Top Eleven

Facebook Fun – Top Eleven

I’m no football fan (that’s soccer fan for you on the other side of the pond), but I remember when I was a kid. As most kids, I wanted to play football with my friends, so I got dad to sign me up at the local team, just to quickly realize I’m not the sports kind. However, I stuck by it for 5 years (which for a kid that started at the age of 7 is a long time) before I finally quit. This was enough for me to learn the rules and some neat tactics at least, so when dad got a new game for our old computer, Football Manager, I found many hours of fun there.

Unlike most other sports games, this didn’t let you control the players on the field, it didn’t even let you see the match, everything was relayed to you in the form of graphs and text, just like on most modern betting sites today. Instead, you were the one that took care of the team behind the scenes. You recruited new players, you set up matches, you decided who to take in when someone got injured and set up predetermined switches, you set up the tactics for each game and you had newspapers with information on your next opponent and had to set up these tactics to counter the opposing teams strengths and weaknesses.

I saw this little game ad on Facebook for a game called Top Eleven, the ad said “If you liked Football Manager, you’ll love this” and it didn’t lie. Continue reading

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Torch App Nav Screen

Mobile Fun: Presenting The Torch App

Thank you for all your positive response. Most of you noticed that this was in fact an April fools joke, but some have asked about this app. Who knows, maybe we’ll make it someday, but today is not that day ;)

 

The Torch can now proudly present our very own mobile app!

We’ve been in development since about a year and this top secret project is now ready for the reveal. The Torch App will be for the real world, what The Torch Entertainment Guide have been for the web, an introduction and teaching tool. Some of the features of the app is:

  • Real Time Landmarking: Just point the cam of the phone on a street sign, and the app will save that location using the phones built-in GPS
  • Landmark Return: Just click the landmark and you’ll get a map telling you directions to that place for any transportation method, and even gives you the price for buses, trains, taxi or gas.
  • Landmark Sharing: You can easilly share your landmarks with others through the app or through any social media, or even as a QR code for the Printer (available soon)
  • Torch Printer (coming soon): A small, USB compatible pocket printer currently in development lets you print out any page you have up for easy sharing in RL as well, available for all smartphones with adapter for each type of connection
  • Crafting Tutorials: A database of over 1 000 items you can make yourself, cheap or free, and instructions on how to make them
  • Everything is Audible: A built-in text-to-speech generator and voice recognition software makes this app not only easy to use, you won’t even need your hands or eyes for it.
  • Real Time Information: Using the camera on the phone, the app can identify a street sign, a face or an object and give you information on it. Using the microphone, it can identify a voice or sound, giving you information and background on a song, a person or a band, all in real time.
  • and more…
Torch App Nav Screen

This is the Landmark Navigation Screen, if you tap the landmark, instructions on how to get there by any transportation will be given. It hooks up to the local transportation information database and will even give you the price of the bus ticket or taxi ride

Continue reading

Mobile_Warning

Mobile Fun turned horribly bad

There are a lot of fun you can have with social apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There’s a lot of fun and useful things you can do with mobile apps that connects to these social apps too, but fun and games can turn horribly bad.

Today we are gonna talk about the dangers of automatic social sharing of mobile app results!

I have seen many friends, mostly women, who have used apps like Run Keeper to keep track of how far they have been running, which paths they have taken and how long it took. These results are then posted on Facebook for everyone to see. Here’s the problem with this, especially for women: This is public and can be viewed by everyone unless you have explicitly set up your Facebook account to hide it from people not on your friends list.

There are apps and other ways to gather information about people around you, several of these have been banned from every app store out there, but that doesn’t keep those who knows how to make them to use these for themselves. This means every time you run through that forest, someone else might be in the vicinity with a phone or computer that gets that information right away thanks to the Facebook sharing. This person now knows where you run, for how long and when you are running there.

There has been quite a few cases where predators, abusive significant others and other bad people have been able to reach their target thanks to this information, but you don’t have to have something as detailed as an exact map and time to do this. Continue reading

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Mobile Fun: WinAmp for Android

Many of you might already be familiar with WinAmp, for those who are not, here’s a little background:

In the late 90′s there was this whole new concept of having a digital form of music that was a good reproduction of its analogue counterpart. Before that, digital music was all blips and blops, the kind you hear in the old console games. There was a technology developed that transferred the audio into bits, 1′s and 0′s, but it took a lot of space. One song could take up several megabytes. Today you might laugh at that, but this was a time where the latest, most impressive hard drive had about 50 megabytes of storage, and a lot of that was taken up by the operating system. You really didn’t want the rest of the storage to be taken up by a single song, right?

So, several people around the world came up with a way to “compress” these bits, take away some of the audio to make it take less space without distorting the sound too much. This technique mostly aimed to take away the inaudible sounds, but more often than not in its youth, you could clearly hear a difference between compressed and uncompressed sound.

One of these techniques was the Ogg Vorbis compression, that is still used today in many games due to it’s liberal licensing. Another is the MPEG 3, shortened to MP3, that requires a license for programmers that wants to use it, but is more widely used in all areas of entertainment.

