Super Space Boy – Bouncing Off Balloons to Target Aliens

A simple game, Super Space Boy is an adventure for kids and adults alike, set in space and fun for all. Created by Craig Lauderdale, this game is an app ready for use on either the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, is family friendly, and free.

The game features Space Boy, astronaut hero of the comic book series bearing his name, whose mission is to seek and destroy invading aliens, without guns or laser beams. Space Boy bounces up and down your screen, bouncing off a balloon that sits near the bottom and moves to the swipe of your finger. Make sure to keep the balloon inflated at all times by passing it over small green blobs marked with plus signs. The balloon will always have a number on it. ‘4’ means its full. Get down below ‘2’ and you will have insufficient air for any bounce, which means “game over.”

The app starts off with what is deemed an optional story background. At the very top right of the screen, there is a “SKIP” icon, however when I tapped it, nothing happened. I still had to listen to the story of Space Boy, how the youngster in the story dreams of being him, and how he is Space Boy in the game you play.

When the actual game starts, you simply tap on the balloon and keep your eyes on everything that moves before you. Keep the balloon strategically placed below Space Boy, so when he starts to fall, you can send him back up with a bounce. I was not sure how to control Space Boy’s direction so that he could target and hit aliens that were off to the side. My game was pretty much contained in a narrow vertical zone, but I am sure with time and practice, things will get better.

Super Space Boy Screenshots

As Space Boy destroys the aliens and captures coins, your points go up and you gather more “life” measured in hearts. Get hit by an alien, and you lose some of your accumulated points. Lose our balloon, and you are done. Points and hearts are displayed at the top of the screen, so you can keep track. The number plastered over the balloon was so important, yet, it took a few deflations for me to figure that out.

One thing the game should change is to possibly add a trial run or demo of how to play that also explains each of the key items to monitor and capture. Kids seem to pick up easily on what they need to target and hit. Being a member of the older generation, these things do not come easy to me, and I end up faltering numerous times before giving up. Some guidance would be extremely appreciated, although I suppose my son could tutor me.

Yet, as a free game that is safe for all to play, I give Super Space Boy a thumbs-up for any parent looking for some kid-friendly entertainment. Yes, the hero is looking to destroy the enemy, but it is all done in a very non-violent manner, with simple contact and the magical disappearance of aliens.

Sugar Crush HD – The Sweetest Match 3 Game

Sugar Crush HD – A Candy Saga is a game that will give fans of match three games a good run for their money thanks to the amazing layout and great variety when it comes to the levels that you can play from. Sugar Crush HD adds a new twist by enabling you to compete against your Facebook friends. Let’s see what the app brings to the table.

Just like any other match three game, Sugar Crush HD – A Candy Saga requires you to swap adjacent pebbles to create sets of more than two similar pieces and they will disappear to create room for more pebbles. Here’s the uniquely different thing about Sugar Crush HD: Unlike most other such games, you will not be using precious stones or coins. You will be using candy! This makes it the sweetest match 3 game.

To ensure that you never run out of candies to play with, the app comes with a candy shop that will enable you to add excitement to your gaming experience by purchasing extra candies for use in the game. Each of these extra candies comes with special properties that will enable you to easily achieve your goal.

One of the most amazing things about this game is its simplicity. You won’t need to go through paragraphs of information explaining a long storyline to understand what’s happening. All the instructions that you need are given in the title. It’s all about Crushing Sugar. Plain and simple! Once you have read that, you have all that is required to play this game. Of course, you’ll need a supported android device and some free time before you can play.

Sugar Crush HD screenshot

Sugar Crush HD screenshot

After downloading and installing the app, you will be ready to dive into the world of crushing candies. After installation, you’ll be required to choose the language that you would like to use on the app then you’ll be set to do some serious sugar-crushing. The game will bring you over 200 levels spread out in 4 episodes. As if this is not enough, going by the past trend, every update comes with more and exciting new levels to ensure that you always have some candy to crush.

One of the reasons why this game stands out from many others is the free access to all levels. Many similar apps try to force you to buy the paid versions by limiting access to some of the levels available in the game. This leaves users who don’t want the paid version limited to only a few easy levels. This game provides everyone full free access to all levels of the game. This ensures that you get to experience the best of this app without feeling like there is something exciting that’s beyond your reach.

With the amazing graphics and well-designed interface, it was really very difficult to identify a setback that comes with Sugar Crush HD. The only reasonable problem that we could identify was the availability of only three languages yet there is an extra seven languages in the list. Allowing users to select all the languages in the list would extend the reach of the app globally. Nonetheless, this becomes an issue when users go to the candy shop. The sugar looks distinct regardless of the user’s native language.

GeoSonic – Melodious Mixes Through Art

GeoSonic is a recently updated app that has hit the iOS app family, adding to the many music experience apps currently available. This app, however, is not a radio station that you personalize, but rather, a sort of a music box type of app that randomly plays music based on the classic solfeggio music scale. To enhance the experience, a continuous wave, burst or pulse of geometric shapes, very much similar to Spirograph creations, fill the screen and move to the music.

