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Amateur Surgeon 4 Guide: Become the world’s top ‘Improvised Surgeon’

It’s time to wield your trusty pizza cutter again, as Amateur Surgeon has returned with a whole fresh set of challenges (and some old, familiar ones, too). Starting anew isn’t easy, especially when all you have at your disposal is a lighter, the aforementioned pizza cutter, and an office stapler to get the job done. We believe in you, though, and we’ve even prepared a few tips to help you improve right away.

Time is key
Once you start to figure out how to heal different wounds, you’ll want to start picking up the pace. Try to finish operations as quickly as possible. Beating the clock means you’ll get a hefty time bonus, making for a higher score, more stars, and extra cash. I mean, why wouldn’t you want that? If you fall short, you can always go back and repeat the surgery and try to get a better score.

Except for when it’s not
Speediness is important, yes, but save it for the procedures that benefit from it. Removing bandages, stapling, cauterizing, etc. can all be done pretty quickly. Although this game is pretty silly, you are still trying to save people, so there is some care necessary. When you’re making incisions or, say, draining fluids, you’ll need to take your time or at least proceed with more care.

Save up your stars
You can spend stars to unlock extra levels. Make sure you do the best job possible to get as many stars as you can for each surgery — that means beating the clock and performing an accurate and clean surgery. Repeat operations to get more stars easily. You’ll be familiar with the procedure and thus better able to continously get a good score on that particular level.

Use your partner’s abilities wisely
Each partner you unlock has a unique ability that will help you during an operation. That means cleaning up gunky bits or even curing a bunch of cuts at one time. These abilities function on a timer, though, so you’ll want to use them sparingly. Save the abilities for when you think you might really need them. If you’re racing against time, for example, maybe use the ability to clear out a bunch tasks that would otherwise take you longer to do.

Amateur Surgery 4 is everything that was wonderful about the previous games but with a shiny new veneer and a brand new storyline. Use what you’ve learned in this guide to help you through all of the new material and become a top surgeon.

Are you already the best in your field? Share your own surgery tips in the comments below!

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Telltale Games really is working on a Guardians of the Galaxy adventure

Telltale Games’ next episodic adventure is indeed Guardians of the Galaxy. A document tied to the voice actors strike suggested that the project was in the work, but now we have direct confirmation following an announcement at the Game Awards that Telltale is indeed taking us to the stars to roam around with our favorite space misfits.

Along with a brand new teaser trailer, we learned that the game hopes to mix “humor, emotion, teamwork, and full-on sci-fi action,” and will allow players to assume the role of a number of different characters.

Telltale’s best work in their series of episodic adventures is arguably Tales from the Borderlands, and we’re hoping that Guardians of the Galaxy will try to emulate that sort of feel. The material is all there after all–Guardians is an irreverent space odyssey that embraces strong characters and humor, and tonally it most closely resembles Tales from the Borderlands. Here’s hoping Star Lord and friends will make an impact when the game launches.

Guardians of the Galaxy debuts on mobile, consoles, and PC sometime in 2017.

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Amateur Surgeon returns to iOS and Android with Amateur Surgeon 4

Amateur Surgeon and its two sequels disappeared from the App Store some time and it was sad days for all. But now, just in time for the holidays, the Adult Swim favorite makes its joyous return in the shape of Amateur Surgeon 4, a remake with bunches of new content and remastered cartoon grossness.

Amateur Surgeon 4 is, well, a surgery simulator. It’s a bit like the Trauma Center series on the Nintendo DS, only it takes itself a little less seriously and features a lot more cartoon barf. Use the touch controls to perform a huge array of surgeries, getting extra points if you manage to do the job in record time. It’s a good time if you want something that’s a bit gruesome and a tad silly. This is a game in which just doing your best is usually good enough, even if you’re performing heart surgery with a dog as your assistant. It’s probably fine!

