May 312010
 

In my real life I work in the consumer electronics business – I represent different tech companies in North America and help their products, sites or apps get into the hands of editors and bloggers to get written up (hopefully in a favorable light).

I spend a lot of time on my iPhone and keep track of all the top apps and am constantly checking out new apps and basically putting them through their paces to see what’s cool about them, what sucks and what is just plan hype.

I was ecstatic to see that app store currently has a few roller derby apps – some free, some paid and some just plan horrible.

DISCLAIMER: I generally like everything derby related and actually have a hard time writing anything negative, but there are standards and being the tech/app expert I am, I have to keep it real for my readers.

Intro to Flat-track Roller Derby

Made by Germaine Kol, Flat-track Roller Derby is a well made derby 101 type app. Do you ever found yourself drawing out a track on a cocktail napkin with little X’s and O’s , trying to explain to Joe Shmo how derby works? No longer needed my friends.

This app has a great basic demo of how derby works including an interactive ref signals section (always good to review as a player) and FAQ section with great questions like:

Why do the blockers let the jammer go?

Why isn’t she lead jammer?

What does the pivot do?

And many more.

This is a great free app that any derby girl with an iPhone should download.

Raven’s rating: Grand Slam – get it and love it!

Roller Derby

Made by Elyzium Entertainment, Roller Derby is a game-style app that puts you in the jammer’s seat with nine laps to beat the other jammer. Sounds fun right? Well think again. The app itself sucks – sorry to say. I was very disappointed with the crappy graphics and the jammer avatar is super hard to control. Plus it feels impossible to win. I’ve played numerous times and continually get my butt kicked. I play a lot of video games and love having games on my iPhone, so it’s not like I’m the suck-factor in this case.

Having worked with companies that go through Apple’s mysterious app approval cycle, I’m super surprised this app got approved to be in the app store. If I had paid for this app, I would be writing someone stern letters to get my bucks back! Being that it is free to download, I’ll just live with my disappointment.

Raven’s rating: FAIL – don’t waste your time.

PenaltyTimer

Made by Fearless code this app does exactly what it says it does. It’s a penalty timer. You can run one side of the bench or even run six seats at once, with easy to control timers and color coding.

This is a simple but great app for scrimmage nights (just be sure and put your phone on airplane mode so you do not get interrupted by calls or text messages).

Even though I am not a fan of paying for apps, for $2.99 this one is worth the price!

A must have for all you refs and NSOs out there!

Raven’s Rating: Yippee-Skippee – worth the bucks and good to have on hand.

One app I have downloaded to watch derby with is the Justin.tv app – This app is not specific for derby, but being that Justin.tv streams games it is perfect for when I am away from my computer and want to watch a killer bout I might be missing.

I would love to see more derby apps in the iTunes store, but I think developers have to keep the standards high and think about the niche they are filling. Us derby girls love to see derby-specific anything, but do us proud :)

As always, if you have questions, comments or tips for me, drop me a line: derby.hurts@gmail.com

Images courtesy of the iTunes Store.

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