It's another week, and we've gathered together the very best apps and games that have been released over the last seven days for iPhone and iPad.
This go-around are quite a few video apps, but there's a little something for writers, too. On the games side, we've got a healthy mix of arcade, strategy, sports, and shooters.
Bust open the App Store, and get downloading our top ten new releases for iPhone and iPad.
The Bot Squad
The Bot Squad is a fun, cartoony game that combines tower defense and attack mechanics. Players manually guide their robots through a series of treacherous mazes to reach the end in one piece. Grab objective stars and orbs en route if you can manage. Occasionally the tables will be turned, and you will need to organize towers to defend against waves of enemies. Orbs are used to upgrade your bots and towers between levels. Keep in mind that freemium mechanics such as energy meters, upgrade timers, and premium currency are in play here.
The Bot Squad boasts fantastic animation and a nice strategic mix.
Drone: Shadow Strike is military shooter where you rain down fire on enemies from above. The gameplay and style will be familiar to anybody that has tried out Zombie Gunship, but there are a few interesting changes in the formula here. For one, you're dealing with fully-colored 3D models, and not just silhouettes (though infrared mode can help you spot sneakier enemies). You'll need to be on your toes to deploy flares and avoid getting hit by surface-to-air missiles. After working through a series of missions, you'll get the chance to upgrade your drone with enhanced armor, radar, stealth, and countermeasures, as well as purchase new drones to fly in. Free-to-play elements such as premium currency and boosters are employed here.
Drone: Shadow Strike is a great little on-rails shooter and worth a look.
Enterchained is a dual-stick beat-em-up, not-so-subtly inspired from the movie Gladiator. Players hack and slash their way through coliseum battles while shackled to a fellow gladiator. Throw your weapon, execute downed enemies, complete quests for extra glory, and do your best to stay alive. The stark art style is punctuated by bright red splotches of gore. There are no in-app purchases at all here, and 45 items to unlock, each with their own unique characteristics.
Enterchained is a brutal button-masher and tons of fun.
2K's official NBA game launched on iOS this week. NBA 2K15 offers substantially improved graphics while playing on the basketball court, and a new MyCareer mode that has players work through a storyline by doing stuff like answering questions at press conferences and training their custom-made character. The soundtrack is curated by Pharrell Williams, which should keep gameplay moving nicely. It looks like hardware controller support is in the mix here too which is always a great addition. NBA season officially starts on October 28, so this is a great warm-up.
Angry Birds Transformers combines one of the most beloved franchises on mobile with the retro charm of cartoon robots from the 80s. In this side-scrolling shooter, players roll out as one of the many recognizable Angry Birds characters that have been tweaked with some vehicular characteristics. As a Transformer, you switch between humanoid running and vehicle mode, upgrade for stronger weapons and abilities unique to each character, and blow up baddies as the pop up on screen.
Angry Birds Transformers is an imaginative pairing and a refreshing new game type for Rovio's avians.
Drafts 4 is built specifically for iOS 8, and it does a fantastic job of taking advantage of the new capabilities.
Live HD/R is a great new video app that allows users to shoot in high dynamic range (or tonemapping, if you want to get technical). Basically, this makes your videos pop with additional definition and dramatic color. Settings can be tweaked for global and local contrast, radius, noise reduction, gamma, and saturation to achieve exactly the kind of feel you want. The final result outputs at 720p and 30 frames per second.
Live HD/R is a great way to show off the new capabilities of your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.
Strom is a powerful professional music app for iPad that grabs samples and helps you sequence and slice it in some really imaginative ways. Strom ties in with the Rytm drum computer with a $19.99 in-app purchases, which might seem steep, but it opens up a whole range of new possibilities.
Musicians eager to try something new should find some great possibilities with Strom.
Microsoft has introduced a surprisingly interesting image sharing app called Xim. In it, you're able to shoot off a link to friends, and when they open it on their device, everybody can pan and zoom around pictures, flip to other pictures, and chat with one another. This way you can share images without having to hand off your phone. Though the recipients of invites don't need the app, if you do, you're able to add pictures to the collection to share with others. Short messages can also be shot out to the group. After awhile, the Xim expires, so no need to worry about stocking up on cloud storage.
Xim is a neat idea, and the perfect way to share vacation photos with friends and family.
Qik is a new video messaging app from Skype that helps you easily share moments with whole groups of friends. Videos can be shot straight from the app or pulled from clips you've recorded earlier. No log-in or usernames are required, and messages are wiped after two weeks, making Qik very low-maintenance. You can delete videos from group conversations easily enough, too.