Now Playing: Dream Catchers – The Beginning HD for iPad

We have always had a fascination for the secret world of our dreams and how the real and surreal interact in our mind’s landscape while we are sleeping. Dreams sometimes help solve real world problems, others reveal anxieties and fears, while some of us find a fantasy world to escape in.
Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD by G5 Games hints at a new series of hidden object adventure games, with the intriguing storyline of ‘dream catchers’ (although not fully explained) who get caught up in a web of deception and betrayal.
The story, however, begins with the unexplained phenomena of students of a school, including one of its teachers (your sister), falling asleep seemingly without hope of waking up. As you try to piece together what happened, you are also drawn into the dream world with strange scenery, monsters and creatures to defeat in order to wake up.

the zodiac clock

Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD is standard Hidden Object and puzzle solving fare, requiring you to search for objects bit by bit that contribute to activating puzzles in order to obtain objects and tools (inventory items).
Looking for items is a pretty straightforward and simple affair. Some HOGs like to make things more interesting and interactive by requiring you to put together some items in order to find the object on your list, while others encourage you to open a drawer or part a curtain to reveal what’s inside. Disappointingly, Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD doesn’t employ these little gimmicks.
As I have observed with many hidden object games, there isn’t a clear or logical link between objects or tools you need to say, unlock a door or get an object from a tree. In addition, since these are objects scattered across different locations, you really don’t know what you need until you press the hint. Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD is no exception. Thus, in my case, I rely on hints a lot, and more so in this game. Some useful inventory objects show up in sparkly locations, in a seemingly random and arbitrary order.
The game’s art direction evokes some mixed feelings. The earlier parts and cutscenes are a bit hazy and muddled – much like a dream sequence, I know, but some consistency in relation to the regular scenes would be nice. The game would have been more visually appealing if the scenes were less static.
The puzzles are simpler and less varied than most HOGs. Of course, the usual rotate pieces to form a picture and rotate pipes to find your way out can be found in Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD, but I find the execution of some puzzles a bit cumbersome and frustrating.
As what appears to be the first among many in a series, Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD starts off intriguing and promising. However, compared to other HOGs and even G5’s own extensive offerings, this one doesn’t quite measure up. I do hope that future installments of this game will be a lot better in many ways and for its flaws, I will give Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD a pass.
Check out the report card below:

appSIZED rating: 3 out of 5

App: Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD
Compatibility: iPad only
Price: Free (with In-App Purchase of $6.99)
Deveoper/Publisher: G5

 

 

Now Playing: The Cursed Ship, Collector’s Edition HD for iPad

appSIZED the cursed ship
Dark, disturbing horror tales are a favorite subject of many hidden object games (HOGs). The Cursed Ship, Collector’s Edition HD by G5 Games is no exception. The story about Ondine, a Titanic-like luxury cruise ship, disappears in the late 1970’s and you step in on an assignment to search for the missing ship.
As the name implies, the ship Ondine is indeed cursed, and you have to navigate a treacherous and downright creepy environment searching for clues and a way out alive.
appSIZED the cursed ship 2

Now Playing: Hidden City – Mystery of Shadows for iPad

I haven’t got much patience for hidden object games (HOGs) of late, but I do appreciate most of them for the gorgeous design and interesting storylines. Hidden CIty: Mystery of Shadows (Free) by G5 Games is their latest title to hit the App Store. While there are plenty of HOGs out there, not many have explored the free to play model. In the past, HOGs were far more expensive than your usual games, owing to the depth and richness of the content. It also takes a lot of time and patience to finish one, hence a single HOG could last you for months, depending on how busy you are and how many games you play on average.

Continue reading

appSIZED Updates and a Freebie Alert: Inbetween Land

Dear All,

I’ve been off the grid lately due to my busy schedule, but I hope to be back soon with a Plants vs Zombies 2 review as well as some catching up with other games and apps that came out since May.

