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Category:

iOS

By: Charles Warden

Publisher: Pikpok

Release Date: July 10, 2013

Android, iOS, Windows Phone

Overall Review:

It happens all too often these days that movie tie-in games are just re-skinned infinite runner games like Temple Run. Gladly, this is not the case with Turbo Racing League which is based on the upcoming Dreamworks movie Turbo. Beautifully designed tracks await your upgradable snail while it races through Dos Bros taco stand. Collect and spend tomatoes, readily available or purchasable in game, to increase your performance or customize your snail’s appearance. There aren’t that many different tracks, but there is plenty of variety to the game play thanks to time trials and a slalom mode. Leader boards are also available in ranked races so you can see how you stack up against everyone else.

Family Gaming Assessment:

Turbo is based on an upcoming children’s animated movie and television cartoon series so it is perfectly suitable for the whole family. Even older children and adults will enjoy the quick controls and even faster experience. Parents need to be be aware this is a “freemium” game. That means there are in-game purchases for real money and advertisements that can lead you away from the game. All advertisements seem to be for other games from PikPok or their partners. Turning off data and wifi seems to remove this for the duration of play.

Playability Assessment:

The controls to the game are quick and responsive. That’s what makes it so much fun to play. However, this means the youngest of children may find it very difficult to progress past a certain point when things start to get really fast.

This is a newer game so owners of older devices could experience some slowdown in these later stages as well.

Conclusion:

Overall this is a hugely fun game that shows off how far mobile gaming has come in the last few years, especially considering the standards set by movie tie-in games in the past. As a “freemium” game you could just download and enjoy kicking the tail end of your nitrous infused snail sideways around the track. You should, however, consider a small purchase as a way to support the developer and tell them that you want to see more quality mobile games like Turbo Racing League.

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PopCap Games announced on its blog that they are releasing the highly anticipated follow-up to Plants Vs. Zombies in Australia and New Zealand first. They explained that they are doing this “soft launch” to help perform a stress test on their servers and to help put some of the final touches on the game before release.

This is a reasonable step for them to take. The original Plants vs Zombies has grown in popularity significantly over the years. It has slowly evolved into one of the most popular mobile titles available. The demand for a sequel is massive. They would just be asking for trouble if they didn’t add to that the fact that the sequel will be free to play. The last thing they want is to miscalculate things and fail to deliver their product to their fans.

This process can only mean one thing: The release day is imminent. We’ll post an update as soon as the game goes live and will follow-up with our full review shortly thereafter!

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July 10th will mark the 5th birthday of the iTunes App Store. Yep. That’s right. The App Store will be old enough to go to Kindergarten on Wednesday. It’s crazy. It’s even crazier than in the last 5 years 50 BILLION apps have been downloaded.

Apple has a lot to celebrate. They have made a ton of money (and helped a lot of people make money) and they are celebrating by giving away some of their best apps and games.

This is a great value for families and it shouldn’t be missed. Here are some of the highlights:

Badlands:

Rated 9+

If you have a child who loves a challenge in their touch based games, then this is the app for them. You control a shadowy floating monster and navigate through a world that is falling apart. The levels start off easy enough, but they get VERY hard VERY fast. The developers also update the game constantly by adding levels and achievements.

Tiny Wings:

Rated 4+

This is a deceptively difficult game that kids will love. This is another touch based game that involves controlling a bird and helping it take off from ramps and fly across islands while racing computer controlled opponents. My 4 year old figured it out quickly and was showing us all how to make it work by the end of the day. Being told how to play a game by your preschooler is a humbling, yet awesome, experience. I recommend it to everyone.

Where’s My Water: 

Rated 4+

Disney hasn’t been known for releasing amazing games since the 8 and 16 bit era (we’ll talk about those games soon). But, they have a hit on their hands here. Where’s My Water is a puzzle game where players need to wipe away dirt in order to guide water to help a friendly Gator take a shower. The puzzles start out easy, but eventually get maddeningly difficult. The good news is that starting over is easy, and sometimes failing has hilarious results. You’ll have a blast sitting around the iPad testing out potential solutions. Trust me on this one. It’s worth the full price, so getting the game for free is just a miracle.

