New iPhone apps worth downloading: Flickr and Time Surfer updates, The Ball of Cthulhu

Sep 3, 2013

If you’ve got tons of photos from your holiday weekend, our first app worth downloading today is for you. It’s Flickr, the online photo-sharing service, which has just updated with lots of new features for shooting, filtering and editing your images. We’ve also got some games to help you pass the four-day week: Time Surfer, an endless game in which players surf down hills and launch themselves up the other sides, and The Ball of Cthulhu, a game that takes a page from things like Plinko, but with a Lovecraftian edge.

Flickr update (Free)

What’s it about? Shoot, upload and share photos with friends, or just store them in an online location where they’re easy to access, using Flickr.

What’s cool? Photography social network Flickr has changed a lot of late. The app has always been a great way to save, share and browse photos – it allows you to upload your shots and create albums, add captions and other information, and quickly share them with other users. The app also makes it easy to look through, comment on and “like” the photos of other users, as well. But lately, Flickr has added lots of cool new things, like a storage increase for users that gives them up to a terabyte of photo space online for free. And the app’s latest update adds new camera capabilities for composing your shots, live filters so you can preview changes before you save them, and editing tools to help you create the best possible images.

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Who’s it for? If you like snapping photos on your iOS device, or just browsing through the shots of others and connecting with people with common interests, grab Flickr.

What’s it like? More great camera and sharing capabilities are available from Instagram and Facebook.

Time Surfer update (Free)

What’s it about? Surf across galaxies, picking up speed on hills and avoiding obstacles in Time Surfer, an endless runner-style game that lets you manipulate time to avoid dying.

What’s cool? The universe is exploding in Time Surfer, and your only chance is to outrun the carnage on your trusty surfboard. Though it’s set up like an endless runner, Time Surfer uses mechanics that have players diving down inclines to pick up speed, and then launching from the crests of hills to grab air and avoid obstacles. The game’s coolest mechanic is the ability to reverse time in a pinch, allowing you to dodge pesky obstacles and get a second (or third, or fourth) chance to succeed. The game was also recently updated to add a new mode filled with black holes that change how the game plays, along with new costumes that add different perks for using them, and new helpful pets that can be used to get out of jams.

Who’s it for? Casual players who dig endless runners that require a deft touch and a little skill should try Time Surfer.

What’s it like? You’ll find similar hill-based mechanics in Ski Safari and Tiny Wings.

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The Ball of Cthulhu ($1.99)

What’s it about? Help the demonic, horrifying Cthulhu call more followers to him with his maddening call in The Ball of Cthulhu, a game that mixes physics gameplay and Lovecraftian storytelling.

What’s cool? The Ball of Cthulhu puts players in the role of the Lovecraftian nightmare monster Cthulhu as it calls its followers across time and space. To actually make the call go through, however, is your job – in each level, you aim Cthulhu at various obstacles and fire the “call” (actually a bouncing ball) at them. The idea is to get the ball to bounce around as much as possible and maybe even destroy a few stars along the way, before it finds up at an alter at the bottom of the screen. In between levels, the game tells a Lovecraft-style story to further deepen the creepy atmosphere.

Who’s it for? Fans of the Cthulhu mythos and Plinko or pinball-style games should try The Ball of Cthulhu.

What’s it like? Paplinko is another fun game with similar physics, and Sonic Spinball provides players with a pinball game that carries something of a story.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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