Units

Star Wars: Battle for Hoth - app review

Like Star Wars? Like tower defense games? Then you might want to take a look at THQs recent release Star Wars: Battle for Hoth for iPhone. 

The game premise is that of all tower defense games; prevent your enemy (in this case the Imperial Empire) from reaching the other said of the map. As you play the game you get a fairly diverse set of units to deploy in defending Hoth. But, before I get into that, let's look at play mechanics first. 

You start Battle for Hoth with some simple ground troop units and a shovel. The shovel allows you to alter the landscape of the level and force units to move a certain route. This is a great tool in later levels as you can really funnel the Empire to their doom. When you place your units and they destroy a wave of Imperials, you are rewarded with a green wrench icon you have to touch to collect. This gives you points to build or upgrade units. You have to be fast though if you wait too long the wrench will change color to orange then red, decreasing the point value. Wait too long, and your points are gone forever.

As you play through the 15 levels you unlock more types of units including; seated blaster units, radar lasers, turrets, snow speeders, x-wings, shield generators and ion cannons. Some of the more complex units like the ion cannon, shield generators and turrets require an energy generator placed next to them. The energy generator is required to power those units. If you upgrade a unit (say the shield generator) without upgrading the energy unit, you run the risk of losing power to that unit so you always have to keep it in check. 

You can upgrade your existing units to make them more powerful and sell them as needed. I found the most fun in the game building up units under the safety of the shield generator and then taking out AT-ATs with relative ease once my units were upgraded to the maximum.

When writing this review, I have to admit I had some distaste for this game. Simple and not a lot of variety in what appeared to be a shameless use of an awesome gaming license. However, after I made my video review above, I am having a bit of a change of heart. I think I am trying to make Battle of Hoth more than it is;  a simple Star Wars-themed tower defense game to kill a view minutes in your day while standing in line to get groceries. Should you get it? If you are a Star Wars fan I think you will enjoy. If not, I would pass. 

[$2.99- iTunes Link]

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Apple Rumored to Ship iPad Review Units This Week

April 3rd is fast approaching so it's only fitting that Apple is rumored to begin shipping iPad review units to select reviewers this Thursday (either that or they'll be arriving Thursday, like many rumors it's not exactly clear).

Also not clear is whether the lucky reviewers will receive Wi-Fi only, WiFi+3G, or both iPads, and exactly who is getting them (other than Mossberg from The Wall Street Journal and Pogue from The New York Times, of course).

We here at TiPb aren't holding our collective breaths, but we have pre-ordered (and Rene's making the long drive down to the US) so you'll get to hear our thoughts soon enough.

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Lightning Review: Units

(cjvitek is back with a review of Units ($.99 at the iTunes Store), a straightforward unit conversion app. It's currently sitting pretty at #4 on the bestseller list, but does it belong? Read on to find out!)

On my old Treo, I had a great conversion program which I used frequently. When I switched to the iPhone 3G, I was hoping to find a similar program. The best I have found so far is "Units".

Units is a conversion program that allows you to convert currencies, length, area, temperature, energy units, volume, time, speed, and weight. It has a simple, straightforward interface. First you select the mode you want to convert (say, currency), then the "from" units, then the "to" units. You select these options be repeatedly tapping on the "mode", "from", and "to" buttons until you get the selection you want. Then, using the calculator style interface, you type in the number you want converted. While I haven't used the currency converter yet, the currency values are updated daily (automatically) or you can update them yourself manually.

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