Monthly Archives: May 2016

Remains of the Day: You Can Now Complain to Airbnb About Your Neighbors

Remains of the Day: You Can Now Complain to Airbnb About Your Neighbors

Airbnb can be great for both travelers and hosts with extra space to spare, but what if your neighbors are constantly renting out their place to rowdy partiers? Now you can tattle directly to the company when your neighbors and their renters do not maintain your Mister Rogers-level standards.

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Arduino Create Is an All-In-One Platform to Create and Browse Arduino Projects

Arduino Create Is an All-In-One Platform to Create and Browse Arduino Projects

You?ve long had a variety of ways to create and discover new Arduino projects, and now you have an official means with Arduino Create.

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Arcade/Tower Defense Hybrid ‘Warcher Defenders’ is Now Available

Arcade/Tower Defense Hybrid ‘Warcher Defenders’ is Now Available

Earlier this month we showed you the trailer for a clever upcoming arcade/tower defending game from developer Ogre Pixel called Warcher Defenders [$ 0.99], and as of late last night the game is now available in the App Store. It’s tough calling Warcher Defenders a “tower defense” game, as even though you’re literally defending enemies from attacking your tower it’s not the typical tower defense formula at all. More accurately it’s a castle defense game as it’s played from a sideview with enemies approaching from the right. There are platforms attached to your tower which allow you to attack from various heights.

The initial playable character, the Archer, has you aiming the arc of your shots in order to hit the enemies who approach from a variety of heights. It’s tricky and a lot of fun, and in addition to the Archer there’s a Wizard and a Knight which you can unlock as well which (I’m assuming) have their own unique main attacks. Then there’s a bunch of additional weapons, outfits, and power-ups you can unlock and use. Oh, and along with a main level-based campaign there’s also an endless mode as well as a boss rush mode. Yeah, this game has a ton of features.

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I’ve only been able to spend a short amount of time with Warcher Defenders so far, but I’ve been blown away by just how much I’m enjoying it. I was excited for its arrival of course but it definitely exceeded my expectations already. As one of our forum members put it, “It almost has a Slayin [$ 0.99] vibe to it” which I think is totally spot-on. If you are among the many people who love Slayin, I think you’ll instantly fall in love with Warcher Defenders. Be sure to follow along with the discussion in our forums to see what others are saying about Warcher Defenders, too.

‘Sonic Runners’ is Going Offline Shortly After Its First Birthday

‘Sonic Runners’ is Going Offline Shortly After Its First Birthday

Sonic might have started his life on gaming platforms mightily strong, but the last few years haven’t been the rosiest for the little blue hedgehog, and today’s news won’t be changing that fact. Sonic Runners [Free], the free-to-play endless runner that came out last June, will be closing down July 27th, and not even PETA can save Sonic. The game, which got a glorious 2 stars from our very own Shaun Musgrave, hasn’t managed to persuade enough players to throw money Sonic’s way, therefore it will meet its maker in July. The Red Star Ring (the premium currency) sales seized a few days ago, so the end is near indeed. SEGA’s announcement doesn’t really give much information regarding the reasons behind the closure, but it’s pretty safe to say that the revenue just isn’t high enough to make it worth keeping the game alive.

Sonic Runners

Keep in mind that Sonic Runners was the first mobile entry of the franchise developed by the original creators of the title character. Shaun’s review pointed to how pushy the monetization plan was once the game came out and expressed a hope that the developers would go back and rebalance. Apparently, nothing worked and the game is going to go to gaming heaven in a couple of months time. A shame really because Sonic and endless runner mechanics should have been a match made in gaming heaven.

The Best Metro Areas in the U.S. for Recent College Grads

The Best Metro Areas in the U.S. for Recent College Grads

Where you live
can have a big impact on your finances. This is especially true for recent college grads, who are presumably looking for work and paying for new living expenses. Trulia teamed up with LinkedIn to rank the best metro areas in the U.S. for recent college graduates.

