It's hard to stand out in an extremely crowded field of guide apps, but the Maxim City Guide app does a fine job, mostly by providing an incredibly robust search engine.
If you live in the city you're using this app in, chances are you know a ton of spots already, but if you have a hankering to find a rooftop bar, or need to find a romantic restaurant, cheap, Maxim City Guide shines.
The search feature here gives you seven different modifiers: City, Category, Neighborhood, Type, Price, Vibe and Feature. You could conceivably end up searching for a bar in the Lake View neighborhood of Chicago with a beer garden, average-price drinks, with plenty of locals, but still good for groups. Now that's a serious search.
A free app doesn't need a lot to make it download-worthy, and Maxim City Guide's search certainly fits the bill there. But there are also a few other features that might pique users' interests. A Featured Listings page showcases places that have the Maxim seal of approval, while the Nearby button will let you know what pops up on the app that's just down the block. Be warned: Nearby isn't very useful unless you're already in a big city.
Now, say you've found a bar that looks interesting, but you don't want to go there tonight. Maxim City Search's bookmark feature makes for a handy way to save locations for later use. It's a shame you can't email the location to yourself or friends, but at least you can save it on your own iPhone.
There are many apps that do essentially what the Maxim City Guide does. That said, this lifestyle app is no slouch. It has a clean, easy-to-understand interface and a few great features that certainly make it worth a free download.