Fresh iPhone Apps for Jan. 30: Hamlet in Bits, Fanhattan update, Hank Hazard, RoboHero

Jan 30, 2012
Tech

Start your week with a dose of Hamlet, thanks to our leading iPhone app, Hamlet in Bits. The app brings you all kinds of information that helps to understand Shakespeare’s play, including audio and animated performances and the text to go with it. We’ve also got a big update to Fanhattan, which can help you […]

Start your week with a dose of Hamlet, thanks to our leading iPhone app, Hamlet in Bits. The app brings you all kinds of information that helps to understand Shakespeare’s play, including audio and animated performances and the text to go with it. We’ve also got a big update to Fanhattan, which can help you find new shows and movies to watch on Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and more. Hank Hazard, a physics-based puzzle game about a daredevil hamster, will keep your thumbs busy this week, as will turn-based strategy title RoboHero.

Shakespeare in Bits: Hamlet (iPhone, iPad) $7.99

Got an English exam over Shakespeare’s Hamlet coming up, or just an interest in understanding one of the most studied plays in the English language? You’ll want to check out Hamlet in Bits, an education app that packs of wealth of resources about the play including a complete, unabridged original version that you can read right on your iPhone or iPad.

Hamlet in Bits also includes three hours of professional audio recordings of performances of Hamlet, as well as animations showing the play’s various scenes. You’ll be able to read along with the text as you watch or listen to the dialog being spoken, and Hamlet in Bits also includes character biographies to keep you up to speed with who’s who in Shakespeare’s tale of murderous intrigue. The app even includes a character relationship map, so you’ll never lose track of why characters are important or what’s going on in the twisting narrative.

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Fanhattan update (iPhone, iPad) Free

Entertainment app Fanhattan is a portal for discovering new movies and TV shows across a variety of services including Hulu, Netflix, Lifetime, Crackle, iTunes and PBS. When you fire up the app, you’re greeted with a list of popular new content from the services you use. You can also find more by searching by directors, actors, titles and more; then, Fanhattan provides you other choices you might like based on the things you’re already into.

Fanhattan just got a big update that adds more news services to the app’s content choices. You can see what’s going in the latest entertainment news with the new Fan Feed feature, and from that news you can find new entertainment to enjoy, like TV shows or movies that are garnering a lot of attention (or just got nominated for Oscars). You can also favorite stories, directors, actors, shows and movies to find more content that includes them, making Fan Feed smarter and bringing you even more stuff you’ll enjoy.

Hank Hazard (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Daredevil hamster Hank Hazard needs to show off his stuff, earn points and become the greatest daredevil (hamster) ever. So you’ll need to help him through level after physics-based level, popping bubbles and carefully maneuvering Hank through each puzzle in Hank Hazard, grabbing all stars in each stage before reaching a goal. It’s standard fare for physics-based puzzle titles, but Hank Hazard brings in its own feel and some solid level design to a crowded field.

Each stage in Hank Hazard requires you to meet a special requirement to get a bonus “nut” that kicks up your score. In some levels, you’ll want to finish as quickly as you can to beat a timer. In others, it’ll be the number of “moves” (like taps or actions where you manipulate the level) you need to keep to a minimum. This adds a little bit of variety to each of Hank Hazard’s levels, plus something to strive for to help you climb the game’s leaderboards, care of Game Center.

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RoboHero (iPhone, iPad) Free (with $1.99 in-app purchase)

Turn-based strategy title RoboHero is all about planning. Each level has you attempting to navigate to reach a goal of some kind, moving your robot around a grid to avoid hazards, blast enemies and get where he’s going as quickly as possible. To move him around in each stage, you’ll tap the grid to give him commands, storing up to 15 in his memory banks at a time. Once you’ve planned out each round’s moves, you’ll hit the play button to put your robot into motion. Strong planning is the key to keeping him from getting turned into scrap.

RoboHero packs 30 levels and three gameplay modes, most of which his free (after the first 10 levels, you’ll need to purchase the full game through an in-app purchase of $1.99). It also includes an arena mode and a multiplayer mode that allows you to take on as many four other players, or six computer-controlled opponents.

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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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