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Favorite Four: iOS Games that Play Themselves

Posted by Rob Rich on March 22nd, 2013

I think Terminator lore might have gotten it wrong. Skynet wasn’t developed by the military, it was the natural progression of cloud gaming and AI functions. Most iOS users already take advantage of wireless data transference between devices, and there are a surprising number of games out there these days that involve very little player feedback. So think about that while taking a look at this list of games you can play without having to devote a lot of time or effort to the process. I mean who knows? Maybe the real Skynet is just a free-to-play sequel away...


Mega Mall Story
Kairosoft is pretty much the reigning champion of high quality (yet accessible) iOS sims. Their entire library is fantastic, as far as I’m concerned, but Mega Mall Story stands out as the least gameplay-intensive of the bunch. Constructing new shops and researching new mall technologies is important, but most of the time players simply have to sit and wait while their mini consumers consume and fill their virtual bank account with millions. Gotta love making money hand-over-fist for doing nothing.
[itmsapp: 454679700]

The Blockheads
This surprisingly entertaining mix between Minecraft and The Sims is its own reward, but it’s also pretty low-impact. Once players queue up a large list of actions, ranging from crafting multiple tools to hollowing out an entire cave system, they can just sit back and watch their tiny minion do their thing. Or not, since the latest update now allows the virtual prospectors to finish their actions even when the game is turned off.
[itmsapp: 519596406]

Rivals at War
I’m pretty sure I’ll catch a little flak from Carter for including this in the list but I’m willing to take that chance. Rivals at War is about as hands-off as a war game can get. Players construct a team of soldiers using cards, upgrade their abilities, swap them out for better killers when needed, and send them off to battle. Completely automated battles that don’t even have to be viewed if players would rather skip ahead to the results. Aside from occasional team maintenance there’s little player influence, which is great for some quick on-the-go play.
[itmsapp: 589599502]

Godville
Of course I’ve saved the best example for last. As far as I can tell, iOS games don’t get any more hands-off than this. Players get to name their character, who’s really a pawn that blindly follows their iPhone-toting god, and that’s it. The game does everything else - combat, quests, equipment, guilds, PvP, etc - on its own. Players can stop in and encourage or punish their follower as they see fit, but that’s about all they can do aside from simply checking in to see how things are progressing. It’s the ultimate game for people who don’t have a lot of time to commit to playing games.
[itmsapp: 353421868]

Favorite 4: March Madness 2013

Posted by Carter Dotson on March 21st, 2013

Spring is (technically) here again, with the herald of college basketball's annual tournament, the aptly-titled March Madness (though the final game is in April). There's plenty of ways to enjoy the basketball mania from your iOS device. Here's our favorite four apps for March Madness 2013.

NCAA March Madness Live: There's an obvious choice for inclusion in this article, and that's the app that lets you experience the madness live from anywhere. All the tournament's games are available from this app. So watch a scrappy underdog from a tiny college try to beat a team with first-round draft picks working as towel boys. Or watch an additional game to the one on TV. Or get three iOS devices and watch all the games at once, even if it drives you...mad!

ESPN Bracket Bound: The other half of the fun during March Madness is filling out and following your picks for the 64 teams in the bracket. If you use ESPN, their app lets you track your bracket and see how well you're doing. You can also compare your bracket with a variety of other sports analysts, celebrities, and even President Obama. You can also track scores, watch video from ESPN analysts about the games, and track the latest news from the tournament.

SideBets: Of course, anyone can make a bracket full of their wildest picks with no repercussions if they fail, sure. But what about if there was a little something extra behind it? Not real-world gambling because that's illegal, right FBI? But you can legally bet something intangible: your pride. That's what SideBets does, it lets you wager virtual currency with your friends on game results to see who wins. The app features actual gambling lines, so you can get the thrill of gambling on sports without the massive crushing financial losses and broken kneecaps from bookies you owe money to.

StarDunk: All the roundball action might get you thinking that you're gonna want to go out and pound the rock a bit, show those youngsters how it's done. This will probably not go well. Afterward, how about you instead play a game of virtual basketball? And since we're playing virtual basketball, let's go nuts and play a game of basketball...in space. Godzi Lab's classic basketball game features plenty of fast-paced basketball shooting, basketballs with special properties, and online competition to try and take down. Regain some pride if your team gets knocked out or if your bracket gets busted.

