Even more Lego Harry Potter

Harry Potter is back, well in Lego form, on the iPad. The first Lego Harry Potter game for the iPad (and iPhone) was a great success in our house. Enjoyed by all and still played a lot today. However we have been looking forward to the next instalment, our anticipation getting hyped even more when Harry Potter: Years 5-7 was released for all the other gaming platforms.

However the wait is over…

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 is now available for the iPad and is only £2.99

So far I’ve only downloaded the 466MB App and no one has had a chance to really play the game… so no idea if it’s better or worse than the original and no idea if it’s any good.

First glance is that the graphics are better than the first one, the app appears to be snappier (but that may be because my first glance was using the new iPad rather the original iPad, however the game is (allegedly) compatible with the original iPad, which is nice as some new games are only compatible with iPad 2 or better).

Gameplay is pretty standard Lego gaming style, combination of puzzles and processes to progress through.

My only real concern is that the latter part of Harry Potter is certainly darker than the first four films. However this is Lego and when you “die” in a Lego game, you basically fall to pieces and you can always build the Lego pieces back together!

Overall I think this is going to be a fun game and at £2.99 is very good value. I don’t know what (if anything) is missing from the game compared to the console version, but at first glance it does look more like the PSP version than the PS3 version.

What this game also does is ask the question, what is the future of mobile gaming systems, when you can buy the iPod touch (which supports this game) for about the same price as the Nintendo 3DS or PS Vita and not only does it so much more than those two systems, but also the games which are of a similar quality are so much cheaper. The same game for PlayStation Vita is currently £24.99 at Amazon and the PSP version is £15.49. Of course those versions were released back in November 2011, though were more expensive then too. Is the £2.99 price point on the iTunes App Store sustainable? No idea.

Get Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 in the iTunes App store.

Grand Theft Auto 3 for iOS going cheap…

It’s some kind of holiday over the pond and as a result there are a few games that are going cheap in the App Store and one caught my eye, Grand Theft Auto 3, which is going until Monday 20th February for just 69p.

Rockstar Games celebrates the 10th anniversary of one of the most influential games of all time. The critically acclaimed blockbuster Grand Theft Auto III comes to mobile devices, bringing to life the dark and seedy underworld of Liberty City. With a massive and diverse open world, a wild cast of characters from every walk of life and the freedom to explore at will, Grand Theft Auto III puts the dark, intriguing and ruthless world of crime at your fingertips.

With stellar voice acting, a darkly comic storyline, a stunning soundtrack and revolutionary open-world gameplay, Grand Theft Auto III is the game that defined the open world genre for a generation.

Usually £2.99 this is quite a price reduction. It is an universal app so will work on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

This is a much better looking version than the Chinatown game that came out a couple of years back. The touch interface does take some getting use to, especially if you are use to playing these style of games on the PSP or the PS3.

However be prepared for a big download as the game is 462MB big!

Get Grand Theft Auto 3 in the iTunes App Store.

Lego Harry Potter

I don’t play games that often on my iPad and those that I do are often word games such as Boggle or Scrabble. I also like card games and Mondo Solitaire is a fantastic app with all the versions of Solitaire that you can think of.

Though I have bought a few other arcade types, one that my family really enjoyed was Lego Harry Potter.

Play as Harry, Ron, Hermione and many more as you explore Hogwarts and engage in countless hours of gameplay spread across 40+ levels based on the Harry Potter books and movies. 

LEGO® Harry Potter™: Years 1-4 brings the world of LEGO® Harry Potter to life on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, giving gamers the power to play with LEGO characters and models in a brand new way. Based on the first four Harry Potter books and movies, LEGO® Harry Potter: Years 1-4 builds on the foundations of previous LEGO® video games by offering a mix of fun, accessible gameplay and light-hearted humor – appealing to all ages. Players can explore the wizarding world and feel as though they are at Hogwarts.

In celebration of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 is only £1.99 which compared to the cost of console versions and PSP versions is really really really cheap! This is really good value for what is a compelling and fun game. That is key, though only £1.99 this is a great game that you can spend hours playing.

What Lego have done with their games is add a tongue in cheek element to the films they have made games of and as a result if you know the films you can smile at the little jokes that are interspersed in the little clips included in the game. So a perfect combination if you like Lego and Harry Potter.

The game itself covers the first four books/films of the Harry Potter universe and you start in Privet Drive before finally fighting you know who at the end of the Goblet of Fire.

As with many Lego games (those on the PSP, PS3 etc) the game is a combination of puzzles, logic and, in the case of Harry Potter casting spells.

What surprised me was how much all members of the family enjoyed the game and how quickly they picked it up. The controls work well within the touch interface and simple to use.

I do like the fact that Apple have made this a universal app so it works on the iPod touch, the iPhone and the iPad. Personally I think as a game it works better on the iPad because of the bigger screen.

I know that my family are awaiting the next installment of Harry Potter for the iPad and would also like to see other Lego style games too. We’ll have to wait and see, in the meantime why not try playing this excellent Lego game.

