iPhone apps of the week

This week's entries include a popular 'spot the differences' type of game and a new 3D labyrinth game that might be the best of the bunch.


As you know, I check out the iPhone app lists every day on my iPhone and at the iTunes Store. As I look for cool new apps, I find it interesting to see what moves to the top of the most popular lists every week and for what type of programs people are willing to pay money. One thing I've noticed is that programs (free or paid) continue to get more complex. As developers get more comfortable with the platform, we're starting to see games and apps that offer much more polish than the ones that came out at launch.

This week, I have a couple of perfect examples of iPhone apps that feel more like finished products than a lot of the earliest programs at the iTunes Store. If you have other examples, let me know in the comments.

ESPN Cameraman
You'll need to find five differences between the images before the time runs out. (Credit: CNET Networks)

ESPN Cameraman is a lot like one of those bar-top games you might find at a sports bar. The game displays two of the (almost) same photographs side-by-side and you're challenged to find the differences between the two images. Photos feature sports-related scenes from the Olympics, Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Basketball League, and many others. You're job is to find five minor differences before the time runs out before moving on to the next set of images. It's understandable that sports giant ESPN would probably put together a solid app, and this one is clearly well produced. Find the differences quickly to get the highest bonus points for a round. You also get three freebies if you can't find all the changes. One thing that would improve the game is to be able to turn off the music (endless familiar ESPN loop) and keep the sound effects. But overall, this game is both fun and well done.

iBall 3D
Switch to 3D mode to get a better viewing angle in this labyrinth game. (Credit: CNET Networks)

iBall 3D is another Labyrinth-type game we've seen before at the iTunes App Store, but with better graphics and interesting maps. Like other Labyrinth games, the object is to tilt your iPhone to get the ball to the goal, but iBall 3D offers a second viewing option to add to the challenge. With the alternate view, it's as though a low-flying camera follows the action, and what makes it useful is you can see changes in elevation of the terrain so you know how to react. You'll be able to play three different maps and three different game modes which you can unlock as you play. Perhaps the best part about this 3D labyrinth game for iPhone is that it's absolutely free.

Have you noticed iPhone apps getting better over time? Which ones do you like best? Let me know in the comments!

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.