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New iPhone apps worth downloading: Learn With Homer, ESPN Fantasy Football, Droidscape:Basilica

by Phil Hornshaw

Get prepared to manage your fantasy football team with ESPN Fantasy Football, which kicks off today’s Apps Worth Downloading haul. It brings you everything you need to effectively manage your team, from player info to the ability to run your draft from your iOS device. We’ve also got Learn With Homer, an iPad app designed to bring comprehensive reading lessons to kids between the ages of 3 and 6. Finally, Droidscape:Basilica is a puzzle game that tasks players with plotting out a robot’s moves through a level, and then executing them carefully to avoid destruction.

Learn With Homer (iPad) (Free)

Learn with HomerWhat’s it about? Learn With Homer is geared toward helping young kids learn to read, with lots of different elements and features to help kids get the basics, as constructed by literary experts.

What’s cool? Learning to read can be tough for young kids, but Learn With Homer looks to make the process much easier by providing a comprehensive reading program that’s easy for kids to understand. The app focuses on things like phonics, teaching kids step-by-step what words look like and how they sound, and uses animations of children to help kids learn each of the sounds in English and how to blend them together. Learn With Homer is also packed with interactive games that can help kids apply what they’ve learned, and provides them with reviews and other elements that make sure everything the app teaches them lasts.

Who’s it for? Learn With Homer is specifically aimed at kids from ages 3 to 6.

What’s it like? More apps that can help kids get a jump on reading include Starfall Learn to Read andHooked on Phonics Learn to Read.

ESPN Fantasy Football update (Free)

ESPN Fantasy FootballWhat’s it about? Build your fantasy football team, get all kinds of info, run your draft and see your matchups all from your iOS devices with ESPN Fantasy Football.

What’s cool? Everything you need for a great fantasy football league experience is available in ESPN Fantasy Football. The app lets you handle everything, from your initial team draft to seeing each week’s matchup. You can also get quick information about your players with things like injury reports and stat breakdowns, and follow live score updates during your games. Since the app is from ESPN, you also get the benefit of things like player analyses that you can use to make smart decisions about drafts, trades, and who to play and who to bench. The app also was recently updated with the 2013 roster, so it’s good to go for this year’s football season.

Who’s it for? Fantasy football fans, if you’re looking for a league or are already playing with ESPN, grab this app for all its nifty and convenient features.

What’s it like? You might also try out NFL.com Fantasy Football 2013 and Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football for some league alternatives.

Droidscape:Basilica ($0.99)

Droidscape:BasilicaWhat’s it about? Part puzzler, part action game, Droidscape:Basilica challenges players to plot the path of an android through dangerous levels to an exit, and then to carefully execute that plan to keep it from being destroyed.

What’s cool? Droidscape:Basilica is functionally a puzzle game, at least when you first start it up. Your goal in each level is to get your android to the level’s exit, for which he needs a key. You can see everything in your way – the obstacles and enemies, the key’s location, and so on – from each level’s top-down perspective. Your first step is to tell the droid where to go by dragging it through the level, creating a path that can go anywhere. Things switch to more of an action focus, however, as soon as you start to execute the plan. Droidscape lets you control the speed and direction of the droid with a slider, so it follows the path you set, but you can help it to avoid enemies by stopping or reversing course, which makes timing and careful planning important elements in equal measure. Droidscape includes 60 levels, and if you have a newer iOS device, you can try out its gesture- and head-tracking based HeadTwist tech, as well.

Who’s it for? If you like puzzle games with a bit of a more hands-on feel, check out Droidscape.

What’s it like? Quell Memento and Where’s My Water? are also solid puzzle titles with a similar mix of action and puzzle-solving.

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