Giedrius Talzunas’ 100 Balls (free) is currently topping the Free Apps chart in the App Store. First released in April, the app has updated to version 1.3 with new bonus balls, cups with effects, and new soundtracks. A simplistic game, 100 Balls has players dump balls into cups moving on a track. As the game advances, the cups move faster and change colors — the different colored buckets give players the opportunity to get higher scores. The game ends when all the balls are lost or all the buckets are gone, as each empty bucket that passes by without receiving any balls drops off the screen. It’s better than many of the recent top free gaming apps, but not by much. 100 Balls will likely only prove addictive for the easily amused.
In what we hope will be a continuing series, StoryToys has released The Awesome Collection – Interactive Books, Jigsaws and Stickers ($10/$5), a collection of three of its prior storybooks in one app. A single download gets you Grimm’s Puss in Boots, The Jungle Book, and Haunted House, each containing a voice-narrated story and a lightly animated, multi-page 3-D storybook to entertain kids. If purchased separately, the books would otherwise cost $11 plus $9 of in-app purchase content. Although that additional content isn’t worth buying separately — it’s sets of very simple jigsaw puzzles and sticker books based upon artwork created for the stories — and Haunted House isn’t as strong in the story department as the other two titles, the overall value delivered by the combined package is high, particularly at its $5 introductory price. If you don’t already have one of the three included books, definitely consider grabbing it before the price doubles.
The Elements Flashcards (free) is the newest app from Touch Press, makers of popular, impressive apps such as The Elements, The Orchestra, and Barefoot World Atlas, among others. Unlike most of the developer’s apps, The Elements Flashcards is offered at no charge, which automatically makes it worth checking out. It’s more of a studying app than a learning app — users can pick from a number of quizzes to verify they know the elements well, and can place the elements onto a blank periodic table. The voiceover and pictures are great, and this is another slick app from Touch Press. It’s best-suited to users who need a great way to study for a science class.
Sago Mini Space Explorer ($3) is the newest interactive app for kids from Sago Sago. Similar to the company’s Forest Flyer app, children can move Harvey the Dog through space to yellow markers. Upon arriving at those markers, an animated scene will reveal itself. The app is best for younger children, who will have fun exploring and memorizing which animations can be activated in certain areas. It’s another cute game from one of the best kid app developers.