I downloaded Crystal Swarm to take advantage of my new Green Throttle controller. It’s a simple game that reminds me of the old school 2D games of my childhood, reminiscent of Galaga or Asteroids — quick to pick up, simple to understand.
Swarms of bugs attack from all directions as we shoot them back. In two player mode, it can be fun. The difficulty level starts out easy and progresses slowly. My daughter and I got to level thirty-something before I even lost a life. It didn’t take us long to get there. Each phase is quite short, and we regain our lost lives quickly.
In this day and age of 3D graphics and role playing games, I wonder if Crystal Swarm is too simplistic for the sophisticated child. My video game playing thirty-three year-old brother thought as much. My nine year-old says it’s fun, but I don’t see her or her brother begging to play it. For me, it’s all about nostalgia. Why can’t they make games like this anymore? Of the Green Throttle games, Crystal Swarm is my favorite.
I don’t keep many games on my Kindle Fire, but I’m going to keep this one. HUEBRIX is relaxing, is addictive, it makes me think. The puzzles start out easy but they get hard. I’ve spent half an hour trying to solve one.
We have a choice of Zen our puzzle mode. They are the same, except we are either trying to earn medals or reach Zen. Solve the puzzle by drawing a line for as many spaces as in the box. Fill in the grid without crossing any lines. It’s a simple concept –easy to learn, easy to play . . . at first. It does get challenging!
The music is soothing. I usually turn of sound, but I leave it on for this game. It’s hard to put down once I get started. This is a fun way to exercise my brain. I’m loving it.
McAfee Mobile Security
I downloaded McAfee Mobile Security on my Kindle Fire HD and original Kindle Fire to use with my McAfee All Access subscription. I’ve used McAfee for years, so I trust its antivirus features. What I was really excited about was the remote lock and location features.
I had lots of trouble with the location feature. It’s not an option for the original Kindle Fire and it doesn’t function on my Kindle Fire HD 8.9″. The lock and alarm feature took a long time to take effect. I thought it didn’t work, but it does. I have to wait. When it does work, it was pretty funny. My daughter got a kick out of it. The Fire started screaming over and over like it needed help.
So, even though the location feature doesn’t work, at least the antivirus scan, and lock and alarm features work. I give it three stars for being partially functional.
StopWatch & Timer Pro
I downloaded the StopWatch & Timer Pro when it was the Free App of the Day. I have several stopwatch apps and this is by far the most visually attractive. It’s also the only one I have with an optional pleasant voice to help count up or down the minutes.
My wish list: I would like the developer to add a landscape mode option, because most of my Kindle Fire cases only stand in landscape mode. Even better: I would like the app to automatically suspend sleep mode. If I don’t touch the screen every so often, it wants to sleep.
If the Fire does fall asleep, the voice stops counting every 30 seconds (or whatever I specify). It will still sound an alarm when time is up.
If I decide to visit other apps while the timer is on, the voice will continue to count.
This is a very nice app. I’m going to uninstall my other stopwatch apps in favor of this one.
Nexia Home Intelligence Tablet
I use Nexia Home Intelligence Tablet to view images from my Schlage security camera on my Kindle Fire HE 8.9″. This app works better than Nexia Home Intelligence Mobile, which doesn’t work at all on the Fire HD. Still, it’s glitchy. Sometimes, it just crashes.Sometimes, there’s a box that says it won’t receive a signal when the image is right there on the screen. About half the time, I will get a good image without a problem.
So far, the app that works best with Nexia is the one on my iPhone. If you have an iPhone, I recommend that.
Nexia Home Intelligence Mobile
The Nexia Home Intelligence Mobile app is marked compatible with my Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, but it gets stuck on the opening screen where I am supposed to agree with the terms and conditions. I could never get it to work, so I uninstalled it. The Nexia Home Intelligence Tablet works better, but neither perform as well the Nexia iPhone app on my iPhone 4S.
If you like Minesweeper, you’ll like Minesweeper: Unlimited! It’s like the classic game, but each tile has six sides. That actually does not make the game more difficult. We vary the difficulty by changing the size of the board and increasing the percentage of bombs. It’s all customized to our wants and needs. The only thing I think it’s missing is the ability to mark a tile with a question mark. Those question marks always came in handy for me. Here, we can only dig or mark.
There is a timer and the best times are recorded somewhere centrally. Only the top times are displayed on our screen. I don’t know how they do it. If you are aiming to be the best, be prepared for some serious competition. To increase my chances of making the board, I tried to size the board to 2×2, but the smallest I could get is 5×5 and a minimum of 10% bombs. Still, the winners there are listed at .01 seconds.
Curious, I tried to find the maximum grid, which is limitless, I suppose. Since we can’t enter a number by anything other than scrolling (a huge limitation, I might add), I stopped trying to find it at 100. The maximum percentage of bombs is 50%.
The easiest way to get on the leaderboard is to play something other than the default grid. I finally found myself on it playing a 5×5 grid with 25% bombs.
Disneyland MouseWait Social Wait Times Free 2.5
I’ve used a few Disneyland apps and MouseWait is my favorite one. The interface is simple, not cluttered. I use it to see what the blackout days are for my annual pass, when Disneyland and California Adventure open and close, and the wait times.
The wait times are pretty accurate. I always add my wait time in and it updates right away. My only wish for the app is a timer that I can use to record the wait time.
FREEdi YouTube Downloader
I downloaded FREEdi YouTube Downloader because I needed to be able to play a YouTube video when I go camping in a few weeks. I’m not sure if they would have WiFi access in the woods. I’ve downloaded a few videos and I’ve been playing around with it, downloading videos and making sure it works.
It works pretty well. The only problem I ran into is I can’t just type in the code or web address of the video, I have to search via the search function. There were a lot of videos with the same name as the one I wanted, so that was hard.
A tip for those who want to go to their own channel: Go to “Settings” on the bottom menu and input your channel name on YouTube. Go back and look at the “Channels” selection on the bottom of the screen. If you don’t see it, pick “Today.” You should see “Channels.” Once in “Channels,” you can see your subscriptions and the videos you’ve uploaded to YouTube.
After I did that, I was able to see all the videos I’ve uploaded to my account. For some reason, I still can’t get my subscriptions to load.
I use this Netflix app on my Kindle Fire. So far, I’m pleased with its organization. The movies I’m watching are on the top shelf ready to go, then the top picks, then movies organized in categories including categories of movies that I might like. They’re easy to scroll through and easy to go straight to and watch. Movies stream smoothly without problems. The only thing I’d like added is the ability to go to the parental controls settings. That would be nice.