It’s that time of the month again. The good kind, before you run away. Every month we carefully sort through thousands of iPhone apps to round up ten best, so you can spend more time enjoying them and less time searching. Here are the top 10 apps from August that we feel are worthy of your attention.
To describe Solipskier in a nutshell would be to call it ‘a side-scrolling skiing game with a twist’. That is, instead of being given a pre-determined course, you have to draw it yourself as the brave skier treks forward.
You must swipe your finger across on the screen and depending on the incline the game will automatically create ground for your skier to ski on. Drag upwards and you’ll create a steep hill that will slow him down. Do the opposite and he will pick up speed. Your goal is to collect as many points as possible by directing the skier through gates, while making sure he doesn’t not fall to an untimely death.
It’s one of those easy-to-play but hard-to-master type of games. If you enjoyed titles such as Crayon Physics and Line Rider, be sure to give Solipskier a try.
2 Madden NFL '11
Americans might be instantly familiar with the Madden series but the same probably can’t be said about most Brits, who enjoy things like ‘football’, and such. Still, the EA’s American football franchise somehow continues to find itself in the top end of the UK sales charts, so clearly there is considerable interest.
Madden NFL ’11 is the latest iteration of the series and possibly the most polished yet, with outstanding visuals, dynamic animations and new gameplay features including the ‘Total Defensive Control’ system.
As always, the game features fully licensed rosters of all 32 NFL teams. There are four modes to compete in: a solo game for quick pick up and play, head-to-head with a mate over Bluetooth, a 16-game schedule in Season Mode complete with transfers and stat tracking and a Playoffs Mode to relive the classics from the previous season all the way to the Superbowl.
Ninjump is a survival title starring a fearless ninja with mad wall-running skills. Your job is to help him reach as high as possible in a perpetual climb while avoiding various obstacles such as rabid squirrels, angry birds and rival ninjas in his path.
While under constant attack, your ninja is not completely defenceless. He can intercept enemies’ attacks first to strike back at them. Collect three throwing stars in a row and you can throw them back at your foes. Take out three birds and you will gain wings for a limited time. Other power-ups include shields to protect the ninja and even turn him into a rocket booster, literally.
If you enjoyed Doodle Jump and can’t get enough of adrenaline-pumping highs, pick this up right away. Plus it’s free, so you’ve no excuse.
4 Digitally Imported Radio
Digitally Imported Radio is the official app from Digitally Imported, a popular Internet radio broadcaster of electronic music that gives you access to over 35 radio stations for the hottest genres in the scene.
Can’t decide what to listen to? DI’s predefined ‘Styles’ list has you covered. And if you found a station you like, simply add it to your favourites for quick and easy access.
There is full iOS4 support, which means the app runs nicely in the background with dedicated controls for the lock screen. You can even set different bitrates for streams when listening over Wi-Fi or a 3G connection, which is pretty neat if you’re on a slow connection.
Although the service is free, a premium subscription is available to those who want access to higher quality streaming.
5 Bills (with sync & notifications)
Bills is a tool to manage your monthly finances in an efficient way. You set an amount you want to spend in a month and enter your various recurring bills, costs and planned payments to keep track of your outgoings. The interface is clean and intuitive, allowing you to easily filter through bills and payments by tapping on the ‘paid’, ‘plan’ and ‘overdue’ categories. A green progress bar sits at the top to indicate how much of your budget you have already spent.
With local notifications, you can rest assured you won’t miss an important payment. And at the end of the month you can back up your expenses by exporting them into an HTML or CVS (Excel) file.
6 Monster Dash
Monster Dash puts you in the shoes of Barry Steakfries, a badass runner in a world infested with, as you might as guessed, monsters. It’s essentially a side-scrolling run-‘n’-gun shooter where your aim is to help Barry travel as far as possible while mowing down vampires, demons and mummies, and yes, zombies too.
Barry can pick up a range of weapons and power-ups along the way, including an awesome lighting gun that zaps away monsters like flies. Controls are simply a matter of pressing the jump and shoot buttons and letting Barry do the rest. Levels are themed after the different monsters and look great too.
It’s not a particularly original title but the core gameplay is entertaining enough to keep you coming back for more.
7 Loser Scan
Think your mate’s a loser but don’t have the heart to tell him? Let Loser Scan do it for you. Just point your iPhone at the intended target and truth will be revealed.
But it doesn’t just detect losers. There is a myriad other scanners to detect anything from a porkie pie to a member of the opposite sex. And the best part is, only you will know how the app works, so there is no risk of your prank backfiring at you!
8 Alarm Clock Rebel
Tired of waking up to the same, boring alarm clock every morning? With Alarm Clock Rebel you can wake up to all the essential information you need to start your day. It automatically displays the current weather and forecast for the week ahead, as well as RSS feeds with 18 predefined feed options and the ability to add your own.
Recurring alarms can be set for each day of the week and there is no limit to how many you can set. Alarm sounds come in 26 varieties but you can select your own from your iPod library. Other extras include a world time widget, customisable LCD colours and backgrounds for your alarm and a shake-activated flashlight (uses LED flash for iPhone 4). Alarms will work even when the iPhone is in sleep mode and if you have trouble sleeping the app even comes with a selection of soothing nature sounds.
Splice is a video-editing app that puts the iPhone’s native video editing skills to shame. It’s incredibly easy to use despite sporting a host of features you’d expect to find in a full-fledged desktop editor
Simply open a new project and start inserting videos and images from your library. Videos and images can be trimmed and cropped on the fly, and when you’ve added enough, you may add transition effects to them. From there, you can apply sound effects to your movie from the Splice library or your own collection. Better yet, you can record your own voice and adjust the volume as necessary.
Give it a final touch with a predesigned frame and your masterpiece is ready to be exported and uploaded online within minutes. It’s really that easy. For only £1.19, you can’t go wrong with this gem.
10 Dark Nebula - Episode Two
Dark Nebula is a top-down puzzle/platformer that puts you in control of a disc-shaped, ball-like thingamajig. Episode Two is a follow-up to the critically acclaimed original and ups the ante by bringing brand new gameplay elements and 19 levels to play through.
The goal is to carefully navigate the disc, by tilting the iPhone, through a maze of levels riddled with hazardous obstacles and pitfalls, all the while collecting energy orbs and shields necessary to protect the disc against various contraptions.
Occasionally you will have to solve mini-puzzles to unlock doors to progress. But combat is where the game really shines, requiring you to roll the disc over colour-coded rings that emit energy beams at enemies. At the end of each level you will be graded on your performance and with a ton of hidden items, you’ll keep coming back for more.
The visuals are amazing and levels are set across six different environments, from luscious jungle environments to barren wastelands, so there is plenty of variety here to sink your teeth into.