Fresh iPhone Apps for August 2012

Aug 24, 2012
Tech

Broadcast for Friends (iPhone, iPad) Free Turn your iOS device into a live broadcasting video camera when you fire up Broadcast for Friends. The app allows you to stream video directly to Facebook for free, meaning you can create live broadcasts wherever you are that your friends can enjoy. There’s no limit to the length […]

Broadcast for Friends (iPhone, iPad) Free

Turn your iOS device into a live broadcasting video camera when you fire up Broadcast for Friends. The app allows you to stream video directly to Facebook for free, meaning you can create live broadcasts wherever you are that your friends can enjoy. There’s no limit to the length of videos you can stream, and Broadcast for Friends works across both a Wi-Fi connection or a 3G/4G one. That way, you can transmit from almost anywhere.

Broadcast for Friends makes sending videos easy, but you can also spiff them up a bit by using one of 10 different video filters. The app lets you connect with people who are watching your broadcast as you’re making it by providing notifications when someone comments on your video. You can also control who sees what you shoot by adjusting privacy settings, meaning you can stream just to your friends, specific people, or the public at large.

Strut Type (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

Novelty camera apps are all over the place in the iTunes App Store, and while some provide filters that make your photos look old, they generally don’t go as far back in time as those created by Strut Type. The app turns your device into a Strut folding camera from the early 1900s, giving them a dated, vintage look. It packs filters as well as a black-and-white mode, so you can get exactly the sort of 100 year-old photo you’re searching for.

Strut Type includes a number of editing features that allow you not only to filter your shots and make them look old, but tweak them in order to get the exact effect for which you’re searching. You can also recreate different effects old-style cameras were known for, like light leaks and faded edges caused by the Strut’s lens. Once you’re done, you can share your photos through Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr and Twitter.

Mikey Shorts (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Side-scrolling platformer Mikey Shorts is sure to hit your nostalgia buttons. The game plays a bit like classics such as Super Mario Bros., and in it you’ll navigate levels in which you need to either jump up onto platforms or over obstacles, or slide beneath them, using one of two buttons. Your goal is to free the people of the world from the statue forms in which they’ve been imprisoned, and you can do that by touching them as you run by. There are also coins you can gather to buy new gear, and robots that can be either used as platforms to get you higher, or taken out with a slide.

There aren’t many in the way of enemies or deadly traps in Mikey Shorts, but the game carries its own brand of challenge in the form of scoring you based on the speed with which you complete each level. You’ll quickly find yourself trying to tear through each stage perfectly, with no wasted seconds from missed jumps or ill-timed slides. Mikey Shorts packs two different game modes and 72 levels through which you can play, including 48 challenge levels designed to push your skills.

One Epic Knight (iPhone, iPad) Free

The developers of Tiny Heroes have reworked the premise of their dungeon-centric tower defense game into an endless runner in the vein of Temple Run, putting players into the role of a knight running through a dungeon on a quest to collect loot. The game does a pretty solid job of iterating on the 3-D runner formula, too, providing lots of things to jump over, slide under, and avoid.

One of the cooler things about One Epic Knight is that in addition to avoiding things like pits and walls, you can also grab weapons that allow you to bash through obstacles or cut down enemies. Grabbing power-ups to get through obstacles adds multipliers to your score, so you’ll need skill both to stay alive and effectively smash stuff. Finally, there’s Game Center support to track all the points you rack up.

Supermagical (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

A great art style and quality production values mark Supermagical, a game in which you’ll play a witch trying to bottle up evil spirits back in the underworld. To free the cartoonish world of those enemies, along with her evil sisters, you’ll shoot colored balls at spirits of the same hue, in an attempt to make matches of three or greater. Matches clear out the spirits, and any you can separate from the group go with them.

As you play through Supermagical’s 71 levels, you’ll grab coins and other items that allow you to unlock power-ups that affect the game. You’ll also adventure through Supermagical’s story, and engage in boss fights that test your ability to out-think – and out-talk – your enemies, because many are based on conversations. There also is Game Center support to provide achievements and leaderboards.

VOTE!!! (iPhone, iPad) Free

The makers of Infinity Blade have re-skinned their swordfighting epic to create Vote!!!, a goofy take on the upcoming presidential election. In it, players can don suits and grab weapons like microphones and hotdogs to take on the roles of either President Barack Obama or Gov. Mitt Romney to “debate” the other candidate. It’s basically the swordfighting you’re used to from Infinity Blade, but it’s free.

