Throw Em Balls Will Have You Entertained for Hours

Sometimes the games that are the most fun, and most addicting are also the seemingly simplest. When I first looked at Throw ‘Em Balls I didn’t think that it would hold my attention much more than a few minutes tops. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Throw ‘Em Balls is one of the most addictive games I think I’ve ever played on the iPhone. It keeps you saying “1 more time, I know that I can beat that level with one more try”. It reminds me of the old claw games where you try to win the stuffed animal but invariably you never do. You always come “so close”… Close enough to make you want to give it just one more try. That’s what Throw ‘Em Balls does to you. It hooks you in and before you know it you’ve spent an hour throwing a virtual basketball, tennis ball, etc. at a virtual target. It’s so addicting and I can’t get enough of it!

How it Works

The basic premise is deceptively easy. You pull the ball (whatever type it may be) back like you would a slingshot (think Angry Birds) and “shoot” the ball towards the goal. Some levels have baskets for the basketball themes, some have tennis balls, some have cups and ping pong balls for beer pong but there is always a target and always a ball. That’s it. Sounds like it would get boring quickly right? I would have said the same thing 4 hours ago when I started playing it…

Some of the key features of this App are the simple yet elegant graphics. It doesn’t fill the screen with flashing lights or anything to distract your eye, rather it does a really good job of placing what would actually be at the depicted scene. While we’re talking about the graphics, I should note that it supports retina display so the balls will be shown and thrown in high res. So Easy you say right? Wrong! The developer used a really good algorithm to simulate how you would expect the balls to travel in real life. I was pleasantly surprised to find that trajectory changes equally effected bounce angles etc. In Short, it’s like real life.

To unlock higher levels you have to get a certain score just like with any game. As you progress through the levels you will find that the game gets harder and harder (as it should) and the misses closer and closer. The game is on a timer however every time you score you extend the clock by a few seconds so it’s all up to you how much time you have! Hitting a target, or making a ball in whatever the target may be, adds points to your running total. Missed balls are scattered throughout the floor/surface to remind you of all of the failed attempts and close calls but it keeps it fun!

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a fun, deceptively challenging game that will have you entertained for hours, Throw ‘Em Balls is for you! Just remember to keep track of the time or you’ll look up and a few hours will have gone by!

You can get Throw ‘Em Balls for your iPhone for $.99 from the iTunes store here: iTunes

 

Just Landed™

Just Landed Lets You Know When It’s Time To Head To the Airport

I have a few different flight tracking Apps on my iPhone. Just Landed is aimed at solving a different problem. Rather than just tell you when the flight is scheduled to land, Just Landed is designed to tell you when it’s time to head to the airport to pick up your incoming passenger. It does this by not only tracking the flight but also by looking at your current location and how far you are from the airport. It also looks at flight delays and adjusts accordingly. You can look at the app at any time to see how much time you have left before you should leave and if you’re not looking at the App you’ll get a push notification when it’s time to go. Best of all it also factors in traffic.The App also tells you the gate info and baggage claim number. On top of all this good info it has a really nice design and UI. If you are going to be picking up friends, family and colleagues from the airport this holiday season (or any other time) this is a must have app!

iTunes

Apple Store

Apple Store App Adds Support for Gift Cards and Passbook

One of the things I have always been puzzled by was why Apple never sold “electronic” versions of Apple Store Gift Cards. Sure you can walk into an Apple Store and buy an Apple Store Gift Card and hand it someone, but there was no way to do this via their website and have the card “emailed” to the recipient. Yet this is possible with iTunes Gift Cards and pretty much has been since day one. When Apple showed of iOS 6 and specifically Passbook, one of the examples was an Apple Store Gift Card. This makes sense and I wondered would this also mean that they would finally allow these cards to be gifted electronically? The answer is yes and no. If you download the Free Apple Store App for your IOS device you can now finally buy Apple Store Gift Cards ($25-$2,000) that can be delivered either by regular mail or by email (Just in time for the Holiday Season). Yes! Finally! If you receive an Apple Store Gift Card via email you can even add it to your Passbook! Great. During this process you will prompted to enter a zip code so that your card can automatically pop up on the lock screen when you’re near an Apple Store in that zip code area. Neat!

Good start, but…

This is great start and long overdue, but there are some things that are missing. As far as I can tell there is no way to add an existing physical gift card to your Passbook. Also and still to my shock and dismay this App is still not a Universal App with native iPad support! Huh? Almost all the other Apple branded Apps are Universal Apps for all iOS devices, yet the Apple Store App still remains an iPhone/iPod touch formated App. My buddy argues with me that there is no need for it to be on iPad since the Apple Store works fine in Safari on iPad. While that’s true the same could have been said for the Apple Store website on iPhone, yet Apple saw fit to make an App instead of simply making the Apple Store a mobile website. I just don’t get it. I’d also like to see multiple “saved” payment options supported. Sometimes I want to use my personal credit card and sometimes I want to use my business credit card. I’d like to enter this info once in the App and be able to choose between multiple payment methods at check out (even If I have to enter a pin to do so). Simply tying it to my Apple ID stored credit card is not enough. Speaking of business. If you have any kind of business or organizational discount with Apple there is no way that I know of to take advantage of that discount in the Apple Store App. Apple, this is YOUR App. There is no reason that it shouldn’t support all the features of YOUR online store. Nonetheless, this App keeps getting better with each update.
iTunes

Angry Birds Star Wars HD

Angry Birds Star Wars is Here

If you’re an Angry Birds fan and a Star Wars fan then you probably already have been playing this game :-) Angry Birds Star Wars is here. What does that mean? It means we get the highly addictive Angry Birds game with a Star Wars theme on top of it. That’s pretty much it. Yes, the developers got the chance to add some additional characters, but in a nutshell this is Angry Birds and that’s not a bad thing. You’ll get some new challenges as you always do with a new version of this game, but you get to re-live your Star Wars fantasies while you’re playing a fun game too. Here’s a first look video from yesterday when I launched the game for the 1st time:

 

The Bottom Line

There really isn’t anything not to like about this version of Angry Birds, but if you were looking for a radically different game with you swinging a light saber, then you may be a little disappointed. :-) With that said you will be able to Use the Force (Push) and have your Angry Birds swing their light sabers, taking out pigs and deflecting blaster fire as you progress through the levels. Also if you liked Angry Birds in Space you’ll be happy to know that there are some levels that incorporate the space/gravity themes in them too. It’s fun! I’m a geek! Enough said.

The Force is strong with this one…

Angy Birds Star Wars HD for iPad iTunes

Angry Birds Star Wars for iPhone iTunes

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