‘Jurassic Park Alive’ Brings Dinosaurs To The Real World

Augmented reality games are taking mobile app stores by storm this year as franchises like Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, Maguss, and now Jurassic Park.

Players will assume the role of a Dinosaur Protection Group (DPG) member tasked with saving dinosaurs from a second extinction.

Unlike other AR games that require the user to travel in the real world, ‘Alive’ will let players send out a drone to collect DNA samples.

The game will take on a realistic approach to collecting dinosaurs with players using location-based technology to track and observe dinosaurs habits in their natural habitats.

Users Collect rare and powerful breeds of dinosaur by flying a virtual drone in-game, and collecting DNA samples to maintain a full roster of dinosaurs in hand.

Battles will take place between dinosaur ‘strike teams’.

Collectible items will come in the form of supply drops which will contains in-game currency or things like battery life for the drone.

The game is set to release this spring according to a trailer released by Ludia, the developer of the game.

Interested dinosaur wranglers can pre-register here.

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New Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer Confirms Monsters, Inc. World

In a new trailer, developer Square Enix finally confirmed another Pixar world that will be in the upcoming release of Kingdom Hearts 3, Monsters, Inc.

Complete with monster forms for each of the main characters, Sora, Donald, and Goofy can be seen meeting Sully and Mike and their little human friend, Boo.

Also in the trailer are reveals and hints towards a renewed Organization 13 and a glimpse of Vanitas approaching Sora in a cutscene from the game.

The game is supposedly still on track for a 2018 release with rumors panning the game towards a Holiday 2018 release, in time for the 13th anniversary of the titular series.

Review: A Hollow Doorway

In a world that’s constantly on the move and changing, its a wonder when a gem like A Hollow Doorway interrupts the natural flow of things.

A Hollow Doorway is a colorfully meditative game by Kenny Sun. The object is to rotate your door to match the constantly shifting and shrinking hollow doorways. This all happens while the colors shift and parade across the screen and the music transcends the user into a meditative but focused state.

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The game comes with 9 levels, all increasingly difficult but fun to play. The game also features taptic feedback for iPhone 7 and newer, which this writer thought was a nice touch during gameplay sessions.

There are 34 achievements through Apple iCloud and leaderboards for top scores.

On the music side, musical artist JACK+JIM created 10 songs for the soundtrack which fit perfectly with the door shaping madness that is A Hollow Doorway.

Gameplay becomes addictive when you discover there are countless numbers of customizations, from colors and themes for the doorways and doors, to faces that can be added to the rotatable door.

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Of course, since the app is free, there are loot boxes in the game. The creator apologized in the description of the game for the addition of this, but none of the loot boxes are necessary and the game can be played and completed without the additional themes and faces.

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The customizations can also be obtained naturally through playing the game, though it may take longer than just spending the few extra bucks to eliminate them entirely.

Overall, I believe this game deserves a 9 for what it is. The music is great, gameplay is addictive and interesting, and though its not a new concept (looking at you Super Hexagon) it is a great pace-changer in the game that is the App Store.

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Tile: No Longer Just For Floors

Lost or misplaced items are a hassle.

They have been known to make people late, stressed out, and they can, in severe cases, be life-altering. But now you can keep track of those important items with a platform called Tiles.

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The app is designed to be paired with small “Tiles” using Bluetooth technology, which can be tracked directly from your Smartphone. Simply attach a tile to whatever you think might become lost and forget about it, literally.

The Tile app, when triggered, will send a signal to the specified tile which will then emit a beeping sound. It can be a revelation to those who can’t keep an eye on their keys, purse, anything you occasionally misplace.

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Since the app and corresponding Tiles use standard Bluetooth, you’ll have to be within 100-200 feet to trigger the beep.

So, for those thinking of putting it on the collar of any pesky dogs, think again. However, since the app uses a proximity indicator telling you when you get closer, maybe that’s not such a bad idea after all.

If, by chance, someone finds themselves out of range and unable to track their tagged possessions, they may still be in luck. By using “crowd GPS”, a function that utilizes virtually all phones which have downloaded the app, a user can report the lost item and any nearby user’s app will send an anonymous update to the item’s owner. Scavenger hunts may never be the same.

The Tiles associated with the app can be purchased as single units for $35 or $60 for a pack of two. Batteries within the Tiles cannot be replaced but, according to past users, they typically last for a year.

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Existing users can take advantage of the ReTile program, where one can send out their depleted Tile and receive a new one for $25.

If those car keys won’t stay put, that purse likes to go missing, or you just want to make a preemptive strike to keep prized possessions where you know where to find them, this might be the ultimate app for your smartphone.

