New iPhone apps worth downloading: Yelp update, Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere's Ride, Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3

by Phil Hornshaw

Today’s leading new app is a big update to Yelp that lets you delve even deeper into restaurants and other establishments before you check them out in person. Up next, we have Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride, an interactive educational app that teaches kids about the American Revolution. Finally, get some old-school role-playing action, dosed with plenty of humor, from Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3.

Yelp update (Free)

YelpWhat’s it about? View user reviews for all kinds of businesses with Yelp, bringing you insider information about what restaurants are good and what other places are reliable. The app also includes information like phone numbers, addresses, hours and more.

What’s cool? Yelp’s new update adds more features for giving you the inside scoop on restaurants and other businesses before you get there. There’s a new “Explore the Menu” feature that lets you see what restaurants offer before you arrive, for example, and now users can add photos to reviews to help make them more useful and expressive.

Who’s it for? Smart shoppers should get a lot of use out of Yelp. It’ll help you find the right place for what you need and establishments that are worth visiting, wherever you are.

What’s it like? Try Google Search for more information about local business and what’s good, and foursquare to get a social view of the places people around you frequent.

Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride ($1.99, iPad only)

Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere's RideWhat’s it about? Part interactive history lesson, part educational game, Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride teaches kids about American history through a number of ways specific to the iPad.

What’s cool? There’s a combination of elements here to help kids learn about the history of the American Revolution. Anseld & Clair tells the story of Paul Revere’s ride and some of the broad strokes of the issues that drove the war, and also teaches kids about things like the geography of the colonies and other information through interactivity and mini-games. It’s a fun way to learn something about the world of American colonies.

Who’s it for? Children ages 5 to 12 are the target demographic here, and anyone older than that will probably find the app a little too simplistic. For teaching a little history to kids in a fun way, however, it’s a quality experience.

What’s it like? There are two other Ansel & Clair educational apps: Ansel & Clair: Adventures in Africa and Ansel & Clair: Cretaceous Dinosaurs.

Penny Arcade’s On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 ($2.99)

Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3What’s it about? A 16-bit role-playing game created by the developer behind Cthulhu Saves the World, Rain-Slick features the popular Penny-Arcade comic strip characters in a steampunk story world.

What’s cool? Rain-Slick combines solid old-school RPG systems, the kind you might see in titles like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy, with a humorous story. Rain-Slick was originally created for the Xbox 360 and PC, but the game has been optimized for iOS devices to make sure it plays well there. This version also includes some extra content that was released for the console version.

Who’s it for? If you’re a fan of the Penny-Arcade.com comic strip, you should definitely give Rain-Slick a look, but the game is also good for fans of old-school RPGs and humorous games.

What’s it like? Given that they have the same developer, there are some distinct similarities between Rain-Slick and Cthulhu Saves the World. You can also get a similar gameplay experience from classics such as Chrono Trigger.

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