Posts Tagged ‘ iPod ’

iPhone App Review – Call of Atlantis


I’m one of those people who isn’t very easy to please when it comes to playing games on the iPhone. Sure, I love Angry Birds and Words With Friends (who doesn’t?!) but otherwise it takes a lot for me to actually download a game from the App Store and enjoy it.

Most games I come across have zombies or some other boring crap that just makes me wonder why people love that stuff so much. I did love Nazi Zombies in Call of Duty: World at War, but that’s about it when it comes to that sort of thing. That’s not to say that there aren’t decent games on the iPhone or that the ones I just mentioned are bad, I just don’t care for them most of the time.

One of the games I’ve been wanting for a long time is a decent Jewel Quest type game. Sure I have Bejeweled and there are plenty of match three games out there, but none as good as Jewel Quest. And to make something clear, I know there’s a Jewel Quest game on the iPhone but it’s just not the same. There’s something about it that just bugs me.

So it’s a catch 22 for me. I want my cake and I wanna eat it. Just look at my fat pants. But then I was searching through Pandora Box (another app I’ve had since I got my first iPhone, and I love it!) I found a free app called Call of Atlantis that is a match three game. I was skeptical, but decided to give it a go.

Yup. That's me.

I was first taken by surprise by the beautiful look of the game. Usually free games have a cheesy Windows 95 kind of look to them; but not this one! The graphics are stunning and the sound matches right along. There are brief “cut scenes” which have a real voice over; a very nice touch. And another feature is to follow along the path of a symbol with your finger. It makes you feel like you’re actually doing something and involved with the game rather than simply a spectator to it.

Once you get past those parts it time for the match three game. The pieces look amazing on my iPhone 4 and the music/sound fx are just about perfect. While the music is very well done it does tend to get repetitive, and after a while it annoys me because I can’t help but hum along.

Not yo mamma's match three game. Ok, so it is.

Unlike Bejeweled and Jewel Quest the object of Call of Atlantis is to get pieces of an artifact off the grid within a certain amount of time, which varies with each puzzle. Along with the artifacts are helpful “weapons” (my word, not the game’s) that do a variety of things. A bomb, for instance, rids a small area of the grid for you, while a lightening bolt destroys all of one kind of piece on the grid of your choice. They come in handy every so often, but overall they’re not really a necessity.

Instead of the wild jungles of Africa or the sands of Egypt, this game starts you off in ancient Rome. The artifact pieces that you collect throughout a single puzzle make a whole artifact, and after you complete a certain amount of puzzles then a mini game starts where you place those artifacts into a scene where they belong. Sounds kinda boring, but it’s actually quite satisfying.

Unlock the symbols. Or something.

I haven’t beaten the game yet, but I find myself going to this game more often than the others that I own now. For the price of zero you get a game that easily could sell in the App Store for $1.99 or more. If you like match three games at all then you need to check this one out before the makers, Playrix, find out that they can charge for an iPhone/iPod game, especially one of this calibre.

If you don’t like it then you’re out nothing, and that’s the beauty of it. I felt like I ripped them off by liking it so much and not paying for a full game. The inclusion of facebook integration alone should make this a paid app, but I’ll count my blessings in pennies saved. Call of Atlantis is sure to get up to the top of the list in the App Store, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they started charging for it one day, because they should. They’d make a lot of money.

So click the “Share” buttons below to tell all your friends on Twitter and facebook, go to the App Store, and download this app. It’s fantastic! So suck it.

EDIT: Just read that this is a paid app, but it free for a limited time. Better get it while you can!


Ten Most Played Songs on my iPhone

The Blood of the Cu Chulainn by Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna off A Celtic Romance

The first song on my top ten songs played on my iPhone is called The Blood of the Cu Chulainn by Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna. While it’s on the album called A Celtic Romance, most would probably remember it as the theme song from Boondock Saints. This song has a sweeping melody that takes you to the rolling hills of Ireland and makes you yearn for the days of old. Or something.