The fun thing about Vote!!! is that it’s a simpler version of Infinity Blade and packs tons of things to unlock. Players can get hold of new items and clothes that give bonuses, and add perks to their characters to win more battles. Better still, the app provides links that help players register to vote ahead of the November election.

Maxthon Web Browser (iPhone, iPad) Free

Mobile browser Maxthon is looking to replace your iOS device’s default Safari browser with a number of handy features and a slick interface. Like other browsing apps such as Google Chrome, it comes with the kind of things you’d expect from a desktop browser, like tabbed browsing and a download manager to keep track of the things you snag from the Internet.

Also making Maxthon a little more useful than your average mobile browser is cloud support. Syncing to the cloud allows you to save bookmarks and other information for access from any device. The app also has a “reader” mode, not unlike the functionality of apps such as Pocket or Instapaper, allowing you to make articles as simple and easy to read as possible.

Tagwhat update (iPhone, iPad) Free

Travel app Tagwhat uses the power of the Internet to bring you all kinds of interesting and different information about any place you might visit. When you arrive, you can use your device’s GPS capabilities to help figure out where you are, and Tagwhat starts searching for information about that location. You can also tailor your results to the kinds of information you want to know about a place, focusing on things like music or art.

Tragwhat’s latest update ties it in more intensely with social media to give you a whole different perspective on the places you’re visiting. Social integration means you can quickly post to Facebook or foursquare about where you are and what you’re learning, and you can also see what other people are posting about those locations. The update also allows you to create a “trip journal” as you travel, and to save places you want to visit for later.

ShipFall (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

A simple tilt-based title, ShipFall puts players in control of a mining spaceship navigating tunnels in its side-scrolling world. It looks quite a bit like the Xbox 360 title Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, but it plays significantly differently because ShipFall is a race against the clock to snag minerals necessary to exit each level.

Each level in ShipFall has players exploring a series of tunnels, gathering a certain number of objects before leaving the level. You’ll need to avoid slamming into walls and objects to keep your speed up, while also doing your best to explore every areas as you find it in order to avoid backtracking. There are also a number of power-ups you can find to get through puzzles faster or add time to the clock.

Ecoute (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

Music app Ecoute may well replace your iOS device’s onboard music player. It taps into your iTunes library and presents all your music, podcasts and the like in a simple and clean interface. Ecoute doesn’t necessarily bring more features to the fore than you’re used to seeing in your device’s iPod player, but it does pack a nice-looking way to find and play all your tracks.

Ecoute includes all the handy iOS functionality you’ve come to expect, however. It brings iOS 5 features such as Airplay and iTunes Match, so you can access all your tracks and use them on other devices as well. The app also supports iTunes’ Genius functionality and search functions, so you can easily track down anything you’re interested in listening to as quickly as ever.

Sunshine (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

A lot of arcade titles lately have focused on the physics of orbiting objects. Sunshine has players taking on the role of a photon in various orbits around planets, working to avoid black holes and reach goals in each level. It’s a pretty game with a great art style and simple but interesting gameplay – touch the screen to make your photon jump from its orbit to another object, collecting particles along the way.

You’re scored in each level by how fast you can clear the stage by collecting light particles. Grabbing three particles opens the exit of each level; five nets you a maximum score. Sunshine packs 60 levels to work through, plus boss fights and power-ups you can collect to make your way a little easier. There’s also Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards.

SuperCock (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

Side-scrolling brawler SuperCock is a weird game with a weird name. You play as the titular superhero, a giant chicken guy, tasked with wailing on some zombies. Simple controls mean that hacking your way through huge numbers of the undead is pretty easy – you just tap anywhere on the screen to go there, and SuperCock pounds his way through any opposition he encounters.

Each stage gives players different goals for all the zombie mayhem. In one you might just need to kill a set number of the undead; in others, you have to protect an egg from damage, for example. As you clear levels, you’ll earn experience points you can apply to upgrading your character.

InstaGenius (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Photo app Instagram gained widespread popularity because of its easy-to-use filters and editing capabilities. But if you need a little more power, you might want to check out InstaGenius, an app specifically designed for editing Instagram photos. The app is packed with additional filters and other one-step effects that can make your photos even more interesting.

InstaGenius makes editing your photos easy, and it includes a lot of other cool features as well. For one, the app allows you to put as many as six photos together to create collages. The app also includes a robust photo browser for looking through your shots, and packs about 30 borders and frames for finding the pitch-perfect presentation for all of your shots.

