App Bundles Save $$$

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With iOS8, you can now download a bundle of apps from the same developer at a bargain price.

They have apps bundles, games bundles and kids bundles. Simply put, a group of cookbooks is cheaper than buying them each separately.

Here is a screen shot of the “Where’s My Puzzle Pack” bundle.

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To take a look at all the bundles that are available, just head over to the app store, where you will find “Bundles” featured on their front page.

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Weekend Distraction: Peggle

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 6.46.24 AMI can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for several years now, and have never mentioned Peggle!

Peggle is a wonderful mix of “fun” plus “addictive-enjoyment” plus “challenging-but-not-too-challenging” plus (again) “fun”.

Not much of a learning curve. The basic premise: you release a ball and it bounces around on the screen, bumping into dots of various colors. Your job is to aim that ball as it is released in a way that will maximize its collision with orange dots. Your main goal is to clear the screen of orange dots before you run out of balls.

There will be a few obstacles tossed your way (of course). But you’ll learn as you go.

When you start, you have a choice of several different “modes” of play. I recommend “Adventure” as this will move you along gradually, screen to screen, learning as you go.

It really is addictive fun. There is something rather hypnotic watching that ball bounce around on the screen.

Here are two random screen shots. The arrangement of dots will change with each screen, and sometimes some of them are moving targets.

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Peggle is 99¢ in the iTunes store

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Weekend Distraction: Word Solitaire

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Do you have a favorite chair? A favorite spot to curl up with a good book? I have an enclosed porch with lots and lots of windows, plants, and breezes, and a great big old comfy chair. In the summer I find myself spending probably too much a lot of time in that chair, curled up with a good book. And sometimes I put the Kindle down, and fire up the iPad for a leisurely game of ….. whatever strikes my fancy.

Recently I found a new goodie. A word game that is relaxing and fun. And free. Relaxing, fun and free. A trifecta! :)

Word Solitaire is a klondike-type solitaire game. Each card has a letter, and it’s your job to move them under each other to form words-in-columns.

There is a delightfully clear tutorial for you to use when you first open the app, and I would suggest that you use it. Don’t skip it. Once you complete the tutorial, you’ll be good to go.

Here you can see one of my earliest (winning!) attempts. You turn over cards, just like in Klondike, and put them under other letters to make words.

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There are some expansion packs available to purchase if you want more more more.

It’s just challenging enough to keep you interested….

but relaxing enough for a lazy afternoon in that favorite chair of yours. :) Enjoy!

Word Solitaire is free in the iTunes store for iPhone and iPad

also

Word Solitaire HD is free in the iTunes store for iPad, only

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Weekend Distraction: Google Maps Trivia

First of all….. I’d like to apologize (in advance) for this week’s Weekend Distraction. It’s so much fun, that you may find yourself returning to it a little too often.

Just saying’ :)

Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 8.29.18 AM The folks at Google have recently released this delightful time-eater-upper. Google Maps Trivia.

And you don’t have to go and get it from the app store. You already have it (if you have Google Maps).

(Even if you don’t have a smart phone, or an iPad, you can also play this on your computer. I’ll provide that link at the end of this post.)

It’s called Google Maps Trivia. Simple and appealing. Google will give you a random clue, and your job is to drop a pin on the correct location.

You start with 1000 miles. Miles are subtracted for any distance “off” the correct mark. When you run out of miles, you’re done. You can choose categories if you would like, or let Google throw them at you randomly.

To find this gem on your device, just open your Google Maps app.

Click on those three lines up in the upper left hand corner. Now look down the menu on the left side, and select “Google Maps Trivia.”

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The game begins!

Let them give you questions, or select your own category.

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Answer the question, and drop your pin. If you’re wrong, Google will show you how far off you are, and subtract those miles from your 1000. When you run out of miles, you’re done.

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And when you get your answer RIGHT … Google cheers you on!

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You can also play this game directly on your computer. I actually prefer to use it with a larger screen, and I find that I can be more accurate with my pin drops on my Macbook rather than on the smaller devices.

Follow this link to play Google Maps Trivia on your computer:

Google Maps Trivia

Have fun!

