App Store Review: Galaga Remix

1 06 2009

Addictive recreation of an old-time favorite.


Galaga Remix was created by Namco, and it is a brilliant remake of the original arcade game. Galaga Remix includes an updated version as well as the original 1981 Galaga. The old version of the game does allow you to reclaim a captured ship so you can have double the firepower with dual ships like in the old arcade game, however this app really shines with the updated version. The new Galaga’s graphics are much easier on the eyes, and includes new boss battles, multiple upgrades for your ship, and plenty of levels.

The rest of the review is after the break. Read more…

App Store Review: Flight Control

13 04 2009

I know this is a bit late for a review but better late then never!


Flight Control, created by Firemint, is an addictive little game where you draw the flight paths of different aircraft to their landing strips, basically you are an air traffic controller. There are 4 different types of aircraft, a blue helicopter, a yellow Cessna type plane, and two different kinds of red jets, one being faster than the other.


The graphics are simple but clean. There isn’t any in-game music while you are directing things, and you can’t listen to music and the game sounds at the same time. The game sounds are helpful, they warn you when aircraft get close to each other, and ding whenever you land one, but if you are playing a long time it is better to listen to music. Otherwise, the game keeps track of your statistics (most likely aircraft to crash, most planes landed, last game’s planes landed) so you can see how you’ve improved.

This game could use some improvements, like a fast-forward, especially at the beginning. Every time you restart, you have to wait a long time for airplanes to show up, which makes the start of each run very slow. Otherwise, the graphics are a bit simple, a plane or helicopter landing just shows them fade away as opposed to actually landing. When there is a mid-air collision, they just blink to show they have hit each other. It would be more interesting (and a better finale to each game) if they exploded. Lastly, a few more gameplay elements would be good, like if they had clouds float over the airport to make it harder to see what is going on. However, all of these minor faults don’t hurt the game enough to avoid buying it.

Flight Control is addictive and entertaining, and it only costs $0.99, which is a great price for this game! You can pick it up from the App Store here.

App Store Review: WordsWorth from 99 Games

1 04 2009

99 Games was nice enough to give us a review copy of their popular game, WordsWorth. Let’s take a look.


WordsWorth is a fun unique game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Basically, its a combination of a solo player game of Boggle, and a ever changing word search.  Hexagonal tiles are spaced out along the board, and its your job to earn enough points to advance to the next level. It keeps getting harder, level after level, up to level 30. The game as two modes, Timed and Classic. I really preferred the classic mode, as a way to just relax and keep me busy when I had nothing else to do, since I always have my iPod Touch on me.

See more about WordsWorth, after the jump.

Read more…

App Store Review: Time Crisis Strike

30 03 2009

This week I got to play through Time Crisis Strike for the iPhone. This game has a great nostalgia effect on those of us who’ve played the arcade version.


Time Crisis Strike is a rail-shooter, fire-and-duck game just like his arcade brothers. Your goal is to stop the evil Wild Dog from his new (unknown) plot to cause mayhem. It’s a single campaign with 3 stages totaling 23 screens, and you face off against about a half dozen different types of enemies. Controls are simple, touch where you want to shoot, tilt the iPhone forward to duck and reload, then tilt it back to stand up and continue to shoot.


This game is a lot of fun, especially because it’s Time Crisis. Its graphics are good, and the music and sounds are all great. There were no noticeable bugs or gameplay issues, the game was very well polished. They also have five unlockable “Crisis Missions”, which each challenges you to accomplish a specific task, like only shoot the yellow soldiers. Overall the Time Crisis feel of the game is great, although it does lack the light-gun and foot-pedal, it is a great port to the iPhone.


The only drawbacks to this game are that even though you have a tilt-meter for ducking, sometimes it feels like a button would be much more useful. Otherwise, the game can feel short if you only play through the arcade mode once, but honing your skill at this game can be very entertaining, plus the unlockable challenge missions, or you can challenge friend to see who can get the highest score.

Fans of Time Crisis absolutely have to get this game. Otherwise, if you just want a good rail-shooter, Time Crisis Strike is the way to go. You can pick it up from the App Store for $5.99

iPhone Game Developer Interview: Nitako (Rasta Monkey)

23 03 2009

A founder of Nitako (makers of Rasta Monkey) Noam Abta was kind enough to answer a few questions for us to go along with our recent Rasta Monkey game review.


