Fresh iPhone Apps for Feb. 10: Experience Mardi Gras, WaPo Social Reader, Tweet Land, Beat Hazard Ultra

Feb 10, 2012
Tech

It’s the start of Mardi Gras, and anybody who plans to head to Louisiana will get a lot of use out of parade-tracking app Experience Mardi Gras. It’s followed by Washington Post Social Reader, an app that makes it easy to share articles from numerous publications with your Facebook friends, as well as see what […]

It’s the start of Mardi Gras, and anybody who plans to head to Louisiana will get a lot of use out of parade-tracking app Experience Mardi Gras. It’s followed by Washington Post Social Reader, an app that makes it easy to share articles from numerous publications with your Facebook friends, as well as see what they’re reading. Tweet Land leads the weekend’s game selections, bringing a high-scoring driving game that uses things people are talking about on Twitter to randomly generate hazards in the game. Last but not least is Beat Hazard Ultra, a shoot ’em up whose action is dictated by the music on your iOS device.

Experience Mardi Gras (iPhone, iPad) Free

Today is the official start of Mardi Gras, and if you’re planning to head to Louisiana for the festivities, you might want to bring along Experience Mardi Gras, as well. The app tracks the parades taking place throughout the course of Mardi Gras, listing their schedules, plotting their routes and giving you maps of their locations so you can find them easily. Experience Mardi Gras even uses GPS technology to track parades live so you can meet them.

Experience Mardi Gras also includes a few other handy features. It streams video from local station WWL TV, so you can even see parades you might miss, and it also has all kinds of listings about local events to give you more to do during the carnival.

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Washington Post Social Reader (iPhone, iPad) Free

Fans of the Washington Post and other publications can connect with other readers across social media networks with the help of Washington Post Social Reader, an app that makes it easy to see what other people are reading and finding interesting. The mobile app is based on the Facebook app of the same name, allowing users to see recommended articles from wherever they are.

The WaPo Social Reader allows users to share articles from Washington Post, Slate, SB Nation, Mashable, The Daily Beast and more, making it quick and easy to share articles with other readers as well as see what they recommend. It also connects with Facebook to make it easy to add comments, as well.

Tweet Land (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

High-scoring game Tweet Land has a lot to do with social media service Twitter, but if you’re thinking of some game based on 140-character updates about lunch, think again. Instead, Tweet Land is a game in which you drive a car, smashing other cars off the road as you attempt to survive to the end of each level. But along the way, objects get brought into the game world, based solely on keywords appearing in the Twitter stream.

As you drive in Tweet Land, someone might use the word “meteor” – causing a meteor to crash into the road. “Health” causes health power-ups to appear, and “car accident” causes a spinout ahead of you that can be deadly. It’s a novel and brilliant way to randomly generate the game around you, with more and more keywords getting worked into the game with each passing level.

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Beat Hazard Ultra (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Beat Hazard Ultra puts you in an enclosed, top-down space, piloting a spaceship that has to fight for survival. It’s a little like Tilt to Live and other similar titles in the App Store, but with a caveat: Beat Hazard Ultra gets set to your device’s onboard iTunes tracks, and the music dictates the enemies you encounter and your ability to fight them.

As the musical beat picks up, so too does your rate of fire; as the energy builds, so too do the enemies you encounter. Beat Hazard’s levels are dictated by the music you choose to use in them (including Internet radio tracks), and along the way you’ll unlock perks and power-ups that give you the ability rack up higher scores on your tracks. It 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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