Category Archives: Featured

App Review – Clash Royale

by Zion Reyes

In reviewing the hit game Clash Royale, this free-to-play game was made by Supercell, also known for Clash of Clans. It is a 1 v 1 game where you battle other players in real time by using different cards which summon various troops. Some of these troops are taken straight from Clash of Clans, such as the Giant and the Archer, but there are also some troops who are made unique for Clash Royale such as the Prince. There are also some cards classified as Legendary, which are extremely difficult to obtain, but are very powerful, such as the Ice Wizard.

As you play the game, you start off on Arena 1 and can move up all the way to Arena 11. After every successful battle you receive a chest, which is your way of obtaining resources such as gold and most importantly new troop cards to use for the next battles. Unfortunately, you can only open 4 of these chests at one time and some of them take hours and even days for you to be able to open, as they have a loading time before player can look at the contents. Through this process of having you wait the game gives you essentially 2 choices: pay or wait. If you choose to pay, you are looking at losing upwards of hundreds of dollars to this game if you want to be competitive at the highest level. Paying to open the chests is a surefire way of improving in the game, but a majority of people are turned off by the microtransaction aspect of Clash Royale. This is a common problem with “free-to-play” games, if you don’t cough up the cash it takes more time and work to get better. Most people they choose to delete the app and do something more productive.

As for the look of the game, it is similar to Clash of Clans in its cartoony art style and has many bright colors incorporated. It is sure to have many children playing it. The menus are straightforward and easy to navigate. I recommend this game for anyone who wants to kill time, but just don’t waste your money on it. I would rate it 8/10.

App Review – What is Color by Disney?

by Star Gaylord

Adult coloring books have become very popular lately because of their ability to help people relax while they color. Color by Disney is a coloring book app. This app was created for adults to color in various different characters. The app has different folders based on different pixar movies and the coloring pages go from easy to very intricate.

Using the App

When I first opened the application it took a very long time for it to load my images when I was on wifi. After the images were loaded, the app immediately made me enter my Apple id confirming that if I don’t end my subscription at least 1 day before the 7 day free trial is up I would be charged $7.99 for a week subscription. I entered the password and choose a page. I chose the beginner level and it took me about 8 minutes to complete the first image. There are 6 total pictures in the starter artwork folder. While you still have the free trial all of the folders are available to color.

How to play

When you choose your image there is a loading screen. After the app loads, it gives you a screen with the image and colors on the bottom. All you do is tap a color and then tap the sections you want to fill with it.

Subscriptions

Week- $2.99

Month- $7.99

Year- $39.99

Positives

  • Good stress relief
  • Relaxes your mind
  • Fun to color

Negatives

  • Limited images to color after the free trial is over.
  • Expensive subscriptions

Overall

This app is overall a  good one if you have the money and are okay with paying the subscriptions needed in order to get the full selection of images . I rate it a 7/10.

App Review, Forest

by Sara Willis

Forest is an app that will help you be more productive in your daily activities and keeps you off your phone so you can live a healthier lifestyle. It is only compatible with IOS devices that have the 8.0 update or later. The app was developed by Seekrtech and is sold by ShaoKan Pi for $1.99. There are in app purchases for two different amounts of “Sunshine Elixir”, which will triple you reward for either seven days or twenty one days. The current version is 3.28.1, which was updated August 27, 2017. Forest is designed to help customers avoid their phone and accomplish more in their daily lives. It is very simple to use and is visually appealing as well. This app is intended for people 12 and older who have a reason to concentrate and a phone to stay off of. The user selects an amount of time they want to concentrate for 10 and 120 minutes. The longer you concentrate the more coins you will receive to buy different types of plants and sounds. If you collect 2500 coins, you are able to plant a real tree. When the user selects a time between 10 and 20 minutes, they will plant a smaller plant. The size of the plant will be larger if you focus for more time. If the user leaves the app while a tree is growing, the tree will die and another tree will need to be planted. After planting the tree, ten seconds are given to cancel the growth of the plant. A total amount of time focused is given for each day and is planted in a forest with the trees that were successfully planted and the trees that were not able to grow. All the data is saved and can be arranged with different tags, such as study, work, social, rest entertainment, sport, or a custom label.  Achievements are given for different milestones reached in the app, and coins are awarded to the customer. This app is simple to use and a walkthrough is provided when first opening the app. I personally use the app for concentrating on homework or household chores, but it can also be used to simply help keep someone off their phone and have a few minutes of downtime. This app is beneficial in many ways and will greatly improve your life for such a low price!