The iLife: First off tell us a little about yourself, where are you from and how did you get involved with designing games?

Noam Abta: Nitako was founded by me (Noam Abta) and Yuval Markovich and we are located in Rishon Le Zion, Israel.
We are both animation film makers and In the 2 years prior to starting Nitako, we were the founding team of, an animation portal which is also an international animation studio. In Aniboom we were heavily involved in the product and technology, so when we decided to leave there, game design seemed like the most natural choice considering the combination of our skills and the love we had towards gaming.
It seems that with todays tools and technologies, and the increasing awareness to the fact that Indie gaming could also be profitable, more and more people like us who come from either art or technology are drawn into this line of work.

The iLife: Where did the idea for rastafarian monkeys come from?

Noam: Good question. Basically the game started out as a pretty abstract gameplay. We were fiddling with all sorts of movements you can create using physics elements (like springs for example), connecting those elements together and watching how they behave and move when gravity comes into action. In a while, different characters began to emmerge and we chose to use something that reminded us of a monkey. Since we love reggae music so much (our office band, together with our musician friend, Nimrod sarda, recorded all the music for Rasta Monkey here in our offices), we decided we want a Rastafarian theme to the game, and the idea of Rasta Monkey was first conceived.

The entire interview is after the break.

Read more…

App Store Review: Rasta Monkey

23 03 2009


Rasta Monkey is a 2D platformer where you play as a (gasp) monkey swinging in the trees trying to collect fruit to make smoothies. It uses a nice little physics engine to accomplish jumps, swings, and some puzzles. You’ll have to contend with monsters and some tricky jumps to finish each level.

The game only comes with 10 levels, two of which are tutorial levels. The levels aren’t very long, though they do have a lot of variety. Each level you are given a set amount of each type of fruit to collect. The game definitely doesn’t make it hard to collect these fruit, and a lot of the time you’ll find you’ve collected more than you needed. It never penalizes you for falling out of the trees, which is a huge relief in some of the harder areas. All it will do it set you back to your last checkpoint, which are never too far off.


The controls work surprising well. You hold the the corner of the screen where you wish to go, and hold with two fingers to swing on the branch. If you let go of both fingers at the same time you’ll jump, or you can abort the jump by letting go of one finger at a time.

The art is cartoony and colorful, which fits the game very well. The music, even though there seems to only be two songs, are catchy and, at worst, can just be turned off.

The only downsides to the game are its intermittent slow-downs and some frustrating monsters you face later on in the game. On my first generation iPod Touch when the camera zoomed out I’d occasionally run into a frame-rate drop. It wasn’t terrible, it was still playable, though it does makes the game feel buggy. Lastly, certain monsters are just plain annoying to get past. Some are big and move fast, and constantly knock you off the branches. It gets tricky, you either have to move fast and nail the jumps to avoid them, or get lucky and have the monster boot you in the right direction.

For the (currently introductory) $1.99 price tag it is definitely worth the couple days of fun you’ll get from this game. It isn’t a huge amount of content, but the actual game has a lot of variety and was put together very well.

App Store Review: Enigmo

17 02 2009


Enigmo is a game with a simple concept – get the water/fire/oil into their respective containers. You get to use a variety of tools, like ramps, cannons, sponges, and springs to move the droplets around the level. The goal of the game is to fill up containers to their maximum of 40 drops, simultaneously,  to move on to the next level. What’s interesting is that you also have to deal with obstacles, like force-fields that you have to turn off by shooting some of your drops through a ring to shut the force field down.

There is a lot of content in this game. The game comes with 50 levels, and you can download user-generated content so you never run out of challenges. But you won’t fly too quickly through all of the original 50 levels, some are very difficult and require a lot time to figure out.


The biggest downfall of the game is that the difficulty curve isn’t gradual. At times you’ll be ready to delete the game  in frustration because it’s so hard, and you don’t want to deal with it anymore, but then the next level is a cakewalk.

For the $1.99 price tag, you could do a whole lot worse than Enigmo. The game gives you a lot of content for a small price, and when you feel like your brain needs some exercise it’s a great little game to play.

iPhone OS 2.0, iTunes 7.7 Bugs, Slowness and Headaches!

31 07 2008

Although the 2.0 firmware brings many new features, it also brings many bugs and headaches. Here is some tips to help ease the pain.

While the enhancements found in the new iPhone OS are wonderful, native third party applications have brought along a whole new set of issues to the platform. While it has still been under a month since the public introduction of the App Store, there are a number of major issues across the platform. Hopefully Apple will formally address and fix them however, at the moment it is up to the users.

On the Device:

Applications Crashing:
Immediately after opening a third party application, the newly launched application will quit. This bug has affected a number of applications, and often can be corrected by a hard reset of the device or re-installing the application.

Extremely slow Performance:
Even when in one of Apple’s own applications such as Safari or Contacts, the keyboard will be extremely laggy and sometimes even unexpectedly quit. Another common issue is loading Settings only to find a blank screen. Try holding down the home button for 7 seconds to force quit the application and if the issue persists, reset the device.

Random Restarts:
Sometimes when using an application (usually third party) the device will just randomly restart. There seems to be no definitive cause or solution to this issue.

Application Updates:
The App Store shows new updates to your applications. It downloads the new version and installs it (however long it might take) and treats it like a new application! It erases the old version, but adds the icon all the way at the last position. The only way around this is to update via iTunes.

In iTunes:

Application Updates:
Sometimes, the App Store Icon on your device will show there are updates to applications. When you go into iTunes, it doesn’t show any updates. Even if you manually click “Check for Updates” it says there isn’t any updates available. The only way to fix this is to go and re-download each application you want to update to; or update the application on your device and have it synced back to iTunes.

Long Backups:
Backups are recommended so you can restore your device back to how it was at any given point in time. Sometimes, after installing or updating applications backups may take a very long time. The best bet is to wait it out or press the X to cancel the backup.

These are a few remedies to a bunch of large issues. If you have any more tips or tricks you think we missed, please contact us or leave a comment below!

WordPress Native iPhone/iPod Touch Application Released and available in the App Store!

22 07 2008

This evening, the official WordPress blogging iPhone application is available in the App Store!

More information coming soon, but the official WordPress application has just gone live in the App Store. We will be testing it throughout the night and have more to report on it tomorrow. This is an exciting day for theiLife and for WordPress users around the world! Click here to be directed to iTunes and download the application.

From the offical WordPress blog:

“Introducing the first Open Source app that lets you write posts, upload photos, and edit your WordPress blog directly from your iPhone or iPod Touch. With support for both and self-hosted WordPress (2.5.1 or higher), users of all experience levels can get going in just seconds.”

Read more at the WordPress iPhone site.

Screenshots of it running on theiLife:
Read more…

3 Ways to find App Store Applications for your iPhone and iPod Touch running firmware 2.0

18 07 2008

Most people are amazed with some of the applications that have been coming from the App Store.

AppStore, apart of the iPhone OS 2.0

AppStore, apart of the iPhone OS 2.0

Apple claimed a catalogue of over 500 applications on the App Store’s July 11th launch. Just a week later, this has grown to over 700 applications- with many developers anxiously waiting for their applications (or updates) to get updated.

For those who have updated to the new firmware 2.0, you probably have found a number of applications you are really enjoying. However, the more you explore, the more pleased you might get. There are really hundreds of awesome applications on the App Store- some of which you may not know about. Here are a couple of ways to keep on top of the App Store- from the latest additions, hottest applications and updates to current applications.

Chris Pirillo recently created a Slinkset based application, that is a social news site for iPhone applications like Digg. You can find the most popular applications, voted on by users, and comments about each application. This is a great forum to be introduced into new applications, and read comments that are actually relevant (unlike a typical iTunes review).

MacRumors editor Arnold Kim has created a website, dubbed Touch Arcade, which provides extensive coverage of iPhone games. This is a high quality site for those looking just for iPhone gaming coverage.

PinchMedia offers RSS feeds from the App Store in four categories: Top Paid, Top Free, Updated and New Apps. You can subscribe to these feeds in your favorite RSS browser to watch as new updates and applications roll in; and stay on top of the most popular applications.

There are many apps to be discovered, and loads added each day. It is up to you to stay on top of them!