Weekly App Store Picks: May 30, 2009


Just when you thought the weekend couldn’t get any better, along comes a selection of the freshest picks from the App Store.

This week I’ve selected four playful picks for you to toy with over the weekend. It’s not all fun and games, though, as before we get to the apps, I’ve got a roundup of the week’s news.

Another week closer to the release of the iPhone 3.0 update means another leaked addition to the new OS. This time, Apple is bringing video purchasing to the iPhone. All well and good, but I can’t imagine how downloading a 2GB movie is going to work over 3G.

Our own Nick Santilli procured a selection of apps that raise the potential for photos taken with the iPhone’s camera. It’s essential reading for iPhone owners who are disappointed with the device’s awful camera. My pick of the bunch is QuadCamera — it makes shooting with the iPhone fun again.

The iPhone made the front cover of The New Yorker this week, though not in the way you might expect. Using Brushes, a cute little painting app for iPhone, artist Jorge Colombo created the cover illustration for the latest issue. Brushes isn’t exactly a pro-level art package, but it can generate stunning results — budding artists can grab the app for four bucks (it’s currently on offer) and start practicing now.

Tweetie for Mac, the excellent older sibling to the iPhone Twitter client Tweetie, received a fun little upgrade this week. The app now allows video tweeting, via the iSight camera or a quick .mov file drag ‘n’ drop. This article is particularly worth checking out because you get to watch a Twitter video of me, playing Sigur Rós, on the glockenspiel — blog-based musical interludes do not get better than that.

And finally, there could be an Apple game console on the incredibly distant horizon. This is according to the CEO of gaming giant Ubisoft. Frankly, I don’t see it happening, but then who am I to argue with the CEO of the company that brought us Splinter Cell and a refreshed Prince of Persia franchise?

Moving on to the picks, this week I’ve been looking at Space Ace, Light Wars, BeatRider Touch and Drum Tracker.

appicon_spaceaceSpace Ace ($4.99)
A quick refresher for readers who may not have come across Space Ace — the game is a gorgeously illustrated animated adventure from the folks behind Dragons Lair. Those who remember the original will be pleased to note that, visually, it’s still as vibrant as ever; however, it’s also just as frustrating in terms of gameplay. The game is essentially one long animation in which you just perform the correct actions at the correct time to keep the story moving forward. Frequently silly, regularly annoying, but it’ll have you coming back time and time again.

appicon_light_warsLight Wars (99 cents)
One glance at this game and any seasoned gamer will tell you that it’s a direct rip of Geometry Wars — an excellent console mini-game that brings classic messy shoot-em-up Robotron to mind. Light Wars is incredibly fast-paced and frenetic, throwing tron-style nasties at you from all angles as you speed across the vector map, dodging enemy ballistics and racking up insanely high scores. Currently on sale at 99 cents and definitely worth checking out for fans of arcade-style shoot-em-ups.

appicon_beatrider_liteBeatrider Touch Lite (FREE)
Tap Tap Revenge may be the current king of rhythm-action games on the iPhone, but that shouldn’t stop other titles from trying to topple the game from its well-earned throne. Beatrider Touch incorporates more sliding than tapping, plus it brings something entirely new to the genre — song uploading. Upload your favorite tune and you’re able to play it as a level in Beatrider. The free Lite version supports one song upload, the premium version — retailing at five bucks — lets you upload up to 20.

appicon_drum_trackerDrum Tracker ($1.99)
If you’re not in the mood for gaming, but beats are your thing, then Drum Tracker may be the app for you. The developers, a team calling themselves Simple is Beautiful, have squeezed a fully-featured drum machine down into one gorgeous-looking iPhone app. This is a tool that, while it could be tons of fun for anyone looking to toy around with a few beats, could prove useful for electronic music producers on the go. Worth checking out for the more musical readers of TheAppleBlog, especially as it’s priced so competitively for a sound app.

That’s all the picks for this week. I’ll be back in seven days with more news from the week and picks from the App Store.

In the meantime, what apps have you been using this week?