AOTWs

AOTW: Piano Tiles – Simple, Yet Addicting

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After a while, most mobile games get old. You think, “Oh, this is really cool! I will play this for at least a year!” and then just forget about it after 2 weeks, maybe even deleting it because of lack of space. This is the unfortunate life of the average game. But there are some, the few and the far, that stick with you no matter how long you play it. These games build up a legend, with big names such as Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Badland and others. And I now have one more game to add to that list. And it’s called Piano Tiles.

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Piano Tiles rides the app fad wave perfectly. Starting with Flappy Bird, many quick, unprofessional and easy to make games have been rising to the top of the App store free list, with games such as Stay In Line and Make It Rain. Piano Tiles is one of these games. The game engine is really, really simple. The starting screen (on classic mode) consists of 4 rows of rectangular blocks, with more and more rows on top of that. In each row, there is one black rectangle. Basically, you have to click on the black block. Over and over again. As fast as you can.

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The goal of the game depends on the mode you are playing in. In classic mode (my favorite), you have to get 50 as fast as you can. In Arcade, you have to keep up with the gradually speeding up blocks. There are five modes in total with Classic, Arcade, Zen, Rush and Relay. It all makes for a great and, yes, extremely addicting game. It is one of those games where, even when you get your high score, you think, “Phht, I can do better than that.” And then you play it again.

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In the past month, Piano Tiles has been one of my favorite games. It’s not one of those time suckers like Clash Of Clans where you can’t stop for half an hour without ruining everything you’ve done. You can play it in a really short time span, and if you are cut off and have to stop in the middle of the game, who cares. The whole game only takes 10 seconds anyway. And I have to say, even though it is really simple, they really pulled it off. The playing experience is great, and the seamlessness between tapping the rectangles makes for great, quick play.

And yes, I really do play the game. To prove it, here are my top scores for Classic and Arcade. Comment if you can beat it.

Classic(50) – 7.464

Classic(25) – 3.767

Arcade(regular) – 257

Arcade(fast) – 156

AOTW: The Fourth Dimension App Explains Everything 4D

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The human mind is amazingly complex, able to imagine anything we want in our “minds eye”. You can sort of see it, but the picture is not really complete, blurry and needs a lot of focus to complete. But you know this, you’re human. (hopefully) We can even imagine pictures that don’t exist. Especially that don’t exist. So, it would seem that we would have a fairly easy time imagining a fourth dimension. Like, what is it? I can’t even formulate any examples of guesses of the fourth dimension would look like. Our brains just can’t process this.

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To explain this problem, many people use the popular “Flatland” example. Imagine a place that only lives in 1 dimension. These people can only move up and down on a flat line. That’s it. They’re just points on a line. If you were one of these people, the possibility of going sideways would be impossible. They wouldn’t even know what “sideways would be. Now imagine a 2D world. Flatland. These people are shapes, who only know moving up, down, left and right. If we speculate what it would be like, such as in the 2007 animated movie “flatland”, people could only see lines. But they could move.

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They of course would think of a “3rd dimension” as a dumb theory that nobody would take seriously. It just wouldn’t be possible to them. This is the basis of the story, Flatland – A Romance Of Many Dimensions, by Erwin Abbott, set in Shapeland, or the 2D world. The narrator, named simply “the Square”, guides the reader through this victorian era like place, full of castles and kings. The Square eventually visits “Lineland” and “Spaceland”, the latter of which he couldn’t even imagine beforehand. This great novel was written in 1884, and still holds up logically true today.

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But back to the fourth dimension. There are some ways to imagine the fourth dimension, such as the shape of a tesseract. A tesseract is 4D shape, when translated into a 3D shape looks like a cube inside a cube, with lines connecting the corners. But what does it look like in the fourth dimension? Well, that’s where the app The Fourth Dimension app comes in. This app shows you the answer to this and more is an interactive and animated page by page story. The app thoroughly explains everything about the fourth dimension, and the whole thing takes about 10-15 minutes to complete, though totally worth it. With sprinkles of humor throughout, going through The Fourth Dimension app is a great learning and entertaining experience.

