Apps: Kingpin Lanes, The Orchestra 1.2, Star Wars Pinball + TapTapSee
Just released, Speedbump’s Kingpin Lanes ($2) is an iOS universal bowling game completely rendered in 3-D, and impressively built by one man using the Unreal Engine. In addition to the expected ball-tossing, pin-knocking action, the game offers a fully explorable bowling alley, including a functioning pro shop, and an arcade with four playable mini games. Five fully voiced and animated characters can compete on a variety of lanes. The game also lets users create their own soundtrack using a device’s on-board music.
Now featuring full French and German translations in version 1.2, The Orchestra ($14) from Touch Press is an iPad app that features eight symphonic works performed by London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. As the orchestra plays extended extracts of the works — from the likes of Beethoven, Haydn, Debussy, Stravinsky, and others — the app lets users select from multiple video and audio tracks in real-time. A synchronized score and note-by-note visualization of each piece are also included. Audio and subtitled commentaries are also available on every piece, from the conductor and the players. Each instrument is also profiled, and the musicians explain their roles in the orchestra.
Zen Studios’ Star Wars Pinball ($2) is a universal title, with its main table based on The Empire Strikes Back. Playable in both landscape and portrait orientation, the game preserves the layout of a standard pinball table, but has interactive elements and characters based on the movie franchise. It’s beautifully rendered for Retina devices, and there are plenty of sound effects and dialogue from the films — and if it’s not James Earl Jones doing the voice of Darth Vader, his voice double is doing a pretty good job. Players choose to align with either the dark or light side of the force, with the balance decided by the contributions of everyone playing the game. Additional Boba Fett and Clone Wars tables are available as in-app purchases for $2 each.
TapTapSee (free) by Net Ideas, LLC is an app designed for the blind and visually impaired. After a user takes a picture, the app then identifies what’s on screen and speaks the identification back to the user. TapTapSee also instantly identifies all U.S. paper currency. Its recent update to version 1.4 includes faster sending of images.
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