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dimanche 31 janvier 2010

Catan - iPhone Settlement & Trading Strategy Game


Many people will remember Catan. One of the classic traditional board games which first released in 1995. During the next 15 years, the game has developed into a huge world with lots of scenario additions, expansion packs, maps etc. It then appeared as an online browser game. Now, it is available for iPhone (no need to mention much that it is available for brother iPod touch every time surely). Settlers of Catan. It is a well-thought version of the traditional board game, actually we can think the iPhone game version as a small sized tabletop game. The iPhone game version allows playing up to four people (or surely bots).

Catan for iPhone, essentially follows the traditional game playing rules of most classic settlement games. You collect resources, build settlements, cities. Every thing you build makes your stronger & stronger and you compete to reach to achieve a pre-defined point total (default is 10) before other players. If you ever have played Settlers of Catan, iPhone Catan game rules will be the thing you will ignore. Just start playing. Otherwise, a digital tutorial section will help you to learn the rules and basic strategies: building, trading, collection resources.

The gameplaying screen is well-thought to fit on iPhone & iPod touch. Every move was clearly shown with different colors and animations. Overall there is much to explore in Catan iPhone version. I would suggest buying it. Link at iTunes.

jeudi 28 janvier 2010

Upload Your Email to Google Apps



Several years ago, I began hosting the email for my personal domain with the free Standard Edition of Google Apps. At first I remained a curmudgeon, and set my email client to delete messages from the server after retrieving them, because I wanted my email stored just on my own computer. But Gmail's threading interface grew on me, as did the temptation of having access to all of my email from any web browser. So the cloud won me over, and soon my messages were living on the server. Since then, I've been able to search my email from home, from work, and from any computer on the Internet.

But my personal email archives stretch back to long before the advent of Google Apps and Gmail. Suddenly, the years of conversations I'd happily stored in Eudora files seemed awfully inconvenient. That inconvenience goaded me into developing Google Email Uploader for Mac. It's a free utility application that you can use to push your archives from Apple Mail, Eudora, and Thunderbird up to your Google Apps email account. If you are sometimes anxious to locate your very earliest e-commerce receipts or your threads of political discussions from bygone elections, the email uploader can make them as easy to find as last week's family letters.

The email uploader is built on our open source Google Data APIs Objective-C Client Library and the Email Migration API. There is also a Google Email Uploader for Windows, as well as online tools for migrating web-based email to Google email accounts. Unfortunately, the Mac and Windows email uploaders currently can upload only to Google Apps email accounts, not to gmail.com or googlemail.com accounts.

Google Email Uploader for Mac is available today as an open source application at the Google Mac Developer Playground, where our Mac and iPhone developers share our toys and experiments. If you have a Google Apps-hosted account and email archives that stretch back to the Dark Ages, I hope you will download and try it.


iPhone Aera






The iPhone Game Aera is a mix of side-scroller and flight simulator. Aera is played in a real 3D environment. In Aera, the player gets to control the throttle and pitch of your plane. In addition, there are some "Special" moves. You may think this is just another simple game, but it is not that easy. It has the ability to produce advanced physics simulation that one can perform very stunts. It will take good precise practices and effort to master this 3D simulator. Having to practice complex moves, you can use different tactics to complete each game higher mission. As you play through Aera, you get to upgrade to faster and more powerful airplanes, get better weapons, and face more challenging opponents.

This is my Aera Review. Aera is a great 3D flight simulator that will exhilarate you with flight. Using the 20th century period of early flight, this is a game that thrills with brightly liveried biplanes, red barons as much as flight tactics.

Aera give you a feeling of pure flight. It lets you feel like a raw flying like a car driver driving a rally car. You will face challenges by those first days of flight.

For starters, the Aera can play in 2D. While the graphics are gorgeously rendered in 3D and the camera swoops around your craft at certain discrete points, you're essentially fixed to a single plane (the other kind).

One can set the throttle with the toggle on the left side of the screen, the plane accelerating from left to right. the Aera controls are quite sensitive, a slight movement can sent your plane to climb up high. A flick of your iPhone will flip your plane 180 degrees, like a vertical u-turn.

In addition to the linear flying of Aera, there is a boost bar that acts like a NOS. Touching this will blast the plane forward like a rocket. This is an important Aera move for loops, as your little machine chugs and splutters realistically during extended climbs and often needs an extra kick to keep it moving.

Three levels: Solo, Dog Fight and Race. Solo is flying through hoops popping balloons along the way. Dog Fight allows you to take on a number of opponents in aerial combat. Finally the Race let you dash between two points and avoiding mines.

Dog Fight varies the pace beautifully and shows off the flexibility of the flight mechanics. You have access to a machine gun and limited missiles, but the real joy is ducking and diving in order to outfox your opponents and bring them into your sights.