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AOTW: Last Life Sci-fi Noir Game – Reinventing Murder Mysteries

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Eleven years after Earth was destroyed, the detective Jack Parker was killed on the transhumanist colony of MarsTopia on Mars. Luckily for him, the Dead Man’s Party holiday is just around the corner, when all the dead people get revived into a 3D printed body for one day to enjoy a gala. Of course, being the detective he is, Parker escapes and goes on a crazy adventure to find his killer, while at the same time maybe finding out what triggered Earth’s demise.

At least, that’s the plot for the exciting new Kickstarter campagin game, Last Life, by Sam Farmer. Last Life is a sci-fi noir game for PC, Mac and Linux that has been attracting a lot of attention recently.

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Made in increasingly popular minimalist/modernist/geometric style, this game’s gameplay is similar to, from what they have already released, a choose your own path game, except with the ability to move around and interact with many different items and people. The whole game has a darkened feel, with the dark grays and maroons of MarsTopia in the background certainly not making the game feel more lively.

Throughout the game, you (Parker) will be scouring the streets of MarsTopia, which Farmer describes as “Orlando, Florida, but on Mars.”, looking for clues to find his killer. According to Last Life’s Kickstarter campaign, you will “wrangle deadly secrets out of an enormous cast of bizarre characters using whatever works: charm, bribes, or something less pleasant.” Sounds fun. 197905aebb3ce834262c1dd190d9ab95_large

Not only capturing the imagination of the media, the creators of the massively successful Kickstarter game Broken Age, Double Fine took an interest in Last Life. So they decided to help Farmer with distribution, their crowdfunding campaign and more. In return, Last Life with be one of the first games to fall under the “Double Fine Presents” banner.

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Not only does Last Life sound sooooo awesome, but it is a very realistic and possible version of the future (besides for the “Earth’s demise” thing). 3D printing, as I have said before on this website, is most likely going to be a big part of the future, providing an easy and affordable way to make products and more. Scientists are even speculating on a way to 3D print a moon colony, after they sent the machine that prints it up there. Who knows. Could happen. “The 3D printing idea just feels like a natural evolution of the technology,” says Farmer. “I mean, we’re already printing organs. And I’m fascinated by the implications of this tech and how it could lead to a post-scarcity society.” 

Last Life is a game with amazing possibilities based off of its fantastic storyline, great set of characters and intriguing world state and scenario. This game could be absolutely a gigantic hit (which it no doubt will be) and become the game of the year, but that depends on a couple variables, including the length, the cost, the ability to replay the game and more. Surely though, after raising $50,000 (and counting to $70,000) on Kickstarter, money hopefully shouldn’t be a problem. The game changing idea that the game starts where you die, which is usually the end, is genius. Sure, the expectations are high, but from what we have now, the future’s looking bright for Sam Farmer and Jack Parker.

AOTW/TOTW: Top 5 Most Frustrating Mobile Games

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The app store, featuring billions of apps and hundreds of categories, has one category that is unfortunately addicting and seems to be a recent fad: frustrating games. Frustrating, but in a weird way good apps. These apps have been gaining followers, all who want to kill themselves every time they play the game. For those of you out there who haven’t experienced the mindless rage you get when playing these games, here is a list of the best games in the Frustrating category. (remember, this list is mostly consisting of the best, most frustrating game that I have played. These are my favorites. Though if you end up throwing your phone out the window, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.)

#1. Duet

Duet is currently my favorite game (which changes often), but even that can’t stop me from feeling like a want take by phone and through it down a well, then haul it up and do it again. The way the game works is that there is two balls at the bottom of the screen, both rotating on opposite sides of a circle axis. if you press on the right side of the screen, the balls spin right, and vise versa for left. The screen then moves under the balls, bringing forth a maze of obstacles that you have to navigate without having the balls touch any of the obstacles. It is actually a  brilliant game, well thought out and well designed, but it is very frustrating, which is why it is numero uno on this list.