Tap Here: A look into the appeal of Idle Games

You open your phone and click the ever enticing app with a cookie on it. The screen opens and a giant cookie is presented to click upon, and essentially, that’s all you do.

Tap, tap, tap, and keep tapping away at the virtual cookie until you gain enough to get more upgrades that allow you to tap faster and easier, or even just tap for you.

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Considering there is near to zero actual gameplay to idle games, what makes these incremental ‘games’ so appealing to people?

Of course, even I like these idle tapping games, between classes I often find myself tapping away, purchasing upgrades and leaving it go while I’m class, only to check in with the game later to see how much virtual currency I’ve made.

There’s a psychological appeal to it.

Gaining more and more money, more and more stuff, it makes you feel powerful, just for tapping the screen repeatedly.

Granted, these games can get extremely boring, very quickly.

Not every game is made to the same standard of quality as something like Cookie Clicker and can end very fast if there is nothing left to buy, or provides no motivation to players to continue.

There needs to be a tangible reason to continue tapping, just as there needs to be a tangible source of money dangling from a string for workers to continue working.

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Idle games’ popularity can most likely be attributed to their ‘fast food’ appeal. They are quick to adopt, quick to start, and quick to reward the player.

Right from the get go, tapping results in money, prizes, upgrades, and more.

Idle games have certainly grown, from tapping cookies to games that now present story as the player moves through the game, leveling up or collecting enough to move to another area.

There is no telling if the trend of popularity will continue or fizzle out, but for now, idle games are here, and they are steadily popular.

 

 

Leave the Wallet at Home with the Fuze Card

An innovative addition to the market of electronic debit cards, Fuze mixes up the formula by allowing users the ability to store up to 30 debit and credit cards and delete their data at the touch of a button.

Starting at just $129, consumers can nearly replace their wallet with one card.

The Fuze Card is not only safe, it is innovative in the way it allows up to 30 cards to be stored and switched on the fly with the small e-ink screen in the bottom right corner.

At just 0.03 inches, it’s no bigger than a regular debit card but packs a punch with a rechargeable battery lasting up to 30 days , an NFC chip, and more.

Fuze values safety, allowing users the ability to clear all information on the car using their smartphone if ever lost or stolen.

It also allows users to track its location using the cards smartphone app, and notifies the user if its left behind or stolen.

Beyond the ease of the card, purchasers is the Fuze Card will have access to the app which allows users finance management, card management and other important features.

Despite its innovation and advanced features, the card is still accessible at banks, and nearly any ATM and register.

The Fuze Card comes with a portable battery that allows a quick charge for another 30 days of use.

New Pokémon GO Feature Makes the Game More Realistic

In what was an unexpected update, Niantic, the developer behind Pokémon Go, revealed the newest game update will bring more realistic augmented reality to the game, thanks to Apple’s ARkit development software.

That’s right, android users are getting left behind for now as Niantic works to develop a feature exclusive to Apple devices.

This new feature will begin to implement ARkit, apples new flagship development kit for developers to utilize AR more fluently.

For example, according to Niantic, Pokémon GO will use the new technology to make Pokémon occupy a fixed point in space, allowing players to walk up close to The Pokémon and observe it from all angles instead of The Pokémon just floating around in the air.

Beyond cosmetics, players will now be able to essentially sneak up on Pokémon and gain a greater amount of experience and chance to catch The Pokémon depending on their awareness level.

Awareness level is a new feature inside battles. It is represented by a bar at the bottom that raises if the player gets too close to The Pokémon during the battle, or makes too many quick moves.

Niantic said players will have to be careful trying to sneak up on Pokémon like Charizard but will find it easier to sneak up on Pokémon like Snorlax.

After testing the new update, I can personally say it is somewhat buggy. Pokémon appeared on top of objects as an overlay and didn’t quite look like they were sitting on the ground like I imagined.

“This is our first step toward making AR capabilities in Pokémon GO even more awesome, opening up the framework for greater AR experiences in the future.”

Overall, the new feature adds a layer of depth to the game, even if it is just cosmetic in nature.

Replacing a laptop with an iPad, is it possible?

To begin, I’ve always had nasty luck with laptops. I’ve had everything from HP to Acer, and everyone of them was either slow or sluggish with even menial tasks or would crash, such as my most recent laptop.

I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy an iPad with hope it could completely replace my laptop while I finish off my degree at school. I currently now have been using the iPad 2017 edition, the other option beyond the iPad iPad Pro which I just couldn’t justify for its price.

