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App Review: Rollercoaster Rush by Digital Chocolate, Inc.

June 2, 2009 by Dorothy  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Entertainment, Games, Kids

rollercoasterrush1 150x150 App Review: Rollercoaster Rush by Digital Chocolate, Inc.Rollercoaster Rush is an entertaining new game by Digital Chocolate, Inc.  It is rare to find an app in the iTunes App Store that is not similar to so many others.  This app, I believe, is something new.  The app is simple to play and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.  There are more than 70 different tracks to navigate with your roller coaster cars.  The first few are simple and are great for getting a feel for the controls and the game as a whole.

As with many other apps, there are two different options for controlling the roller coaster; touch and acelerometer. Using the touch controls, you simply place your finger on the right hand side of the screen to move the roller coaster forward and touch the left hand side of the screen to apply the brakes.  Both methods worked well for me.  I was, however, disappointed that there was no easy way to access the options menu to switch back and forth in the middle of a game (a minor point).

The goal of the game is to safely navigate the track and make the ride as fun as possible for the riders.  If you crash your roller coaster, the riders will parachute from the cars to safety.  However, you will scare some of them away.  When you retry the level, your train will be shorter or have fewer passengers.  Conversely, if you perform well on a level, you gain more passengers and cars.  The number of passengers matters because it is from them that you earn smilies.  When the roller coaster catches air or does a loop fast, the passengers are happy and give off smiley faces.  The more smiley faces you collect the more points you earn for the level.  If you earn enough points, you can earn the full 5 stars for each level.

As the levels progress you run into difficult dips in the track and even breaks in the track.  There are small yellow road signs along the way to show you changes in the track ahead.  In my short time playing, I didn’t find the signs gave me enough warning to alter the course of the roller coaster.  I often just had to try levels multiple times until I knew what twists and turns to expect.

Overall, Rollercoaster Rush is a simple, yet entertaining game for all.

Rollercoaster Rush is $2.99 in the iTunes App Store.

Developer’s Website: http://www.digitalchocolate.com/iphone/

App Review: 3D Brick Breaker Revolution Takes Brick Breaker to the Next Level

March 23, 2009 by Dorothy  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Games, Kids

3dbrickbreakersquare2 150x150 App Review: 3D Brick Breaker Revolution Takes Brick Breaker to the Next Level Brick Breaking games have been popular for some time.  With the introduction of 3D Brick Breaker Revolution for the iPhone by Digital Chocolate, the game has taken on a whole new meaning.  The most obvious difference between this game and other brick breaking games is the introduction of the 3rd viewing dimension.  While the 3D graphics are cool, I don’t think that makes as big a difference as the other things that have been added to the game to make it what it is.

When you launch the app, you have the choice of three game modes.  The Classic mode closely resembles the brick breaking games we are familiar with.  The main difference is the bonuses that you get when you break some of the bricks.  They appear as green rectangles falling from the broken bricks.  Watch out for the red ones.  Instead of a bonus, they will give you a penalty.  With the gray rectangles, you take a chance.  Some are good, some are bad.  The bonuses include the usual unstoppable ball, larger paddle, or guns.  However, Digital Chocolate added some new ones that are pretty cool.  You can now get nukes, ball and chains, rockets, and more.  These bonuses can really help you out and are fun to watch.

The second play mode is called Revolution Mode.  This mode adds a very interesting twist to the game.  Each level that you play works essentially the same as it does in Classic Mode.  However, in each level there is a “Key” brick that shows up as a large green brick on the screen with a key over it.  Once you hit this block, you unlock the passage into the next level.  The top boundary of the level opens up.  When you break enough bricks to get the ball to the top of the screen, it can pass right through the opening and into the next level.  Sounds easy enough, but there are a couple of tricks.  First, when the top of the screen opens up, your paddle for the next level also appears in the opening.  This paddle mirrors the movements of the current one and can stop your ball from advancing.  So, don’t forget to move it out of the way.  Also, once you advance to the next level, that doesn’t mean you stay there.  If you miss the ball it will fall back through the hole and take you back to the previous level.  This back and forth flip-flop can be frustrating, but it is a fun twist.  It keeps the game play going instead of making it stop when the ball is missed and lost.  Revolution Mode actually adapts to your playing.  The better you play, the harder the game gets.

3dbrickbreakerb8 300x200 App Review: 3D Brick Breaker Revolution Takes Brick Breaker to the Next Level3dbrickbreakerb5 300x200 App Review: 3D Brick Breaker Revolution Takes Brick Breaker to the Next Level

The third mode is called Time Attack.  Time Attack mode appears much like Revolution Mode.  Now you must keep ahead of the clock though.  If time runs out, your game is over.  You start with 100 seconds on the clock.  You add time to the clock by breaking bricks or advancing to the next level, but time is subtracted when you miss the ball.  I have seen reviews where people have complained about the evil robot that you are trying to defeat being annoying.  If he bothers you, you can easily skip over conversations with him and get back to playing the game.

3D Brick Breaker Revolution is a new twist on an old favorite.  The 3D graphics, power-ups, and revolution mode of game play make this one unique.  It is fun to play and, with lots of levels and achievements to earn, can keep you busy for hours.

3D Brick Breaker Revolution is $2.99 in the iTunes App Store. (There is also a free version.)

Note: There is an Epilepsy Warning on this game.