#2. Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird. How could that impossibly annoying bird not be on this list. Made by Dong Nguyen, this game has swept over the nation like a plague, infecting everyone on it’s way. All you do is tap. Over and over. And over. And over. Just to get a bird through some tubes. Yet every time you play, and you fail, you want to play again. For some odd reason. But it does have some good qualities, and the story behind the short life of the game is almost as odd as the game itself.

#3. The Impossible Road

The Impossible Road has got to be the most self-explanatory game ever on the app store. It is basically just a road. With a ball on it. You can turn the ball left and right. The point of the game is to stay on the road and get past as many checkpoints as possible. Which is almost impossible. Yet when you fall off, you just want to play again in frustration. Some people may be able to resist the frustration, since it is less than Flappy Bird or Duet, but it is still pretty strong.

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#4. Super ball juggling

Another, lesser known masterpiece of Dong Nguyen is Super Ball Juggling, fraternal twin of flappy bird. Just like Flappy Bird, all you is tap, but this time, it is to keep the ball in the air. You car a guy, juggling a soccer ball, and when you tap he kicks and hopefully hits the ball to make your streak continue. The problem is, there is a very short window of when you can hit the ball, you it is hard to get even over ten. Still, just like Flappy Bird, you want to try again, but in this case, the urge can be avoided after a couple tries.

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The Juggler

#5. BIT.TRIP RUN!

BIT.TRIP RUN! (yes, it is actually all caps and has a exclamation) is another runner game, yet instead of a floating cam behind the character, it is on the side, watching your player navigate through a course of obstacles and gaps in the platform. You can avoid them by flicking on the screen different ways to perform different moves, such as kicking, jumping and sliding. In this game, the frustration is on a different level, more like the urge to finish the level battling your abilities. Anyway, out of these apps, this is the least appealing, but still a good game.

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The BIT.TRIP Runner

(curated by FFtech)

TOTW: We Hardly Knew Ye, Flappy Bird

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Every once in a while, a game or an app goes big on the app store. Angry Birds, Doodle Jump, Candy Crush, or Threes, for example. Usually, especially in the case of Doodle Jump and Angry Birds, they come out with many sequal apps, varying in sponsors and themes. No doubt they make loads of money, and are practically set for life. Even though this is a rare situation, the short, yet odd story of Flappy Birds is one in a billion.

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First, for those of you who don’t know what this game is or how to play it, the one good thing about it is that it is incredibly simple and repetitive. You tap the screen. The bird, which you will learn to hate as a reincarnation of the devil, will jump up, then immediately start plummeting until you tap again. You will quickly reach a set of tubes, hanging like stalagmites and a stalagmites, which you have to navigate the Flappy Bird through. If you get through the first tube on the first try, you are either incredibly, amazingly skilled or a god. If you don’t, you’re normal. Sooner or later, you will get through, then even later maybe 10 – 20. But, if you get addicted to the incredibly simple game like more than 50 million other people did, you will learn why Flappy Bird is, well, @#$%!. Sometimes, you can get 24 or higher, and you celebrate like you won the lottery, and you try again thinking you have finally found the golden method and will do better. Then you get 0, and you get so mad you could have easily just won the lottery, just to have it stolen by your long-time rival. Even if you are well mannered and not easily made mad, don’t underestimate the power of that small 8-bit bird.

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A Game Over Screenshot

Some people, before they download Flappy Bird, say “Well, it’s just a game, it can’t be that bad”. Don’t listen to them. But if it is so frustrating, or as @trainwreckniall said on Twitter, “Flappy Bird is like the new Angry Birds only this time I’m the angry one.” why is it so popular. It does have one good trait, behind the simple graphics and gameplay, which is, the well known gaming quote, by the Atari founder, Nolan Bushnell, “A good game is easy to learn, and hard to master.” Flappy Bird is definitely easy to learn, and almost impossible to master.

