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10
Walkthrough video and strategy for Angry Birds Star Wars Facebook Tournament Level #5 (Day 5, released on January 25th) Week 6 which began on January 21st, 2013. Our non-power up strategy is to send Obi-Wan low at the base of … href="http://www.angrybirdsnest.com/angry-birds-star-wars-facebook-tournament-level-5-week-6-january-25th-2013/">Continue reading →
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feedburner.com/~ff/angrybirdsnest?a=sZBprh8B3xc:pMTzj_O5E8k:qj6IDK7rITs">
58


planetbeing: The Future is Looking Bright For Jailbreaking

We’ve some more news on the jailbreak front. David Wang aka planetbeing of the iPhone Dev team has just tweeted that they’ve made a lot of progress in the last few days and the future is looking bright for jailbreaking.
It was only a few days back that he and pod2g had

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ehacks.com/2013/01/ios-6-1-jailbreak-progress-update.html">discovered two new vulnerabilities.
Continue reading →

12

Android Central

We heard last week that the Nexus 4 would be back up for sale from T-Mobile directly starting January 23rd, and it has shown up right on time. Provided you're willing to sign up for 2 years on a Classic Plan at T-Mobile the 16GB

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Nexus 4 can be yours for $199.99, or if you decide to keep it off-contract (seriously consider this route) you can have it for $499.99 after mail-in rebate.

We're not sure how many are available, but hopefully it's enough to at least let some people have their chance at the latest Nexus. As for proper availability in the Play Store at $299 and $349... who knows. Here's hoping that this new wave of stock to T-Mobile means there's more on the way to Google as well.

Source: T-Mobile; Thanks, Frank!



14

Terry Cavanagh’s extremely challenging arcade game Super Hexagon was recently released. Notably, it has an issue with the Nexus 7, thanks to a hardware issue where recognition of a released touch input is slightly delayed. For most games, this is not a problem. For Super Hexagon, where lightning reflexes are necessary, this is a big deal. Well, at least in theory it is. In practice, is it an issue? I decided to put some rudimentary, un-scientific statistics work to the test.


After a short warm-up session, I played 20 rounds on Hexagonest on the Nexus 7, then 20 rounds on t

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he Motorola Xoom (which does not suffer from this touch-release issue), then another 20 on the Nexus 7, and another 20 on the Xoom.


Here’s what my results found:

Nexus 7, round 1: avg. 9.58 seconds, max 29.3

Xoom, round 1: avg. 12.26 seconds, max 37.1

Nexus 7, round 2: avg. 12.16 seconds, max 27.29

Xoom, round 2: avg. 12.21 seconds, max 49.29



So, it appears I may have still needed some warming up – Super Hexagon’s harder difficulties require hours of practice to figure out how the patterns work and how the player needs to spin to survive them, and some acclimation is necessary. It seems as if the difference over time evens out on each platform. While the difference is noticeable, especially to a veteran of the game like myself, it may not make a big difference.


Except that the problem is that my high scores were achieved on the Xoom. And I felt way more confident on the Xoom, because I could make small adjustments if necessary. And really, Super Hexagon is about those outliers, trying to get the high score. So while my own errors are dooming me no matter what, it’s possible that the touch-release issue is hurting me at those all-important outliers. But then again, the game at its higher difficulties is so challenging that adding another layer of difficulty is like spitting into the ocean.


My verdict, taking into consideration the quantifiable evidence with my anecdotal experiences? Veterans of the game and those actively seeking high scores should stay away from the Nexus 7 version, as the delays will be frustrating. Otherwise, for casual players, it doesn’t make a huge difference. It’s still a difficult game no matter what it’s being played on.


Does Super Hexagon’s Nexus 7 Touch Response Delay Really Make a Difference? is a post from: Android Rundown


74

Zen Training Review
By on January 22nd, 2013

Our Rating: ★
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★★☆☆ :: NOT SO ZENFUL
Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad



Zen Training is a color-matching game that aims to provide players with a peaceful gaming experience, but it falls short in a few areas.



