Jump Burger by Headcase Games is now on iOS! And it’s FREE!

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Freshly launched on July 9, 2015, Jump Burger by Headcase Games makes its debut on iOS (iPhone & iPad). If you are the type of mobile gamer that enjoys surpassing personal best scores, then give Jump Burger a try. You start as a plain patty burger (who I shall name Mack), and your goal is to hop your way to the heavens, acquiring as many burger ingredients (such as mushrooms, pickles, and lettuce) as possible. Note: photos used are actual gameplay.
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The actual mechanic is simple enough. Merely tilt your iPhone or iPad from side to side in the direction you want Mack to go; he does the actually jumping himself. You hop from platform to platform, gobbling up ingredients and stars for points while avoiding bombs that ensure an instant game over. You aren’t restricted by invisible “side walls” so time your jumps and your dodges accordingly. If you happen to miss a platform completely, you will fall to your burger doom and will have to begin anew.

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Jump Burger is a fairly enjoyable mobile game, especially if you are in need of a quick game to pass the time. Double points if you’re playing Jump Burger while waiting in line at a McDonalds. Not really, but I will give you an internet high five. Though if you happen to be in line at a fast food joint, and you’re looking up at the dollar menu contemplating if you should spend the extra hundred pennies PLUS get a new mobile game, then never fear. Jump Burger is free, so spend that dollar and treat yourself to a yummy patty, both literally and figuratively.

Heroes of Dragon Age mobile game receives 3/5 stars from me!

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I was so excited when Bioware/EA launched the Heroes of Dragon Age mobile app back in early December. That and another replay of Origins and DA2 would hold me over until Inquisition is released later this year.

What is the point of the game? You acquire various “heroes” and journey through the history of Thedas starting with the First Blight. There are ten maps to clear (that I have seen so far), and each map contains five areas that must be unlocked by destroying the enemies that stand in your way. The heroes that you control range from familiar faces like Morrigan, Sebastian, and Anders to Desire Demons, Revenants, and Abominations. Yes, you can have characters that are normally known as enemies and villains in your party.

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To start off, you are given four heroes and a large animal or magical creature as a fifth member. The picture above shows a typical PvP match. The blue bar on the top left displays the party’s overall level, the yellow meter (energy) divided into squares indicates how many times you may visit a map and battle , and the pink meter (stamina) shows how many times you may participate in PvP matches.

How do you acquire more heroes? After each quest battle, you win gold and experience in typical RPG fashion. Head on over to the store and you can purchase a hero pack. Each hero has a colored pedestal that indicates the rarity and quality of said hero. Here is a basic breakdown of those colors:

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Brown = Common Hero

Silver = Uncommon Hero

Gold = Rare Hero

Red = Epic Hero

Green = Legendary Hero

The common and uncommon heroes can be purchased with gold while all other heroes can be purchased with gems. There are two ways to gain gems. One, you can win them by clearing challenges and maps in the quest lines or you can (you guessed it!) buy them with real money. It is extremely difficult to get an epic of legendary hero if you are not willing to spend real money. I have been playing the game since it launched in December and I have yet to get a legendary hero. It is, however, possible to get a rare hero by purchasing the uncommon pack; the chances are just very slim.

The heroes have their own stats and unique abilities that come into play when you create your ultimate party, but there is a feature in this game that really surprised me.  The actual fighting is on autopilot. When you enter battle, you click and watch. You don’t control your party in any way. This feature really takes away the experience of the classic turned based battling system in an RPG and it sometimes makes me rage quit in PvP matches. I somehow lost to parties ten levels lower than me, and I have no idea how that was possible. The only option you are given during battle is to fast forward through the battle and pick up your rewards seconds later. A positive to note is that your party’s health is completely restored after each battle.

The only other downside I’ve experienced with this game is the unbalanced leveling system. It takes quite a long time to level up and once you believe you can progress in the game, the next challenge in your way knocks the ice cream cone out of your hand and leaves you crying in a corner. Not literally, but you feel that way. I just cleared map five, barely surviving the boss battle at level 30 and the first battle (the easiest on every map) on map 6 has level 50 enemies. Sad face.

I believe in the Oreo effect, so I will end this review on the positive note. You do get a camp! Here you can have your primary heroes “consume” ones that you will no longer use and in turn you gain more experience! There is also a combining feature as well in case you happen to have identical heroes. Again, this helps your hero gain more experience and become even more badass.

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Overall thoughts.

Visuals: LOVE THEM.

Characters available: LOVE THEM

Music: Loops a bit, so I use my own playlist. HUZZAH INON ZUR.

Gameplay: Good

UI: Nice. Easy to use.

Battling System: Bioware, you owe me an ice cream cone

New Guilty Pleasure: A mobile app called Tiny Tower

Thanks to technology, I find my attention span shorter than my 4’11” mother. I absentmindedly reach for my phone and open the mobile apps that currently litter the first two pages of my “iphone desktop”. Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, I found myself downloading Tiny Tower, a free mobile app available for iOS and Android, created by NimbleBit. It starts off with a very easy to understand 2 minute tutorial and then off you go to build your tower full of 8bit sims or bitizens.

It’s a basic concept. In order to add more floors to your tower, you need to build shops, restaurants, etc… and in order for those levels to be successful you need to hire competent workers. When you build a residential floor, five bitizens can move in, and they each have their own skillsets. Match their skills with a suitable business, and you will receive a discount whenever you need to restock your inventory. Three bitizens can be assigned to one business floor and five bitizens can move into a residential floor.

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One of the hooks for me is that you can rename the floors, customize their colors, and you can also customize the colors of the clothes your bitizens wear. If you are feeling particularly mean or evil, you can also evict bitizens that do not fit your business needs.

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How do you get money to build more stuff? Once a floor is created and workers have been assigned, random bitizens will make purchases on that floor and that is how you obtain income. Once a day, you will also receive rent money from the residential floors.

How does real money get involved? There’s always a hook to make real life purchases with these apps. If you notice in the above picture, there is a little green rectangle that resembles a standard cash bill. You can accumulate these in the following ways:

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1) Random bitizens will enter an elevator and request that you send them to a certain floor. There will be instances when that sim will “tip” you a Tower Buck.

2) Occasionally, there will be a “find the sim” moment where you are given a picture of a sim that needs to be located and you must look through each floor to find that sim. A Tower Buck is rewarded to you once the target is found.

3) If a bitizen is assigned to their dream job, you will be awarded two Tower Bucks.

4) If you build a new floor, you are rewarded a Tower Buck.

5) And of course, if you want to, you can pay real money to get Tower Bucks.

Why are Tower Bucks so special? The gold coins are used for restocking inventory and for building a new floor. Tower Bucks are essential because they affect the time factor of the game. Example: if a new floor is being built, it may take a couple of hours (in real time) to be completed. You can use Tower Bucks to speed up the process so that the floor is finished immediately. It is the same concept for restocking inventory of your businesses. Out of sushi? It may take 30 minutes in order to restock the ahi tuna; however, if you spend a Tower Buck, your stock will be replenished immediately.

Special note: Sometimes you will have VIP visitors and each of them have a different function. Some will buy out your entire floor’s inventory while others will help find bitizens to rent rooms from you. Be sure to use them wisely.

And of course, the higher the tower, the longer it will take to maintain everything. All in all, I really love this game and it has kept me entertained for days.  And if I’m ever caught waiting for something to be built or restocked, I just head on over to Candy Crush or Dungeon Raid for puzzle goodness.

Special observation: If you have an iPhone 5, your tower will look longer. Just sayin’.