Fresh iPhone Apps for Dec. 9: Singing Santa, MailStop Mobile, Chrono Trigger, BuckShot

Dec 9, 2011
Games

With the holidays upon us, obviously we all need something to really get us into the mood. This is where Singing Santa comes in. The app is a singing and dancing Santa simulator that actually takes what you say into your iOS device’s microphone and turns it into a song. And the holidays are also […]

With the holidays upon us, obviously we all need something to really get us into the mood. This is where Singing Santa comes in. The app is a singing and dancing Santa simulator that actually takes what you say into your iOS device’s microphone and turns it into a song. And the holidays are also a time filled with useless junk mail to entice you to buy things from catalogs, but there’s an app to help deal with that too, MailStop Mobile. You can read about both below, as well as our games picks going into the weekend: a port of the illustrious role-playing video game classic, Chrono Trigger (my favorite game ever), and BuckShot, an app that turns whatever you’re doing into a scavenger hunt.

Singing Santa (iPhone, iPad) Free

It’s the holidays, and you know what that means: novelty Santa Claus dolls that dance and sing songs. I’m pretty sure my grandparents have approximately 15 of those, because they seem to show up with a new one each year. But they could save on all those dancing Saint Nicks with Singing Santa, an app that emulates the classic (if irritating) toy and lets you dictate what Santa sings.

Singing Santa dances to the beat of a holiday tune you choose, and uses your iOS device’s mic to “listen” to what you say to him – then he sings it back to you in perfect autotuned pitch. This app is from the same guys who brought you Songify, an app that also turned your speech into autotuned songs, so if you were into that, you’ll like this, too. You can also save photos or videos of your dancing Santa and share them on Twitter, or email them as holiday cards.

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MailStop Mobile (iPhone, iPad) Free

MailStop lets you use your iPhone or iPad to get yourself free of junk mail. It’s designed to help you “opt out” of receiving certain mailers that you’d otherwise need to contact the company responsible to put a stop to. The app works pretty simply: just snap a photo of whatever it is you don’t want to receive anymore using the app, and the MailStop service does the rest.

You get your first five opt-outs through MailStop for free. After that, you can purchase more opt-outs through in-app purchases, costing as little as $0.30 each. Since the app is free, you basically get to give it a go without paying anything to see if you like it. If you tend to get a lot of junk mail, MailStop might be a pretty quick and easy way to put an end to it.

Chrono Trigger (iPhone, iPad) $9.99

My favorite video game of all time has found its way to the iTunes App Store, and I couldn’t be happier. Chrono Trigger was originally released way back in 1995 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and is similar to other classic role-playing games of the time like the Final Fantasy series. Featuring an epic time travel storyline and menu-based battles of classic RPGs, Chrono Trigger has some great chiptune music and one of the best storylines of a generation of video games.

This version of Chrono Trigger is the one that was featured on the Nintendo DS in 2008, and includes a few extra features from that version that weren’t seen in earlier ones. It has two dungeons that are only available in this version of the game, plus Retina-optimized graphics and touchscreen controls.

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BuckShot (iPhone, iPad) Free

BuckShot lets you start up a scavenger hunt using your iOS devices, wherever you are. The app provides you with lots of random prompts of items to take photos of, kicking off the scavenger hunt. They can be just about anything, making the game both kind of easy and potentially pretty difficult – you’ll have to use your problem-solving abilities to do well. Every time you upload a photo to the game, you earn points for yourself or your team.

The app uses a Facebook account to allow you to link up with other friends to start scavenger hunts, and as they add photos and you do as well, you’ll each be able to see the other’s progress as you try to complete your hunt. You can also play hunts with other players you’ve never met online, if you’re just looking for a game on the go.

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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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