This week, we revisit some classics from your (and your grandfather's) childhood, iPhone browsing gets upgraded, and I play what it probably the best 3D multi-animal hunting game available for the iPhone.
Boulder Dash!: Whether you're just leaving college or having your third kid, there's a pretty good chance that you played Boulder Dash as a kid. The official 25th anniversary iPhone edition is as faithful as you want it to be: you can choose either classic, spritey graphics or a modern, cartoonish look, and opt for either an overlaid d-pad control scheme or a new swipe-based system. The game looks great and both control system work a treat, so collecting jewels on the iPhone feels about as natural as it did on the Commodore. $US4.99.
Deer Hunter 3D: A hunting video game! What kind of bizarre nerd bumpki—oh, wait, this is actually pretty fun. Deer Hunter 3D for iPhone, licensed from the Walmart-famous Deer Hunter PC franchise, takes you on hunting trips to various locations to shoot various animals with various types of guns. It looks great, and the aiming system—the core of the game—is executed well. The walk-aim-shoot routine seems repetitive at first, but the game has enough unlockable content to keep it interesting for a while. $5.99.
Nightglow: This browser brings proper tabs, more gestures and a few other little odds and ends to your iPhone. Its tab switcher is definitely faster than Safari's, though the app as a whole can be a bit sluggish, and the screen grab feature, which lets you explore the page while still maintaining focus on a text field, is sometimes useful. It kinda reminds me of one of those old Internet Explorer tabbed shells from 2003: it's mildly attractive for power users, but wouldn't be necessary at all if Safari was just a little bit better. $0.99.
Pickin' Stix: A vintage vintage game, this app asks you to do precisely one thing. Doing that one thing is easy, and strangely gratifying. It feels like it ought to be free, but $US0.99 isn't so bad.
HDR Camera: No, you can't take DSLR-grade, hyper-realistic dynamic range photos with your iPhone. You just can't. That said, HDR Camera does do a convincing fake. The app coaxes some decent pseudo-HDR imagery out of the iPhone's sad little camera, albeit with filters and effects you could easily just apply in Photoshop. Its $US1.99 pricetag is too high.
UpNext 3D NYC: If your life revolves around NYC, there really isn't a better way—wait, let me rephrase that: a prettier way—to navigate the city on your iPhone. If it doesn't, UpNext 3D's exquisitely detailed view of the city is still great eye candy. It does everything you could want from a mapping app: subway schedules, local listings and basic mapping functions and restaurant reviews. Tapping buildings even tells you what's inside (but only sometimes). Sorry, Brooklynites, it's Manhattan only for now. $US2.99.
This Week's App News on Giz:
• iPrivus Brings Reverse Call Lookup App To 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.