Update: Price has now gone back to £2.99 still excellent value for money.

New iPod touch

This September we will see a new updated version of Apple’s iPod touch.

We have already seen changes in the iPod touch in previous years and last year it was speculated we would see an iPod touch with a camera, well we didn’t.

Since then we have seen the release of both the iPad and the iPhone 4, both of which will have had an impact on the market for the iPod touch.

This year expect to see a redesigned iPod touch.

It will more than likely have a front facing camera so that it can be used for Facetime. As Steve Jobs said at the iPhone announcement, tens of millions of Facetime devices would be shipped. At the time of writing the only Facetime device is the iPhone 4.

So what about a rear camera for taking photographs?

I do think that is a possibility, but possibly not as it would eat into iPhone 4 sales.

I do think also we will see an iPod touch with a 960×640 retina display like the iPhone 4.

An 128GB iPod touch means we will see the end of the iPod classic.

I also do think we may seen an Apple TV iPod touch hybrid replacing the current Apple TV product.

All speculation mind you.

BBC iPlayer launches Wii channel

According to BBC News

The BBC iPlayer is relaunching on the Nintendo Wii in the form of a dedicated Wii channel on 18 November.

The BBC iPlayer has been on the Wii since April 2008 but many console owners reported problems with the original interface.

Will check this out on the 18th November.

I have tried using BBC iPlayer on the PS3 and that works okay, though actually prefer to use iPlayer with an iPod touch connected to the TV.

Though my main issue with iPlayer has to be that fact that my broadband connection is too slow to take real advantage of the service.

Live TV on your iPod touch or iPhone

So you want to watch live TV?

I know get a television…

But sometimes that isn’t possible or convenient. For example when you are in a hotel room, waiting for a train, etc…

It is now quite easy to do with a computer and a browser, however until now it was not really possible on your iPhone (or iPod touch).

Simply go to http://iphone.tvcatchup.com/ on your iPhone and you can now watch live TV (well there is a lag of a few minutes) when you want to.

Live TV on your iPod touch or iPhone

Live TV on your iPod touch or iPhoneI added it to my homescreen and they as you can see they have a nice icon for your iPhone.

The service also has a browser version, however you need to sign up to that!

Regardless of which way you go, as this is live TV you do need to have a TV licence.

The quality is quite good and certainly watchable.

Live TV on your iPod touch or iPhone

Tube Deluxe

Whilst the iPod touch is an useful device, the iPhone can be very useful as it has the connectivity that makes some applications work better. One of these is London Tube Deluxe (iTunes Store link).

Tube Deluxe

If you travel by tube in London and it can be useful to know when and if there are problems on the Tube. Combine that with the tube map and using Google Maps to work out where alternative tube stations actually are in London, it is possible to ensure you can get where you need to get to even if there are terrible delays on the tube.

Mobile Apps

Noticed a couple of news items on BBC News which make for interesting reading if you are interested in mobile applications. The first item I saw was on the market for mobile apps.

The market for mobile applications, or apps, will become “as big as the internet”, peaking at 10 million apps in 2020, a leading online store says.

But it is not all good news…

However, GetJar say, the developer community will decline drastically as each developer makes less money.

This is certainly apparent in the iTunes App Store where expensive useful apps, are virtually immediately undercut by similar low cost or even free apps.

But it doesn’t seem to be putting people off with the following news:

Symbian, the operating system on nearly half the world’s smartphones, is to become involved in the development of mobile applications, or apps.

So who’s creating these mobile apps and what are they creating?

Still no joy with Nokia N810 and JoikuSpot

Today I tried with no success to get my Nokia N810 to get an internet connection through JoikuSpot on my Nokia N95.

Basically it wouldn’t get an IP address from the N95.

I suspect that though the N95 is acting as a wireless router, it is still “seen” by other devices as an ad hoc wireless network rather than an infrastructure wireless network and for some reason the N810 doesn’t like this and therefore does not get a valid IP address from the N95, or perhaps DNS information. Now according to a comment on my blog post (about the PSP and JokiuSpot) on this said:

Actually, I’ve used N810 with JoikuSpot Light in the past. I no longer have the N810 so can’t try it with premium, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work…

I wonder if it is a DNS issue rather than an IP issue.

I know the whole setup was working as my iPod touch was doing fine.

Of course I can use a Bluetooth connection to use the N95 as a modem and get on the internet that way with the N810, but without using JoikuSpot only the N810 can get online and I (and anyone else) can’t use the connection.

Fantastic Contraption on the iPhone

One of my favourite sites at the moment is Fantastic Contraption so was well pleased to see an iPhone version.

The online game is described as.

An online flash puzzle game where you build whimsical machines to solve each level.

Well the iPhone version is basically an iPhone version of the online Flash game.

If you have played the website version, the iPhone version takes a little getting use to but you can still build quite complicated contraptions.

The downside is the £2.99 price, which is the most expensive iPhone app I have bought so far.

It’s not the most stable of apps for the iPhone the tutorial caused the app to crash twice and a hard reset of the iPhone.

Overall a really fun game.