Blackjack Domination: Learn Strategy, Count Cards, and Beat Vegas (iPhone, iPad) $9.99

If you’re going to try to get good at a casino game and make money gambling – which isn’t exactly a recommended course of action, but still tempting – blackjack is the game with which to do it. It’s the game with the best odds, but only if you play the game perfectly and know all the best strategies, according to the experts. That’s where Blackjack Domination comes in: the book app will help you learn strategies for mastering blackjack, as well as other strategies like “card counting.”

The book features a number of testimonial stories from the authors and other successful blackjack players, as well as step-by-step strategies that help you learn what to do in every situation in order to have the best odds of winning. The book can also teach you the technique of counting cards, which is really just a system of knowing approximately how many potential “10” cards could come up if you go for a hit.

Super Mole Escape (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

If you were a criminal and a mole, looking to escape prison, how would you do it? By tunneling, of course. That’s the premise of Super Mole Escape – you must tilt your iOS device left or right in order to guide your mole through the ground as he or she tunnels around mines, rocks and monsters in order to stay clear of the pursuing guards and escape.

Super Mole Escape is pretty simple in its rules, but things get complex when power-ups and enemies are added to the mix. Dodging hard rocks and other hazards is key to keeping up your speed, and you can grab gems from the dirt to boost yourself up and also buy upgrades or power-ups. The game also has a versus mode you can play with friends or random opponents across a Wi-Fi connection, adding a whole other level of sabotage to the fast-paced gameplay.

Shoparoo (iPhone, iPad) Free

Shoparoo lets you turn shopping for grocery receipts into fundraising opportunities. The service works with different stores and schools to reward customer loyalty to grocery stores by kicking donations out to their schools. When you shop at different stores, you can instantly redeem your receipts as part of different fundraisers by shooting a photo of them with your phone.

Shoparoo will instantly digitize your receipts and, in addition to raising funds for schools, you can also earn rewards for yourself for your loyalty to different stores. Shoparoo fundraisers also get additional boosts if you choose sponsored brands.

Horn™ (iPhone, iPad) $6.99

Console-quality graphics adorn action-adventure title Horn, which brings a fun fantasy feel to iOS devices and successfully mixes classics like The Legend of Zelda with Infinity Blade. Players play as Horn, a boy who awakens in a ruined tower and wanders through a strange world. You’ll wield a sword and fight giant monsters with similar gameplay to Infinity Blade, but there’s more in the world of Horn to explore and discover, including items and weapons.

There’s quite a bit of story to uncover, plus “Challenge” modes players can access that focus on combat, and side content that you can unlock along the way.

Tread of the Dead (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Zombies, man. They’re coming and you’ve gotta kill them. At least you can do it with some finesse in Tread of the Dead, an iOS Universal game in which you heave various weapons at zombies in order to take them out as they march toward you. Those weapons include chainsaws and ninja stars, for starters, and you control their paths after they’re thrown by tilting your iOS device, allowing you to rack up massive combos and score tons of points.

Tread of the Dead includes a number of unlockable game modes, plus more than 100 challenging levels. The game tracks all your stats as you advance, and also has Game Center support so you can track your scores on worldwide leaderboards, as well as rack up achievements. You can also customize your tilt sensitivity to calibrate the game to your fit your level of comfort. A lite version is available at no cost.

Jack Lumber (iPhone, iPad) $0.99 (through August 18)

Fruit Ninja may have popularized the “slicing” game genre, in which players use their fingers as blades to slash through different objects, but Jack Lumber wants to make something new of that formula. Instead of slicing through a number of pieces of fruit, players need to slice logs lengthwise. Touching the screen slows down time so you can get to work, and the goal is to make one continuous slice through all the logs on the screen.

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Jack Lumber changes things up by throwing in various logs that require you to slice them in different ways. Some have corners that you’ll have to move around and others require more than one slice or a slice in a certain direction. You score more points for getting through the logs as fast as you can and for not making mistakes, and all your scores are cataloged on Game Center leaderboards.

Random Heroes (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

The makers of the League of Evil titles have put their phenomenal touchscreen controls to work again, this time in a side-scrolling action game instead of a platformer. Random Heroes has players fighting through various levels as they take down monsters, grabbing money along the way to upgrade weapons and buy new costumes.

Random Heroes includes 30 levels and 10 different weapons to find and purchase. It also packs a few extra cool features, including iCloud saves, iOS Universal support, and Game Center.

