Fresh iPhone Apps for April 2012

Apr 30, 2012

Spring’s upon us, and so many of us are getting ready to start planning fishing trips. You’ll want to check out Catchbook: Photo Fishing Reports on today’s Fresh iPhone Apps list if you planning on doing some fishing this year. It lets you take and share photos of your catches and track patterns in your favorite spots to predict where fish are biting. But you shouldn’t spend too much time in the sun, which is where nevus, a skin-care app, can come in handy. It helps you track your sun exposure and keep an eye on worrisome moles. Puzzler Polymer kicks off the week’s game selections, followed by medieval tournament title Knights Arena, in which you’ll learn to shoot arrows from horseback and hone swordsmanship skills.

Catchbook: Photo Fishing Reports (iPhone, iPad) Free

Fishing fans can share their exploits with social app Catcbook: Photo Fishing Reports. The basis of the app is mapping the places you fish in an effort to find patterns in fish movements to maximize your catches. It can also help you to determine what lures and flies work best for the kinds of fish you’re hoping to catch, and you can share that information with your fishing buddies so everyone benefits.

Catchbook makes it easy to post photos of the fish you catch for all to see, and to find and make friends through the app with whom to share photos and information. You can filter maps of fishing locations to find specific kinds of fish to go after, determine where is best to go during different times of year and day, and to find other information such as wind speed, water temperature and more.

nēvus (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Skin care app nēvus works to help users take care of their skin and prevent skin cancer. Its name is derived from the technical term for moles, and the app works by helping you avoid things like sunburns, providing useful tips on skin care products, and helping you keep an eye on moles before they become problematic.

The sunburn alarm feature in nēvus works by interacting with the GPS capabilities of your iOS device to determine where you are, and uses information gathered about the weather and the strength of sunlight in your location to help you set an alarm so you don’t spend too much time being exposed to the sun’s harmful rays. You can also use the app to monitor moles and other marks on your skin by taking sequential photographs with its Skin Record feature, allowing you to gather data on moles that might be worrisome so you have information for your doctor.

Polymer (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Puzzle title Polymer is about making groups of objects and scoring points by clearing them, similar to a match-three title. Each game of Polymer presents players with a grid of pictures of bits of the titular polymers that can be matched to form a complete group. Each of your polymers needs to have a beginning and an end to be complete, but they can be as long as you make them. Sliding different pieces together allow you to create huge polymers and score big points.

You’ll form polymers in each puzzle by sliding an entire row or column of images around the screen, so careful planning of how you build your polymers is a must. Scoring in Polymer is determined by how many pieces you can fit together to make one complete group, and you’ll get multipliers if you can make several polymers in succession without the need to slide more objects. The more points you score, the more different polymer pieces and game modes you can unlock. Plus, you can track your scores on Polymer’s Game Center leaderboards.

Knights Arena (iPhone, iPad) Free

Free-to-play title Knights Arena is all about gaining skills to take into battle in a medieval tournament. You’ll gather money, experience points and honor points as you complete tasks and make yourself a better knight, which you can then take into duels and other battles in order to become even stronger and better equipped. You’ll also earn Honor and Trophies to mark your progress, and practice using tilt and swipe controls for accuracy and timing.

Because it’s a freemium title, Knights Arena limits how much you can do in a certain period of time based on how much “energy” you have, so you’ll have to budget carefully or buy more resources through in-app purchases. The more you play, the higher you’ll climb in Knights Arena’s Game Center leaderboard ranks. Lose too many duels, and you’ll lose honor and fall, so you’ll need to train yourself and practice things like sword-fighting and horseback archery.

Frequency update (iPad) Free

Social video viewing app Frequency just underwent a big update that brings even more videos and even more social capabilities. The app is designed to allow you to create your own personal, customized video channels that stream in content from wherever you want. With the recent update, you can now bring in videos from places such as YouTube Trends and Boing Boing, plus hundreds of other channels and even blogs from around the Internet.

The app also gained some additional social capabilities that allow you to add and follow friends on Frequency’s website, which gives you access to those users’ favorite picks within the app. You can also import the videos friends post to Facebook or Twitter, and share your own picks through social networks as well.

Rick Bayless Mexican Essentials (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

Make some mean Mexican dishes this weekend with the help of Rick Bayless Mexican Essentials. The app is packed full of Mexican food recipes that are easy to make at home, plus lots of tips and tricks to teach you to be a better chef. The app even includes videos to help you master the techniques necessary to produce phenomenal enchiladas and tasty tamales.

Mexican Essentials helps with the cooking of Mexican food, and it also helps with the procuring of ingredients. The app includes an ingredient aggregator that helps you compile what you need to go shopping. You can also share recipes and tips through Facebook and Twitter and search through recipes and other tidbits with the app’s search function.

Scarface (iPhone, iPad) Free

A game that’s somewhat similar to titles such as Mafia Wars, Scarface is the official game of the 1983 gangster film of the same name. In it, players take on the role of Tony Montana and work to build up their crime empires by completing missions, muscling dealers and building businesses to expand their influence and earn more money. Along the way, you’ll interact with characters from the film as you work to become a bigger crime lord than Tony Montana was in the movie.

Scarface is a freemium title, which means you can purchase in-game currency to speed up your progress and grow your empire more quickly. The game includes 96 missions to complete to earn money and use to grow your empire, and six areas to explore, including Miami Beach and other areas seen in the movie.

Tango Chase (iPhone, iPad) Free

Vertical scroller Tango Chase has been described as “Donkey Kong in reverse,” and that’s not a bad way to explain the game’s premise. As the primate Tango, your job is to climb down a series of vines and branches to the bottom of each level quickly, gathering bananas, coins and diamonds along the way. The whole time, the screen is scrolling down, and you’ll be penalized if you’re too slow and die if you’re too fast.

Tango Chase includes more than 70 levels of vertical scrolling action and requires you to have some pretty fast reflexes and careful timing in order to max out your score. Coins you collect along the way can be spent on power-ups to increase your score, and your top scores can be shared with players all over the world thanks to Game Center leaderboards.

i Learn With Boing – Ice Land Adventures HD (iPad) $2.99

If you’re a parent with a young child just about ready to learn to read, you might want to give i Learn with Boing – Ice Land Adventures a shot. Aimed at teaching literacy in 3- to 6-year-olds, Boing makes use of the iPad’s big screen and touch capabilities, and marries them with educational games in order to help kids learn to read.

Boing comes with three games that self-adjust in difficulty based on how well children do when playing them. The app is also designed to be cross-curriculum, so while it’ll primarily teach kids how to read, it also includes information about other important topics, such as math and science. Boing also includes in-game rewards to encourage kids in their learning and a self-tracker for parents to see how kids are progressing.

