The best part of this week’s free iPhone apps list is that whether you want to get out of the house or stay in it, there’s something sure to please you. There are games that will challenge you to take over fictional lands (and a game that challenges you to take over your actual land), as well as apps to tell you what to expect from the great outdoors and that help you find entertainment.
On second thought, the best part of this week’s list is that everything is free.
Turf Wars is an iPhone game that mixes two burgeoning genres, massively multi-player online games and GPS games. At its core, this is a mafia game in which you lie and steal your way to more money, gaining experience along the way. But what sets this game apart from the many similar ones is that you can also claim actual spots in your city as your own, which helps you gain more influence and rise up the ranks. So if you want to claim the local laundromat or video store you can do so, but it will cost you money and you’ll possibly have to defend it against rivals. As with similar games, you can purchase ‘Respect Points’ if you choose to, but the game can also be played at no cost. Turf Wars doesn’t yet have the following of a game like Mafia Wars, but given its interesting twist, it doesn’t seem like it will be long until it does.
The changing of seasons is always an exciting time, unless you – like me – sniffle and sneeze your way through life every time the temperature changes. So to fully enjoy the next few months it may be wise to download Zyrtec AllergyCast, an app that provides daily allergy forecasts and predominant pollen counts. The app also has a weather forecast courtesy of the Weather Channel, so not only do you get up-to-date temperatures, you can view hourly and 10-day forecasts. The one thing I will caution users about is that if you’re the kind of app junkie who bristles at the sight of advertisements, then this isn’t the app for you. It’s a giant advertisement for Zyrtec and it makes no bones about that, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some helpful information here.
Speaking of seasons, it’s almost summer and that can only mean one thing: big-budget, over-hyped movies. Fandango Movies is the ideal app for you frequent moviegoers out there, as it allows you to browse what’s showing in your local theaters (and also browse what’s coming soon). The app also enables you to buy tickets straight from the app to more than 16,000 theaters. It includes reviews, a Twitter section to find out what people are saying about the movie and the ability to watch movie trailers as well. So while you film buffs are waiting for the release of "The A-Team," "The Karate Kid" and "Toy Story 3," it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to pass the time with Fandango.
Lite game of the week, Part One
The yet-to-be-released game Warblade isn’t what I would call a perfect game; the storyline is weak and it’s impossible not to notice how blatantly similar it is to the arcade classic Galaga. But with that said, anyone who has checked out the game’s demo, Warblade Free, can attest to just how fun and addictive this vertical shooter is. In the game, you control a ship that is located at the bottom of your iPhone’s screen by tilting to move left and right, and you also have control of a fire button. Enemies drop down from the top of the screen, and you must shoot them while avoiding their fire. So yeah, it’s a souped-up version of Galaga. In fairness to Warblade, there are way more power ups and graphically it’s much better; if you’re going to copy a game, Galaga isn’t the worst one to pattern yourself after. This free demo allows you to play through 25 levels, just enough to get you salivating for the game’s full release.
Lite game of the week, Part Two
If you’re looking for a more modern gaming experience, then Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Lite may just be exactly what you’re looking for. While this is the first GTA title released for the iPhone, it has everything you would expect from the series: gunfights, car chases and just generally reckless behavior. Chinatown Wars centers around Huang Lee, a young man whose father has just been killed. Along with the help of his uncle, Huang must try to keep his family in control of the Triad gangs of Liberty City. The game looks great and, in typical GTA fashion, is all kinds of fun to play. Though this is a port of a Nintendo DS game, it still lives up to the series’ reputation and may not be the best game for younger gamers. But assuming you’re okay with a bit of violence, the only reason you shouldn’t try Chinatown Wars Lite is if you’ve already got the full version.