All posts by Mike

About Mike

I currently write for Appadvicr, Tablets blog, and sometimes contribute to Appmodo and Nodpad. I also recently started a press release writing service for developers. You can contact me via e-mail or read up more about it on my site.

AppleMagazine Launches on Apple Newsstand, Now Called TechLife News

A growing startup digital publication, AppleMagazine, has been available on Zinio since late 2011. However, just a few days ago the publication has finally hit the Apple Newsstand and is available to download form the App Store as TechLife News. Each issue will set you back $3.99/$4.99, but you can subscribe from within the app if you want additional cost savings.

What makes AppleMagazine or TechLife News stand out is it is really the only publication that focuses on Apple without specifying either iOS devices or Mac products. This means, you will be able to read technical articles explaining Mac or iOS functionality, industry news about Apple in general, and features based on particular products coming from Apple or Apple’s rivals (with comparisons). The other thing that makes it stand out is that it is a current magazine published weekly.

Most other publications only publish once per month, so the news may not be so current anymore by the time the edition hits print shelves or the digital landscape. However, there is a new issue of AppleMagazine every week with up-to-date news and behind-the-scenes info about Apple.

The digital publication started its life in Brazil, but now has a team of graphic designers and writers from all over the world. Each issue is packed with unique content and digital graphic design that is second to none. AppleMagazine/TechLife News is also a publication, like The Daily, that was designed with the iPad in mind as the future device of content consumption and journalism.

You can grab TechLife News here from the App Store for free.

Atari’s Greatest Hits for iPad Worth Downloading for One Game

I recently have discovered the amazing gameplay of Atari’s classic arcade game Tempest and you guys want to know how? Through Atari’s Greatest Hits on the iPad. Although I’ve owned this collection since it came out a few weeks ago, I’ve never gotten into any of the games due to just how clunky and archaic they are; and based on control issues with some of them.

However, once I pulled the trigger of a $.99 in-app purchase for Tempest, I never looked back. This game is so fun, addicting, and plays great in orientation mode (you can change various options in settings from the game screen). It is fun because the game looks like it could be made in any era. It really feels 3D and modern despite it’s age. This is the type of game I would like to play on the iPad 3 when it comes out with the rumored full-3D display.

the game made me realize how great the iPad really is for retro gaming. When I say retro, I am not talking about archaic and clunky like a lot of the other offerings of the app, I’m talking about simple but difficult and level-based games with high scores as the aim or level progression. Games like the recently released Enduro or retro-inspired titles like Gravonaut and League of Evil are what truly makes the platform shine.

Despite the many other retro offerings on the App Store, I would still say this one game, Tempest, is in the cream of the crop and really a timeless classic. So if you didn’t have interest in Atari’s Greatest Hits before, download it just for this game. The iPad app also runs different from the iPhone despite being universal, the iPad has both screen orientation options and the iPhone version may not. Either way, check Tempest out if you’ve never played it.


Tippy Tower Worth Checking Out for Puzzle Fans

A block puzzler called Tippy Tower has recently gotten an update and is definitely worth trying for gamers looking to use your logical side of the brain. The 1.2 update added a bunch of new levels to play with some challenging shapes to put together.

Tippy Tower is not your standard Tetris clone, you do not assemble blocks or puzzle pieces together to form lines while they fall from the sky. In Tippy Tower, the puzzle pieces are already available for you to tinker with from the get go. The premise of the game is that you have to assemble these pieces together and form a tower all the way up to the sky. It is actually kind of like the opposite of what Tetris aims to do. You build up in Tippy Tower instead of down (by keeping blocks low in Tetris).

As you do this, you have to find unique ways to put together blocks that are shaped in odd and intricate shapes. There are the standard Tetris blocks but other shapes not found in most puzzle games, as well. The game will challenge you and make you think logically. The art and graphics are also charming with puzzle pieces having little eyes looking at you.

Be sure to grab yourself a copy of Tippy Tower from the App Store for only $.99 on the iPhone.

Infinite Interactive Absorbed by Firemint

Firemint has been on a roll lately. Not only has the publisher-developer struck gold on the App Store with only a handful of titles — Flight Control and the Real Racing series come to mind — but Firemint has recently acquired a very big name known for creating the Puzzle Quest games called Infinite Interactive.

The two studios are both Australian based and will now be sharing the same offices and location.

Infinity Interactive, has been around the gaming block since 1989 and besides Puzzle Quest, it produced the Warlords series of strategy-rpg games as well. The 1989 founder and creative brain of Infinite Interactive is a man named Steve Fawkner. While Firemint was founded in 1999 by Rob Murray.

According to Firemint’s press release, both men enjoy working together and draw inspiration from each others’ studios:

Murray said “I’m incredibly pleased to welcome Steve and his team to Firemint. Steve is an outstanding game designer and our two studios evolved very similar philosophies of developing addictive, fun and polished original games. By bringing our studios’ talents together, we will be able to create even more awesome games – and more of them.”

Fawkner commented, “Firemint has had huge success designing, developing and publishing great original games. By joining forces, we now have a way to further develop some of the exciting new concepts we’ve been working on. This new position really frees me up to focus on game design and I can’t wait to get stuck into it!”

Murray and Fawkner first met in 2003 and in early 2006, Fawkner showed Murray an early version of Puzzle Quest, which he had prototyped over his Christmas holiday. Murray explained, “Steve and I have been talking about working together for a long time, and I remember him showing me an early version of Puzzle Quest. This inspired me to make a game during my own holidays two years later, which was Flight Control – and now, another two years later, we’ve finally found a way to work together!”

Hopefully, some great collaborative work and ideas will emerge from this combination of talent on the iOS platforms. I really look forward to match-3 puzzle racing but the idea of Warlords being brought back to life seems even better.

Chillingo Starting ’12 Days of Christmas’ Celebration with iBomber Defense Sale

Chillingo—now a subsidiary of EA and publishers of popular iDevice games such as Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Helsing’s Fire and Predators—is set to start Christmas early for gamers with a celebration. The celebration has already kicked off with iBomber Defense going on sale for a $.99, and today’s surprise is a Christmas update for Billabong Surf Trip, presumably adding a Secret Santa surfer for you to discover.  And as it gets closer to Christmas Day, more collaborations between Chillingo and developers should take place with more sales as a result. There will also be some announcements made and giveaways.

Chillingo has a list of updates in regards to this celebration on their 12 days of Christmas log.

We’ll keep you posted throughout their 12 Days of Christmas promotion.