 


Developer: Josh Presseisen

Price: $0.99

Version: 1.01

App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S


Graphics / Sound Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Game Controls Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Gameplay Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars


Overall Rating: 3.19 out of 5 stars



Relaxing color-matching games are a weakness of mine. They are simple on the surface, but the challenges that these games present help to keep the mind sharp. Zen Training looks like just another color-matching game on the surface, but it has its own unique gameplay style to make it stand out from the rest.


It’s not hard to learn how to play Zen Training. The goal is to spin a beautiful tree around in order to match five falling colorful gems to the appropriate five stones at the bottom of the tree. These stones and gems must be matched in order to create order and harmony. Players earn points for successful matches, but missing too many causes the day to turn into a dreary night and players eventually lose the game.


Successful matches results in leveling up and also provides gamers with the chance to play bonus levels. These bonus levels differ each time and can range from spinning the tree as many times as possible in a specific amount of time to stabilizing the falling gems. Of course, leveling up also means that the game gets harder. More symbol gems fall from the sky at one time, the gems start to become unbalanced and the speed at which they fall increases. While challenging, the frantic gameplay means that Zen Training is not so peaceful after all.


The gameplay is quite addicting and the soothing soundtrack helps set the tone at first, but players may eventually lose interest. I found myself bored after awhile because the game does get repetitive. More game modes, additional stones and gems, different backgrounds and even a way to include iPod music into the game would help spice things up a bit.


Hopefully an update makes Zen Training more exciting. It does have a lot of potential, but it appears that maybe it was released too soon. Anyone dying to spend $0.99 on a simple color matching game may want to consider it, but most gamers may wish to wait for a few improvements before committing to a purchase.





Zen Training
Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Buy Now: $0.99
Released: 2013-01-17 :: Category: Games
Apps mentioned in this post: Zen Training




[ Zen Training Review is a post from 148Apps ]
9

Despite the fact that iPhone 5 was released just 4 months ago, rumors of the next generation iPhone has already started to accumulate. A report from China Times claims that Apple will launch 3 iPhone variants this year. These models include an iPhone 5S and a new 4.8-inch iPhone dubbed as ‘iPhone Math’ for June release. In addition, the report says a third model will be launched before

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Christmas.

iPhone math

The report claims that iPhone 5S and ‘iPhone Math’ will features 8MP camera; whereas, the third model is said to feature 12MP camera. The report, which has been translated by BrightWire, claims:


Apple will announce three new iPhone models in 2013, and two of them, the 4-inch iPhone 5S and 4.8-inch iPhone Math


(both featuring 8-mega-pixel cameras), will hit markets before the end of June, China Times reported citing Taiwan-based Commercial Times.


Citing Apple’s suppliers, the report added that the third model, which has not been exposed, will be launched before Christmas. The model will feature a 12-mega-pixel camera.


Rumors about iPhone 5S and a budget model has been around for quite a while now, however, this is first time we’ve heard about a third model. ‘iPhone Math’ is also something new from rumors mill. But it’s worth mentioning that 4.8-inch display iPhone rumors has been making rounds back in December too.


iPhone 5S and a budget iPhone rumor seems reasonable. But ‘iPhone Math’ name and 4.8-inch display seems almost unlikely.

80

Waking Mars is an innovative and engaging adventure game that sees you re-awakening life on a sleeping planet. While exploring caves beneath the surface of Mars, you stumble upon a complex and symbiotic range of plant life. You have to explore and connect a huge and peculiar ecosystem in a magnificent warren of caverns. When you then get trapped deep under ground, you have to rely on the flora and fauna to survive! If you like playing fresh and rewarding games on your Android device, read on for the f

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ull review.



Like the article? You should subscribe and follow us on twitter.


Premise

The year is 2097 and you are on Mars, following the work of a previous explorer who went missing. What you discover is a rich and diverse ecosystem of plantlife quite unlike much of what we see on Earth. The plants are symbiotic, that is, they rely on each other to grow and spread. However, you soon discover that you can give them a helping hand, gradually linking cave after cave of alien horticulture!