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‘Majuscula’ is a Typeface-Themed Platformer Where Each Level is a Letter of the Alphabet

‘Majuscula’ is a Typeface-Themed Platformer Where Each Level is a Letter of the Alphabet

Games based around fonts and typography are nothing new, and on mobile we’ve had some clever ones like the (sadly no longer available) vertical shooter Vetica which featured ships and enemies made up of the popular font, or Font Monsters [$ 1.99 / Free] which had you using a keyboard to shoot and destroy monsters made up of various letters and symbols. Developer Vince Hegedus is ready to bring us another typeface-based game with Majuscula, which is Romanian for “capital.” This is a bouncy platformer that reminds me a bit of Bean’s Quest [$ 2.99], but here the levels themselves take place inside of giant letters.

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As you might have guessed, being that there’s 26 letters in the alphabet, there are 26 levels to complete in Majuscula. Once you beat a level you’ll actually unlock some facts about that particular font, which is pretty cool if you’re interested in learning more about typefaces and where they came from. Learn as you play, I always say! Majuscula is coming to iOS June 9th so if you’re into typefaces, challenging platformers, or both, check it out when it hits next week.

Contraption Puzzler ‘One Hundred Ways’ Rolling from Steam to Mobile Soon

Contraption Puzzler ‘One Hundred Ways’ Rolling from Steam to Mobile Soon

Perchang isn’t the only puzzler with a minimalist visual style and contraption manipulation coming to mobile soon, as Sunlight Games has announced that their slick-looking puzzler One Hundred Ways is also set to arrive on both iOS and Android. In One Hundred Ways, your job is to guide a ball to its goal by setting up and using more than 30 different types of tools and contraptions in order to traverse more than 100 tricky levels. Check out the trailer.

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While Perchang and One Hundred Ways are certainly similar in aesthetics and concept, One Hundred Ways has you actually figuring out how to best set up your contraptions in order to get through a level, whereas Perchang already has its levels set up and it’s more of a timing game as you enable and disable the contraptions at the proper times. Both sound like very interesting games, and in a mobile space that’s overflowing with great puzzle games it’s nice to still be getting excited for new ones.

One Hundred Ways has actually been available on Steam since October of last year, and Sunlight says we can expect the iOS and Android versions “soon.”

The Medical Screenings All Women Need, and When

The Medical Screenings All Women Need, and When

No matter how fast medicine moves us towards treatments, preventive medicine will always be the most effective and cheapest way to keep healthy. In this post, we?ll run down some common women?s health screening tests, when you should get them, and what you?re in for when you walk in.

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‘Hatoful Boyfriend’ Review – Love, Pudding, And More Drama Than You Can Shake A Feather At

‘Hatoful Boyfriend’ Review – Love, Pudding, And More Drama Than You Can Shake A Feather At

Hatoful Boyfriend [$ 4.99] is one of those games that grabs attention just with a description of its premise. It’s a Japanese dating simulator where you play a human girl who attends a school for birds. Naturally, every last one of your potential suitors is some type of bird or another. Doves, pigeons, finches, and more can be wooed over the course of your character’s sophomore year at the school. Unlike many games with a goofy premise, however, Hatoful Boyfriend manages to deliver a really enjoyable game. It knows when to play things straight, when to wink at the audience, when to bow to the absurd, and when to let things go off in surprising directions. In general, it’s a parody of the visual novel genre, but its plot is so meticulously crafted, it stands perfectly well on its own even if you have no experience with the genre.

You play as a girl who has been chosen as the sole human representative at St. PigeoNation, a high school that is otherwise entirely populated by various species of pigeons. It’s your second year at the school, so your character already knows most of the other students, and is quite comfortable at the prestigious academy. You’ll go through a full school year, playing various events depending on the choices you make. Those events give you the opportunity to build a relationship with one of several birds. If you fail to make a strong connection with anyone by the end of the school year, you’ll get a bad ending, so as usual for this type of game, it’s best to choose the suitor you’re most interested in and really focus on them.