Developer Website: www.digitalchocolate.com

App Review: TowerBloxx Deluxe 3D by Digital Chocolate, Inc. a Little Redundant

March 5, 2009 by Dorothy  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Games, Kids

towerbloxx1 100x150 App Review: TowerBloxx Deluxe 3D by Digital Chocolate, Inc. a Little RedundantI recently ran across TowerBloxx Deluxe 3D in the iTunes App Store. Having enjoyed Crazy Penguin Catapult (also by Digital Chocolate, Inc.), and having seen all of the good reviews and screenshots in the App Store, I decided that it was worth having a look. The idea behind the game reminded me very much of a Sim City type game. You are a builder and your job is to build towers for three neighboring districts. When you build your buildings well, people called Toonies come to live in your towers. The more people you have living in your district, the more types of towers and types of roofs you unlock to build. Also, you start with only the first district unlocked and the others are unlocked after you build up the first one sufficiently. There are strict rules governing what type of tower you may build where and it takes a little planning to maximize the population for the space that you have.

I started a game and started building my towers. To build a tower, you first select what type of tower you want to build and tap “Go.” The app then takes you to a screen that has the first piece of the tower suspended from a rope swinging over the ground. A simple tap on the screen makes the piece fall placing the base for the tower. Each successive piece is placed in the same way. You must time your tap just right to get the pieces to stack up straight and not fall. If you get the pieces exactly lined up, this is called a perfect drop. It increases the population of your tower and steadies the tower for a short time after the drop.   As your tower gets taller and ultimately more crooked (unless you are much better at achieving perfect drops than I am), it sways more and more. The swaying greatly increases the difficulty of lining up the pieces.  As you build your tower, you can see the Toonies falling through the air hanging from umbrellas and taking up residence in your tower.

After you have reached the prescribed height for the type of tower you are building, you can place it on one of the plats in your district according to the rules of the game. Throughout your playing there are achievements to be earned such as multiple perfect drops in a row, reaching a certain height, or building a certain number of floors in a short period of time.  The app also keeps track of the statistics of your games.  While I found the graphics to be amazing and the game to be very well thought out, it did not keep my interest for long. Essentially, your time throughout the game is spent tapping the screen to make the blocks fall at just the right moment when they line up.  In that way it reminded me a lot of their earlier game, Crazy Penguin Catapult where you tap the screen to make the penguins catapult at just the right moment.

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There are options of other play modes if you don’t want to play for a long time and build a whole city. There are the options of a Quick Game, Party Game, or Time Attack. A Quick Game is just that. You try to build a tower as high as you can by dropping pieces on top of one another. If you miss a drop 3 times, the game is over. The goal is to build your tower up to 300 high. I never got anywhere near that number. A Party Game turns TowerBloxx into a two person game. You turn your iPod/iPhone horizontal and the screen is split into two. You decide how high you want to build your towers and then have a race to see who can reach that height first. In a Time Attack game, you are racing against the clock. You must build the tallest tower you can before time runs out. The clock starts with 44 seconds on it. Every 10 floors you reach a check point that adds more time to the clock, but the time added to the clock gets smaller and smaller the higher you build. These other game play modes can be fun, especially racing against someone else in Party Mode.

Overall, TowerBloxx is a very well designed game, but it just doesn’t have the long-term interest that I think an app of that price should have. After 30 minutes of play, I was tired of dropping blocks on top of one another. Maybe the free version is the way to go.

TowerBloxx Deluxe 3D is $5.99 in the iTunes App Store.

App Review: Crazy Penguin Catapult by Digital Chocolate, Inc.

January 31, 2009 by Rob  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Games

When we read the name of this app, Crazy Penguin Catapult, we were a little skeptical.  Was this going to be a silly app that gives you a quick laugh and then you forget about it?  We decided to give it a try anyway and were pleasantly surprised.  Yes, the idea of catapulting penguins is still kinda silly, but it works.  When you launch the game, it shows you a quick video of polar bears taking some penguins prisoner.  The object of the game then is for you and your fellow penguins to save the other penguins.

img 0008 300x200 App Review: Crazy Penguin Catapult by Digital Chocolate, Inc.

You are then introduced to the map from which you enter the first level.   Each level begins with the catapulting of the penguins.  The penguins swing from a rope over the catapult in a cave.  When you think the trajectory is correct, you tap the screen releasing the catapult.  The catapult sends the penguins flying.  Don’t release the catapult at the wrong moment or the penguins will go splat on the ceiling or walls of the cave in a cartoonish sort of way.

img 0011 300x200 App Review: Crazy Penguin Catapult by Digital Chocolate, Inc.img 00141 300x200 App Review: Crazy Penguin Catapult by Digital Chocolate, Inc.

Once all of the penguins have been catapulted out of the cave, you move on to the second phase of the level.  On this screen you try to hit the polar bears with your remaining brave penguins.  The penguins fly across the top of the screen.  With one quick tap on the screen, they take a nose dive toward the polar bears below.  The number of polar bears that you hit determines whether you complete the level or not and how many stars you get for the level (1-3).  If you don’t get a perfect score, you can always go back and try again.  As you complete a level, you are returned to the map and the path to the next level opens up.  There are even bonus levels that appear as you progress through the map.

It did not take us long to complete the first map, although successfully using the catapult on a few of the levels proved a real challenge.  If you are looking for a game that will keep you occupied for awhile, this may not be the one for you.  However, if you are looking for a fun way to kill some time, enjoy.

Crazy Penguin Catapult is $4.99 in the iTunes App Store.

A smaller version of the game, Crazy Penguin Catapult Lite, is free in the iTunes App Store.

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