However, at that time, the standard media players of most operating systems were very limited and many consumers had several types of compressed songs, sometimes mixed with uncompressed songs when the harddrives became bigger, so there was a need to have a universal player, so you didn’t have to switch player just because you wanted to listen to another song. At this time, you could have as many as 25 songs on your computer after all (huge number, I know *wink wink*).

Enter: WinAmp! This light-weight program took up less space than Windows Audio Player (today called Windows Media Player) but could still play all the common formats of audio, and even some video. The second version kept the light weight but introduced a concept that is still with us today: appearance customization. You could make your own shell for WinAmp, make it look like YOU wanted it to look, without needing to know much more than how to edit images on your computer. There was a HUGE community around “theme creation”, where people made a wide variety of themes that you could download. Continue reading

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Mobile Fun: 4 Pics 1 Word

For the past couple of weeks, my friends on Facebook have annoyed me by posting pictures and asking for help. At first I thought it4Pic1word was some new internet meme, but I finally got around to asking what in the world they were doing, and they told it was a game called 4 Pics 1 Word. It is a scribble like game which presents players with four pictures and asks them to find the common word they all share.

Of course I got onto Google Play as fast as I could to try this game, and began playing on my tablet, when I looked up again it was pitch back outside. I lost almost 7 hours on 4 Pics 1 Word. It is unbelievably addictive. I don’t even remember some of the puzzles, but I do remember trying to get onto Facebook and asking for help from my friends, thus continuing the annoying circle. Continue reading

Generic Android

Mobile Fun – Morph looks at novelty apps

You’ve all seen the ads that promises a lot, but you just know it won’t deliver. You know you’ll spend about 3 minutes with the app and then the novelty wears off, so why bother with them?

Well, some of them are actually quite fun, and free, so what’s the harm? Have a quick laugh, then uninstall it if you don’t think you’ll get that laugh again. Today we are taking a look at novelty apps for the Android.

Scanners!

These are the type of apps that you use to fool your friends that your phones camera can perform some things that are just physically impossible, such as the Naked Scanner, that supposedly scans through your clothes or the Android XRay, that scans your bones with the help of the camera.

Novelty factor: To be able to fool your friends into thinking your phone can do something it cannot do and at the same time “reveal” something about that friend.

What it does: It is basically a zoomed in image of an xray, a naked woman or something similar. When you tilt the phone, the picture pans around in the opposite direction, if you move the phone at the same time, it looks like you are “scanning” the person or object. Continue reading

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Mobile Fun: Temple Run 2

If you’re a long time reader, you might remember 3 Games on Top Apps I Can’t Play. One of the games mentioned was Temple Run, an addictive, immersive 3D experience, where you have to guide an Indiana Jones-like character through the jungle to get away from the angry apes from whom you stole the treasure.

You’d think a seasoned adventurer would learn from their mistakes, but that’s apparently not the case, as you’ll do it again, steal a treasure and get angry apes at your back, but this time the apes have a few more tricks up their sleeves.

Temple Run 2 is played the same as the first game, but with the addition of new traps, falls, ropes and all kinds of different environmental dangers, it seems like a completely new game. The most apparent change, however, has been made in the Upgrade system. The powerups are still dropped in the world as you run about, but each character (unlocked with the things you collect) has one of the powers as “their” power. You can activate it whenever you have filled your meter, which is filled up whenever you collect coins. The more coins you get in a row without missing one fills the meter quicker and when you have it at full, you’ll be able to doubletap the screen to activate that characters special power. Guy, your starting adventurer, have the Shield ability, making you invulnerable for a short period of time. This time can be upgraded with the coins you collect, as well as all the other characters abilities and there are loads of new upgrades that is for all the characters.

Another addition is the Gems. Like powerups, they can be found in the world while you’re running about, and like coins, they can be used for certain upgrades, but also to revive if you take a wrong step somewhere. Gems are used to upgrade your special abilities.

Getting new characters is made with coins and there are 4 characters available: Guy Dangerous (starting character), Scarlett Fox (5000c), Barry Bones (15 000c) and Karma Lee (25 000c), each with their separate abilities.

A pitfall that is easy to fall in (no pun intended) is that you’ll cover the screen with your hand, trying to do all the quick swipes you need to do. I’ve noticed it’s easier if you keep your finger in the upper right corner (for right-handed, upper left for left-handed) to keep it away from the view. The game is very responsive, so you only need a gentle movement of the finger to make your character react.

According to a press release from Imangi Studios (the producers of the Temple Run series), the game surpassed Angry Birds as the fastest growing free game, with 50 million downloads in less than 2 weeks, compared to Angry Birds 50 million download in just over a month. This is impressive work for the husband-wife team behind Imangi Studios and the series have spawned several spin-offs, such as the 2012 title Temple Run: Brave, a cooperation between Imangi Studios and Disney Pixar Studios, for the release of their movie Brave, and several cardgames, boardgames and even a clothes line.

The game has at the moment of writing reached over 170 million downloads worldwide and broken its own record twice over.

