New iPhone apps worth downloading: Rounds Video Calling + Chat, Chuck the Muck, The Nightjar

May 14, 2013

Fire up your video chatting capabilities and get in touch with people on your Contacts List or your Facebook friends with Rounds Video Calling + Chat. The app lets you share videos and watch them while chatting, or make video conference calls. We’ve also got two games worth your attention: physics-heavy platformer Chuck the Muck, which uses slingshot mechanics, and The Nightjar, a video game with no video that requires you to use sound to navigate.

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Rounds Video Calling + Chat (Free)

What’s it about? Make free video calls and make use of goofy effects with Rounds, which has made the jump from Facebook to your iPhone and iPad.

What’s cool? Rounds lets you make your chatting and calling a little more visual by adding video capabilities to the mix, allowing you to place calls over Wi-Fi or your iOS device’s Internet connection. The cool thing is, you can include videos you shoot or video of yourself as you speak and apply filters to them, or you can connect over YouTube videos and the like in order to share an experience and discuss it. You can access all your Contacts through the app, as well as your Facebook friends, and Rounds also lets you connect with people on other devices, giving you some serious communication power.

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Who’s it for? Fans of Rounds on Facebook and anyone interested in fun video chatting should check this one out.

What’s it like? Grab Seen and Video Chat Envy for more video chat options that favor Facebook.

Chuck the Muck (Free)

What’s it about? Grab jewels using your physics and slingshot aptitude in Chuck the Muck, a 3-D arcade game that throws in some of the platforming formula, too.

What’s cool? Navigating 3-D levels using slingshot physics is what Chuck the Muck is all about – think Angry Birds, but instead of just flying across a level and hitting something, you actually have to help a character get someplace. In this case, your goal is to find and grab various jewels to score points in each level. Chuck the Muck includes 40 levels of physics-based critter-flinging, and you’ll be able to locate secret areas and bonus levels as well if you pay attention. There are also dangers to avoid, like guards and volcanoes, so timing and strategy become a factor.

Who’s it for? If you like your physics and arcade games with a bit of platforming thrown in, Chuck the Muck is for you.

What’s it like? Angry Birds is pretty heavy on its physics-based arcade gameplay, and Fibble mixes similar mechanics with platforming.

The Nightjar ($4.99)

What’s it about? A video game without the video part, The Nightjar is a story-based title in which you must navigate using only sound.

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What’s cool? Featuring the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch, known for his portrayal of the titual character in BBC’s Sherlock and upcoming role in Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Nightjar is a game in which you find yourself abandoned in a malfunctioning airlock as the crew of your space ship flees. From that moment on, you have only sound to help guide you to safety – so make sure you bring some headphones and get ready for a surreal, immersing experience. You’ll have to rely on only your sense of hearing to help you navigate as you use your device to help you move through the game world.

Who’s it for? Fans of sound-based experiences that really push what gaming is capable of will have a blast with The Nightjar.

What’s it like? Other video-free video games include FREEQ and Papa Sangre.

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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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