New iPhone apps worth downloading: Hang w/, Kingdom Rush update, Abalone

by Phil Hornshaw

We’re kicking off the week with an app worth downloading that could help you connect with people you don’t know. It’s called Hang w/, and it’s a video broadcasting app that looks to meld the ideas that make Twitter so cool – connecting with other people – with what’s made YouTube popular in video sharing. We’ve also got a pair of games for you to waste time with this week: an update to tower defense title Kingdom Rush that adds new levels and enemies, and Abalone, an app version of the classic board game.


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Hang w/ (Free)

Hang w/What’s it about? Combining the spirit of Twitter and the mechanics of YouTube, Hang w/ allows users to broadcast videos of themselves live, while others can watch them all on their mobile devices.

What’s cool? Hang w/ hopes to do with celebrities what Twitter formerly did, giving regular people more access to their favorite famous folks. The idea is that Hang w/ allows anyone to broadcast live videos YouTube-style from their iPhones or iPads, with viewers being able to check out those videos through the app as well – effectively, allowing you to hang out with whoever is broadcasting. The app isn’t limited to just celebrity broadcasters, though, because anyone can make broadcasts using the app, just like on YouTube. You can use Hang w/ to find the feeds of other broadcasters and follow them, and the app provides Push notifications to let you know when new broadcasts show up.

Who’s it for? Fans of watching live videos or creating them will find something new and cool in Hang w/.

What’s it like? Hang w/ shares a lot in common with YouTube, as well as video app Ustream.

Kingdom Rush update ($0.99)

Kingdom RushWhat’s it about? Tower defense game Kingdom Rush puts players in a medieval fantasy world up against hordes of dark knights, goblins, trolls, yetis and more, requiring you to carefully set up your defense and continually upgrade your forces.

What’s cool? Players of the tower defense genre will understand the mechanics behind Kingdom Rush pretty much immediately, as it doesn’t stray too far from the beaten path. Your job is to set up different defenses, such as archer towers, barracks with soldiers to dispense ground troops and artillery. As you defeat enemies by placing the right towers in the right locations, you’ll earn money that lets you purchase more towers or upgrade the ones you have to be more effective. Kingdom Rush excels at this, providing a ton of useful upgrades that eventually let you specialize your defenses and make them much more effective. The game also includes “hero” units that are more powerful than regular soldiers and can turn the tide of battle. The game’s latest update adds a campaign with two new levels and three new vicious enemies to fight.

Who’s it for? If you like tower defense, you’ll find a well-made example of the genre here.

What’s it like? Try Jelly Defense and Tower Madness for more strategic defense action.

Abalone ($2.99)

AbaloneWhat’s it about? Popular board game Abalone has been digitized into app form, bringing the classic strategy title to your iOS device and allowing you to play alone or with a friend.

What’s cool? Abalone is a strategy title in which players move their set of marbles across the hexagonal board toward their opponent’s marbles, with the intent of forcing those marbles off the board. It’s simple in practice, but like most simple board games, it can be very challenging. Abalone keeps the challenge coming, in fact, by providing players with both the ability to take on a computer opponent, as well as 60 challenge levels with different arrangements for players to face down. The game also supports pass-and-play multiplayer and has a level editor that allows you to create your own challenges.

Who’s it for? Fans of board games, strategy titles and Abalone itself should give this app edition a try.

What’s it like? Board game adaptations like Stratego and Ticket to Ride will also allow you to play your favorite games without a whole group of people to challenge.

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