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Weekend Distraction: Bookworm

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 7.22.00 AMI hesitated highlighting this game. Why? Because it is so great that I have to imagine that everyone has it already. :)

But, this blog attracts lots of NEW users of the iPhone and/or iPad, and for those newbies …. you are in for a treat!!

Bookworm is an award winning game. Letters drop, and you tap them to make words. As you create words, your score grows. You’re happy and doing fine. Suddenly you see a new block, and notice that it is (gulp) on fire! Now comes the tricky part: You must use that letter before it hits the bottom, or your game is done. One burning tile isn’t too bad. But the longer you play, the more burning tiles appear. Quite a challenge! On this screen shot I waited too long to tap the burning tiles and they are starting to add up. Best to zap them as soon as you see them.

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Bookworm is $1.99 in the iTunes store.

BEWARE!! If you’ve never played this before, you will find it incredibly addicting.

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Weekend Distraction: Threes!

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I don’t have a terribly long attention span for games.

But yet I enjoy pulling up an app and playing with it for a bit of challenging fun.

Threes! is the perfect go-to when you have a few minutes to kill.

(and… before I go any further, this app has NO ads, and NO in-app purchases! Yay!)

It is a lovely game. It is deceptively simple, works flawlessly and is surprisingly challenging.

You can choose to be taken through a bit of tutoring to get you started, and then away you go.

The challenge is to get the highest score you can (and then next time….beat your score.)

What to do? Combine 2’s and 1’s to make 3’s. Combine 3’s to make 6’s. Combine 6’s to make 12’s. Combine 12’s to make 24’s. Combine 24’s ….. you get the picture.

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Once you try it a few times, you’ll be drawn back again and again.

I’m not alone in my enjoyment. The reviews are all quite positive:

Threes is a puzzle game with absurd amounts of charm

Threes App Review: A cute, casual and challenging puzzler

Threes! is what every indie App Store game should be!

***

Threes! for the iPhone or iPad is $1.99 in the iTunes store.

p.s…. my best score (so far) is 2,397 :)

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Weekend Distraction ….. (a Review, because this weekend, I’m distracted)

Screen shot 2013-10-31 at 5.33.55 PMIf you have been a reader of this blog for a while, you know that I often throw out a mindless, pass-the-time type app for your weekend consideration.  I tag this series as the “Weekend Distraction.”  

This weekend I am not supplying a weekend distraction because I am,   uh  ……..    distracted.   :lol:

I will be away for a few days,  and probably will not post again until mid-week.

Considering that so many new readers have joined this blog over the last few months, I thought this would be a good time to link to many of the previous Weekend Distractions. (Following these links should be pretty darn distracting.)   :)

Wishing you all  a nice weekend (plus a few days)!

(prices quoted may be different now, altho they were accurate when they were originally posted)

Weekend Distraction: Fairway Golf

Weekend Distraction: Falcross  a Logic Puzzle Game 

Weekend Distraction:  Flow Free

Weekend Distraction: Super Stickman Golf 

Weekend Distraction: Video Time Machine 

Weekend Distraction: Tap the Frog 1 and 2 

Weekend Distraction :  Wordsplosion

Weekend Distraction: Photo Hunt HD for iPad

Weekend Distraction: Little Things for your iPad

Weekend Distraction: RoboSockets Link Me Up

Weekend Distraction:  Greedy Spiders

Weekend Distraction:  Mahjong Towers for iPad

Weekend Distraction: Spider the Secret of Bryce Manor

Weekend Distraction: Blockwick

Weekend Distraction:  Flow Free Bridges

Weekend Distraction:  Spell Rift

Weekend Distraction:  Montezuma Puzzle 

Weekend Distraction:  Trailers

Weekend Distraction: Cryptogram for iPhone or iPad

Weekend Distraction :  Short Stories w Paragraph Shorts

Weekend Distraction: The Great Gatsby for iPad

Weekend Distraction: Finger Piano for iPad

Weekend Distraction: Jar of Marbles

Weekend Distraction: iPoe 

Weekend Distraction: Word Mess

Weekend Distraction: Skill Game for your iPad and iPhone

Weekend Distraction: Stroll Through the National Gallery

Weekend Distraction: Van Gogh Tiles and Monet Tiles

Weekend Distraction: Can Knockdown 3

Weekend Distraction: Dots

Weekend Distraction: Across Lite Crosswords

Weekend Distraction: Beatwave 

Weekend Distraction:  NPR music for your iPhone and iPad

Weekend Distraction: Spirodoodle

Weekend Distraction:  Retail Therapy, Find and Save

Weekend Distraction : TanZen for iPad or iPhone

Weekend Distraction: Swell Radio

Weekend Distraction: Unolingo

Weekend Distraction:  Jigsaw Box

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Weekend Distraction: Unolingo (a crossword with NO clues)

