Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    Anker

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    FiftyThree

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

My Amazon.com Wish List
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Entries in freemium (2)

Sunday
Apr202014

Hearthstone on iPad! Plus 2 more amazing iOS card games

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft on iPad. It's incredible!

I didn't play the PC version of Hearthstone at all, so this is all brand-new to me, and it is stellar.

Now available for iPad, (I hope they'll consider a universal version) Hearthstone is a deck-building strategy game by Blizzard Entertainment set in the World of Warcraft universe. This fast-paced, turn-based game may be compared to Magic: The Gathering, but its closer in style to games like Shadow Era and Solforge. [Magic 2014, Shadow Era, Solforge at the App Store]

While those three are all wonderful games, what Hearthstone has over them is production value. Seemingly nothing has been overlooked; from the table art, card art, characters, voices — all of it is stunning. Selecting a card causes it to hover; as it does, it casts a shadow on the table. When you place a minion card, it changes to a circular token and hits the table with a thump. The griffon on the game board will roar and look up at you if you touch him. These details don't change the mechanics of the game, but they do make the game come alive.

The iPad is perhaps the perfect digital card game platform, and finally, it seems the general public is becoming aware of this. The App Store has a new section called "Card Battle Games," and while some of the titles are freemium junk, there's a handful of hidden gems such as Yomi.

Hopefully Hearthstone will encourage gamers to try these other games. By the way, Solforge is having a 30% off sale until 4/22/14. (I love that game as well — a superb game designed by Gary Games and Richard Garfield, creator of MTG, where cards level up as you use them, becoming increasingly more powerful iterations with enhanced artwork.)

If you love strategy games, give these a try, even if you don't normally play trading card games. The digital format takes away the mess of physical cards and makes the normally arduous process of finding an opponent simple and nearly instantaneous.

As I'm still sort of a Hearthstone and Solforge beginner, I'm not comfortable writing a full review, but as both of these titles are free downloads, I can surely recommend them! Both come with free cards and you can earn more as you play!

 

Tuesday
Oct092012

'F' Freemium Games

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Borderlands 2, Dishonored, XCOM. CityVille.

 

Which one of these is not like the others…? Does something seem out of place?

 

Yet, people routinely spend more and more money on freemium games and subscription games. Why? Because the games are designed that way, and they never end. Until the companies shut down the servers and you lose everything you paid for because you technically own none of it.

 

Back when I played Diablo II, the idea of buying a Windforce Hydra Bow or SOJs on eBay was ridiculous to so many people. Spend real money on a digital asset, something on a computer screen?! Are you crazy? But now, it's commonplace to buy more coins, carrots, energy, whatever.

 

Are you having fun?

 

I suppose that's the key question. I'm still playing Skyrim, a game released almost one year ago. I paid once for it, and two hundred hours later, I'm still having fun on my flawed first character. I wasted three skill points. Arguably, five. Don't care. The game is great.

For me, Skyrim is the greatest game ever made. I've played so many. Thousands. Hundreds on each current platform, including over 900 on iOS.

 

And now, in a span of just a few weeks, I have Borderlands 2, Dishonored, XCOM. Hundreds more hours. No microtransactions.

 

I admit, I'm not big on the competitive multiplayer experience. I used to be, I loved PVP in World of Warcraft in the beginning. But the drive to compete encourages odd, unglamorous behavior in people. It gets ugly. Ever played COD against angry teens?

 

Too much posturing. I just want to enjoy the experience and take in the art. Spend some time in Skyrim staring at the sky and dynamic weather changes.

 

I love art and design, and I'm fascinated by game theory and strategy, so I respect (and admire) the freemium business model in many ways. This is a case of really loving the player and hating the game.

Roger Ebert famously said that video games aren't art. Perhaps it wasn't, at one point. Pong, perhaps. Not today. Not with Bethesda's games (except Brink, because that sucked. Hard.), sandbox RPGs and shooters. Even Minecraft.

 

Some video games are art in its highest form.

And then there's Zinga.