Plant seeds and grow new lifeforms

Plant seeds and grow new lifeforms


Things then go absurdly wrong as you are suddenly trapped within the caves with seemingly little chance or opportunity of contacting the surface. However, you soon realise that the plants you are cultivating might just save you. This launches an extraordinary adventure of discovery that signifies a highly original concept and wonderfully engaging gameplay.


Say goodbye to the surface!

Say goodbye to the surface!


Controls

The game controls are both intuitive and responsive. You simply touch and press the direction you want to move in. When this means you are traversing across the ground you simply walk. When it requires moving upwards, your jet pack kicks in and you ascend and descend accordingly. On the bottom left of the screen there are navigational and objective tabs which pause the game and on the bottom right is your inventory.


Inventory

Inventory


The inventory contains pods and items you have collected while exploring. When selected, you can fire a pod towards other plant matter which spawns more plants and pods. By doing this you essentially propagate the spread of the plantlife and generate new avenues of collecting pods and finding new life. This underpins much of gameplay as life and the results of reigniting life becomes more complex in nature.


Build research

Build research


Gameplay

So gameplay is a combination of exploring the caverns and discovering new life by exchanging pods. Successfully doing so often creates new passages to explore. Sometimes you are left in a cavern and need to escape it. There is often a puzzle element to gameplay where you have to work out how best to proceed. While it is still relatively linear, it requires the use of logic to progress.


Crawl to discover new spaces

Crawl to discover new spaces


The game has an undercurrent of mystery which examines what happened to the previous explorer and the hidden life-potential of Mars. The narrative expands as you discuss things in cut scenes with other characters in the game. This all creates an entertaining and intriguing game which is hard to put down. It’s perhaps not addictive in an ‘Angry Birds’ way but it certainly keeps you riveted. Additionally, it is easily a game where you can waste a great deal of time.


What is also nice to see is a game that sees you creating alien life, instead of ruthlessly destroying it. While ever since space invaders games have required you to blast everything in sight, this encourages you to explore and grow alien life in an innovative way.



Graphics and Sounds

The visuals of the game are rich and very detailed. Gameplay is essentially in 2D but the environments and animations are immaculately designed. It struck me as a little similar to the graphics you can see in Grabatron — such is both the two dimensional and cave-exploring gameplay. Each of the plants you find offer entirely different animations and movements and these are rendered in a smooth and sympathetic way.


Grow and spread life

Grow and spread life


There are plenty of realistic sound effects in the game which help bring it to life (quite literally). This is combined with a beautiful score of music which, according to the Google Play Store description is both original and critically acclaimed. Together these add an element of outstanding quality to the game, which perfectly compliments the graphics and gameplay.


Overall Impressions

I don’t think I have played any game quite like Waking Mars and it’s incredibly refreshing to discover something so original. The Google Play Store is flooded with tycoon style games, retro-games and more and more ‘running’ games which take after the popularity of Temple Run. Waking Mars though is very, very different to pretty much anything else I have encountered before. Sure, there’s a resemblance to Grabatron as previously mentioned, but how many games can be described as an exploratory, extra-terrestrial horticulture mystery?!


Explore and cultivate

Explore and cultivate


The game is really made up of various components which make it rather difficult to categorise. There are elements of puzzle game here and it’s undoubtedly an adventure game. With the need to explore and combine plants together, you might further be reminded of the various alchemy games available. That said, it still feels very unique and gameplay is genuinely inventive.


Map view

Map view


Conclusion

Waking Mars is an enjoyable and engaging game which is stimulating to play and highly original in nature. For less than $2, you get a beautifully designed game with a lustrous soundtrack, addictive gameplay and an intriguing plot narrative that will keep you engaged all the way through. If you like games that are capable of really immersing you with fun and compulsive gameplay, you should definitely give Waking Mars a go. This will sound like a terrible pun, but it really is out of this world!




