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10 top New Year's Eve party apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Eats, drinks, tunes, games

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Games

We searched the App Store far and wide for party games, but were disappointed to discover that most of them are either at the poopoo-caca level of juvenile humor, or of a sexual nature so anti-stimulatory that they make celibacy look inviting.

There are, for example, well over 100 variations on "spin the bottle" and "truth or dare" – check out Nasty Bottle HD (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, 99¢ with a free "lite" version) or Adult Truth or Dare (17+) (iPad, 99¢) as examples. If you must.

If we ever reprise iPhone apps: the 10 smartest and 10 stupidest or iPad apps: the 10 smartest and 10 stupidest, we'll be sure to make room for some of the lower-rent spin-the-bottle and truth-or-dare apps.

We did find one party-game app, however, that was gloriously dumb – dumb in that "I hate to admit it, but playing this game is actually a hoot" way. That would be inReverse Party Game (iPhone, iPad, free during the holidays).

inReverse Party Game

Chalk up our affection for inReverse to the fact that we have a musical background and are quite immature

It's a bit difficult to explain exactly how you play inReverse, or exactly why it merits the aforementioned hoot, but we'll give it a shot: one player sings a tune, a capella, into their iOS device. inReverse then – you guessed it – reverses that audio file, and plays it back to the second player, who tries to guess the original tune.

In the highly unlikely event that the second player guesses correctly, the game ends. If the player can't guess it, inReverse divides the reversed tune into manageable fragments, which the second player then tries to imitate, fragment by fragment, recording their attempts.

inReverse then reassembles and re-reverses the second players vocal stylings – that is, it puts them back into the order that the original tune was sung – and plays them back. Surprisingly, the tune is then usually quite recognizeable. Distorted, mangled, twisted, and contorted, but recognizeable – and, to this inReverse fan's ears, often quite risible.

Give inReverse a shot. It's free today, so you're not risking anything but a few minutes – and possibly your dignity. ®

Bootnote

One last item, albeit a highly specialized one: Budapest Party Locator (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, free).

Budapest Party Locator

There'll be a hot time tonight at the Filter Otherground Music Pub

This app provides a regularly updated list of the happenings and hot spots in that wild and wacky town of Budapest, Hungary, with info in both Hungarian and English. As the app's marketing blurb says, "Refresh your event database and have party all night!"

Would that the Vulture Annex's hometown of San Francisco had such a useful – and free – fun-detector.

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