In the meantime, here’s an announcement from G5 games:

News Alert – G5 Giveaway: Get FREE Inbetween Landon iOS – Limited Time Offer

Get a FREE FULL copy of Inbetween Land on iOS through August 25th and journey on a mysterious adventure to another world! Inbetween Landacquaints you with the plight of a missing childhood friend, possibly aboard a mysterious flying island hovering just above our world. Through mini-games and fragmented hidden object areas, you piece together the details of your friend’s disappearance and how it ties into the floating Sky Island. The game begins as a science-fiction story and soon involves players in the rescue mission for alien creatures.

The city’s mundane rhythm is suddenly disrupted by the emergence of a flying island high in the sky. Though the island initially appears to be deserted, the citizens realize that they are not alone in the universe. Before long, the island becomes a tourist attraction, increasing revenues and crime. Then one day, Mary, who works at the city orphanage goes missing after a beam of light is seen coming from the island above. And, that’s where you come in. You play as her friend, and soon find out Mary bought some mysterious artifact from the island and then vanished. Following the clues Mary left, you will have to open a portal to the flying land, save her and help extraterrestrial civilization that desperately wants to restore their home. Explore the creepy island, make friends with the spirits of the island’s people, solve challenging puzzles, find missing crystals and take your friend back home in this absorbing adventure.

Inbetween Land has all the key features to provide a delightful gaming experience: soft music, engrossing Sci-Fi themed plot and three game modes – Casual, Normal and Expert – so you can adjust the desired level of difficulty. You also have a useful journal add-in that keeps track of the story and tasks to accomplish. But what really makes this game stand out, is its glorious visuals. Fantastic scenery, comic-like cut scenes and witty puzzles will glue casual game fans to their iOS devices and let them fully enjoyInbetween Land. The game is developed by Specialbit Studio and published on iOS by G5 Entertainment.

Key Features:

  • 52 Fascinating locations to explore
  • 19 Thought-provoking mini games
  • 3 Game modes: Casual, Normal, Expert
  • 4 Engaging comics
  • Out-of-this-world storyline

You can download Inbetween Land for FREE from August 20 to August 25.

Download:

Inbetween Land for iPhone

Inbetween Land for iPad

 

Enjoy! —> appSIZED

Where Angels Cry in Review: A Hidden Object Adventure That Falls From Grace

It's been a while since I last picked up a hidden object game. The thing is, for a hidden object game to sustain my attention, it should be driven by a really interesting storyline. Minutes into Where Angels Cry HD for iPad, I was simply hooked.

Where Angels Cry HD puts you in the shoes of a young monk sent by the cardinal to investigate a mysterious occurrence – said to be a miracle, in a remote monastery. Coincidentally – or not, the miracle coincides with the unexpected death of a resident monk who is believed to have been killed by wolves.

Sounds great so far? I thought so, too.

Continue reading

Art Mogul HD in Review: A Rare Find

If there’s one thing that the App Store lacks, it’s more art-themed games. The ones I’ve tried are usually stealth games which means they focus on stealing gorgeous paintings rather than actually appreciating them. Art Mogul breaks out of the art-meets-stealth-game mode by doing two things: combining hidden-object game mechanics with tycoon-style sim gameplay.

Continue reading

iOS App Review – Build-a-Lot 4: Power Source HD for iPad

Keep track of your power consumption, make money, reach the level goals before time runs out!

Keep track of your power consumption, make money, reach the level goals before time runs out!

As I write this review, the lights in my entire area have gone out. If you build one too many literally power hungry houses without a wind farm in place, you will find yourself unable to earn rent from the houses that your own and pretty much unable to build anything else. Shame on you for not being environmentally conscious about your real estate tycoon dreams. In Build-a-Lot 4: Power Source HD, the emphasis – as it should be, is on going green. Read the full review after the break!

Continue reading

Shop Til You Drop with appSIZED’s Black Friday Massive Sale Alert!