Spellsword (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Grab your magic sword and start taking down waves of monsters in Spellsword, an action arcade title in which your primary goal is to survive, and use a ton of magic. Each level is an enclosed arena with traps and dangers, as well as floods of enemies, and you’ll need to bash through them in order to meet goals and win rewards. On your side is a powerful sword that absorbs magic from cards that appear around the level, allowing you to blast lots of enemies all at once – if you can stay alive.

Spellsword packs 60 levels to fight through as you gather new armor and accessories to make yourself stronger. Money you gather in each level allows you to upgrade the powers of your cards and buy new accessories, and the game also packs nine “endless mode” arenas, where you can really test your skills. Spellsword also includes Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards.

Escape from Age of Monsters (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Endless running title Escape from Age of Monsters isn’t too much different from a lot of other entries in the genre, but it’s still a pretty fun and addictive arcade title. Players have to break down walls in order to stay one step ahead of the monsters pursuing them. The walls come either in red or blue, and players have to time their punches through those walls with the corresponding button. The idea is to get as far as you can while leading a group of children to safety; screw up, and the kids get grabbed by monsters.

Escape from Age of Monsters’ most notable feature is its awesome-looking art style. It looks great on iOS devices, and also has heavy metal soundtrack to go along with the experience. The game also includes boss levels to fight through and Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards.

Texas Poker (iPhone, iPad) Free

Card sharks and Carmen Electra fans will find a lot to like in Texas Poker, a free-to-play Texas Hold’em app endorsed by the model/actress. Developer Kamagames boasts “thousands” of players for you to take on in online poker action, and the game also includes plenty of social media integration so you can invite and play with your friends via Twitter and Facebook.

As you play your games, you can chat with other players and buy them gifts. You’ll also earn achievements as you play games and become a better player. Even if you’re new to the game, Texas Poker can teach you the ropes of Texas Hold’em with through an in-app tutorial.

MyCityWay Now (iPhone, iPad) Free

Find everything you’d like to know about a city – including what to do and where to go – with the help of MyCityWay Now. The app lets you search for things like nightlife spots, restaurants, events, stores and all kinds of other things, all arranged by category, wherever you are. You can even find out the weather and search for different hotspots within the app.

MyCityWay Now isn’t just filled with information about what to do or where to go, though: it will also tell you what the best route is to take when you head out to avoid traffic with a live stream of information. When you arrive at your destination, you can use the app to find a place to park. You can also use the app to find the lowest local gas prices. It currently only works for New York City, with 72 more due soon.

National Parks by National Geographic (iPhone, iPad) Free

National Geographic’s interactive guide to the United States’ parks is now available for iOS devices, and it’s a handy free app to have whether you’re out on the trails or just keen to look at photos from the comfort of your couch. National Parks by National Geographic is filled with maps, coordinates, points of interest and more to help you get around the parks when you visit, plus National Geographic photos.

If you do happen to visit the parks, National Geographic has you covered with lots of cool tidbits within the app. You can receive photo tips from National Geographic photographers when you visit in order to snap some great nature shots of your own, and you can even collect virtual stamps from each park you visit to keep track of where you’ve been and where you still have yet to travel. Plus, everything can be shared with others via Facebook and Twitter.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

A classic of the fighting game world from way back in the time of the Sega Dreamcast, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is now available as an iOS title and even has a low price in celebration of The Avengers hitting theaters. The game pits classic Capcom video game characters such as Mega Man and Street Fighter’s Ryu against the likes of Wolverine, Magneto and others from the world of Marvel Comics.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 packs some 56 characters with which to do battle, and players can add characters to a tag-team fight in which they can switch between them at a moment’s notice. The game also has touch controls optimized for iOS devices and packs Bluetooth multiplayer right out of the gate, so you can take on your friends. Just note that you’ll need an iPad 2 or newer, an iPhone 4 or newer, and iOS 5 to play.

Cubis Creatures (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Match-three title Cubis Creatures isn’t just about putting objects of the same color together on a grid, it actually has you working through its puzzles in three dimensions, stacking cubes as well as putting them in rows and columns. In each stage of Cubis Creatures, your job is to launch and position cubes as quickly as you can to make the requisite number of combinations before the timer runs out.

Each stage also contains special star blocks that help you to attain the best score possible; clearing them adds a multiplier to your point total and lets you earn more as you clear other blocks. Knocking out three or more such blocks ups your star rank in each stage as well. Cubis Creatures also packs Game Center support, so you can see how your abilities rank against players from all over the world.

LEGO Super Hero Movie Maker (iPhone, iPad) Free

If you’ve got a ton of LEGO toys lying around (or if your kids do, I guess), you might have contemplated using them to make a movie at one time or another. Apparently, LEGO also considered this eventuality, and now provides users with the tools to make stop-motion videos with their toys with the help of a handy iOS app.

The app includes the ability to snap all the photos you need to make your movie, edit it, and even add a score. It’s designed specifically for LEGO superhero sets, so it also includes things like title cards that are themed for different superheroes. When you’re done, you can save your movie to your device’s camera roll and share it online.

TeleTweet (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Feel like using a decidedly anachronistic method of sending updates to Twitter? You can do it, with TeleTweet, a goofy little novelty app that actually turns your iOS device into a Morse code transmitter. Tie the app to your Twitter account and presto, you can tap out your tweets in Morse with the help of the app’s handy cheat sheet, just like sending a telegram.

Though there aren’t strictly a lot of uses for TeleTweet, it is kind of a fun way to mess around with Twitter and a good way to teach yourself Morse code, should you wish to learn. What’s more, you’re not stuck using just the code transmitter. The app also includes a keyboard, which, while defeating the purpose, does help make things a bit easier.

DOFUS: Battles 2 (iPhone, iPad) $4.99

Strategy title DOFUS: Battles 2 takes a page from its predecessor, tower defense title DOFUS: Battles, and turns the tables on it. You even play as your nemesis from the first game, Jeff, as he fights monsters and gathers minions to fight for him. Rather than a tower defense title, DOFUS: Battles 2 is a little more tower-attack, with players choosing which minions to send into battle and where to deploy them so that they’ll be effective.

In addition to fighting off other monsters and navigating each level’s grid setup, you’ll also have to circumvent puzzles and traps in order to advance by using your monsters to your advantage. You’ll also be able to track your progress and ability on DOFUS: Battle’s 2 Game Center leaderboards.

Trees of Life (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Simple puzzler Trees of Life is all about creating fractal trees, which are designs that look like trees that originate from a central point. The start of a fractal tree is a straight line that branches in two different directions. The player sets those two directions, and from those two new branches, two identical branches form with the same angles, growing out from each newly created branch to create what looks like a tree. In Trees of Life, you pick the shape of the tree by determining those first two branches, in an attempt to get your trees to grow in the right way to touch and snag glowing orbs.

