Space geeks rejoice! In follow-up to NASA’s widely popular debut iPhone app … the cleverly named – NASA App [iTunes Free] … the NASA Lunar Electric Rover Simulator [iTunes Free] iPhone game landed on the App Store today (ouch, that doesn’t sound right)!
Both armchair astronauts and common folks alike will love this simulated joy ride on the moon and being tasked with various missions to complete. While gameplay controls resemble Pac-Man … left, right, forward and reverse … the game presents plenty of unique challenges before the words “Mission Accomplished” are awarded. Just like real-life astronauts, proper navigation and attention to power consumption are the keys to success while driving in space.
NASA Lunar Electric Rover Simulator is not only a mouthful to say, but filled to the brim with extra goodies. The Gallery section of the app features 14 images of various Lunar Electric Rovers with facts about each. The interactive Learn section takes a closer look at the rover, complete with informational call-outs. Couple all this with groovy spacey in-app music, the NASA Lunar Electric Rover Simulator app should quickly makes its way into the Overall Top 50 Free apps.
But aside from all these killer features, for us, the best asset of NASA’s first-fever iPhone game is its wiseass remarks. For example, if you happen to crash the rover, you’ll receive a sarcastic mocking … “you’re the reason we had to remove that annoying reverse beeper!” LOL … there are plenty of more zingers available to discover, so rather than be a spoiler … just download the free rover simulator app immediate fun.
You know that noise you heard last night? Well that was the collective sound of rejoicing iPhone gamers worldwide. They were geeking out, doing the “Happy Happy Joy Joy” dance over the highly anticipated release of Gameloft’s Brothers In Arms 2. And of course today, every freaking iPhone game review blog will put in their two cents about how Brothers In Arms 2, built specifically for the iPhone, is utterly orgasmic.
Meh! Screw Gameloft and their state of the art first-person shooter 3D game. The real gaming news from last night was the EPIC release of Hungry Hungry Hippo!
Originally introduced as a board game in 1978 by Hasbro, the objective of Hungry Hungry Hippos is simple … whoever can spaz out the hardest and collect the most white marbles by slamming the crap out of their hippo over and over again, WINS! This mindless game is loud, obnoxious and is an effective form of birth control for any parents considering additional offspring. See for yourself … check out this Hungry Hungry Hippos commercial from the early ‘80s … and be amazed how fast those hippos go from eating the marbles to excreting them.
“I WIN” … oh yes you will with this stunningly awesome release from Matchy Games. And although there are no worries about losing an eye from real flying marbles … we must warn you … Hungry Hungry Hippo for iPhone might induce a seizure due to the frantic gameplay and strobing rotating psychedelic backgrounds within the app.
So think about it … why would you drop eight dollars on what should prove to be one of the best iPhone game releases of the year, Brothers In Arms 2, when you can spaz out like Amy Winehouse in a mental hospital with Hungry Hungry Hippo for iPhone. Oh and did we mention this method of birth control is FREE [iTunes]?
February 15: Let’s Bounce – SpringFling iPhone Game Review
February 16: New iPhone App Proves Sex Doesn’t Always Sell
February 20: Spooky Spirits – Absent of Absinthe
Pee Without Noise Stool
No offense ladies, but this is what happens when you foolishly employ an all-female R&D team … the Pee Without Noise Stool. Designed to eliminate urination noise and splash in one fair swoop … and as an added bonus … eliminate your manhood as well. Kneeling and peeing … yes, this totally makes sense, but you still have the problem of remembering to put the toilet seat down for your honey. Back to the drawing board ladies!
Honestly, at $76 for the wooden Eco model or $98 for the polyurethane DX model, if anyone receives one of these ball-remover devices, our advice … cut your losses and just move on!
When I first heard the phrase "spooky spirits", I immediately thought it might be some kind of Absinthe connoisseur’s app, allowing the user to chronicle their dalliances with the wormwood infused liqueur romantically referred to as "the Green Fairy". Upon firing up Spooky Spirits: Puzzle Drop!! [iTunes $1.99] by Innogiant, however, I was pleased to discover it to be an imaginative and entertaining game of the highest caliber.
The story’s premise is that a couple of "spirit wardens" (think "ghost guards", "poltergeist probation officers", "specter watchdogs") fell asleep on the job (you’ll soon find out that these two fall asleep quite easily) and let a bunch of the groovy ghoulies escape. These AWOL apparitions then worked their way into the various puzzle blocks that you, the intrepid player, will encounter.
When creating a profile, you pick which of the two characters will accompany you. For me, the choice was easy… See, one of the characters is named Tim. I took this as a portent and an omen. He’s a sarcastic little dude who blames the other character, Becky, for their predicament. Becky, not to be outdone, throws some zingers right back at him.
