Weekly App Store Picks: October 10, 2009

It’s the weekend and I’m over in London investigating a host of new iPhone apps out later this year. In the meantime, I’ve hand-picked four of the latest releases from the App Store for you to check out.


This week I’ve selected a smattering of fun games. My top pick for this week is Canabalt, plus I’ve also been looking at Nota, Tap Tap Revenge 3 and Real Football 2010.

Canabalt ($2.99)

app_canabaltEarlier this week Adobe (s adbe) announced that the latest version of Flash, version CS5, will support iPhone app development. What this means is that an app can be created using Flash and then effectively rendered out as an iPhone-compatible app file.

Ustwo, who I spoke to earlier this week, prototyped its minimalist designer game .™ in 48 hours using Flash. With CS5, developers will be able to handle prototyping and development without leaving Flash. What this means for us folk who download apps is that we’re on the cusp of another exciting period in iPhone development, especially in terms of gaming.

Which brings us to Canabalt, a game which debuted several weeks ago online in Flash form and has since been ported across the the iPhone. It’s a furious filmic rush as you dash across a futuristic rooftop, jumping buildings, dodging debris and trying to survive for as long as possible. This is one button gaming at its very best, a worthwhile download for all iPhone gamers.

Nota ($2.99)

app_notaThe iPhone has great potential as an e-learning tool, but so far, it feels like an unexplored area. It’s fair enough I suppose…developers need to make a living too and other app genres, such as games, seem like they have more potential for generating profit. It’s a shame though as there’s so much potential to create something wonderful for learning on the iPhone, something just like Nota.

Nota is a music learning tool. It’s got all the beginners stuff, covering notes and crochets and all that jazz, but it dips into the realms of advanced music theory too. There’s a comprehensive reference section containing music terminology, a music quiz with two difficulty levels and even a four octave piano with a real-time musical stave.

As a musician and producer myself I think it’s important to make learning music more accessible to everyone. The app’s rich selection of tools and toys, combined with a quality finish in terms of the visual design, make this a great investment for professional musicians and students alike.

Tap Tap Revenge 3 (99 cents)

app_ttr3The third iteration of Tap Tap Revenge touched down in the App Store earlier this week, but this time it’s going to cost you. The two previous iterations have been free but with the third game Tapulous is charging 99 cents, a paltry sum for such a feature-packed offering.

The game packs in all the usual TTR staples, such as online play, track downloads and competitions. There’s a refreshed track-listing bundled with it too, containing music from Fall Out Boy and Tiesto, alongside premium track downloads supplied by some seriously impressive names, including Smashing Pumpkins, Killers and Foo Fighters.

If you’re unfamiliar with the game, it can be summed up as Dance Dance Revolution for the iPhone. Instead of dancing with your feet, you tap with your fingers, plus there’s some shaking and tilting thrown in for good measure too. Regardless of whether or not you’ve got rhythm, if you love music, this is the game to download.

Real Soccer 2010 ($3.99)

app_real_soccerYet again, Gameloft has launched another game that’s terribly similar to a couple of other big name console franchises. This time the folks at Gameloft have taken their inspiration from the FIFA soccer franchise and the ISS Pro series.

Aside from the omission of real soccer team names — Manchester United becomes Man Red, for example — Real Soccer 2010 delivers everything you’d expect out of a console soccer game. There are real player names, a massive range of teams, a convincing in-game commentary system, single-player leagues as well as online matches and so much more.

Normally I’d condone this type of uninspired game design, but the thing with Gameloft is that the end product of its barefaced borrowing is always executed with such flair, focus and immense polish. For soccer fans especially, this should be a definite download.

That’s all the picks for this week. I’ll be back in seven days with a fresh selection of App Store recommendations.

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