The goal in each Trees of Life level is to get all the orbs on the screen with a single tree. Every time you create a new tree, you lose one of five extra lives. When they’re all gone the game is over, and the goal is to collect as many orbs as you can before you run out of chances. How good you become at creating fractal trees, and how many orbs you collect in a single run, is measured on worldwide leaderboards provided by Game Center.

Cloud Photos (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

Struggling with too much space on your iOS device’s hard drive being taken up by photos and videos? You might want to check out Cloud Photos, an app that sends users’ photos to the Internet to be stored so they don’t’ take up space. Photos automatically sync with Dropbox through Cloud Photos when you take them, without your having to worry about it, so you’ll need a free Dropbox account for it to work.

Cloud Photos is easy to set up and does most of the work for you when it comes to syncing photos as soon as you take them. It also provides you with a means to share your photos with others over the Internet quickly and easily by sending them to other apps and services such as Facebook and Twitter. The app also includes its own camera capabilities to give you more options in making images.

Ourcast (iPhone, iPad) Free

Weather app Ourcast is built for short-term weather forecasts to help its users get an accurate picture of what conditions will be like when they want to do things, such as go for a hike or plan an activity. It’s built to allow you to search by location and get extremely accurate predictions as for any time, from a minute in the future to two hours.

Ourcast lets you scrolls around maps to see what the weather situation is like in different areas, and you’ll always be kept up to date, the app includes information about how the weather will look every 10 minutes over the course of two hours. You can also report your own weather conditions to Ourcast and share forecasts with your friends through Twitter and Facebook.

Sid Meier’s Pirates! (iPhone, iPad) $4.99

The classic open world game Sid Meier’s Pirates! has been remade plenty of times since its release in 1987. It came to the iPad last summer, and now it has finally migrated to the iPhone. As a pirate working to save your family from servitude, you’ll engage in sword fights and command your own ship, among other things.

Pirates! features 27 vessels from which players can choose, and has been optimized to use the iPhone’s touch controls. You’ll fight aboard ships, interact with other factions and pirates from throughout history, and even take on notorious pirates, such as Blackbeard, Henry Morgan and Captain Kidd.

Burger Cat (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

After a mishap at a barbeque involving cheeseburgers, one cat is on a mission to retrieve his missing cheeseburgers. Your job is to help Burger Cat in his endeavor in the game of the same name by manipulating the world around him to help him avoid falling in pits and hitting walls he can’t climb. To do that, you use various tools, adding and subtracting elements from the world in order to get Burger Cat to his burgers safely.

Burger Cat includes 60 puzzle levels to play through, with various tools you’ll pick up along the way to deal with the game’s increasingly difficult puzzles. The game includes iCloud support for saving your game to the cloud, and Game Center support to provide achievements and leaderboards.

Fragile Earth (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

Just in time for Earth Day comes Fragile Earth, an app filled with aerial photography that’s meant to educate users on different effects on the planet. Users get shots that can show the effects of issues such as urbanization, climate change, and natural disasters, giving users an idea of what Earth is like through the use of many still images.

Fragile Earth is filled with photos, and you can search through them based on the part of the world from which they originate, when they were taken and the category into which they fall. You can also share any of the photos you find particularly interesting with others through Facebook and Twitter.

Time To Enjoy (iPhone, iPad) Free

Time To Enjoy is an app to help you find things to do all around you. It lets you “search the world for fun events,” using your iPhone’s GPS capabilities to find events happening in your area, and linking to your calendar so you can set reminders to go to them. The app can find all kinds of events wherever you are or wherever you want to search, and brings you information about those events before you attend.

The app can provide you with alerts for events you want to attend, appointments in your calendar, and directions to wherever you need to go. It also brings sharing capabilities through email, text messaging, Facebook and Twitter that allow you to inform others of the events you want to attend, so they can come as well.

Chalk Walk (iPad) $3.99

Education app Chalk Walk is a game for young children that helps them get ready for school. A lot of teachers are finding that kids coming into school for the first time haven’t gotten much experience with writing because of devices such as iPads, which encourage kids to draw by tracing a finger across a screen. Chalk Walk, on the other hand, helps kids learn to make the pincer grip necessary to learn to write.

Players in Chalk Walk use tracing and lines to collect puzzle pieces with alphabet letters on them, or chase around prizes by tracing lines. They’re also encouraged to make their own designs to give them a chance to learn how to effectively create lines and to think about how they position their hands for writing.

Shaun the Sheep – Fleece Lightning (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

A simple racing title, Fleece Lightning has players controlling sheep and guiding them through courses laden with obstacles. In each race in Fleece Lightning, players have to avoid obstacles and race around obstacles to beat rival pigs to a gate on the other side of the course. The game uses either tilt controls or touch controls to get your sheep through each course.

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In addition to fast-paced tracks to battle through that grow more and more difficult over time, Fleece Lightning also includes a pretty robust level editor that allows you to create and share tracks of your own. The game includes more than 80 courses to play through, plus the tracks that you and other players create, so you’ll have plenty of sheep-racing action to keep you busy.

Food Network Cupcakes! (iPad) $2.99

Food Network has packed more than 100 recipes for cupcakes into its aptly named iPad app, Food Network Cupcakes!, and if you’re looking to start making desserts, you might want to begin with the information found here. All the recipes come from Food Network stars and range in flavor and ingredients to meet the needs and cravings of just about anybody.

Food Network Cupcakes! contains recipes divided by their creator and their popularity, so the most searched-after recipes are easy to track down. It also includes informational guides to teach you the ins and outs of cupcake-making, like applying frosting and decorating your cupcakes. You’ll also get essentials like a list of tools your kitchen should have to make cupcakes, a conversion chart, videos and more.

Lock ‘n’ Load (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

The latest offering from Chillingo is stylish and often funny twin-stick shooter Lock ’n’ Load. The game packs some solid 3-D graphics and puts players in the role of a heroic, hockey mask-wearing janitor tasked with cleaning up a monster infestation using tools such as a machine gun and a chainsaw.

Lock ‘n’ Load packs 16 missions to play through plus an additional nine-mission campaign that can be unlocked through the course of the game. It’s cartoonish but has some great horror-inspired visuals and pretty high production values, including good voice acting and a fun story. Most of all, though, it’s just filled with shooter mayhem, and packs Game Center support for leaderboards that show you just how well you’ve done against the rest of the world.

Illusia 2 (iPhone, iPad) Free

Mixing platforming elements with The Legend of Zelda-style hack-and-slash combat comes Illusia 2, a casual role-playing game with beautiful 16-bit visuals. Players choose one of three characters at the outset of Illusia 2, each with different abilities: one’s a good melee fighter, another is built for ranged attacks, and the third uses speed and evasion. Each offers a different play style as you take on quests and venture into Illusia’s world to fight off monsters and defeat evil.

