So the nice folks here at Anime Vice gave me some codes to check out the recently released Evangelion applications that are tying in with the Rebuild of Evangelion movies (to be released in the US by Funimation in November). The applications are available on the iTunes store for the iPod Touch and iPhone. For purposes of this review I used my iPhone 3G 16GB Black.
Platform: iPhone / iPod touch
Developer: khara / APPLIYA Inc. / BROCCOLI
The first app I got to check out was the clock. When it comes down to it all it is is a clock with a countdown timer can countdown any minute from 1 – 30 minutes. Those familiar with the series will recognize the clock as the NERV headquarters timer screens showing the battery life remaining in the Eva's. The app also includes sounds for the countdown timer which beep every second (great for annoying your friends and relatives!) to the sound speeding up in the final ten seconds with a shutdown sound when the timer reaches zero. It's all very accurate to the Evangelion universe and does a nice job as fan service.
It does little more than that though, you are not buying this for the functionality. You are buying this because you're an Eva fan and want to show it off to your friends. For the price I really do hope that they come out with some updates to it adding functionality or more sounds and pictures. All that you're getting for the price (so far) is a prettied up clock and countdown timer (which comes standard with the iPhone). One complaint I could see some people having with it though would be that it displays time in military (24 hour) time, but that honestly did not bother me.
In the end I can only recommend it for hardcore fans of the series, or people who really REALLY want a pretty clock for the iPhone/iPod. There is far worse stuff you can spend your money on in the app store but for what you're getting for the price you pay is fairly limited.
Evangelion vol. 3 Picture Stamp
Platform: iPhone / iPod Touch
Developer: khara / APPLIYA Inc. / BROCCOLI
Why is this app cheaper than the clock?! It has much more functionality and is more fun to play around with! As you probably can tell from the title this little app is a Picture Stamp with various characters, items and displays from the Evangelion series. There are sixteen items in total that you can stamp your photos with which are: Eva 01, Eva 00, Prog Knife, Vtol, Headset, Rei's hair, Sachel, Ramiel, Nerv Logo, Seele, H.I. Project, Central Dogma, Warning, Misato's Cross, Pen Pen and A.T. Field.
Your first option though is to take a photo within the app or to use an existing photo. I would highly recommend taking a photo outside of the application as the app does not save the original photo you take within it when it is taken, it just puts it in the editor for stamping (although you can save it there, it is an extra annoying step).
iPhone/iPod users should feel really comfortable with the interface as it uses gestures that nearly every user uses on a regular basis. Select the stamp you wish to put on the photo and hold one finger down to drag and use two fingers to pinch and push to make the stamp larger or smaller and also rotate the image.
If you use an image you have already taken or imported into your device you are put in the editing screen to add the stamps. Once you save it saves it as a separate file, thus keeping your original in tact. This is my recommendation for anyone who uses this app because honestly I'll forget to save the original.
Overall I really enjoyed this application, I got to play around with a bunch of old photos and add Pen Pen to the dinner table or make it look as if Ramiel was about to come take out my school or hometown. I would recommend this mostly to fans of the show, but I think general anime fans could get a kick out of this, especially at conventions. Your mileage may vary, but I think this will be an enjoyable app for the foreseeable future as we head into convention season and hopefully (just like the clock) the developer updates this app with even more stamps (especially as we approach the release of Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance).
So there you have it, the first of many planned Evangelion iPhone/iPod Touch apps. While they are a little pricey at $5 together I think anime fans are accustom to paying a premium for their merchandise (unfortunately). At the very least though this shows that anime companies are actually looking and developing for the mobile phone market in the West which traditionally has been empty of any anime related content. It's not as if this set of apps are particularly bad, it's just that there is not much there currently. So fire up iTunes and download it and hopefully I'll see you at some conventions this year!