The Week In iPhone Apps: Sonic the Hedgehog Learns to Read
This happened. Now, some apps.
It’s been a hell of a week for the iPhone
and the App Store, and one we covered closely. Here are a few apps that slipped through the cracks.
Melodica: It’s a bit like Bloom, except more rigid, more practical, and less whimsical. With Bloom, you discover ambient soundscapes with inexact pokes and unguessable time signatures; with Melodica, everything’s pretty much on rails, including your tempo. Halfway between an audiovisual toy and a compositional tool, and it’s pretty fun. A dollar.
Eucalyptus : This eBook app was at the centre of a little controversy a while back, when it was rejected for linking to RACY .txt file of the Kama Sutra in its library. The blogs leapt to its defence and everything got cleared up, but is it any good? Yes! Page flipping animations and other assorted eye candy are nice, and it’s a well-organized, sensible reader, with a large (but closed) library of public domain content. Shame it’s hideously expensive—you might want to watch this video before you take the dive. Ten bucks.
Sonic the Hedgehog: I was really looking forward to this one, but I’ve been let down by Sonic ports in the past, so I kept my expectations low. It’s OK. Visually, it’s a mixed bag: the classic Sonic aesthetic is intact, but looks muddy and pixelated on the iPhone’s screen, as if they just dumped some assets from another platform onto this one. Adapting Sonic to the iPhone’s limited control options was an obvious challenge for Sega, and one I had hoped they would rise to. With their onscreen d-pad and single button, they haven’t. $US6 feels excessive for a game that’s best described as “playable.”
Tic Tac Toe Ten: Ok, this week’s getting a little rich for my blood. How about some free apps? Tic Tac Toe Ten multiplies an old classic by ten nine, changing it from a worn-out game for children into a surprisingly engaging one or two player puzzle. Tip: instituting time limits is key. There’s a pay version with more options, but the free one’s aaaaaaalllright.
Zensify: One of a growing number of social media aggregators, Zensify gloms together most common social networks, as well as services like Flickr, YouTube and Digg that have central social networking functions. It behaves and looks like a Twitter client (also, it is a Twitter client) and helps you keep track of what’s going on in your little corner of the internet. It’ll also create a cloud to see what topics are trending between your various services, which is cool, if not overly useful. Free.
This Week’s App News on Giz:
• A Week in the Life of an Apple App Store Reviewer
Car Controlling App Is Fake, But Fun Anyway
Would You Replace Your Baby’s Rattle with an iPhone?
Peek-O-Matic Strips Pinups, Hunks, Flabby Gizmodo Editors
• The First Fuzzy Shot of the Sirius iPhone App
Get Girls Half-Naked in Your iPhone
The First iPhone Clock App I Actually Paid Money For
June 1st New Yorker Cover Drawn Entirely on the iPhone
This list is in no way definitive. If you’ve spotted a great app that hit the store this week, give us a heads up or, better yet, your firsthand impressions in the comments. Have a good weekend everybody.