The Campaign mode is so linear, particularly as the general difficulty level is pitched high. There are some commendable features that ease the frustration. There is a limited number of lives in Solo mode but the game rewinds your fateful final few seconds, allowing you to correct your mistake.

To combat disorientation with all the swooping and looping going on, the game features an arrow system that points the way to the next goal. There's also the option to fix the camera to your plane by touching the bottom left of the screen, which ensures that that one is always the right-side up.

Where can you buy the Aera? Get iPhone and buy it in iTunes. More iPhone games for us! Aera can be played on iPhone OS 3.0 onwards. Currently on sale for $0.99 only. You can follow Aera news on Twitter too!

lundi 4 janvier 2010

iPhone Command & Conquer Red Alert





Command and Conquer in iPhone? I will never think about it. In this iPhone version of command & conquer, it is not a lousy "fake" like RTS. In fact you be surprised by the similarities in the real PC game. Prior my review, let me share with you the background of this famous game.

Command & Conquer Red Alert Background
This is a real-time strategy about 15 years ago and was very successful despite the era of first-person action games. Although there are many hots games like doom, yet this game was unique and proven with lots of sales and fans.

Command & Conquer (C&C) Red Alert was developed by Westwood Studios. They have also created my favourite game - Dune II another real-time strategy category. During this period, Command & Conquer and Blizzard's Warcraft II has very good achievement. Of course Red Alert was the champion and you can find most gamers playing it. The storyline comes about this Albert Einstein was trying to travel back time to assassinate Hitler so that he will never come to power and start the war. The plan works, and with Hitler out of the picture, Nazi Germany never materializes. But unfortunately, the Red Menace does, with Russia's Stalin turning a burgeoning war machine towards the West, raining destruction and terror on those unfortunate enough to find themselves standing in his way.

The game play allows you to play either side: the Allied or Soviet side. The Allied players prowess are on stealth and surprise while the Soviets will prowess are on pure force. For those who love violence and killing, Soviets will be a good side to start with. Killing and destroying is the way to go. The Allied side can be quite difficult especially you are started with few units to complete the mission. Worse of all, you are not suppose to be sighted by the enemies.

What is so special about this game talking about changes in the future and having 2 sides of the game? I will say that it was the well balanced design of the games and the richness of the game. The variety of forces and structures is unmatched, providing players with an almost unlimited palette with which to paint their strategic strokes. Better yet, the units of the two opposing sides aren't mere copies of each other, but instead maintain a nice balance. Some examples like the Allies' Destroyer, which can relentlessly attack land, sea, and air units from long distances. This is countered by the Soviet MiG, which packs a powerful punch and is absolutely devastating in numbers. The Allies' Medic, who can literally restore life to the foot units, and is matched by the Soviet's brutal Attack Dogs which can kill a half dozen troops in matter of seconds. This gives Red Alert a level of depth and complexity that will keep players occupied for months on end.

Another great feature about this command and conquer red alert is the design of the game. There are forty over levels which are well balanced between long, drawn out wars of building and attrition, and short intense bursts of behind-the-lines conflict, convoy protection, and hostage rescue. Most of the levels are fair. The game itself is not too brain squeezing that you will be stuck solving puzzles. The game play does not need massive army to clear the stages. Just a well mixed of troops and intelligent strategy is required.

Lastly Red Alert includes an important feature which is the multiplayer option. Have the capability and compatibility with just about every type of network protocol, this game was a great hit during that period. I was playing in Lan shops Red Alert during those times.


iPhone Command & Conquer Red Alert
Lets talk about the iPhone version. You will get the same capabilites of controlling same units on both side infantry, tanks, and aircraft; and with simple gestures and finger taps catered for iPhone.

Real-time strategy games work great on consoles and computers. You need lots of quick movement and able to move around the world easily. This will need good control and that where i was surprise to see it in iPhone. (Click to see iPhone C&C Red Alert Preview Video) Just a touch screen and how to squeeze in the controls inside. You can pan around the map with a single finger, and everything loads smoothly. Gameplay was surprisingly smooth despite the size of the maps and "3D" graphics. You can pinch to zoom, which also works perfectly when i tried. A same miniature map allows quick navigation. You can easily select units by tapping on them; to select all identical units, you double-tap on any one of them. And a useful “Select All” icon lets you grab everybody. Manipulating your troops is similarly straightforward: Once they’re selected, simply tap where you want them to go, or on the enemies you’d like to attack.

Both the graphics and the music are great as the good old game. The graphics are 3D and relatively detailed for a iPhone especially with the tight space to work with. I will say that to be able to squeeze all the actions, interface elements and gameplay on the same screen, this is a great feat. This is consider a great breakthrough for games developers for us and i look forward to more complex games made for iPhone.

Command & Conquer Red Alert can be purchased from itunes apple for iphone. For the PC version, you can buy C&C games from amazon, walmart and near games retail shops. For secondhand PC games, you may buy from your friends, ebay and secondhand shops.