Apps of the Week: Plants vs Zombies, ArtRage, Iron Man 3, and more

Every week, the editors and writers at iMore carefully select some of our favorite, most useful, most extraordinary apps, accessories, gadgets, and websites. This week's selections include a few games, an art app, a fun music creation app, and an app about the most important star in the universe.

Mr. Runner 2: The Masks - Simon Sage

Mr. Runner was a pretty popular game a few years ago, netting over 5 million downloads thanks to its unique stop-and-go play style and slightly warped sense of humor. Mr. Runner is back with some decidedly richer graphics and a surprisingly interesting plot line. Mr. Runner is trapped in a dream where his head is locked in a box by the dastardly La Magie, and he's got to chase down the key. In this journey, he stumbles on the occasional mask which gives him some semblance of an identity in the meantime. The game will take players through 32 bizarre worlds with plenty of tongue-in-cheek pop culture references. Each stage has three bonus objectives to snag, which should keep you coming back for more if the unique art style isn't enough. If you're in the mood for something a little different, definitely give Mr. Runner 2: The Masks a shot.

ArtRage - Michelle Haag

My daughter is obsessed with drawing My Little Pony characters these days. She's almost 10, and asked me recently if she could have a really good art app for the iPad so she could get more comfortable when she's creating, as opposed to sitting in front of the laptop. We searched around and found ArtRage, and it has quickly become her favorite new tool when inspiration strikes.

ArtRage has a ton of built in features including numerous art tools for drawing and painting, tracing, blending, different types of canvas/papers, and one of our favorite features which is the ability to work with layers. Learning how to sketch is an important step for artists, and with the layers Abby is learning to sketch and refine her drawings. The tools are very natural and mimic real world paints and papers very well, even going so far as to judge how much paint is on your brush or canvas and reacting accordingly, among other things.

If you're interested in having an art studio that you can take with you anywhere, you should definitely take a look at ArtRage. There are so many tools and options in this app, I can't even list them all here. Some reviewers have complained about the app crashing, but we haven't experienced that. I would recommend saving your work frequently if that's a concern. ArtRage is available for iPad and iPhone, for $4.99 and $1.99 respectively.

Iron Man 3 - The Official Game - Chris Parsons

We got our first look at Gameloft's Iron Man 3 at GDGC 2013 and ever since then I've been waiting to get my hands on it. Having now arrived and readily available for download, I have to say it's pretty awesome and even better than I expected. You get to play as Iron Man through 3 different locations and fight 4 villains from Iron Man legend, all in some wonderfully graphic detail. Perhaps the best part of it all though, is gaining access to all of the Iron Man suits available. There is 18 in total that ken be discovered including Mark II, Mark III and the Silver Centurion. The game is available for free but keep in mind it does have a few in-app-purchases with it. I've not played through enough to see if they're 'required' - yet!

Figure - Joseph Keller

Propellerhead’s Figure is a great app for music creation for the iPhone and iPad. Figure gives users control over the different instruments available under the Drum, Bass, and Lead sections. Set the rhythm of each instrument, the number of scale steps between octaves, and range of the bass and lead instruments, along with basics like the key and the tempo. There are also a variety of electronic drum, bass, and lead instruments to choose from. Figure also includes support for Audiobus, allowing you to record and edit your music using other music apps like Loopy and Garageband. Try Figure if you’re looking for quick, simple electronic music creation that’s also a lot of fun to use.

Plants vs. Zombies - Ally Kazmucha

There are very few games that remain on my iPhone consistently and Plants vs. Zombies is definitely one of them. In anticipation of Plants vs. Zombies 2 which is supposedly launching sometime this summer, I've cleared out all my data and have started playing the original Plants vs. Zombies all over again.

The fact that there is no support for the iPhone 5 is definitely a downer and makes me that much more impatient for the second release. My favorite part about Plants vs. Zombies is that even after beating the entire game, you can always go back and unlock all kinds of achievements. That's what I plan to do and cross my fingers that Plants vs. Zombies 2 isn't that far off from being released for iOS. If you haven't checked it out, it's one of those iOS games that every iPhone or iPad owner should download and considering they're both at the low price of $0.99 now, there really isn't anything to lose.

Sun by KIDS DISCOVER - Leanna Lofte

I love science, and I love when kids show an interest in science, which is why I'm choosing Sun by KIDS DISCOVER this week. It teaches a lot of fun facts about the Earth's light source and includes great images, graphics, 3D models, videos, and more. And with summer right around the corner, the timing seems perfect for discussion about this season's favorite heat supplier.

If you've got kids who can read, check it out.

Google+ - Rene Ritchie

I'm still trying to figure out the whole social expectation angle -- Twitter, Facebook, Google+, App.net, Dribbble, Instagram... and the list seemingly goes on and on. There's just not enough time in the day to properly engage with all of them. I use Twitter a lot. I try to use App.net. I've pretty much abandoned Facebook. And I've neglected Google+ because every time I go there, it feels like only Google people are there.

Blame Cali Lewis and John P. Blame Phil Nickinson. Blame #TM13. But I've started trying to use Google+ again. I know I've said that before. And I might well have to try saying it again. The Google + app for iOS has come a long way however, and it's a pretty good user experience now. I guess time will tell.

The truth is I find social overwhelming right now. I think I'll primarily end up using Google+ for DSLR images and the occasional social commentary that I don't want to spam people on Twitter with.

Since I'm guessing I'm not the only one caught like a deer-in-the-social-headlights right now, let me know how you're organizing your sharing. What are you putting where, and how are you managing it all?

You can tell me, or just find me, on Google+ at +Rene Ritchie

Your choice?

Now that we've chosen our favorites for the week, we want to hear yours! Did you pick up a killer app, accessory, or game this week? Let us know in the comments below!

Leanna Lofte

App and Photography Editor at iMore. Mother, wife, and math instructor. Follow her on Twitter @llofte and send her apps to consider for review at iosapps@imore.com

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There are 8 comments. Add yours.

stuntmonkey says:

I feel the same way about all the social media channels out there, and have paired back what I'm doing. If you look on YouTube, a lot of the successful indie channels tend to have neglected websites, or a lot of prominent bloggers tend to be sparse Twitter users. There's only so much time in a day, and in the end, you tend to gravitate towards the dynamics of the audience.community.

asuperstarr says:

The should be fun! I think I will have to give it try. Thanks for review and recommendation.

JAL Payen says:

I raise my hat for the iMore crew's choices. Great job!

1776_1865_RIP says:

Have to agree with ArtRage; my favorite drawing app primarily due to the GUI.

ridiculocity says:

Ironman is repugnant. Trying to use the same free to play timers as real racing 3 doesn't work. Gameloft have gone from being sneaky copycats to free to play rip offs.

ssmita76 says:

I have played plant vs zombies and this game is fantastic... I will try other games too.

widmarkrob says:

Addictive game plants vs zombies and bejeweled are owned by the same company?
That's what I found out about 15 min. ago at another blog.
And that EA is also somehow involved. I guess I need to come out from underneath my rock,, once in a while. :-)
I've always associated EA with sports games and need for speed.
http://fyre.it/g7pVvw.4 … I started my own blog post about this so-called addictive game plants vs zombies, because my daughter cannot seem to put her phone down because of this game.
Just trying to keep up with the times.