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The Devil Himself

Switching over to the personal side of the game, the Vietnamese creator, Dong Nguyen was, after the app blew up, $50,000 a day, he told The Verge, all of advertisements. After all, his app was topping the free charts in China, UK and US. But, it was so much of a success he was soon pressured to make a android version and getting angry messages from people who either lost at the game or didn’t like that it made it big. It, I am assuming, was just to much for the indie game designer, so he tweeted these:

And he did. Soon after his Tweet, he took down Flappy Bird, ending the surge of popularity, to the gamers who were late to the party, and also slowing down the booming anger management clinics. That was not the end of it, though. After the take down, people quickly decided to take advantage of the hit and make their own parodies of the game, ending up with not only Flappy Bird, but Splashy Fish, City Bird Flappy Flyer and Ironpants, 123 on the US free app list. You might think the saga will end there, where everyone with the app will keep it, there will inevitably be parodies, and over time it will peter out of style. Oh, no, Google and Apple were not done with the annoying game just yet.

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The Current Top Free Apps In The US

Since the parodies kept coming, Apple and Google decided to put a stop to all the madness. Since they both have the ability to not accept apps into Google Play and the App Store, they used that ability to it’s full potential. They have started rejecting apps that have the word “flappy” in the name. It’s good that they did that. No more ridiculous Flappy Penguin or Flappy Justin Bieber. Eventually, the game must stop attracting so much attention, but until then, if you want to keep your sanity, STAY AWAY FROM IT. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

AOTW: Dots Puzzle Game – Warning, Very Additctive

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Puzzle games have been growing substantially in the mobile gaming ratings, being a very good way to waste time. Nowadays, when you are on the subway, walking to work, or even just in an escalator, you just have to grab your phone and work on that puzzle game you just can’t solve, or that game that you really really want to break the record for. Games such as Candy Crush and Spell Tower are skyrocketing, and Dots, a simple puzzle game, may end up going through the roof.

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The Game In Play

Dots is based of a simple childrens concept: connect the dots. In childrens books, you connect the dots to make shapes. In dots, you connect the correctly colored dots to gain points. The board consists of a 6×6 grid of dots, and each dot could be one of these colors: red, blue, yellow, black or pink. You can connect dots of the same colors, only horizontally and vertically, to get points. Logically, the more dots you connect, the more points you get.

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There are 2 ways to get more than the usual amount of points. First of all, if you make a square out of dots in a game, and connect them, you get a big bonus. Also, all the dots of that color disappear, leaving room for more and more rectangles. It is a cycle that you want to gain access to. The second way to gain more points is to use your power-ups. One power-up adds 5 moves or 10 seconds onto you clock, the second one takes away one dot, and the last one takes away all of one color, just like a square. The most helpful one is the last one, or expanders, but you have to buy all of them using points you earn during each game.

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A Sample Situation

There are 3 modes of play in Dots: timed, 30 moves, and Endless. Timed is where you only get a minute to get as many points as you can. The trick in that type is just try to go fast- it doesn’t matter how small the ones you get are. The second one is 30 moves, which as you can probably tell, you have 30 moves in.To get a high score, contemplate the consequences of your moves and see if you can make a square. Endless, the last one, is a (obviously) infinite game that just keeps on going and keeps adding to your score. You can also quickly turn on gravity, which make the balls float around a fall to whatever side is near the ground, and when you turn it back on, they are shuffled.

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A Dots Screenshot

Dots is overall a very fun and time consuming game. But, even though the regular game is consuming, it is one of those awesome games that you can start and quickly stop playing constantly and never even disrupt your game or your mind-set. In fact, while writing this, I was playing Dots off and on, and yet I still broke my personal record. The great new iOS 7 style interface and colors work great together, and it is just a great game for the busy, working person.

