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Archive for the ‘ipod touch’ tag

iPhone Review: Mirror’s Edge

Posted on 19th Sep 2010 at 08:33 by Joe Martin with 1 comments

Joe Martin
I played and previewed Mirror’s Edge on the iPhone ages ago, but for some reason it was an iPad exclusive for ages after that. It’s only just been released on the iPhone recently and, interestingly, while the iPhone version is exactly the same as the iPad one, it also manages to be a better game. I’ve played Mirror’s Edge on both platforms and it’s the smaller of the two which is best.

It’s mainly because of the type of game that Mirror’s Edge is. Like Super Quick Hook it’s a fast-paced racer with exploration elements as you search for secrets and new paths through the levels. The levels are short and slick, flying by in a matter of minutes. It’s a game for filling train journeys, not for keeping your hands busy while you watch TV.

It’s an important and often glossed-over distinction, I think. The iPad is great good for laying on your lap and playing slow games that don’t require constant attention. The iPhone is useful for when you need something to fill the uncomfortable silence in a moving lift full of strangers. The iPad is for Scrabble; the iPhone for Hook Champ and Mirror’s Edge.

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iPhone Review: Siege of the Necromancer

Posted on 16th Aug 2010 at 13:13 by Joe Martin with 3 comments

Joe Martin
As an adaptation of the old Gamebook model, Siege of the Necromancer gets a lot of things right. It lays itself quickly and clearly, providing bookmarks and cheat modes for those who want to just sprint through with no risk of death, but also boasts an achievement board and unlockable art gallery to encourage replays. The RPG rules are simple and to the point, the automated dice rolls quick and no-nonsense. It looks good too, with configurable fonts and nice little sound effects to enhance the mood.

Despite being a new series from an unknown developer, Siege is heavy on the nostalgia too. The basic starting point of a man returning home to his family to find the town overrun by goblins is immediately evocative of a hundred Fighting Fantasy and Choose Your Own Adventure books – a feeling that only increases as you journey through the later chapters. Picking a route through Myr Castle was especially reminiscent of classics like The Legend of Zagor, for example.

Unfortunately, while Siege of the Necromancer definitely gets these broader issues right, it's all too often spoiled by poor writing that speaks of authors desperate to put their fingerprints on what should have been unapologetically based in the tropes of the Fantasy genre. Small tweaks to spelling and jargon, such as changing Goblins to Goblyns, Ogres to Ogryns and Gold to Pestados, feel like differences for differences sake.

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iPhone Review: Civilisation Revolution

Posted on 5th Aug 2010 at 10:33 by Joe Martin with 21 comments

Joe Martin
Ugh, it’s late – I’d better turn my iPhone off and go to bed. I’ll stop playing at the end of this turn, so I can start more easily tomorrow morning.

Well, I’m only two turns away from researching gunpowder actually, so I’ll finish that and then I’ll go to sleep…

Excellent, I get two Riflemen units as a bonus for researching Gunpowder first! I’ll just test them out, super-quickly. Gandhi is going to regret conquering Buffalo now!

What? An army of Archers could never defeat a platoon of Riflemen! I’ll rush some more soldiers through production, bring in that Cruiser for support and rectify this mistake next turn.

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iPhone Review: Doodle God

Posted on 2nd Aug 2010 at 12:06 by Joe Martin with 14 comments

Joe Martin
Doodle God shouldn’t really be a game. Viewed objectively it’s almost impossible to see why it would be any fun at all, in fact. And yet, it’s probably the most addictive thing I’ve played in the last months and I find myself getting it out at every available chance.

Doodle God casts you as the clueless creator of a brand new world and tasks you with filling said globe with items, which is accomplished by weaving together the basic elements. You start with the absolute minimum – Fire, Water, Earth and Air – and from there you move forward, creating Dragons, Zombies, Beetles and Vodka by adding things together.

It’s fast, easy going to begin with and the first few combinations are fairly logical – Fire plus Earth creates Lava, for example. As you go on though the combinations get more ludicrous and it becomes more difficult to think of new items and keep track of what you’ve tried already. Within a few moments you move from thinking “What is the point of this?” to spending every waking minute pondering what you can make next.

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Zune HD versus iPod Touch: Round 2, Video

Posted on 23rd Nov 2009 at 10:28 by Richard Swinburne with 14 comments

Richard Swinburne
In the previous round of this face off between the Microsoft Zune HD and Apple iPod Touch, I concentrated on the music end of things. This time round I'll go into the video playback.

Firstly, the iPod Touch: media playback is pretty good with the nice sized screen suitable for both 4:3 and 16:9 content, although there's very little media support (basically just MP4) and you can't get subtitles unless you buy through the Apple store - something I flat out refuse to do because of DRM.

Comparatively, the Zune HD screen feels notably smaller, to the point where anything that isn't using the whole (very) widescreen format is almost squint-worthy. In that regard the iPod offers a better viewing experience unless you only watch widescreen videos.

Media support for the Zune is also very limited, but it accepts WMV as well as MP4, though most converters prefer the H.264 for MP4. Again, this means the ever popular MKV format is neglected on both parts - however the Zune will happily accept a full fat 720p MP4 and downscale it into its own native format - that's pretty neat! Although, a waste of storage if you're going to convert it from DVD/MKV/AVI anyway.

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Zune HD versus iPod Touch: Round 1, Music

Posted on 19th Nov 2009 at 10:57 by Richard Swinburne with 26 comments

Richard Swinburne
Before my job moved to central London I never really spent enough time going anywhere that justified a mobile media device, but having to spend an hour door to door to get to work and home everyday presented itself with an opportunity to kill time.

So, about 6 months ago I bought myself a 16GB iPod touch. I'm sure you're all familiar with it since it's basically an iPhone but thinner. I've always been tempted by the great press Microsoft's ZuneHD was getting though. It seemed to offer more than the iPod, and greater functionality potential thanks to its Nvidia Tegra CPU that can output 720p h.264 video via HDMI without a hickup.

On a trip to California recently (thanks again, Kingston) I managed to pick a ZuneHD up and can now do do a side by side comparison with the iPod touch.

Which is a better media device? Well, let's break down the parts:

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Mionix Nash 20 Review

Mionix Nash 20 Review

We take a look at the £85 Nash 20, an analogue stereo headset with huge...
Mod of the Month June 2014 in association with Corsair

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