Favorite Four: iOS Development Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on March 20th, 2013

Ever use an app and think "Wow, if I knew how to code, I'd be able to do something better than this?" I know I have! Which is why, of late, I've been slowly trying to pick up more knowledge about how to do exactly that. It's a slow process and, no, I'll never be a millionaire because of it, but it's an interesting hobby. There's a wide selection of iOS apps already out there, keen to make the process simpler for enthusiasts. Here are our favorite four.

Developer Cheat Sheet for iOS
Previously covered on the site earlier in the year, Developer Cheat Sheet for iOS is an immensely handy resource by one's side. Offering a mixture of tutorials and quick reference tools, the app covers a variety of useful skills and abilities in a simple to read format. It even offers source code for users to evaluate and learn from.

Objective-C Programming
For aspiring coders who already have some experience in the C Language, Objective-C Programming is a handy app, building upon that knowledge to get users up to scratch with Objective C, the language used by Xcode to develop apps. Approaching the subject from a different angle than most, the app offers a series of training videos to educate its viewers with over 12 hours of material and 30 lessons. Significantly, it keeps light hearted at all times so do expect some adult humor within.

iTunes U
Still one of the best kept secrets on iTunes, iTunes U is ideal for learning about pretty much anything imaginable. It's an app that offers many thousands of free courses, often from some of the best known Universities across the world, for anyone who's interested. Over 600,000 free lectures are available, with plenty of videos, slides and other information, too. Crucially, for the purposes of this feature, there are plenty of different lectures on learning Objective C as well as many other programming languages. It's a fantastic resource to consult.

Koder Code Editor
There isn't an Xcode client for iOS, unfortunately, but Koder should prove handy for those testing their skills while on the move. It's a code editor that works with a variety of web development languages, as well as C# and C++, both languages that are useful foundations for iOS development skills. No matter what kind of code you want to produce, while on the move, the simple and clear to use Koder has you covered.

Favorite Four: Card Games

Posted by Jennifer Allen on March 18th, 2013

Card games are one of the oldest methods of gaming out there, so it's no great surprise that they've converted well to modern technology such as our beloved iOS devices. The App Store is overflowing with different card games, ranging from typical solitaire games to trading card titles. We've taken a look at our four favorite card games out there, at the moment.

Fairway Solitaire
Fairway Solitaire is a modern interpretation of the classic card game of Solitaire. Free and backed up with some very tempting in-app purchases, it offers a huge number of different solitaire games, all based around the game of Golf Solitaire. There's even a glimpse of a story through a mischievous gopher out to cause havoc on the gold course. Even better, there's regular new content thanks to a new courses each day. It should keep both puzzle and card game fans happy for many, many hours.

Rage of Bahamut
It's far from the prettiest of card games out there, but Rage of Bahamut has proven to be quite the phenomenon. It's even hooked the site's Rob Rich since he reviewed it last year. A trading card game full of mystical creatures and magical items, there's a surprising amount of strategical depth to it. Just don't expect it to use iOS's graphical prowess to its full potential.

Assassin's Creed Recollection
Moving onto a card game that does use some of the graphical potential of iOS devices, Assassin's Creed Recollection is ideally suited for fans of the Assassin's Creed world. A war between the Templars and Assassins is brewing in this real-time card game, with plenty of information about the titles available to unlock. There's a story mode, too, offering hours of intriguing missions and political battles.

Full Deck Pro Solitaire
Returning to traditional card gaming, Full Deck Pro Solitaire is a solitaire game that dispenses with all the bells and whistles that Fairway Solitaire comes with, sticking to pure cards. A variety of different games are available within, such as Klondike 3 Card Pyramid, Spider, Golf and Freecell. There's an extra pack to buy, too, including my all time favorite variety: Grandfather's Clock. Those after the classic one player card game experience should revel in this.

Favorite 4: St. Patrick's Day 2013 Apps

Posted by Carter Dotson on March 14th, 2013

St. Patrick's Day is quite the "holiday." Like Valentine's Day, another day named after a saint, the original meaning has strayed far from the original intent of the day, but unlike Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day is fun for the single and taken alike. Here are four apps to help make the day better.

