We’re continuing to wrap up our 2012 Year in Review coverage with a look back at the top apps of the year. Below Ypulse Youth Advisory Board member Julia Tanenbaum shares the top apps, which were standouts in 2012.
Best Of 2012: Apps
Instagram became huge this year and in case you didn’t know, it’s esssentially a social network for photos. Although it includes several filters, which can edit the look of photos to make them look vintage or artsy, the main draw is the ability to share your photos with the rest of the instagram community. You have a photo stream, which operates like a Tumblr dashboard, and updates with your friends’ newest photos. You can also follow anyone you want, but Facebook integration makes it easy to share memories and everyday moments with your friends.
Have you ever wanted to be a rock star but you can’t sing? Do you love autotune as much as Kanye West? Well then this app is for you! Songify lets anyone become a singer by turning your speech into a song. This app is extremely entertaining and could lead to the next autotuned viral hit.
This app goes one step beyond other news apps and combines your news and social media into a “magazine”. After adding your social networks and news outlets, you can see anything from a BBC news story to your friend’s Facebook status update on the same page. The gorgeous and accessible interface, features like commenting, and being able to save stories for later make this app a great way to streamline your news.
Whale Trail Frenzy
This T3 Award App of the Year nominated flying game was a surprise hit of the year. With its colorful and adorable graphics and time tested Tiny Wings style gameplay, it is easy to pick up and hard to put down for casual gamers and hardcore Halo fans alike. Best of all, it’s free to play, and there is always a new skill or character to unlock, ensuring it will keep you busy for a long time.
Although there are plenty of zombie shooters available for mobile devices, Dead Trigger stands out as one of the most entertaining and visually appealing. The gameplay is similar to other first person shooter action games, but the meticulously detailed 3D characters and environments make it seem like you’re playing on a console instead of a phone. Maps give you a wide variety of environments to explore, and the weapons are just as varied as on most console games. Furthermore, Dead Trigger gives you the option to play in story mode, or just play missions if you want a quick zombie-killing fix.
This running game gives the tired genre a new spin. Instead of an explorer in a temple, like in other similar swipe to dodge games, you play as a graffiti artist escaping from the cops on top of trains. The psychedelic cartoon graphics are fun and inviting, and being able to surf trains with a hover board and use a jet pack is entertaining even after hours of play.
This fast paced physics platformer is deceptively simple and extremely addictive. You play as Granny Smith, an old lady who skates, swings, and crashes through environments ranging from farmlands to cityscapes to retrieve her apples before a thief gets to them. The game mechanics are some of the most advanced that Android has to offer, and the destruction physics are realistic and entertaining. This game also sports vibrant and whimsical visuals that look like they came straight out of a children’s cartoon. Fun and varied, this game provides hours of entertainment without a steep learning curve or getting repetitive.
The Bard’s Tale
Although this role-playing game is not native to Android, it is still one of the most engrossing and addictive adventures the operating system has to offer. The Bard’s Tale proves that Android can handle an epic 3D console quality game. The game is just as ridiculous and hilarious as it was for PS2, and includes a vast world to explore, great voice acting, and a bizarre cast of characters. As you complete quests in environments varying from forests to haunted tombs, you will encounter countless types of enemies, bosses, and even some song and dance numbers. Although all of these games prove Android has what it takes to be a great gaming system, this one displays Android’s potential and perhaps the quality of games to come.
Julia Tanenbaum is a senior at Claremont High School in California. She has been on YAB for three years, and is excited to be back. Like most teenagers, she spends a lot of time on schoolwork, but she also enjoys playing video games, particuarly Japanese role playing games, volunteering, and watching Doctor Who and anime. She spends a considerable amount of time online, and loves internet culture, whether it’s Tumblr, music discussion forums, or Memebase. She also loves reading, especially Manga, other comics, and any kind of science fiction.