22

Kingdom Conquest LogoWhen games like Temple Run II make a splash so big in the App Store over their opening weekend, it is hard to remember other big-time launches that happened at the same time. Last week, SEGA also released the

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follow up sequel to their epic Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), Kingdom Conquest II. This epic adventure may not have made number one on the free app list in less than eight hours, but it is no slouch when it comes to serious gaming.



I’ve never played Kingdom Conquest, so I’ll be reviewing this game as its own entity. I won’t be making comparisons between the original and its sequel. This is from the point of view of a reviewer who comes to the game fresh and with no previous experience with the franchise.


Kingdom Conquest II is a triple threat when it comes to game play. First, it is a simulation town management game where players are tasked with building structures to support a growing village. Then, it is a dungeon crawl MMO where players team up with up to four others to fight against enemies and collect loot using a virtual joystick. Lastly, it is a trading card game (TCG) where players conquer other lands by using monsters they have won in random card packs.


Kingdom Conquest II 8   Kingdom Conquest II 7


Let’s talk about the simulation aspect of the game first, since this is where much of the early game takes place. Players build Sawmills, Stoneworks, and Ironworks in order to generate materials that are used to build more structures. As you build more, you increase your reputation as being a strong and benevolent lord. The more people who move to your growing kingdom, the more your stats increase, making it easier for you to conquer neighboring land, successfully complete dungeon crawls, and expand your land to make room for more construction.


Almost everything you must do to expand is laid out for you in the quest log. For example, you will be tasked with building additional Sawmills, and then upgrading them. You’ll have to clear away worn fields and build monster barracks. Each quest requires a certain amount of materials or other items. The reward is always greater than the cost.


Kingdom Conquest II 6   Kingdom Conquest II 5


Some quests involve conquering nearby lands. To overthrow land, construct a unit that includes one commander and at least one monster.  The commanders are purchased through earned command points. The monsters are won as random card draws in dungeons. Send your unit to fight against neighbors and bring home the spoils of war. Once you’ve defeated your foes, you can turn the new land into part of your kingdom. This part of the game works like a TCG because monsters are won randomly, like the way you find a monster in a pack of Magic cards, and then players build units, similar to building the perfect Magic deck. The battle that takes place on the field is solely based on the stats of the player’s unit versus the stats of the enemy unit. If you’ve got a better monster deck, you’ll win the battle.


You can purchase card packs with gems, Charge Points, and special tickets, like Gold or Event Tickets. Charge Points are earned by completing quests. Tickets are earned by fighting your way through a dungeon. To enter a dungeon, tap the Dungeon icon at the bottom of the screen. You can choose from seven different areas, but can only enter what your level will allow.


Kingdom Conquest II 4   Kingdom Conquest II 3


Each dungeon has different levels of difficulty that generate different rewards. The best way to find an open dungeon at your level is to tap the search button and select easy, normal or hard.


Dungeons are difficult to find. Groups are usually already in battle or unavailable. If you are lucky enough to get into a group, you can run through each room of the dungeon with your new cohorts, killing enemies and looting chests.


Once you’ve successfully completed a dungeon crawl, you’ll earn tickets that can be used to buy new cards with random monsters. The monsters are then used to battle the TCG style portion of the game mentioned above.


I’ve only touched the surface of the level of complexity this game has to offer. There is so much I’ve yet to explore, but I can promise that this game will stay in my “Awesome Games” folder for a long, long time.


Kingdom Conquest II 2   Kingdom Conquest II 1


What I Liked: I loved being able to play three different types of games in one. The simulation portion is fun for developing a kingdom, the TCG portion is fun for the monster collecting aspect, and the dungeon crawl portion is great for the loot you win. The whole game is tied together with quests that keep you moving forward.


What I Didn’t Like: The user interface is pretty busy. It is not easy to figure out where things are. There is actually too much to do in a single game. It takes a long time to find your way around the game. The dungeons are always too full to join. It takes forever to find one that is available.