St. Patrick's Day Live: Can't make it out to a good St. Patrick's Day parade? Well, you can watch the New York City parade live with this app from EarthCam, or just watch Dubliners celebrate live. Then, use the Photo Booth feature to share festive photos with added leprechaun hats or "Kiss Me I'm Irish" buttons because why not? It's a day to celebrate and be Irish!

Untappd: Drinking cheap beer that's dyed green is a tradition of this 'holiday', definitely. But look, once you've drank one cheap plastic cup of it, there's no reason why you can't drink good beer after that. And you can use Untappd to share the beers you've been having. Why not find some nice, classy Irish beers to celebrate the day? Just search for "Irish" in this social drinking app and it'll list a bunch of Irish beers to try out. If you drink one, share it with your friends. Drinking is more fun with friends, after all.

BreathalEyes: So, you've had a lot to drink, but just how much have you had? Well, this app can estimate how much you've had based on your eyes. It measure horizontal gaze nystagmus to detect how much a person has been drinking. Version 2.0 of the app, recently released, promises more accurate results with the addition of video capture, not just photo capture. It can detect blood alcohol content from .02% to .20% with a margin of error of .02%. The app is for entertainment purposes only, but if someone's BAC is too high, it might be time to send them home in a cab.

Uber: ...and yes, there is an app for that. Summon a cab directly to where you are with this app. Or if you're feeling extra-classy, call for an Uber Black ride, which sends a black town car to pick you up. The app handles payment and tip automatically, which will especially come in handy if you have enjoyed a little too much of the fruits of Ireland's labors. Uber's more well-known, but also consider Hailo, a service that's run into far fewer legal hurdles than Uber has, but is available in fewer cities. However you get a ride home, be sure to do it safely. Not just because it's the right thing to do, but because getting arrested is an expensive pain, and would totally ruin this glorious day.

Favorite 4: Apps for Getting Around Manhattan

Posted by Rob Rich on March 12th, 2013

Anyone who’s ever been to Manhattan, let alone actually lives there, can tell you that getting around is something of a pain at times. Actually that’s not true. Getting around Manhattan is a nightmare most of the time. Between subway re-routes that aren’t even mentioned in their respective stations to obtuse maps, simply getting from Point A to Point B can require a stop over at Points X, Y, and Z. It gets even worse when you’re in a hurry.

With the ineptitude of the MTA in mind, I’ve compiled a list of apps that should help anyone, resident and tourist alike, find their way around with a bit less hassle.

iTrans NYC Subway
The App Store description claims that this is the “ultimate NYC transit app,” and they aren’t wrong. It’s not perfect because the MTA is rarely “on schedule,” but it’s about as close are you’re going to get. Predicted train arrival times, schedules, maps, location based navigation to nearby subway entrances, step-by-step directions for a planned trip, bus info, and real time train delay info when connected to WiFi will all make getting around beneath the city streets as painless as possible. Provided you don’t get elbowed in the face by one of those dancing panhandlers.
[itmsapp: 283492923]

HopStop Transit Directions for iPhone
Now this is the app for serious trip planners. It covers virtually all possible transit routes ranging from cabs to buses to trains and beyond. It can call up schedules, maps (even viewable offline), ETAs, lists several possible routes, and even allows uses to set their preferences to avoid or stick to specific modes of transportation. Heck, it can even save recent searches to be called up later.
[itmsapp: 303217144]

NYC Way
What makes this one so notable is that it’s essentially dozens of useful NYC-centric apps in one place. It can call up video from live traffic cams to plan ahead for a road trip. It can call up a bunch of info for various galleries, shopping hotspots, and more. It can search for parking and WiFi. Museums and various tourist attractions are on the list, too. It’s kind of the one-stop shop for any and all information you may need to plan a trip into the city; whether it’s for a few days or a couple of hours.
[itmsapp: 343208275]

Central Park
A lot of people don’t realize it until they see it for themselves, but Central Park is big. So big, in fact, that it warrants its own app. This “insider’s guide” covers events (concerts, etc), notable locations to check out (did you know it has its own zoo?), and even helps you find a bathroom. It can guide you wherever you’d like to go using its GPS functions or even let you wander at your own pace while tossing up alerts every time you near a spot you want to check out.
[itmsapp: 396515130]

Favorite 4: Arts & Crafts Apps For Valentine's Day

Posted by Jennifer Allen on February 8th, 2013

With less than a week to go until Valentine's Day, it's the ideal time to think long and hard about what to buy a loved one. A more thoughtful idea, however, would be to make something personal for that special person in your life. It's sweet, considerate and often a lot cheaper and more original than buying something from a store. The App Store offers plenty of inspirational apps for those looking to try out some craft based alternative presents, and here are my four favorite apps to use.