AOTW: Project Spark

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For the first time, one of the tech giants of the world, Microsoft, is actually getting into the gaming business instead of letting third party companies get all the money and fame. At first, Microsoft tried (and did) to make a game creation software of kids to urge them into the business. It was relatively successful, and Microsoft even put on a US Kodu Cup, a competition for kids to submit their Kodu games. But, the software had a blocky feel and not the best user interface. Even though Microsoft ended up not following up on Kodu, they did continue in the game creation business, eventually coming up the idea for a game called Project Spark.

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The Spark Logo

Project Spark is also a game creation software, except a million times better than Kodu. Spark is also not only for kids. It’s smooth and intuitive way of quickly allowing you to create an amazing game that otherwise would need a lot of coding and graphics experience. Which brings up another virtue of Spark, it’s graphics. Microsoft must have spent a lot of time perfecting Spark’s graphics engine, since it is so complex, as you will see. Here are some of the main features of Spark that I will go over: (remember, it is still in the Beta/Alpha stage, so it has a ways to go before it will be released)

Terrain

The terrain tools in Spark are a very important feature, making up almost all of what separates Spark from the other game creating softwares. The tools are pretty simple; there is the cylinder tool, the roughen tool, the hill tool, the tunnel tooland much more. All these tools are design so that you can bend and shape the starting blank terrain the you get at the very beginning of you game. There is just your avatar and this flat, greyish land. Those tools I mentioned plus many more are a easy and new way to create the landscape of your game. You can make paths, rivers, cliffs, hills, canyons, and anything else you can imagine.

The paint tools in Spark are also as inventive and easy to use as the landscape tools. There are a couple options (more will probably be added) in which you can change you blank starter-terrain into a fully fledged game terrain. The paint tools are pretty simple. You just size up and down the area you want to change, and start painting. The great thing about Spark’s tools are that they adapt to you game. If you want your cliff to be a desert cliff, the only the flat parts of the cliff will be painted with the classic desert paint. The rest of the cliff would be painted in a sandstone cliffy feel like it would actually be in the real world. This goes with all of the paints, giving your game a great, real feel.

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The Basic Edit Screen

The Brain

The brain function of Spark is pretty much the heart and soul of the game. Without it, it would just be a game where you can create your own terrain. With the brain, you have complete control over every little detail, every prop, every character. Basically, the brain is made of basic game programming, very similar to the kind of programming you would see in other anti-programming softwares. The classic When/Do code. You can add something in the When section, such as “detects player”. Each word you add in is easily selected out of many different options that Spark automatically loaded in. Microsoft has been using the “pet rock” example in their demonstrations, which is a very easy brain command. They added the “detects player” line into a rock’s mind, which was previously empty, and then added “follow player” into the Do section. This can be easily set up, changed, scaled, painted, and added to so that your game is completely yours. There is a brain gallery, just like the terrain gallery or the prop gallery,  for less experienced players to have a starting point.

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The Brain Screen For The Rock Prop

Props

Props are an easy way to add very important elements to your game. There is a huge prop gallery in Spark, covering everything from weapons to effects like sparkles or fire balls. Each prop has a brain, and you can easily go in and change it. Some of the most used props are houses, weapons, coins and more. You can easily add an objective to your game using props, such as getting the coin or finding the end spot. Another great feature of props are that you can mush them together with the ground and other props. If you only want the top half of the prop showing, you can just move it so that the other part is underground. You can also glue props together, in such a way to give the impression of a whole new prop. You can even add props such as rocks and house part on your avatar to give your self armor. It really just depends on what you want to do.

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An Action Shot Of Spark

There is so much more amazing tools, props, effects, and brain function to Spark, and even more that they haven’t released yet. The Spark team has done a brilliant job making the perfect “create your own game” game. What’s even more amazing about Spark is the level of detail you can go into and how easily you can just start playing and start testing your game. The game has already generated a ton of excitement, and even more is sure to come when it is released. Unfortunately, they have not given a release date, but if you want to get early Beta access, you can go to Spark’s website and apply. Spark can also be played on the Surface and the Xbox 360 and One.

