The Appcast #51: February 1st, 2010 – iPad Discussion

This week’s show: iPad Discussion. We take some time to discuss the iPad and it’s app potential.

Episodes can be downloaded by clicking the Episodes tab above. Intro Music: Borderline D.U. Mix from Mixter Two – I Don’t Know What I’m Doing by Brad Sucks.

Show Outline:

  1. Introductions
  2. News: Appshopper updates to prepare for iPad apps
  3. News: VOIP now available over 3G
  4. News: Google Voice available as a Web App
  5. News: Newsstand to become NewsRack
  6. New Apps for the Week
  7. Core Topic: iPad Discussion

New Apps Discussed on February 1st, 2010:

  1. Videmi – Free – Browse several retail store website product listings from one app. It’s fast, simple, and doesn’t require all the usual browsing or app switching involved with shopping around each individual store.
  2. Guerilla Bob – $2.99 - A twin-stick shooter reminiscent of the MiniGore stylings (though anyone familiar with iDracula will also understand controls right away). You move with the left virtual-stick and shoot in 360 degrees with the right virtual-stick. Normally, these games are all about survival, but Guerilla Bob actually features levels for you to progress through, as well as upgrades that get picked up along the way and bosses with different abilities. It’s a nice change of pace for the genre on the iPhone given that other video games like Smash TV had this same presentation. Graphics are sharp, colorful, and cartoony while music is fine. It’s a solid title for anyone looking for shooting action.
  3. ContactFlow – Free – Flip through all your iPhone contacts in Cover Flow format with additional phone information available by tapping on the picture of the contact. You can also select to email from this method as well. It’s nice and smooth, though mostly for show.
  4. Broken Sword: Director’s Cut – $6.99 - One of the most well-loved adventure games from the older PC-era is finally on the iPhone. I thought it was amazing to get Beneath A Steel Sky last year, but to get Broken Sword is fantastic. This older game features sharper graphics, new content (hence the director’s cut), and the original animation and cut scenes (with full voice acting of course). Controls are based on point-and-click (like you would with a mouse). It’s a very special treatment of an adventure game classic that can be had for a more reasonable price on the iPhone than on the DS or Wii.
  5. Electricity – $0.99 – A simple app that monitors if your iPhone is charged into a power outlet. If no power is being fed, an alarm will go off. A simple way to see if you are actually charging your iPhone or if someone has tried to disconnect your phone from the charging cable or dock.
  6. Warheads – $0.99 - A really fun and pretty version of Missile Command. There’s a real sense of modern stylings to mix with the retro gameplay. The particle effects on the explosions are particularly nice and the music and sound really enhance the feeling of excitement and tension (in those later levels). I really like the limit on each missile silo as well, meaning you can’t just spam your missiles into the air. Just a big surprise and one that I will be revisiting for many quick sessions. One issue though: sometimes I encountered some slowdown during major explosions, even though I was using the iPhone 3GS.

Apps of the Week:

Tastebud – (Bob) – $4.99 – Add your leftover ingredients into a virtual basket and then discover the many recipes you could use to ensure you finally get rid of the extra head of lettuce or slice of pork loin. A really cool concept and a useful app for wherever you’re on the go. Backwards recipes are the future.

Cogs – (Kevin) – $0.99 and additional purchase for more levels - If any app was as close to The Electric Box in terms of puzzle elements and really interesting levels, then it would need to be called Cogs. You must manipulate a series of slider puzzles with different cog pieces, pipes, and other gizmos on them to try and achieve an intended goal. It’s easy to understand what you need to do, but difficult to figure out how to quickly arrange all your pieces. Puzzles included tend to be simple, though I feel like many of the challenging levels are in the downloadable content levels (those come at additional cost, of course). The presentation is excellent, with full 3D and smooth animation and very well-thought design. It’s easy for anyone to just see the puzzle and begin manipulating the pieces as though they were real. With several medals to earn (in number of moves used and time taken) for all the different levels, this is one that will have puzzlers frantically trying to think and play with great ferocity. Simply put: Cogs is incredibly well-designed and fun.

Silly App of the Week:

Tall Bike Joust - (Kevin) – $2.99 - It’s actually a full-fledged game, but also based on a real-life game involving tall bikes and jousting sticks. Apparently people do this in real life, and it’s an exciting idea, until you realize you’d need to get a tall bike. Thankfully, we have this app, which translates the silly concept into a really neat tournament and sport-like game. You’ve got attribute points for customizing your skills, unlockable environments and clothes, and even OpenFeint for your achievements. It’s really a lot better than the silly premise leads you to believe.

You vs. Wall – (Bob) – Free – A silly game where you’re thrown against a wall with a human cut-out. You can either adjust and fit through the hole or feel the delight of a solid body smack.

Core Topic: iPad Discussion

We keep it brief for another week and go over our pros and cons of the upcoming iPad and how it could be a part of our app world. It’s quick and most of what we discuss has probably been discussed to death, but it’s the big topic and we really don’t take too long with it this week. Real content next week? :P

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