Fresh iPhone Apps for July 15: Spotify, The Fantastic Flying Books, CurveBot, Quiz Climber

Jul 15, 2011
Tech

There is a lot of talk about European music service Spotify finally making it to the States, and now that it has finally happened, the service’s mobile app leads our Fresh Apps list. Following that up is an interactive iPad book created by a former Pixar employee, and a couple of solid games. CurveBot is […]

There is a lot of talk about European music service Spotify finally making it to the States, and now that it has finally happened, the service’s mobile app leads our Fresh Apps list. Following that up is an interactive iPad book created by a former Pixar employee, and a couple of solid games. CurveBot is a puzzle game that is all about cutting up levels as if players were controlling a saw in 3-D, and Quiz Climber is a vertical jumping game powered by correct answers to trivia questions.

Spotify (iPhone, iPad) Free (with $9.99 monthly subscription)

After a really long wait, music streaming service Spotify has finally crossed the Atlantic and settled in the U.S. The service has 10 million users in Europe, and for good reason: it allows for flexible music streaming that is really unlike any other service available on the market right now. Spotify is available in a desktop version for free, which makes music available on demand (but with ads and likely caps for listening time per month), and also two subscription tiers at $4.99 and $9.99. With the $9.99 tier, it also comes with full access to the Spotify mobile app.

If streaming music on your iPhone or iPad is something you want, the $10 monthly subscription might be for you. Spotify allows users to make playlists of tracks from its huge databases, and with the subscription, those songs can be made available offline as well as on. There’s also a great deal of social networking integration, which allows users to see what playlists their friends have made and listen to those, as well. Rock on!

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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (iPad) $4.99

Based on the short film of the same name by ex-Pixar guy William Joyce, The Fantastic Flying Books is an interactive narrative experience. Like a book you can play along with, the iPad apps is filled with moments in which children and adults can interact with the story as it’s being told. For example, at one point a keyboard can be brought up that teaches users how to play “Pop Goes the Weasel,” and at another a swipe by the user brings a gust of wind that’s felt by the story’s characters.

The Fantastic Flying Books is filled with these interactive moments, as well as the story at its heart and lots of games to play along the way. There’s also a variety of animation techniques being used to create the effects seen throughout the app.

CurveBot (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

CurveBot is something of a 3-D puzzle game in which players take control of a robot with something like a jackhammer in the place of legs. Each level is a big platform that the robot has to cut apart, with the goal being to cut the level down to 80 percent or smaller. Points are scored for each chunk cut loose – the larger the chunks or the larger the line created to cut them, the more points are scored.

Each level is also infested with “drones” that will mess up cutting lines if they cross them and try to rob players of multipliers they earn by making lots of cuts. The drones add an element of fast-paced action to what works out to be a puzzle game about dividing up each level for the highest score. You’ll have to keep clear of danger as well as cut the level up to maximize your score, or go on the offensive and cut loose pieces that have drones on them in order to eliminate them.

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Quiz Climber (iPhone, iPad) Free (or without ads for $1.99)

Combine the premise of vertical jumping games like Doodle Jump with a trivia game like Jeopardy!, and you’ve got the basic premise of Quiz Climber. The game fires off quick, relatively easy general knowledge questions at you and provides four multiple-choice answers. For each one you answer correctly, you climb a little higher until you miss one.

Quiz Climber is best enjoyed when you invite friends to connect to your game, because you’ll be able to see how they stack up against you as you play. You’ll actually pass characters that represent them as you climb higher and higher, which can breed competition among you. Scores are tracked for a week, so each week is like another trivia tournament against your friends.

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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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