11 App Idol Finalists Announced

11 App Idol Finalists Announced


App Idol

We’ve finally done it. After gratuitous amounts of blood, sweat and tears, we aimed to whittle the hundreds of applicants that entered their ideas down to the top 10, but due to the high quality of the videos we received we couldn’t narrow the list to 10 so now we have 11 finalists.  The fate of the winner lays in the hands of the four esteemed judges; they will decide who is going to win the $1,000 prize money as well as getting their app developed by Locassa and receive a huge publicity package from iPhoneAppCafe, iPhone Life and other media partners.

We received over 680 submissions to our App Idol competition, which was absolutely fantastic; some of the submissions were good, some were great and some were downright bonkers! After painstakingly reviewing every submission, we selected the top 20 and requested video reviews from each applicant; the quality of the submissions was already very high and we were impressed with a lot of the videos that came through. We spent an agonising few days deeming which videos were to go through to the final and eventually decided on our top 10. In no particular order, here they are:

1. Animal Wars

The player can choose an animal and fight against another animal e.g. a crocodile vs shark. There are different categories of animals.

2. Corn Runner

This is a game where the player will try to steal as much corn from the grumpy farmer before they get caught. As they progress through the game, the fields will take longer to get through and power-ups will be available for both the player and the farmer making the game more challenging and fun. The controls could be controlled by the accelerometer to move the player left and right and speed up and down.

3. Boom!erang

A fun game with a simple concept yet is hard-to-master boomerang game. This app requires the player to flick on the screen to throw their boomerang against a certain target/enemies. The characters in the game will try to dodge the incoming boomerangs, run from it or even counter a throw with another object. But be careful not to hit yourself!

4. Garden War

Garden War is a turn-based strategy game featuring combat between three uniquely balanced insect species: ants, grasshoppers, and spiders. As the game develops, players can recruit additional races to supplement their existing forces, including bees, wasps, slugs, and other common garden insect. Players select different plant areas of the garden to conquer (i.e. tomatoes, corn, carrots, cucumbers, etc.), challenging the other factions for control. Players win when each section of the garden has been conquered.

5. Crazy Dave

Dave is a 22year old boy who meets with an accident on his way home, and because of which he seriously injures his brain, which leads to a severe problem whenever his stress level increases. His aim is to pass through the jungle, which is filled with the most ferocious animals chasing him, so the main problem is whenever the crazy meter is full he does the exact opposite of what we order him to do. When the stress level is lower, he acts normal.

6. League of eX-Presidents

A fun beat-em up game with a humorous premise. The United States is under attack by space aliens (who hate democracy). With the country in a precarious situation, the nation turns to its political heroes of old – the eX-Presidents. Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and more are revived through “science” to do battle on behalf of the U S of A. Each President uses their own super power to combat evil. Lincoln has his flaming stovepipe hat while Teddy Roosevelt can shoot lasers out of his monocle. The aliens don’t have a chance against this team of super heroes!

7. Picture This

A social game that allows the user to take a picture and send it to the other user allowing them a set time to guess the picture, as it displays to them in small pieces, until the entire image is shown. More points or “coins” would be given the sooner the player gets what the picture is. Think “Draw Something”, but with actual photographs from your device.

8. Flightr

By using the camera and sound effects – choose either to take control of a plane, jet, car, missile etc and get it to land safely whilst racing against the clock.

9. What To Cook

The problem that I have with cooking supper every night is not knowing what to cook with the ingredients that I have at home. I would like an app that would allow you to choose your type of food (Mexican, American, Chinese, etc.), then type in 3 ingredients that you have at home; the app would then generate simple recipes that use the 3 ingredients.

10. Bear Freestyle!

This app is a game in which the objective is to keep a bear (the main character) balanced on an oil drum. It is a simple game which utilises the accelerometer, the aim would be to gather up a high score by “surviving on the oil drum/barrel” scoring would be based on time, to make the game harder other bears would be coming in from the sides of the screen forcing you to tilt the device.

11. Placemail

That’s right guys, due to the fact that the quality of applications was so high, we had to add another ‘Wild Card’ entry into the top 10!

Placemail is reverse geocaching.  Instead of going somewhere to find an item you carry your item to a location and it opens.  The item in this case is a message.  Users can send each other messages that cannot be read until they are in a location and/or time specified by the message sender.

The winner of the competition will be announced on August 16 but in the meantime, why not tell us which is your favourite idea in the comments section below? Alternatively, you can send us a tweet or post your comments on Facebook.


