Skyworks Interactive, developers of prior iPhone titles Arcade Bowling, Arcade Hoops Basketball, and Arcade QB Pass, have introduced three new games for the iPhone and iPod touch. Mental Blocks is a block-based puzzle game in which players must tap on sections of four or more same colored blocks in order to clear them from the screen, while attempting to leave as few single blocks as possible. It features unlimited levels, four types of special blocks, and both online and local high score tracking. Mental Blocks sells for $2; our review of the game can be found here. Poker Matchup is a unique card game in which the player tries to build the best hand possible from two sliding rows of cards. It features local and online high score boards, and sells for $2. Finally, 3 Point Hoops is a basketball-oriented game in which players use their fingers to fling the ball toward the basket in order to take a shot. Speed and direction are controlled with the fling gesture, and there are a variety of shooting positions. Other features include a classic mode, sudden death mode, unique position mode, bonus balls, local and global high score listings, and two background music tracks. 3 Point Hoops is available now and also sells for $2.
SplashData has released File Magic 2.0, the latest update to its file transfer utility for the iPhone and iPod touch. File Magic allows users to copy files to their device over Wi-Fi using a desktop-based client program, and supports a wide variety of file formats for handheld viewing. New in version 2 is the ability to transfer files directly from device-to-device, the ability to email files as attachments from File Magic, and the option to set a password to protect File Magic access. File Magic 2.0 is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.
Konami has released its DanceDanceRevolution S game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the popular arcade dancing game series, the main Game Mode requires users to tap on the screen to the rhythm of the song, with upcoming arrows rising from the bottom of the screen. Two other game modes are available, including Shake Mode, in which players shake the device in the direction of the arrows, and Training Mode, which helps novice players acclimate themselves to the main game mechanics. In addition, the game offers 26 and 18 playable characters, with a soundtrack featuring both new and old tracks from past DDR titles. DanceDanceRevolution S is available now and sells for $7; a free Lite version is also available.
Zynga has released its Scramble Live word game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on what the company’s Scramble game for Facebook, Scramble Live lets users build words by using connecting letters on a 4x4 or 5x5 board. The game offers both solo and play n’ pass modes in addition to its Live mode, in which players can compete with friends or other Facebook, iPhone, and iPod touch users in real time over 3G or Wi-Fi. Scramble Live is available now from the App Store and is priced at $3 through March 8, at which point it will cost $5.
Amazon has released Kindle for iPhone, a new application that lets iPhone and iPod touch users read Kindle books directly on their devices. Kindle books may be purchased from a Mac, PC, or the iPhone using a browser and wirelessly transferred to the iPhone or iPod touch, and users may also download Kindle books they already own for free, adjust the text size, add bookmarks, and view annotations created on the Kindle. In addition, the app includes Amazon’s new Whispersync technology that saves and synchronizes users’ bookmarks across their original Kindle, Kindle 2, iPhone and iPod touch devices, so they never lose their place.
Like the Kindle itself, the Kindle iPhone app is only available in the U.S. iTunes Store, and Kindle content is likewise only available to Amazon U.S. customers, differing from competing iPhone apps eReader and Stanza, which seem to have no country-based distribution restrictions on their apps or their content. Additionally, and unlike the Kindle devices, Kindle for iPhone currently works only with books, and not with other downloadable content such as magazines, newspapers, and blogs that are supported by the Kindle and Kindle 2. Kindle for iPhone is available now as a free download from the U.S. App Store; our full review is also available.
Tapulous has released Tap Tap Revenge 2, the sequel to its original Tap Tap Revenge game that saw over one million downloads in its first month. Tap Tap Revenge 2 features a completely new gaming engine with improved graphics and effects, new “tap and hold” and “multi-tap” features for more varied gameplay, and a five game modes, including a Kids mode, Challenge mode, Two-Player Split-Screen, Online, and Career modes. The game also features a download catalog featuring over 150 free new songs, including tracks from artists such as Daft Punk, Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie, Crystal Method, and others. In addition, Tapulous promises to add more free tracks every Thursday. Tap Tap Revenge 2 is available now as a free download from the App Store.
