We have a review of Rovio’s highly addictive dollar app here http://www.carolinalifestyles.com/?p=3195
Like many, I’m one of those who looks for apps that provide a stress outlet. Pocket God, the wickedly sadistic app from Bolt Creative, provides more than enough of an outlet to set your inner tormentor free.
Choosing between four island locales and one underwater area, you can drop up to six pygmies on screen at the same time. These little guys have their own characteristics. One might let his hair down over his eyes, then roll it up with a bone. One will let his grass skirt drop, and, in a fit of embarrassment, smile, giggle, then raise it back up to his waist. Numerous occasions I’ve spotted (and heard) one passing gas, generally while standing in front of another. One seems to be designated the fisher, and will tend to catch fish for everyone but himself. Essentially they lead their own happy, quiet, peaceful existences. Such is life for these adorable island pygmies.
Until you come in. You’re their god. And the god you’re to be is not a peaceful one, either.
You’re goal is to create as much chaos for the pygmies as humanely possible. A shake of the screen will create an earthquake, a tip of the screen in either direction will result in sliding the pygmies off the island. A touch of the screen and you’ll be able to pick up a pygmie, twirl him around endlessly, and drop him back on the island. A flick up on the screen will send one sailing into the water. A touch and flick down will dunk them. Some of what you can do will depend heavily on which area you’re in. You can flick one into a volcano. Flick three and you’ll set it off, spraying lava balls onto the remaining pygmies, which sends them diving into the ocean, ultimately to their deaths. If you’re in the graveyard setting, you can stick a pygmie on a web and send a spider to spin a web around it. If you bury a pygmie alive, it’ll return from the grave to feast on the brains of the remaining pygmies (yeah, it’s as cool as it sounds). I’ve been able to possess a pygmie with the ghost of a dead one, have it’s head turn 360 a la Linda Blair, and spit up pea soup. The most cruel deaths at your fingertips seem to be underwater. Placing chum in the hands of a pygmie in order to lure a shark isn’t the nicest thing one can do, but it’s a lot of fun to watch. Every island has at least one huge idiosyncrasy that sets it apart from the other islands.
Each island also has certain aspects where you can keep score. For instance, on the tropical island you’ll be table to take a coconut, drop it on a pygmie’s head, and the game will keep tabs on how many times it’s bounced off of one or more heads. It will remember how many pygmies you’ve simultaneously speared underwater. If you’re dangling a pygmie over a shark, it will keep track of how many snaps the shark has taken before you’ve either dropped it back on the island, or allowed the little guy to become shark food. If you’ve set a dinosaur or ice monster free, you can toss spears to the pygmies in order to fend the beasts off. There’s more depth to this app than initially meets the eye.
The free updates to Pocket God come often, each a substantial upgrade to an already addictive app. With more islands and torture devices coming, this is one app that, for the demented and twisted, will never get old.
This week’s installment has more to do with apps designed to be perfect time wasters. Got time to kill waiting for a flight, your date, or just waiting to start your work day? Some of the apps below will be perfect for a few minutes; some will make you wonder where all of your time went.
Meteors: This is a brilliant little app, designed to match various elements against other elements. The purpose is to watch how each element might react against the other. Want to see how lava might react against ice? A laser beam against iron? Sand against water, with a dash of C4, a fuse and gunpowder? Maybe throw some rubber into the mix. This app gives you the ability to change the individual thickness of each element, causing a different reaction. Additionally, a tilt of the iPhone or iTouch will cause whatever moving elements you’ve laid out to shift, further changing the reaction. You can place all of your items and elements and set everything in motion, or place everything on the fly with the brush of your finger. There’s no goal or endgame–unless you strategically place a drain where it can suck in every moving element.
Flashback by Newsweek: If you ever wondered what was in the news, or in pop culture, the week you were born? Newsweek has compiled as many of its covers as possible, always updated to its most recent and backtracking to its earliest, February 17, 1933. You can peruse their covers randomly, or via decades. You’re allowed to scroll through the decades as a whole, or by clicking each individual one. Once you spot a cover you’re given the ability to enlarge it and save it as a favorite. This app is a fantastic time capsule, one part pop culture and one part history lesson. The cover when I was born? That issue came out one day earlier, with Uncle Sam on the cover and a tagline, “Vietnamization: Will Nixon’s Plan Work?”
