ContactEditorial Manifesto

Latest blog entries (Page 1 of 6)

Back to Space

by Paul Byron on 7th Oct 2012

Red Dwarf X

So, it's back.  The sci-fi comedy show Red Dwarf X hit the air the other day on Dave, the channel that I can't actually get on Freesat (apparently I have Sky to thank for that).

Anyway, the long and short of it is that this new series has hit a good first note with episode 1.  It's not quite up there with the best of them, but it's far better than series 7 or 8 were and it really feels as if the conversational comedy is back in there. 

I guess it helps having a studio audience again, giving it that vibe it missed for so many years (and let's not mention the mini-series), but it also managed to stradle the issues of looking good and still looking like Red Dwarf with a mix of model shots and CGI giving it a bit of a retro feel without sacrificing the quality.

For those that missed it, the show can be seen again for the next few days on Dave's website via their watch again system or by subscribing to the series pass on iTunes.  For others outside the UK who don't even know what I'm going on about, you really need to check out the first 5 series of this show for some fine UK comedy.

Candy Quest

by Paul Byron on 20th Sep 2012

Sometimes I think Games and Candy were made to go together like Morecambe and Wise, so it's only natural that in this digital age there's a digital solution to trying out some of the world's best sweets.

As a self proclaimed lover of chocolate and all things sugary, one of my go to places for world comfort food is Cybercandy.  They deal with sweets from the US, Canada, Japan, Europe and Australia in their online shop. They also have several stores dotted around the UK.  Everything from Twinkies to Scorpion lollies is there.  So I've decided, with their help, to wonder into the strange world of candy.

I know we're slightly too early for Halloween, but it's only just over a month before those kids will come knocking at your door expecting sugary treets.  With the US being the number one destination for Halloween merchandise, there's no shortage of Halloween based foodstuffs to choose from, with Ghostbusters Energy Drinks and Scary Pez dispensers to Spooky Oreos. 

I've choosen Peeps Milk Chocolate Pumpkins, a large chocolate pumpkin filled with gooey marshmallow as an example.  The main problem is that this is much too nice to give to the kids and I'll probably just end up eating them all before October even starts.

Peeps Chocolate Pumpkin

So that will be 10 of those for me and some more regular chocolate for the Trick or Treaters, then. Now to go and horde some more candy before the kids come knocking.


The iPhone 5 storm approaches

by Paul Byron on 11th Sep 2012

Every time Apple get ready to launch a new device a storm rages around the internet.  Now I'm not one to get caught up in all this, but I'm sure you've seen all the 'news' about the iPhone 5 and wonder why doesn't have pages and pages dedicated to the rumours.

It's simple; we don't like to speculate and personally, I'd rather just report on the actual news.  That means we'll be adding news as the Apple Keynote happens and we'll provide the full specs and details when they are announced.

That doesn't mean we'll ignore every piece of news that filters through the noise.  If something is interesting enough or sounds as if it comes from a credible source then we'll post it and, of course, anything games related will still get a look in here.

Of course, if you do see anything you think we should cover, feel free to shoot an email over to me at and I'll take a look.

Reviewing Freemium Games

by Paul Byron on 2nd Aug 2012

There's no denying that Freemium games are here to stay, with most major publishers keen to push them out there.  EA and Gameloft are happy with revenues from these games and they're gaining acceptance from the iOS and Android communities (although begrudgingly at times).

But from the perspective of a reviewer there are still issues with the format.  Do we, for instance, review the free game and then allocate a percentage of the score to how well the paid parts are implemented?  Do we review from the perspective of someone who will only play the free part and not pay any more?  Or do we pay for everything, in the cases where games require in-app payments for game-changing content, and review the game in that way?

Of course, developers also find it hard to 'sell' their game to a prospective website if they can't provide the whole game to review and Apple make it harder for them to provide full unlocks to Freemium games so it often falls on the site to pay for any in-app content.  While this shouldn't impact scores and certainly doesn't on, you just know that some sites will prioritise games without this hurdle above Freemium content.