To Buy or Not to Buy: If you like complex, quest-heavy RPGs with elements of cooperative MMO, then you’ll be drooling by the time you get through the first five levels of this game.



Name: Kingdom Conquest II
Version Reviewed: 1.1.2
Category: Games
Developer: SEGA
Price: Free
Score:


» Related posts:
SEGA’s Kingdom Conquest II Unleashed on iPad
Monster Trouble Dark Side Turns Tower Defense Upside-Down – iPad App Review
Sega Ditches the Arcade Action in New iPad Word Game Spellwood


62


When there are no actual news or notable app releases, I prefer investing my time in creating something for other people.


Continuing my ongoing series of tips on iOS URL schemes, here’s an adaptation o

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f my existing Due bookmarklet to work better with Google Chrome for iOS (which, as I’ve pointed out several times, has a very nice URL scheme). The following code (to install it, simply copy it and paste the entire string into a bookmark) grabs a webpage’s title and URL and sends them to Due (also powered by a great URL scheme).


Thanks to x-callback-url, we can specify URLs to open in case of “error” (Due couldn’t create a new reminder) or “success” (Due created a new reminder and automatically showed the “Reminder” entry screen). In case of error, I personally decide to stay in Due; if the bookmarklet succeeds, I like to be taken back to Google Chrome after I tap the Add button.



javascript:window.location='due://x-callback-url/add?title='+encodeURIComponent(document.title)+'%20'+encodeURIComponent(document.location.href)+'&x-source=Google%20Chrome&x-error=due%3A%2F%2Fx-callback-url%2F&x-success=googlechrome%3A%2F%2F'

As you can see above, in the x-success parameter I’m using googlechrome%3A%2F%2F — which is simply the encoded version of googlechrome:// (those scary characters give it the convenient name of percent-encoding). You can play around with encoding and decoding strings using tools like this. Because x-callback-url’s fields want encoded strings, I’m doing the same with due%3A%2F%2Fx-callback-url%2F and Google%20Chrome. Not encoding strings properly is one of the most common mistakes I kept making when I first started using x-callback-url.


(Question: Why am I using googlechrome:// instead of a full webpage URL? As far as I know, the URL scheme alone can’t reload an existing tab, even when relaunching the same URL (unlike Safari). Therefore, to simply “jump back” to Chrome, I, well, re-open Chrome.)


A note about the screenshot in this post: the dialog box is generated by Due using x-source — a parameter to give a friendly name to the “calling app” (in our case, Google Chrome). Unfortunately, though, we can’t give x-error and x-success different pretty names; both parameters will use the x-source name given in Due. That’s why, even if you want to launch Due, the dialog box will keep saying “Google Chrome”.


Interestingly, the bookmarklet works on Safari for Mac, but not on Chrome (obviously, you won’t be able to rely on x-callback-url on the desktop). You can read more about Due’s URL scheme here, and check out a quick demo video of the bookmarklet below.



41






Buy iPhone 5 / 4S For $50 Off . Will will today we have good news for you today  Best Buy is once again knocking $50 off all iPhone 4S and 5 models, regardless of model or carrier, The limited-time sale matches some of the best prices we’ve seen on Apple’s handsets, knocking the 16GB iPhone 5 down to $149.99 and the 16GB iPhone 4S down to just $49.99


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.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/iPhone-5.png" width="550" height="213" />








9to5Mac spotlights the deal, which appears to be available both in-stores and online, that discounts all iPhone 4S and 5 models that are purchased with a two-year carrier contract.


This knocks the 16GB iPhone 5 down to $149.99, the 32GB down to $249.99, and the 64GB to $349.99. And outside of a few hard-to-find Walmart and Sam’s Club offers, these are the best prices we’ve seen on Apple’s latest handset.


It looks like the discounting is only good for a couple of days. So if you’ve been looking for a deal on the iPhone, you may not want to wait on this. Click here for Best Buy’s website.