Daily App Digest – January 2, 2012

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Latest apps and updates to hit the iTunes app store today…

Befuddled Together

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Gamers across the world who fell in love with Inert Soap’s charming, challenging and addictive Befuddled tile-based word game can now enjoy even more fun – and share the experience with friends – thanks to the newly-released sequel Bufuddled Together for iPhone and iPad.

Hailed as a terrifically fun and challenging mix of Bookworm, Bejeweled, and much more, Befuddled Together invites gamers of all ages to immerse themselves in a world of strategic thinking by moving adjacent tiles in a grid right, left, up, down and diagonally in order to form words. Players can enjoy short, 10- round games on their own, or they can play with friends via the new Game Center, or via the new Pass-and-Play mode when sharing one iPhone or iPad.

Other fun, exciting and challenging new features in Befuddled Together include:
* A built-in chat feature that lets gamers talk as they play
* New tile categories, including word fragments, wildcards, chameleon tiles, and more
* Plenty of special abilities, including bomb tiles, change tile type, swap tiles around, and more
* A dictionary of over 350,000 words
* Five difficulty modes to challenge word game lovers of all skill levels
* No timer to stop the fun and get in the way of the action
* The option of being randomly matched against opponents
* The freedom to play as many simultaneous games as desired

$1.99/£1.49/download

4Fukushima

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round with the tower defense label, and rightly so. Tower defense games are generally associated with slow-paced action and micro-management cliches that involve long thought processes and careful execution. 4Fukushima, however, couldn’t be further from such tropes. No comparison!

"There is no game similar to this," Marton Szabo, CTO and lead developer at Wandarin Interactive, tells us. "I could compare it to the tower defense games, but the philosophy is quite different."

4Fukushima is devoid of the complex management system that could deter newcomers, instead delivering something catered to the short bursts of gaming action the developer expects from iPhone gamers. You’re charged with protecting earth’s power plants from invading alien robots by managing the pylons that surround these generation stations.

Tapping these pylons creates lasers that form an alien-destroying wall around the perimeter, which in turn uses up the plant’s remaining power. Kepp your defenses up too long, therefore, and you’ll run out of energy, leaving yourself vulnerable to the invader onslaught.

Virgin territory – It’s this unique twist on an oversubscribed genre that Szabo strived for in the studio’s maiden project.

"It is our first baby. So, we had to learn everything from scratch," Szabo says. "I don’t mean software development but the platform, the limitations, the submission, and release process." Szabo includes "We also had to redesign the game many times because we were looking for the most perfect setting and challenge."

$0.99/£0.69/download

Scary Story Kit

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Comicorp presents a technological spin on the ancient art of scary story telling. Their purpose built app Scary Story Kit, fills a void in the niche area of traditional oral story tellers.

Scary Story Kit is a toolkit aimed at empowering the user with the necessary tools to create extraordinary storytelling sessions. With Scary Story Kit the storyteller is able to take command of both visual and audio aspects of their storytelling sessions.

Amongst other sophisticated features and tools, a reactive light which responds to sound, creates an innovative and
twist on what was is known as torchlight storytelling.
$1.99/£1.49/download

History of Rock

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"January 1950: Sam Phillips opens the Memphis Recording Service…Later renamed Sun Studios, the location is widely recognized as the birthplace of 1950s rock ‘n roll. January 2011: The new decade begins with another ‘Rock is Dead’ story."

From John Lee Hooker to Kings of Leon, the evolution of rock music has supported careers, given rise to new media, and touched the hearts of people the world over. Relive the storied lifecycle of music from the 1950s to the present with The History of Rock, a comprehensive new app for the iPad from ditter.projektagentur based on the essential music history book from Parragon.

Named iPad App of the Week by the App Store in North America, UK/Europe, and Australia, The History of Rock is a definitive guide to rock, punk, metal, and beyond, presented in a multimedia timeline format designed especially for the iPad. Special features include:

* Year-by-year highlights scroll spanning the years between 1950 and 2011
* Breakout sections on key figures and moments in rock history, from an overview of surf rock to profiles on modern artists like Blur and Radiohead
* In-app YouTube integration of essential rock videos
* Full-color pictures of rock greats from jazz favorites like Miles Davis to hip-hop’s Biggie Smalls
* "Sounds of the Decade" iTunes playlist samples and download recommendations

The release of The History of Rock follows the success of the ditter.projektagentur / Parragon collaboration The Photo Cookbook, which is an international bestseller and has been featured in several Apple commercials for the iPad. The History of Rock continues ditter.projektagentur’s success in transforming Parragon’s vibrant print book content into a beautiful multimedia app.