App Review, LetGo

by David Griffith
I chose to review the app LetGo, which is an app made for regular people to buy and sell their possessions to other LetGo users. It is quite simple to use to not alienate the non-tech savvy. It was designed for all ages to use. The LetGo selling process is quite simple. All you have to do is (using your smartphone camera) take a picture of the item you are trying to sell and add a name and description of your item. LetGo does the rest and posts your item to its servers. Basically, think of LetGo as a mobile Craigslist. When you see an item you want, you message the user your offer, or perhaps any questions you may have, etc. People will do the same when you post an item that catches their eye. I have had only positive experiences using LetGo. Nearly all the users I have talked to and bought from have been incredibly friendly and courteous; most likely because they want you to buy their stuff. I purchased a copy of Pokemon Silver from an employee at West Hills actually through LetGo for a great price. He replied to my messages very quickly and I had an overall good buying experience. Same with when I sold a pair of my shoes. The buyer did not lowball me and came and got the shoes himself. Frankly, I recommend LetGo if you have things you want to let go of. There are plenty of users who are willing to buy your things. Also, if you’re looking for anything from furniture to a car, use LetGo to perhaps get what you want at a much lower price. All on a simple, FREE, app. If you like swap meets, browsing Ebay, garage sales, or Craigslist, download LetGo, you will be pleased with what you may find!

App Review, MLB Tap Sports Baseball 17

By Cameron Brooks

As a follow up to Tap Sports Baseball 16, MLB Tap Sports Baseball 17 includes a complete MLB license, allowing the game to feature all 30 teams and their logos. This is in stark contrast to last year’s game which would have players wearing a bland gray jersey with no logos. The game was released to the App and Google Play store on March 28, however; I reviewed version 2.02, the most current version as of September 5. The developer, Glu Mobile, kept the same basic game and premise from the last game.  The task is to just play offense and worry about getting hits, rather than pitch or play defense, which is all simulated. The game definitely made sure to show you that it can use official teams and logos, as the loading screen is a picture of Kris Bryant wearing a Cubs jersey and batting helmet. You also get to choose your favorite team the first time you open the game. Although the game is free to play, which usually means that it’s junk unless you continually pay for microtransactions, I found that Tap Sports Baseball was better than most, since you can get fairly far into the game without having to worry about spending money to have a chance to win.

The game is very basic, in that you pick your favorite team and play a 9 inning game against another opponent making sure to be patient at the plate and knowing when to swing. You get a small reward each time you win which can either be cash, the in-game kind, gold, or a franchise player coin. Cash and gold allows you to purchase a draft pick with a late round pick costing 1000 cash, a second round pick costing 4000, a first round pick costing 100 gold, and first overall costing 300 gold. Gold is extremely difficult to come by in large quantities, so I ended up getting second round picks, which can still yield you some good ballplayers. You use these picks in the game and when you win enough you move into a tier and your players get a little bit better. You can also spend some cash to upgrade individual players. Players are judged on 3 categories: hitting, speed, and power. These states can range from 0 all the way to 400 with most players hovering around a 50 overall in the start of the game. Once you move into a tier, their stats increase from being in the 50s to the 70s and 80s. Overall, MLB Tap Sports Baseball is an effective time killer, especially for baseball fans which is not crowded with microtransactions. The only real flaw I found with it is the matchmaking system which will sometimes give you somebody way worse than you and sometimes somebody much better than you. However, it is still very enjoyable considering it is a free game that does not try to do too much and does what it should exceptionally well. Overall I would give it an 8/10.

App Review

by Devin Craig

“Pocket Mortys” is an enticing game that will make you angry at times; however, that anger will push you to succeed in the game. In “Pocket Mortys”, you play as a man named Rick Sanchez who wants to get his portal gun back from the council of Ricks. In order to do this you have to take Rick to different dimensions and defeat the other Morty trainers that await you. Getting to these trainers is a difficult task because many other trainers stand in your way. Luckily, you can capture different types of Mortys while you are in other dimensions and build up your arsenal. Some pros of this game include it’s variety of collectable characters as well as it’s smooth gameplay. In addition it has some of the best graphics and intricacy that I have ever seen in a mobile game. For the cons of this game sometimes the levels are too difficult and you’ll find yourself spending days on a single dimension struggling to fight others because of your low health that you cannot recover. If you want to get more Mortys you have to make micro transactions in the game. All in all I would give this game a 9/10. Everyone should definitely give this game a try. You will not regret it.

Duolingo App Review

by Olivia DiSabatino 

Duolingo is a free language app that is available in the app store, and also google plus. This app offers 11 complete language courses for English speakers and also 8 languages that are still hatching. This app also includes learning services for those that speak languages other than English.

 I have personally used the Duolingo app many times and my father has as well when we travel to new countries. I have only used Duolingo for Spanish briefly. My father has used it for Spanish, German, Italian, and French. I also know others who have used it for many other languages.