Infinity Blade II: 

Rated 9+

Infinity Blade II is a timing based sci-fi/fantasy combat game. The story can be difficult to follow, but older kids and teenagers will love exploring this insane world and gearing up their guy with all manner of armor and weapons. There is some violence, so I wouldn’t play this with young kids. For a comparison, a night watching Monday Night Raw will be more intense.

If you are an old school gamer and have been dreaming of letting your kid play an updated version of Punch Out then this is your chance.

 

Barefoot World Atlas:

Rated 4+

This isn’t a game per se, but it is a very neat app. It is a touch controlled globe that lets kids explore the world and discover interesting facts from all around the world. I recommend it for any family with lots of curious kids.

The only real challenge is that the narrator is VERY British so you might have to help explain some words to kids that aren’t familiar with the Queen’s English.

 

There are a few other apps on the list that might be of value to you so make sure to check out the full list. Whatever you do, make sure to do it fast because these apps won’t be free forever.

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Those of us who were waiting patiently for the long-awaited follow up to Plants Vs Zombies will have to wait just a little bit longer. PopCap Games confirmed via the franchise’s official Twitter account that the game is being delayed until later on this summer. The title was originally slated for release on iOS on July 16th.

This is definitely a disappointment as it was one of my family’s most anticipated games, but a few more weeks are a small price to pay if this means the game will end up being more polished by the time they release it.

We don’t know a whole heck of a lot else about the game so far. But we have been able to find a few interesting bits of information.  

First, and most important, is that the game will follow a free-to-play formula. They have indicated that you will be able to play every level and earn every plant without spending a dime. Now, before any of you cheer too wildly, you have to remember that free-to-play games often have features hidden behind a paywall. In this case, I’ll bet that unlocking different plants will require spending coins that you find on the field with the option to just spend cash to unlock them faster. This is actually a great system. Those people who don’t want to pay anything will be able to play through the game that way. Everyone else will be able to pick and choose their purchases.

Second, we’ve been able to confirm that the game will involve time travel this time around. We don’t really know what that means yet since they have been very cagey with the details. But, we can assume that this will result in a wider variety of zombie opponents to deal with like knights, cowboys, etc.

This game looks like it could be one of the highlights of the summer. How excited are you for this one? Sound off in the comments section!

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What’s not to love about iOS games? They’re often incredibly cheap, they provide the best distractions for our kids while waiting during ‘boring grown up errands’, and they’re sometimes great learning tools. Oh, and they’re often highly addicting for us parents as well as our children (Candy Crush Saga, anyone?)!

There are thousands of games available for kids of all ages. So, how do you choose which ones to spend your iTunes credit on? There are many key factors to consider when picking the best iOS games. You can look at your child’s favorite cartoon characters and choose games that star those characters. You can decide what learning goal you want your child to achieve and choose a game that meets that goal. You can choose a style of game that your child enjoys such as puzzle games, word games, or village building games.

Here at EFG, we will feature some of our tried and tested favorites each week.

This week’s game is a favorite educational app in our household. It is geared towards children from ages 2 to 4. It’s available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. (We’ve been told it’s available on Android as well, for a slightly higher price). It’s been number one in the App Store for a while, and with good reason.

Welcome to Monkey Preschool Lunchbox!

 Monkey Preschool Lunchbox features a super cute animated monkey that guides you through 7 learning mini games. Children love the little monkey, and you will too, until 45 minutes into his chattering. But, then you will remember that you just had 45 minutes of relative peacefulness from your own little monkey.

Anyways, back to the game itself. It comes with 7 different games that teach kids about colors, letters, counting, shapes, differences, matching and puzzles. It also has many sound and voice recordings of colors, letters, fruit names, and more. Kids get a sticker reward after every other game they win. It’s extremely simple to navigate and the games are not too challenging. While you might find it extremely repetitive, your children love the reinforcement. The biggest complaint in this household came into play when my 3 yr. old decided he loved the ‘uh unh’ sound the monkey makes when you get the wrong answer. He thought it was hysterical, so he chose the wrong answer on purpose. Hopefully your child won’t be that contrary. Even if he/she is, the game is well worth the $0.99.  

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