Illusia 2 has its fair share of RPG elements to go with the platforming and action-based gameplay. You’ll find plenty of loot along the way, for example, and work through an engaging story with lots of characters. Illusia 2 also includes multiple game modes, including an asynchronous multiplayer mode in which you can take on players from around the world thanks to Game Center support.

MacGuffin’s Curse (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

Puzzler MacGuffin’s Curse bills itself as a “comedic werewolf puzzle game,” and it delivers on all fronts. The story and characters are pretty fun, the dialog is spirited and funny, and there’s definitely a werewolf. In fact, changing into a werewolf is key to solving the game’s many puzzles. MacGuffin’s Curse has you playing the titular MacGuffin as he breaks into a museum to steal a priceless amulet, but that amulet winds up turning him into a werewolf. Luckily, you can switch between human and wolf forms and can use each to help you solve puzzles and beat the museum’s security.

MacGuffin’s Curse features hand-drawn artwork that’s a great fit for its top-down, swipe-based gameplay. It’s also packed with unlockable content to find and view throughout the game, ranging from post-game challenges to Easter eggs to developer commentary. There’s also Game Center support to provide achievements to earn along the way, as well.

Conference Me In (iPhone, iPad) Free

People who frequently find themselves on conference calls will want to take a look at Conference Me In, a free app that makes making and joining conference calls a whole lot easier. Because conference calls often require participants to use both the dial in number and a conference code, getting all the way into a call can be tough, especially while driving or finding yourself otherwise occupied. Conference Me In allows you to save all the necessary numbers for a call onto your calendar, and dial straight into the call with one button.

Conference Me In also allows you to organize your conference call appointments to keep them straight and easy to remember. You can save all the information for a conference call to your calendar, access multiple calendars from within the app, and even email out call information to others from inside the app.

CarrierCompare (iPhone, iPad) Free

Now that Apple’s iPhone and iPad are available with service from multiple carriers, a lot of users have more choice than ever before as to which service they use for their new devices. CarrierCompare is meant to make figuring out which carrier to use easier by testing service in various areas. It’s a pretty simple method for checking data speeds, requiring only that users flip their phones over to a 3G or 4G connection.

CarrierCompare works by gathering the carrier data from other users to serve as a basis of comparison for your test with your carrier. Users who have ever made use of on a computer will see similarities: CarrierCompare sends out a signal and tests how fast it comes back and how strong the connection is. All the tests are location-specific, so you’ll be finding out not which cellular carrier is best, but which may be best in your area.

Sketch Nation Studio (iPhone, iPad) Free

Make your own iOS games with Sketch Nation. The app allows you to quickly create your own simple arcade titles that are actually pretty similar to some of the games you might see created by full-on app developers in the iTunes App Store. With Sketch Nation, however, you design the look and feel of the game, creating the art work for it from right within the app, and setting the rules within the games’ basic framework.

Sketch Nation can allow you to create your own vertical jumping or endless running-style title in seconds. With the simple mode you’ll just draw the assets yourself and plug them in; with the more advanced modes, you can make determinations about how different elements in the game interact, like setting the strength of power-ups, for example. You can even create games and sell them in the App Store, pulling down half of the game’s profits after Apple’s cut.

Sky Gnomes (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Racer Sky Gnomes puts players in the role of – you guessed it – gnomes, as they speed through the air as quickly as possible. Each race has gnomes plummeting straight down through the air toward the ground below, picking up speed by hitting snowflakes and dodging balls of ice as they fall. Players snag coins along the way in each race, which can be spent to upgrade their vehicles and take down more tracks.

Sky Gnomes features daily tournaments that send allow players to compete with each other for the top rankings on each course. The more objectives you complete on each of the game’s courses, the more you’ll be able to upgrade your racer and try new courses. The game also tracks your skill level to place you in the right league with players at similar levels.

ScoreBig Daily (iPhone, iPad) Free

Find yourself something to do this week at a discount with the help of ScoreBig Daily, an app that works to help users find discount tickets to live shows wherever they are. You can use the app to find last-minute tickets, and you’re able to use ScoreBig to name your own price on tickets.

The service works by letting you search for tickets for the thing you want to attend, ranging from live music to sporting events. Once you find what you’re looking for, you can name your price, because you’re actually buying the ticket from someone else in the community. If your offer is accepted the ticket is yours; if it’s not, you’ll be unable to offer another bid for three hours, so choose wisely.

EA Battlelog (iPhone, iPad) Free

Fans of Electronic Arts’ latest online first-person shooter will get some use out of EA Battlelog, the companion app to Battlefield 3’s infrastructure for finding your friends and setting up multiplayer matches. The app allows you to find and contact your Battlelog friends, check your stats from recent matches, and read news about the game from the developers.

EA Battlelog taps into the full Battlefield 3 Battlelog system in real time, so it allows you to see what your friends are up to at any given time. It also gives you updates as to what they’re accomplishing, showing you when they unlock weapons and other add-ons for the game and allowing you to leave comments. You can also view the full Battlefield 3 leaderboards from within the app and compare your abilities to other players all over the world.

Mass Effect Infiltrator update (iPhone, iPad) $4.99

The mobile tie-in to Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect Infiltrator, didn’t do so hot in terms of reviews when it first launched. The game uses an aiming system that many reviewers found lacking, rather than standard third-person shooter controls. Electronic Arts, it seems, listened to the criticisms, and has issued a whole new gameplay system as part of the latest big update to Mass Effect Infiltrator.

In addition to a new, more traditional system for fighting enemies, the update to Mass Effect Infiltrator throws in a bunch of new content. There’s now an entire new level for players to work through, which includes a new character and a new way of playing the game.

Got Cow? (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Physics puzzler Got Cow? isn’t too different from the many other puzzlers out there that use gravity wells and a space setting to give players engaging puzzles – even Angry Birds has ventured into the territory – but the game is still a lot of fun to play and filled with solid gravity-defying puzzles. Your goal in each level is to defend interplanetary cows by firing missiles at UFOs. In order to take them all down, you need to use gravity to assist your aim.

As you play through Got Cow?, you’ll collect coins that allow you to buy special upgrades and items. You’ll need them, as apart from gravity wells and planetoids, you’ll also face asteroids and black holes that will obstruct your progress. The game includes 60 levels of puzzles to play through, and also packs Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards.

my facecard (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Quickly and easily share your contact information and make networking easier with my facecard, an app that allows users to create digital business cards that can be shared between iOS devices. The cards you can make are fully customizable, allowing you to add your information to them as well as photos from your camera roll. You can also choose the colors you use on the cards and then share them with others using your device’s Bluetooth capabilities when you meet people.