AOTW: Duolingo, An Easy, Free Way To Learn Languages

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Learning a language is always hard. Especially after the age of about 14, you mind hardens, making it harder for other information to make it’s way in. Fortunately, technology has it’s way of making most of life easier, including learning languages. Since you probably grew up only using one language, it is hardwired into your mine. Just the fact that I am writing this right now is amazing, considering how many words I have memorized over time, if you think about it. Everyone does, but how much information you mind has been storing for thousands of years longer than computers have is astonishing.

Enough philosophy. A common program that is bent on helping people learn new languages is the famous Rosetta Stone. It’s a computer program that drills the language into your brain having you fill in sentences, with pictures underneath to give you a hint. It is perfectly fine….besides the fact that it is over $100. Very expensive. So otherwise you wanted to take lessons, it is pretty much your only option. Until now.

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The Duolingo Owl

Duolingo is a free app for iOS and Android that has same objective as Rosetta Stone, yet a slightly different approach. As part of the lessons, Duolingo the picture approach, but only for filling in the word and gender for current languages, German, Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Most of the Duolingo lessons are set in packets, such as basics, plurals, animals, and number. These packets are each set in a way so that you know sufficient information to fill in the rest of the sentence, while also learning the new words. Inside the packets, there are lessons, with each lesson teaching about 5-6 words. Each lesson is made up of a couple of different types of problems such as translating the sentences (with hints), repeating sentences using the microphone, and probably the most common, translating sentences by picking words out of a batch. There are many others, and this variety makes you learn every aspect of the language to move on. There are just enough hints so that if you don’t know it, you don’t pass. In each lesson, there are 20 questions, with which you only have 3 lives. If you lose all your lives, you have to start over again.

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Sample Duolingo Problems

The great thing about Duolingo is that it is very social. Every time you correctly complete a lesson, you earn 10 XP, plus 1 extra for remaining lives. Your XP is tracked by day, week and month so you can track your usage and learn curve, and once you get a certain amount, you go up a level. You level is your rank in Duolingian society, and the higher rank you have in the most languages the better. You can even compete with your friends and see who has the most XP overall, in the week, and the month.

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The Learning Tree Part Of My Home Screen

Even though Duoling is a great app, they also made a computer version for people really into it. It is built right into the browser, and you can complete lessons and packets just like on the mobile version. The only difference is that the online version has many other side-features that can be very useful. For instance, you can go over the words you have mastered and see which ones are overdue for a revisit, which is easily done, and have discussions about Duolingo and give feedback with other users. Another unique feature in Duolingo is that immerse yourself in article in your language, and even translate them. All these features give Duolingo a step ahead of any other language program.

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Duolingo is always growing. Now that Duolingo has started the Incubator, anyone can sign up to contribute to a growing course. Right now, most growing courses are English in another language, such as Russian or Japanese. Sooner or later, though, there will be more languages so that you can try out as many different languages as possible and see how they all connect. But just starting the Incubator shows how much Duolingo cares about the public, and how they get the best experience possible.

TOTW: Godus, The Ultimate God Game

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Ever wonder what it would like to a god, if there even is one? What it would be like to move mountains, shape rivers, influence civilization, kill peasants, build houses and discover new land? Maybe not, but wouldn’t it be cool? Well, Peter Molyneux and 22Cans answered that little voice in the back of your mind saying “yes!” Not literally, but Godus, their new Beta game, puts you in that role. You can do everything that I so nicely put in the list above, and more.

Godus is Minecraft-style game, but very different in it’s own great ways. The plot of the game is quite simple. You start in a nice, small island with palm trees. Only two people are on the island are your 2 starting followers. They will be the original ancestors of your whole civilization. Eventually, you will create a pathway of land that will connect your island back to your original homeland. it is lush, green hills and plains with lots of space to build houses and grow you civilization (terrain varies).

