Download Discounts for Jan. 25: AR Invaders, Skycat and the Starchildren, eFinger Handwriting

Jan 25, 2011
Games

Still haven’t invested in an augmented reality app for your shiny new iPhone? Check out AR Invaders, an AR-only game that’s free today and heads up our Download Discounts list. Following close behind it are the twitch running game Skycat and the Starchildren (which is slightly weird and also very cute, as its name suggests), […]

Still haven’t invested in an augmented reality app for your shiny new iPhone? Check out AR Invaders, an AR-only game that’s free today and heads up our Download Discounts list. Following close behind it are the twitch running game Skycat and the Starchildren (which is slightly weird and also very cute, as its name suggests), and an app that lets you use your finger and your iPhone’s touchscreen to capture your handwriting.

AR Invaders (iPhone) Free (was $0.99)

Not long ago, we talked about Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner, in which you used augmented reality to man the turbolaser turret mounted on the iconic ship from the Star Wars films. AR Invaders is the same basic concept, except instead of TIE Fighters, you’ve got flying saucers to shoot down, and power-ups to grab.

The game supports a seated 180-degree mode or a standing, full 360-degree mode, and nine levels of increasing difficulty. You can also team up with friends to blast aliens in a local multiplayer mode. If you haven’t jumped onto the augmented reality bandwagon with the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, a free download of AR Invaders can help show you what it’s all about.

Skycat and the Starchildren (iPhone) Free (was $0.99)

This imaginative side-scrolling running game puts you in control of Skycat, a super-powered, scarf-wearing cat that has to save his friends. Skycat and the Starchildren sports a beautifully drawn art style and adds a few extra controls to the standard running game formula to mix things up and keep the game from falling to formula.

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Skycat is always moving, granted, but jumping and dashing play a big part in the action. You can jump using a designated button on the screen, and swiping gives Skycat a quick directional speed boost that can help him reach higher platforms or make tough jumps. Which way you swipe determines where Skycat ends up, so it takes a little more coordination to get where you need to go as the game becomes more difficult. Game Center support adds achievements and leaderboards to the 27 levels of speedy, precision-based gameplay.

eFinger Handwriting (iPhone) Free (was $0.99)

You might have guessed already what this app is all about: it allows you to use your finger and your iPhone’s touchpad to hand-write short notes and draw simple pictures. If you’ve seen handwriting apps before on your iPhone or on other touchscreen devices, you’ll know what to expect from eFinger.

The better functions of the app come from its editing capabilities. It supports gesture-based editing tools to allow you to manipulate your handwritten text or images after the fact, adding spaces and characters or cutting and pasting. All those changes are made using specific touch-drawn commands on the screen. You won’t be blown away by eFinger, but for free, it offers a nice alternative to typing on the iPhone’s sometimes-confounding virtual keyboard.

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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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