Just Breathe by Pearl Jam off Backspacer

Just Breathe by Pearl Jam, off the recent album Backspacer, reminds me of Neil Diamond – but in a good way. Where most Pearl Jam songs tend to be gimmicky, this song fits nicely in it’s acoustic backdrop and wonderful lyrics. Unlike past Pearl Jam outings, this song doesn’t suck.

Flowers in December by Mazzy Star off Among My Swan

I’ve always had a soft spot for Mazzy Star. When lead singer Hope Sandoval released her solo albums I was all over it, because let’s face it, it’s still Mazzy Star. But going back to the early works of hers, Flowers in December has a melody that reminds me of Last Kiss, written by Wayne Cochran in 1961 but also well known by the cover version a few years back by Pearl Jam. Hope makes good use of her harmonica and sings the precious song as though she’s whispering it in your ear. Pretty much like every other song she does, but I digress. The album Among My Swan isn’t her best, but this song makes it a great addition.

Sing For Me (Acoustic) by Andreas Johnson off Mr. Johnson Your Room is on Fire

I’ve loved Andreas Johnson for many years now, but most people don’t know who he is. That’s mostly because he’s Swedish. Or something. From the album entitled Mr. Johnson, Your Room is on Fire, the acoustic version of Sing For Me is sweet and tender. It also uses a harmonica for parts of the melody, but Adreas’ voice is, as per usual, at center stage. He sounds like a mixture of Billy Corgan and Raine Maida (of Our Lady Peace) but he has much better control over the nasally aspect of his voice. I strongly prefer and suggest the album Liebling, but this one is just as fun.

Above the Bones by Mishka off Above the Bones

I normally don’t like reggae music at all, especially if it’s from a white dude. But this white dude, Mishka, who went to school in Canada when he wasn’t sailing with his family in the Caribbean, does a pretty good job. The song Above the Bones is at once happy and sad. One could imagine listening to it while happily going about their day, but could easily listen to the same song while in a funk. That’s not too bad of an accomplishment if you ask this white guy who couldn’t do reggae if his life depended on it. Just sayin’. 

Sister Golden Hair by America off America's Greatest Hits

Sister Golden Hair by America is the next song on the list. I honestly couldn’t tell you why I love this song so much. Maybe it’s the melody, maybe it’s the truthfulness of the lyrics… I just don’t know. But I do know that this song is fun to play on the guitar and it has a really great chord progression. The chorus sticks with you every time you listen to it and the drum beat is easily followed but just perfect for the feel of the song.

Damaged Goods by Glint off Glint - EP

The reason I love Damaged Goods by Glint so much is because it could have easily been on the Spawn movie soundtrack in the 90’s. But alas, the song was written released in 2009. It has a slight hint of Industrial music to it, as well as shades of techno and goth. But in a good way, not the “I’m gonna eat your pathetic soul because you wear clothing of color.” Or something. Damaged Goods easily sounds like it could have been co-written by Type-O-Negative. I first heard this song as the free download of iTunes and I’ve been hooked ever since. Great song to jam out to, especially if you’re feeling nostalgic for that 90’s indutrial goth type stuff.

Breaking to Touch by Jets Overhead off No Nations

When I first heard the album No Nations by Jets Overhead, the thing that stood out to me is that this is also an album that could have easily been released in the 1990’s and no one would be anymore the wiser. Breaking to Touch is by far my favorite song on the album because of it’s innocence and simplicity. It’s just a really nice song to listen to. Add that to the acoustic music and I’m hooked.

Stratherrick by Alasdair fraser off Dawn Dance

The next song is another celtic song, but unlike the previous one this one is haunting and dark. With its stoic melody, Stratherrick by Alasdair Fraser captures exactly what real Celtic/Irish music is like. This guy travels the world playing his music, and his whole album, Dawn Dance, is worth the time to listen to it. Everything from upbeat medlies to songs like Stratherrick and Theme for Scotland make this album a good listen no matter your mood.