Game moves are simple yet effective. You interact with a set of blocks that are arranged in two rows at the top of the playing field. You drop the blocks onto the playing field in pairs and can also swap the positions of adjacent blocks (successively to move a block from one edge to the other if necessary). When a "spirit infused" block makes contact with others of identical color, the whole group disappears and the ghost is recaptured.
There are three basic game modes: Panic, Puzzle and Eternity. Each will appeal to a different kind of player. Me, I quickly gravitated to the Puzzle Mode. Here, the goal is to solve the puzzle within the number of drop moves you have been given (which often seems impossibly low). I have yet to experience one of the puzzles where I was able to solve it in fewer moves, so the number you are given is likely a hint as to the order in which things must proceed. The puzzles are very well thought out, progressing nicely, level by level, from basic to head-scratching.
In Panic Mode, you must quickly drop blocks to clear a certain number of ghosts before the screen fills up. This mode is aptly named as the games begins to speed up and you start dropping blocks willy nilly in an attempt to avoid destruction. In Eternity Mode, which is Tetris-inspired, you rack up as high a score as you can until you can’t make any further moves.
The graphics are outstanding and the music and sound effects are top notch. Well worth the price of admission which is, at the time of this writeup, $1.99 [iTunes] or a free lite version is also available for trial [iTunes].
In case you missed our previous coverage, Apple has reversed their policy and is in the process of removing once approved smut applications from the App Store. Below is an overview of Apple’s efforts:
Friday, January 29: As detailed in our “Apple Reverses Policy, Begins Removing Smut” article, Apple sends developers a short email explaining their app(s) have been removed from sale due to customer complaints of inappropriate content … showing too much skin. While the exact criteria for “too much skin” is unknown, it seems only the most extreme apps were pulled … pasties and hand bras.
Thursday, February 11: Reported in our “Apple Continues War On Smut” article, Apple begins rejecting apps for displaying objectionable preview screenshots. Apple informs developers that … “the application screenshots must meet the requirements for a 4+ rating since these images are visible on the App Store by all users even when purchasing is restricted by the application’s rating.”
Yesterday, in what probably will be considered the most significant day in Apple’s war on smut, developers received the following email from the iPhone App Review team …
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2010 x:xx PM
To: <COMPANY NAME>
Subject: <APP NAME> Removed from Sale
Dear <COMPANY NAME>,
The App Store continues to evolve, and as such, we are constantly refining our guidelines. Your application, <APP NAME>, contains content that we had originally believed to be suitable for distribution. However, we have recently received numerous complaints from our customers about this type of content, and have changed our guidelines appropriately.
We have decided to remove any overtly sexual content from the App Store, which includes your application.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter. If you believe you can make the necessary changes so that <APP NAME> complies with our recent changes, we encourage you to do so and resubmit for review.
iPhone App Review
As noted, in January, Apple only removed the most extreme smut apps. This time around … in a rather apologetic tone … Apple is removing “any overtly sexual content from the App Store.” KRAPPS received numerous emails from developers stating their apps were removed. Most were tame … you’d see more titillating content in a Maxim magazine.
The Dirty Fingers Screen Wash app has been removed. As detailed in our review, this app is a virtual iPhone screen cleaner … a girl, in a bikini, spraying and cleaning the screen.
Launched 13 months ago, the Wobble iBoobs app has also been removed. This app contains no sexual content. It’s photo manipulation software that lets you jiggle selected areas of images uploaded to the application. Static pictures become dynamic … jiggling Jell-O, swaying bridges and of course, bouncing boobs.
So it appears Apple is not just targeting photo smut apps. Sexy slider puzzles, sex positions, sexy scratch offs and many more … all have been removed. What remains to be seen is how consistent Apple will be with their new “overtly sexual content” policy. Will removals be arbitrary and subjective … or will Apple have the balls to remove such big name apps like Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Maxim and FHM … these apps certainly contain overt sexual content, yet still remain for sale (and considering the iPad, probably will always remain for sale).
Or better yet, developer On The Go Girls published both the Dirty Fingers Screen Wash and Hooters Calendar Sexy Screen Wash apps … Dirty Fingers pulled, Hooters remains – huh? Stay tuned for further developments.
We have a confession to make. We’re telling you this in confidence … so please don’t go blabbing it on Twitter or something. Pinky swear?
Ok then … on Valentine’s Day, we flat out lied to our significant other. We’re not proud of it, we had too … for the sake of the relationship. The significant other knows about our obsessive affection towards the iPhone and all things Apple. So what better way to say I Love You on Valentine’s Day than giving her the “Nothing Steve Jobs Ever Creates Could Fully Replace You In My Life” eCard from Someecards.