Get Temple Run 2 on Google Play or App Store

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Mobile Fun: Uplifted – The game that delivers what it promises

Channel 4 Education recently released Uplifted, a game designed to be easy to play, but still gives you a challenge, and help you feel uplifted, give you inspiration when you feel down and build a good, strong emotional base for the younger kids.

In a faraway land, the Happs lived the perfect life, until one day the Viroids came and made a mess of things. Now you have to help the Happs home and collect as many happiness-crystals as you can on your way. Don’t worry if a Viroid gets you, they will just put you back where you were before. Don’t worry if you don’t catch all crystals, it will just save the Happs time later so they don’t have to make new ones if you collect them. Just try to get everyone home safely.

After each level you will be asked 3 questions about what makes you happy, these will be stored in the Positome, a repository of happiness, joy and uplifting. You can visit the Positome at any time to feel happy when you’re down, remember all those times you’ve been happy before. If you share the device with others, you can keep your answers secret by adding a password to your Positome, this place is YOUR place, you are safe there. If you don’t feel happy enough with your answers, you can edit them afterwards in the Positome.

Age: Any, thou the smallest ones might need some help reading and writing

Difficulty: Easy to medium

Recommended tools: Stylus for phones, since it might be hard drawing the lines with your finger

Size: 41MB, can be stored on SD card

Caveats: On slower devices it might lag some, making the game a bit harder. This doesn’t make it unplayable, just increases the difficulty a bit.

Uplifted is available on all the major mobile platforms and can be played on both tablets and phones, get it for free on Google Play or iTunes.

Gravity Guy

Mobile Fun: Gravity Guy by Miniclips Games

GG

Gravity Guy Platform

Last week I did a ‘review’ on the miniclips android game, Anger of Stick 2. However, I didn’t really like the way that turned out so I’m going to try again with another miniclips game, this time with Gravity Guy, a platform based tap game for the Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. You play as Gravity guy, a prisoner who escapes from his captors, you pick up where the story stops, as you try to escape from the guard, using gravity.

The controls are fairly good, and quite straightforward, the character continues to run and never stops, running into obstacles, tapping allows gravity guy walk on the ceiling to escape falling into gaps or running into walls. To complete the game you must have pretty good reflexes and a phone or tablet that response quickly to your tapping. There are check points throughout the game which act as level ups so there isn’t any level up screen or level ending screen to interrupt game play. This game has a single player and multi player option, you can choose to play the story or just have an endless run which is basically a survival mode.

The game gives you bonuses to help if you are stuck, such as if you keep dying, the game will actually ask you if you would like to use a Slow Down Bonus. The Slow Down Bonus slows the game down allowing you to get through obstacles. It’s on a timer and eventually runs out returning you to your normal speed. You are given 2-3 SD bonuses after which you will have to buy them for $0.99. Another bonus you will receive is Shield, this will protect you from the guard who begins to shoot at you through out parts of the game. You are given only two to begin with after that you must buy others for the same price as the Slow Down Bonus. .

Overall Gravity guy is a pretty entertaining game, one that, if you have a good touch screen phone or tablet you can enjoy, but if you don’t you will find it to be a little annoying as you float into the sky or fall through a gap for the umpteenth time. Gravity Guy can be found on Google Play, the App Store and on the Miniclips website.

sTICK oF dEATH2

Mobile Fun – Anger of Stick 2

Miniclips.com, one of the last surviving gaming website of the late 1990s – early 2000s era, before Youtube, before Xbox Live there was, Miniclips.com NewsGrounds.com, Shockwaves.com Bonus.com and Rudeplay.com. Of course the last two don’t exist any more, although I do miss playing Divine Intervention and Barbwire Jump Rope from Rude Play and Super Cupid from Bonus but we still have Newsgrounds and Miniclips. We’ll probably get to Newgrounds in a Technology segment sometime in the up coming weeks but today, its Miniclips.

The amount of time wasted with Miniclips games, like Little Ninja, Sushi Go Round, Bush and Royal Rampage, Sniper, and Black Knight. Miniclips started in 2001 and is known for providing a large collection of games via their website So it was a matter of time before they started providing apps for cell phones.

hIIIII-YAH!Anger of Stick 2 is a side scrolling beat ‘em up that is just unbelievably awesome, a true miniclips game. Do you remember those small hand-held games you use to play as kids (if you were born between 1989 and 1999.) You think ones you got if your parents couldn’t buy you a Game boy Colour or Game boy Advance? I do and Anger of Stick 2 reminds me of that, I could honestly play this game for hours.

You control a white stick man, and you must beat up a whole assortment of green, yellow, purple and blue coloured stick men though out the game. You use combos via your touch screen and collect coins ( by possibly looting the dead bodies of those you have annihilated and I do mean annihilate once you get a sword you are freaking unstoppable). The coins allow you to buy a variety of guns, other weapon and food to help your health.

This game is great for when you are suck on the bus, the train or just had a hard day and want to beat the crap out of a lord of stick figures.

Anger of Stick 2 is available on Android for Free.