The game features all 100 levels of the past three games with some new content thrown in, including an all new story, in for good measure. This new and improved edition also allows for Facebook connectivity so you can perform hack jobs with your friends. It’s a new and improved experience that the developers hope will bring new fans to this goofy approach to medicine. The game is now available on both iOS and Android.

Do you have fond memories of the Amateur Surgeon series? Share in the comments!

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You can now play game’s on Facebook Messenger – Here’s how

Facebook launched its new Instant Games platform in an exciting new attempt to engage its user base. As a result, you can now play a number of different games directly through Facebook Messenger. All of these games run with HTML5, meaning you play them right within Messenger — there’s no need to install separate apps. While none of the games are multiplayer, you can still send screenshots of the leaderboards to lure your friends into some friendly competition.

As fun as this may all sound, getting started isn’t super clear. Let’s walk through the process step by step.

1. Make sure you’ve updated to the latest version of your device’s OS and the Messenger app.

Pretty self-explanatory, eh? The games probably won’t run very well, if at all, if you haven’t updated your preferred mobile gadget. And, if you want the games to appear at all, you’ll need to have the latest version of Facebook Messenger.

2. Start up a new convo or open an old one.

Yep, the one thing about Instant Games is that you’ll need to be chatting with your friends to get access. When you open the chat window, select the little video game controller icon and you’ll pull up a list of the wide variety of games available at the moment. If you’re on iOS, you may need to tap the three horizontal dots on the chat menu to get the controller to appear.

3. Challenge a friend
After that, all that’s left is to choose a game from the list and start playing. You won’t have to interact with your friends in the process if you don’t want to. Once you leave the game, though, you’ll have the option to challenge them to beat your score if you so choose.

It’s pretty easy to get set up once you know what to look out for. Regardless of Instant Gaming’s quiet introduction, Facebook’s new gaming platform is hoping to take off in a major way. We’ll have to see what the future has in store, but if the recent traffic in my Messenger app is anything to go off of, I’d say it’s quickly becoming a success.

What do you think of Instant Games so far? Love it? Hate it? Share in the comments below!

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Don’t Grind Guide: Tips for becoming top banana

Don’t Grind is a surprising, derpy little one touch game with fun hand-drawn graphics. The goal is simple — get the high score without being chopped to bits. That can be tough when you’re not used to the game, and that’s compounded by the fact that the game doesn’t really give you much direction to start with. Use this beginner’s guide to get started.

Watch out for the warning signs
Little caution signs with exclamation points will point the direction in which stars will be appearing. Pay attention to them and head in that direction. Stars are the only way to boost your score, so you’ll want to collect as many as possible.

Combine light taps with swipes
Don’t Grind requires a certain touch. That touch, is subtlety. Don’t panic and start using big, exaggerated movements. Use light taps to buoy yourself along slowly, and swipe to change direction. You can combine swipes and taps to jump across the screen in small increments. This is a sure-fire way to keep you from dying too quickly.

Look out for lasers and other hazards
The sawblades spinning away at the bottom of the screen aren’t the only things that can kill you. Lasers will occasionally criss-cross the screen, and other blades will spin out at regular intervals with murderous intent. It may be tempting to dodge them and try to collect nearby stars, but be careful. It’s sometimes best, especially when you’re locked into a grid of lasers, to stay put and bounce slightly to stay afloat. These obstacles will disappear within a few minutes and then you can get back to collecting.

Don’t Grind has some tricks up its sleeve, but with these tips you’ll be able to improve much more quickly. Stay safe out there, little banana.

Are you already a pro at dodging saw blades? Share your own tips!

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Archery King Guide: How to conquer the Time Race

Archery King launched last week, sending mobile gamers into a competitive archery frenzy. The game is challenging, but great fun, with a simple multiplayer component that encourages you to develop your skills.

If you’ve already gotten the hang of things (perhaps thanks to our nifty beginner’s guide), it might be high time for you to take part in the Time Race, the only competitive mode that earns you premium currency. It’s a long way to the top of the leader boards if you’re aiming to cash in on the big prizes, but this guide will set you on your way.

