New iPhone apps worth downloading: Pling, Dampa’s Boat: An Alaskan Adventure, Blaster X HD

May 15, 2013

Start your day with Pling, a social networking app that’s designed to connect you with friends in the real world. Pling lets you share your location with, or request location info from, your Facebook friends, for easier meet-ups. Dampa’s Boat is up next, providing reading-age kids with a storybook that explores the Alaskan wilderness from the bow of a boat. Finally, there’s Blaster X HD, an indie arcade game with a huge amount of content for iPad users.

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Pling (Free)

What’s it about? Pling takes your social networking into three dimensions by providing a quick and easy way to share locations with Facebook friends.

What’s cool? Facebook already offers a few features that let you actually connect with people in reality, like the ability to “check in” to various places when you visit them to let Facebook friends know where you are. Pling takes that idea a step further, helping you to meet up with people when you’re out and about by allowing you to provide location information through the app to Facebook friends. The idea is that you can direct a friend to wherever you are, and you can also request location information to find out where they are, facilitating meetings and hang-out sessions in real life, rather than just online.

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Who’s it for? If a quick and easy way to get location info to your Facebook buddies interests you, check out Pling.

What’s it like? Check out the places features in the standalone Facebook app, and try Glimpse for more location sharing.

Dampa’s Boat: An Alaskan Adventure (iPad) ($1.99)

What’s it about? Interactive storybook Dampa’s Boat takes kids on an adventure through Alaska, in which they can play educational games and learn about the state itself.

What’s cool? Dampa’s Boat is the story of a boy experiencing the Alaskan wilderness from his grandfather’s fishing boat, and lets kids experience the same through the story and a number of interactive features. The app features games in which players can interact with wildlife like dolphins and crabs, or see bears on the shore as the boat trolls by. The book also includes the option for kids to read it themselves, or have it read aloud to them.

Who’s it for? Kids just learning to read are the target audience for Dampa’s Boat.

What’s it like? Other great storybooks include Kung Fu Panda 2 and Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.

Blaster X HD (iPad) ($0.99)

What’s it about? Arcade title Blaster X is a bit like pinball, putting players in control of a ball that bounces around arenas across tons of levels.

What’s cool? There’s an insane amount of content on offer in Blaster X, with 400 levels spread over something like 10 different game modes. All of them have players controlling a ball that bounces around an arena by carefully influencing its trajectory, snagging energy balls in order to keep moving and clear each level. The various game modes include lots of different challenges and layouts to play through. There’s also a Game Center leaderboard that lets you compare your skills with other players.

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Who’s it for? Arcade gameplays fans looking for a game that will last should try Blaster X.

What’s it like? Grab Zen Pinball and Circuloid for more great arcade action.

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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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