Weekly App Store Picks: August 8, 2009


It’s time to take a look at my recommendations for the iPhone, hand-picked from the week’s App Store releases.

This week I’ve been looking at Gomi, Ustream 3GS Recorder, Simon the Sorcerer and Minigore.

appicon_gomiGomi ($1.99)
I’ve been waiting for Gomi for what seems like an absolute age now. The game’s developer, Bovine Dragon, is a regular tweeter and so when I woke up this morning to read that Gomi had finally been approved by Apple (s aapl) and released to the App Store, without even rolling out of bed, I immediately purchased the app. I’ve mentioned it a few times over the past few months, but to recap over the premise, the game blends Katamari Damacy object-rolling with planet hopping à la Mario Galaxy. The graphics are so lo-fi they look to be drawn using MS Paint on an old IBM running Windows ’98. It’s charming, fun from the start and really easy to get to grips with. Plus, for two bucks you get over 140 levels, eight minigames and loads of achievements and unlockables.

appicon_ustreamUstream 3GS Recorder (Free)
We’re going to start seeing more apps that are exclusive to the iPhone 3GS as the weeks roll, on and Ustream 3GS Recorder is most definitely one of them. The app makes use of the iPhone 3GS’s video functionality, enabling you to record video on the fly. Although the app doesn’t support video trimming as with the iPhone’s native Camera app, there are some handy advantages to using Ustream. For avid social networkers, the really special thing about this app is that, alongside uploading to Ustream, the app can also publish your video on Facebook and YouTube. In effect, this free app is an easy way to activate Facebook uploading on your iPhone 3GS and will provide the perfect stopgap before Facebook comes out with its long awaited app update.

appicon_simon_the_sorcererSimon the Sorcerer ($4.99)
Another week of releases and another classic retro title gets a refit for the iPhone. In the past few weeks we’ve had Space Invaders, Monkey Island, Flight of the Amazon Queen and now, rather unexpectedly, classic point ‘n’ click fun with Simon the Sorcerer. Plucky young Simon has been teleported in to a world of magic, wearing traditional sorcerer’s garb and with a typically teenage attitude, it’s up to him to defeat the bad guys and find a way home. While the games mentioned in previous weeks have been been updated for the iPhone, Simon the Sorcerer just seems to have been shrunk to fit the device. It’s still a great game though and, while it’s certainly a relic from a bygone era, it’s one worth dusting off and checking out.

appicon_minigoreMinigore (99 cents)
Behind the scenes app developers seem to be facing some serious issues, but that’s clearly not stopped a slew of brilliant games arriving at the App Store. The latest must-have game is Minigore, an ultra-cute shooter featuring a small square man called John Gore. The game is set in a forest arena inhabited by the sweetest looking bad-guys you’ll ever blow to bits. The perfectly implemented dual-controls hark back to old school arena shooters like Robotron and Smash TV and, when you’re not frantically racing round the forest avoiding getting eaten, you’ll also notice that the artwork is positively delicious.

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

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

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