It’s actually getting tougher and tougher to find decent, free applications on the App Store with the flood of LITE and FREE versions of retail applications. I’d really like to see some sort of dividing line so that Lite versions would just go away to their own section to be demos, and the free apps […]
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Free Reign: Free iPhone Apps Roundup #12

Free Reign

It’s actually getting tougher and tougher to find decent, free applications on the App Store with the flood of LITE and FREE versions of retail applications. I’d really like to see some sort of dividing line so that Lite versions would just go away to their own section to be demos, and the free apps would stick in their own section and just be free and amazing (or not). Those minor hassles aside, the lack of more specific "free" sections in the App Store hasn’t stopped Patrick and myself from picking out a few choice selections.

world scramble

Word Scramble 2 by Zynga
Concept: Fast-paced word scramble / word forming game with options to play solo, against random groups of online opponents, or challenge friends.  Not sure why this is a separate app to the original Word Scramble by Zynga, instead of just an update – but hey, they’re both free and both are very good games.
Strengths: Easy and intuitive to use.  It’s also quite challenging, in any of its playing modes.  Between its Facebook Connect feature and the Play Online mode, you’ll never run out of opponents.  This latest version offers push notifications with a word of the day to help build your vocabulary.
Non-strengths:  In just quick testing of this new app, I can’t make the push notification setting stick (stay on).
Overall: Good, challenging game and one where you can find people to play against at any time of day or night.
SI dot com
Sports Illustrated SI.com
Concept: My all-time favorite sports magazine, on the iPhone.
Strengths: It’s Sports Illustrated.  Good photography, strong mix of content, great writers.
Non-strengths: Photos are not yet handled very well in the app – e.g. you can’t see them full screen and they’re just not showed off as nicely as in the printed magazine.  As with the printed version, pretty sparse on coverage of non-US sports.
Overall: Again, it’s SI.  If you love SI, here it is on your iPhone.  More details in our review post HERE.
flickr
Flickr
Concept: Finally an official native iPhone app for the hugely popular photo-sharing service.
Strengths: Lovely UI and very slick slideshow on app’s main screen.  Excellent for browsing and admiring images from your contacts and Flickr users around the world.  Strong set of options when uploading your own images.
Non-strengths: No ability as yet to upload multiple images at once, just one at a time.
Overall: Good to see an official Flickr app, and a good 1.0 version that’s already seen a first update just days after release.  More details in our review post HERE.
Quest of Knights Onrush
Quest of Knights Onrush
Concept: Hack, slash, and fireball your way through enemy hordes – Onrush Style.
Strengths: Great graphical style; experience system and skills to customize your characters; good variety of enemies to fight; includes lite version of Knights Onrush game.
Non-strengths: Jumping mechanics feel stiff and take away from fun (for me); stages feel a little claustrophobic.
Overall: I stopped playing the game after a few minutes because it made me jump over so many obstacles while being shot at, but I was happy to see another free game that really looked great. It’s pretty full-featured for just a promo game!

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