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App Review: Bubble Twirrl by mAPPn, Inc.

August 6, 2009 by Dorothy  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Games, Kids

bubbletwirrl1 150x150 App Review: Bubble Twirrl by mAPPn, Inc.From the makers of Melody Match and Diamond Breaker comes Bubble Twirrl.  After hearing the name of the app, I thought it would be cute and fun.  It was fun, but I grossly underestimated the challenge that the game presented. The goal of the game is clear all the bubbles on the screen by creating groups of three or more bubbles of the same color.

To create groups of like colored bubbles, you shoot the bubble at the top of the screen at the bubbles in the center of the screen.  You can make a direct shot or bounce the balls off the top, bottom, or sides of the screen.  If the bubble bounces around all sides of the screen without hitting anything else, it will disappear.  Tap on the screen and drag you finger around to aim the shot.  Release your finger to fire the shot.  The trick comes when your shot hits the other bubbles at an angle.  These angled shots will cause the other bubbles to start spinning.  Spinning the bubbles around can help or hurt your situation.

When you create a group of bubbles of the same color, they disappear from the screen.  Any bubbles that are attached only to the group will also disappear.  You can earn more points for clearing larger groups.  You can try to set up your shots.  Next to the ball that you are shooting, the app does show you the color of the next ball.  The game is over when you either clear all of the bubbles on the screen or when any area of the bubble ball grows too large to rotate around the screen.

Bubble Twirrl is a great puzzle app.  The game is simple, yet the levels are challenging.  It is sure to keep you coming back for more.

Developer’s Website: http://www.mappn.com/

App Review: Diamond Breaker by mAPPn, Inc.

diamondbreaker1 150x150 App Review: Diamond Breaker by mAPPn, Inc.Diamond Breaker is a challenging and unique physics game by Mobile App Network.  You are mining for diamonds deep in the Earth.  The diamonds are located throughout the mine and your job is to get the diamonds onto your boat without letting them fall into the lava below.  The trick is that you cannot move your boat.  You can only try to make the diamonds fall onto the boat by adjusting the way that you cut them out of the rock.

In the upper left hand side of the screen is a small map of the cave that you are mining in.  The diamonds show up as small dots on the screen.  This map gives you a good overview of the situation and can help you visualize what needs to happen to get the diamonds in the boat.  The bottom left corner of the screen contains a directional controller that allows you to pan around using the full viewing screen.  I had to get used to the fact that you cannot pan around in this game by simply touching the screen and dragging it.  You must use the controller.  Not all the rocks in the mine can be cut.  Those that can be cut are displayed in purple on the screen.  To cut them, tap and drag your finger across the rock.  This motion will draw a line along which the rock will be cut.  The cuts must go all the way through the rock or a piece of it.  You cannot cut halfway through anything.  Also, you have a limited number of cuts that you can make in each level.  So, keep an eye on the meter at the right side of the screen and use your cuts wisely.

The first couple of levels are easy.  After that, you have to really start thinking hard to get the job done.  Many of the levels took me more than one try.  Luckily, if your diamonds do fall into the lava, the app will tell you that you failed the level but will give you the option to try it again.  You get as many tries as it takes.  You can’t move on to the next level until you complete the one before it, though.  One little quirk in the game is that the game does not save your place if you just exit and come back to it.  To save your place in the game, you must tap the “end game” button when you complete or fail a level.  If you exit the game at this point, then you can return to where you left off and replay any of the levels that you have already played.

Diamond Breaker is sure to keep you coming back again and again trying to solve the puzzles.  The only problem may be running out of puzzles too soon, as there are only 25 levels.  Hopefully, more will come soon in future updates.

Developer’s Website: http://www.mappn.com/

App Review: Melody Match by GameVision Mobile

March 2, 2009 by Dorothy  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Games, Music

melody match1 100x150 App Review: Melody Match by GameVision MobileThe game of Memory has been around for years and there is no shortage of memory match games for the iPhone and iPod TouchMelody Match is a matching game that sets itself apart from the others.  The biggest difference between Melody Match and every  other matching game I have ever played is that Melody Match takes a visual game and makes it both visual and auditory.  Instead of remembering where you saw a picture, you must remember where you heard a certain melody or sound.  It challenges your brain in a whole new way.

The game play is just what we are all used to with matching games.  You tap on a card to find out what is behind that card.  Instead of the card flipping over to reveal a picture, though, it plays a sound clip.  Your job is to find the other card that plays the same sound clip.  The first few levels are not too difficult, but the levels do get harder.  Future levels have more cards and the sound clips are more similar.  You must make sure to listen carefully to the clips because for each level you have a limited number of guesses to find all of the matches.  This limit makes the game all the more challenging.  Given an unlimited number of guesses it would be easy to match them all eventually.

There are several different categories of sound clips.  At the beginning of each level, the category is displayed, giving you an idea of what to expect.  I found that matching the sound clips was easiest when I was already familiar with the sound whether it be the sound of an animal I was familiar with (a dog bark) or a piece of classical music that I could name (Ode to Joy).

melody match2 200x300 App Review: Melody Match by GameVision Mobilemelody match3 200x300 App Review: Melody Match by GameVision Mobile

As you complete levels, you unlock those levels for future play, as well as unlocking other modes of play in the game.  You can unlock Freeplay Mode, Record Mode, Speak Out Mode, Options, Rank, and Friends.  Freeplay Mode allows you to go back and play levels that you have previously passed.  You don’t choose a particular level by number, but rather choose the size of the board and the category of sounds.  Record Mode allows you to record your own series of sound clips for a matching game.  If you are playing on an iPod Touch, you will need to use an external microphone to record your sounds.  The recording process is easy and straight-forward.  Speak Out Mode allows you to create a matching game for a friend with a secret message.  You record your message and the app breaks up the message into short sound fragments that are spread out among the cards.  Your friend must match the small sound clips and then the full message is played back.  Options lets you choose some different options for Freeplay Mode.  Rank keeps track of the high scores, and Friends allows you to email a friend about the app.

The only complaint I would voice about the game is that there is not currently a way to start your game at one of the higher levels that you have reached in the past.  Each game that you play starts with level one.  My understanding, though, is that this functionality should be coming in future updates to this app.

Melody Match is a well written game with great graphics.  It challenges and stretches your brain in a whole new way.

Melody Match is on sale for $1.99 in the iTunes App Store.  There is also a free version.

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