Fresh iPhone Apps for Jan. 4: Buffer, Spirit Wolf, Wind-up Knight, Summer Sports Simulator

Jan 4, 2012
Games

Get into the social media swing of things – especially if you have something cool to promote – with the help of Buffer, today’s leading free app. Combine with a web account for Buffer’s service, you’ll be able to schedule your social media updates for Twitter and Facebook to avoid flooding your followers. Following that […]

Get into the social media swing of things – especially if you have something cool to promote – with the help of Buffer, today’s leading free app. Combine with a web account for Buffer’s service, you’ll be able to schedule your social media updates for Twitter and Facebook to avoid flooding your followers. Following that is one for the kids: BookPlayground – Spirit Wolf, a fully narrated children’s book with a great art style. Wind-Up Knight leads today’s crop of games, bringing some platforming elements to the runner genre, and Justin Smith’s Realistic Summer Sports Simulator rounds out our picks by being totally unrealistic but still very fun.

Buffer (iPhone, iPad) Free

Social media fans might have already heard about Buffer, a web app that makes it easy to schedule updates to social networks Facebook and Twitter. Creating an account at bufferapp.com makes it easy to schedule your tweets and Facebook updates, and with the app you can tap your account to rearrange your updates on the fly.

You can also use Buffer to create new social media updates when you’re away from your computer and add them to your schedule. It’s great for people who use social media to promote themselves or their companies, and allows for tweeting and Facebooking regularly without swamping followers with items. You can also add articles you’re reading to be tweeted and shared using Buffer when you add a bookmarklet to your mobile browser.

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BookPlayground – Spirit Wolf (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

The story of Spirit Wolf and Mother Moon is an original myth and children’s book, and the app brings a unique style and feel to the story for kids to enjoy. The book takes you through Spirit Wolf’s adventure as she searches for her mother, the Moon, while speaking with other animals along the way.

Spirit Wolf features a great art style and is fully recorded to bring the story to life, allowing the book to be read allowed even when Mom or Dad isn’t handy to do the reading. It also includes an original musical score.

Wind-Up Knight (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Though it’s a side-scrolling “runner” title like thousands of other titles in the App Store, Wind-Up Knight feels more like a platforming adventure game than it does a “get as far as you can” survival fest. As the Wind-Up Knight, you spend each level dodging obstacles by jumping and fighting through enemies, while gathering coins to upgrade your arsenal of weapons and equipment. Timing is everything, but having a good sword and shield is important, too.

Wind-Up Knight is also pretty challenging, featuring 50 “soul-crushing” levels to run through. It features 3-D graphics and a cute art style, lots of hidden objects to find and moves to master, plus Game Center support to provide achievements and leaderboards.

Justin Smith’s Realistic Summer Sports Simulator (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Realistic Summer Sports Simulator’s name is a bit misleading, because while summer Olympic-style sports are involved in the game, it’s neither realistic nor a simulator. Instead, RSSS is a goofy, low-res take on sports games, in which you use touch controls to compete against other players in an attempt to take home gold. In the javelin, for example, you’ll grab and whip your character in order to bounce the javelin through the air to rack up points; in the 100-meter dash, you’ll repeatedly drag your runner forward until you run out of “Power,” and have to wait for the bar to refill before slinging him forward again.

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The result is a fun, challenging and altogether weird take on well-known summer sports. You can compete against as many as four friends using pass-and-play multiplayer. RSSS includes four events in its 99-cent download, plus another 10 you can purchase in-app for $1.99.

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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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