$5.99/£3.99/download

Greebly!

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MaCai Software, Austin-based indie game studio, is proud to announce the release of "Greebly!", its first real-time platform-puzzle game for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Greebly represents a new paradigm in real-time puzzle games. The goal is to guide a small robot to a power socket before his power runs out. Players engage with the world by actually manipulating the environment in order to guide Greebly. Platforms can be built, extended or destroyed at the touch of a finger. Different power-ups allow Greebly to climb vertical walls, parachute from great heights, or gain valuable power to extend his life.

"This game represents new ground for us," said MaCai CEO, Alan Lipton. "Greebly is not only cute and fun, but very challenging. Players will be tearing their hair out on some of the levels."

Greebly is expected to be a popular New-Year addition to MaCai’s line-up and is available on both iOS and Android operating systems. A Kindle version will be available in the near future.

$1.99/£1.49/download

AWO

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Puzzle game addicts searching for an iPad and iPhone puzzler that will take them on the adventure of a lifetime, delight them with superb graphics, and captivate them with addictive gameplay, can now find everything they want and more with Around Wonder, the new app from Inneres Auge.

Around Wonder is an iPad and iPhone puzzler where gamers travel to exotic locations around the globe – from the arid landscape of the Giza pyramids, to the unearthly aura of the Taj Mahal, to the stunning panorama of Macchu Pichhu, and many more spectacular places – and spin a magic circle to match colored jewels and artifacts. The app delivers endless hours of challenging and relaxing fun for puzzle game addicts of all ages.

Around Wonders offers three addictive game modes: Journey, Sacrifice and Zen:

* Journey takes gamers through 10 locations around the world in search of several powerful ancient artifacts. As they attempt to make as many successful matches as possible, gamers discover new pieces and power-ups that make their journey even more interesting.

* Sacrifice pits ambitious gamers against a series of tough challenges to test their matching skills and tactical thinking. The goal is to achieve the greatest number of points, and avoid completing a full circle of unmatched pieces – which instantly turns them to stone! Gamers can also access the Around Wonder Game Center and compete against friends.

* Zen is an alternative to Around Wonder’s brain-bending suite of game modes. Gamers enjoy a relaxing and enchanting experience where they can practice their puzzle skills. It’s the ideal game mode for short or long pick-up-and-play sessions.

$1.99/£1.49/download

Asteroids 2012

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For iOS gamers who want to pilot a spaceship around our Solar System and visit the planets, 3D Asteroids 2012 provides beautifully controlled free roaming 3D space flight allowing virtual ships to fly farther, fly smoother, fly faster with more bullets and missiles than ever before.

Featuring a classic asteroids storyline, "The Mayan calendar alludes to the destruction of Earth in 2012 . We are about to be bombarded with waves of Asteroids and we need everyone to help save the planet. Pick a ship and fly around our Solar System. Be the first to visit Mars", Asteroids 2012 offers classic Asteroids gameplay loved by generations of gamers whilst utilizing cutting- edge 3D graphics and solar landscapes in conjunction with accelerometer and touch screen controls offered by iOS platforms.

Feature List:
* 3 game modes: Asteroid Waves, Blast Moon Structures & Hunt for Gold Asteroid Treasure.
* 3 control methods: Accelerometer, virtual direction pad or touch screen.
* Augmented Reality Mode: blast asteroids while keeping an eye on local reality.
* Multiple ships to choose from, each with unique weaponry and thrust-braking ability.
* Real Physics Option for True 3D Space Flight and massive 3D explosions
* Win or Earn cash to buy new ships, armament and upgrades.

Plus, Asteroids 2012 provides a customizable gaming experience with 7 different language versions, left and right handed controls and customizable music modes from classical Bach or Strauss to Techno/ambient or even listen to your own music during play.

$2.99/£1.99/download

Shape-O ABC’s for iPhone

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Bellamon, a leader in developing innovative pre-school iOS apps, has launched an iPhone version of its classic preschool ABC learning app Shape-O! ABC’s for iPhone. The iPhone version compliments the company’s celebrated iPad edition, and has already earned critical acclaim from parents and teachers around the world.

Designed in consultation with a PhD-level education specialist, Shape-O! ABC’s for iPhone has been re-imagined to accommodate tiny fingers on the device’s small touch screen. It encourages learning-by-doing by integrating puzzles, shapes, words, colors and sounds into one engaging activity, so that kids learn their ABCs in an interactive, fun and effective way. Additional app features include:

* Over 100 delightful shape puzzles that makes learning fun
* Thoughtful design and a UX that focuses on kids – not adults
* 8 beautiful color palettes to capture and delight the senses
* Alphabet and spelling modes to support young learners as they grow
* Delightful and enchanting sounds from real instruments

Plus, true to the Bellamon philosophy that always puts learning ahead of commerce, Shape-O! ABC’s for iPhone is offered with no in-app advertising, no in-app purchasing, no website links on the play screens, and no stressful countdowns.