Every second counts
Of course time is important in a time trial, but did you know that the clock is ticking even when you’re taking a break? If you stop to generate stamina, the clock is still counting the seconds. Make sure you have lots of stamina saved up so you can make it through the whole challenge if need be.

Don’t waste time worrying about the wind
The wind can make or break you, but when you’re being timed you don’t have time for any serious calculations. Watch the wind reading. If it’s 1, aim for one ring further out, if it’s 3, aim for 3 away and so on. It’s quicker to visualize this adjustment and you won’t waste precious time pondering your shot.

Focus on the target score
Your shots aren’t judged for their accuracy. Instead, you have to get a certain number of points using a minimum number of arrows. Don’t worry too much about accuracy, and instead aim for the high scoring areas in general. Landing 7’s, 8’s, and 9’s should be enough to get you well over the target score.

Time Race is shaping up to be a large part of Archery King’s competitive element. The rise to the top will be tough, so keep these tips in mind when you’re challenging the timer.

What do you find challenging about the game’s Time Race? Share in the comments below.

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Super Cat Tales Guide: Tips for a purr-fect platformer

If there was one thing Super Mario Bros. was missing, it was probably fuzzy, snuggly cats. Luckily we live in a reality where that has now come to pass in the form of Super Cat Tales, an adorable retro platformer that subsitutes Italian plumbers for itty bitty kittens. Super Cat Tales is familiar territory for any Super Mario fan, but we have a few tips to help you go the extra mile.

Revisit past levels
Once you have access to more kittens, do go back to past levels to explore around. Different kittens use different abilities, so they may be able to get into nooks and crannies former cats weren’t able to. You’ll find extra coins and other goodies if you make a return trip.

Don’t worry too much about time
On your first run through, don’t worry too much about time. When you’re first starting out, it’s much more important to get a feel for the controls. Without any actual jumping, it can be a bit tricky getting a feel for when you need to walk, when you need to run, and how you should jump. Take some time playing through the first few levels to get a grasp of the controls and level design before worrying about any speed runs.

Don’t dash into walls
Walls are meant for climbing, not headbutting (unless you’re trying to shake something down). Running into walls can be jarring and stun you, and if you rush into a wall, your cat will be stuck in the running animation until you let go of the screen and switch back to walking. This probably won’t ruin your playthrough, but it does make things more difficult for you and wastes time. Keep this in mind when you’re running around.

Super Cat Tales is true to its retro predecessors. It’s simple, but a bit tricky. You’ll need to practice a bit to really master things, but these tips should help you figure things out and become faster.

Have your own Super Cat Tales tips? Be sure to share them in the comments!

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Archery King Guide: Become an expert marksman

Miniclip’s latest game, Archery King launched this week with a fresh spin on the FPS — archery! It’s a multiplayer game that has you hitting targets trying to best your opponents. The controls are floaty and difficult, meaning you’ll have to take a strategic approach if you want to do things right. We have a few tips to help you out.

You don’t need to have perfect aim
You’ll find that the controls are a bit floaty to add extra challenge, but this can also help you out, too. Don’t waste time trying to line up the perfect shot. Try to get your crosshairs as close to the center of the target, or offset them a bit so that the cursor will float into the middle as you shoot your arrow.

Compensate for the wind
With that said, you will have to aim with the wind in mind. Try to aim your arrow so that it will fly in the direction of the wind, moving it closer to the bullseye. The stronger the wind, the further from the bullseye you’ll need to aim to maintain your accuracy. The game will tell you before each turn how strong the wind is, with an arrow to indicate it’s direction — heed this advice carefully.

Keep it slow and steady
Thankfully, this isn’t a race. If it were, your arrow would be all over the place and you would probably quit the game out of frustration. The game has a very reasonable timer. Make good use of it. Don’t rush through your turn, but instead take the time necessary to line up the best shot you possibly can.

