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Today's Best Apps: BBM, Ricochet: Retro Space Shooter And Spores

The App Store takes delivery of hundreds of new apps per day. The overwhelming scene makes it possible to easily overlook an exciting game, valuable productivity suite, etc. However, we have a solution. Today’s Best Apps tackles this problem by providing you with a handpicked and tested list of apps that are truly worth your consideration each and everyday. Remember: Even though in-app purchases typically require your iTunes Store password for processing, you can further prevent them and other unauthorized actions by enabling local restrictions using the passcode locked iOS parental controls


BBM by BlackBerry Limited (Free, 29.5 MB): The enterprise-focused instant messenger finally arrives on iOS. Unlike standard IM services, BBM includes features designed for additional security, usability, flexibility, and even a dash of fun, i.e., emoticons and support for animated GIF profile images. Rather than a username or email address, which someone could guess based on other applications, clients are invited by a PIN, plus must confirm contact information sharing both ways. Once mutual friends, you can chat one-on-one, establish a private room for group discussions, or just broadcast a single message to several people. Along with photos, participants may transfer copies of documents, audio notes, and other file types. NOTE: Access is being granted slowly due to demand. Interested users must download the app and join the admissions queue by entering a valid email address at the required prompt.

Ricochet: Retro Space Shooter by Arjun Gupte ($0.99, 46.3 MB): This retro-style vertical space shooter provides challenging nostalgic entertainment through a clever concoction of strategy and action-arcade. Simple and addictive, core gameplay relies on the old school button smashing to rapidly fire rounds at waves of incoming enemy units. Despite the need for the frantic screen tapping, you'll quickly realize that reflexes don't hold the key to victory as many enemy units possess a forward shield, seemingly rendering your fixed position cannon useless. However, the apparent ineffectiveness can be overcome by a hidden environment attribute: deflection. Rather than immediately vanishing, shattering, or exploding when intersecting the iDevice's screen edge, ammunition bounces at a predictable trajectory from wall-to-wall until striking an object or eventually dissipating. Put simply, you now have the capability to get around the enemy's defenses, but only with calm tactical action. As a comparison, the approach feels similar to Atari's Tank. The game features 8-bit 2.5-D graphics, chiptunes, adapting AI-controlled opponents, 10 level campaign with boss battles, local high score board, and power-ups, such as guided missiles, nukes, shotgun-type shells, and more.

Spores by Julien Ducret (Free, 19.2 MB): Tackle at least some of that spare time with this virus-themed real-time strategy game. Much like titles such as Tentacle Wars, the goal is to convert all of the organisms within the area to your variant, blue colored, before the red organisms do the same. Causing a transformation requires infusing enough of your spores into neutral or enemy organisms to overpower its current payload, indicated by the number shown in the center. During an attack, the amount decreases, however, allies may replenish a weakening organism, which applies to your group as well. In addition, spores duplicate automatically, but slowly. Therefore, efficient distribution is critical for success. The game features minimal 2-D graphics, 12 levels, single finger control, and Game Center leaderboards.

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