Fresh iPhone Apps for June 20: Roger Ebert’s Great Movies, Friendthem, Absolute Instant, Mower Ride

Jun 20, 2011
Games

Some big new movies are hitting theaters this summer, but unless you’re into superheroes, you might find the offerings a bit lacking. Fortunately, today’s leading Fresh iPhone App is Roger Ebert’s Great Movies, and it includes more than 300 reviews of films you should probably check out. We’ve also got Friendthem for your approval, an […]

Some big new movies are hitting theaters this summer, but unless you’re into superheroes, you might find the offerings a bit lacking. Fortunately, today’s leading Fresh iPhone App is Roger Ebert’s Great Movies, and it includes more than 300 reviews of films you should probably check out. We’ve also got Friendthem for your approval, an app that lets you quickly add people you meet to your Facebook friends. To keep you busy in between movie viewings and meeting new people, we’ve got Absolute Instant, a vertical shooter specifically designed for iOS, and Mower Ride, a game in which you try to get as far as possible on your riding lawnmower.

Roger Ebert’s Great Movies (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

There’s a reason movie critic Roger Ebert has won the Pulitzer Prize for his reviews, and now you can have access to them, even offline, care of Great Movies, an app packed full of more than 300 high-scoring Ebert reviews. All of the reviews are for films of which Ebert thinks highly, so the app basically works out to be a list of recommendations of things to see, and some detailed accounts of why they’re worth watching.

Great Movies has a couple of cool features besides just lots of great reviews to read. The app’s reviews are all searchable, and you can keep a list of movies you want to see based on what’s available in Great Movies. You can even add movies to a linked Netflix queue straight out of the app, share movies and reviews through Facebook and Twitter, and purchase DVDs with one click from Amazon.com. You can even save reviews for later through Instapaper.

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Friendthem (iPhone, iPad) Free

Friendthem uses your iOS device’s GPS capabilities to narrow down people in your immediate vicinity and add them as friends to your Facebook profile. It’s a lot like other social networking apps, such as Sonar; with Friendthem, you can quickly add people you meet at a party or a seminar, for example, to your Facebook friends so you can easily contact them later.

There are several functions in Friendthem that help make it a versatile app for meeting new people. For example, you can Friend people you meet immediately, or delay adding them until you can make decision if you want to add the friend later. You’re limited to just 10 Friendthem friends a day, and you can set certain locations – home, the office, etc. – as dark zones where people can’t “discover” you automatically.

Absolute Instant (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Designed specifically for iOS and with touchscreen controls in mind, Absolute Instant is a vertical space shooter of the “bullet hell” genre. Basically, what that means is that enemies are constantly firing at you with hundreds of rounds, and your job is to dodge them while you fire away as well. Bullet hell shooters are usually extremely tough, and Absolute Instant fits that description nicely, packing quite a bit of challenge.

Unique to shooters like this (and part of the reason you need a touch display to play Absolute Instant) is its teleportation mechanic. At any point, you can just tap a spot on the screen and your fighter ship will teleport there – allowing you to dodge enemy attacks and execute new strategies, which really opens up gameplay without diminishing the challenge. Fans of arcade-style shooters will want to give this a shot, especially because it’s currently on sale.

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Mower Ride (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

You’ve got a riding lawn mower and a million back yards to blast through, with the goal of racking up as much distance as you can by keeping the mower’s energy up. Along the way you’ll need to avoid patches of tough grass and objects that can slow you down, along with other mower riders. You’ll need to do everything you can to collect power-ups and additional energy to keep your mower screaming along.

Mower Ride uses tilt controls to pilot around the lawns that make up the game’s courses, and Game Center support provides leaderboards to let you see how you stack up against other players. The game’s tracks are also randomized each time you play, which means the experience is always a little different.

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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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