The app can be purchased for $0.99, and offers a variety of sounds that connect with the images it displays. The colors are bright and the movement, fast. When you first download the app, it comes to a screen with a title. It does not automatically start the app itself, which I found out after waiting patiently for a few minutes. After tapping the screen, the app began to download and start.

The app is based off the concept of mandala, or a circular representation that is supposed to bring focus and peace. In this app, the mandala looks very much like a something one could create in the famed Spirograph craft game from Hasbro. The image is set on your screen by the app and can be altered somewhat using options that lie on the left and top borders of the screen.

GeoSonic Screenshots

GeoSonic Screenshots

Options include:

  • Pulsing the image, so that is grows and shrinks to the beat of the music
  • Putting it into a warp, so that it looks like it is racing through space
  • No movement at all, so that it simply floats in space, with stars slowly orbiting around it
  • The type of image can be changed by changing the Chakra, which is the icon of a meditating monk at the very top
  • Saving or loading “chakras” you have customized
  • Turning rotation on or off
  • Hypno setting, which moves the image in a more meditative motion
  • Set your own colors as the art transforms
  • Changing sounds 

 

I have to admit, that when I first downloaded the app, I thought I would be doing the drawing and creating, listening to how the music changes as I made changes. However, this is more of a passive app where you simple watch and listen, and make small adjustments when you want to. You are not actually drawing the art. The other disappointment was that the music was not as calming as I expected. Some of the sounds were a bit annoying, and were not conducive to relaxation or meditation, as I expected. The images were also a bit too bright to help bring focus and inner peace. Many of them seemed like they could incite a migraine.

If you are thinking of purchasing this app, be aware that it is a passive one, where you simply sit back and listen, and if you desire, partake in the images that appear before you. If you are looking for an app that has some action and like techno-sounding notes, then GeoSonic may serve your purpose well.

Wordistic – Building Words in a Matter of Time

Looking for a game that is like no other? Tired of shooting villains, navigating through rough terrains, or racing against time to find a lost treasure? Then you might be ready for Wordistic. This game brings arcade fun to a whole new space of gaming genre. Word games have been around for a while, and there is a certain group of people who just can’t get enough of them. Try pitching them to other gamers, and you will not go far. 

This is not the case with Wordistic. This game somehow takes the challenge of building a word and skillfully puts it into a place where you are racing against time. So, it’s not your typical “take your time and think about your next step” kind of game. You are set up against a clock that is ticking away while at the same time, sprinklings of letters move before you, beckoning to be chosen.

In this game, the object is to build a word given the letters you are presented. The trick is that you don’t get all the letters you will need all at once. The letters come before you, moving from top to bottom of the screen, and judging from the set you see, you must formulate a word to build. As more letters appear, you may remain on target with your original word, or you may see an opportunity to make a different word, quicker. Longer words get more points, however, if you fail to finish before time runs out, you lose.

I love word games and became hooked instantly. The pace with which the game moves is just right, until you start climbing the ladder of levels, mastering one after the other. Your allotted time to make a word decreases as you advance – so be ready for that.

Wordistic Screenshot

Strong spelling skills and a wide vocabulary come to great aid in a game like this. But fear not if you have neither. You can use this game as a skills builder and slowly work your way up. The game features an option that you can toggle as you wish. This feature provides suggestions on words to make based on letters chosen so far. You can start off by taking that advice and slowly shift over to making your own adjustments, as your own mental word treasure box grows bigger.

As fun as this game is to play, it could use a little help in the graphics design department. Things moved and worked well throughout, but the app had a very kid-like look to it; almost reminding me of something I would see on the PBS show Electric Company, back in the day.

Regardless, Wordistic is still fun to play and keeps me busy when I need it. I have even found it to be extremely helpful in my crossword play, as it has strengthened by visual acuity to letters and word formation. I can even see this being a big help to kids who could use a boost with their vocabulary studies.

TaoMix – Sound Mixing that Soothes

Looking for sounds that soothe and lull you to a place where you can forget the world? TaoMix is just the app. There are lots of radio station apps, music players, and playlists you can make to bring together music that calms the nerves and helps you focus. However, this app brings more to mix, offering its own smarts to your customizations.

TaoMix is a sound player with built-in sounds from nature. Sound categories include: Water, Rain, Wind, Thunderstorm, Insects, and more. These sound categories each have many sounds to choose from, but be forewarned: many of the sounds are locked in the free version of the app. Upgrade to the paid version for $1.99 and you will have many more sounds to mix.

The mixer works like this. You tap the plus sign sitting in the middle of the screen, which will take you to the Categories list. Choose a category, and then choose a sound. This will take you to the ambience builder screen which will show a white ring and a circle representing the sound you just added. As the circle is placed closer to the ring, its sound becomes louder. You can then add more sounds to the mix and then save your creation as an ambience.