Black Gives Way to Blue by Alice in Chains off Black Gives Way to Blue

And finally I come to the last song in the top ten songs played on my iPhone. Hardly anything in the music world hits me quite like Alice in Chains does. The titular song, Black Gives Way to Blue, is Jerry Cantrell’s last hoorah for their late lead singer, Layne Stayley, who died of an overdose in 2002. If you need a good cry over a lost friend or family member, give this song a listen. Though they hadn’t released an actual album in over a decade, Alice in Chains hired a new singer, William Duvall, to sing with them for their comeback album Black Gives Way to Blue. William may look like Lenny Kravitz, but his voice is somewhere in between the blues and Layne Stayley without sounding like he’s trying to mimick him. I. Love. This. Album. And I’ve been a strong AiC fan since their first album Facelift in the late 80’s.

So there you have it: the top ten songs listened to on my iPhone. There were a lot of other songs that came close behind these, so perhaps I’ll do a whole list at some point. Until then, suck it.

101 Reasons to Love the 1990′s (60-41)

Continuing with the countdown. Again, this isn’t really in any particular order. So suck it.

60. Waco, TX became known as “Wack-O, TX” because of David Koresh and his Branch Davidians in 1993.

59. Saturday Night Live was funny on purpose.

We all laugh, but he gets to sleep with Mila Kunis. Asshole.

58. “Home Alone” was one of the biggest family movies of all time, and every boy wanted his family to disappear over Christmas so he could thwart a midget and a dumb-ass from breaking into their home, too.

57. Pearl Jam’s first album, Ten, was released, correctly predicting the number of good songs they would write in the next twenty years.

56. Austin Powers shagged his way into everyday lingo, baby. Yeah.

55. Everyone liked Steve Urkel. Black, White, Asian, Mexican- everyone. But real life nerds lacked his “Cool Juice” and “Boss Sauce” so they couldn’t make a cooler clone to win over their pretty neighbors.

54. Michael Jackson was still alive and kickin’, and his music had improved a little. But it still sucked.

53. AOL sent out millions of disks with free hours of internet access. Many were used as coasters because, let’s face it, the internet is the devil.

Damnit, who keeps paging me from 531-8008?!?

52. Denis Leary released “No Cure for Cancer.” That dude is still alive and making fun of people. I gotta meet his doctor.

51. The Doors biopic by Oliver Stone is released on the 20th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s supposed death. That was about the only thing he got right. 

50. The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time is released and hailed, even to this day, as one of the best video games ever created. Having spent countless hours playing that game personally, I can attest to its awesomeness.

49. Ross Perot. That writes its own jokes.

48. Dana Carvey had a career.

47. Baggy jeans were where it was at. The baggier the jeans, the cooler. If you looked like you could easily smuggle people into the country then you were doing it right.

Nothing says 12th century England like a Bryan Adams soundtrack.

46. Alice in Chains released “Dirt,” one of the most complete albums of the 1990’s.

45. “Hey, you gotta quarter?” “Yeah, why?” “Oh, I just got a page and I gotta call the number back to see what they want.” “Sweet. Nobody pages me except my mom.”

44. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves ended up being funnier than Robin Hood: Men in Tights, but not on purpose.

43. The first MP3 player was introduced in 1998 and had 32Mb of memory, expandible to 64Mb. Nowadays we can store all of our Spice Girls albums on our 32Gb iPods.

42. DVD’s came out to the market, costing an average of about $30 per movie. Lucklily companies made the dual video cassette/DVD players for those with huge porn collections that didn’t want to upgrade.

41. Everyone learned the Macarena. It was even taught in schools. What the hell, America?

OK, so I’m releasing these lists sooner than once per day, but I wanted to get them out there. So suck it.

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