Flip’s Escape (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Flip’s Escape is a direct sequel to puzzle title The Last Rocket, continuing its storyline. This one is a vertical scroller in which players guide a rocket named Flip away from an exploding star, dodging meteors and grabbing stars to increase his speed. Your only ability in avoiding meteors is to tap the screen to hit the brakes, but if you gather enough stars, you enter warp speed.

You can also earn gems from meteors that allow you to unlock power-ups and upgrades to your rocket that let you survive a bit longer. Scores are tracked on Game Center leaderboards, and you can unlock achievements as you play.

Puzzle Craft (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Marrying matching gameplay with simulation is Puzzle Craft, a game in which your ultimate goal is to build a medieval town from the ground up. In order to do that, you’ll need to lay down buildings and hire peasants to work the land while matching different objects laid out across grids in order to gather resources from farms and mines.

The more you play, you’ll have access to more diverse  buildings. You can find and hire more villagers to increase productivity, or add different specialty buildings to be more efficient. There’s also Game Center support to see how your international rank.

TuneWiki (iPhone) Free

The core function of TuneWiki is to play music for you on your iOS device, but it brings additional elements that might make it a more useful choice than the functionality of your device’s standard iPod. TuneWiki also provides lyrics  that simultaneously scroll for the song to which you’re listening. There is also a strong social component, as you can share lyrics with friends and follow other users.

TuneWiki just re-released with a new, overhauled interface, so it’s easier to use. The social aspects of TuneWiki allow you to not only listen to music, but have conversations with other users about the music and lyrics you love. You can also read artist bios as you listen, all of which is made possible with either a 3G or Wi-Fi Internet connection.

Bad Hotel (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Strategy title Bad Hotel is a bit hard to understand at first. Your job is to protect a hotel from attackers that come in from all sides. You add rooms to the base of the hotel to protect it by dragging those rooms onto the central column. You can place rooms anywhere as long as they’re touching another room, and the add-ons can be destroyed without consequence. If your central base takes too much damage, you lose.

Bad Hotel heaps on the strategy as you start to decide what rooms to add where. Some rooms earn you money to put toward buying more rooms while others contain guns or mines, or are capable of repairing other rooms. Placement of the rooms is key, as is acting quickly, because enemies come in waves at certain points in each level. The higher you build your hotel and the more rooms you protect through the course of each level, the more points you earn.

Bingo Blingo (iPhone, iPad) Free

You can challenge Facebook friends to rounds of bingo in Bingo Blingo, but the game’s a little more involved than your standard weekly church game. Bingo Blingo has players earning items and utilizing power-ups in order to get the most out of each call. The core game is the same as bingo– numbers are called and you mark your bingo card until you make a row, a column, a diagonal or four corners. However, certain squares have extra attributes.

Daub the right squares when they’re called and you’ll earn experience points, coins or energy that go toward power-ups. You can also purchase power-ups in between bingo rounds to give you an edge in game by switching your numbers or racking up extra points. The more friends you pull into the game, the more points you earn as well. You can also play against Facebook friends even if they don’t have the app, so long as they install Bingo Blingo on their Facebook profiles.

imo instant messenger update (iPhone) Free

Instant messaging app imo has added a big new feature in its latest update: voice calling. The app already allows users to add their various IM accounts from a number of services, including AOL Instant Messenger, Skype, Google Talk and ICQ. You can send messages over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection to anybody you normally talk to through those services on your PC or other apps. You can also send photos and other media to your contacts.

With the voice calling update, users can communicate through voice with other users of the app, effectively turning your iPhone into a walkie-talkie. The app also provides Push notifications for when you receive messages and supports group messaging.

Sing! Join the global karaoke party! (iPhone, iPad) Free

Last week, music app maker Smule launched Ocarina 2 and Sing!, a karaoke app that lets you participate in “song groups” with people over the Internet. You get to sing along to different songs with just about anybody. You can also save your own performances and share them with friends via Facebook.

Sing! includes a catalog of songs and each download is available for an in-app purchase of $0.99. Singing along with others is free, however, and you can also use the app’s Facebook connectivity to leave and read comments about your songs.

Kingdoms & Lords (iPhone, iPad) Free

The latest title from Gameloft mixes a little bit of Farmville-style management gameplay with a turn-based tactical role-playing game. In Kingdoms & Lords it’s your job to build up the land and structures such as housing and barracks, while collecting taxes to fund your kingdom’s development.

