended high in the air – without rail guards, so if you fall – well, it’s “GAME OVER!”  Restart is just a click away, and you don’t need to put in another quarter.Completing each tutorial level is easy, but getting a good score – that takes some practice.

You get scored on each level, first with points and then by performance by “star rating” – from one to three.   This is the sort of game where you likely want to run through the tutorial a few times until you are consistently getting 3 stars.  After the tutorial, you jump into Haste World  – grouped into three tiers of 5 levels each.  If you get a perfect score in each tier, you unlock an extra bonus level.   These also start out pretty easy, but with each new level you can visually see additional complexity  – points closer to the edges, more ramps, in-air points, more precarious turns.

orborun2In total, there are about 100 levels in the game.   As you score points, you unlock different Orbots – in different colors and with different abilities like “Jumpy Orbot” making it easier to jump over gaps and obstacles.  You may need some of these upgraded orbots to actually get your perfect scores – for the bonus unlocks.

As you roll ahead, your hand-eye coordination will be put to serious tests as you contend with ramps, gates, swtiches, loops, and crazier challenges.  For a first hand view, check out Indie Explorer’s YouTube video showing in-depth game play on Orborun to let you see first hand if this is a game you can get into.

In app purchases required?  No.  Once you have the game, you have everything needed to play, all of the cosmetic and in-game upgrades are purchased by your in-game points.

Whether you are looking for something casual to play or some hard core arcade action, Orborun is a very good game guaranteed to test your skills and reflexes.  It has great replay value and is just $1.99 on Opera Mobile Store.

Make sure to visit Orborun on Facebook!