Bombs away and touch-screen artistry: iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps include the cool painting app that was used to make the New Yorker cover and a game where you pilot a bomber high over the landscape.

iPhone (Credit: CNET)

You may have already read on CNET News about how artist Jorge Colombo managed to get his work on the cover of The New Yorker. To have your art featured on the cover of a widely read national magazine is a big deal, but the coolest thing about it was that it was done with an application for the iPhone.

This week's apps include the cool painting app that was used to make The New Yorker cover and a game where you pilot a bomber high over the landscape.

Brushes

No, I didn't paint that, but included gallery pictures show what you can do.

(Credit: CNET)

Brushes ($3.99 for limited time) is an easy-to-use painting app with flexible options for artists to create great-looking work. A simple interface makes it easy to find what you need quickly. You can choose from various realistic brush types from smooth to bristly and adjust the brush size from 1 to 64 pixels in diameter. You can use a hue/saturation color wheel to pick the exact colors you want for your project, and you also can use an eyedropper tool to grab colors you used previously in your project to match what you're working on. For more detailed work, you can use the reverse-pinch gesture to zoom in up to 800 percent.

After downloading and playing around with Brushes, it was easy to see the amount of detail you could add to a painting using the available tools. Even when you mess up, the app offers nearly unlimited undo capabilities so you can get back to a state you like. One thing you all should know (and I quickly learned): Brushes offers a simple set of tools to create realistic paintings, but it won't make you a great (or even good) artist. Those who have little artistic talent (like me) may want to think twice about spending the money for this app, but if you are an artist, Brushes is great for creating detailed, realistic paintings right on your iPhone.

iBomber

Make sure to hit the "Bombs Away" button before you reach the target

(Credit: CNET)

iBomber puts you in the cockpit of a World War II era bomber to complete bombing missions high above your targets. The unique top-down view requires you to turn your iPhone to turn your plane left and right, while tilting forward and backward increases and decreases speed. Line up your shots using the crosshairs and try to hit your targets by dropping your bombs in advance of the target. You can play through 12 challenging missions across the familiar World War II theaters of battle. Each mission offers several sub missions (take out four destroyers, bomb six energy reactors, etc.) that you'll need to complete to finish each mission. Meanwhile an endless barrage of surface to air fire will slowly eat away at your airplane's health.

I had already seen a preview video for iBomber some time ago, and at the time I thought it would be a beautiful, but fairly simple game. Now that I've played it, I realize it's actually very challenging, making it necessary to hit your targets efficiently before you get blown out of the sky. Fortunately, you can choose from three difficulty levels, so it might be good to start at the easiest level to get used to the controls. Overall, iBomber is definitely worth the price, with great-looking graphics, solid controls and gameplay, and plenty of replay value.

What's your favorite iPhone app? Are you an artist who appreciates Brushes? Did you just download Brushes like me in the hope you could become an artist? What's the secret for completing those challenging levels in iBomber? Let me know in the comments!

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