App Reviews
Whale Trail iOS review

One game I’ve earmarked for review treatment is ustwo’s Monument Valley. I’m not actually sure what the deal is, but it looks pretty sweet. Alas, the guys are out of review codes.

While I save up the necessary, er, £2.49, I’ve grabbed an ustwo freebie in the form of Whale Trail, which features rainbows, anthropomorphised clouds, and a flying whale. You heard me.

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Trials Frontier iOS review

Ask your Xbox-owning chums what their favourite Xbox Live Arcade games are and there’s a good chance someone will mention the infuriating but sublime Trials Evolution.

We’ve had a handful of pretenders over the years, but Trials Frontier marks the first smarphone outing for the series. Huzzah? Yeah, mostly.

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Spotify iOS review

Spotify iOS review

Lewis Curdie  Apr. 11 at 20:00

Despite being a bit of a music nerd, I’ve only just given in and signed up to Spotify. Or maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a music nerd that I’ve only just given in and signed up to Spotify – CDs being infinitely better with their inlays and their physical form and what not. Or so the argument goes.

Anyway, yes, I’ve been using Spotify on the iPhone and iPad over the past few weeks - in my flat, out and about, on a series of flights... Let’s take a closer look.

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Four indie mobile developers to watch

Four indie mobile developers to watch

Lewis Curdie  Apr. 11 at 13:00

There’s no shortage of big-name mobile games out there from juggernauts like EA and Sega and Rovio and Gameloft, and while indie developers can rarely compete on budget, they can compete on ideas.

As very much suggested by the title of this here feature, I’ve pulled together a list of four indie mobile developers worth watching.

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Skyline Skaters iOS review

It’s been a good few weeks since we’ve checked out a good old-fashioned left-to-right endless runner. In fact, the last one was Riot Runners (bleurgh), so we’re almost certainly onto a comparative winner.

Skyline Skaters (App Store) has enjoyed a fairly significant amount of success, notching up two million downloads in its first few days, and an average 4.5 rating. But is its success – and praise – deserved?

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Summoner Wars iOS review

Lewis Curdie  Apr. 4 at 17:00

Summoner Wars iOS review

If my geekiness was ever in doubt, let’s lay those doubts to rest right now as we turn our attention to something called Summoner Wars, a tactical card game based on the board game of the same name.

Orcs? Check. Elves? Check. Dwarves? Check. Goblins? Check. Benders? Er, check. They’re all here – and more. Glorious stuff.

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Super Sam Adventures iOS review

And so to Super Sam Adventures, another free download from the App Store – one that’s currently being promoted under Best New Games. I’ll be the judge of that, Apple. I’ll be the judge of that.

Oddly, just as I’m putting fingers to keys, I’ve realised that there’s also a Super Sam without the Adventures, though it appears to be pretty much identical. What the…? Anyway, yes, Super Sam Adventures; let’s check it out.

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Hoots iOS review

Hoots iOS review

Lewis Curdie  Mar. 31 at 17:00

Hey guy, if you’re looking for an opinion on Hoots, currently available as a free download from the App Store and Google Play, you’ve come to the right place. I’m, like, the best Hoots player in the world.

For serious, at the time of writing, my top Hoots score is 157, a whole 19 points clear of second place. Autographs only £50.

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Phoenix HD iOS review

Lewis Curdie  Mar. 28 at 17:00

Phoenix HD iOS review

Well, we’ve had a completely mixed bag of app reviews this week. We kicked off with Guess the Emoji (completely fine), and followed up with 2048 (which was less a review, more a rant about Threes! clones).

Wrapping up the week we have – to use its full title – Phoenix HD – A Modern Arcade Shmup by Firi Games, available as a free download from the App Store.

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A rant about Threes! clones

A rant about Threes! clones

Lewis Curdie  Mar. 26 at 17:00

I was in two minds about giving 2048 more publicity, but consider this review (EDIT: woah, incoming rant alert) an unofficial advert for the excellent Threes! A month ago I said: “Threes! is one of those games that makes you wonder: how did no one think of this before? Simple on the surface, it’s actually a surprisingly deep – and addictive – puzzle game. This will easily be one of the best smartphone games of 2014.”

