iPhone apps of the week

This week's iPhone apps are both games with excellent replay value. If you liked the classic strategy board game of Risk or have been looking for a 3D golf game, check out this week's offerings.

iPhone (Credit: CNET Networks)

Last week I asked readers if they had the same iPhone app update problem I have, and it's good to hear I'm not the only one. I found one method in the comments that seems to work, but it forces you to make a tough decision. Of course, you should only try this if all other update attempts through the usual methods have been unsuccessful.

To get rid of a stubborn program's update notification, you need to delete the app from your iPhone and download it again using the app store on your iPhone or from the iTunes Store on your computer. It's clearly not an ideal method because you will lose all your previous settings in the app (good-bye high scores), but it does get rid of the annoying number on your home screen.

While we wait for a fix from Apple that doesn't include deleting the apps, here are my latest iPhone finds. This week I have two new games on my iPhone.

Lux Touch

Your blue team starts off scattered peacefully around the globe, but before long you must attack.

(Credit: CNET Networks)

Lux Touch lets you play a fun version of the classic strategy board game Risk. Apparently this is SillySoft Games' first iteration of this game for iPhone (there's a popular shareware version for Mac here), so it doesn't come with anything more than the single world layout and a single challenging difficulty level. Even with only one map, Lux Touch manages to be a great time-waster. Armies are randomly distributed across a map of the world, and your job is to conquer the entire map. Tap on or slide your finger to countries you want to attack. Conquer at least one country during a turn to get a card. Once you have three of the same type of card, you'll get bonus armies. I gave this game a 3-star review for its lack of extra maps and options, but SillySoft promises a future deluxe version for iPhone that will have much more. I think the gameplay is definitely 5 stars.

GL Golf Lite

Slide your finger sideways to select the trajectory of your shot, then take your swing.

(Credit: CNET Networks)

GL Golf Lite is an excellent 3D golf game for iPhone, and like Lux Touch, is the mobile version of the already popular GL Golf for Mac. Though the graphics aren't as crisp as they could be, GL Golf Lite offers four holes to play, realistic physics, backspin and punch shots, and plenty of hazards to avoid as you try for your best score. You can play the game with up to four players (by passing the iPhone for each shot), and adjust difficulty level, ball color, and time of day. The game is ad-supported with small banners across the bottom of your screen, but they never get in your way as you play the game. The full version of the game offers five complete 18-hole courses ($7.99). Though the price seems a bit steep to me, once you play through the 4-hole course, you might find it's worth the money.

What are your favorite iPhone apps? Got a better golf or strategy game? Let me know in the comments!

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