The cool thing about facecards is that they’re fully interactive, so as you gather cards from contacts, you can quickly access the information found on them just by tapping. You can make calls from the card, fire off messages or even view social network profiles quickly and easily. It’s a fast way to convey all your information and make it easy for people to save, and to gather new contacts and find everything you need to know about them.

Trulia Rentals (iPhone, iPad) Free

Pare down the time it takes you to find your next apartment with the help of your iPhone or iPad and Trulia Rentals. Leveraging the power of the Trulia website, the app is designed specifically to help make finding a new apartment, especially on the go, a lot easier. You’re able to search specific areas for properties, get alerts for when new houses or apartments come onto your markets, and easily share listings with others.

Not only does Trulia Rentals make finding the properties you’re looking for easier and show you when they came onto the market, it also allows you to check the area around prospective places so you can see what it might be like to live there. The app shows you things like nearby grocery stores and other businesses, so you’ll know if your dream apartment is located in a nightmare neighborhood. You can also use the app to contact landlords and property managers.

Rogue Ninja (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Rogue Ninja is an old-school “roguelike” role-playing game out of which fans of 8-bit titles should get a kick. It puts you in the role of a ninja and sets you off to scour dungeons and fight enemies in the style of titles such as the original Legend of Zelda. It’s also pretty tough, much like its inspiration, so you’ll need all your gamer skills to best it.

Rogue Ninja features randomized dungeons, so every time you play it, you’ll get a fresh experience. It uses a Japanese setting and is filled with enemies to fight and items to find that will alter the way you play as you adventure through the world.

DevilDark: The Fallen Kingdom (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Another top-down role-playing-style game, DevilDark puts you into a kingdom under attack by hordes of monsters, hands you a sword, and sends you out to kick monster butt. The action-adventure title has you accepting quests from the people you meet and venturing out into the land to complete their missions, earning new weapons and abilities as you do so.

DevilDark contains lots of missions to fight through, and as you do so you’ll find new stuff as loot and get even more as rewards. As you get tougher, though, the enemies in the world get stronger as well, so you’ll need skills as well as the best stuff you can find to get through. It also features some big boss fights, and some nice-looking 3-D graphics to add to the immersion.

OneReceipt (Free) iPhone

Whether you like it or not, you probably still have to deal with a whole heap of paper receipts when buying from stores or if you keep expense reports. Fortunately, OneReceipt can help. The app can capture and automatically store both your email and paper receipts. Email receipts can be added automatically from your Gmail account, while paper receipts can be snapped as a photo with your iPhone’s camera and the app takes care of the rest.

OneReceipt is a very capable app. It can also produce reports of your monthly spending, track items being shipped to your address, and will keep receipts in the cloud so they don’t take up room on your device. There’s even a Chrome extension which provides automatic receipt matching, providing rich receipt data for your, American Express, CitiCards or Bank of America accounts.

LoveThis (Free) iPhone, iPad

While there are plenty of apps out there that will offer you recommendations on all manner of things like restaurants, events, music or games, LoveThis makes it all a little more personal and memorable by only sharing recommendations with friends via Facebook or email. That way, you can trust that what’s being recommended is coming from a reliable source.

The app can be used to help out friends in need and because of its tight integration with Facebook or email, it’s easier to keep track of recommendations, too. You can give feedback on the recommendations you give or receive or ask questions. With no strangers involved offering odd suggestions or steering you wrong, LoveThis is worth a look.

Crow ($4.99) iPhone, iPad

Just gazing at the screenshots of Crow, and you know you’re in for a treat. The reviews from some major publications are also pretty gushing. Crow is a story-driven action/adventure game which combines elements of exploration and combat, taking gamers to faraway lands where various battles are unfolding.

Despite being ‘on rails’ (players get to play, or fly, as the titular crow across some beautiful landscapes), there are still decisions to be made that affect the story’s outcome. The game switches between free-flowing areas where the crow must collect things and unlock skill points, and guided areas, where you must defend the crow from enemies or destroy them. In the end, Crow succeeds because of its mood and atmosphere, as well as its stunning artwork and presentation.

Infinity Blade II: ClashMob ($4.99) iPhone, iPad

The popular slash-and-hack action game, which improved upon its predecessor significantly on its release late last year, has just received an intriguing new update. Despite its stunning graphical prowess and dynamic 3-D world, the Infinity Blade games have been pretty much solo affairs. All that changed today with the release of ClashMob.

This innovative update allows players to team up with gamers online and work together asynchronously to defeat bosses, complete challenges, and earn new rewards. It also lets players connect with others, share messages, and even create their own “Mobs” with friends on Facebook. In addition, look for new bosses, environments, weapons, and extra in-game items. For a limited time, Infinity Blade II is available for the discounted price of $4.99

Max Payne Mobile ($2.99) iPhone, iPad

New from Rockstar Games comes the revival of classic third-person action PC game, Max Payne. This cinematic shooter was a huge hit back in the day, and it was one of the first games to introduce the concept of Bullet Time® (yep, it’s a registered trademark), slowing down the action so Max can avoid gunfire while getting his shots in. It’s a feature that’s been used and abused in many games ever since.

May Payne has transferred well to the small screen. In this story-driven title, you play as Max himself, a fugitive cop framed for murder. Not only must he clear his name, he also needs to discover the truth about his slain family. Fans of the game should be aware that the app requires a hefty 1.11GB download, but Retina-optimized graphics await, plus plenty of battling action that remains faithful to the original.

Burnout CRASH! ($4.99) iPhone, iPad

Another big release from EA Mobile and Criterion brings the action-packed road-racing destruction of the Burnout series to your iPhone or iPad. Already popular on Xbox LIVE and PS3, this top-down spin-off takes the popular “Crash Junction” mode of the original Burnout games and adds a whole heap of enhancements.

With an emphasis firmly on explosive destruction, you view the action from overhead and must cause as much carnage as possible by guiding your just-crashed car into traffic, bridges, buildings and so on. Though there are three action-packed game modes to enjoy, Burnout! CRASH lacks a multiplayer mode, but it still offers a lot of fun for five bucks.

SpellTower update ($0.99) iPhone, iPad

SpellTower, by independent developer Zach Gage, received high acclaim on its initial release for iPad. It’s a word game that takes familiar elements of Scrabble, Boggle and other word-finding games, and wraps them all up in a simple yet stylish presentation. Within a few months, the app became universal so all iOS users could enjoy it, and now it’s just received another significant update.

This time round, the version 3.0 update adds a new mode. Joining the original Puzzle, Puzzle Extreme, Tower and Rush Mode is Debate Mode, “an all-out rush-style battle versus another iDevice over Bluetooth.” This multiplayer element will certainly keep the game fresh for fans, and further enhancements in the new update include Retina iPad support, night colors (for playing in the dark), sound volume adjustments, less battery consumption, and various bug fixes.

