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Tech Scan: Reviews of apps Food Network in the Kitchen, Ninja Up

TV chefs’ recipes

We could all use a little more inspiration in the kitchen, whether we’re master chefs or amateurs struggling to boil water. The Food Network’s recipe finder taps into the knowledge of the channel’s resident chefs, such as Alton Brown or Giada De Laurentiis, and lets you look at, save and make shopping lists from their recipes. The recipes are organized by dish – appetizers, brunch, etc. – and you can search by ingredient. The app lets you add up to six timers for various dishes, so you don’t run the risk of burning your entree while you’re tending to your sides.

Users will have to set up a Food Network account, or connect to Facebook and Twitter to access all of the features, such as sharing. The iPad version of the app offers additional perks, such as a meal planning tool and how-to videos.

Free, for iOS and Android devices.

Jump for your life

Test your reflexes and channel your inner acrobat with Ninja Up, the latest title from Gameloft. This simple game makes you the steward of a tiny ninja who wants to jump to the stars, but needs you to secure his path by drawing ropes to act as launching pads. The smaller the rope, the higher he jumps. The ninja can also bound off the walls to avoid the obstacles that crop up on your path, such as construction cranes. If you miscalculate his trajectory by even a little bit and crash him into a building or send him back to the ground . . . well, it’s “bye-bye, ninja.” Death – or at least something like it – is a constant companion throughout the game, a fact that the designers have tried to soften with euphemisms like “the ground wanted to say hello.” Ninja Up is maddeningly addictive.

The game is free – and has no in-app purchases – but users do have to be willing to sit through advertisements. Most of the ads are small; every few times you die, though, you will get served a full-screen ad that can break up the flow of the game. Free, for iOS devices. Android version is in development.

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