Candy for Bears – Dig Deep into an Ant’s Nest to Uncover Buried Treasure

Being a kid in a candy store is a feeling that can’t be matched. For different people of various ages, that feeling stems from different “kinds” of candy. For some it may be electronics, for others it could be a fashion boutique. For bears, it’s usually what’s hidden underground with hopes that the uncovered treasure includes honey.

Candy for Bears is a cute game for all ages where your goal is to find bear candy that hides underground in ant nests. While it sound peculiar, most bears hunt for honey from beehives, this game has a new take on what a cute small bear wants. He’s a curious little tyke who is fascinated with little ants that are religiously marching in line, in and out of their ant holes, keeping on task.

Your bear must keep his family’s honor intact by collecting the candy gold that lies deep beneath the surface of the ground, hidden in crevices of the ant nest. Keep in mind that these ants are no ordinary ants. They will do all it takes to protect their candy gold and prevent you from mining it.

Bear can only get to the candy gold by mining for it. There are several tools you can use that can be purchased in the in-app store. Purchases can be paid for with diamonds, which you get when you first download the app. Examples of tools include various types of explosives, chemicals, magnets, picks, ropes, and more.

candy for bears

While you are in the SHOP, you will see all of the tools you currently have plus the number of diamonds you have available to spend. In the middle of the screen are the choices to select from. The picks are good for a while, but things like explosives and apples work just once. Don’t worry because you will have plenty of tools to use.

While it sounds a bit violent due to the notion of explosives, it is very minor because they are just small explosions used to break up barriers to the candy gold that the ants may have set up. I even spotted an apple, which may have served as a distraction to lure ants away.

I thought the overall app was cute and fun to play – it’s not just for kiddos. It was amusing and different from what I have seen before. I would like to see a better conversion of candy gold to diamonds, so fewer in app purchases are needed. My kids went through so many diamonds, that I had to make a few purchases to keep the game going.

Barring that, this game is a treat for all, especially if you have little bears of your own. I highly recommend downloading Candy for Bears.

Semler Heart – Health App That Works

Cardiac disease is on the rise, and while we all see so many people with step counting devices, the real question is whether they are using it correctly and to their benefit. This requires knowledge about cardiac disease and what to do to prevent it. If you are already sliding down the slippery slope with issues like high cholesterol and such, then staying informed and using information to design a plan of attack is essential.

Dr. Herb Semler, renowned cardiologist, has devised an app like no other fitness and health app that educates and helps users execute on their quest to rid themselves of cardiac problems. Just exercising is not enough, he says. It’s called Semler Heart for iOS. People need to understand their medical history, their risk factors and habits and use this information to counter cardiac disease. Everyone’s plan is different. No one plan works for all.

While the app does track steps and times, it expands on this data with useful information. As you build up points from activity, you can use them at retail partners. This creates an incentive for users to get active and fight the cardiac disease from taking hold. A proper diet along with exercise helps ward off the damaging effects of this disease and keeps you away from its devastating effects.

Information was easy to find and the data was easy to track. I also liked the daily, weekly, and monthly summaries, as well. It helped me see trends that I otherwise would have missed. This is especially useful as most heart-conscious folks tend to be older and need more simplistic presentations of data.

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I really liked the feature where I could monitor yesterday’s steps, which helped me push for more throughout the week, if needed. You also get inspirational tidbits of information so you don’t lose focus of your goals. Which leads me to the next item, goals. You can set goals for yourself so you are not walking around like a fool with no purpose. That will get you nowhere.

The only shortcoming I could find was the inability to see who the retail partners were. I was excited to find out about the point reward systems and hoped to purchase more exercise related gear as my step count increased.

While I wait and look forward to that perk, I will make maximum use of everything else Semler Heart has to offer. There is so much and I am already starting to feel stronger already!

Secure Supremacy and Win Guild Wars in Final Chronicle

Bored of your gaming selection and looking for something different? Look no further – Playmage has created a JRPG that will blow your mind. Most class RPG games that feature top quality graphics and animation are hard to find, for free at least. You have to pay for what you, and that’s fair.

Playmage has created something for everyone in Final Chronicle, taking a classic game reminiscent of Playstation gaming quality and placing it in the palm of your hand. Final Chronicle is the mobile version and runs on both iPhone and iPad, provided you have iOS 6.0 or newer.

Final Chronicle is the fourth creation offered by Playmage, who has given us several popular gaming apps, so it’s no surprise that it’s a huge hit. I was mesmerized by the quality of the animation, which is usually my focus. I also found the graphics and movements to be on target and accurate. Oftentimes free games just don’t have the correct mechanics, but Playmage has done an excellent job.

