Peapod Labs’ just-released Bugsy’s Math Quest ($3) stars the company’s long-time mascot, Bugsy the hamster, who walks through 2-D side-scrolling levels, facing animals and monsters every few seconds. To get past most opponents, you need to tap once or twice on the bottom-of-screen keypad to enter digits that solve a multiplication or division problem. Each level ends with a boss encounter akin to a quiz, where you need to rapidly solve a handful of problems in a row to defeat the boss and move on. The game’s flat graphics and audio are pretty good, improving on what we’ve previously seen from Peapod’s Bugsy titles, but even the easy difficulty level will prove challenging for the young (4-5-year-old) children the app claims to be appropriate for. This is due in equal parts to the fast pacing, the lack of instructional content, and choice of multiplication and division rather than addition and subtraction; Math Quest is really appropriate for older kids who already know basic multiplication and division tables from school. They’ll find this to be a great reinforcer — better than flash cards — but a mode that teaches rather than just drilling on correct answers would be a nice addition.
Netflix’s newly-updated version 4.1 Netflix (free) app now makes it easier for binge watchers with the new post-play feature. When watching a TV show, the Netflix app will now automatically queue up the next episode and play it without the user having to do anything. For movies, post-play lists the three best related movie recommendations while the credits of the current movie start to roll.
FiftyThree’s Paper (free) app now features an all-new feed in version 1.3.1: Made With Paper lets users see the works of Paper users all over the world. A new zoom feature also now lets users get closer to images without losing their place. The app’s Expressive Ink Engine is now built on OpenGL for faster rendering, as well.
The Pixuru (free) app — from the publisher of the same name — lets users order wall art directly from an iPhone, including images made from their own pictures. You can upload a photo from your phone, then pick from a number of wall art options, including framed, canvas, wood, even metal prints, and the size of the print at varying prices. U.S. shipping is free, and Pixuru claims users should receive their orders within a week.