Labyrinth 2: Labyrinth games are the first titles any tilt-enabled gaming device gets. The earliest jailbreak games were little put-the-ball-in-the-hole gimmicks, and looking back even further, when the first accelerometer-enhanced Gameboy title shipped back in 2001, it was basically a big Kirby labyrinth game. That said, this dead-simple gameplay metaphor is really addictive, and Labyrinth 2, with unecessarily great graphics, dozens of creative little twists on the core concept, and effectively infinite gameplay time, is well worth the five dollars for anyone who's ever enjoyed an iPhone marble game.
AT&T's Mark the Spot: Ho ho:
In NY, AT&T's "Mark the Spot" iPhone app is going to run constantly. It lets you pinpoint precisely where AT&T's network sucked, and how-dropped call, bad data, crappy voice-and send it to them. Prepare for a tsunami.
The jokes are too easy, but the intent is noble. Users: Report your pain. AT&T: Please, follow through. Thanks!
Scene It? : If you think you're fluent in movie trivia (and who doesn't?) then Scene It, from the people who make those trivia DVDs for people who are a little too cool to play charades with their coupley friends but not cool enough to actually go out, is a fairly faithful iPhone translation of their popular trivia games. It's a lot more fun in the multiplayer modes, for sure. A dollar.
Dragon's Lair: Dragon's Lair, animated by ex-Disney talent and costing more than pretty much any other game up to that point, was the arcade game of 1983. And now, in 2009, it's (one of) the iPhone app(s) of the week, on a blog called Gizmodo! How far it's come, this game.
You can play either the Arcade or LaserDisc version of the original, but neither feels too much like a port: the graphics are significantly smoother than you remember, and the controls don't feel too unnatural. If you loved the original, this is a no-brainer. If you've never heard of it, well.
Note: Some people are reporting a bug whereby push notifications can screw up your game progress. It doesn't sound like a dealbreaker, but hey, it feels like the kind of thing you should know before you spend $5 on this thing,
Gorilla Cam: A shot timer, time lapse, rapid-shot mode and a bubble level: these are the things that you'd normally find in a paid camera app, but that you'll find for free in GorillaCam, presumably because it's good advertising for the company's flexible tripods.
Driver: I don't care to tell you guys how many hours I wasted drifting around San Francisco in Driver for the PSX. And I don't care to tell you how many hours I plan to waste on the iPhone version, which manages to replicate the gameplay experience almost perfectly, and looks much, much better than the old version. On top of the impressive production, this game is unusually huge for an iPhone title: it's about a half a gigabyte, and as deep and rich as the original, in terms of gameplay possibilities. Sixbux.
IMDb: Long overdue, this one:
Site-specific browser apps are prone to shittiness, because at heart, they're really just websites. The key is to offer something more, or, if you're offering more or less the same thing you get on the regular website, to present it in a markedly better way. This app take the latter approach. You're not going to find any information in the IMDB app that isn't available on the full IMDB website-that would be kind of odd-but you will find a neatly-designed, easily navigable reference for just about every film or show, ever, as well as local showtimes, trailers, and TV listings.
It's just about everything you could ask for in an IMDB app, except that it doesn't support accounts, which means that regular users can't rate or review movies, and that Pro users (I assume) can't access all those agents' phone numbers, that raw box office data, those movie stars' secret Twitter handles or whatever else they're shelling out for.
Alas, she is excused of this grave offense, for she is free.
Dimension Invader: It's not that gameplay is particularly smooth or engaging in this app, it's that the concept is so alluring. Augmented reality games have so far been FPS-style huds, and fairly boring. Dimension Invader gives you actual enemies to fight—the blobby spaceships come at you from all directions, overlaid on your camera, and you've got to shoot them down. Simple! And kind of glitchy. But also a harbinger of some pretty cool things to come, hopefully. A dollar.
Dragon Dictation: A free dictation app that'll convert just about anything you say into text, and send it to a wide variety of application on your phone, including your email and texting clients. It helps that it's based on what is probably the most competent speech recognition engine on the market.. Oh—and that it's totally free, for now.
Note: By default, this app uploads some of your contact info to its makers' servers. As far as I can tell it's just the contact's names, so that they can be processed and filed away for recognition later.
Kayak: A reliable travel planning site converted handily into an app, Kayak deserves a place in the lineup of apps you check before you commit to a given flight or hotel deal. It's free, and a hell of a lot easier than wrestling with airlines' mobile sites, which are uniformly less than awesome.
Grocery iQ 2.0: This already fantastic shopping list application just got a whole lot better: now when you run out of something, you can simply scan its barcode and it'll be added to your list(s). Beautiful, and much more feature-rich than you'd expect such a specific app to be. A dollar.
Today, they've done something savvy, if not brilliant (because why the hell wasn't it like this before?): They're offering a US-only version that doesn't include map data for the rest of North America, priced at half of what the last version cost. Considering that most Americans who buy it will never use it to navigate beyond US borders, this is suddenly a steal. $50.