The game itself centers around role play, and who doesn’t need that. You are immersed in a fantasy world in which you must defend your existence against a myriad of destructors. The epic story is partitioned into six chapters. You take on a role as a hero or heroine, adorned in finery and vicious war gear, armed to the hilt.

You will partake in battles and quests. You will have puzzles to solve and traps to outsmart. The challenges abound aplenty in this game, keeping energy levels high and entertainment value maximized. I have never experienced so much energy in a game before, and there is no way to get bored, ever, because there is always something different to do.

Some more elements to the game that are noteworthy include:

  • A variety of options – there are several skill levels to play, weaponry to choose from, enemies to outsmart and fight, and quests to complete. Quests will result in the discovery of hidden treasure that you can in turn use to beef up your strength.
  • New types of adventures – defeat evil raid bosses and save fairy pets; invite friends to play and engage in Guild Wars.
  • Player vs Player games, where you can battle individuals and secure supremacy
  • Prizes galore – each battle offers a new type of prize and there are daily winnings; this was the really cool part

I found it a bit difficult to move from chapter to chapter, taking longer than in most games. It could be a deterrent for some to just close shop and stop playing, so maybe making movement between the first two chapters will keep gamers hooked longer.

Other than that, Final Chronicle is an unexpected surprise in the world of RPG, because for something that costs nothing, you get a treasure trove of entertainment! This game is also available on Android.

Santa Claws – Seasonal Gaming Fun Bringing Monsters into the Mix

The holiday season brings with it festive times fueled by fun. Along with the experiences, we often see a flood of games that can charm the pants off any elf. Santa Claws – Monster Mash is just one of those games.

Created by a chap named Gary George, Santa Claws brings a bit of merriment and adds a touch of macabre by adding Monsters to the mix. It’s not really all that scary, as the game is geared more towards kids than adults. For kids who love Halloween, this is a great mashup of the two holidays – keeping kids entertained and adults laughing.

The game is very similar to other kids’ iOS games like Fruit Ninja, but with different characters and goals. The basic layout includes various stages: Santa Claws, Easter Mummy, Putrid Cupid, you get the idea. Gary created cute takes on various holidays and made games out of them.

Game play is simple. Each game consists of items that catapult from the bottom of the screen. Players then swipe each item to earn points and stay alive. One catch – do not swipe the bombs. Those will clearly take you out of game play, setting you back to the start of the game. Each successful swipe earns you coins and stars, that later become extremely useful in unlocking hidden items.

The screen will always show your star and coin count at the top right and left corners. You will also see how many strikes you have against you in the lower right corner.

Options include being able to control sound and music, which is a must for those with kids who can’t hear anything!

Each game will have a different set of items to swipe based on how far into the game you get. If you miss swiping three items total in a game, then its game over. Each swipe of a bomb counts as two chances.

My favorite game was Santa Claws, of course, because who doesn’t want to put Santa into action? It was such a funny game and I never expected some of the items I saw.

What I found very difficult and what made my kids get frustrated was that at times, a cluster of items would pop up close to a bomb, making it nearly impossible to avoid swiping the bomb, making it kind of an impossible situation to get out of or avoid.

While the graphics are quite simple, this game was treat for all; it acted as an escape for all us when things got hectic. I plan on still playing even after the holidays are long gone. The themes are cute and amusing and help to bring humor to the chaos we so often instill into a holidays that should be just fun!

Coach Guitar – Learn to Play the Strings on Your Own Schedule

Playing the guitar does not have to be a dream that never comes true. Even if you don’t have a real guitar, you can still learn how to play a guitar using an app on your iPhone. Yes, I know that sounds too hard to be true, but it is.

Introducing Coach Guitar. It turns your iPhone into a guitar of sorts by displaying a set of strings on your device. What is really cool is that you can set it up based on whether you are right- or left-handed. A refreshing upgrade to so many app that are blind to lefties.

But I digress…what I really liked about this guitar learning app is that it launches you straight into learning where to place your fingers to create the notes you need. Lessons are based on songs you already know – think “Happy Birthday,” “Hotel California,” and “Diamonds.” There is a wide variety of songs to choose from that come with the app. Once you have mastered those or just want to choose from their in-app purchase library, you can select from an even wider set of choices. Each song for just $3.99.

I am not super musically inclined, so the feature that I really liked was the high definition videos that you can watch of someone playing the tune. You can watch their fingers as they find their placement along the strings and as the pick strikes each string at the right moment. This is shown side by side with the graphical display of strings upon which you play. You even get a pick with the app to strike your strings.

The app has different levels of learning packages for purchase, so if you are not sure of how big an investment you’d initially like to make, then opt for the Beginner level priced at $3.99/month. If you are confident to see this thing through to a more advanced stage, I recommend going straight to the Premier level to take advantage of more videos and songs right away for $7.99/month. Both are much more economical than a music teacher.