Cost also comes in to play when deciding on a review score, much more so than with a standard paid app.  If the game is free and the In-app items are required to get the full experience it may push the price up to above the average value of a standard app.  Should this reflect in the review?

It's true to say that there is a right and wrong way to provide Freemium content.  Some of the biggest apps on the App Store and Google Play can be held up as examples of this, from Jetpack Joyride to Temple Run.  These either provide fun additions which are not essential to the game, like costumes or vehicles, or give players real premium content in exchange for their money.  The wrong way to go about Freemium content is to put up a brick wall in your game that can only be traversed with payments, or to provide multiplayer games which are skewed in favour of players who have bought extra content.  This can be paying for levels outright or just paying to increase an energy level, as with Let's Golf 3, which receieve much critisim from the way it handled access to courses and even shots through a Freemium model.

For now, all our reviews for Freemium apps take into account the In-app payments and whether they affect the gameplay or are essential in order to play the game.  We will always keep gamers informed as to whether any further outlay would be required to lay a free game and how good the integration of freemium content is.

Sponsorship for the 2012 London Marathon

by Charlie Holmes on 1st Feb 2012

Hello. My name is Charlie Holmes and I am the newest staff member at, and I Hope you have been enjoying my work.

This Blog is to promote my participation in this year’s London Marathon. I decided to do the Marathon in my memory of my friend sadly passed away last November. As he suffered with epilepsy throughout his childhood I have decided to run for the charity, Young Epilepsy.

The charity Young Epilepsy helps to provide awareness about childhood epilepsy through information campaigns and support programmes. The charity also helps to run St Piers School and college that help young people (aged 5-25) with epilepsy to get a brilliant education and have social experiences. They also run a research programme which works closely with UCL-Institue of Child Health and Great Ormand Street Hospital. If you would like to find out more about the charity, here is a direct link to their website

I have been set a target of £2,000, but I’m sure I can get more than this and with your help then it is definitely possible. Please only give what you can afford but every little really does make a massive difference! And please tell your friends, family and your local community about what I’m doing so we can make a big difference to the lives of more than 60,000 children who live with Epilepsy.

To sponsor me please visit my Charity page at

Thank you for reading my first blog, and for any sponsorship you can give.


Android Incoming

by Paul Byron on 1st Feb 2012

It's all change here at  After several years of serving iOS games news and reviews, we've decided that Android owners should really get a look in too. 

That doesn't mean we'll be forgetting our iOS roots, expect the same news, reviews and exclusives from our beloved Apple platform, but now with added Android love.

We'll be gearing up for Android based reviews over the coming weeks, alongside some Android-specific features, so tell all your friends that we're expanding and look out for these exciting changes.

Towers and Slugs

by The Freeloader on 28th Jul 2011

As I've already mentioned on the site earlier today, Astroslugs Deluxe has gone free for today only and is well worth a download if you're a puzzle fan.

The game is similar to the Infection game from 7th Guest (itself remade as a stand-alone iPad game) and can get fiendishly difficult in later levels. 


In Space, no-one can hear you slime

This app being made free is all down to the good people at FreeAppADay, which has saved me a pretty penny since they started making top games free for a day.  Also on their cards is a tower defence game with a distinctly Chinese flavour.

Three Kingdoms TD is a universal app which takes traditional TD gameplay and adds some lovely visuals and some nice strategic elements to the game.

Tower Defence Take Away

You can check out these and more free Apps over at FreeAppADay's website.

More freebies for a Monday

by The Freeloader on 25th Jul 2011

Hello all in freeloader-land.

I've dusted off my blog to bring you a few of the current free games on iTunes at the moment. 

First up is Playlithium's Super Ball Escape HD, which we gave 8/10 to back in March.  The game is a mix of Marble Madness and stealth action game.  iPad owners should really check this out as it's a great title and suits the tablet device perfectly.