Skrappy
Scrapbooking has been all the rage for quite a while now. It can get fiddly, expensive and messy, however, so why not use a virtual alternative? With Skrappy, users can create a personal scrapbook for their loved ones, encompassing images, audio and video clips before sharing the creation. It's simple yet fun to create such books with plenty of inspiration there, too. Why not create a book all about your first date together? Or a memorable holiday? Or even as part of a romantic proposal?

Craftgawker
Not quite sure where to begin but convinced you want to make something craft based for your partner? Craftgawker should be able to provide some great ideas. It's an app that's a photo gallery of inspiration. Users can search through the many thousands of ideas, before learning more via the tutorial connected to such photos. A voting system ensures that the ideas are all of a high quality and bound to get the creative juices flowing.

Wilton Cake Ideas & More
Everyone loves cake, right? All the more so when it's a cake made entirely for you. It's a nice and sweet (in every sense of the word) touch and can prove distinctly romantic. Wilton Cake Ideas & More helps users bake some delicious and amazing looking creations with hundreds of different designs, catering for every occasion and interest. It doesn't just include cakes either, with cookies and cupcakes also included. For a loved one with a sweet tooth, this could be the ideal thing to make Valentine's Day extra special.

Cards
For those not as creative as they'd like to be but with a few ideas still under their sleeve, Apple's own app Cards should make things a little easier. The app allows users to create their own cards and customize them exactly how they want, all through their iOS device, before getting a physical copy sent out to their beloved. It's simple, straight forward and still offers the personal touch for those that don't want to get their hands dirty with glue or glitter.

Favorite Four: Games for Super Short, Stop And Start Play Sessions

Posted by Rob Rich on February 6th, 2013

I play games on my iPhone a lot, as I’m sure many of you reading this do. The thing is, while many iOS games are great in their own right and function well for gaming in small bursts or extended sessions, there aren’t a whole heck of a lot that can be picked up, played, and stopped at the drop of a hat. Oh sure most can be suspended but I’m talking about games that actually allow you to quit entirely and come right back to where you left off no matter how long that may take. Games that auto-save constantly, can be saved at any time with a single button press, stuff like that. Here are our picks for four of the best.

Penny Arcade The Game: Gamers vs. Evil
Most of Playdek’s card games fall into this category but I’ve chosen this one because it’s the most recent. And because I happen to really like it. Gamers vs. Evil tracks progress in each match, however many there might be at once spread out over single and multiplayer modes. This means you can play a single hand or even stop in the middle of one, quit for whatever reason, and then start it right back up again from wherever it left off. It’s as perfect for micro-gaming sessions as it is for lengthy ones.

Junk Jack
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this 2D Minecraft-like since its release for many reasons, but it’s the save system that’s always impressed me the most. Pausing the game at any point will save progress automatically, so stopping at a moment’s notice is never a problem. Even more impressive is the way Jack’s inventory can be saved and transferred between worlds, so even if you get tired of your current game you can always start a new one and keep all your cool stuff.

Game Dev Story
Kairosoft’s first iOS release continues to be their greatest as far as I’m concerned, but really all of their games are perfect for quick starts and stops of game time. That big Save button sitting on the main screen for every single one of their titles that saves progress instantly makes it incredibly easy to stop what you’re doing and get back to actual work. Not that I’m condoning that sort of behavior, of course.

Zenonia 5
Much like Kairosoft, GAMEVIL also has the handy Save button down pat. Their action RPG series is plenty of fun and this most recent release is absolutely packed with features, and yet they’ve (thankfully) kept the one that makes it the easiest to play whenever and wherever. It’s comforting to know I can tap once to save and then bolt off of my train without having to worry about losing all that progress.

