Fresh iPhone Apps for Dec. 19: Hipstamatic Disposable, iStash Cards, Bug Princess, Grabatron

Dec 19, 2011
Games

A new app from the makers of Hipstamatic leads this Monday’s crop of fresh apps. Hipstamatic Disposable lets you share a digital disposable camera among your friends, allowing you to all snap photos and save them to the same online album. It’s followed by iStash Cards, an app that can help you make buy and […]

A new app from the makers of Hipstamatic leads this Monday’s crop of fresh apps. Hipstamatic Disposable lets you share a digital disposable camera among your friends, allowing you to all snap photos and save them to the same online album. It’s followed by iStash Cards, an app that can help you make buy and use gift cards this holiday season without having to crowd your wallet with a bunch of plastic. For our games picks today are a couple of quality arcade titles: Bug Princess, an intense “bullet hell” shooter, and Grabatron, in which you play a flying saucer using a giant claw to cause mayhem.

Hipstamatic Disposable (iPhone, iPad) Free

Following up on being named Apple’s top iPhone app for 2010, Synthetic Corp. has released a new toy camera app called Hipstamatic Disposable. Billing it as the “first-ever social camera,” the idea is that you and your friends can share a “roll of film” within the app. Each person sharing the roll is able to shoot photos, and all the shots are placed into the same online photo album. It’s like passing around a disposable camera at an event.

While the Hipstamatic Disposable app is free, you’ll need to pay for the film rolls you use. Each roll has 24 exposures and costs around $0.99 each. Each different camera that’s available for purchase has different effects and visuals. It also features three free cameras when you download it.

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iStash Cards (iPhone, iPad) Free

With the holidays in full swing, chances are good if you’re receiving gifts this year, you’ll be receiving gift cards. Luckily, iStash Cards gives you a handy way to manage them. It lets you buy cards or receive them as gifts and store them in your iStash app, then use them later without the need for the actual cards. The app allows you to use your mobile device in place of the gift card itself, and freeing you from carrying lots of cards in your wallet.

You can also buy gift cards from the iStash Cards store at a discount, which allows you to add funds to the app to use when you’re heading out, and iStash will show you where you need to go to use those cards with the help of your device’s GPS capabilities. The app also has Facebook integration, which allows you to send iStash gifts to your friends, whether they use the app or not.

Bug Princess (iPhone, iPad) $4.99

A “bullet hell” shooter in the style of old arcade titles, Bug Princess has you flying a bug of your own against swarms of insectoid enemies that fire thousands of shots at you just about every second. Using touch controls, you’ll dodge as many bullets as you can to keep yourself alive as your ship unloads everything it has against the enemy.

Bug Princess packs multiple difficulty modes (it gets really tough) to keep things interesting, and has some pretty great graphics for a top-down arcade shooter. It also has controls optimized for the iPhone and supports Game Center and OpenFeint, both of which provide leaderboards and achievements.

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Grabatron (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Aliens are among us – actually, you’re controlling them, and you have lots of farm animals to abduct and things to destroy. As the pilot of a flying saucer in Grabatron, your primary weapon of attack is a big claw you can lower from your ship to grab objects, like pigs and cows, trucks and tractors, and the occasional irate, gun-toting farmer. Sometimes, your mission will be to abduct things; other times, you’ll just need to kill a lot of stuff by grabbing them with the claw and throwing them.

Grabatron uses an interesting mix of touch and tilt controls to get the job done. Tilting moves your ship around the screen, while touch controls operate the claw and the throwing mechanism. It’s a pretty simple but challenging game because most of your missions will be timed, requiring you to move fast to get the best score you can. Grabatron also packs Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards.

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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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