MintMarket (iPhone, iPad) Free

It’s springtime, and that means cleaning up and moving out lots of old junk to make room for new junk. If you’re a person who is finding him or herself with lots of things you don’t want, you might want to check out MintMarket. The app is the portal to a free online marketplace in which users buy and sell used mint-condition items that they purchased within the previous 60 days, allowing them to deal with buyer’s remorse by selling the items they thought they wanted but really don’t.

MintMarket integrates with Facebook and protects users from lemons by requiring that items be pretty close to new before they can be sold on the market. And because you’re using Facebook, you’re getting listings from people you already know and trust, rather than whoever might be using the service in general. MintMarket will keep you up-to-date on the items you purchase, as well, by sending you push notifications and allowing you to save items as your “favorites.”

CloudOn update (iPad) Free

Stream your Windows desktop to your iPad in a perfectly legal way with CloudOn. The app makes it easy to access the programs and documents found on your computer remotely using your iPad, and integration with Dropbox makes it possible to pass files between both devices quickly and easily for maximum efficiency. With its latest update, CloudOn has added even more features.

CloudOn’s 2.0 update adds support for Box for even more storage, and now users can use email to send documents to colleagues and collaborators using their iPads. The app also supports more file formats beyond those offered by Microsoft Office, including PDF files and various image file types.

Amoebattle (iPhone, iPad) $4.99

Amoebas and other single-celled organisms make up your army of forces in Amoebattle, a real-time strategy game in which you’ll command forces as you move through levels, defeating other amoebas and using their DNA to bolster your forces. As you gather new amoebas, you’ll use them and their different abilities to fight off an infection that threatens all life, utilizing simple tap and touch controls to rally troops, issue orders and move around the battlefield.

Amoebattle features a pretty, cartoonish art style and supports the new iPad’s Retina display. It also includes Game Center support to supply leaderboards and achievements to players, allowing you to see just how good you are with your amoebarmy. It also has iCloud functionality to save your game files to the cloud.

Monster Words (iPhone, iPad) Free

Word games seem to have created a special niche in the App Store. Monster Words fits in that niche nicely, adding a little personality to a word game that’s fun and challenging without being overly difficult. Each level give you a series of words, the number of letters in each, and a description of what word you’re after, then lets you loose with a bunch of monsters in a cage, each of which has a piece of a word written on it. Your job is to flick the monsters in order to the top of the screen to form words and score points.

They start out simple and grow more difficult, and Monster Words is at its best when you have lots of fragments all together that make it tough to see what words the game is looking for you to find. Each level has a theme to which all the words are related, and you can switch between all the words you need to form in each level so you can skip one that might be stumping you and return when it’s easier. The freemium title lets you buy hints if you get stuck, or you can connect to Facebook and ask friends for help.

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Topps BUNT (iPad) Free

Topps BUNT is a social companion app meant to act as your companion to the 2012 baseball season. The app lets you build a fantasy baseball team of your favorite players and track their progress throughout the season, gaining points based on their performance. The game lets you interact with other baseball fans, too, and it’s designed to appeal to the casual fan as well as the hardcore.

You’ll build a team of nine players in Topps BUNT, and if you need a different player after you’ve drafted your team, you can trade with others using the app. Topps BUNT also includes regional leaderboards, so you can see how your team stacks up against those of other players, and lets you track real games to see how your players are doing in real time.

Jittergram (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Photography app Jittergram lets its users create unique images. Jittergram specializes in stereoscopic 3-D effects, the kind where your eyes each see a different angle of the image in order to make it appear to jump out at you. The app allows you to make your own 3-D images out of any picture, as well as to shoot stop-motion videos with the help of your iOS device.

When you first fire up Jittergram to take a photo, the app lets you choose between setting up a 3-D image or a stop-motion recording with one button. Then you just take you photo normally and the app processes it. You can save it when you’re finished, creating a 3-D image or an animated GIF file you can share with others.

Kitten Sanctuary (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

Part match-three puzzler and part pet simulator, Kitten Sanctuary is a speedy little puzzle game in which you need to break kittens out of cages after they’ve been captured by aliens. To do so, you’ll need to puzzle through the game’s match-thre levels by moving objects around on a grid to make groups of three. The idea is to make your combinations over the specially colored squares, which disable the power running to the cages. Once you’ve disabled all the power, the kittens can get free.

Once you’ve freed a few cats, you’re able to hang out at your beach base of operations, where you’ll find all of the cats waiting for you. Once there, you’ll need to take actions to help manage their moods and keep them happy, like rescuing more cats and playing with them. Kitten Sanctuary includes 50 unique cats for you to rescue and 100 levels to play through by the end.

Clippox Exodus (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

Platformer Clippox Exodus puts you in the role of a Clippox, a forest spirit kind of guy tasked and part of a group that lived inside a sacred tree. When the tree is destroyed, you set out as the village’s shaman in order to help find them a new home. The controls are fairly simple and common. You’ll move left and right in the 2.5-D world the game creates, jumping over enemies and blasting them with your staff.

You’ll run into lots of enemies on your way through Clippox Exodus, but your shaman will be helped along with powers of his own, such as magical prowess that can channeled through his staff. Clippox features hand-made fantasy illustrations for its art style, as well as an engaging story and some solid platforming gameplay.

Tweetbot update (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

The popular iOS Twitter client from Tapbot, Tweetbot, just got a big update that brings iCloud integration to the app to make it work better over multiple devices. Already, Tweetbot was a solid way to view your Twitter feed, making it easy to access multiple accounts, send videos and pictures, and link to other iOS apps such as Read It Later and Instapaper.

Tweetbot’s update integrates iCloud capabilities into the app, which allow users with multiple iOS devices to use Tweebot across all of them without skipping a beat. Integration with iCloud means you can start looking at your timelines on one Tweebot app, pick up a different device, and continue where you left off on the other.

National Geographic Today (iPad) Free

Get your daily dose of National Geographic content with National Geographic Today, the magazine’s free iPad app that brings new photos and articles straight to your iPad. You’ll get photos, articles, quizzes, and more every day, with the ability to read content from the rest of the week with lots of big, beautiful images perfect for your brand new iPad.

As you might expect, in addition to fresh articles and photos, National Geographic Today also provides you with Facebook and Twitter integration so you can share the things you like with your friends. You’ll find all kinds of cool photos and videos on the app every day, and best of all, it won’t cost you anything.

Epic Astro Story (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

The latest in developer Kairosoft’s series of simulation titles is Epic Astro Story, a space-themed game in which players get to develop and run their own planets. As you start out on your world, you’ll send away teams to explore the planet and expand your territory, build farms and factories to export goods and make money, and recruit new workers from other planets.

