New iPhone Apps Worth Downloading: Buzzam Radio, Emanata Comics, Don’t Look Back

Oct 18, 2012
Games

Find new stuff to listen to, new things to read and new places to adventure with today’s haul of new apps. Buzzam Radio lets you combine your iPod playlists, Internet radio, social networking and news sources into one content feed, and Emanata Comics will provide you with a whole crop of indie comics through which […]

Find new stuff to listen to, new things to read and new places to adventure with today’s haul of new apps. Buzzam Radio lets you combine your iPod playlists, Internet radio, social networking and news sources into one content feed, and Emanata Comics will provide you with a whole crop of indie comics through which to peruse. Don’t Look Back, a free retro platformer, will keep you busy as you explore its understated but challenging environments.

Buzzam Radio (Free)

What’s it about? Buzzam is one of those make-your-own-radio apps that allows you to pull from lots of different sources and combine them into a single audio feed. That means you can mix in stuff from your device’s iPod functionality, Spotify, and podcasts, and even throw in your favorite news sources and Facebook and Twitter feeds.

What’s cool? First off, Buzzam includes an easy to use interface that lets you just drop in your various social networking feeds, throw your playlists into the mix, and put it all together as a single radio station. But it’s really the amount of different content that Buzzam can make use of that makes it interesting, since you can include social networking, weather updates and new sources in addition to music tracks you already own and services you already use. Versatility is very cool.

Who’s it for? There’s pretty much a use for anybody, from social media junkies to news hounds and self-styled DJs.

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What’s it like? You’ll get this gist if you use apps such as Pandora or Spotify, which also let you put together playlists of various music and stream it over the Internet. AOL Internet Radio offers multiple stations with a diversity of content, as well.

Emanata Comics (Free, iPad only)

What’s it about? Emanata is a platform for digital comics, but don’t expect to find Superman or The X-Men here. Instead, the app is specifically geared toward indie comics, allowing readers a method of finding and downloading comic books from outside of the mainstream. Comics can be snagged through in-app purchases and read through the app.

What’s cool? Comics fans will find a lot to like because Emanata specializes in finding things you haven’t seen before. Being all about the indies, it’s filled with comics that offer new and different ideas, artists, writers and styles. If you like your comics with a bit of diversity, this is app is a nice place to look around and discover new favorites.

Who’s it for? Comic fans with an inkling to find something new, and those who enjoy the convenience of reading their comics in a digital format instead of (or in addition to) print books.

What’s it like? Comics by Comixology offers a very similar experience, providing a store through which users can buy comics and an interface on which to read them. It also has a healthy mix of indie and popular comics, although it doesn’t offer everything. DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Image Comics and Dark Horse Comics are also similar, but are specific to each brand.

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Don’t Look Back (Free)

What’s it about? A free independent game from Terry Cavanagh, the creator of the PC indie darling VVVVVV, Don’t Look Back is a simple, short platformer with a very simplistic, retro look. Players battle through various locales like a dark cave and a river crossing, shooting and jumping to save their lives. The game experience is augmented with some haunting music and an air of mystery.

What’s cool? Don’t Look Back is one of those interesting indie experiences that takes a lot of things you’re used to, but works in some great design to make them feel fresh. The game’s power is in its simplicity and its atmosphere – it uses only about three colors in total, and yet finds ways to be challenging even when players can only jump and shoot.

Who’s it for? Indie game fans and those who like platformers will get a kick out of Don’t Look Back, and those who enjoy Cavanagh’s other work – like VVVVVV and Super Hexagon – will likely find things about this one to enjoy as well.

What’s it like? The game bears similarities to most platformers, so take your pick. The somewhat recently released Mikey Shorts comes to mind, and the art style is reminiscent of titles such as Canabalt.

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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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