20 best iPhone and iPad apps and games this week

Apps

It’s time for this week’s roundup of the best new iPhone and iPad apps and games released on Apple’s App Store.

As ever, the prices provided in brackets are for the initial download only: when an app uses in-app purchases, this will be listed as (Free + IAP).

More interested in Android apps? They’re covered in a separate weekly Best Android Apps roundup. But if it’s iOS you’re after, read on for this week’s selection.

APPS

Crumb: Ruby Tandoh Bakes (£2.49)
Does Britain’s obsession with baking have to end with the climax of Great British Bake Off? Of course it doesn’t. This app from Random House features previous GBBO finalist Ruby Tandoh, with 45 baking recipes taking in loaves, muffins and cream buns. It’s very well presented too: with step-by-step instructions and photography to (hopefully) make sure your bakes are suitably great.
iPhone / iPad

Flickr for iPad (Free)
It took a while, but photo-sharing service Flickr finally has a dedicated iPad app – released as a universal update to its existing iPhone version. It’s the Flickr users know (and often love) from its last desktop revamp, complete with full-screen images and a good large-touchscreen interface.
iPad (already on iPhone)

Inbox by Gmail (Free)
This is Google’s new email app, sitting alongside Gmail rather than replacing it. For now, it’s invitation-only – but you can request one – with features aiming to declutter your inbox by grouping similar messages together, from travel details to receipts and promotions. Worth trying, when you get the opportunity.
iPhone

Toca Boo (£1.99)
Kid-apps developer Toca Boca is on a fine run of creative, playful children’s apps, and Toca Boo is one of its best yet. It’s a Halloween-themed app that sees you chasing a family around their house dressed as a ghost, hiding behind furniture, then jumping out and giving them frights. Marvellously-spooky fun for children of all ages.
iPhone / iPad

Fort McMoney (Free)
This is a fascinating interactive TV project from Canada, exploring issues around energy and conservation through the lens of a town in Alberta. Your job is to play mayor, talking to citizens and taking decisions that will affect its future. Described as a “documentary game”, it’s technically innovative and thought-provoking.
iPad

Rooms (Free)
For now, Rooms is a ‘try this and see what you think’ recommendation, not a ‘this is really good’ recommendation – it’s too early to tell. The idea is a new, mobile-only way to create chat-rooms for posting text, photos and videos with friends, privately. Well, friends with iPhones, anyway, until an Android version comes out.
iPhone

Timeline Nelson (£6.99)
This is the latest history app from publisher Ballista Digital, co-founded by historian and TV presenter Dan Snow. It focuses on Lord Nelson and the British Navy, with plenty of source material thanks to a partnership with London’s National Maritime Museum. There’s lots to explore, from audio clips, videos and images to an interactive map of sea battles.
iPad

Pixelmator (£2.99)
If you want more from a photo-editing app than simple filters and cropping, Pixelmator may be just the thing. It’s a powerful yet easy-to-use image-editing app with more retouching tools than you can shake a (paintbrush) stick at, tapping Apple’s iCloud service to run across devices.
iPad

Google News & Weather (Free)
Google’s other new app this month came out without the same kind of fuss as for Inbox, but it could find an even bigger audience. It aggregates news and weather unfussily, helping you swipe between categories then tap on headlines to read them. Good for quick browsing when out and about.
iPhone / iPad

TeleStory (£1.99)
Worried about your children spending too much time on the sofa watching TV? This app gets them up and about filming their own shows: an exercise in creative storytelling with plenty of themes and animations to get them started. Clever technology, but worthy aims too. And its own “global storytelling network” helps them get inspiration from other children too.
iPhone / iPad

Angry Birds Transformers (Free + IAP)

The latest branded Angry Birds game is actually one of the most innovative in terms of its gameplay: bird-slinging is out, and stompy robots shooting and transforming into cars is very much in. It’s freemium, so expect timers and energy bars, but the game itself is fun. Read our full review for more details on that.
iPhone / iPad

Best Fiends (Free + IAP)
There’s an Angry Birds connection to puzzle-battler game Best Fiends: some of its developer Seriously’s staff used to work at Rovio. This is very good, though: a game where you take little beasties to battle noxious slugs through match-three action, with your characters levelling up as they go. It’s Pokemon meets Puzzle & Dragons, with impressive production values.
iPhone / iPad

Skylanders Trap Team (Free + IAP)
This is a proper, full Skylanders game, complete with its own joypad and tablet stand to use with the Skylanders figures. New to the game? It’s a monster-battling fest aimed at children, with new features including the ability to trap beasts then play as them. You’ll need to buy the tablet starter pack to play the full game, so it’s an intriguing test of whether mobile gamers will pay console prices.
iPad

Crimsonland HD (Free + IAP)
Can dual-stick shooters work well on touchscreen devices without sticks? Actually yes. Several games have proved it in the past, and Crimsonland HD is the latest. It’s an addictive monster-fest with a comfortingly-retro feel, complete with an interesting pay-what-you-like model to unlock the full game (assuming that you like paying either £2.99, £5.99 or £10.49).
iPhone / iPad

New Words With Friends (Free + IAP)
Scrabble-like digital board game Words With Friends is five years old, making it one of the grizzled veterans of the App Store. But this is a brand new, separate version from its publisher Zynga, with better features for finding opponents, more stats on how you’ve played and a dictionary to help find top-scoring words.
iPhone / iPad

Skullduggery! (£2.99)
This game has already won a set of indie awards, and rightly so: it’s a quirky action game with a sense of fun: but also masses of playability. You play a tax-collecting skull – just go with it, okay? – flicking yourself around the screen to collect in the afterlife. It’s a stylish title that stands out from the App Store crowd.
iPhone / iPad

The Lord of the Rings: Legends of Middle-earth (Free + IAP)
Publisher Kabam’s game based on The Hobbit has been a big hit on smartphones and tablets, so now it’s turning its attention to Lord of the Rings. Based on the films and books, it sees you exploring Tolkien’s universe fighting, questing and falling in with a host of familiar characters. As with past Kabam titles, though, the key will be updates over the coming months (and even years) to add more content.
iPhone / iPad

Sentinels of the Multiverse (£6.99)
I was new to Sentinels of the Multiverse when this game appeared: the original is a card game that has found a healthy audience for its heroes’n’villains gameplay. Now it’s also available as a tablet game. Existing fans will appreciate it, but it could also be a way in for newcomers to what looks an absorbing game.
iPad

Retry (Free + IAP)
If Flappy Bird was in a plane, he might be Retry. Although that’s selling the new game from Angry Birds publisher Rovio short: it has a number of original touches rather than just cloning this year’s big viral hit. You control a loop-the-looping biplane, making your way through levels – or simply crashing into things. Mostly the latter, in my case.
iPhone / iPad

Zombie Highway 2 (Free + IAP)
Finally, and with perfect timing for Halloween, comes this excellent racing game that’s far more than a spooky novelty. “Cars, Guns, and Zombies. What more could you want?” asks its App Store listing, but it looks and plays brilliantly too, with its application of in-app purchases not getting in the way of the fun.
iPhone / iPad

That’s my choice, but what iOS apps and games have you been using recently? Make your recommendations – or give your views on the picks above – in the comments section.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Friday 24th October 2014 16.42 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

 

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