Screen shot 2013-10-18 at 5.39.56 PM It’s been a while since I found a new word game to enjoy. But recently I came across Unolingo, and it is definite “weekend distaction” material. :)

The premise is SO simple. You are presented with a crossword puzzle with a few letters placed on it. The rest of the squares are blank.

Your job: Finish that crossword by finding the perfect spot for all 26 letters of the alphabet. Properly placed, you will complete the crossword.

So simple… but yet it is (enjoyably) challenging.

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All you do is slide a letter from its place in the alphabet up into the perfect spot in the puzzle. In the beginning, it’s easy. But as your puzzle starts to fill, you may learn that your placement choices need rearranging. :shock:

Unolingo for your iPhone and iPad is FREE in the iTunes store with 20 puzzles to try. (If you really like it and want more puzzles, they are available for purchase within the app.)

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Weekend Distraction: TanZen for iPad or iPhone

Screen shot 2013-09-27 at 5.23.46 PMIt’s the weekend, and you want to relax. Find your zen.

TanZen is a classic tangram game. It is so well done, that you can just lose yourself in the solving. It works smoothly and the controls are very intuitive. Just slide the pieces in place. Tap to flip, spin to rotate. There is even some soothing background music if you care to enjoy that, too.

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I have had the TanZen game on my iPhone since the day I got my first iPhone. (The iPad hadn’t been invented yet. :lol: Obviously I’ve had this game for a long time, and it has never crashed or given me grief in any way.)

There are several versions of the game available. One for the iPhone, and another HD version for the iPad. In both cases there is a free version (I’ll provide links to the free ones). If you enjoy it, and want more puzzles, you always have the option to buy more.

But the free versions give you close to 50 puzzles, so you can thoroughly enjoy TanZen without laying out any $$$$$$. :)

TanZen HD Lite for the iPad is Free in the iTunes store

TanZen Free for the iPhone is free in the iTunes store.

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What is “Freemium”?

Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 4.48.31 PMOn this blog, I occasionally highlight apps of interest, and when I do I always try to share information about the price or, even better, announce that it is free.

But lately many apps have adopted a new business model with a more pay-as-you-go approach, and therefore a new descriptive word has evolved.

Since I know I’ll be using this word on this blog, I thought it would be a good idea to explain it, now.

And that word? Freemium.

Let’s back up a bit. When apps first appeared in the iTunes store, you basically had two kinds: Free or Pay-for-it. Free might be the whole game, for example, but with pesky ads. If you could ignore those ads-on-the-edges you would have a pretty good deal. If my memory serves me correctly, the original Paper Toss was that kind of game. I downloaded the free version at first, but I remember finding the ads so annoying that I eventually spent 99¢ for the opportunity to enjoy the game ad-free. (That is precisely what the developers hope will happen, because that is how they make their money.)

Other apps offer you a limited version of the app for free. Just a teaser. Many Photo-apps were originally created like that, giving you just a few features to try out. And then, if you liked it, you could pay for the app and get the full version. The Premium version.

But gradually a new model has evolved, the Freemium. Many of the top-selling games in the Apple Store are freemium games.

The Freemium App gives you the product for free. BUT, as you play or work with the app there are various opportunities offered for upgrades, more time or other extras, and it is these in-app purchases where the developers want you to spend the $$.

And so, if you want the premium app, you’ll download it for free, and then pay as you go. That’s premium + free = freemium.

Critics of this model are many. (I’m counting myself among them) Personally, I would prefer the opportunity up-front to buy the app, the WHOLE COMPLETE app….. or not.

You can read more about this developing model by clicking any of the following links:

Wikipedia: Freemium

Freemium Is Irresistable, Even For Successful Game Companies

Most freemium mobile game high-rollers happy with their spending

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