Fans of titles such as Game Dev Story and Kairosoft’s other games will recognize the basic mechanics at work, and Star Trek aficionados will catch numerous references to characters from several of the franchise’s iterations. Unlike other Kairosoft simulation games, Epic Astro Story also has some brand of role-playing game battles you’ll need to fight through the course of the game as you find yourself exploring faraway planets.

7HE CODE (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

First-person puzzler 7HE CODE is a game in which players are tasked with finding their way out of a series of rooms. Each room has a number pad connected to the door and a three-digit code to open it, but you’ll need to locate the code hidden in each room in order to move on. The rooms also have hidden symbols you’ll need to locate in order to get the best score in each one.

7HE CODE packs 18 levels with full 3-D graphics. You’re rated on your ability to reason out the code to each room, find the hidden symbol, and finish the level as quickly as possible. 7HE CODE also has a detailed story that unfolds as you move through the game’s rooms and solve its puzzles.

Pholium (iPad) $9.99

Now that digital photography is better than a decade old, lots of us have plenty of digital pictures floating around on media of all kinds. Pholiumi is an iPad app meant to make finding, organizing and viewing those photos easier, by allowing you to create photo e-books right from your iPad. Each e-book can pack as many as 48 photos and display as many as four at a time over each two-page spread.

Pholium has three different modes with which users can view and organize photos. Gallery mode is for importing and viewing photos on your iPad from your computer or other devices; Studio mode allows you to create and customize your new e-books; and Library mode, with which you can view your saved e-books. You can also share your e-books with users who don’t have the app, customize them just about any way you want, and view the photos in your e-books as slide shows.

Jybe (iPhone, iPad) Free

Get all kinds of recommendations about things you should check out, from restaurants to books, with Jybe. The app takes information about the things that you like and dislike as it feeds you recommendations, and adapts to your preferences to provide you with all kinds of different new things to do, try, read and watch. It also keeps track of the history of everything you like and dislike and uses OpenTable to allow you to make reservations to restaurants and get driving directions.

Jybe allows you to link a Netflix account and quickly add recommended movies to your queue, and you can buy tickets to nearby movie theaters through the app as well. You can check the menus of local restaurants and even download e-books or order hardcopies.

Skylanders Cloud Patrol (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Tying in with video game publisher Activision’s crazy-popular Skylanders toy and game series is Skylanders Cloud Patrol, a solid action game in which it’s your job to tap enemies to shoot them as fast as possible as you enter each new area. Blasting trolls nets you coins and bonuses, and the more you can link together by dragging your finger from one enemy to the next in order to create a combo, the higher your score will be. The goal is to rack up lots of fast shots, grab some coins, and avoid blasting deadly bombs that will end your game.

All the coins you earn can be used to buy power-ups and you’ll be able to access as many as 30 Skylanders characters throughout the course of the game. If you already have Skylanders toys, you can unlock the characters you already own in the game. There’s also Game Center support that gives you 30 achievements to earn and access to worldwide leaderboards on which to compete.

Triple Trouble (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Combine Angry Birds-style arcade physics with the match-3 puzzle gameplay of Bejeweled and the result is Triple Trouble. Inspired, it seems, by Star Trek’s Tribbles, Triple Trouble has players manipulating furry little round characters that each come in a different color. The goal in each level is to fling the triples using touch controls into a spot on the level where they won’t move, then toss more of the same color to the same spot to make a group of three or more. Each level has a certain number of groups you need to create, and the more triples you can put into a single group, the more points you’ll score.

Each level has a different shape and construction, so flinging triples to the right spot gets more and more difficult. You also lose points if triples fall off the level, so it’s important to be careful. Triple Trouble includes 48 levels to play through, as well as Game Center support, which provides leaderboards and achievements. It also sports Twitter and Facebook connectivity.

Saturday Morning RPG (iPhone, iPad) Free

If you’re a fan of the cartoons, movies and video games of the 1980s and 1990s, you’ll have a great time with Saturday Morning RPG. Pairing old-school graphics with turn-based role-playing gameplay, the game puts players in the role of Marty as he works to free his girlfriend from the clutches of the evil Commander Hood.

Saturday Morning RPG has players tapping the screen in order to charge up power in order to strengthen their attacks against various enemies while working through the game. You’ll also earn new powers by adding “stickers” to your “notebook.” Scratching the stickers quickly adds those powers to Marty’s repertoire in each battle. The faster you scratch, the more abilities you’ll get. The game is divided into multiple stand-alone episodes, and sometimes the changes you enact in one episode will flow into the next.

Bug Princess 2 (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

The sequel to “bullet hell” shooter Bug Princess brings more of the intense bullet-dodging action of the first title as players use touch controls to fly about the screen, blasting away at hordes of enemies while fighting to avoid getting blasted themselves. Bug Princess 2 brings three different game modes and four levels of difficulty to shoot-’em up fans to enjoy.

The four different game modes in Bug Princess 2 give players a chance to work through each of the game’s stages, each with a different gameplay emphasis, and its staggered difficult levels mean even novice players can make it all the way through the game. You’ll also pull down all kinds of power-ups along the way and enjoy some solid 3-D graphics.

Peakour (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Puzzler Peakour is all about analyzing the game environment and adding elements where needed. In each level, you’ll be working to make it so a character can navigate the level automatically, using different moves, like jumps, ledge-grabs, wall kicks and more. Along the way are several bottle caps, which you want the character to grab along the way. Your job is to build the proper path by putting objects where they’re needed to help get your “pea” to each level’s goal.

Peakour includes 100 levels for you to figure out, and lots of different moves for your pea characters to execute on their way to each level’s goal. There’s also a level editor you can unlock through the course of the game, allowing you to create your own Peakour levels and share them with other players.

CreaVures (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Side-scrolling platformer CreaVures puts you in control of Bitey, a strange-looking animal on a quest to bring light back their forest. But Bitey is just the first character you get access to – by the end of the game, you’ll have five animals in your group, each with its own special abilities for solving puzzle and fighting off enemies. In each level, you’ll need to find your way past obstacles and enemies, grabbing all the light particles you can find in order to rack up the highest score you can.

CreaVures is marked by a great luminescent art style, and packs some cool boss fights to offset the puzzles you’ll solve as you work your way through each of its levels. The game also packs Game Center support to provide players with achievements to earn and leaderboards to climb.

Mobli – Share The Moment update (iPhone, iPad) Free

Photo- and video-sharing app Mobli looks to do what apps such as Instagram and Color do for users, only better. Like those apps, it’s one part photography, providing ways you can alter your photos to make them look cooler, and one part social network, allowing you to post what you’ve taken and see what others are creating.

Mobli just got a big update with lots of new filters for both photos and videos, as well as features that will help make you better at capturing media using your smartphone. It also has a redesigned user interface that uses swipes for navigation, and a peer-to-peer messaging system that should make getting in touch with people you know and like through Mobli a lot easier.

