Apps For The Weekend

Posted by Chris Hall on July 31st, 2009

Being a Phoenician, I realize that when the weather gets over 105 the brain starts to shut down. I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure what's going on is a common case of your brain either melting out of your ears, or baking inside your skull. Usually this heat is reserved only for the brave souls in the deserts of Arizona, but recently it was brought to my attention that Seattle hit the mind melting mark... and some of their houses have no AC!!!

The only thing that prevents "brain melt", and this is proven, is to check out new iPhone apps. Here's a few that I've been messing with this week that are sure to keep the grey matter in your head.

Local Eats
I love Yelp and Urban Spoon, but my palette has become a bit too complex for random food... I need to eat the best of the best! Fortunately for me, I found Local Eats, an app that only tells me where the good places are. The interface is pretty simple, only showing you the Top 100 restaurants in your area and the best food in your immediate area.

Now this next feature won't help most of you, but the lucky citizens of New York recently got an extra special feature. This press report says it all.

Available for the iPhone 3G, the new iPhone 3GS and BlackBerry Storm, users simply pull up the mobile offers on LocalEats -- which range from a percentage off the final bill to free dessert or hors d'oeuvres with purchase -- and present them to their waiters before ordering. Café des Artistes, for example, is offering 10% off the final bill. Many of New York's finest restaurants and foodie favorites have signed on, including The Four Seasons, Daniel, Babbo, Rosa Mexicano and dozens of others across the culinary landscape. A full list of restaurants is available here.

I can't wait until these coupons reach my city... I need some discounts! Local Eats is currently the #1 paid dining app and the #2 paid travel app in the app store. I really can't recommend it enough.

Space Invaders - Infinity Gene

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My favorite game this week (besides Baseball Sluggers... I'm still hooked) has been the new Space Invaders game from Taito (check out Ritchie's review here). It's really hard to pin down why it's so amazing, but I'll give it a shot.

Imagine playing Space Invaders, but give yourself total freedom of movement and a variety of bizarre weapons and power-ups. Then put the game world inside of System Shock 2 and let you completely control what you want to listen to in the game. The game is eerie yet accessible, familiar yet insane, and sure to provide you with one of the best experiences that you will find on your iDevice. I definitely haven't beaten the whole game yet, but I'm slowly pounding through it with some syrupy Houston rap in the background. I tried Tom Waits for a while thinking that "Clap Hands" would work well, but after a while I just wanted to put the game down and sing in my best raspy Tom Waits voice. Not a good plan.