Google Earth: If you’re familiar with the computer version, that’s essentially what’s here, not unexpectedly in a stripped down version. The functionality is essentially the same. You can type in a place or an address and watch google fly over to that location. You can zoom in for a closer look by touching two fingers to the screen and splitting them apart, or continuous tapping. You can move the image to travel yourself with brushes of your fingertips. Like the computer version you’re given the option to click on the smaller pins for restaurant reviews, phone numbers, etc. The app itself is fairly quick, taking me from Concord Mills Mall in Concord, North Carolina to higher resolution images of the Pyramids in Giza, Egypt in fifteen seconds. The only con is that, sometimes, the app will find itself stuck and not be able to get back to a location it previously found. Like so much having to do with a computer, a simple reboot of the app tends to take care of that problem.
Stanza: One of the best book apps available, Stanza gives you access to an incredible library of books. Some of the books you’ll have to pay for, but if you’re like me, you’ll go right to the array of freebies. From public domain books to classics to science fiction Harlequins to books that have been turned into movies (even RSS feeds are included), this app allows you very easy access to choose your book, download it, and save onto your iPhone or iTouch. The books themselves are very easy to read, and you’re given the option to bookmark your spot. It’s next to impossible to think that a reader couldn’t find something of interest with this app.
Meritum Paint: I’ve probably spent only a few minutes each time I’ve brought this app up. I can also tell you that I’ve brought this app up a lot. Meritum Paint is a fancy alternative to the doodle apps that are available. What sets this app apart is that nothing is in one color, nor a straight line. The end result of whatever you do will look like a deliberate mix of fancy dashes and swirls. While you are held at the mercy of the app as to what color you want, you can manipulate the type of swirls a bit. Two finger taps clears the screen, a good shake saves your work of art. Ultimately, the app is designed to make someone look as though they’ve created a masterpiece, even though it took no more than a few swipes of a finger. If only someone would come up with a Bob Ross app that would allow you to tap out a landscape with a happy little tree . . . that would be really cool.
For as much information that can be gleaned from numerous iPhone/iPod touch apps, there’s a ton that provide a great laugh. Some get stale fairly quickly, while a few never seem to get old. Fire up your smartphones: this week’s recommendations will concentrate on the more humorous side of the apps that can be downloaded from iTunes.
Diamond Dave: This might be the ultimate in the nonsensical soundboard, twenty four audio clips taken directly from Van Halen’s “Running with the Devil.” What doesn’t seem funny on the surface is hilarious once you start this app. There is no instrumentation here, just David Lee Roth’s horrific vocals isolated from the rest of the song. The sound bytes range from two seconds to ten, containing numerous loud variations of “oooh’s,”aaahhyeah’s,” “whoo’s,” as well as a few words from several opening lines (that last one always gets me). It’s extremely responsive, so a well timed “yeah” is easy to unleash. It’s the perfect app for any quiet room.
F*rtin’ Furious: One of the numerous flatulent apps available on iTunes, this is another one perfect for a quiet room or crowded elevator. What you have is a thirteen key keyboard, however you won’t hear any piano or organ sounds emanating. It’s a juvenile little app, but that never stopped me from giving it a whirl. A few 0f the lower keys will generate the same noise every time, a few others seem to carry a couple of different sounds. It’s not a pleasant sounding app, but it sure is funny.
iCanHasLOL: O, HAI, fanz of teh kitteh! Who doesn’t love a great LOLcat? One of the funniest comedic phenomenons to hit the web hits your iPhone and iPod touch with the iCanHasLOL app. Two sites in one, this app contains various pictures from both I Can Has Cheeseburger and I Has A Hotdog (yes, intentionally misspelled captions are included). The app seems to be updated fairly often with new lolcat pictures, although the updates appear to be random. The ability to save a lolcat or hotdog picture to your favorites, share pictures, as well as access the actual site, is all here. For a lolcat fan like myself, it doesn’t get better than that!