CBS has launched its new TV.com application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new application gives users mobile access to TV.com content, including full episodes of CBS TV shows such as CSI and Star Trek, and also features programming from other CBS-owned networks such as Showtime and the CW, as well as videos from Internet properties CNet and GameSpot. The app also lets users add keywords to create their own feed—a custom list of video based on favorite programs, channels, or topics—and will operate on both Wi-Fi and cellular networks. CBS’ TV.com application is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Apple has quietly removed older App Store reviews from users who had not purchased the applications they were reviewing. Prior to last September, when Apple changed the App Store rules to require users to purchase or download an app prior to review, any user could leave a negative review on any application he/she wished, leading to developer complaints and reports of astroturfing. While the rule was changed, the older, possibly fraudulent reviews remained on the pages of the App Store until this week. Mac Rumors reports that several long-released apps have seen noticeable drops in the number of reviews; for example, Super Monkey Ball has dropped from 4197 reviews to 3714, while Pac-Man has gone from 395 to 122. Interestingly, the reviews for iPod Click Wheel Games continue to include numerous reviews from people who acknowledge that they have never played the games.
Continuing to erode the line between “potentially offensive” and acceptable content, Apple has approved Peep Show, a virtual peep show app for the iPhone and iPod touch. As explained by developer Blazing Lizard, Peep Show puts you in front of a partially obscured window, with “shake controls” that are “easy and intuitive when looking at attractive women.” Users shake the device at a certain time to drop a coin into the slot, further revealing a photo of a woman. Missing the slot causes the blinds to cover up more of the image as a penalty. A total of six pictures of women are displayed over and over again by the app, none the same as the ones shown in the app’s current App Store preview page, and each only vaguely risque. Following last week’s revelation that Apple rejected a South Park application for “potentially offensive content,” however, this application only furthers the notion that Apple’s approval process is inconsistent at best. Rated as appropriate for users 9 years of age or older, Peep Show sells for $1.
AOL is splitting its AIM app for the iPhone and iPod touch into two versions, and both add location services and SMS integration. The free version of AIM, now known as AIM Free, is currently available in the App Store and is now supported by ads, while the paid version will remove the advertisements; both will include the same features. The new features include the ability to access Contacts directly from the app to send an IM to a saved screen name or SMS to a phone number, the ability to stay logged in for up to 24 hours after the app has been closed and optionally receive notifications via SMS when a new IM arrives, support for multiple accounts, and the ability to share location information with buddies and access a new Buddies Near Me smart group. According to the free version’s description, AIM Paid is currently going through the App Store approval cycle and will be available soon; pricing has not yet been revealed. [via Ars Technica]
Update: The paid version of AIM is now available on the App Store and sells for $3.
Gameloft has revealed new details regarding its upcoming game The Oregon Trail for iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the Apple II classic, this updated take on the game features the same trail, from Independence, MO to Willamette Valley, OR, and the same random events, such as disease, bandits, bear attacks, and more. The side-scroller also offers updated graphics, side missions, and eight mini-games, including hunting, fishing, wagon repairing, river crossing, rafting, telegraphing, gold panning, and berry picking. The Oregon Trail is expected to arrive in the App Store in the next week, and will sell for $6. Continue reading for more screenshots from the game.
Gameloft has released details on its upcoming Let’s Golf game for the iPhone and iPod touch, which appears set to become the most thoroughly developed golf title yet for the platform. Let’s Golf features cartoonish 3D graphics, four customizable 3D characters, and arcade-style game play with 63 different holes set across four different landscapes, including Fiji Beach, American Mountains, English Countryside, and Scotland Lochs. In addition, the game will offer two control schemes—one for more casual players that uses a simple gauge, and a more advanced mode that provides better accuracy. Notably, Let’s Golf will also include a multiplayer mode that allows two users to play over a local Wi-Fi or online connection. The title is expected to hit the App Store next week and will sell for $6.