With this advice you should be all set for some competitive archery. Keep a steady hand and have some patience, and you’re sure to go far.

Share your own Archery King advice in the comments!

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Five ways to make the most of a file manager on jailbroken iOS

Filza iFile

The vast majority of non-developers who jailbreak do it for the tweaks, and use Cydia almost exclusively to find, maintain, and update them. However, jailbreaking your device brings much more than the ability to install tweaks; its real power lies in granting unfettered access to the filesystem, which allows you to make almost any change you like.

In this article, I’ll go through five of the most interesting and ubiquitous uses for file managers on iOS.

There are two main fully-featured file managers available on Cydia: Filza File Manager, and iFile. Both are excellent, but my preference is for Filza due to its more frequent updates and compatibility with the iOS 9.3.3 jailbreak. Either way, take your pick, and let the minor amendments to system files commence!

Install tweaks manually

On occasion, you might find that a tweak you want is not available on a Cydia repository. Perhaps a developer has sent you an alpha version directly for testing, or perhaps it’s an older version of a tweak no longer available on a repo. You can use your file manager to install the tweak on your device instead.

1) Open your file manager.

2) Navigate through the filesystem to where your file is located. If you sent it via Airdrop or downloaded it from the internet and opened it with your file manager, it will be saved in /User/Documents.

3) Your tweak should be saved as a .deb file, a Debian package format used by Cydia for installations. Select it and an information screen will appear.

Install tweak with Filza

4) Press the “Install” button in the top-right to install your .deb file. When complete, the output on the screen will show the command prompt again.

5) Enjoy your tweak! You may need to respring your device for its effects to become visible. It should now also appear in the Cydia app in your “Installed” tab, with its repo listed as “Unknown / Local” because you did not download it from a Cydia repository. Now that it’s showing in Cydia, it can be managed from there. To remove it, select it in the list, touch “Modify” in the top-right, then select “Remove”. On the uninstallation screen which comes up, select “Confirm”. Done!

tweak installed with filza

Block iAds

Whilst there are Safari Content Blockers for blocking ads in Safari, and efficient ad-blocking packages on Cydia for web and some in-app ads, by far the most elegant way to block ads served by Apple’s own iAd platform is an on-device modification via your trusty file manager.

1) Open the file manager and navigate to /Applications.

2) Locate the item named AdSheet.app. This controls Apple’s iAds. Select the item (a short-hold on it in Filza), and select the option to “Rename” it.

3) Edit the file name by deleting the .app extension and replacing it with .bak, to give the name AdSheet.bak. Then touch “Done” in the top-right to save your changes.

4) Next, navigate to /User/Library/Caches, and delete the entire folder named “com.apple.iad”. In Filza, a swipe-left on the item and pressing the “Delete” button should do it.

hide iads

5) Reboot and enjoy your iAd free device. Now Apple has discontinued the iAd platform it’s unclear if this trick will remain useful for long, as developers may serve their ads in-app using different methods, but for now, it works well.

Open and manipulate files not usually supported by iOS

Under stock iOS there are many file formats which are unsupported or else have very limited support, able to be opened only within certain programs. A couple of examples that spring to mind are .zip files and .plist files. While some apps can uncompress and create .zips within them (a great app that springs to mind here is Goodreader), they can only unzip a file within the app, and can only create .zips out of files saved in the app, hardly useful if you wish to deal with system files stored elsewhere. Similarly, .plists can be saved and moved between compatible apps, but not edited in place or created.

Let’s say I want to zip up all the photos in my camera roll on my device, for ease of sending on, or as a backup prior to some tinkering.

1) Launch the file manager and navigate to the files you want to zip, in my case, the photos stored at /User/Media/DCIM/100APPLE.

2) In Filza, touch “Edit” in the top-right, and select the files you want to compress, then “More” in the bottom-right. You should now see an option to “Create ZIP”, which will make an archive out of the files.

