Not actually having the iPad in our hands yet (lolwut? You too?) won't stop us from compiling a snapshot of App Store reviews from other media. Here's a look at what's getting good buzz:
You may have noted that many of the popular games for iPad appear to be ports of popular iPhone or Xbox Live Arcade releases. So we have high hopes for a console game that was actually improved by its iPad re-release: Mirror's Edge got a thumbs up from GizModo, and the boffins at IGN gave it an 8.5 out of 10.
And now a word on the $13 price for Mirror's Edge: According to the meta-analysis by PocketGamer, the average iPad game price is coming in at $3.52. They arrived at that by checking their Big List O' Games, they happened to notice there are an almost equal number of games "priced at $9.99 and $4.99 as $1.99. And $2.99 is the second most popular price." That said, Edge is a much deeper game than something like Plants Vs. Zombies.
Netflix subscribers (in the U.S. only, of course -- Canadians currently have no streaming options and continue to rely on, ahem, BitTorrent for timely on-demand video) have been gushing their early kudos for its app, which allows you to stream TV shows and movies. The technical hiccups seem rare thus far, making a hard-format-free future look more and more likely. Check out the the speedy load time in this demo:
And Amazon upgraded it's IMdb.com app for the iPad, so much for denying access to non-Kindle tablets, which allows access to its database of "1.5 million movie and TV titles with information on 3.2 million celebrities, actors, actresses, directors and crew members" not to mention high-def trailers.
There are reports the super fancy subscription model news apps aren't selling well, perhaps highlighting once more that you can't beat free as a price point (Hint, Hint G&M). One free app that has some positive buzz for more than just the price is the Yahoo! Entertainment app, Mashable put together a charming video review, below:
4. Social media
The folks at Engadget reivewed a passle of Twitter options, and call the $4.99 Twitterific app the best of breed to adapt to the iPad: "The only deterrent for power users is that you can only view one column at a time, but with lists, saved searches, and all other thread options easily accessible from the leftmost column, we didn't find it too inconvenient whatsoever."
They also put in a good word for Sociable too: "The ability to navigate Twitter, Facebook news feed, Flickr, Reddit, and Digg all from one account is pretty alluring, no?"
5. Random coolness
Why not Instapaper Pro? Currently one of the most popular paid apps in the App Store, as this simple utility that "allows you to cache Web pages to your iPad to read later" is one of several time-savers Reuters reported on.
Of course, they can't all be useful: Take iBeerKeg, an update on those beer-drinking apps that showed up when the iPhone launched. This time-killing app lets you pull a pint for your iPhone, only you know why you'd want to do such a thing.
P.S. If you're a comic-book fanboy the Marvel Comics app might be just the thing, check Boing Boing's video review below: