Brandnew Boy

Brandnew Boy

Teaching a new boy some old tricks

The hack-’n’-slash genre has been around for many years, but so far it’s failed to really work on iPhone or iPad. Part of the problem is in control, and the lack of both buttons and analogue sticks hampers the experience.

However, Brandnew Boy features a control system that is both suited to the simplicity of screen taps and swipes, yet delivers the depth that the genre is known for.

Set in a wacky world where you, a boy with no memories, must battle his way to the truth behind his past – the game looks absolutely gorgeous running in Unreal Engine 3. Moving around the lush world is simple, as you just tap to move to a spot and tap again to stop. When you encounter enemies in the field, simply tap to engage them and tap in time with the battle gauge to string together hard-hitting, death-causing combos.

When normal attacks won’t do, you can tap special move icons to really dish out the pain and keep your combo meter flowing. Victory rewards you with money that can be spent on shiny new weapons, outfits and skills, expanding your combo tree significantly. The depth of gameplay on offer is absolutely superb, bolstered by the fact that even the most intricate of combos can be executed by tapping your device’s screen with just one finger. It’s a formula that many game developers have tried on iOS, but none have nailed it so flawlessly.

Rated 5 out of 5

An absolutely remarkable achievement in a notoriously tricky to get right genre.


  • TITLE=Don´t miss MAKE ME MUSIC for young kids!;RATING=5;Stylishly rendered Garage Band for beginners that lets kids express their inner Mozart or Madonna while learning about rhythm and melody in a bright, beautiful sound garden. Make Me Music, is a loud, raucous cacophony of ringing, honking, strumming and banging instruments brought to life by legendary Beatles´ artist Alan Aldridge and the creative folks at The app is very user-friendly with little or no instruction needed. The home screen has a big play button in the centre surrounded by a few instruments including some with hands and feet. Pushing play takes you directly to the music room. It’s anchored by a winding red pipe covered in garlands of flowers that laugh or make funny noises when touched. A question mark in the top left corner brings up basic directions which let parents know that the four flowers across the bottom of the screen control rhythms and the arrows in the bottom right corner let you change the melody from a Caribbean vibe ukulele to a jazzy trumpet. When the melody is changed, the background in the room changes colour as well which gives pre-schoolers a subtle hint to perhaps change the tempo of their composition. All the kid-created symphonies and concertos can be recorded by activating the microphone symbol on the bottom left. Kids get a 3, 2, 1 countdown before recording begins. Compositions can be saved by emailing them to yourself or friends. They are converted to a mp4 format, so once downloaded, tunes can be made into ringtones or used as background music for home movies or whatever creative pursuit calls for maximum banging and clanging. Music is the great equalizer because you are never too young, too old or too disabled to participate in it. The recordings my kids and I made with Make Me Music were not as pretty as the app’s band room, but we had a lot of fun. Private music lessons or even the yuppie filled music classes I took my kids to are expensive and a luxury many families (and increasingly schools) can no longer afford. If the research is to be believed, this $1.99 app which follows the Orff method is a good investment in your child’s academic future. Regardless of your stance on the importance of music education, Make Me Music is a welcome departure from the plethora of preschool apps and games currently available. Recommended for 3+ ios.