It’s all free for a limited time on today’s Download Discounts. Up front we have a couple of free casual games -- time-bending platformer Shadow Runner, in which you have to be careful where you step because your past can crowd up your future, and Drag Tag Smash, a brick-breaking game that adds a little Space Invaders to the mix. When you’re done playing, quickly text your friends to do something in real life with iMsg, then go back to your free games while you wait for them.
Shadow Runner (iPhone, iPad) Free (was $1.99)
You’re your own worst enemy in Shadow Runner. Moving in any direction in this 2D side-scrolling platforming game closes the door you entered each level through and slowly opens the door you need to use to exit the level. If you stop, time stops -- but if you move, you’ll soon be followed by dark shadows of yourself who follow your movements through the level exactly. If you touch them, you die, but if you stop moving, you can never exit the level.
Shadow Runner includes 36 different platforming levels in which you’ll have to jump, run and climb walls to make it to the exit door, but only escaping after you’ve done enough. You’ll need to think both about where you’re going and where you’ve been, and how best to stay out of your own way, if you’re to survive.
Drag Tag Smash (iPhone, iPad) Free (was $0.99)
Take your standard brick-breaking game and add intense combos and a heavy techno beat to come up with Drag Tag Smash. The premise of the game is simple: Fight off Space Invader-like alien hordes by bouncing a sphere at them from your launcher. As the sphere bounces off enemies, you “tag” them, and every so often an explosive wave takes down the aliens.
The more aliens you tag before an explosion, the bigger your combo -- and your score -- becomes. But you’ll have to also drag back and forth to avoid enemy fire with your launcher, because too much damage means game over. Drag Tag Smash comes with OpenFeint connectivity, giving you access to achievements to earn and leaderboards with which to track your progress.
iMsg (iPhone, iPad) Free (was $1.99)
A big custom keyboard, filled with quick phrases, is what sets iMsg apart from other SMS apps. Rather than have individual letters, you customize the buttons (or use their presets) to instantly type out whole phrases or sentences you use frequently. Once you have the message you want, it’s just a matter of sending it on with iMsg and you’re done -- no typing, quick and easy.
But iMsg isn’t just a big confusing set of saved phrases. You can integrate your saved keys with a regular keyboard, allowing you to type out whole messages by using saved phrases and then filling in the blanks between them. The app also lets you save the numbers of your three most contacted people, reducing the time to send a text by even more by eliminating the need to interact with your contacts list.