Category Archives: iPhone application

20 Best iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone games this week

Endless Road

Isometric racing game Endless Road drives onto iPhone and iPad

It’s time for our weekly roundup of the best new games for smartphones and tablets, easing down slightly from the chaos of trying to narrow down a longlist of 60 new releases for last week’s post.

As ever, all these games were released in the last seven days. Prices are included, but bear in mind where a game is marked as Free, it’s highly likely to be using in-app purchases. Actually, a lot of the paid games are also using IAP nowadays too.

On with this week’s selection:

Endless Road (£0.69)

This is probably the most visually-interesting game of the week: an isometric racer where you have to outrun a collapsing landscape, dodging traffic and obstacles as you go. As you can see from the screenshot above, it’s got a distinctive visual style through its perspective and use of colour. But the gameplay matches the hipster visuals.
iPhone / iPad

Heroes of Order & Chaos (Free)

Gameloft was inspired by World of Warcraft for its Order & Chaos Online massively multiplayer game for smartphones and tablets. Now it’s spinning that off into what it claims is iOS’ first Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game. The idea being to pick characters and battle enemies alone, or with friends. The Android version hasn’t gone live at the time of writing, but I’ll update the link when it does.
Android / iPhone / iPad

Skylanders Battlegrounds (£4.99)

It’s not been long since Activision’s last iOS Skylanders game – Skylanders: Lost Islands – but now its popular console franchise is back for another bite at the App Store. As the name makes clear, this game is much more focused on battles, as players tear into an evil warlord army. There’s also an optional “Bluetooth Portal of Power” accessory to bring physical Skylanders toys into the gameplay.
iPhone / iPad

Motley Blocks (£1.99)

Square Enix has taken a break from Final Fantasy and other RPG duties to release this 3D rotating-block puzzle game. It sees you matching chains of blocks, earning virtual coins and buying power-ups, with online leaderboards and the ability to create puzzles to send to friends or publish for the wider community to play.
Android / iPhone / iPad

Dragon Slayer (Free)

Publisher Glu Mobile‘s latest freemium game has more fire-breathing giant mythical monsters than you can shake a stick at. Well, cast deadly spells at, really – a stick won’t do you much good here. It’s a magic-based combat with enemies, items and in-app purchases a-plenty.
Android / iPhone / iPad

Transformers (Free)

Card-battler games have been a huge hit in Japan, but they’re going more global – Rage of Bahamut being one popular example. How about applying the genre to Transformers? That’s what Mobage has done on iOS already, and now on Android. It sees you building a virtual card-deck of Autobots or Decepticons, then battling other players over the network.

Avengers Initiative (£3.13)

Here’s another big brand with a fervent fanbase jumping from iOS to Android, although in the case of Marvel’s Avengers Initiative, this is more an Infinity Blade-style brawler rather than a card-battler. Available for a select bunch of devices initially, including Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and Google’s Nexus 7, it sees you fighting as Hulk against a bunch of villains.

Paper Monsters (£0.62)

Crescent Moon’s platform game Paper Monsters won huge critical acclaim on iOS, but now it’s available on Android too. It sees you running and jumping along side-scrolling levels made out of paper, cardboard and other natural materials, with 28 levels to explore and some nifty features to encourage you to replay when you’re done.

Bladeslinger Ep.1 (£1.99)

There’s plenty of buzz around the Bladeslinger game this week, as the first episode makes its App Store debut. It’s a 3D action title using the Unity engine for some eye-popping graphics, as you shoot and punch the living nightlights out of various monsters in an otherwise-deserted town.
iPhone / iPad

Rage of the Gladiator (£0.69)

Rage of the Gladiator started off as a WiiWare game on Nintendo’s console, but is now crossing over to iOS. It puts you in the (studded, blood-stained) shoes of a gladiator, fighting a succession of bosses with weapons and magical finishing moves. Expect beefy 3D graphics and lots of shouting.
iPhone / iPad

Monopoly Millionaire (£0.71)

The iOS-to-Android ports are coming thick and fast, which is a good sign of how publishers are taking Google’s platform more seriously – even if simultaneous releases would be an even better indication. Anyway, this is EA’s latest reboot of board-game Monopoly, which focuses on speeding up the game and throwing in upgrades.