It has now been two weeks since I replaced my laptop with the iPad and I have had a wonderful time. I do not miss my laptop in the slightest but there are still flaws I have encountered while living with my iPad. There are some things that you just need a laptop for, but only slightly. Luckily my school has a fairly nice computer lab where I can complete those assignments that are incompatible with the iPad.

I am a journalism major. For what I am tasked to do on a daily basis, the iPad works for me 90% of the time. Simple screenshots, downloading stock images, writing articles, it all works flawlessly on the iPad and I can write from anywhere and continue on the computer if I need to.

One flaw I have found is photo editing. Of course, I can take pictures from my phone and transfer them over to use in Lightroom, but when it comes to photos from my DSLR, there is really no way for me to transfer my photos unless I get to a computer and have Lightroom sync to my iPad.

Another flaw, some websites required for classes or otherwise just don’t work correctly on the mobile format. I have found workarounds, but sometimes the inconvenience is enough to make me look for the nearest computer to complete what I’m doing.

The only other inconvenience I have found while working with the iPad is the screen size. I often have to look closely at the screen or zoom in when reading things online or writing depending on the text size, but that may just me needing glasses.

In short, it is quite possible and even feasible to replace your laptop with an iPad, especially the iPad Pro if you can afford it.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Review

Outside the village players are used to playing in in Animal Crossing, mobile gamer’s are now going to get a taste of the camping life with the recent release of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

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Pocket Camp has been out for two weeks now and having played for this long, this gamer can say that it is a true Animal Crossing title worthy of the series.

Despite its blatantly obvious in-app purchase model, the game can be enjoyed and experienced by everyone, regardless of premium currencies. As far as I can tell, all items in the game except for speed boosts are available with in-game currency.

Luckily, even the premium currency (leaf tickets) are easily obtained by completing quests.

The current holiday event gives out over 100 leaf tickets alone.

Gameplay

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp plays identically to previous titles in the series, with a few changes.

Players familiar with the world will feel at home while running around the new world shaking trees for fruit, fishing, or catching bugs, but old and new players will also love the new camp aspect.

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Whereas AC: New Leaf introduced the ability to customize the town with things like swings and lampposts, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is what probably inspired Pocket Camp the most.

The main idea is the game is to build an appealing campsite for visiting villagers to stay in while they’re on vacation at the various islands surrounding the camp.

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Players have the ability to craft furniture and amenities, new large-scale building projects that level-up villagers of that type (ex. Cute, Cool, Sporty, Natural). Furniture can be placed in the campsite, some of which is required to invite specific villagers to stay in the camp.

Players are also given an RV to customize and decorate. The inside can be decorated the same was as the camp, whereas the RV can be customized with paints and designs on the outside.

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Upgrades to the amount of space or adding rooms to the RV works the same way as previous iterations, with loans being taken out for the work. Players will then have to pay off the loans with the in-game currency, bells.

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One of the main features of the game is the requests system. When talking to villagers, whether they are visiting or permanently living in the campsite, they will present requests, which essentially are fetch quests for items around the various areas in the game.

Unfortunately, new players will likely run out of storage fairly fast as there are more items on the map then pocket space to put them in. Requests become a little mundane after a while when you realize you’re missing one Tiger Butterfly and there are none on the map.

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Luckily, the game still has familiar features such as the clothing shop and a very small version of Nook’s Cranny among other new features.

The game is sadly plagued with timers, some taking upwards of 48 hours to complete, but with several other activities to do, it never feels like you run out of things to do.

Graphics

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a good looking game, or at least as good looking as an Animal Crossing game can look on mobile devices. The graphics are on-par or even better than Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pocket Camp’s predecessor.

All the assets are nearly identical to past renditions of the titular series, the fish look fishy, the tree’s look tree-y, the villagers retain their cuteness, and for some, weirdness.

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The game perfectly retains the cute art style that Animal Crossing is known for, and some items are probably straight out of previous iterations of the series.

Sound

Music in Animal Crossing is chill and relaxing, like a mini-zen garden but with sound.

Pocket Camp manages to maintain that relaxing musical quality with songs changing across the various areas of the game, as well as the time of day. (yes, there are day and night cycles).

Summary

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was thought to be just a town-builder with Animal Crossing slapped on the label but it turned out to be much more.

Pocket Camp is a full-fledged Animal Crossing title, worth of bearing the name of the series, and not just as a mobile game.

With frequent updates being promised by Nintendo and DeNA, players will likely enjoy the game for years to come with more features likely to appear over time.

Overall, the game gets a perfect score from Consumer Friendly. Though it has flaws it is a genuinely enjoyable Animal Crossing title with a lot of fun packed into a small package.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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