This week was packed with iPad releases, but the iPhone side of the store still has tons of stuff to offer! This week's Friday Five comes with the usual variety of five interesting new releases. It's a good thing that Apple announced folders along with iPhone OS 4.0 yesterday...at the rate of awesome new apps, I know that I at least will be exceeding the current limit.
With Apple's announcement of an upcoming "Game Center" (aka, Xbox Live for the iPhone), it's clear that they're focused on the iPhone as a gaming device. But while we've got plenty of shooters, physics puzzles, racing games, and so on, there's one genre that has yet to take off...massively multiplayer online games. Pocket Legends aims to change that with a game that could almost be dubbed "World of Warcraft for the iPhone." Sporting dungeon crawls, oodles of enemies and loot, character customization, strategic skills, and three classes, Pocket Legends has all the trappings of a typical MMORPG. If you're into MMO's at all, download it. You've got nothing to lose, after all—this one is free!
Sketch Nation Shooter
Doodle games are all the rage thanks to Doodle Jump, but Sketch Nation Shooter takes it a step further by allowing you to use your own doodles! At its most basic level, this is a simple shooter. But what makes it great is that you can create your own levels, using either artwork from the game's library or your own photos. You can then upload your own levels and download tons more that other users have created. You'll need a Facebook account, but that seems like a small price to pay for a potential treasure trove of extra levels.
Orion Racer is a futuristic 3D racing game featuring hyper-paced action on 10 unique tracks in outer space. We've seen racing games before, but, hey, who doesn't like outer space? Orion's tracks come packed with loops, powerslides, and high speeds, and you can race in four different modes and with four different "futuristic" vehicles. One of those four game modes is actually a 2-Player option, allowing you to race a friend. And isn't competition what games are for?
Sonic Wire Sculptor
In an inventive twist, the Sonic Wire Sculptor turns your 3D drawing into sound. As you draw in the 3D space, the app transforms your lines into musical notes. The result encourages experimentation and, when handled correctly, can produce some truly cool stuff. Focus on the music or the visual art; either way, you'll end up with something unique. Oh, and don't worry about being the next Mozart or Picasso. The interface is simple, and "creativity" is easy to come by. Think of it like an audiovisual sandbox.
Getting tired of Doodle Jump? ABOVE is another climbing game, but with vastly different graphics and a completely different theme. A bunch of mysterious platforms have appeared, and it's your duty to explore as high as possible without falling. The graphics are bright and gorgeous, and the game comes packed with achievements. It's simple, sure, but ABOVE looks airy and fun. The iPhone is the platform where games must be both hardcore (aka crazily addictive) and casual (in this case, easy to learn). ABOVE is certainly hoping to nail that sweet spot.