Konami has launched a new website for its upcoming iPhone and iPod touch game Metal Gear Solid Touch. According to the site, the company has decided to offer a special “advance release” edition of the game that will offer the first half of the story—which is based on the Playstation 3 title Metal Gear Solid 4. The final release version will include both halves of the game, and purchasers of the advance release edition will receive a free update to the final release, with the ability to carry over game save information. Gameplay will be handled via a multi-touch interface, with the ability to slide a finger for aiming, pinch gestures for zooming in and out, and taps for firing a weapon. Metal Gear Solid Touch is listed as coming soon; continue reading for more screenshots and a preview trailer.
Update: in a new press release, Konami has said that the Advance Release edition of Metal Gear Solid Touch will launch in March.
Taito has released its classic Space Invaders game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game offers a faithful recreation of the arcade experience, providing a simulated cabinet mode with on-screen joystick, button, and arcade-style display; touch/drag and tilt controls are also available, along with four different screen modes. In addition, it features bonus extras including materials from the original game’s development. Disappointingly, the game does not include any of the features of Taito’s later, better Space Invaders sequels, including the well-regarded Space Invaders Extreme. Space Invaders is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.
SnapMyLife, an online mobile-focused photo sharing service, will on Monday announce a partnership with The Travel Channel to help promote the network’s No Reservations program starring chef Anthony Bourdain. According to SnapMyLife, 95% of its 700,000 members access the site though their iPhones or iPod touches. In the promotion, producers of the show will take pictures on-site during taping, and post the photos to the show’s account on the day each new episode airs, allowing SnapMyLife members to get a “sneak peek” of that evening’s show. SnapMyLife’s iPhone application is available as a free download from the App Store.
Seattle-based alternative rock band The Presidents of the United States of America have released The Presidents’ Music, a new app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app provides users with streaming access to four of the band’s albums, early “lost” recordings, extras and exclusives, and a direct connection to the band’s blog. Songs include the 1995 hits “Kitty,” “Lump,” and “Peaches,” taken from the band’s Grammy-nominated self-titled debut album. The Presidents’ Music is available now from the App Store and sells for $3. [via Wired]
Namco has released its Tamagotchi: ‘Round the World game for iPhone and iPod touch. Previously released for Click Wheel iPods, the game lets players pick one of four Tamagotchi, and then play one of six missions that take place across three differently-themed planets, each of which features Gaiatchi, or living clouds, plants, geysers and seedlings that populate the planet. Players interact with the Gaiatchi through mini-games and activities such as rock paper scissors, dancing, memory matching, and math puzzles. Tamagotchi: ‘Round the World is available now from the App Store and sells for $6; a Lite version is also available as a free download.
Apple has twice rejected a South Park application for the iPhone and iPod touch because the content was “potentially offensive.” Originally previewed in October, the app would allow users to stream clips, download wallpapers, read news, browse the show’s complete episode index, and choose character likenesses to use as contact images. A member of the team working on the app told Boing Boing Gadgets, “After a couple of attempts to get the application approved, we are sad to say that our app has been rejected…. But Apple did admit that the standards would evolve, citing that when iTunes first launched it didn’t sell any music with explicit lyrics. At this point, we are sad to say, the app is dead in the water. Sorry, South Park fans.”
GameResort, maker of Downhill Bowling, has released Biplane: Wings of Raccoon, the developer’s second game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Biplane puts players in the role of Captain Raccoon, as he navigates the skies on a mission to defend his island from pirate attackers. The game offers two game modes—arcade and race—as well as tilt-based plane controls, nine race tracks, and 3D graphics. Biplane: Wings of Raccoon is available now from the App Store and sells for $2.
Font warehouse MyFonts has released WhatTheFont, its new typeface identification application for the iPhone and iPod touch. WhatTheFont allows the user to snap a picture of any type and upload it to MyFonts in order to find out what font it is, along with the ability to email a link to the font. iPod touch users can also use the application by accessing images saved in the Photo Library. WhatTheFont is available now as a free download from the App Store.