Fresh iPhone Apps for Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day Special, DishPal, Hamlet!, Grooh

Feb 14, 2012
Games

It’s Valentine’s Day, and if you’re looking for a little support for your planned festivities with your significant other, give Valentine’s Day Special and its love poems and romantic ideas a shot. It leads today’s Fresh iPhone Apps selections, followed by another potentially helpful offering: DishPal, a social network dedicated to food that can help […]

It’s Valentine’s Day, and if you’re looking for a little support for your planned festivities with your significant other, give Valentine’s Day Special and its love poems and romantic ideas a shot. It leads today’s Fresh iPhone Apps selections, followed by another potentially helpful offering: DishPal, a social network dedicated to food that can help you get set for a great dinner and a romantic evening. We’ve also got a couple of quality games for you that have nothing to do with Valentine’s Day: Hamlet! reimagines Shakespeare’s play as a point-and-click adventure game starring a time traveler, and Grooh has players helping a giant cartoon teddy bear-like creature solve puzzles.

Valentine’s Day Special (iPhone, iPad) Free

It might be a little late to be worrying about it, but if Valentine’s Day has sneaked up on you this year, maybe give Valentine’s Day Special a look. The app is filled with V-Day related stuff, including love poems, romantic gift ideas and more to make your last-minute Valentine’s Day something special, despite a lack of preparation.

Valentine’s Day Special includes a few other lists that might come in handy, like love songs and stories, with the ability to mark your favorites in all categories. You can also share anything you find helpful with others with the help of Facebook, Twitter or email.

DishPal (iPhone, iPad) Free

You know, if you find yourself unprepared for Valentine’s Day, you can always score points with a delicious dinner. DishPal can help food enthusiasts and is a social network that lets you share dishes with others (and they with you), whether you’re eating at home or dining out. You can also use the app to find great places to eat based on the comments and reviews of your friends and other users.

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DishPal lets users post their favorite dishes into specific albums, called “magazines,” which can be guided by a specific theme or ingredient and that only specific users can edit. It can also put you on to mobile potluck events that you can engage in with other dishPal users and try some new food. It might even help you decide where to eat tonight.

Hamlet! (iPhone, iPad) Free (with in-app purchase of $0.99)

Before he could set things right after his parents were killed by Claudius, Shakespeare’s Hamlet was squashed by the time machine of a wayward time traveler. Now, to prevent a paradox, you – that accident prone, temporally displaced protagonist – are forced to take on Hamlet’s role and do the things he would have done in order to keep history flowing correctly.

Hamlet! is a point-and-click adventure game in which you’ll face numerous puzzles, augmented by the game’s art style and goofy take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Each screen is a new puzzle, where you’ll be able to tap on different elements in order to interact with them. You’ll need to unlock the full game with an in-app purchase, but in the meantime you can try out a meaty chunk without having to pay a cent.

Grooh (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

The main character in puzzler Grooh looks an awfully lot like the Totoro from the famous Miyazaki children’s film, My Neighbor Totoro, but on the plus side, the cartoonish visual aesthetic adds a lot to the fun. You’ll need to navigate Grooh through numerous levels, solving puzzles to open each new door. The doors are all locked by colored tiles built into the floor; you’ll use Grooh’s special powers to destroy those tiles in order to unlock them.

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Grooh is set up on a grid, so you’re scored by how few movements it takes you to complete each level and reach the door. To clear floor tiles, you’ll need to use Grooh’s special color-changing power that causes the tile he’s standing on to be destroyed. The key is to move from one tile to the next, while looking ahead at your motions so you don’t take unnecessary routes or find yourself cut off from the exit. It’s a solid puzzler made even better by its Totoro-like aesthetic.

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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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