July saw a deluge of new titles hit the App Store, taking in everything from revamped editions of classic point-and-click games to photo booth simulators. Top10.com’s monthly round-up names the ten best.
1 Helsing’s Fire
Helsing's Fire is a strategy-based title in which players assume the role of Professor Helsing and his assistant Raffton to solve mind-bending puzzles in a dark, gothic-inspired universe. The unique gameplay mechanic from which the game derives its name is Helsing's powerful torch, which players use to illuminate the horde of monsters and correctly use Raffton's supply of potions to vanquish them.
Puzzles are set across three worlds with over 30 levels in each. And since levels are automatically regenerated, there will always be a surprise lurking in the dark should you revisit them. No fan of the strategy/puzzle genre should miss this gem.
2 iRadio UK
iRadio UK lets you listen to the nation’s best radio stations from wherever an internet connection can be reached. Easily filter stations by selecting their logos from the scrolling list to the left or choose from your own list of favourites from the bottom tab, without leaving the player screen. Thanks to the embedded browser, you can also surf the internet without closing the app, which is currently being reviewed to provide full multitasking functionality for iOS4.
The app remembers your last played station and even provides a timer to close it at a given time. If you've been looking for an easy way to enjoy your favourite radio shows, look no further.
3 The Jim & Frank Mysteries – The Blood River Files
The Jim & Frank Mysteries - The Blood River Files is a mystery/puzzle game where players take part in the adventures of two friends: Jim and Frank. Jim is a shy, kind-hearted genius, while Frank is a daring and mischievous prankster. You follow their journey to the picturesque town of Tinyville, where you’ll encounter many strange and fascinating characters and help them solve over 60 unique and addictive puzzles that will inevitably lead them to the Secret of the Blood River.
The hand-drawn levels make this beautiful to behold and the addictive gameplay means it's nigh-on impossible to put down. Think Professor Layton for the Nintendo DS, except way cheaper and just as much fun. Be sure to pick this one up.
4 Underscore Notify
Underscore Notify is an easy way to jot down notes and make annotations on your iPhone. It allows you to insert almost anything from PDFs to images, texts, web clippings and there’s no limit in the way of the size of the note or the number of pages you can add.
There’s also built-in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to let you convert scanned books and web pages into text. And just as handy is the fact that it’s fully integrated with popular file hosting solution DropBox, which makes it easy to pull files from the server and start scribbling notes on them.
All in all, this is a very useful tool to hand around whether you're taking notes during a corporate presentation or just planning a trip down to the mall.
5 The Train Conductor 2: USA
The follow-up to the hugely popular Train Conductor is a fast-paced puzzle game that tasks you with guiding a number of moving trains travelling from different directions without causing any collisions.
The game is largely similar to its predecessor, except that the location has changed from Australia to the US of A. There are five different stages in the games, which are set during either day or at night-time. 'Ghost' trains cannot be stopped but also cannot crash, while 'Demon' trains must be guided to the right tracks.
Next time you’re stuck on the Tube due to teeth-gnashing delays, reach for this and you might just feel a bit more sympathetic towards the network’s poor, beleaguered conductors.
6 Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge
Monkey Island 2 is a special edition sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed point-and-click adventure titles ever. The plot revolves around wannabe pirate Guybrush Threepwood, who, after defeating arch enemy and ghost pirate LeChuck in the previous game, is now seeking the fabled treasure of Big Whoop and looking to win back his lost love, Elaine Marley. But as you might have guessed, LeChuck is also back. And he's hell-bent on revenge.
This deluxe edition comes with a few extra goodies, including full direct control of the character alongside the point-and-click gameplay of the original. If you've never played a bona-fide adventure title, now is your chance to experience one of the best.
7 Incredibooth (iPhone 4 only)
Incredibooth is a neat little camera app exclusively for the iPhone 4. It takes advantage of Apple’s latest smartphone’s front-facing camera to let you take fun pictures of yourself and your friends without having to cram everyone inside a photo booth down at the Post Office.
Once pictures are taken you can apply three cool retro effects and share them by email or upload them directly to Facebook as a photo strip or individually. It's a simple app that brilliantly replicates the fun of taking photos in a booth.
8 The Psychic Octopus
Though the World Cup may be over, the predictions from everyone’s favourite sea-lebrity octopus Paul keep on coming. And with the domestic season only a few weeks away, he’s turned his oracle gaze away from internationals to the English Premier League.
Whether you're placing a bet with your mates or tempting fate with the bookies, you can call on Paul's psychic powers. But be warned: if you treat him badly, he’s more likely to get a result wrong. So love and care is the way to go. Still, if he does cross the line, there is always the 'Calamari Time' option.
9 Travel Eye
Travel Eye is the official app from popular travel search engine Traveleye.com. It allows you to look up details of over 2,000 popular travel, vacation and holiday destinations pulled directly from the Traveleye database. You can search for a location by simply typing it in the search bar. Each location is presented with an easy-to-read summary, a map, photos, list of things to do, real-time weather, five-day weather forecast and much, much more.
If you haven't escaped to a sunny locale so far this summer, give this app a go and you just might find your perfect destination.
Joystiq is the official app from the popular video game news site of the same name. And it’s positively packed with great stuff for gamers. There’s reviews of the hottest games out there and galleries of the hottest titles. Plus, you can leave comments using your Joystiq profile and listen to the latest episodes of the Joystiq podcast all right from the app.
Searching the site for specific news and share articles, photos and videos can be done instantly via Twitter, Facebook and email. Whether you're a fan of Joystiq or just an avid gamer, this is the definitive app to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest and greatest industry news and information.