Best Apps for iOS, March 2012

Best Apps for iOS, March 2012



Gua-Le-Ni

Fantastical taxonomy for iPad.

In Gua-Le-Ni you play the role of an eccentric possibly hallucinating taxonomist from the days when scientists were simply ‘gentleman scholars’. It was a time of crazed cataloguing – where taxonomists and biologists would sail to distant lands filling volumes with drawings and descriptions of the various flora and fauna they came across. But while there was competition between the scholars to see who could catalogue the most creatures I can’t say for sure that any one of them resorted to stitching the bodies of two three or four beasts together just to add one more to the compendium. Yet this is what seems to be happening in Gua-Le-Ni where you must quickly identify and label the various segments of each mix’n’matched abomination as it trudges across the screen.

You do this by spinning flipping and changing the creature cubes until they show the correct parts in the correct order before the creature reaches the other side. Points are awarded based on how fast you can identify beasts and on the number of constituent parts each animal is composed of. Hungrier animals will move faster so you need to throw them the appropriate foodstuffs to slow them down. It’s an interesting concept with polished visuals and entertaining narration if perhaps a little expensive.

$2.99 > Double Jungle > Link

Edge Extended

I think the best examples of the recent ‘retro graphics’ craze don’t just show visible pixels but rather take the old graphics and place them in a contemporary context. They combine the charm of old with the sensibilities of new. Edge Extended the sequel to Edge is a shining example.

It’s graphically reminiscent of Q*bert but is a ‘roll the square to the end of the maze’ style game. The stylish simplistic graphics actually combine with the isometric gameplay to add hidden optical illusion pitfalls that enhance the experience.

$2.99 > Mobigame > Link

PixelMe

PixelMe (or PixelMe HD for iPad) is one of those apps I feel a little guilty enjoying. It’s cheesy and it’s meant for early/pre-teenagers but hey I like it. So I made a new pixelated avatar for Twitter. So what if I’m happy how it turned out?

Who cares if I giggled with joy when I found a suitable fisherman beard? Is it wrong that I tweaked it in Microsoft Paint afterward? At least I didn’t pay money to have them draw a custom avatar based on a photo. Not yet anyway.

$1.99 > T3Cubed > Link
 

Snapseed

Snapseed is a fully fledged photo editor for iPhone and iPad. With support for RAW (via the camera adapter) selective editing for the professionals and one-touch auto-correct for those just starting out there are simply too many features to list.

Photo-editing apps are well suited to the iPad’s screen but its woeful camera (up until the latest iPad anyway) really prevented it being used as a mobile photo editor. With the photo syncing that iCloud brought in iOS5 however you’ve got no excuse for posting second-rate photos even when you’re away from a PC.

$5.49 > Nik Software > Link