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.

Mario Kart Mobile Game Announced

In a short announcement on twitter, Nintendo of America revealed the next game in their line of mobile games planned for the next few years, Mario Kart Tour.

No details have been revealed other than the games release date, which Nintendo has touted for the fiscal year ending in March 2019.

With Nintendo slowly learning the ropes for the right amount of content in a mobile game, this could be great, or a disaster.

All hope is on Mario Kart Tour being a preview of what is to come to Nintendo Switch.

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Solar Powered Speaker Makes Tunes Green

By Josh Cardiff

Music can have powerful and positive effects on the human condition, but what’s the point of music if we don’t have a sustainable planet on which to listen upon? Introducing the California Roll, and we’re not talking about sushi.

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It is the first solar-powered speaker that combines 3D sound quality with voice-activated technology, a device that might change the way people listen to music forever, not to mention anything else they want to hear.

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From audiobooks and podcasts, to lectures, anything that can be played through a normal speaker can be played through the California Roll, with no need for traditional power sources.

The California Roll is produced by Lemon, an innovative young company based out of California, founded by Vincent Dupontreue, who admitted that his hatred for tangled wires and lack of sockets when traveling is where the idea was born. His product is far from the only device to implement this technology, even if it was the first. However, it’s other functions, versatility, and sleek design make for a product that may change the future one song at a time.

On top of it’s already coveted design features, the California Roll boasts multiple functions, some that may be worth the pricetag alone. It can be used as a power bank, meaning it can successfully charge any supporting devices, such as Smartphones and Vape-pens, via the sun. Now that’s hot!

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The new technology supports Bluetooth, multi-connection, and an advanced pairing system. It is also shockproof, temperatureproof and completely waterproof. This thing, in theory, could bounce along the steep inclines of the Grand Canyon, fall into the Colorado River below, and bake in the sun for hours, all without harming it.

Fans of music and green technology alike, along with anyone trying to purchase a product that is built to last, may just find everything they need in the California Roll.

“Our team cares about the quality of the music but also about the environment. In this day and age, opting for green technology should be the norm,” Lemon’s mission statement says. “By choosing solar panels, our mission is to bring forward great sound without damaging the environment.”

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Green technology is possibly the only solution to an ever-growing problem, as masses continue to increase the carbon footprint on Earth, a dilemma many companies are trying to solve. Green technology and people’s love for tunes can, now more than ever, go hand in hand with products such as solar-powered speakers.

 

The Fidget Diaries: Day 2, Full-Time Job

Time to Work

Not much has happened today in-game. I leveled up to 21, one inch forward to finally getting the fortress at level 25 and up some ranks in the leaderboards. In order to fuel my alcoholic questing, I took on a 10-hour guard position to gain 40 gold coins. I managed to defeat some people in the arena Capture

 

The Fidget Diaries: Day 1, The Shakes and Fidgets

In this new series, I’ll be taking you through my day to day in the german MMO Shakes and Fidget, a cartoonish traipese into the wonderful world of weird.

Level Up

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As the subtitle says, I finally leveled up (something rare in this game) to level 20 before attempting floor 5 of the first dungeon, the Desecrated Catacombs, but more on that later. With my level-up I added some more stats to constitution and intelligence so that I can take more of a wallop and dish out more damage, something that will come in handy as I tackle floor 5.

New Equipment

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I took on Floor 4 which rewarded me the Arcane Storm Gloves of the Magician, which I equipped, although it cuts strength a bit, it increased my luck, and dexterity by nearly double. Floor 4 proved a challenge, so you floor 5 should definitely prove the inevitable challenge.

 

The Inevitable Floor 5

I failed to defeat the enemy on floor 5, so I will be trying again tomorrow.

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Facebook Adds New 360 Degree Photo Feature

In the past week, Facebook added the option to take 360 degree photos directly from the Facebook camera.

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This option allows users to either take a full 360 degree photo, or a 180 degree “VR Style” photo. These photos can then be viewed using the screen or gyroscope of the device.

This writer has definitely been having fun using the feature, though be warned it seems to have some bugs yet, artifacts sometimes form when taking pictures due to swift movements.

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Complete stillness is recommended and as always, stay safe.

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.

 

 

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.

New Smart Umbrella Prepares Users For Rain

Ever wish your umbrella could send you reminders to take it with you if it’s going to rain that day?

That’s the idea behind the oombrella, a internet connected smart umbrella that alerts users with notifications when its going to rain and when they’ve forgotten it at home.

Created by Paris resident Clément Guillot and his team, the oombrella raised over 81,000 dollars on Indiegogo to fund the product which utilizes a number of features to make its users lives easier, but also provides live weather sharing with the companies app, Wezzoo, a commented-based weather app for iPhone and Android.

According to the products website, the oombrella has three main features beside its main use as a rain umbrella: weather alerts, the Forget Me Not Alert, and weather sharing.

The smart umbrella has several sensors embedded in the base of its handle allowing it to communicate with Bluetooth on smartphones, alerting its user if its ever left behind, like at a restaurant or on the bus.

The sensors also track light, humidity, pressure and temperature all from the base of the umbrellas handle.

These sensors then send information to the Wezzoo app, a social and real-time weather service aimed at giving a voice to users to describe the weather they are experiencing, something Wezzoo says the oombrella will do seamlessly with the use of its Bluetooth chip and weather sensors.

“The oombrella collected real time data such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and light,” a Wezzoo spokesman said. “Data is processed and shared with all of the oombrella community, allowing everyone to receive hyper-local alerts.”

In other words, a social umbrella.

“We wanted to make this umbrella unforgettable in terms of design,” Alexandre of Escabo Design Studio said. “We developed an exclusive material that makes you feel like you are holding the aurora borealis in your hands, it has effects that are amazing in the light and always changing.”

The umbrella itself comes in three colors, its rainbow-like shiny color, white, and black and features two distinct styles, classic, which features a curved handle, or the fold-able which features a straight handle.

The product is still in development but its Indiegogo campaign was successful. When the product releases, both versions of the smart umbrella will cost $79.