Building and managing all that stuff is only part of the equation, because you’ll also need to engage in battles with other kingdoms in order to progress or defend yourself. You can also attack your friends with your troops to see who has the strongest strategic mind, and upgrade your holdings and weapons along the way to make yourself more powerful.

Burner – Disposable Phone Numbers (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

It can be tough out there for people trying to meet other people. Burner is an app that can help. The app lets users generate single-use phone numbers – the kind you can give out to someone you just met who you might want to communicate with later. The idea is that the app gives you an added layer of security for people you don’t know, allowing you to “burn” the number later should you find the need cut ties.

Burner allows you to get “credits” through in-app purchases that allow you to generate numbers, and those numbers offer a preset number of messages or voice time to go along with them. You can keep the numbers in service if you want, burn or let them expire. SMS messages through Burner also don’t count toward your phone’s text message plan.

Organ Trail: Director’s Cut (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

Riffing on the old-school adventure game classic Oregon Trail comes Organ Trail, a similar but decidedly darker take on the overland voyage to the western United States. The game places players in the midst of a zombie apocalypse with the goal of driving cross-country to escape the outbreak. Along the way, members of your party can get attacked by zombies and even contract dysentery.

As you move across the country, you’ll stop at various cities and settlements along the way where you can replenish supplies and trade with other travelers. The game throws a number of obstacles your way like bandit attacks, stampeding animals, zombie hordes and car breakdowns. How you deal with those issues and prepare determines how long you’ll survive.

Video Game Walkthroughs by GameFront update (iPhone, iPad) Free

Gamers looking for hints, tips, tricks and help for their favorite games should take a look at the recent update to GameFront.com’s iOS app designed to deliver its massive library of video game walkthroughs. The site houses detailed journeys through games by experts – and (full disclosure), maybe one or two penned by me, as I also write for them as well.

More than 3,000 walkthrough videos are available with the app, and the big 2.0 update that just came through has totally redesigned the app’s user interface to make it easier to use. You can also customize your experience, focusing on different platforms such as Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, or zeroing in on specific games like the epica and  popular Skyrim. All of the information on-hand in the app is free and available for streaming.

FlightTrack Free (iPhone, iPad)

There are a number of apps available under the FlightTrack brand. The latest free addition to the FlightTrack family brings you information about airline flights, providing real-time flight updates with data from more than 16,000 airports around the world.

It’s important to note that FlightTrack Free doesn’t include all the information you could get on different flights, but it provides quite a bit. It covers more than 1,400 airlines from across the globe, and projects its flights on detailed, colorful maps, so you can see exactly where a flight is in transit and find out if it will be on time, delayed, or canceled.

Bite Hunter – Dining Deals for Restaurants update (iPhone, iPad) Free

You might already be familiar with BiteHunter. It’s a deal-finder that makes use of a number of services, focused on finding food near you. The idea is that you can use the BiteHunter app to locate restaurants and other eateries, discovering special deals. Previously, BiteHunter users had to secure their deals and then go chase them down in email. With a new update, however, the app is much more seamless.

Now BiteHunter users can identify where they want to eat, find deals, buy their deals and redeem them within the app. Basically, it removed the hassle to make everything more convenient. The app also lets you know when time-sensitive deals are available through notifications, and lets you search through more than 50,000 restaurants in lots of different locations.

Slingshot Racing update (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

We got a big kick out of Slingshot Racing when it first launched in the iTunes App Store not too long ago. It’s a racing title in which your goal is to beat other players using a “slingshot” maneuver to navigate complex tracks by tapping on large posts as your car passes them. The car shoots out a line that snags the post, allowing the vehicle to turn because it’s tethered. Timing is everything.

Slingshot Racing’s big update is a worthy addition to the game for your weekend. It brings asynchronous multiplayer to the table, so you can battle Game Center friends over an Internet connection by taking turns, rather than playing in the same race at the same time. There have also been improvements to AI opponents, two new tracks, and a new single-player campaign.

Pitfall!™ (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

In celebrating the 30th anniversary of the low-resolution arcade classic Pitfall!, Activision has updated the game for the modern era and released it as an iOS Universal title. The familiar gameplay formula calls back to the old side-scrolling days. Players have to avoid obstacles as they run through the jungle, but the 3-D take on Pitfall Harry’s adventures is much more like Temple Run than Super Mario Bros.