With Threes! costing an entirely reasonable £1.49, various parasitic developers have spied an opportunity to take advantage, specifically by releasing clones that don’t cost a penny. You mother f…

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Guess the Emoji: Emoji Pops iOS review

Every so often a smartphone game comes along that is simply unavoidable, as it relentlessly poisons (sorry, that’s probably a tad harsh; infects?) Facebook News Feeds and twitter Timelines.

In days gone by it was Draw Something, then we had “hilarious” Bitstrips comics, and more recently Flappy Bird high scores. Humanity. The latest craze (yes, there is a point to all this rambling) is – to use its full name – Guess the Emoji: Emoji Pops, a free download from the App Store and Google Play.

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Surgeon Simulator iPad review

If you have a strong stomach and a spare £3.99 lying around, you might fancy checking out Surgeon Simulator, now available for ye olde iPad.

Surgeon Simulator tasks you with performing heart, double-kidney, eye and tooth transplants, and it’s every bit as difficult and horrific as that sounds, with - thank Jeebus - a generous dose of humour thrown in.

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Wave Wave iOS review

Lewis Curdie  Mar. 19 at 17:00

Wave Wave iOS review

When I think back over the toughest smartphone games I’ve ever played, Super Hexagon and Boson X spring to mind, games that were really super challenging, but – at the same time – entirely fair.

Joining those two is Wave Wave, a game that stakes a serious claim for Toughest Smartphone Game of All Time. It’s great.

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Word Forward iOS review

Word Forward iOS review

Lewis Curdie  Mar. 17 at 17:00

I do enjoy a good word game (Scramble With Friends is still in heavy rotation), so I jumped at the chance to check out Word Forward, especially with its encouraging abundance of positive user reviews.

Did I like it? Yeah. Did it blow me away? Nah, not so much. Let’s talk Word Forward below.

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Smash Hit iOS review

Lewis Curdie  Mar. 14 at 17:00

Smash Hit iOS review

Cynical old Jan described Smash Hit (free @ App Store, Google Play) as “Excellent !!!!” the other day, so I figured I’d shunt it up ye olde review queue and see what all the fuss is about.

You know what? He’s right. Smash Hit is excellent, and I have the pleasure of explaining why below.

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Stubies iOS review

Lewis Curdie  Mar. 12 at 17:00

Stubies iOS review

I’ve found myself at both ends of the gaming spectrum recently, with Riot Runners proving to be one of the worst smartphone titles I’ve ever played, and Device 6 being one of the best.

Here’s a little something that slots firmly in the middle. Meet Stubies, a game that’s completely and utterly… fine.

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PolyFauna iOS review

Lewis Curdie  Mar. 10 at 17:00

PolyFauna iOS review

While the App Review remit covers any and all apps, I’ve generally focused on games, though I’ve been known to go off on bizarre tangents encompassing bubble wrap, a flashlight, and even the music of a Californian string quartet.

Here I’m checking out – I don’t know what the heck it is – an “experimental collaboration” between popular beat combo Radiohead and Universal Everything, a “UK-based digital art practice and design studio”. I speak of PolyFauna, available for free from the App Store and Google Play.

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Out There iOS review

Lewis Curdie  Mar. 7 at 17:00

Out There iOS review

If there’s one thing I’ve learned this week, it’s not to give up on games when they initially prove to be incredibly frustrating. Calculords is a fine example of a game I would’ve gladly damned for all eternity at one stage, but one hour later I was literally jumping for joy having defeated two wily opponents back-to-back.

On a similar note, I could’ve easily scribbled a damning 2/5 review of Out There, labelling it a steaming pile of random horse poop, but it’s now one of my favourite games of the year so far. Go figure.

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Calculords iOS review

Lewis Curdie  Mar. 6 at 17:00

Calculords iOS review

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for one of the most unique and oddly compelling strategy titles I’ve played in a long time.

I speak of Calculords, a game that deftly combines maths, card collecting and tactical turn-based combat. It’s really good. I think…

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Device 6 iOS review

Lewis Curdie  Mar. 3 at 17:00

Device 6 iOS review

Simogo's Device 6 picked up ‘Best Entertainment App (Gaming, Music, Sports, Video)’ at Mobile World Congress last week, so I figured it was a good time to go back and check it out.

Developed by the guys behind the excellent Year Walk, Device 6 doesn’t disappoint. Indeed, if I’d reviewed it upon release, it would’ve rightly featured heavily in my Top smartphone games of 2013 countdown. Let’s right that particular wrong now with a few hundred words about the awesomeness that is Device 6.

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