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New iPhone apps worth downloading: HowDo, Foursquare update, Knights of Pen & Paper

by Phil Hornshaw

Start today with some new restaurant and store recommendations from the updated Foursquare app. Next, move on to learning a few skills from social recording app HowDo. Finally, enjoy some old-school role-playing game goodness with Knights of Pen & Paper.

HowDo (Free)

What’s it about? HowDo is about recording short how-to’s with your iOS device and sharing them with others.

What’s cool? Ease of use is what makes HowDo so interesting. You shoot a series of photos with your iOS device and record a bit of sound and step-by-step narration. The idea here is that you can share little bits of knowledge quickly and easily with others, and there’s a social networking framework around the sharing of videos that lets you “favorite” them and comment. Many of the videos on the service now aren’t really how-to related, but as more people use it, hopefully HowDo will become a useful place to learn new things.

Who’s it for? If you’re looking to learn a little something, or maybe just share some fun little stills and sound with friends, HowDo is worth checking out.

What’s it like? Give wikiHow and How To Cook Everything a try for more how-to goodness.

Foursquare update (Free)

What’s it about? Social network Foursquare lets users “check in” to different locations when they visit, often earning discounts, and lets you coordinate with friends and get recommendations on places to visit.

What’s cool? Foursquare’s latest update brings in a new recommendation system into its “Explore” feature, which gauges not only the places you like and those your friends recommend, but pays attention to places you haven’t visited lately. The system also uses more criteria to give you ratings on places you might like, making recommendations more accurate. Of course, there’s also the social networking capabilities of Foursquare and the whole “check in and get discounts” part, too.

Who’s it for? This app is for anyone who loves earning accomplishment badges, recommending restaurants, sharing food-related updates, and wants to receive promotional check-in deals.

What’s it like? Yelp can also dish out some handy user-built recommendations on locations, and Alfred is a handy app for finding places you might like, as well.

Knights of Pen & Paper ($1.99)

What’s it about? Role-playing game Knights of Pen & Paper combines some of the conventions of pen-and-paper RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons with 8-bit video game-style ones, making for a goofy and charming take on the genre.

What’s cool? You choose your characters and their classes, and then start an adventure. The fun thing about Knights of Pen & Paper is that your “real world” characters are sitting at a table through the course of the game, even as they battle guards and visit villages, which appear as imagined landscapes in the background. The game harkens back to classic RPGs of the Nintendo Entertainment System era, but with a slight, goofy spin.

Who’s it for? Fans of old-school RPGs and pen-and-paper games should feel right at home, but Knights of Pen & Paper is very easy to pick up for anybody.

What’s it like? Quest for similar themes in game titles Final Fantasy and Phantasy Star II.

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