3) To unzip any such file in the file manager, simply select it, and it will unpack.

create zip with filza

Filza also contains a built-in hex editor, and a .plist editor. For another example of manipulating non-standard formats in this way, see below.

Investigate the filesystem for threats

Many iOS malwares leave behind trace files which are not normally detectable without access to the filesystem. Using a file manager, we can look for these files, determine if we have been infected, and in some cases, remove them with a simple deletion. One example which has been covered on iDB in the past is Unflod.dylib, which was first noted on iOS 7. To determine whether you are infected by this, let’s open our file manager.

1) Navigate to /Library/MobileSubstrate/DynamicLibraries/.

2) Trawl down the list and look for a file named “Unflod.dylib”.

3) If absent, you are safe. If you see it, delete it, and reset your Apple ID password immediately. In the case of Unflod.dylib, it is also recommended to restore your device. Whilst that would be the end of your jailbreak and therefore file manager this time around, it does illustrate the utility of a file manager to identify the presence of these threats.

Tweak the UI of your device

Sometimes there just isn’t the exact tweak you want to customise the look and feel of your device. However, the right effect can often be achieved with some editing of system files. These two examples also show the power of file managers to edit .strings files in place.

To remove the “Enter passcode” text from your Lock screen:

1) Using your file manager, navigate to:

/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/SpringboardUIServices.framework/

2) Select the file corresponding to the language your device is set to; mine was “en_GB.lproj”, but yours may be different and is likely “en.lproj”.

3) Inside that file, open up SpringBoardUIServices.strings and expand the list of fields by pressing the arrow symbol next to the word “Root”.

4) Search through for the field entitled “PASSCODE_MESA_ENTRY_PROMPT” and touch the information symbol to the right to edit. If you are on a non-Touch ID device, the field may be labelled differently here.

5) Edit the “VALUE” field to be empty, or if you prefer, a custom message, then press “Back” in the top-left. Some tweaks have the ability to add a custom string here, but I couldn’t find any which remove it completely so as to have no message at all.

6) In the top-right of the screen, press “Save” to make your changes stick. Other fields which may be of interest in this .strings file are “Cancel” and “Delete”, also for the passcode screen.

edit passcode emergency

To remove all text from the “slide to power off” screen:

1) Using your file manager, navigate to:

/System/Library/CoreServices/SpringBoard.app/

2) Select the file corresponding to the language your device is set to; mine was “en_GB.lproj”, but yours may be different and is likely “en.lproj”.

3) Inside that file, open up SpringBoard.strings and expand the list of fields by pressing the arrow symbol next to the word “Root”.

4) Search through for the field entitled “POWER_DOWN_LOCK_LABEL” and touch the information symbol to the right to edit.

5) Edit the “VALUE” field to be empty, or if you prefer, a custom message, then press “Back” in the top-left. Some tweaks have the ability to add a custom string here, but I couldn’t find any which remove it completely so as to have no message at all.

6) In the top-right of the screen, press “Save” to make your changes stick.

7) Repeat steps iv-vi for the field entitled “POWER_DOWN_CANCEL”.

After a respring or reboot, the changes should be visible. To revert them, return to their locations with Filza and re-enter their original labels.

remove slide to power off text

As these examples show, the ability to inspect and modify the filesystem on jailbroken iOS with a file manager is both powerful and versatile, and is only really limited by your own needs and the amount of digging you are prepared to do.

Do you have any novel or indispensable uses for a file manager on iOS? If, so please let me know in the comments, along with any questions you have about the processes detailed above.