But really, can you blame us for having this affair with our iPhone? It totally rocks and completes us. We did a study of our life pre and post iPhone … the results were amazing. The quality of our life measured 322% better post iPhone. Check these proof points:
- By simply holding the iPhone to our head for 10 minutes a day, it cured our baldness (Hair Clinic app)
- While eating lunch at a restaurant, the iPhone saved us from choking to death
(I Am Choking app)
- We’re no longer addicted to porn thanks to the iPhone
(iRecover – Pornography Addiction Recovery app)
- By placing a vibrating iPhone on our belly, we managed to lose 137 pounds
- And once when traveling, we used our iPhone to locate the nearest gynecologist … don’t ask (Find A Gynecologist app)
Ha! See that … quality of life, completes us, 322% better … that’s what we’re talking about!
And we’re happy to report yet another quality of iPhone life proof point. We can now have whiter teeth with the new Teeth Whitening Light app.
How cool is that? No more visits to an expensive cosmetic dentist. No more Crest Whitestrips. No more lasers, bleach or hydrogen peroxide. All you need is your iPhone to turn yellow teeth white. Just launch the Teeth Whitening Light app and shine it on your grill (although we suggest avoiding this practice in public … most folks just don’t get how revolutionary the iPhone is … including our significant other).
And let’s not forget the app’s amazing technology … it uses “micro pixelated image technology of actual Teeth Whitening Lights used on the market today” … wow, we’re sold! Sorry significant other – just keeping it real. Pretty much EVERYTHING Steve Jobs creates, including the 150,000+ apps Apple approves, replaces you in our life. Just look at our pearly whites!
Meet Tak Fung. Besides being a good guy, he’s an independent iPhone app developer and creator of the successful MiniSquadron arcade shooter game. 2009 was a good year for Mister Fung. Besides the launch of MiniSquadron, he secured various industry awards such as being listed in PocketGamer’s Top 50 iPhone Developers of 2009 and securing the No. 3 application in AppAdvice’s Top 100 Games of 2009. If you haven’t checked out MiniSquadron, you’re blowing it … it’s a kick ass game from a hard working indie developer. For more information, read The APPera’s thorough review … or just download MiniSquadron for immediate entertainment. [Full Version, $2.99] [Lite Version, Free]
Now if you look closely at Mister Fung’s portfolio of apps, you’ll notice something really strange. Listed in the App Store, right next to MiniSquadron, is the BikiniButts app. Not a typo … Mister Fung really did create and publish the BikiniButts application. Why – read on …
Back in December, we were cruising Twitter, minding our own business … when suddenly we see a tweet from Mister Fung … “OMG I have a new goal in life I must make an app that makes it onto KRAPPS.com.” We thought Mister Fung was busting our balls (or drunk), so we tweeted a retort … “Careful Fung. Many apply, but few are chosen.” Well Mister Fung is a funny guy. He threw right back at us saying … “Challenge ACCEPTED! Feel the full might of 10 years of hardcore coding coming to KRAPPS in 2010!” LOL, well ok then … if dude wants to make KRAPPS, so be it.
Well a month goes by and we get an email from Fung … “Hello Mister KRAPPS! I have not backed down from your challenge. Enclosed for your consideration is a preview video of the crap app I have just submitted to Apple for approval … BoogieButts.”
LMAO! Pretty impressive crap … especially considering it came from the dude who published the high quality MiniSquadron game. So judging by the video, Mister Fung accomplished his goal … make crap and have it featured on KRAPPS. Only thing left was to make it official with Apple’s approval.
And therein lies the ultimate challenge … Apple’s arbitrary standards … especially for those “less than stellar” applications. Typically if a developer pushes the envelope too far, Apple rejects the app. Mister Fung found this out firsthand … BoogieButts was rejected by Apple. Apparently there is a rule which states you are not allowed to have any deformable body parts in the application graphically. You are only allowed if the pictures are user taken ones and not part of the app binary (like Wobble and iJiggles).
Yeah, sucks for Mister Fung and a lesson to all … it ain’t easy making crap. BoogieButts was heavily tweaked, resubmitted and approved by Apple. Below is a video of Mister Fung’s approved app, with new name … BikiniButts. As you’ll see, it really blows … so crappy that we would never feature it on KRAPPS (yes, there are plenty of apps that are so freaking stupid, they simply lose any “KRAPPS appeal”). But fear not … Mister Fung has indicated he will not give up. He has vowed to capture the one honor missing from his repertoire … developing an app worthy enough to be featured on KRAPPS. Fair enough Mister Fung … we’ll be waiting!