It’s Black Friday once again as we celebrate Thanksgiving with a slew of apps and games on sale! To guide you through the hordes of apps at your disposal, here are some of appSIZED’s very own recommendations. Just click on the name of the app to take you straight to the iTunes page:

1) Plants vs Zombies HD (NOW $0.99/iPad only) – if you don’t have it yet! Check out our review of this awesome, iconic tower defense game!

2) Avengers Initiative (NOW $0.99/Universal) – HULK SMASH!

3) Infinity Blade II (NOW $2.99/Universal)- Gorgeous, elegant and action-packed sword fighting RPG adventure. One of the best games on the iOS ever. Read the review.

4) Infinity Blade (NOW $0.99/Universal) – The game that started it all.

5) Gangstar Rio: City of Saints (NOW $0.99/Universal) – If you love cars, guns and some badass adventure, then go pick this up now!

6) Need for Speed: Most Wanted (NOW $2.99/Universal) – If you love racing games and a thrilling chase, check this out!

7) Mega Mall Story (NOW $0.99/iPhone only) – Their apps go on sale rarely, so Kairosoft fans and newbies to one of the most addictive simulation games known to man, you can test the waters with this game.

8) Jazz: Trump’s Journey (NOW $0.99/Universal) – Lest this music game/platformer be buried in the massive price drops going on, this gorgeous little game has a lot of charm and soul.

9) Autumn Dynasty (NOW $3.99/iPad only) – Gorgeous real time strategy (RTS) game that, in my opinion, is perfectly suited for the touchscreen device.

10) Fieldrunners (NOW $0.99/iPhone) – Experience the original 2008 tower defense game that set the bar for thousands to come. Check out the review of Fieldrunners and its awesome sequel here.

11) Pocket Informant Pro (NOW $7.99/Universal) – Powerful calendar/task/notes management software that helps you organize your life!

12) Quickoffice Pro HD (NOW $4.99/iPad only) – A personal favorite of mine, Quickoffice Pro HD is also a viable alternative to your Pages/Keynote/Numbers apps, in one easy to use app.

13) ReaddleDocs for iPad – PDF viewer/attachments saver/file manager (NOW $1.99/iPad only) – Readdle is a trusted brand when it comes to productivity, so you might find this app useful for school and work.

4) Docs to Go Premium (NOW $9.99/Universal) – Looking for a way to make your iPad more productive? Docs to Go is a one stop shop for documents, spreadsheets and presentations on your iPhone and iPad.

Attention, time management fans and casual gamers, do not miss the massive blowout care of Alawar Entertainment! Most of their iPhone and iPad games are on sale, or totally free! Check out their massive collection of apps here and apps reviewed on appSIZED here.

Likewise, another favorite of mine, G5 Games, also has tons of games on sale! Check out their games here and appSIZED reviews of some of their games here.

That’s it for now. Keep watching this post for more picks from appSIZED!

p.s. In case you are on the lookout for some cool new stuff from Apple, such as an iPad mini perhaps or a retina Macbook Pro, make sure you don’t miss their own Black Friday sale on the Apple page. Free shipping for selected items!

iOS App Review: Supermarket Mania 2 HD for iPad

Supermarket Mania 2 HD on appSIZED

Supermarket Mania may be a lesser known time management (TM) game, but it does bring something new to the table that is different from your usual Dash type of game. Read on to learn more about its shinier sequel, Supermarket Mania 2 HD (Full).

Continue reading

iOS App Review: Youda Survivor HD (Full)

Youda Survivor on appSIZED
Youda Survivor may remind you of the Farm Frenzy series, but on its own, it  is a refreshing time management (TM) title with a touch of RPG that offers a bit more depth and strategy than your garden variety TM game.

 

You find yourself stranded on a strange island where the people think you’re some kind of god. Now, this storyline is a bit too familiar, especially when it comes to building simulation/TM games. This time, you’re magical Youda – bringer of rain, harbinger of harvests and plenty. But, since you’re not a god nor magical, you need your strength and energy to do wonders. This clever twist makes the gameplay of Youda Survivor HD an interesting, challenging and strategy-laden TM game.

Continue reading