Tilt, roll, avoid


Second is for fans of BBC's Top Gear.  Top Gear Stunt School is going free as part of FreeAppADay and you can get both the iPhone and HD iPad versions free for today only.

The game involves racing in a variety of vehicles around a series of stunt tracks.  Unfortunately it doesn't have any of the presenters commenting on your progress, which would up the entertainment value 100%


The Stig never had to cope with this


Lastly there's Chillingo's free to play title Monster Mayhem, which involves blasting increasing waves of cartoon monsters with various weapons.  Sounds like a good way to let off steam!


knife a zombie, gun down a ghost...

Minigore goes free

by The Freeloader on 16th May 2011

Chillingo have produced some great games since they started working on iOS titles.  One of those is Minigore, a twin stick shooter with great characters and some excellent support in the form of free updates.

Well, Minigore is no available free for a limited time, so there is even more reason to get involved with the fun and grab the 5 episodes (and counting).



Spirits and Spirits HD Free today

by The Freeloader on 13th May 2011

Spirits is an interesting little game with some lovely presentation and an interesting take on the physics platformer genre. 

Luckily, you can witness this for yourself as the game is free today on iPhone and iPad.  Be quick, though, as it's a one day only deal.


Spirits for iPad

Robot Wants Kitty going Free

by The Freeloader on 26th Apr 2011

Hot on the heals of yesterday's Chop Chop Caveman going down to the price of zero (see Dan's post in news), another game caught my eye as it headed towards the big 0. 

Robot Wants Kitty is a fun castlevania style platform game that even has a level editor thrown in.  Longevity-wise, this game could last you quite a while, so it's well worth picking up while it's still free.

A few non-gaming Apps going free

by The Freeloader on 17th Apr 2011

We may be an iOS games site, but occassionally there are a few non-gaming apps that come to my attention. 

If they're good and especially if they're free, I feel I have a duty to let you know about them.

The first is free only for today.  Smart Alarm Clock is not only a useful alarm clock, but it measures your natural sleep cycles and calculates the best time to wake up, avoiding those sudden surprise wake-ups when you least need it (though it can't give you an extra hour in bed without making you late for work, more's the pity).

This useful little App can also record noise while you sleep, coming back with some useful and sometimes downright scary results.  It's great if you need to know if you snore, or to work out just what you say when you're asleep.

Sleep Well

The second is a bit of Easter fun.  The Talking Augmented Easter Egg is both a good way of showing how Augmented Reality works and something fun for the kids at Easter.

Not only does it work with Easter Eggs and real eggs but it can also bring to life a fried egg!  Painting, decorating and giving your eggs a bit of character can all be achieved without the mess of a real paint set and need for artistic talent.  The App is free for a limited time.




Invaders World Tour3

by The Freeloader on 29th Mar 2011

Invaders World Tour 3 is today's free pick.

The game is a homage to Space Invaders but with a few added twists and some great up-to-date graphics.

Not only does this game feature Retina Display support and is playable on iPad as a universal game, but the developers have also added TV out as well.

You can grab the invaders by following the link below to the App Store.

App Store

Invaders World Tour 3

Dark Nebula Episode Two is free this weekend

by The Freeloader on 18th Mar 2011

Having played around with tilt games before, I wasn't expecting much from Dark Nebula.  True, the screenshots looked nice, but it was going to be just another one of those Labyrinth games again.

Well, colour me surprised. Not only is Dark Nebula Episode Two a great game, but it's also free this weekend.

As you can see from the screenshot below, the game looks pretty amazing and has some great variation in the levels from forests to factories.


Dark Nebula Episode 2

Shift! 2 Free for Today

by The Freeloader on 10th Mar 2011

shift 2 is a crafty little puzzle platform game that might have you tearing your hair out on the later levels.

It revolves around changing from positive to negative (black and white) to turn the world the opposite way in order to get to the door.

Well worth downloading while it's free.


Shift! 2