Fresh iPhone Apps for June 6: SnapTag, This V That, Mecapix, Shadow Cities

Jun 6, 2011
Games

For some of us, this is a big week: both Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference and the biggest event in video games, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, are taking place. But for others, it’s just a regular week that can use some cool apps, which is what we’ve brought you here. Start with SnapTag, an app that […]

For some of us, this is a big week: both Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference and the biggest event in video games, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, are taking place. But for others, it’s just a regular week that can use some cool apps, which is what we’ve brought you here. Start with SnapTag, an app that lets you get the opinions of your friends on what you’re thinking of buying, then move on to This V That, an app that lets you compare different brands of statistics from all over the world. We’ve also got a couple of games for you to try. There’s Mecapix, which combines ideas from Tetris and Space Invaders to make something pretty interesting, and Shadow Cities, a massively multiplayer game you play in your own city. Check them out below.

SnapTag (iPhone, iPad) Free

Ever wonder if a sale price is really worth it? Do you often wish you had a friend handy to ask for an opinion? SnapTag lets you use Facebook and Twitter to bring all your friends with you on shopping trips, opening users up to the ability to share deals with everyone they know, and get those friends to rate the price you’re about to pay. You can find out quickly if something is worth it by getting a second opinion.

SnapTag requires you to take a picture of what it is you’re thinking of buying. After you fill in a little information, you can update the deal you’re looking at to Facebook and Twitter, where your friends can check it out and vote on it. You can also see other people’s deals and rate them through the app as well.

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This V That (iPhone, iPad) Free

Comparing statistics from around the world can lead to some interesting conversations, or at the very least, some food for thought. That’s what This V That is all about: it draws information from online sources like Wikipedia to show which countries have the highest carbon emissions or Facebook usage, or which ones have the highest coffee consumption or pull down the most Olympic medals. But This V That isn’t just for seeing which countries have highest rates of various statistics; it actually compares two sets of stats at the same time.

When you fire up This V That, you’ll choose two sets of stats in the app to compare. Check Facebook usage rates against literacy rates and find out how many countries have high rates of both. Then the stats are laid out on a map, allowing you to see how the highest ranking countries compare. The information doesn’t necessarily show that one thing causes another, but it’s still interesting to see what stats line up.

Mecapix (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

A combination of Tetris and Space Invaders, Mecapix is all about defending the bottom of the screen against falling blocks. In order to stop them, you need to shoot blocks of your own up the screen, which you’ll do by drawing shapes on a grid at the bottom of the screen. It’s hard to describe, but basically, Tetris-like blocks fall from the top of the screen, while tracing the grid with your finger to draw in blocks of your own. Those blocks rise up and intercept the falling ones, wiping them out.

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There are 27 levels to fight through in Mecapix, growing more and more difficult as time goes on. Different squares you’ll blast will have different effects – one type fires a laser that takes out all the blocks in a straight line, another triggers a bomb that clears out blocks all around it. It’ll take strategy and timing to keep the blocks from reaching the bottom of the screen and make it through each of the stages.

Shadow Cities (iPhone, iPad) Free

A massively multiplayer role-playing game similar in spirit to games like World of Warcraft, Shadow Cities lets many players join in the same game together. Instead of jumping into a fantasy world, however, you play in your own neighborhood, becoming a spell-casting mage in a bid to conquer the world for one of two factions. As you play through the game, you’ll fight elemental spirits and capture them to gain additional power, completing “quests” in your city or town along the way.

As you play through Shadow Cities, you can chat with others, add people to your in-game friends list, and join forces to capture neighborhoods and take on larger pray. Progressing through the game also earns you new magic spells to use in your quests, which are activated by tracing “runes” with your finger on the screen. You can also recruit your friends to come join in through Facebook or email.

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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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