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New iPhone apps worth downloading: MessageMe, Block Fortress, Sonic Dash

by Phil Hornshaw

Start the week by staying in touch with friends and family with MessageMe, today's leading fresh app. It allows you to send text messages to other users, as well as photos that you can draw on and videos. We've also got two great games to start the week: Block Fortress, a Minecraft-like title that lets players build structures and then fight to defend them, and Sonic Dash, a running title starring Sega's super-fast mascot Sonic the Hedgehog.

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MessageMe (Free)

MessageMeWhat’s it about? As you can guess from its name, MessageMe is a messaging app that lets you contact other app users in a number of ways, including through text and sending photos.

What’s cool? MessageMe is a group messaging app that opens up a lot of options for contacting other people. It’s primarily a texting app that makes it easy to send messages to lots of different users, but you can also do cool things like send photos that you’ve drawn on to people, and even send things like YouTube videos, location information and music. MessageMe also includes a voice chat function that gives you the ability to have group sessions, and all of it is conducted over your Internet connection.

Who’s it for? If you do a lot of messaging, you might try doing it with MessageMe.

What’s it like? TextNow also presents users with a number of cool messaging options, and Facebook Messenger lets you contact anyone on your Facebook friends list in a variety of ways.

Block Fortress (Free)

Block FortressWhat’s it about? Combining elements of building structures like in Minecraft and strategy and tower defense, Block Fortress has players building a tower and defending it from attack.

What’s cool? Block Fortress's pixelated, cube-like architecture gives it a Minecraft feel, but the game takes the baseline of building stuff established by that title, and adds strategic gameplay that changes up the formula quite a bit. You'll balance your time between building structures, crafting new materials, and fighting and defending your creations by setting up towers and grabbing a gun of your own. Block Fortress includes 30 different block types for you to use in your structures and 17 different turrets that you can use in your defense. You'll also spend time decking out your character for the coming battles.

Who’s it for? Users Block Fortress includes something for lots of different kinds of players – fans of building stuff, role-playing elements like crafting, and first-person shooters.

What’s it like? Obvious parallels can be drawn to the crafting adventure game Minecraft – Pocket Edition, and the strategy elements feel a lot like titles such as World Defense.

Sonic Dash ($1.99)

Sonic DashWhat’s it about? High-speed running action is on offer in Sonic Dash, a 3-D behind-the-back running title that takes players into the world of the super-fast Hedgehog.

What’s cool? Sonic feels like a natural fit to the genre that was brought to the fore by the popularity of games such as Temple Run. After all, Sonic is all about running, and Sega's games featuring the hedgehog are usually about dodging obstacles, blasting enemies and gathering rings. Those elements recombine in Sonic Dash to great effect, with players swiping to move Sonic to dodge obstacles and tapping to make him jump clear of danger. You can also use Sonic's dash ability to smash through obstacles and enemies and attain super-fast speeds. The game also includes three other playable characters to try out for different effects.

Who’s it for? Fans of the running genre and Sega's Sonic games should check out Sonic Dash.

What’s it like? Temple Run 2 is another exceedingly fun entry into this genre, as are Pitfall! and One Epic Knight.

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