Fresh iPhone Apps for Mar. 21: Smash Your Food HD, Byword, Dots Ball, TrafficWonder HD

Mar 21, 2012

Help kids learn a thing or two about nutrition with Smash Your Food HD, an app that lets users watch videos of various foods getting squashed, smashed and otherwise annihilated in order to learn what’s inside them. Following that is Byword, a clean and simple writing app that syncs with cloud services to make it easy to create and save documents from anywhere. Dots Ball, a vertical, scrolling, jumping game with a lot of elements, leads today’s gaming selection, followed by TrafficWonder HD, a line-drawing puzzler in which you’ll need to keep cars from crashing.

Smash Your Food HD (iPad) $2.99

Smash Your Food HD puts an interesting spin on nutrition education. The app is meant to teach kids about the foods they eat, but instead of just showing figures and information, it allows kids to smash foods in the app’s interactive videos. By manipulating the machinery on-screen with touch controls, users can mash sodas, burgers, doughnuts and all kinds of other foods, in order to discover what’s inside.

Users start by picking a food and guessing how much sugar, salt and oil is to be found within it. The smashing reveals what’s actually in the food, allowing kids to see what’s good and what’s not so good for them to eat. Smash Your Food also includes personalized nutrition tips for kids and parents alike. All the smashed food uses real HD video – it all really did get smashed – and detailed sound effects so you can get the full sloppy experience as you smash things up.

Byword (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

Writing on-the-go can be tough with mobile devices for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the quality of the apps that allow users to take notes or create documents. Byword’s boon is that it strips out the bells and whistles, keeping the work space uncluttered to make it easy for writers to put words down even when using an iPad or an iPhone.

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Byword automatically syncs your documents with iCloud and Dropbox to make sure you never lose what you’re working on, and allows you to export documents as HTML for blog posts or even print directly from the app. Byword can also be used for writing emails, and allows you to do lots of the same things you can do in other word processing programs, such as creating bulleted or numbered lists and editing them quickly and easily.

Dots Ball (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Vertical-scrolling jumping game Dots Ball uses a lot of the same rules and conventions as similar games in the iTunes App Store that lots of players have probably played by now. Tilt controls allow you to guide your character, a bouncing ball, around the screen with the aim to hit small dots to continue bouncing even higher. But a wealth of power-ups and different effects available to players makes Dots Ball a little more interesting than your run-of-the-mill jumping game.

The various dots you can land on in Dots Ball all have different properties, and your jumping is limited by a slowly depleting energy bar at the top of the screen that needs to be refilled periodically. You can’t just jump forever to see how high you’ll get, you actually have to pay close attention to where energy becomes available so you can grab it, and to know when to conserve energy and when to spend it to make bigger leaps.

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TrafficWonder HD (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Puzzler TrafficWonder HD provides you with roads and cars of various different colors, each with a matching destination. Your goal in each level of the game is to draw a line from each car to its destination, attempting to get them there using the amount of fuel you have allotted in each stage. The trouble is, the cars all run at the same time, and you’ll need to plan your routes in order to keep them from colliding.

TrafficWonder throws lots of different elements your way. Some cars are faster than others, for example, and you’ll need to divert traffic in order to avoid collisions. But you also want to save as much fuel as possible to keep your score high, and that means TrafficWonder is going to demand some brain power and probably a lot of trial and error.

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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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