I started with the Beginner Pass, because I was in it for some basic instruction. I chose the most simplest of songs to learn from first because I like to start off slow and work my way up at a gradual pace. The videos that go alongside each song made it very easy for me to see what the finger placement would look like and helped me get started. I have to say that the videos were the highlight for me.

Another neat feature in the app is that you can find instructional songs by searching for them in various ways: by title, by artist, by level of difficulty, and more. This way you can get to what you want to play quickly.

The only downside to the app would be accessibility to songs. If you buy the Premium level, you get unlimited access to songs with unlimited time to use them. The Beginner level is not so generous and that, quite frankly, is the level at which people need more time and access to a particular song.

I still like Coach Guitar for what I do get. I couldn’t get this much instruction at this price from a live instructor; and besides, I have no interest in music theory, just in playing the strings.

Exif Viewer by Fluntro Masterfully Manages Digital Images

There are plenty of image viewers that extract photos from the sea of images you’ve captured, either from a device or from your DSLR; the question is, do those apps have the power to present those images in a way that is easy to navigate and makes image manipulation easy?

You need to download Exif Viewer. For a small price, you get access to all of your images that have been captured by a DLSR. The app then presents these photos along with all the goodies that go with – all accessible from any of your iOS devices.

Take all the pictures you want with your camera, let them download to your main iOS device, whether it me a Mac or workbook, and then explore and experiment from any device. Most likely, you will make your edits from either your iPad or Mac, but if you ever want to find and view them quickly when you are away from either, you can do so using your iPhone.

Our world is filled with astronomical amounts of data, that it take a special kind of app to organize and sort through it all to make sense of it and help you use it. The same goes for Exif. This app takes all the information that exists behind the scenes of each snapshot and creates the perfect stage on which to present it.

The data is easy to get to. When you first open the app and connect it to your photos, you will see a series of photo cards. Consider these your rolodex into your photo library. On this card you will see summary information about your photo.

Tap on the photo and get the inside scoop. This includes all the technical details for each photo, including speed, aperture, use of flash, ISO, device used, and more.

What is really neat about the app is that you use this detailed information to organize and find your photos – and believe me this is what you will use the most. This detailed information serve as tags that help you define an identification to each picture.

Add to this the location of the image and you have access to images instantaneously, as long as you remember where you took the picture that you now want to find.

The app shows each image as clearly as if you were looking at the original live image. It makes going through your photos and using them so much more fun.

If you are using this for work, then this is a go-to tool to get you to each photo and find out just what may have gone wrong, so you get it right the next time. The data points captured on each digital image is oftentimes not easy to find. Exif extracts that information and presents it in a way that is easy to understand and use.

One feature that really sold me was the ability to share my photos easily and be able to turn the data that goes with those photos off or on.

What I wait for now is the feature that will allow me to print my photos. I didn’t really find it that easy to do so now, but look forward to it being as easy as a tap.

If you use your photos in a way that is more involved than most snapshot savers, then Exif Viewer is an app that you must download soon. You will wonder how you were managing without it.

Tears of the Machine – Defender Game Embeds Saga with Mystery and Combat

Last year, Mohamed Elzankaly brought the iTunes community something different with the introduction of Tears of the Machine. Confusing on the surface, this game captured players’ curiosity and ensnared gamers from all over.

At the time, the game was divided into four different chapters or episodes that were unhinged.

Today, we have Tears of the Machine Extended. Elzankaly has soldered the saga into one app that you work your way through, so game play is continuous and the experience, whole.

The scene? It’s year 2085 and you are slowly awakening to sounds of battle all around you. The enemy? The Global Order Coalition.

They have banded together a force to take over and take out anyone who opposes them.

As you slowly come to your senses, you find that there are images of a young girl that flash in your mind, or is it your memory? You can’t quite make out if those are memories or a dream. But you persevere to find out, all the while trying to stay alive – because you know the Coalition is in the wrong, and it must be defeated.

Chock full of interesting challenges and obstacles, Tears of the Machine tests your defender gaming abilities. You start playing in the Prologue and make your way through, with increasing levels of difficulty.

Each win brings you better weaponry and improved skill sets. As you pass through, you open up more doorways out of the Prologue and into the next chapter, Episode 1.

The Extended version of Tears of the Machine has a Prologue, Episode 1, and Episode 2. Episodes 3 and 4 are slated for release at least one year out, but they will come.

What I really liked about the game is that you can play it in different ways. If you are not up for a huge challenge and you want to experience the storyline, then choose Story Mode. If you are less passive and want a more immersed experience, then you must definitely choose the Survival Mode.