    Duolingo is not a complex app and is very easy to use. They make their content very accessible and for every audience. You must follow a couple easy steps to set your profile and you are off to learn a new language! There are multiple levels and basic categories that are for specific vocabulary and grammar. Each lesson in Duolingo is different and has a goal for each lesson. Lessons include: match words to their foreign language equivalents, vocabulary that is taught with pictures, listening exercise where you type what you hear, and also speaking exercises where you type what you hear. Duolingo helps target your weakest suits to make you great at all subjects.

      Duolingo is not a stand alone language course, but is great if you want a bit of knowledge for your next upcoming trip or want to understand some grammar techniques. This app is easy to use, it is fun, it works, but don’t forget to do the homework. If your aim is to achieve real fluency; remember to read, speak, and truly live the language that you’re learning!

App Review

by Cass Emlund

Sarahah was an app first developed for companies to give feedback to their employees anonymously based on how they are performing on the job. However,  it has swept the nation as “the new ask.fm”, many teens have used it as a way to anonymously leave comments on other peers link. With an app such as this one there is always a high risk or bullying and/or risk for harassment when using these type of apps. After reading reviews of this app I have found that when used for it’s intended purpose, not by teens, that the app seems to be a very good and useful tool. However, when it’s just used for “fun” it tends to be reviewed negatively and not get the positive results that the app can usually generate. Giving it a try myself, I explored its features. It is a very minimal app to say the least, there is really nothing to it. You have a link and nobody can search you. They must have your link to give you feedback. You are also the only one that can see your feedback. So in reality you don’t even have a profile. It is all private. Likewise, this means that when the bullying aspect comes into play it’s kept to one’s self. Which many would say is better, but that also leaves no one to regulate the negativity. All in all, if you are using this app for its main intended purpose I would give it a 9/10. It does need some improvements, but overall it is a good app. But if you are trying to use it as a social site, I rate it a 5/10.   Honestly, there are no good qualities.

App Review

by Skye Finnestad

Looking for a game to keep me entertained in times of boredom, I stumbled upon the game Super Mario Run. Upon opening the app I expected to play a few rounds and then delete it from my phone However, I surprisingly became very addicted to the game. I played the first level and was challenged to run through a course and collect a certain number of coins, which is what drew me to keep playing.

I played level after level enjoying the challenge, yet noticed some things that had let me down. The game is in portrait mode rather than landscape, which makes it a bit more difficult to locate the coins you need to collect. This setting would not necessarily be unbearable if there were controls to go backwards during a level.Throughout each level you are only given the option to go forward which can be quite frustrating if you miss coins needed to complete the level.

Although there are some unfortunate features to this app, there are definitely some good ones! You are provided with unlimited lives, so you are not held down to a certain limit as to how many times you can play. There is also a really fun mini game where you can compete against online players to earn coins and more toads to build your kingdom. In addition you also have the choice to connect your game to your own premade wii character which gives you the option to invite and play against friends!

Overall the game is really addictive and fun, but there is a price to pay. The free version of the game only offers one world, including four levels and three mini levels within each of of the four. If you want all six worlds, all twenty levels, and all sixty sublevels, you have to be willing to pay $9.99. In my opinion the game is not worth ten dollars. Personally, I would play the game until I was bored of it and then delete the app. That is a waste of ten bucks right there. However, many people may find this a deal and be willing to drop ten dollars on this game.

My overall rating out of five stars would probably be a four. I feel like the game is not really anything special and definitely is not worth ten of my hard earned dollars. The game is enjoyable, yet I find it silly that we are expected to pay ten dollars for a phone game.

App Review

by D’vir Mona

“Flappy Dunk” by Voodoo is a coordination game that tests your ability to time and judge distance. If you are interested in “Flappy Bird” or the sport of basketball you will love this game! When you are bored or don’t have Wi-Fi it is a wonderful game to play, since it is an offline game. My favorite category of games is strategy and so this game falls perfectly under that category. I usually play this game when I’m just hanging out with the family, friends or I am bored. Once you play this game you will be hooked, as it is an endless game. It  is an infinity of fun. The graphics of “Flappy Dunk” are very cartoonish and cute. They leave a really pleasing image on the eyes. Like many other games it’s very addicting with always fun features and icons. “Flappy Dunk” is a awesome app because it has features that give you rewards for your flapping. You can earn different colored basketballs that have different effects and outcomes. This game is also very simple, so it leads into some negatives. Although there is a “mission mode”; it’s still not very difficult. If I had to make any adjustments it would be to make the game more difficult with different difficulty settings that challenge even the most skillful players.  Overall I think this is a very exciting and addictive game. It’s always going to be there to play and will never not be ready for your flapping. It has the offline feature so that’s always good for younger users who don’t have phones!