Fresh iPhone Apps for Nov. 9: REI Find Out NYC, JabMe, Oscura, XenoCube SD

Nov 9, 2011
Games

Hanging around New York City but wishing for some “greater” outdoor experiences? Grab REI’s free augmented reality app, REI Find Out NYC, and you could win all kinds of outdoorsy prizes. While you’re wandering around finding stuff, you can harass your friends in a sort of social networking game using JabMe, which lets you virtually […]

Hanging around New York City but wishing for some “greater” outdoor experiences? Grab REI’s free augmented reality app, REI Find Out NYC, and you could win all kinds of outdoorsy prizes. While you’re wandering around finding stuff, you can harass your friends in a sort of social networking game using JabMe, which lets you virtually “punch” and “kick” your buddies using push notifications. In games, adventure in a world that pretty much wants to kill you in every was possible in Oscura, and manipulate a cube to match colored squares and rack up big points in XenoCube SD.

REI Find Out NYC (iPhone) Free

An augmented reality app, REI Find Out NYC is designed to find the Great Outdoors in the dense urban setting of New York City. Using the app, you can wander around NYC finding REI ads that can unlock outdoor “scenes” on your iPhone. It works by making use of the screen and camera on your iPhone, allowing you to pan it around and displaying objects on the screen over what your camera is picking up.

There are six scenes to unlock in all, hidden around the city. Each one that you identify makes the image appear on your iPhone, and you’ll also get the chance to win prizes like snowboarding gear and trips for your effort. The contest runs until Dec. 4.

JabMe (iPhone, iPad) Free

Harass your friends in a sort of social networking game using JabMe. The app lets you send “jabs,” or push notification messages (sort of like Facebook’s “pokes”) to any of your Facebook friends. When someone receives a Jab, they get a push notification (rather than an SMS message, so it doesn’t cost anything) and maybe a sound to go with it. Jabs include a number of “actions,” like punches or kicks, so you can start a goofy Jab war with your friends and try to one-up each other.

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JabMe is just shy of a real game, and it even includes Game Center support to keep track of the jabs you and your friends send each other. The app includes online leaderboards that show you who’s the leading jabber, and you can even earn achievements for harassing your friends.

Oscura (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

A side-scrolling platforming game, Oscura uses a high-contrast silhouette art style that’s gotten to be pretty popular among mobile games. You control a shadowy character called Oscura that has the ability to slow down time in order to get past traps, avoid spikes, dodge cogs and other hazards. Everything in Oscura can kill you, and your goal is to stay alive as you move through each of the game’s levels.

Oscura uses simple touch controls and will remind players of platforming titles in the vein of Super Mario Bros. The faster you complete each level, the better: You’re scored on how fast you complete each level, how many collectibles you find and how few times you die. Note before you download that Oscura is a bit on the short side, but its developer says more levels are on the way.

XenoCube SD (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

XenoCube is a matching game similar to titles such as Bejeweled, in which you move colored squares around a grid by swapping them with adjacent squares. The goal is to make groups of at least three like-colored squares in a row or column to clear them and earn points. In XenoCube, you’re not just operating with a flat grid, you’re dealing with a cube. You can spin the cube around and make huge combos that span multiple faces of the 3-D object to score massive points.

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You get five game modes in XenoCube, each requiring a different way of playing, and up to 32 levels to play through in each mode. The game also includes Game Center support, so you can see how your XenoCube scores stack up against players all over the world. You can even post your high scores on Facebook to kindle competition among 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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