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The terrain is made up of topographic layers of ground that you, as god, can manipulate to, for instance, make space for housing. To make a house, you have to have a person wander over to a free plot of land. Unfortunately, the people are not under you direct control. Your two little followers are pretty easy to control, considering they get attracted to free plots of land. Once they go to a plot of land, they start building on it. A building takes varying time to build, depending on the size of the plot (30 seconds to 40 minutes). Once that is done, your followers go into the house, in which they produce a child in a certain period of time. If there is a job to be done in the vicinity, a little flag will pop up over the house to show that a person inside is ready, and your can click on him to let him out.

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A Godus Island

But if you thought letting him out would be free, or even changing the landscape is free, boy are you wrong. That’s what makes the game so diverse. There is this elixir-type thing in the game that you use as money. Getting people and changing the landscape cost money. Building houses, fortunately do not cost money. You get money by periodically clicking on the floating blob of elixir above every house, like people.  The bigger the house, the more the money. The only other way to obtain and greedily spend money is chopping down trees and rocks, and buying one time special abilities and statues.

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You progress in the game by finding resource cards and shrines. Remember, at the start, you only get a certain amount of land to work with. The rest is cut off in a colorless wall around your territory. You can expand your workable land by two ways. The first is by finding shrine relics and luring people (three at most) to come reestablish the shrine. Once the reestablishment is done, you get a expansion card, which expands your land. The second is by getting a certain amount of people, resulting in you getting either a ability or a expansion card. Each time you hit a population checkpoint, the next one is a little bit farther. That is another one of Godus’ ways of making sure you always have a goal.

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Godus’ Unique Style

Godus is based on the fact that you are shaping a growing civilization. To make the technology grow, and obtain better and better abilities, you have to find resource cards. They are the heart of the game. The sign that a resource card is hidden underneath the ground is that confetti is puffing above the ground. If you remove enough layers, you will hit a chest. Inside the chest, a resource card is hidden. Once you get a certain amount of certain resource cards, you can unlock technology cards such as bigger houses or the calendar.

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A Godus War

Godus is a nice mix of a strategy game like Civilization V, and a creative game, like Minecraft. The the way they designed the terrain gives the player a certain amount of power, but not to much so that they can just do whatever they want and have the game become a goalless game like Minecraft, which gets boring after awhile. Godus doesn’t. Godus is still in Beta, so your version will auto-update every time a new update comes out. You can get the Beta version on Steam.

AOTW: Pocket Casts Podcast App

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Music and apps have been the two big advantages of mobile technology (in general). Another basic use of the smartphone has become popular only in the last decade: Podcasts. The ability to record a couple of people discussing a certain topic, such as technology, news, and comedy is relatively new. You can also record programs directly from radio stations, such as NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me or This American Life (with their permission). Podcasts have become a mainstream thing in the last couple years with Apple giving easy access from iOS.

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The App

Even with Podcasts becoming popular, there hasn’t been one single super-amazing podcast app that everyone uses. One of the best is Pocket Casts, which recently updated their app for iOS 7, the first podcast to do so. So, currently, Pocket Casts is the most attractive option for podcast listeners. Pocket Casts easy downloading and subscribing interface is much better than Apple’s app, which appears less functional and stylish by comparison.

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The Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts great iOS 7-like set-up makes it very easy to access tons of podcasts. On the “add podcasts” page, all the podcast album covers are formatted into a nice grid, from which you can get a description of the podcast by tapping on it. Many of the podcasts you may have already heard of because they are sections of a radio station, but most of the are probably new. Once you’ve found a podcast you like and have subscribed (all free, they get their money from advertisements), you automatically get the first cast, and every future one. You can also fill up your time by listening to past ones, which are also free.

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Pocket Casts On A Samsung Device

Easy and free access to podcasts if pretty new for the 21st century. But to do it in a good fashion to is almost irresistible. The elegant design of the home screen, playing screen and adding podcasts screen fits well with the rest of the OS. If you are looking for a Podcast app, I recommend Pocket Casts. If you have never tried podcasts, they are a really cool way to get information on whatever you are interested in.

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