Reviews
Worth iTrying – iOS Titles You Might Like

By Jorge Figueiredo - July 21st, 2012

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Summer is making a very warm impression on all of us these days. It’s either super-hot or oddly cool – the in-between seems to be elusive. For those of you who have decided to throw in the towel and hang out inside for a spell, here are some neat iOS apps that you might want to throw onto your devices…

Alexandria Bloodshow

Combining cards and real-time defense is an interesting idea. Sega’s Alexandria Bloodshow pits you against incoming hordes using nothing but a deck of cards and your wits.

You are in charge of either the Egyptians or the Greeks in the face of an oncoming onslaught – your enemies are sending an army to facilitate the change in management on your home soil. You are blessed with a deck of cards containing military units that you may distribute on a grid-like playing area; but you are limited to the cards that you immediately have in your hand. Each unit varies in strength and weakness (you start out with normal soldiers and work your way up by “stacking” cards), and may be deployed if you have the requisite amount of gold (which accumulates as you play).

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There is lots of blood and strategy in this game.

Combining card battling and tower defense, Alexandria Bloodshow is a graphical treat. The imagery reminds of me classical papyrus paintings and the animation is very well done; battles result in over-the-top blood fountains and cartoonish violence. Sound work is also quite good, matching the quality of the eye candy. There is a ton of replay value contained within this great game. As you play you collect new cards that you can use to assemble more effective decks. After cutting your teeth on the single-player campaign, you can take your newly-formed decks into head-to-head combat.

The game is not at a typical price point; but $3.99 to unlock this game seems like a pretty fair price considering how many hours of game-play you can burn on this neat title!

Kingdom Rush

Some friends of mine introduced me to the genre of tower defense many years ago on Kongregate. The concept was awesome: don’t let the baddies past the area that you have been tasked to defend. Armor Games’ Kingdom Rush is a well-produced and addictive tower defense game that I originally played on Kong, which has recently been made available for iOS.

Like most tower defense games, there are a number of levels, each with their own unique paths, entry points and exit points. Some maps have branching paths and tunnel systems that you have to contend with. Of course, you have your own army that can be improved using the stars that you collect from successfully completing levels (one, two or three stars – based on performance. Aside from the default conditions (kill everything), each level also has two additional scenarios that could make you two stars richer (one star each).

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Cartoonish? Yes. Fun? Hell yeah!

The game is quite deep: 8 tower upgrades, 18 tower abilities, 45 different enemies – it all adds up to a log of strategic fun! There is even an in-game encyclopaedia to help you understand each unit or creature in the game. Aesthetically, the cartoonish graphics and sounds really work for this game. The game has been re-tooled a few times to use less memory, resulting in smooth play and an awesome experience.

I was a little worried that the game would not translate well to my iPod touch; going from the generous real estate of a PC monitor to a small touch screen seemed like a bit of a stretch; but Ironhide pulled it off. The graphics and sound are top notch; game-play is fun and quick, allowing you to fire off a round or two in short order. This is seriously one of my favourite tower games ever made so far – for any platform.

SPOKEnPHOTO

Instagram has been a well-used app, allowing users to take advantage of the portability of their smart phones (and other hand-held devices) to tell stories using pictures. SPOKEnPHOTO goes one step further by allowing you to tag your photos with voice notes.

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This app makes it easy to share your voice-tagged images with Facebook functionality. You simply take a photo with your iOS device, and then record a voice note that goes with it. There are a ton of different things that you can do with this application: inventory of important household objects for your house-sitter, documenting plants in the garden, taking photos of drunken friends while they are sleeping so they can remember how stupid they looked…

SPOKEnPHOTO takes commenting one step further by allowing you to request a friend to record voice notes for your photos as well. Spoke Technologies’ brainchild is free on iTunes – and it’s a great little app with a simple goal.

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