Build different ambiences for different moods. You can make one for yoga, one for work, one to get you slowly up and going in the morning, and one to bring you closer to sleep. The app also features a timer, making a sleep ambience that is much more functional. Turn it on, lie down and let the sounds do their thing. The app will shut off on its own, per the timer.

taomix screenshot

The interface adds to the overall soothing effect brought about by the mixes you create. The entire app has a calm, serene black background. On top of that lay fine lines of text, describing the app in a minimalist manner. The organization and display is neat, clean, and extremely easy to use. You won’t get wound up trying to figure it out, like so many other apps; and, surprisingly, for a free app, it has no ads.

The screen from which you save and load ambiences features an information icon. Tap on it and you are taken to a page that lists all the icons, throughout the app, and their function. I did not detect this straightaway, and found myself fumbling through the app trying and learning as I went. Not a bad way to learn, but a bit more time consuming.

I would definitely recommend giving this app a try if you are looking for a very simple way to build a library of soothing sounds, customized for different effects you wish to evoke. You create combinations that appeal to your senses, and let TaoMix do the rest. The more you listen, the more your mixes will evolve, keeping you wanting to listen more. If you find the free version too restrictive, upgrading will open doors to more mixing.

Good News – A Neat News App

Good News is a neat news app that allows users to enjoy a variety of news feeds sourced from an assortment of RSS feeds and covering a good collection of topics. It is very easy to use, is ad-free and customizable. For a handful of change, it costs $.99, you get ease of use, variety and the ability to link and synchronize RSS feeds from multiple sources. You can also tap into your social media apps to stay in touch with what’s happening on those sites. This app offers a great deal of value in a clean, simplistic way.

When you first open Good News you will see the Latest News category. This features recently published stories across all categories in a list of summaries, each article summary displayed in a tile. Tap on a tile to see the full story. The usability of this app is amazing. Simple taps and swipes take you from titles to full descriptions, without having to type a thing.

You will see four icons perched at the very top of the screen. The screen title appears in the center, flanked by a Categories icon, a plus sign, a bubble, and a gear. The Categories icon allows you to switch the category you wish to read about. The plus sign allows you to add RSS feeds to your collection. The bubble turns on audio, allowing you to hear the story. The gear is for Settings, which allows you to get into the thick of things and customize the app to your liking.

Good News

The link to Social Media apps allows you to turn Facebook, Twitter, and blogs into their own RSS feeds. See who is tweeting, read the latest updates on Facebook, or catch up on a blog, all from one app. No need to go across apps anymore to stay on top of everything that is news in your life.

The organization of the app is clear and concise. It is extremely easy to use, making it great for first time users of an RSS reader. The layout is natural and as you use it, it just seems to move you through the app in such a way that makes you feel you designed it yourself. You can ask for help under Settings by sending the creator an email message; however, I never came across an instance that required me to do so. If anything, I need to send accolades.

There are no distractive ads or video clips to muddle the neat list of article summaries from which to choose. Categories are plentiful and include: Sports, News, Entertainment, Food, Technology, Gaming, and more. The only downside to the app is its occasional sluggishness when swiping back and forth between full article views, web site renderings, and between categories.

With a small price point and huge value, Good News is a definite download. It makes keeping up to date with news on the street and news in your social circle seamless and easy to digest.

Musthaver – Share What You Must Have

Ever wonder if there was an easy way to know if something was worth buying? We often find ourselves wanting things we just have to have, but end up having buyer’s remorse at times, because the purchase fell short of expectations. Well, worry no more…download Musthaver now and hook into a wide network of consumers who are just like you. They have joined the Musthaver network to share items they love or would love to have. Explore items you may not have come across, yet. Get to know what is most popular in particular consumer markets. Share what you love about things you already have and things you want to have.

This app is social networking with a purpose to help fellow shoppers. Download the app and login via Facebook or Twitter. Connections from both of these apps allow for an even wider choice of items to search through and learn about. When you share your thoughts, opinions or ratings of items listed in Musthaver, they automatically appear in Facebook or Twitter, so your followers in all three apps can see what you are up to.

When you get into the app, you will see a nicely laid out set of options at the bottom of the screen. They allow you to explore, connect with others, add items you have or want, and update your profile. When viewing your own items or items others have added to the collection, they are displayed in a neat layout, including a picture, three icons just below the picture showing if it’s a HAVE or WANT, and the option to add comments about the item. Items can be just about anything. I’ve seen cars, laptops and cellphones, in addition to food and accessories.

musthaver

Musthaver screenshots

The sky is the limit on where you can take this app and how useful you can make it for yourself. Every app has its intended uses, but delve a little deeper and you may find new meaning to a function meant for something else.

One possible use for the app is to use it for gift-giving. If everyone you know, whom you wish to give birthday or Christmas gifts, is on Musthaver, imagine how easy it will make your shopping when it’s time to buy gifts. You would simply look up their profile, check out what they WANT and go from there. It’s that easy.

The only downside to the app is the requirement to have an account on either Facebook or Twitter. I cannot imagine anyone not having one or the other, but there may be users out there who do not have those accounts. Opening up the app so users can create accounts based on just an email will bring in more traffic and more exposure to products.

As is, though, this app provides a fun and easy way to share with other exactly what you like, what you already have and what you think about it, and finally, what you just gotta have.