Egg Dyeing 101 From Martha Stewart Living (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Easter Sunday is just a few days off, and Martha Stewart is looking to help you become an egg-dyeing expert before the big day. With that in mind comes Egg Dyeing 101, an app designed to help users make the best-looking Easter eggs they can, without a lot of special tools, a big bank account, or their own personal Easter bunny or golden goose.

Egg Dyeing 101 includes egg dye formulas that can help you get started from scratch, plus step-by-step video, how-to instructions and more to make you into some kind of egg-dyeing virtuoso. You can also share your egg dye designs with friends through the app, and learn how to make great Easter-themed crafts using eggs.

8Bit Ninja (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

From the makers of platformer 1bit Ninja comes its 8bit counterpart, a game that borrows a lot of its inspiration from Fruit Ninja. You play 8Bit, the titular ninja, as he skitters around a dojo attempting to avoid getting smashed by huge pieces of fruit that bounce through the level. It sounds easy, and it is – dodge fruit, score points.

The longer you stay alive in 8Bit Ninja, the better you do in the game overall. The longer you survive and the more experience points you earn, the more difficult the game become. Eventually, for example, you’ll face fruit from both sides and more. Money you earn can be used in 8Bit Ninja’s in-game store to earn more power-ups, and the whole thing is tracked on the title’s Game Center leaderboards.

Gunman Clive (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

Platformer Gunman Clive takes a lot of its inspiration from old-school titles such as Mega Man, but it brings a delightful sketch-like art style to bear on a game that has players running through the streets, shooting down bad guys who stand in his way and hope to kill him. If you’re a fan of Contra, you’ll see some influences in Gunman Clive; its side-scrolling shoot-’em-up nature makes it quite a bit of fun, and the art style keeps the title grounded and original.

Gunman Clive includes 16 levels to fight through, each with some pretty challenging obstacles to play against. You’ll also take on “dozens” of different kinds of enemies, including wolves, ducks and gunmen. You’ll also square off against some “epic” bosses during your time in the game, so come prepared to fight huge creatures when you fire up Gunman Clive.

Bookslinger (iPhone, iPad) Free

Get your indie book fix with Bookslinger, an app filled with curated stories that you might not find on your local bookstore’s shelf. The app comes pre-loaded with short stories from new and “underappreciated” authors, and each week, the app publishers push new content that readers can enjoy free of charge.

Stories are divided by author, as well as by genre and other categories, making it easy to find new literature that’s right up your alley. The app keeps track of where you are when you stop reading, and you can share stories you like with your friends through Facebook and Twitter.

Fitocracy (iPhone, iPad) Free

A little bit in the same way that EpicWin added video game elements to to-do lists, Fitocracy adds video game elements to fitness. The app is about making a fitness your fitness goals easier to reach by helping you track milestones and set goals, using the visual language of role-playing games.

You’ll unlock achievements and “level up” as you accomplish your fitness goals, embarking on and completing “quests” tied to your workout goals. The app also links users to each other, so you’ll be able to read about others’ progress for motivation and interact with other people on their own quests, allowing you to support each other.

Reiner Knizia’s City of Secrets Skyline (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Puzzler City of Secrets Skyline feels a bit like a fresh spin on Sudoku. Each level presents players with a grid and a pile of buildings they have to place on that grid in a specific order. Each building is a different height, and your goal is to fill the grid without having two buildings of the same size in either the same row or column as one another, much like Sudoku. But there are other rules, as well. Numbers along the edges of certain rows or columns indicate how many buildings must be visible in a straight line from that position, requiring you to think about which buildings you place where to solve the level.

It’s a little confusing at first, but once you start playing City of Secrets Skyline, it’s tough to put down. The game includes 56 levels that get more and more difficult as time goes on, testing your logical puzzle solving skills in all the right ways. You can also increase the difficulty across four different settings.

Trial Xtreme 2 Winter Edition (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

It’s time for another side-scrolling motocross game, and while that has quickly become a genre with a few too many entries, they’re almost always a good exercise in fun but frustratingly challenging gameplay. In Trial Xtreme 2 Winter Edition, this is the case, as you race across various tracks trying to finish as quickly as possible while doing tricks to earn yourself points along the way.

Trial Xtreme 2 includes both touch controls and a tilt control mode for dealing with your bike’s level as it flies through the air, and packs 30 levels to play through. It also includes Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards, allowing you to see how you stack up against players from all over the world.

Snapguide (iPhone, iPad) Free

Looking to learn how to do something new? You might want to give Snapguide next time you take to the Internet trying to learn how to do something, like cook a meal. The app is filled with user-created how-to guides, which can teach you to do any number of things with a combination of text and photos to show you what to do and how to do it at each step of the way.

Snapguide is also pretty social, allowing you not only to read and learn from others’ guides, but to create your own. Guides are created by typing out steps or recording audio and pairing them with photos, and they can be shared over Facebook and Twitter as well as within the app for others to learn from and use.

Kaptur (iPhone, iPad) Free

Social photo app Kaptur helps people find and aggregate all the photos and videos from specific events. Put simply, if you attend a friend’s wedding or a concert with your pals and everyone snaps photos, it can be a pain to locate them all. Kaptur allows you to scour your friends’ social media networks, snag the photos from the common events you share, and download them all to a single album so you can get hold of all the memories captured by everyone, all in the same place.

Kaptur allows you to customize your albums when you create them and makes sharing them easy by providing custom URLs that take everyone to same place. You can also share your “kaptures” through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, create slideshows to embed on blogs, and control the privacy settings of your albums.

Fibble (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

From Crytek, the makers of the well-known Crysis series of first-person shooters, comes Fibble, a graphically beautiful casual physics puzzler. In each level of Fibble, players control the titular round alien as he works to repair his spaceship and escape from Earth. The trouble is, he’s tiny in comparison to the world around him, and each set of stages has him working his way through locales like a kitchen, a bathroom and an attic.

In each of Fibble’s levels, players launch the alien through a miniature golf-style course, manipulating where he ends up by tilting the device and bouncing Fibble to different areas. Your performance is scored by various coins and stars you can snag in each level, and by how many “flings” it takes you to complete each one. Fibble packs 30 levels and includes Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards.

Light The Flower (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Chillingo’s latest offering in the iTunes App Store is Light The Flower, a puzzler that’s all about geometry and angles. Your job in each of the game’s levels is to bounce sunlight around the rooms of various houses using mirrors in order to get it to one or more flowers. Speed is a factor, as is creatively maneuvering the light in order to have it cross over three stars before it hits the flower to finish the stage.

Things get more difficult over time as Light The Flower throws in things like filters that change the color of light so that it can be used on different flowers, or as more flowers are added to the mix. Light The Flower includes 60 levels, plus Game Center support that lets you track your performance against other players all over the world.

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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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