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The best Black Friday deals on iPhones, iPads, Macs and more

black friday deals

Black Friday often gets a bad wrap. The words tend to bring forth visions of hoards of shoppers, stampeding down store aisles to save a few dollars on frivolous items. But the truth is, retailers are actually using the promotional holiday to offer significant discounts on popular products. So we’ve put together a list of some of the best deals we could find on stuff we know you’ll love.

iPhone

  • Best Buy iPhone 7 – get up to a $250 Best Buy gift card with purchase of any iPhone 7 and monthly installment plan (iPhone 7 Plus not included).
  • Walmart iPhone – buy any new Apple or Samsung device on a Verizon or AT&T installment plan, get a $250 Walmart gift card (in-store only). Also, get up to $250 off select iPhone 5s, 6 and 6s models. Get a Straight Talk iPhone 5s for $100 (in-store only).
  • eBay iPhone 7 – new unlocked iPhone 7 32GB model from top-rated eBay seller AllDayZip for $620 (normal price $650). Note: shipping is free, and the seller also has 128GB models for $710 (normal price $750).
  • T-Mobile iPhone 7 – trade in a used iPhone 6s or 7 and get an iPhone 7 32GB for free with an eligible unlimited plan. Trading in any iPhone 6 or SE model will get you that same iPhone 7 for $100, and any iPhone 5/5s/5c gets you the same phone for $350.

iPad

iPad Pro 12.9″

iPad Pro 9.7″

Macs

MacBook Pro

  • B&H Photo – 13.3-inch | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD with free shipping and no sales tax outside of NY – $1,399 (normal price $1,499).
  • B&H Photo – 13.3-inch | 16GB RAM | 256GB SSD with free shipping and no sales tax outside of NY – $1,599 (normal price $1,699).
  • B&H Photo – 13.3-inch | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD with free shipping and no sales tax outside of NY – $1,799 (normal price $1,899).
  • Best Buy – 13.3-inch | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD with free shipping – $1,399 (normal price $1,499).
  • Amazon – 13.3-inch | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD with free shipping – $1,399 (normal price $1,499).

MacBook

  • B&H Photo 12-inch MacBook | 1.1 M3 | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD with free shipping and no sales tax outside of NY – $1,200 (normal price $1,300).
  • B&H Photo 12-inch MacBook | 1.2 M5 | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD with free shipping and no sales tax outside of NY – $1,200 (normal price $1,300).
  • B&H Photo 12-inch MacBook | 1.3 M7 | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD with free shipping and no sales tax outside of NY – $1,600 (normal price $1,750).
  • MacMall 12-inch MacBook | 1.1 M3 | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD with free shipping – $1,172 (normal price $1,300).
  • Amazon 12-inch MacBook | 1.1 M3 | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD with free shipping – $1,200 (normal price $1,300).

iMac

  • B&H Photo 21.5-inch iMac | 1.6 i5 dual | 8GB RAM | 1TB HDD with free shipping and no sales tax outside of NY – $1,000 (normal price $1,100).
  • B&H Photo 21.5-inch 4K iMac | 3.1 i5 quad | 8GB RAM | 1TB HDD with free shipping and no sales tax outside of NY – $1,350 (normal price $1,500).
  • B&H Photo 27-inch 5K iMac | 3.2 i5 Skylake | 8GB RAM | 1TB HDD with free shipping and no sales tax outside of NY – $1,600 (normal price $1,800).
  • B&H Photo 27-inch 5K iMac | 3.3 i5 Skylake | 8GB RAM | 2TB Fusion with free shipping and no sales tax outside of NY – $2,050 (normal price $2,300).
  • Best Buy 21.5-inch iMac | 1.6 i5 dual | 8GB RAM | 1TB HDD with free shipping – $900 (normal price $1,100).
  • Best Buy 27-inch 5K iMac | 3.2 i5 Skylake | 8GB RAM | 1TB HDD with free shipping  – $1,600 (normal price $1,800).

Other

Apple TV

Apple Watch

Bluetooth Audio

Computer Monitors

Television Sets

Amazon Gadgets

Other Black Friday Deals

We will of course be updating this list throughout the weekend with new deals. If you know of an awesome sale at a major retailer we’ve missed, let us know down in the comments below!

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