Demotivational Pics: I’m not sure when those big, motivational pictures came into vogue, but the web based, anti-inspirations known as Demotivators seemed to tell a greater, if not funnier, truth. You won’t find a cat clinging to a tree with the phrase, “Hang in there” with this app. This is a much snarkier collection of shots, with those words of inspiration intended to bring you right back down to earth. It’s the stuff you’re thinking, that you wish you could say, but you’re forced to keep it to yourself. Or at least until you’re alone with a friend. Demotivational Pics is divided into “Recent,” Popular,” and “Random.” The actual phrase isn’t revealed until you tap the picture, giving you those few seconds to wonder how the shot is going to be butchered. If you like the lolcats, add this freebie to your iPhone or iPod.
Daily Fail: If lolcats are cute and demotivational pictures are George Carlin-esque observations, FAIL shots allow us to laugh at someone else’s expense, or at least showcasing someone’s absent mindedness. This app is a sampling of the seemingly thousands of FAIL pictures online, the shots of someone or something gone wrong and the word “FAIL” someone in the picture. There’s nothing fancy beyond being able to save a favorite FAIL shot. The interface is a little quirky but the pictures load fairly quick. Comments are listed below but there’s no way for you to leave one without visiting the site. Those are nitpicks as it’s still worth the free download. If you’re looking for a quick laugh, you won’t go wrong with this app.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of the thousands who received an iPhone or iPod touch for Christmas. Or maybe you’re one of those still on the fence, wondering what the fuss over the wave of smart phones, apps, and other goodies you can download from iTunes is all about. Hopefully, we’ll be able to steer you in the right direction with this, the first in a series of columns giving you the best and most interesting apps available for download.
Acrobots: “Bizarre” is the best way to describe this app. It plays like a ballet in outerspace, starting off with five three limbed balls whose first instinct is to press against a wall, kick off from a wall, or reach for each other. Eventually, the acrobots settle, some on the floor of your screen, others balanced on top of other acrobots or leaning against a wall. A shake of the device or a flick of your finger will sent them soaring, looking to find that balance again. Along with adding or subtracting acrobots, you can change the gravity setting for a floatier experience, change the sticky level to allow them to maintain a firmer or weaker grip, change the size or the speed they travel in. There’s no score or goal to achieve. It’s one of the more hypnotic, mesmerizing apps available.
Wordorama: Better than any of the hangman apps, Wordorama is one of the more addictive apps. Seven letters take up the bottom of your screen. The idea is to reach the next level by forming as many words as possible, using the letters given, within a set time limit. Put together a set amount of words and you’re on to the next level. You have a limited amount of lifelines, giving you hints as to some of the words you’ll need to uncover. If there’s a downside, aside from the repetitive piano soundtrack that can be turned off, it’s that some of the words used are wildly hard, at times relying on the player to have some knowledge of old English (or at least find themselves lucky enough to hit the correct letter combination). Download this and watch time fly past you.
Where: The ultimate area information app, Where is your guide to the essentials of your location. Using the gps, Where will update you on everything going on. Where doesn’t miss a trick, giving you everything current. Gas price information, local weather, updated traffic alerts, local events, the location of the nearest Starbucks, local news, movies, you name it. The layout and interface are very simple with Where doing the leg work for you. Whether you’re planning your evening or a week in advance, or even new to an area and looking to see what’s going on, Where becomes one of the essential iPhone or iPod Touch apps.
Smash 2012: This app is the equivalent of watching an army of ants build a molehill and then crushing it with your foot. It’s playing god with the meek and helpless–in this case a group of worker stick figures constucting a city and town. The vector graphics used are simple, the effect, sadistic, as it becomes your job to rain meteors at will onto their buildings. Small and fast, monstrous and slow, watch those little stick figures run screaming from impending doom at your fingertip. Watch them rebuild their fair stick city, only to have you destroy it again. There’s no high score kept, only the satisfaction of causing the chaos and destruction of stick figures, names and faces left to your own imagination.
CBS Radio: Looking for an out of state news radio station to keep up with a specific breaking event? Miss the sports talk or rock station from your old home town? So long as it’s CBS owned, it’s here. Broken down into cities from east coast to west, as well as numerous genres (news/talk,sports, decades, styles, etc.), the CBS Radio app provides clear audio streams to some of your favorite radio stations. If you have last.fm, AOL Radio and Y! Music, they’re both incorporated here, saving you app and memory space. This is one of the few radio apps you’ll ever need.