Curbed Network’s popular food blog Eater has introduced its free Eater app. Eater’s app offers dining recommendations from the site, allowing users to find the Eater 38 and Eater Heatmap restaurants and bars in their location. Keep in mind that only selected cities will have Eater recommendations, due to the site’s focus on major population centers. A list of all restaurants can also be perused, and Eater stories can also be viewed right through the app.
Zen Studios’ new Marvel Pinball ($1) is a prime example of how in-app purchases can work properly. The game begins by including a full-fledged Avengers pinball table in 3-D, complete with all of the 2012 film’s major characters — it’s a good game on its own. Another 14 extra tables are offered for $2 each, focusing narrowly on specific Marvel comic books (including Captain America, The Amazing Spider Man, Ghost Rider) or series (Civil War, The Infinity Gauntlet, World War Hulk). Every table adds enough new voice samples, art, and music to give each table its own distinctive theme and collection of 3-D models to see. Tables always have multiple levels thanks to ramps, intensity comparable to the best real-world pinball machines, and occasional opportunities for camera-zoomed close-ups on individual character models.
While there’s certainly $2 worth of value in each of the extra tables we tested, including X-Men, Iron Man, and Wolverine, fans of Marvel’s movies may find the comic-inspired source material choices a little iffy: for instance, the Iron Man table eschews War Machine/Iron Patriot references in favor of jokes about Tony Stark’s boozing history, while X-Men leans heavily on 1980’s-vintage characters and color schemes rather than the films’ darker versions. Additionally, though you can shift between several very different camera angles in landscape mode, the views in portrait orientation are substantially similar, and don’t show off the 3-D table models quite as well. Apart from those small issues, Marvel Pinball is certainly worth checking out if you love pinball or any of Marvel’s franchises.
The expiring photo-sharing application Snapchat (Free) has updated to version 5.0. This update offers a number of improvements, including swipe navigation and in-app profiles. Users can now double tap to reply, and there are new ways to add friends. It’s also now possible to send snaps to address book contacts. Speed enhancements and design improvements are also part of the update.
Paramount Digital Entertainment has released World War Z ($5), a first-person shooter based on the new movie. Featuring 28 levels, and more than a dozen upgradeable weapons, World War Z contains heavy narrative elements, and sophisticated 3-D artwork developed by Phosphor Games. The game automatically shoots for the player — you just move the gun’s reticule to point at enemies, dispatch them, and then begin tapping on locations to move through exploration sequences. Players either move or shoot — not both at the same time — simplifying gameplay. There’s a lot of graphic detail, especially involving the large advancing zombie hordes, plus very cool intermission sequences. Fans of the movie or original book will certainly find the game worthwhile.