$1.99/£1.49/download

TraxItAll

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The U.S. Congress has designated January 2nd of each year as "National Motivation & Inspiration Day." As part of this year’s observance, the nationally-broadcast "Fox & Friends" morning show featured the TraxItAll iPhone app, a goal-setting tool for iOS devices. During the segment, Kevin L. McCrudden, founder of National Motivation & Inspiration Day, stated that TraxItAll "will help you actually establish your resolutions and your goals, and then be able to successfully follow them."

According to McCrudden, studies show that of all the people who set goals at the beginning of January, 85% will abandon their goals by the end of the month. To remedy this problem and help people become effective in their goal setting, Mr. McCrudden presented the need to establish what are referred to as "S.M.A.R.T." goals. That is, the goals we set need to be:

1. Specific
2. Measurable
3. Attainable
4. Realistic
5. Timely

TraxItAll is an ideal app for helping people to set "S.M.A.R.T." goals, which is why it was selected by Mr. McCrudden to be featured on National Motivation & Inspiration Day. During his appearance on Fox & Friends, Mr. McCrudden stated that TraxItAll "will help you actually establish your resolutions and your goals, and then be able to successfully follow them every single day, every single month. And at the end of the month it will give you a resolution…You were 80%, 90%, 10% [of your goal], so you really can see how well you’re doing and then can adjust as you go through the year." He went on to state that "For personal success it’s a great application you can use to help you to be successful with your goals."

According to David Canfield, president of TraxItAll Software, "We’re very pleased and honored to be selected as a featured product for National Motivation & Inspiration Day, and feel it’s a great opportunity for us."

"TraxItAll is specifically designed to give people a way to track, and set goals for, anything that matters to them day-by-day, so it’s a great tool for helping people with their New Year’s resolutions. We consider it a ‘personal accountability tool,’ and a very important part of any goal setting is to be accountable to yourself for what you said you were going to do."

$1.99/£1.49/download

BlackTower3 Destroy

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BuBuCompany today is pleased to introduce BlackTower3 Destroy free for iOS, the newest in their series of highly stylized games featuring all black and white graphics, with the exception of the mystical jewels. Players must kill animated, cartoon monsters behind moving and stationary barriers. The player fires an Amethyst, Emerald, or Ruby, each of which ricochet off seven surfaces before dropping to the ground. With 100 stages and ingenious puzzles, detailed motion trails of gemstones create hypnotic patterns against the black and white graphics. The physics engine, graphics engine, and sound effects are perfectly tuned to provide an always-exciting gaming experience.

There are more than ten different, small, animated monsters in the game who shuffle their feet and look around trying to avoid being noticed. They are hiding, alone or in groups, from the player who is a simple stick figure in the lower left of the screen. Played in portrait orientation, the monsters take shelter on a never-repeating assortment of bizarre structures, on a gameboard filled with obstacles and barriers that make for some very complex ricochets. Depending upon the composition of the item, it will emit a particular sound when hit by one or more gemstones bouncing off surfaces at various speeds. The object of the game is to clear the board of all the monsters, earning one, two, or three stars depending upon the number of gems required. When all the monsters are gone, the player moves to the next stage.

Besides the web of angles in each puzzle, each gemstone has a special capability, and players can select the gem they want to fire (only the launch angle, not velocity, can be controlled with a touch gesture) from those available at that stage. Pinkish violet Amethysts behave normally, bouncing predictably off objects with the angles equal before and after collision. The deep green Emerald also behaves normally, until the player taps the screen while it is moving and it splits into two Amethysts, capable of twice the destruction. The blood red Ruby is similar, but explodes, rather than splits, when the screen is touched.

Free/download

Life Inventory

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Independent developer James Hollender has updated his Life Inventory apps to ver. 2.0. Using an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, users can learn more about themselves than they ever thought possible, and only at a small fraction the cost of a single office visit to a therapist. Life Inventory is the new name for the Step 4 Moral Inventory apps. Originally designed for 12-steppers it was discovered the inventory would also be of benefit to anyone, which is why the name change.

Note: The terms "Life Inventory" and "Moral Inventory" are interchangeable.