  1. To be honest, i’m a bit disappointed by how many of the finalists are game apps. The longevity of games on iOS only last as long as the users’ boredom. Take DrawSomething for example which enjoyed startling success for the first few weeks, but is no where near as popular anymore. In fact it’s all but forgotten about. Angry Birds is the only exception but that’s because they’ve made a franchise of games rather than just the stand alone app.

    The apps that make a true difference are the ones that are not only really useful, but are consistently useful. For this reason, What to Cook, although not a totally revolutionary idea, has my vote.

  2. LOVE the What to Cook app!!!! I don’t play games but I do cook! I know a lot of my friends will want to get this app!!!

  3. I’m not much of a game player but the #7 picture game got my attention. I really think I would like to try that one. Would love to try it…I think I would do good.

  4. Boom!erang sounds fun. Sounds simple but would love to see how it is implemented. Can’t wait to play with it!
    No offense but wouldn’t the president fighting game be offensive to some people? It might be offensive to some people. That’s just my opinion though. Agree with the commenter above, Epicurious fills the role just fine 🙂

  5. i find #5 crazy Dave app interesting…it’s heading towards creating a new genre for games
    Best of Luck!!!!

  6. Boom!erang, you def have my vote! I love your fantastic idea 🙂 can’t wait to experience it myself! 😉

  7. I love simple and fun games which involves quick movement and thinking but not deep thinking (like those strategy games). So my favourite is definitely boom!erang. It sounds like the perfect game to play when you’re stress and just wanna have fun!

  8. My vote definitely go to #3: Boom!erang. It sounds great and maybe he (Eric) can consider to add more features like playing with more than two players. Looking forward for it to be implemented!

  9. Thanks all for your comments. It is true most of them are games. We were aware of that but really found it hard to find original non-game ideas for which there weren’t already an existing app.

    We also received many social networking ideas but we find that area so much saturated and difficult to enter. There is also the monetization aspect of the app we have to consider.

    Don’t forget we also have a wild card entry number 11 that is not a game.

  10. There are millions of different recipe apps on the app store so I don’t believe this would go very far, also the boom!erang game seems to me as though it would be a five minute wonder. League of eX-presidents could offend people very easily.
    My favourite by far is bear freestyle as it has a genuine story behind it as well as using tilt. I haven’t seen a game similar to this so it would bring something fresh that everyone would want to experience. Overall I think this would have the most success as its entertaining and sounds like it would be competitive for getting the highest score, i could defiantly see this becoming a franchise equal to something like angry birds or cut the rope.

  11. What a fantastic list. 
    That’s sad to know that my idea was not listed and worse they are all games which were selected.

    Oh well, I dislike the league of the presidents. Its too offensive. What the hell is with all the powers from the mouth and stuffs? Don’t they have any respect for the presidents?

    What to Cook is exactly the same as ‘epicurious’ which app is already available in the app store. They have 5 million downloads already. I don’t know why people would want WhatToCook now. 

    As for the Placemail, I like the idea. Its good for surprises but I don’t find it commercially viable.

    Animal war is just like the plant vs zombie. I dont really like it. Too lame.

    Boomerang seems to be too simple but its a fantastic idea. Ive never seen a game as that just yet.
    That could be a hit.

    My vote goes to Boomerang.

  12. Really love this competition by iPhoneappcafe. This shows that ‘mere mortals’ like us, not only developers can contribute something to the app phenomenon.

    I agree with the commenter above in that the App Store has a lot of very good social networking apps already. Unless it is something that is really, really good. Games are the way to go for maximum potential profitability.

    The fighting-based game is an interesting idea, but I don’t think that it’s good enough. For one, it may be offensive. The ex-presidents are very respected figures and my personal view is that the game is portraying them in a way that is quite degrading. For example, many people I know complained about the movie: Abraham Lincoln-Vampire Hunter as they find it ridiculous that the ex-Pesident was portrayed in that way. Just look at the rating on Rotten Tomatoes if you don’t believe me.

    Corn Runner and Crazy Dave are equally interesting but they just sound like a different iteration of Temple Run. This means that they are not unique enough. Pitfall and Temple Run:Brave were just released as well and it would be quite hard to displace these apps from the popularity ranking.

    Two ideas from the list above that I think are unique would be Placemail and Boom!erang. The reverse geocaching is certainly interesting and unique but I just couldn’t see the use of it in my life as a smartphone user. What’s wrong with a text message, for instance? The scenario given by the video made little sense to me as you can just text your partner, ask them to come to a certain place, then if you give a physical surprise, like suddenly kneeling in front of them to propose etc would be much more viable.

