3D Solar System: iPhone App Written Review
Just when we think we’ve seen every kind of iPhone app in existence, something comes out of the blue (or in this case, the sky) and smacks us upside the head. And usually, we can’t get over how cool that surprise is. Such is the case with 3D Solar System, by developer Reason Interactive. If someone had told me at the iPhone’s launch that I would one day be using it to soar effortlessly through the solar system, I would have told them to bugger off. But thanks to this superbly interactive and breath taking application, those with an Hasbro My3D Viewer can achieve just that.
Concept and Functionality
We have a feeling 3D Solar System might take a bit of explaining. The application first and foremost provides an interactive, three dimensional model of the solar system for its users to fly through. It achieves this via the Hasbro My3D viewer, an inexpensive piece of hardware that attaches to the iPhone. 3D Solar System produces an image, and the viewer translates this into easily viewed and engaging three dimensional models. All of this is, of course, done without any need for goofy red or blue spectacles.
Once attached, loaded, and set-up, 3D Solar System becomes an amazingly simple and elegant educational and entertainment tool. The title comes packed with information about all eight (or nine, if you’re stubborn like us) planets, including their moons, orbits, locations, and sizes. There’s a video that will demonstrate just how large the planets really are, and once that’s been perused, users are free to zoom about the rocks themselves, as if piloting a spaceship. Whether or not that sounds enticing to you, we guarantee you’ll love the end experience. There’s just something awesome about using our iPhone to fall slowly into a self-propelled orbit above Mars. Truly, it’s an enriching experience.
Graphics and Controls
3D Solar System keeps things simple, offering just two on-screen buttons for the user to monkey with. There’s a thrust button for navigation, as well as a stop button for when an orbit gets out of hand. Pressing and holding either of these produces an information prompt, or a list of nearby objects. All in all, it’s a simplistic affair stretched over a truly gorgeous exterior. The planetary models are top-notch, and will—in almost every case—take your breath away.
3D Solar System costs a mere $3.99 in the App Store. For those without a My3D viewer, the initial hardware investment may be a put-off. But for those already 3D enabled, this is a no-brainer buy. It’s the solar system at the end of your iPhone: We cannot recommend this experience, or this application, enough.
3D Solar System requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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