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    cjvitek's Avatar
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    Default Review Blitz for the iPad (5 reviews!)

    Every now and then, I find myself with a backlog of apps to review. I simply don’t have the time to write up a full review of each of them, so I will post a “review blitz”. In the review blitz, I will give some general information about the app, a rating, and a brief description/review of the app. It will not be as comprehensive as a full length review, but hopefully it will tell you a little more about the apps in question.

    Small World for Ipad, by Days of Wonder, Inc
    $6.99, *****


    • A great, fantasy world domination board game
    • Fun for multiple players

    • Finding someone to play with!

    Small World is a board game for the iPad based on a boxed board game of the same name. This game really shows how board games can be done on the iPad. While I didn’t play the original version, which is described as having some flaws, I found this game to be almost flawless. It is a world-conquest fantasy game, where you compete against an opponent to take over the board game. The game is two player only, and you can play against the computer, but I would much prefer to play against a live person. You choose a race, and start to try to conquer the world through strategy (very little luck is involved). There are even in app purchases to buy new races and abilities. The games are relatively short (about 20 minutes or so, faster if you aren’t paying much attention!) and are just fun to play. Strongly recommended especially if you have someone in your house to play with.

    FX Photostudio HD, by MacPhun LLC
    $2.99, ****


    • Many different adjustments and filters to use
    • Easy to manipulate images

    • It takes a while for some changes to get processed

    Photo manipulation is always fun. On the iPad or iPhone, where sharing and emailing photos is a breeze, photo editing and application of filters can be even more entertaining. Enter FX PHotostudio HD, a colossal image studio with over 175 filters and effects that can be applied to images in your photo library. These include things like sketchbook, charcoal, and even various film filters to make you images look like motion blur, sepia, or x-ray vision! The manipulation is pretty easy, and you can mix effects together for even more interesting results. And if that is not enough, they have even more effects available as in app purchases (which I didn’t try out). In addition to all that, they have standard photo editing tools (crop, brighten, flip, and others) for basic editing and manipulation of photographs. On the iPad, this app is easy and fun to use, and can produce nice pictures for facebook, twitter, or any webpage. And with the new wireless printing, you can print directly from the app as well. The only issue I had with the app was that some of the changes seemed to take a while to process (keep in mind this is relatively speaking..it might have been about 30 seconds or so).

    Galcon Fusion, by galcon.com
    $1.99, *****


    • Galcon, for the iPad!

    • None

    Galcon is a galaxy qconquest game, where you use planets you have conquered to create new space ships that take over new planets. It has been around for the iPhone for quite some time, and came out for the iPad about a year ago. On the iPad, this game is wondering. The huge screen allows for much better control of the planetary conquest. They have an online multiplayer mode (and a team mode) to be used on the wide screen landscape. The graphics are great, and all the standard modes of game play (which you get to choose when you start a new game) are available. If you get this game, let me know – multiplayer can include up to 12 players, and I would love to try a game like that!

    TanZen HD, by Little White Bear Studios
    $2.99, ****


    • Nicely designed tangram game
    • Very…serene and simple background

    • No real “multiplayer” mode

    TanZen is a nicely designed, aesthetically pleasing tangram game. It comes with over 500 puzzles to play with tangrams. The tangram pieces are easy to manipulate, although it takes some practice spinning them correctly. While there is no real multiplayer mode (no challenges for speed or anything like that) you can swap between player 1, 2, or 3. This means three people can play the same game on the iPad, but each will have their own progress saved. In addition to the “garden” like skin that is used, there are other skins that can be used for the pieces, which become available as you unlock them by playing the game. The background image keeps the “zen garden” like feel, although you can create little sands rings, waves, or swirls if you like. This is a fun tangram game, and worth the money if you like the sort of thing. There is a "lite" version of this game if you want to try it first.

    What’s the Difference? HD, by JVL Corporation
    $3.99, ***1/2


    • Well designed, intuitive app for “what’s the difference pages”
    • Mutiple play modes, like speed and challenge

    • No direct multiplayer mode

    What’s the Difference HD is a game based on the old Highlights magazine picture comparison game. At least that’s what I think of when playing. In this game, you are given two pictures to compare, and have to identify the differences between them – what is missing, misplaced, drawn differently, etc. The differences can sometimes be very subtle (such as bigger splash of water on one picture) or obvious (such as an eye missing from a dolphin). The different games modes allow for different ways to play – challenge where you have to complete as many puzzles as possible, speed – where you have to beat the clock, and practice (with no pressure). Unfortunately there isn’t a direct competition mode, where you can try to beat the time of another player. Sure, you can play against each other, but there is not way to guarantee that you get the same pictures! This is a fun, easy to play game, which can be fun for just about any age. And it is harder than you think – there are quite a few times I have to triple and quadruple check a picture to find some of the differences. There is an iPhone version of this game, but I can't imagine playing it on the small screen.

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