As an addition to the previous version of the app, there are Extras, which allows you to explore the gaming world and listen to audio clips throughout, giving you more context and clues as to how you may have gotten there and what your past is about.

There is no shortage of entertainment in this app. There are so many activities and battles to fight, backed by the ongoing storyline that keeps you questioning more and more to uncover where you came from and who you are.

I did find some of the controls to be a bit slow, and had to keep my patience as I moved along through the game, but it may have been caused by other things besides the app. I will have to try it out some more to see if there are any changes.

Other than that, this game is addictive because it collides a world of mystery and unknown identity with a conflict that you must work your way out of. I have not seen too many app with so much action and meaning all wrapped up in one place. Try out Tears of the Machine soon!

Slow Burn Burns Fat Faster – Keeps You Focused

Fighting fat is hard. We have all had to face the music at some time or another when we try on those pants that just won’t button up, or when the shirt you used to love now stretches ever so slightly across the belly.

When that time comes, you know you have to take action. But, that action has to be the right action. You can run around the block only so many times before you realize it’s doing you no good.

That’s where Slow Burn can help. Slow Burn is an exercise phenomena developed by Fred Hahn. The Slow Burn takes his findings and puts the theory to work in an app, formulating it into a program that anyone can download and benefit from.

The basics behind Slow Burn is that you get multiple levels of benefits by breaking down focused sets of exercise over a long period, into a long period that consists of multiple types of exercises, each done in shorter intervals and interspersed.

For instance, instead of doing a total of 50 squats in 5 sets of 10 each, you would do 5 sets of 5 squats and 5 leg lifts. You would each of the 5 sets as: 5 squats and 5 leg lifts.

slow burn

Free to install, Slow Burn takes the guess work out of exercise and advises on the best way to burn calories and fat, so you have control and guidance on how get to your goal in a way that you can stick with and that provides easy consistent burn.

Because it’s free, there will be ads. If you want to avoid them, you can make an in-app purchase to bar them from your installation. Although, I will say that the ads were not distracting in the very least.

When you see the main screen, simply tap on Start to begin. From here the app asks how many sets you wish to do. You simply enter the number and then start. Then, as you finish a set of exercises, you simply tap the circle that’s in the center of the screen to move on to the next set. All you have to do is keep track of the different exercises you are doing per set and make sure you complete the number that is required.

The app also keeps track of how much time you spend on each set, so you can see your performance. You can even use this number to set a goal to finish a set within so many seconds.

I was kind of expecting a bit more out of the app in term of being able to use the timing data. It would be nice if the app saves that information and allows you to use the historical information to set goals for improvement.

Nonetheless, this app certainly helps make it a lot easier to follow the Slow Burn tactic behind getting more out of the exercise you do, without killing yourself. It helps you stay focused and stick with any program you choose to do.

Paralign – Real Connections in Real Time

In a time where experts say human beings are the most connected, it’s interesting to note how disconnected people really feel. Sure, you may have tons “friends” on Facebook, and more followers than you have friends, but are those connections real?

Do those people with whom you are digitally connected relate to who you really are? Do you know who you are? Those are all deep questions, and while we think we have folks around us that “get” us, sometimes it really isn’t the case.

Paralign lets you look inward to find out who you really are, what do you believe it, and help you identify what you believe in. It helps you figure out what makes you tick.

Paralign is an app that allows you to make connections that matter by letting you align with other members who share similar thoughts.

When you download, you can sign up using either email or a social media account. If you are not ready to commit, you have the option to use the app as a Guest. What was important to me, and I am sure to many others, is that Paralign will not post anything you enter on the social media site.

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There are three areas in which to communicate with fellow members: My Mind, Similar Minds, and Wondering Minds.

The app has a mood journal under My Minds that lets you jot down what is happening and how you are feeling, in the moment. It helps you see what affects you and your moods so you can better predict if, going into a particular type of setting, you will be triggered to get happy, sad, upset, etc.

My Minds is also where you will set moods as you feel them or reflect on your day. This will add to your personal journal, so you can detect patterns and help go into situations with more insight. To enter these quick data points, you type in text about your thoughts and tag it with one of six emotions: happy, peaceful, nervous, neutral, sad, or mad. Then you can qualify your tag with an intensity rating of 1 for low and 5 for high.

You can keep you submissions private, or you can share. In sharing submissions, like-minded Paraligners will see your posts and can chime in with supporting replies.

One area the app could improve on is adding some fun by including emojis. Sometimes graphics can send the message you really want to send, and put an even bigger smile on someone’s face. I know I enjoy them while texting and it could be a big boon to this app.

Extremely easy to use and refreshingly well-timed, Paralign helps you keep your emotions in check, it helps you deal with difficult situations, and it helps you lift your mood, all with the help of a community that speaks your language and understand how you think.