While Pitfall! draws some inspiration from other popular 3-D running games in the App Store, it brings some new features to the mix as well. For one, it successfully changes up behind-the-back perspectives with 2.5-D, meaning you’ll sometimes control Harry from right behind him, and other times watch him at an angle or from the side. The change in perspective alters how the game feels and operates. You’ll also increase Harry’s “level” by earning points and gathering treasure. All that can earn you power-ups and different clothes and upgrades to get you through the game.

Trigger Fist (iPhone, iPad) $4.99

There are some quality first-person shooters on Apple’s iOS platform. Trigger Fist joins the ranks of quality shooters, providing a Call of Duty-like multiplayer experience you can enjoy against players all over the world. The game pits players against each other deathmatch-style bouts, in which you’ll need to race around each map and take out your enemies. Just make sure they don’t get the drop on you.

Trigger Fist packs four different unlockable multiplayer modes, including Free-for-All, Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch and “Sacred Goat,” in which players carry around a goat in order to score points while other players try to take it from them. Its multiplayer works over Wi-Fi and includes Game Center support for achievements, leaderboards and friends lists.

Ocarina 2 (iPhone, iPad) Free

Check out the follow-up to Ocarina, an app that turns your iPhone into a musical instrument. Developer Smule, well-known for touchscreen musical instruments, has added new features in the sequel to its popular app, although the underlying setup is the same. You blow into the microphone in your iDevice while touching spots on the screen that simulate holes in the flute-like instrument.

Probably the coolest new addition to Ocarina 2 is its “Song Mode,” which teaches users how to play various tunes. The app comes a few songs you get for free, and more are released weekly – both for free and available through in-app purchases. You can also switch the app to “Freeplay” mode to mess around with the Ocarina in its classic presentation, as seen in the original version of the app.

Full Metal Jacket Diary (iPad) $14.99

Fans of Full Metal Jacket should take a look at Full Metal Jacket Diary, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a diary, funded by a Kickstarter campaign, that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s production. Written and narrated by lead actor Matthew Modine, who played Pvt. J.T. “Joker” Davis  in the film, Full Metal Jacket Diary is his actual diary from the set, complete with personal photos.

The app consists of the entire original book written by Modine from his experiences on the film, plus a four-hour audiobook of Modine’s reading of his work and hundreds of high-resolution photos taken on the set. There’s social networking capability that allows you to share photos on Facebook and Twitter, as well as links to related articles to get even more information and perspective on the film.

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The New Yorker Magazine (iPhone, iPad) Free (with in-app purchases of $5.99 per issue or $59.99 yearly subscription)

The New Yorker has finally abandoned  its iPad-exclusive digital format to including iPhone users as well. The New Yorker allows you to download the app for free and purchase issues piecemeal for $5.99 each if you prefer, or snag all of them for a yearly subscription of $59.99.

The app version of The New Yorker features cool exclusives. If you already have a subscription to the magazine, you get access to the digital versions. Those versions included multimedia offerings like audio, video, infographics and slide shows to augment the reading experience, and you can share articles through Facebook, Twitter and email. Links featured in articles can take you to updated web content for on-going stories, amongst other fantastic features.

Commando Jack (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Chillingo’s Commando Jack sets itself apart from other tower defense games with a cool art style and a first-person turret defense addition to the formula, which comes up much more rarely. In each level, you have to buy and place turrets to protect the titular Commando Jack, who mans a turret at the far end of the level. The aliens want to take him down, so you have to protect him by turning his guns on the enemy yourself.

Commando Jack is an iOS Universal game. You can play through its levels on any of three difficulty modes. Money you earn as you go through each level allows you to purchase new towers and upgrades to power your campaign against evil aliens. There’s also Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards.

Food Mafia (iPhone, iPad) Free

Food Mafia is more than a restaurant recommendation app, it’s actually a big social network filled with users and experts. They can help you learn about the best restaurants around and compile all kinds of great information about them to help you choose your next meal and create new favorites. The app lets you “follow” various folks, like chefs and food critics, as well as people with similar tastes as you. From those people, you can get new recommendations of things to try.

The app packs a big list of restaurants and a map to go with it, as well as a review and rating system to give you the inside scoop on different establishments from people who have tried them. You can share photos of your meals through the app, watch videos from various restaurants, and track your favorites in an online profile so others can see what you like as well.

Megatroid (iPhone, iPad) Free

Side-scrolling platformer Megatroid seems to be riffing on the Metroid series from Nintendo, but it does so in a pretty strong way. It takes players through a science fiction story that has you running through futuristic bases, blowing up robots and bouncing off walls. Along the way, you’ll need to gather “credits” to purchase new equipment to allow you to make it through more levels and fight off big bosses.