    My vote goes to Boom!erang. It is sufficiently different and unique, and I think we have a really good idea here. I like the fact that Eric (sorry if I got the name wrong) is looking forward to combine the touch input, accelerometer and the gyro to make this game. If done right, I think this game can go long ways. If they can create very iconic characters or weapons etc, this game has a potential to generate spinoffs and sequels.

    Nevertheless, congrats to all the finalists. Good luck to all of you!! 🙂

  13. # 5 CRAZY DAVE apps sounds cool to me… I love the concept and I can easily visualize how the game is goona look like.. I think CRAZY DAVE app has upper hand here.. My votes goes to CRAZY DAVE!!!

  14. ok, so the boomerang idea would of been good if there wasn’t already two exactly the same on the uk app store. you can get these for free, so its not likely your gunna pay for another one. bad luck if this one wins i guess.
    surely everyone would rather be out there actually playing with a real life boomerang? this is what makes those games so shocking, no change from everyday life.

    bears on a oil drum mind, thats a whole different story, has my vote all the way!

  15. I have carefully watched every finalists video, and read all the comments and have to say, I am not surprised that they are mostly games, they are the biggest money maker.
    This is why I don’t understand the like for boom!erang, theres not a chance i’d pay for something i could go and do it my own back yard. There just seems to be some kind of pointless reckoning in it, think of how quickly a game like fruit ninja died down again, i dont see any kind of future for a boomerang game.
    One of my favourites is placemail as its just so out there, although i don’t think any one would really use it, it would be from inconvenience rather than being unimpressed.
    the app i am impressed with is Bear Freestyle, the story behind it is genuine and helps me to already start dreaming of how it could be developed into something with a scene in front of the game like with wheres my water. it has a potential to be expanded and experimented with that none of the others do. the high score system is something we know that works a treat but can be adjusted and fiddled with at will, think of temple run where you will willingly spend hours trying to beat your work colleagues high score. my question to you all is, why would you want to play something on your phones that you could go out and do any day of the week with the kids, rather than something you probably wont ever experience in your lifetime but get to live through in the gaming world. i think the most important part of bear freestyle is the fact it can be a blank canvas or a very full one as jordan seems very enthusiastic young man so the ideas will never run out, the game just has so much area to explore and i really do hope the judges can realise this.
    Bear freestyle to win!!

  16. Hmm. Guess I disagree with the 2 comments above. The boomerang game concept is really entirely different from what you get on the app store as it is not a simulation, but rather has a different objective- there are characters and storylines that can be developed as well for boomerang and I’d love to see what he comes up with. IMHO, it is something I would really love to try out. I played with the 2 boomerang simulations on the App Store and they are just horrible. Bear freestyle is good, but to me personally it’s fairly restricted to kids ie not for everyone.

    Just my 2 cents 🙂

  17. My vote goes to boomerang….. Someone said about playing one in the backyard. Hey, not everyone has a backyard. And sometimes u really want to test ur physics skills when u r bored…

  18. i think crazy Dave has quite a catchy feature which will be immensely addictive for the crazy feature!!!!
    My vote goes for crazy Dave!!!!

  19. After watching all the reviews I would have to say that Bear Freestyle gets my attention.
    I think the Bear Freestyle app would have the best long term appeal and you could maybe even turn it into a franchise like Angry Birds, after all who didn’t have a teddy bear when they were a kid (or maybe even still has one now?!).

    Move over Fozzie & Yogi, there’s a new bear in town!!
    Bear Freestyle to win!

  20. I have watched all the finalists videos and given it a few days careful consideration and, like Mitch I am not surprised the majority of the finalists are games – it is incredibly difficult to come up with an original and consistently useful app that has not already been covered in some way before, as demonstrated by What to Cook and epicurious.

    Placemail is a really interesting concept but i don’t see much use for it. The appeal of Geocaching is hunting high and low in nooks and crannies for something physically there. It evokes childhood memories of treasure hunts and Placemail removes all these elements. I’m not sure that receiving a message or picture when you arrive at your destination will hold the same reward that will keep users coming back for more.

    With gaming apps the creator has the ability to let their imagination run wild and this is what captures the imagination of the audience. For this reason I believe Boomerang would not hold any long term interest – the concept is too simple to keep the audience hooked.

    Crazy Dave confuses me slightly – I’m not wholly comfortable with the fact that he has a severe brain injury and i definitely don’t understand why he’s now in a jungle?? As for the ex-Presidents, I believe this game would have very limited appeal outside of The States, along with the potential to offend many within The States.