Life Inventories Can Help Anyone:
Although originally designed for persons participating in 12-Step programs, it has since been discovered a Moral Inventory can help anyone analyze their life to learn more about themselves than ever imagined possible … and at only a small fraction the cost of a single visit to a therapist. Examine your reactions to:

* People
* Institutions and Organizations
* Principles, Ideals and Beliefs
* Sources of Anxiety and Excitement
* Fears
* Sex Relations

Create your own personal Life Inventory using an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. "Life Inventory iPad" is for the iPad, and "Life Inventory" is for the iPhone or iPod touch.

Background:
The Life Inventory apps were created because of the complexity and length of time needed to complete a proper Moral Inventory. When persons working their way through a 12-step program start creating their own moral inventory and discover that some ways of doing a Moral Inventory might require a thousand spreadsheets, the task seems daunting and many never get around to finishing it, thus depriving themselves of the rewards a completed Moral Inventory can provide. This app is an attempt at finding a way to make the task less time consuming, while at the same time helping the user create a valuable asset in their recovery process.

Storage of the Life Inventory data is done using an underlying database which can be backed up and restored as necessary.

$9.99/£6.99/download

Hungry Yogi

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Kaenaa Corp is pleased to announce the release of its game "Hungry Yogi" for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch through iTunes for iOS versions 3.1 or later. Yogi wants to reach Nirvana but can’t since he is always hungry. Help Yogi complete his journey by fulfilling his materialistic desires for food and wealth so that he can finally meditate in peace and reach Nirvana.

Hungry Yogi is a simple, kid friendly game with a fantastic journey. It is a physics based game with obstacles like fire, whirlwinds, and snakes that a player needs to navigate to get to the target fruit. The challenge increases as Yogi evolves throughout the game, getting chubbier and happier as he gets closer to achieving Nirvana. When stuck, a one-time in-app purchase of Bhogi can be used unlimited times to enlighten the path to the target.

Hungry Yogi currently has two themes, Himalayas and Jungle, with more to come. Each theme is uniquely designed with stunning graphics and art work. Players also have the option to dress their Yogi in different costumes.

$0.99/£0.69/download

Pet It Out HD

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Candango Games, a burgeoning mobile game development studio, has today announced the release of Pet It Out HD for the iPad/iPad 2. This exciting new game has players guide a wild pack of animals from an intergalactic alien zoo back home through one hundred and fifty uniquely themed, cleverly designed platforming levels! Pet it Out HD features an advanced physics engine that allows players to accurately test their platforming skills on gravity bending alien realms, and offers them the ability to utilize different animals to overcome the many diverse obstacles that stand in between them and Earth.

The story behind the game goes something like this: After being captured and sent to an intergalactic zoo, a group of animals must find their way back to a portal that will send them back home. What follows is a a platforming odyssey past 150 stages of varying difficulties, as players guide them back to good old Earth. Pet it Out features intuitive yet refreshingly different gameplay, giving players control over seven unique animals – each of whom has different strengths and abilities – to find their way. Players are given control over the animal thats perfectly suited for the game’s many environments, playing as a money through jungle levels, a small fish through ocean-set stages, and more!

Pet it Out is a fully featured mobile platforming experience. The game is vibrantly rendered in a two dimensional style with added 3D details, and includes an engaging original soundtrack. If players would rather listen to their own tunes while playing they can to so too. Since the game gets more challenging as player progress, its only fair that they can control their many animals with the maximum amount of accuracy and responsiveness, something that Pet it Out HD’s powerful physics engine allows for, even when playing through gravity defying alien worlds.

$1.99/£1.49/download

Kids Switcheroo

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Independent developer Raleigh Green today is pleased to announce Kids Switcheroo 1.1 for iOS, an update to his game for kids ages 2-6, where they get to switch n’ match different vehicles and scenes. Featuring separate animated layers for the foreground, background and sky, kids can create hundreds of combinations by adding a moving vehicle from the app’s collection of 20 different cars and trucks. The detailed, side-scrolling graphics create a realistic sense of movement as objects in the foreground pass more quickly than those in the background. Each vehicle tap starts a new, randomly selected horn sound and there are 12 car radio stations containing original music in a variety of styles to listen to while driving. Without the pressure of scoring, time limits, power-ups or other competitive restrictions, kids can use their imaginations to navigate vehicles through a variety of neighborhoods and terrain.

Side-scrollers are long-time favorites of gamers for the uncanny sense of realistic movement they create. With the vehicle placed at the bottom center of the screen, the rotating tires and passing background produces a very convincing illusion of depth and movement. With Kids Switcheroo kids get to enjoy all the color, detail, sound, and motion without worrying about winning or losing. This app offers a wonderful world of its own where kids not only choose their car or truck, but they also control the animated foreground, background and sky.

