PositiveMachine.com – iPhone app reviews

I’ve had a lot of fun writing my iPhone app reviews over these past few weeks, and many of you have said rather kind things. Most surprising of all was the number of developers who wrote me to say how much they enjoyed my comments, but could not publicly link to them because they were too crude or awesome or whatever. Well, the price for encouraging me is always a terrible one.

Today, I’m putting out a new site (PositiveMachine.com) dedicated to iPhone app reviews. All the previous ones have been republished, and new ones will no longer be appearing here and getting in the way of more important things, like what fattening crap I’ve eaten or who I got into a fight with online. There’s a new write-up of RunKeeper up now, if you’re into fitness. Even if you’re not, you might want to take a look. It’s not like you have anything better to do. I mean, dude, you’re reading my blog.

Thanks again to Yi Jun for the lovely robot. His name is Optimist Prime.

Burger King Whopper Bar Singapore opening

Photos from tonight's launch. Open to the public from tomorrow afternoon.

I have to say I'm extremely excited about the opening of the world's third Whopper Bar right here in Singapore, after the ones in Orlando and Munich. Ordering can be a little tricky, but you basically start from a 1-3 patty burger, and add on your choice of 24 condiments and premium toppings. Examples include nacho chips, fried onions, steak sauce, several kinds of cheese, cut chillies, and jalapenos. They're also the first such restaurant here to serve beer, with a can of Tiger only costing an additional $2 on top of a value meal.

I had a Double Sweet Mexicana Whopper, only to be told later that it was designed to appeal to women. BK needs to do a little more market research because I don't know any women who would eat that. I'm appalled that it was even served without an ambulance standing by. Anyhow, I ordered another custom Mushroom Swiss Whopper approximation after that to wash down my two Tigers. (I didn't run all of last week for nothing.)

The BK Whopper Bar concept restaurant is at Clarke Quay, beside The Arena club, and stays open till at least 3 am.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

iPhone app review: Ramp Champ

(This iPhone review and others like it have been moved to my new app review site, positivemachine.com. Why not have a look?)

Ramp Champ (Game)

Price: $1.99
What it is: A carnival of sadomasochism.

Every retirement home has one old man who used to be a championship boxer, tough enough to still knock out two young men bigger than him. Likewise, every group of cowed nerds has among their numbers one who will eventually arm up and shoot up the school in a black trenchcoat. Ramp Champ has a lot in common with these people.

It lives amongst the feeble pursuits most call “casual games”, a candycoated term cooked up by executives to describe alternative entertainment for normal people – those don’t play first-person shooters and airplane simulations eight hours straight at a time – or as we like to call them, “games for pussies”. But don’t be fooled by the company it keeps. Ramp Champ is a prison-hard motherf*cker. I suspect it broke out of hardcore gaming prison and into casual gaming prison just because it was bored.

Ramp Champ is like the serial killer who wears thick glasses and tucks his striped shirt into his pants and talks with a feigned speech impediment and holds a boring desk job at a government agency, but really goes home every night and becomes like Christian Bale or something, with ripped muscles from pumping rusty iron in his basement and hunting animals in the woods naked.

So what looks like an innocent game of skeeball is actually an elaborate psychology experiment. I mean, it must be! The physics simulation suggests that you have full control over where the ball goes, if you’re good enough, and then when you need to score the most, it lets some blind Parkinson’s patient take over the shot. But sometimes, it does exactly what you expect, making the time spent smearing goat’s blood on your own face seem completely worth it. It frustrates, it makes a mockery of your so-called skills, and it’s completely addictive. I know because I’ve mastered it at the cost of my sanity.

Slammer Rating: 4/5 shivs

Buy Ramp Champ in the iTunes App Store.

Above: What you’ll see when you become a ramp champ. Each of the levels’ three goals filled in with a yellow dot.