You’re Never Alone in This Gorgeous and Cultural Puzzle-Platformer

June 06, 2016 by macjeff

Never Alone: Ki Edition ($4.99) by E-Line Media is the mobile port of the critically acclaimed game for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. If you enjoy puzzle platformer games, then this one is definitely worth taking a look, especially if you’ve never played it before.

When people think of mobile games, I know that one of the first few games that come to mind are endless runners or match-three puzzle games. In fact, I know several people who think that mobile games still don’t live up to the offerings of what you can find on PC and consoles, and for the most part, it’s true (lots of exceptions though). However, there are times when games that are on those “superior” platforms come to mobile, and Never Alone is one of them. While I never had a chance to play Never Alone on Steam or PlayStation 4 (I don’t have an Xbox One), I saw that it arrived on iOS last week (branded as Ki Edition) and I had to check it out for myself to see what all the hype was about. I’m glad I did, because I’m not disappointed.

Visually, Never Alone: Ki Edition is stunningly beautiful, especially on Retina screens. The game features a gorgeous art style that looks like hand-drawn paintings that have just come to life on your device. And while the game looks like a 2-D platformer, there are subtle details that give it a bit of depth, so it almost feels like a 3-D game, especially when you see the backgrounds coming alive. The colors are rich and vibrant where they need to be, and soft and gloomy in other parts as well. Animations are buttery smooth when you play the game, though I did encounter some frame rate issues at some points, but I’m not sure if that is due to having a lot of other apps running in the background. The music is calm and soothing too, and everything is topped off with whimsical and somewhat realistic sound effects.

Since Never Alone: Ki Edition is a puzzle-platformer at its core, the game is split up into various chapters and levels that have you guiding Nuna and her Fox companion through a treacherous arctic blizzard. The levels are rather lengthy though, which is always a good thing, so you will want to make sure that you reach key checkpoints before stopping your play session. There are no stars or points to earn in Never Alone, so you can take as much time as you need to solve the puzzles and reach the next part of the story.

Speaking of story, that’s the best part about Never Alone: Ki Edition. This is because the game was developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, which is the Alaska Native people, telling a story that has been shared across generations of Iñupiat. The main plot involves an Iñupiat girl named Nuna who finds a Fox companion on her journey back home, only to find that her village has been destroyed by a dangerous man. You have to set out on a quest to find this man and the reason why he burned down your village, as well as finding the source of the eternal blizzard that is plaguing all life in the Arctic. As you play, you’ll also unlock videos that feature actual members of the Alaskan Native community who share their own stories and bits of wisdom regarding their culture, values, and the Arctic in general. There is fascinating insight to be revealed here, and the game itself is just a bonus, in my opinion.

The gameplay of Never Alone: Ki Edition involves controlling two characters: Nuna and Fox. In the bottom left corner is a virtual joystick to move your characters left and right, and it is not sticky, so it will follow wherever your thumb goes. You’ll have to switch between the two constantly to tackle various obstacles and challenges, and Fox is key to guiding Nuna through more difficult parts, since he can communicate with the spirits. It’s easy to change the character you want to control with the “Switch” button, and as you make progress through the game, there will be more action buttons accessible to you. The main large button will be to jump, and there is another button to crouch down and brace yourself against harsh blizzard winds. The button with the hand symbol indicates that you can have Nuna grab and move objects, or Fox can nudge a rope down for Nuna to climb upwards. Eventually, you’ll get a pair of bolas for Nuna, which is her signature weapon, and an action button for attacking appears. As new mechanics are introduced in the game, new buttons appear, or more actions can be performed with old ones.

While the controls work for the most part, since it’s been designed and optimized for touch screens, I did get a bit frustrated at times when you have to deal with smaller platforms. The virtual joystick wasn’t too precise when you just want to move a step over on a small platform, so I found myself often falling off. Another thing I noticed was the fact that it’s impossible to just continually run and jump quickly, because Nuna seems to stumble at the edge of a platform unless you let go of the joystick briefly as soon as she lands and then make her run again. This was a bit frustrating, and caused me to attempt the same challenge several times before I understood how to overcome it. Maybe it’s designed that way, but I don’t understand why it would be a problem to just keep the joystick tilted in a direction if you want to run and jump over several gaps at a time, as that feels more streamlined.

I am still in the early stages of the game so far, but I’m enjoying Never Alone: Ki Edition a lot. The game is not only full of exquisite artwork and soothing music, but I’m completely immersed in the story due to the native Iñupiat narrator and unique lore and story. The controls are decent for the first version of the mobile game, but I hope to see better optimizations for it in the future. I think it would also be great to be able to manually save during the game so you can come back right where you left off if you have to stop playing and do something else at the moment. Hopefully the developers can consider adding these improvements in a future update. But overall, Never Alone: Ki Edition is an excellent addition to anyone’s gaming collection.

I highly recommend giving Never Alone: Ki Edition a try if you’re a fan of amazing storytelling, like learning about different cultures, and just want a great puzzle-platformer game. Never Alone: Ki Edition is on the App Store as a universal download for $4.99.

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credit : appadvice

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RunNoahRun Is a Promising Retro Side-Scroller for iOS

June 06, 2016 by macjeff

Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

RunNoahRun is a retro side-scrolling game for iPhone and iPad has potential and seems like a more controlled version of Flappy Bird.

Developed by Bereket Tewelde, this fairly new game is off to a decent start but it needs a bit of work.

Concept and Gameplay:

If you’ve read other reviews of mine here on The iPhone App Review, you’ll know I’m a stickler for tutorials, whether they’re interactive or just helpful text bubbles when you first start a game.

Tutorials make it easy for new players to pick up a game and play it without getting frustrated. Unfortunately RunNoahRun doesn’t include a tutorial, but the four buttons on the screen control your characters vertical and horizontal movement.

I truly love retro 8-bit games, but RunNoahRun was a bit of a disappointment. The menu looks squished and distorted on my 6S Plus, and actual gameplay is very choppy.

Noah stutters across the landscape, which is frustrating. Character motion definitely needs to be smoothed out in order to make the gameplay experience better.

There are four stages to unlock, but it’s unclear how to do so. I couldn’t find anything in RunNoahRun that shows your score. You don’t earn points during gameplay, but you do get three lives before the game is over. Lack of score and direction on how to unlock additional stages is irritating to say the least.


Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

RunNoahRun iPhone Game

Unfortunately RunNoahRun is pretty bare on features. It doesn’t include Game Center integration so you can’t earn achievements or compete on leaderboards. I definitely think the game would benefit from powerups at the very least so players have something to actually work towards.

As I mentioned before, RunNoahRun doesn’t even keep track of your score, which is something that’s generally included in a game. Hopefully an update will include score tracking functionality so players are motivated to keep playing the game.


RunNoahRun is available to download from the App Store for free and is universally compatible with iPhone and iPad. The game is supported by ads at the bottom of the screen, but they don’t seem to appear during gameplay.

Overall, RunNoahRun certainly has potential when it comes to being a retro side-scroller. The basics are there, but vital features such as scores and smoother gameplay are missing. Once these issues are addressed, this will be a great iOS game to enjoy.

runnoahrun.jpgRunNoahRun requires iOS 6.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

credit : theiphoneappreview

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Checking out Focus, a minimalist task manager for iPhone

June 06, 2016 by macjeff

Focus for iPhone, a new task manager by Oslo, Norway-headquartered digital marketing agency Dots Design, is a beautifully conceived application with a minimalist user interface which makes creating lists built around your lifestyle a breeze.

Available at no charge on the App Store, Focus, as the name suggests, is all about focusing on the task at hand. The minimal user interface lends itself nicely to keeping the app very easy to use, with gestures-driven actions and a single screen on which everything takes place.

Simplicity is the name of the game

While not as fully-featured as other task managers, Focus will be more than adequate if all you want is a simple to use app that helps you get things done.

As I mentioned, the app leans heavily on gestures. There are no multiple screens in Focus, no settings, no menus—just the highly focused UI with the tasks at hand.

Focus comes with built-in task lists that are based around a typical user’s lifestyle, but you can easily edit them, or create your own.

Gestures, gestures, gestures

To open or close a task list, tap its title.

To create a new task within a list, tap the plus button next to the appropriate task list. I like it that Focus lets me add multiple tasks within a list quickly by tapping the Another button after entering each one.

To mark a task as completed, simply swipe over it.

You can rearrange tasks within a list by tapping and holding, then drag a task to the new location. To edit a task’s title (which can be up to 26 characters), tap it.

And that’s about it when it comes to Focus’s feature set and ease of use, but don’t let the app’s simplicity fool you—if you need a minimal task manager to quickly create and manage shopping lists and other task lists on the go, this is it.

Final thoughts

I have a few smaller quibbles with Focus.

For starters, I would have most definitely welcomed some sort of settings interface to change the typeface and color scheme. Don’t get me wrong, I like Focus’s minimal UI but also understand that an all-red interface may not suit everyone’s tastes.

This app also begs for 3D Touch Peek and Pop gestures, which I have no doubt in my mind will be added in a future update.

Other than that, Focus is a cool app for those who are looking to simplify their productivity with a highly focused task manager for their iPhone. That it’s a completely free of charge app with no In-App Purchases is a plus as well.

The 26-character limit for task names should be removed, in my opinion.

Pricing and availability

Focus requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.1. The app is English-only and lacks a native watchOS 2 component for the Apple Watch.

Grab Focus for free on the App Store.

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credit : midatlanticconsulting

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Free Apps to Download TODAY ONLY 06/06/2016

June 06, 2016 by macjeff

Siege Hero HD , Siege Hero , WikiLinks ‐ Smart Wikipedia Reader and more


Siege Hero ( $0.99 → FREE )

Instead of chucking stones from the sides of the screen, you’ll be taking out your foes via a first-person perspective. Just tap to throw stones and watch entire structures crumble. You can tap and hold to zoom in as well. The game includes 400 levels with star ratings for each, the ability to unlock additional levels by gathering loot, and achievements and leaderboards via Game Center.


WikiLinks ‐ Smart Wikipedia Reader ( $3.99 → FREE )

WikiLinks allows you to start off with an idea and branch out from there with its exclusive mind-map navigation system. Each search suggests different paths to take and allows you to retrace your steps at any time. Instead of jumping back and forth between searches and articles, tap and hold your finger on any link to get a quick preview. WikiLinks is loaded with other great features as well, including fullscreen image browsing, suggested YouTube videos, offline viewing, and iCloud support.

Pin Points - Flight, driving distance measurement calculator & road trip planner ( $0.99 → FREE )

Pin Points allows you to create trips with multiple waypoints. Each trip can include any number of points. You’re able to add points by your current location, dropping a pin on the map, or address. Points can also be deleted and reordered at any time. When you’re finished adding points, tap calculate and you’ll be presented with the distance and time it takes to travel to each point by air, foot, or car. Your’e also able to visualize your trip and access it offline.

Siege Hero HD ( $1.99 → FREE )

Instead of chucking stones from the sides of the screen, you’ll be taking out your foes via a first-person perspective. Just tap to throw stones and watch entire structures crumble. You can tap and hold to zoom in as well. The game includes 400 levels with star ratings for each, the ability to unlock additional levels by gathering loot, and achievements and leaderboards via Game Center.

Yellow House ( $1.99 → FREE )

Henry Sykes has completely lost his mind, but that doesn’t mean he’s given up trying to figure out what happened to him. You must follow along with the flashbacks that appear distorted and twisted in order to solve intricate puzzles and progress the story. Think hard and hang in there, because Henry is depending on you.

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credit : appadvice

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Apple Gives Homepage Tribute to Commemorate Muhammad Ali’s Life

June 05, 2016 by macjeff


To honour the life of the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, Apple has updated its homepage with his picture and a quote from him.

The legendary boxer passed away on Saturday at age 74. Ali was admitted into hospital earlier in the week due to respiratory issues. He was also suffering from Parkison’s disease from a long time that further worsened matters.

Ali’s photo is accompanied by one of his legendary quotes – “Tye man who has no imagination has no wings.”

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and Phil Schiller had also tweeted commemorative tweets about Ali.

The great boxer had featured in Apple’s ‘Think Different’ ad in 1997.

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credit : midatlanticconsulting

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