The cool thing about Megatroid is that its levels are “procedurally generated,” which means that they are built from random components by the computer. No two levels are ever the same, and you can share the levels the game generates for you with your friends, so they can compete on the same ground you did. There’s also Game Center support that provides achievements and leaderboards.

Monster Life (iPhone, iPad) Free

Gameloft’s latest takes a bit of a page from another Nintendo franchise, Pokemon. The most notable thing about the game is its very cool, paper-based art style. Players gather paper monsters to fight for them in battle as they explore the world and work through Monster Life’s story.

Not only will you capture and train your paper monsters as you truck around Monster Life’s paper world, you’ll also set up your own home in the meantime. You’ll need to build places for your monsters to live and train for them to become stronger, and they’ll earn new abilities and capabilities over time as you feed and play with them. The whole affair packs Gameloft’s achivement system as well.

SeeMail update (iPhone, iPad) Free

Share photos quickly and easily with SeeMail, which allows users to amplify their pics by adding text, voice or sound when they send them out to family and friends. You can add captions of up to 100 words to your images, or as much as 33 seconds of sound, before sending your images to whomever you want, privately.

The app’s latest update brings a new user interface, which includes new help screens that make it easier to figure out how to do everything there is to do with SeeMail. Facebook integration also has been added to the app, making it easier to share with more people, and you can access and send any of your photos from your Facebook albums through SeeMail as well.

Bitless (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Platformer Bitless is going to challenge you. It’s also going to kill you a lot. But if you like your old-school games difficult, you’re going to want to check out this very simple platformer. The premise has you controlling a square “bit” character, whose forward motion you can’t control. Tapping the screen allows you to jump, however, and you’ll need to use that control to dodge enemies, pits and other hazards in order to reach the exit of each level.

Bitless packs 50 tough levels to work through, with three different bosses to defeat along the way. You’re scored on each stage by how many times you die, so precision is key. The app includes its own achievements and leaderboards, and features some pretty funny writing to lighten up the experience.

The Infinity Project 2 (iPhone, iPad) $4.99

Graphical fidelity is pretty high in first-person shooter The Infinity Project 2, which means that as you’re running around the game, shooting and knifing evil aliens, things will look pretty great. The game also includes a fairly in-depth story that spans multiple time periods, in which you play a space marine tasked with stopping the enslavement of the human race by merciless aliens called Talons.

In addition to its single-player campaign mode, The Infinity Project 2 packs a pair of additional ways to play. First is a survival mode that has players wading through 10 unlockable levels to see how long you can fight off waves of enemies. Second is a multiplayer mode in which you can take on as many as four players in total over an Internet connection or six through Bluetooth. There’s also Game Center support that brings leaderboards and achievements to the mix.

List Bliss (iPhone, iPad) Free

The main goal of List Bliss is to cut down on the time you spend in the grocery store every time you need to go shopping, by trying to make the whole endeavor more efficient. Using cloud technology, List Bliss allows you to access your grocery list wherever you are, which means that everyone in your family can contribute to it on the fly, and you can use it to track what you’ve got at home and what you need to pick up.

The app also makes the shopping part easier. You can see categories available in the store to which you’re headed, scan barcodes on the items you already have to add them to your list so you know exactly what you want to pick up, and read product reviews before you make decisions. You can even split your list with a buddy with the “synchronized shopping” feature to divide and conquer at the grocery store.

Infinity Blade II update (iPhone, iPad) $2.99 (normally $5.99)

Another free content update has just hit the award-winning Infinity Blade II, adding the new “Skycages” levels to the sword-fighting role-playing title. As always, players have to work through a series of duels in the game in which they’ll fight hulking beasts and agile warriors, swiping to match swords and parry attacks in each battle.

The update opens a new area of the game for players to explore, and with it come new enemies to defeat. You’ll also learn more about the immortal Deathless, the creatures at the heart of the Infinity Blade universe that usually need an introduction to your sword. The update throws in a new type of weapon to master – the energy blades – and adds 30 or so more items to find and use in your quest, as well as new achievements to earn.

Glass Balance (iPhone, iPad) Free

Puzzler Glass Balance mixes two tried-and-true formulas most players have seen before and enjoyed. The first is balancing, in which you drop objects onto two sides of a fulcrum and need to keep them from tipping off the sides. In Glass Balance, that means pieces of glass that are of different shapes and colors, which you need to keep balanced in order to stay in the game. To score points, however, you need to get your match-three gameplay hat on, and put together combinations of the same color to clear glass pieces from the platform.