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Each day presents you with a small handful of choices to make. Do you want to go to math class to increase your wisdom? Or would you rather hang out in the music room and working on building up your charm? Which after-school club will you join? Who will you eat with? The strength of your relationships will determine exactly which events you’ll come across, but your stats are also important for certain events. As you play, you’ll get to know each bird and their schedules, giving you valuable hints for your next playthrough. Each path takes around a half hour or so to complete, with the exception of the last one, which takes at least a few hours to get through. The routes share a lot of text, but the presence of a fast-forward button makes it easy to skip through parts you’ve already read.

Given its status as a parody, Hatoful Boyfriend does its best to touch on as many of the tropes of the genre as it can. As a result, the various routes offer quite a bit of variety between them. You really should play through all of them if you genuinely want to see what Hatoful Boyfriend is all about. As you run through stories, you’ll probably notice a lot of little details that point to the game’s extensive lore.

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Yes, the pigeon dating simulation has lore. The more surprising thing is that the lore is worth learning about. You’ll have to see the game through to its true ending to really find out much about it, however. Until then, there are just a few things that you might not even pay attention to due to the game’s generally ridiculous tone. The dialogue has been translated well, so you’ll find plenty of genuinely funny situations scattered about as you try to find love. That quality is carried through to more than just the comedy, as the entire game is more well-written than it has any right to be.

As with any decent visual novel, it’s hard for me to extol the virtues of Hatoful Boyfriend without spoiling the fun, but suffice it to say, there are quite a few scenarios to play through, most of them are pretty interesting on their own, and the payoff for beating them all is assuredly worth it. As a port, it’s excellent. Visual novels are well-suited to iOS devices, and Devolver Digital hasn’t dropped any balls along the way here. The only things I’d love to have seen would be a button to rewind at least a few dialogue boxes worth of text and maybe a few more save slots. The game allows you to save up to six different files, but there are a lot of places I would love to keep digital bookmarks at just to come back and enjoy the situations again later.

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I’m quite impressed with Hatoful Boyfriend because it manages to both stick the landing on its silly premise and offer something much more substantial behind the curtain. It’s a great send-up of the Japanese visual novel genre, but at the same time, it also feels like a loving tribute. I think that its bizarre nature also strangely makes it more accessible to people who otherwise wouldn’t touch this genre. Many people have an inherent discomfort with the idea of virtual courting, but by making everything as silly as it does, Hatoful Boyfriend seems to be easier to rationalize.

In that respect, it might be the perfect gateway to an otherwise niche genre, one that is well-worth dipping into. This is one of my favorite iOS games of 2016 so far, and I strongly recommend giving it your attention, regardless of whether you’re an old hand at the genre or a newcomer. Just make sure you play it through to the true ending, because if you don’t, you’ll never truly get ahead in your studies at this strange school.

‘Minecraft Story Mode’ Episode 6 ‘A Portal to Mystery’ Launches Next Week with YouTuber Cameos

‘Minecraft Story Mode’ Episode 6 ‘A Portal to Mystery’ Launches Next Week with YouTuber Cameos

If you thought Minecraft: Story Mode [$ 4.99] was complete, you’re completely wrong. Telltale is launching a new standalone episode, ‘A Portal to Mystery’ on June 7th for all platforms. Jesse and the gang travel through a new portal, finding themselves in a world overrun by zombies, with a spooky mansion to explore. And that mansion is full of the spookiest creatures of them all: YouTubers! Stampy Cat, Stacy Plays, DanTDM, LDShadowLady, and CaptainSparklez will all show up in the new episode. Two more standalone adventures are also planned in the near future.

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If you’ve bought the season pass for Minecraft Story Mode, then be aware that this doesn’t include this episode or the other two standalone episodes. A $ 14.99 pass for the 3 new episodes is available, though. It makes sense that more episodes are in the works: Minecraft does print money, after all, and I imagine Telltale likes money. As does Mojang parent company Microsoft, I imagine. So don’t be surprised if there’s more episodes after this.