Spy Mouse (£2.29)

This is a Nokia-exclusive, so you’ll have to search for it on your Lumia smartphone – the link above is to WP7 Connect’s story on its launch. Spy Mous is a fun line-drawing puzzler from the clever folk behind the Real Racing and Flight Control games. It sees you guiding a mouse to cheese while avoiding cats in a succession of top-down levels.
Windows Phone (Nokia)

Groove Coaster Zero (Free)

Taito’s Groove Coaster appeared as a paid game on iOS in July 2011, but now it’s been re-released as a freemium title. It’s like a futuristic rollercoaster game powered by music, with tracks available to buy using in-game currency, and some freebies available for people who bought the original version.
iPhone / iPad

Toy Defense (Free)

Have we hit Peak Tower Defence Games point yet? Seemingly not, because they keep on coming. Toy Defense’s twist on the genre is its use of toys as the characters, as you defend your base through 24 levels of enemy onrushes, upgrading units as you go.

Alt-Minds (Free)

Alt-Minds isn’t really a mobile game: it’s a transmedia “interactive gaming adventure” that runs across websites, Facebook, PC/Mac and tablets (the latter being the reason for its inclusion here). The storyline focuses on five mysteriously-disappeared researchers, and is told through a mixture of videos, games and web content. The tablet games focus on puzzles as part of all this.
Android / iPad

Asura Cross (Free)

Here’s a new take on the 2D beat ‘em up genre from Korean publisher Gamevil, which sees you battling a series of foes, upgrading your character’s skills in between fights, and then challenging other players in the game’s Versus mode. An intriguing sign of what may come next for famous franchises like Street Fighter in the freemium/social era.
iPhone / iPad

The Epstein Mysteries (Free)

This is a nice curveball in the week’s releases: a game from The Connected Set made for The New Art Gallery in Walsall, based around the real-life shooting of artist Jacob Epstein’s mistress Kathleen Garman in 1923. The idea being that you listen to witness testimonies, peer at letters and artefacts, and try to find clues in the Gallery itself – the game can be played there, but also at home. It’s the latest interesting glimpse at how museums and galleries can use apps and mobile games.
Android / iPhone / iPad

MegaCity (£0.69)

On iOS, MegaCity was a quirky and inventive puzzler that included elements of city-building games. Now it’s on Android, where it deserves a wider audience. Described as “Tetris meets Sim City”, it makes placing homes, utilities and industrial units a brain-taxing treat.

Littlest Pet Shop (Free)

Gameloft is making a play for cutesy freemium games at the moment, with Littlest Pet Shop following My Little Pony, Wonder Zoo and Monster Life onto the app stores. Here, you (or, let’s be honest, your children – so be on top of your IAP settings) are collecting dogs, cats, bears and other critters, then playing with them in a series of mini-games. The link above is for Android, but here’s the iOS version.
Android / iPhone / iPad

Turn N Run (£0.79)

EA and Chillingo have bagged this week’s Xbox-enabled game launch for Windows Phone, although early indications are that it works on Windows Phone 7 devices, but is encountering some issues on Windows Phone 8. Assuming those get sorted, it’s fun – a port of an existing iOS game that gets you to twist the gameplay world to link up blocks and find your way to the alien hero’s crashed spaceship.
Windows Phone

That’s our selection, but what have you been playing on your smartphone or tablet? Make your recommendations in the comments, or give your thoughts on the games above.

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Google+ For iPhone Now Available In The App Store

Apple has finally approved Google’s Google+ iPhone app and is now available in the App Store. Google launched Google+ – its latest social networking project few weeks back to compete with Facebook. It has received a quite a few positive reviews and is already more than 10 million users strong and growing.

Google+ allows users to put their family and friends into Circles and lets them selectively share with specific groups within their personal network, rather than sharing with all their social connections at once.

Here’s the description of the Google+ iPhone app from iTunes:

Google+ for mobile makes sharing the right things with the right people a lot simpler. Huddle lets you send super-fast messages to the people you care about most. And no matter where you are, the stream lets you stay in the loop about what your friends are sharing and where they’re checking in.

It includes the following features:

* Circles let you share the right things with just the right people.

* Stream is where you can get updates from your circles or see what people are saying about things nearby.

* Huddle is super-fast group messaging for everyone in your circles.

Here are some screenshots of the iPhone app:

So if you have jumped onto the Google+ bandwagon then download the iPhone app using this iTunes link and let us know what you think and how it compares with Facebook’s iPhone app.

Update 1:

Please note that it may take a few hours for the iPhone app to be available in your country so try using this direct iTunes link. It would also be great if you can give us a shout out in the comments if it is available in your country for the benefit of fellow readers.