Kids Switcheroo features a collection of 20 different vehicles, including a race car, monster truck, limousine, family sedan and flying saucer to name a few. Kids can swipe the current vehicle off-screen left or right to bring up the next vehicle. To change scenes they can swipe the middle of the screen or tap on convenient side arrows. There are 9 different foregrounds including a tropical beach, a jungle path and a city street, with 9 matching backgrounds and a choice of 11 skyscapes. What is it like to drive a banana-car through a suburban neighborhood with pyramids in the background and a rainbow above? Or how about a rocket car driving along a jungle path with skyscrapers in the background and the rings of Jupiter in the night sky? Kids have complete freedom to experiment and drive their vehicles through landscape combinations that spark the imagination and foster creative thinking in a world of fun and play.

$0.99/£0.69/download

intelli-Diet

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Barracuda Partners today announced that version 2.0 of intelli-Diet, is now available exclusively for the iPhone. intelli-Diet helps you lose weight by taking the foods you have and creating a well-balanced diet of whole, natural foods. It’s like a Dietitian in your pocket!

intelli-Diet makes weight loss easy by providing a new diet plan each day, based on foods you have available. No more counting calories or logging foods – it thinks, you eat. intelli-Diet customizes your diet based on your gender, weight, activity level, and more. The app offers an integrated shopping list that tells you precisely the foods you need to buy. Other enhanced features include meal reminders, water trackers, and color customization.

"We are excited to announce enhancements to version 2.0 of intelli-Diet that make the app the best-in-class meal planner and weight loss app for the iPhone. intelli-Diet has helped over 10,000 people with their weight loss goals," said Brian Atz, CEO at Barracuda Partners.

$3.99/£2.99/download

MEJJI

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MEJJI, invented by Segun O. Adu, became popular on the London tubes in 2011 and has featured in the magazine, London Puzzle Companion, distributed by the London Evening Standard (the most circulated evening paper in the UK). It is a coffee-time, as well as travel-time game to help pass the time when needed and with four different levels and game styles there is a game to fit every free-time.

MEJJI was the first logic puzzle to come in a picture frame. As with some of his art work, the inventor felt that for the puzzle to be truly ready, it needed frames around it. Aesthetics played a very important role in the creation of the puzzle, with the provision of different game styles and setups. Segun, a solution architect for Enterprise Resource Planning Systems, famously mentioned in his book, MEJJI, that – ‘the process of creating the puzzle was in itself like solving a puzzle – "The puzzle of creating the puzzle".’

The typical MEJJI puzzle is an 8×8 grid. However, there are 6×6 and 10×10 grid sizes to appeal to different solvers. MEJJI was originally made available in paper format and pdf downloads were provided on the website for printing. Later, a Flash app was developed to allow users to try it online. The arrival of the iPhone version is a great moment for us at Virtuoso Works, as we finally can get the world to experience on mobile devices, what we believe is one of the most important logic puzzles of the moment.

$0.99/£0.69/download

Iconcal

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GoodWicket L.L.C. announced today it has released a significant and exciting update to its innovative icon-based iOS calendar app, IconCal. IconCal is an innovative icon based calendar that makes organizing and scheduling easy and fun. With simple drag-and-drop functionality, events and appointments are quickly and easily scheduled with the flick of a finger. And with its simple and intuitive interface, viewing a month’s schedule can be done with a single glance. There has never been an easier way to organize.

Simply drag an appropriate icon from the icon library to the calendar to represent an event. It’s as easy as that. Can’t find the icon you’re looking for? With IconCal’s custom icon creation tool, one can produce their own icons using their device’s camera or by choosing from images already on their device. Even images captured from the web can become their personal icons. Literally any image can become an icon. If an icon is not enough to fully represent an event, IconCal also has a very easy to use "text and time" entry feature for further clarity. Experience how easy and convenient calendar organizing can be with IconCal.

Highlighted features:
* Beta Google Calendar Sync
* Hundreds of available icons in a variety of categories and themes, including Emoji
* "Create-your-own-icons" functionality. Take a picture with your device’s camera or choose from your image library, then zoom and crop
* Familiar and powerful event creation. Repeating events, tie icons to specific events, alerts, sort by time or creation, and more
* Quick, at-a-glance month view that beautifully displays easy-to-recognize icons throughout the whole month
* Easy and intuitive drag-and-drop functionality. Simply drag an icon from the Icon Tray onto any day
* Icon library. Use the "Icon Toolbox" to quickly sort through the icon library and choose any favorite or most used icons
* Ten different colorized themes that personalize the look of the month view
* Tutorial/Help function. To bring up in-app help and tips, simply shake the device to display tutorials on how to use the current screen

$4.99/£2.99/download

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