As you play through Glass Balance, you’ll be able to nab power-ups that earn you more points, like coins that double your score for a set period. You’ll need to be careful though, as you only have a set number of “lives,” and each piece of glass you lose off the side of your platform costs you one. Glass Balance includes Game Center support, so you can check your best scores against those of your friends or players from across the globe.

The Blocks Cometh by Halfbot update (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

I’m a big fan of Halfbot’s The Blocks Cometh, and the game has just gotten another big content update that brings even more to the table. The core gameplay remains – players dodge falling blocks even as they jump from block to block, climbing ever higher to earn points – but Halfbot has added even more unlockable characters for players to chase within the game. The new update also supports iCade.

In the last update, we got a number of new game modes. There’s the Classic Mode, in which players climb as high as they can until they’re killed, and Arcade Mode that’s all about high scores, as well as a Casual Mode that significantly rolls back the difficulty on Blocks. There’s also a “Gamebot” mode inspired by classic handhelds that you can grab through an in-app purchase.

Flight! (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Throwing paper airplanes can be pretty fun in real life, especially when you learn how to make some sick folding designs and throw in additional elements, like a paperclip for weight in the nose. Flight! takes that premise and turns it into an arcade title, in which your goal is to throw a paper airplane as far as you can. Each throw can net you stars along the way, which earn you cash to spend on improving your plane.

The more you deck out the plane, the further you can get it to go and the more control you get in-flight. With upgrades like boosters and tilt controls bought along the way, you want to move through each city in the game by stringing together one throw per “day” in order to cross the whole thing. The fewer days it takes you to traverse the city, the better. There are also challenges to unlock, and Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards.

Campaign The Game (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

Simulation title Campaign The Game puts players in control of their own advertising agency, asking them to figure out the techniques that will make bring in the most customers for their clients and add the most prestige to their firm. Unlike simulation titles such as Game Dev Story, Campaign is actually pretty simple – you decide which employees are on your team and what the broad strokes of your campaign will be, and then you have to sit back and see how those decisions play out.

During each new campaign, you’ll have to deal with incidental events, however. Sometimes someone will walk into your office and force you to make a decision, and that decision can affect your score. Other times, you’ll need to decide whether a high-maintenance client is actually worth the effort. There’s also Game Center support, so you can compare your progress to that of your friends.

Videolicious update (iPhone, iPad) Free

Videolicious is an app for combining multiple pieces of media into one seamless movie presentation. The app lets you combine video, text and still photography into a single project in order to make a moving, changing depiction of an event or place, and allows you to share those projects with others. You can even add soundtracks to your productions from a set of music files found within the app.

The most recent update to Videolicious brings the app into version 2.0 and packs a whole lot more features. You’ll now be able to preview your movies instantly and add filters to multiple videos and photos all at once time. It’s possible to add narration to your videos and editing it is incredibly easy with new features for lining up sound with video. You can also use Videolicious to send “HD video postcards” through email.

IntoNow from Yahoo! update (iPhone, iPad) Free

Social TV app IntoNow allows its users to watch TV on their own, but share the experience with others. It allows you to “check-in” to shows you enjoy and see who else is watching them, capture your favorite moments and share them with others, and discover new information about them from IntoNow’s information databases, which provides details about the show as you’re watching it.

IntoNow’s big update has totally reworked the app to be compatible with new iPad Retina displays. The app is capable of “recognizing” what you’re watching (even if you recorded it) and providing a second-screen experience full of information that syncs up with the show. You can also grab photos from the show, add captions and make them instantly sharable with the app’s new Capit technology. Now, IntoNow will even identify songs from shows you’re watching so you can find and download them.

Spy vs Spy (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Revisiting a game first popularized on Commodore 64 is Spy vs Spy, a title based on the comics created by Mad Magazine. In it, players take on the role of either the black or white spies as each tries to set booby traps for the other, gather up the necessary items and escape from each level without getting blown up. Finding all those items means checking objects like dressers and paintings – in hopes of avoiding traps and tricking your opponents.

In each Level of Spy vs Spy both players look to gather four items in order to unlock the escape plane and escape. You can slow your opponent (and run out the clock) by setting traps in places that catch your opponent unawares. You get five different booby trap items with which to wreak havoc, and there’s Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards as well as local multiplayer that lets you challenge your friends over a Bluetooth connection.

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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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