    I agree with the last comment, the app that gets me most excited is Bear Freestyle! As previously mentioned the idea stems from a genuine moment in Jordan’s life and the passion he has for the concept is evident. I can easily envisage the characters coming to life, particularly with additional skins and accessories that would allow the player to customize the bear and make him their own. The scoring system is well thought out for long term appeal and the option to either tilt or use buttons on the bottom of the screen is again well thought out.

    The creators imagination has definitely run wild with Bear Freestyle and it’s a quirky, novel idea for an app that might just take the world by storm.

  21. My vote goes to Boomerang. It is one of those ideas that I think will top the charts on the App Store. This is because the young man, Eric, is looking forward to combine both the touch input with accelerometer and gyro of iOS devices. I’ve read the description of the game and I really believe that what makes the touchscreen so powerful are the various gestures you can perform with it, and Boomerang is something that I believe can utilise these inputs very efficiently. Some commenters try to beat it down by saying that it is something you can play at your own backyard. I disagree with that. As someone said, not everyone has a backyard and most importantly, the game was never described as a simulation. Therefore, it has a real storyline, characters and skills that will make this game sufficiently interesting and unique. I also love the fact that the game’s idea was born out of his own experience seeing the kids playing in the park. From his description, they were really enjoying themselves and I think that this game will be able to bring the the same, if not a higher level of fun and challenge to that experience.

    Maybe I’m the only one that had seen this, but I had a first-hand experience of seeing how bears were trained in these animal shows/circus before and I had to say I am really put off by it. The bears were whipped etc just so they could master the balancing acts and other antics. Somehow this game idea let me relive the whole experience and it is something that I wouldn’t want my kids to play with. To me personally, this game will somehow feed them with the idea that is is OK that bears and other circus animals be allowed to be treated this way – and this is clearly wrong.

    These are just my personal opinions. Of course all these ideas are very, very good. However, Boomerang was the one idea that really caught my attention when I scrolled down the list. Hope it wins!

  22. It’s unfortunate that many of the comments posted here don’t seem like “votes” at all, but rather individuals arguing in favor of one or another idea. It seems as though it would be beneficial to app purchasers to have some public (unbiased) opinions voiced. With that said, #7 and #8 have my vote.

  23. The marketing idea for animal wars is superb! I would download it and tell my friends to do so too. Animal Wars all the way!

  24. I understand what Matte Black says about bears in the circus. But I have personally been to Boston zoo where Jordan’s idea came from. And it certainly is not a circus. The bears do have barrels and other drums in their enclosure. They are most certainly not forced to play on them. It is up to them what they play with. Having seen the bears play on them as Jordan said I find it truly amazing that he was able to come up with his idea from this. There for Bear Freestyle gets my vote. A persons imagination turning a simple experiance into a great idea.

  25. Some great ideas here, but I’m not sure how many of these have the depth to be more than a 5 minute curiosity. Garden Wars seems like it is more than a one-and-done like most of these.

  26. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE League of eX-Presidents! A CREATIVEand FUN way for players of all ages to triumph over the aliens and reinforce a history lesson while doing so. Never paid much attention in history classes but this app has me coming back for more!

  27. I’ve perused the selection here and have to say I think League of Ex-Presidents has the greatest potential, if developed correctly to be the stickiest, most popular app offered here. By developed properly I mean if the app was both a game and a tool used to expose players to historical background of the ex-presidents it could make a huge splash.

    The action of the game would draw in those looking for the fighter gaming experience (actually a very clever angle to pit intergalactic aliens against DNA re-animated ex-presidents). But by seriously integrating the history side of things you could ratchet up the cleverness of the game and make it something parents and educators would love to see kids play and/or play themselves.

    I think this is where the smart money is for an app with an exciting draw and a great potential for longevity.

  28. Loving the #3 idea!! And absolutely keen to see if Boom!erang can even have player characters so it’ll become more real-life! Want this!

  29. The Winner is now announced! and yes it is Boom!erang: http://fanappic.com/the-winner-of-app-idol-is-boomerang/

    Thank you all for your comments and votes. We really appreciate it. Boom!erang was the most popular in the comments, so yes judges did pay attention to the votes here.

    It was a close call between Boom!erang and League of eX-Presidents.

    Do you think we should make this competition a regular event?

    Until next time….

  30. Congrats to boom!erang.

    Would justlike to say I though bear freestyle was a brilliant idea and it’s annoying that I didnt find out earlier to comment on it. Third place is excellent so dont give up young man! You have a brilliant idea there which is not to be wasted by you. Keep at it and find another way to do this. I’m sure you can so I am waiting for it to appear on the app store now. Don’t be disheartened, you obviously have a good mind for this area as I could never imagine turning your experience into a game. Well done on third, it is an amazing achievement out of so many people. Good luck to you.


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