Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Disco Zoo

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Disco Zoo, by Milkbag and Nimblebit, is a crazy addicting pixelized game brought to you by the publisher of Tiny Tower. When I first downloaded this game, I was skeptical. "Oh, another pixel game by those Tiny Tower dudes," I thought. 

I was wrong, but only to an extent.



When you first start playing the game, you immediately get hooked. Between the dancing animals and the "rescue puzzle", you just can't bring yourself to put your phone down. You have to keep playing or you won't get the maximum amount of coins. You can't put it down or your animals will fall asleep. From here, your social life spirals down endlessly.

Until you rank up more.

When you rank up, you notice that it's increasingly difficult to rescue animals and earn coins. To rank up again, you need to rescue hundreds of animals, then on top of that, pay a huge chunk of coins to rank up. It turns into a passive game in which you unlock your phone every hour just to wake animals up. It begins to get boring. "Better check up on my zoo, I guess," you think. It becomes a chore, similar to Farmville on Facebook. 

How do you make it less boring? You buy Discobux, the second in-game currency, which is rarely given to you while playing. Instead, you have to buy in-app-purchases. This game is great at microtransactions, but that isn't something to be proud of. 

Some may be wondering, "Where's the disco part?" Want to start a disco, where your animals earn twice as many coins and don't sleep? Just pay one Discobuck and you can disco for a whole minute. Or, you can buy some more Discobux and pay your way to the top. 

Sorry, Discozoo, you've been fun to play for the past few days, but I'm calling it quits.

Mailbox

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Everyone has an email account. Sometimes keeping up with your emails is a daunting task. Mailbox, by Orchestra, solves this problem. 

This gesture-based Gmail app is your one-stop-shop for decluttering your inbox. The premise of the app is to reach "Inbox Zero", when all of your various emails are deleted or archived, to see whatever beautiful Instagram photo the app shows that day. The sleek design of Mailbox is great for aesthetics, but even greater for productivity, eliminating any distracting buttons or options. 


Another nice feature in Mailbox is the ability to save emails for later. At the barber? No biggie, just swipe and tap "Afternoon". Watching an intense TV show with your family? Simply instruct the app to remind you later today. 

Compared to the standard Gmail app and Mail.app, Mailbox is a clear winner. Needless to say, I use it every day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Threes!

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Threes! is an insanely fun puzzle game by Sirvo LLC, and is currently sitting at #8 for paid games on the App Store. This game is without a doubt the most addicting piece of mobile software I have ever played, and not in a bad way. 

I first bought this app a few weeks ago due to all of the hype surrounding it. I was confused at first, but I very quickly became entranced. Many people may be discouraged by all of the numbers, but there is absolutely no math involved (for you, that is). If you replaced each numbered tile with it's own unique color instead, the game would be played the exact same way, but would be slightly confusing. 

The overall goal of the game is to swipe the same tiles together, which is how you earn points. 1's and 2's go together to make 3's, but these tiles don't give any points so be sure to get rid of them as soon as possible! Another tip: Points increase exponentially, so if you have two 192 tiles, add them to get 384 for maximum points. 

Although I don't think this game is going to be the next Angry Birds or Flappy Bird, it's certainly here to stay. 

Maybe the game should use different birds as tiles instead of numbers.