threatened promised to share some of my early favorite iPhone apps and games, and so I shall:
Texas Hold’Em ($5)
A touchy-feely update of the awesome iPod poker game,Â this is so worth its asking price. Great AI, stunning presentation, and a functionally different view when you rotate the unit:
What’s that song on the radio? Who does that cool cover I’m hearing in Chipotle? Fire up Shazam, let it listen to about 20 seconds of the song in question, and wait another 10. BAM — it shows you what the song is, who does it, what album it’s on, and a link to buy it on iTunes. Not just a little awesome. It’s not foolproof — I found quite a few obscure songs that it didn’t know, like game show themes (which did come out on CD!), and of course, indie stuff like albums my friends recorded weren’t represented in the Shazam database. But that seems like a question of when, and it actually works.
I’m a sucker for it in just about any form, so I bought it immediately. Not bad — I’m used to Scrabulous so picking up and dragging every letter was a little awkward, but the computer has multiple skill levels and the game lets you cheat a bit if you like. “Best Word” has the computer play up to four turns for you if you want it to. You can also shuffle the tiles by tipping the phone over at a 90-degree angle. Neat, but not as convenient as just touching the Shuffle button.
Does what you’d think: Makes lightsaber noises as you move your iPhone around. Move it fast, and it makes clashing noises. Kat has it too so we can have fake lightsaber battles. It makes us smile.
Aurora Feint (Free)
Probably the most advanced free game I’ve seen on the system so far. Remember Tetris Attack/Pokemon Puzzle League/Planet Puzzle League? It’s that with a touch interface, the ability to slide tiles around by tipping the phone in different directions, and an RPG structure to give it some context (I call this “pulling a Puzzle Quest“).Â Why is such a cool game free? Because it’s built on the classic model that made the guys from id into millionaires: Give away the first episode, and ask them to pay for the later ones. This is apparently the beginning of an MMO. An MMO for the iPhone.Â That’s a phrase I never thought I’d see, but okay. I’m having fun and I would be willing to buy the next step. Let’s see where this goes.
You can find all this fun stuff in the App Store within iTunes. Go get ’em. (And if you’re wondering, take iPhone screens by holding the Sleep button and tapping the Home button. When the screen flashes white, you’ve done it right. Check your Camera Roll for a PNG of the screen.)