Update 2:

Google has just released a new version of the app as the one that was released initially was a test version (via Google’s Vic Gundotra):

We discovered an issue with the version of the iPhone Google+ App that was on the App Store. When we launched, the App Store started serving a previous test version of the App which didn’t have the stability and fixes that the latest version had. It started serving the correct version a little later. If you downloaded within the first 1 hour 40 mins, you may have downloaded the older test version. 

To check: - Click on the gear icon on the top left of your App’s homescreen and look right above the Help button, the version number of the App should be: - If that is not the version number, then please uninstall and reinstall

We wonder how Google managed to get the update out so fast.

If you’ve already downloaded the older version then you can download the update via the App Store app (Updates tab) or try using this direct iTunes link to download it.

Update 3:

Please note it is not compatible with iOS 5.

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6 Best Barcode iPhone Applications

We have always been skeptical about the quality of barcode applications that are available in the App Store. There are too many of them around but so many of them are worse than junk. Thankfully, a few developers have gotten it right, so you can scan barcodes properly on your iPhone. These apps make shopping a whole lot more fun. If you are looking for barcode iPhone applications that work, here are 6 apps you should try:

Barcode Scanner: a pretty useful tool for price shopping. Just scan products to get pricing information on them. Supports multi-vendor searching.

RedLaser: one of the best barcode scanners for iPhone. Scans UPC, EAN, and UPC-E barcodes and lets you compare prices using Google Products and Amazon.

FoodScanner: a great tool for those who watch their diet closely. Allows you to scan UPC barcodes on the foods you eat and lets you know how much calorie you are taking in.

Cardstar: a cool free barcode scanner that could come in handy stores. It’s a useful for storing your store cards info and rewards.

Hopscotch QR & Barcode Scanner: scans QR / bar codes and gives you more information on objects scanned.

Barcodas for iPhone: a unique barcode scanner that makes music patterns out of scanned ean and UPC barcodes. It makes shopping for products a whole lot more fun.

There are plenty of other barcode readers available for iPhone. These 6 performed in the most reliable fashion in our tests. What’s your favorite barcode application for iPhone? Please add your suggestions below.

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13 Best Chess iPhone Applications

Who said people who are on the phone a lot can’t think clearly? You can now prove how smart you are by tackling some of the best chess games that the App Store has to offer. Chess, like many other board games, is fun and doesn’t get old too soon. It helps keep your mind sharp too. Best of all, it is so easy to learn.

Here are the best chess applications for iPhone that we have tested:

1. Shredder Chess:

Shredder Chess is the best chess application for iPhone hands down. When you get a Computer chess world champion on your phone, you know you’ve got a challenge in front of you.

2. t Chess Pro:

t Chess Pro another tough cookie to crack. It’s awesome looking and comes with multiple levels. Keeps you going until you have improved. It supports blindfold chess too!

3. Chess Genius:

Chess Genius has been around for ages. In fact, it was the first computer chess program that I purchased. It looks better than ever on iPhone.

4. Chess Problems.:

If you are into solving chess puzzles on the go, Chess Problems for iPhone has got you covered. Comes with over 300 chess games you can study to take your game to the next level.

5. Hiarcs Chess:

Those of you familiar with Computer chess probably know about Hiarcs having a very human-like playing style. Hiarcs Chess has decent graphics and can teach you a thing or two on how to play an opponent that does not make many mistakes. It has a lot to offer to beginners too.

6. Chess Classic:

Chess Classic another cool looking chess game for the iPhone. Ideal for beginners.

7. Chess Pro:

Chess Pro is not as strong as Shredder but still a good buy if you are a beginner.

8. Caissa Chess:

Caissa Chess is another great application for folks who are not too advanced but want to still challenge themselves with chess.

9. Fritz Chess for iPhone:

Fritz Chess is known as one of the best chess engine in the world. Now, it has finally come to the iPhone. Along with Shredder, Fritz is the strongest chess app on the iPhone.

10. Deep Green:

OK. We are not talking about Deep Blue here. But Deep Green‘s a very good looking app and has a strong engine.

11. Glaurung Chess:

Stockfish Chess is the best free chess application for iPhone hands down. You get a very strong engine and a great looking board. And it’s free.

12. Chess Clock:

Chess Clock is the official chess game for the iPhone. It’s very convenient and good looking at the same time.

13. Chess With Friends:

A cool free application that lets you play chess with your friends.

If you are into chess, you are going to have a heck of a time playing these chess apps on your iPhone. Nothing is more self-fulfilling than beating a super strong engine or solving super tough chess problems. If you own an iPad, these iPad chess games are worth checking out too.

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