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New iPhone apps worth downloading: Pling Messenger update, Badland, Injustice: Gods Among Us

by Phil Hornshaw

Connect with the people you want to talk with in a more personal, intimate way with Pling Messenger. Today's first app worth downloading lets you send recorded voice messages, rather than texts, for an approach that brings a little more personality to your communications. We've also got two great new games: Badland, a side-scrolling game in which you play a strange flying creature, and Injustice: Gods Among Us, a hybrid card-battle/fighting game in which DC Comics heroes and villains square off against one another.


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Pling Messenger update (Free)

What’s it about? Pling offers users a push-to-talk messaging service that allows for quicker, more personal communication than SMS text messaging.

What’s cool? Text messaging has become a fast and convenient method of contacting individuals and even groups, but it's also something of an impersonal method of getting in touch. Pling Messenger offers an alternative to text: voice. Rather than sending text messages, it allows you to record voice messages instead, which can be sent either to a single contact, or to groups. You can also use Pling to listen to messages sent by others, which are compiled into coversations so it's easy to follow who has said what to whom. Pling Messenger's latest update adds support for Bluetooth headsets, a new timer that lets you know the ideal length of a Pling message, and other handy features.

Who’s it for? If you'd rather connect with people's voices than with their texts, check out Pling Messenger.

What’s it like? You can send more voice messages (as well as video and more) with TextNow + Voice and Tango.

Badland ($3.99)

What’s it about? A side-scrolling sort of-puzzle action-adventure game, Badland has players controlling a flying creature as it tries to navigate through various levels while avoiding getting smashed, crushed, trapped or otherwise maimed.

What’s cool? Playing Badland is rather simple. As a small flying creature, your only job is to tap the screen in order to flap your wings and thus fly higher. In each level, you'll need to keep your creature moving forward and avoiding things like dead ends and collapsing rocks, all while picking up items that make it bigger, smaller or faster, or maybe even split it into multiple copies of itself. Badland uses silhouette graphics, which means the foreground of the game is dark, while the background is lush and colorful for a really beautiful effect. The game includes 40 single-player levels and another 12 levels that can be played with as many as four players on the same device.

Who’s it for? Fans of side-scrolling indie games, you'll find something to like about Badland.

What’s it like? Check out Trundle, as well as Bobbing, for two side-scrollers with similar aesthetics and mechanics.

Injustice: Gods Among Us (Free)

What’s it about? Superheroes and villains from the DC Comics universe go head-to-head in a series of battles in Injustice: Gods Among Us, the iOS version of the fighting game coming to consoles later this month.

What’s cool? In the universe of Injustice: Gods Among Us, superheroes such as Batman and Superman battle, having split along ideological lines and formed different factions. On iOS, the game is part collectible card game, part fighting game. You'll gather cards that represent different heroes and villains you can use in battles, as well as cards that represent different moves and abilities to give you more capabilities as you fight. In battle, you'll use touch controls and swipes to execute combos in one-on-one battles. Injustice includes a single-player mode as well as cross-platform multiplayer, so you can take on players on iOS as well as Android.

Who’s it for? DC Comics fans and anyone with an appetite to see superheroes beat the snot out of each other should check out Injustice: Gods Among Us.

What’s it like? Batman: Arkham City Lockdown puts you in some one-on-one battles as Batman that are similar to Injustice's setup.

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