Leo’s Fortune is the most beautiful platformer on iOS, and it’s a ton of fun, too.

leo's fortune screenshot

Everyone knows how to play a platform-style game; you move in one direction and avoid the things that can kill you. In that respect, Leo’s Fortune is a lot like most platformers on the App Store, but what most other games can’t hold a candle to is the game’s wealth of personality and jaw-dropping visuals.

In Leo’s Fortune you control Leo, a small fluff ball with an eastern European accent and a grudge. His gold has been stolen and the prime suspects are his own relatives. As Leo, you embark on a journey to find your treasure. Cut scenes and gameplay are punctuated by fantastic voice acting and story sequences that are so well done you’ll forget you’re playing an app.

The controls are simple: Your left thumb controls the direction Leo moves and your right thumb prompts him to either puff up, which provides a boost upwards, or slam your body downwards. The corridors and open areas you move through are filled with hazards like spikes and huge pits, as well as physics puzzles you must solve in order to proceed.

leo's fortune screenshot

These mechanics are very easy to grasp and the game ends up feeling like a cross between Sonic The Hedgehog and LocoRoco, but the real star of the show is the stunning graphics. Everything in the world is rendered with almost absurd detail. As you breeze through the world you’ll often be tempted to stop and stare, or perhaps even take a screenshot for posterity.

Small touches like Leo’s occasional mumbles and the faux-3D effect created as blurry objects pass close by the camera add to the atmosphere and create a world that you’ll enjoy spending time in, even if you die a dozen times on the way to the exit.

The game features 19 main story levels spread across a handful of chapters, along with additional bonus levels which can be unlocked based on your performance. There are no in-app purchases, bonuses, or other nonsense to worry about, so the US$4.99 price tag is well justified. The only downside of finishing the game is that you’ll undoubtedly be hungry for more almost immediately.

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Weekend App: Doughbot brings you to donuts when you need them most.

Doughbot

Doughbot is a clever new app with a singular purpose in mind — to get you donuts when you need them the most. The app uses your location and displays the nearest donut shops either in a list or on a map.

The app pulls its donut shop listings using data from Yelp, Yahoo and Instagram, providing you with directions as well contact information and reviews. With just a few taps, you can read what others have to say about the donut shop and view an overview map with highlighted driving directions to the store.

doughbot

Doughbot is only as good as its donut shop listings, which, unfortunately, were variable for me. The app worked superbly in cities, but was spotty in the rural area in which I live. I tested the app in two nearby cities, Portland and Lewiston, Maine, and had an abundance of donut shops from which to choose. In my rural hometown, though, the app did not pick up the local Dunkin Donuts or Tim Hortons, directing me instead to a location that was a few towns over.

Doughbot

Doughbot is useful for the city dweller or traveler who wants to find donuts at a moment’s notice. The app is easy to use, provides all the contact information you need to use to hunt down donuts and throws in some reviews so you can avoid clunkers that are selling stale wares.

You can download Doughbot from the iOS App Store for 99 cents.

Jump and Chump your way to leaderboard stardom in Jump! Chump!


Jump! Chump! is a simple game with challenging yet addictive mechanics a la Flappy Bird. As listed in its app description, the game has three features which are Jumping, Chumping and online leaderboards.

You play the game with two block characters with one seated at the top half of the screen and the other placed on the bottom half. The characters remains stationary while enemies come at them from both directions. You must jump the character on top by tapping on the top of the screen to avoid the enemies above the line, and tap the bottom of the screen to make your character chump to avoid the enemies below the line. Sometimes enemies come at the same time in both directions forcing you to jump and chump at the same time.

Once you get hit by an enemy, the game is over and the time you stayed alive is recorded as your score. An online leaderboard through GameCenter keeps track of your achievements. Jump! Chump! is easy enough that you can learn how to play in 30 seconds, but challenging enough that you will keep coming back for more

Jump! Chump! is available for free in the iOS App Store. The game is compatible with the iPad and iPad and requires iOS 7.0 or later. There are small ads at the top that don’t interfere with game play and there are no in-app purchases.

Daily iPhone App: Ring in the New Year with the Official Times Square Ball App.

It’s New Year’s Eve, which means there will be a rocking party in Times Square tonight. If you can’t be in New York City for the shindig, you can still participate in the fun using the 2013 edition of the Times Square Official New Year’s Eve Ball App.

The official New Year’s Eve app lets you watch a live stream of the events, including the midnight ball drop, from Times Square and even participate by submitting your own party photos. The top photos will be featured on the Toshiba Vision screen directly beneath the official crystal ball. The app also includes the history of the event as well as the news, photos and event schedule for the 2013 party.

The Times Square Official New Year’s Eve Ball App – 2013 is available for free in the iOS App Store.

Source: TUAW.