Fresh iPhone Apps for Feb. 27: Ban.jo update, Womzit, Circadia, Four Hats

Feb 27, 2012
Games

Start the week with a couple of handy new social networking apps to help you learn about great things to do in the world around you. Ban.jo leverages other “check-in”-based social networks to help you figure out who is where and what’s going on (and whether that concert is worth attending, for example). Womzit lets […]

Start the week with a couple of handy new social networking apps to help you learn about great things to do in the world around you. Ban.jo leverages other “check-in”-based social networks to help you figure out who is where and what’s going on (and whether that concert is worth attending, for example). Womzit lets you rate the experiences you have to find great things to do and to recommend them to friends. Puzzler Circadia kicks off today’s games offerings, mixing sound and color to make a simple but challenging puzzle experience, while Four Hats gives an interesting Hard Day’s Night-style spin to side-scrolling platformers.

Ban.jo update (iPhone, iPad) Free

Ban.jo isn’t just one social network: it’s actually an aggregation of several networks that use check-in features. The idea is that the app lets you see what’s going on around you by seeing which of your friends from Facebook, foursquare, Instagram and other services are at each event. Then, you can use your friends to find out what’s going on wherever you think you might want to go.

A big update just went through for Ban.jo, which contributed to making it Apple’s pick for App of the Week. You can now search for events near you in real time using your interests, and Ban.jo added Instagram to its group of social networks that it can check through. There also have been improvements to the app’s design to make it work better in general.

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Womzit (iPhone, iPad) Free

Another interesting social networking app to hit the App Store is Womzit, which is designed to take the mouth out of “word of mouth.” It also keys into lots of different social networks, allowing users to make recommendations about just about anything to their friends and family with one button. Had a great dinner at a local restaurant? Use Womzit to tell everyone, and see their recommendations as well.

Womzit works by letting you snap pictures of places, objects, or whatever, and then adding a recommendation and some information to it. You can search and organize experiences by category, see what your friends are recommending, and check out lots of curated recommendations straight from Womzit’s developers.

Circadia (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Puzzler Circadia presents a very minimalist take on its gameplay, which makes it surprisingly visually-engaging. In each of its stages, you’re presented with a white dot and a number of colored circles. Tapping the colored circles presents a tone and send a shockwave flowing off the circle. The speed of the wave is determined by the tone and the color (like light waves, waves that are more red move more slowly than colors shifted toward the blue end of the spectrum), with the goal to make all the waves touch the white dot simultaneously.

Things get more complex over time, with multiple color circles being added and the white dot adopting some movement and or multiplying. You’ll never get a score, but constant progress is marked by achievements thanks to Game Center. And Circadia’s minimalist presentation makes it pretty to watch as you learn the timing of each ring and carefully tap to solve each puzzle.

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Four Hats (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

The Four Hats are a band with a huge following that’s so ravenous, the performers are worried for their physical safety when a mob of crazed listeners gets together. It’s not unlike The Beatles’ movie A Hard Day’s Night, in which the band was constantly fleeing rabid fans. In Four Hats, you play as each of the band members in a side-scrolling platformer, in which you have to jump over obstacles, dodge photographers and escape to the tour van before you get mauled.

The longer you play in The Four Hats, the more involved the levels become, requiring you to switch between each of the four band members (each with a different power lent by their special hats) to clear them. You can smash through boxes with one character and float over gaps and obstacles with another, for example. There are 36 levels to play through and you can collect a ton of different hats along the way, as well.

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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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