Favorite Four: Super Bowl 2013 Apps

Posted by Carter Dotson on February 1st, 2013

It’s time for the biggest sporting event of the year: the Puppy Bowl! But what’s the second biggest event? Why, it's the Super Bowl! This year, hotshot upstart QB Colin Kaepernick leads the San Francisco 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens, who are led by Bert from Sesame Street. Oh, and the coaches are brothers. It shows the promise of being a compelling showdown. Here’s 4 ways to follow the big game from your iOS device.

CBSSports.com: We kick things off with something that's not an app per se, but could be very handy. If it's Super Sunday, you need to need to watch the game and you're nowhere near a TV, what do you do? Just grab your iPad and go to CBSSports.com, where they’ll have a tablet-optimized layout and video feeds available that include the main video feed of the CBS broadcast, the “all 22” angle that shows all 22 players at once in a high overhead angle, along with other alternate camera angles. As well, there will be stat tracking and social networking features for tracking the game.


CBS SportCaster: Hey, CBS is airing the game, so why not use their official app for score tracking? Well, it's a worthy inclusion because not only does it provide a solid box score experience for if you’re not able to watch the game (hipster book club meeting?) but also tracks social media feeds to get the scoop on the game from those that have opinions on it. And trust us, there will be plenty of people with things to say about this game.

FanCake: You think Phil Simms, a man paid highly to analyze the biggest sporting event of the year as it happens, is a dolt? Well, why not put it to the test with this app that lets you try to predict the big game (and others) as it happens? Correct predictions earn points that can be spent on various rewards. You may not pull down Phil Simms money with your predictions, but at least you'll get free stuff and free smugness.

NFL Kicker 13 : The halftime show is usually worth skipping. Beyonce this year is at least somewhat contemporary, but while she's the queen of many adoring fangirls, I prefer my pop stars to be democratically elected, thank you very much. So, why not play a fun football game on that ol’ iOS device while she wails on the stage, or at least looks like she's doing so? Full Fat's flick sporting game may celebrate the underappreciated art of kicking, but it sure beats actually tossing the pigskin around, especially if the weather is way too cold because it is the heart of winter. Also, their virtual players do a better job at throwing and catching the ball than you and your buddies. Also, this may come in handy if the game is a blowout in the fourth quarter. I mean, Kaepernick is starting only his 10th game, and Flacco is the real-life version of Bert from Sesame Street, this could go badly in either direction rather quickly. Be prepared.

Favorite Four: Home Improvement Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on January 31st, 2013

Had one of those winters where bits have fallen off your house, or you've simply got bored of how one room looks and fancy a change? I've managed both of those, but I've found a silver lining in terms of delving into the world of home improvement apps on the App Store. Here are my favorite four apps that will both inspire and help those with DIY projects planned for the coming Spring.

Handy Man DIY
The Swiss Army Knife of home improvement apps, Handy Man DIY does a bit of everything. It offers a tool to help users calculate how much paint, flooring or trim they need to cover a room. It also offers some great tutorials on completing various bits and pieces of a project, along with lists detailing commonly used items and materials, to ensure there's no way that you'll forget what you need to finish the job. It rounds things off with a price calculation tool, and some seasonal reminders of when things should be done.

iHandy Level Free
A free app, iHandy Level Free provides a virtual spirit level, allowing users to align pictures correctly, measure angles and slopes accurately, and calculate the pitch of the roof. Much like a flashlight app, this won't be a tool that's used on a daily basis but it will be handy at regular points while undertaking home improvement.

Dream House
It's not all about struggling to patch up roofs or completing plumbing tasks, it's also about turning a house into a home. Dream House offers the inspiration that many need when it comes to figuring out how they want their place to look. Similar to walking around Ikea and taking in the ambience and feel, Dream House offers a virtual tour of rooms to give users a glance at how their house or apartment could look.

Woodcraft
Handy with power tools and love carpentry? You're a better person than me. Also, Woodcraft is an ideal app to try out. Part design tool, part 3d modelling app and part woodworking aid, the app helps budding and professional carpenters alike figure out everything they need to know about a woodworking project, all through its design interface leading to some very accurate measurements. It'll take some practice but the completed designs will be very rewarding.

Favorite Four Apps To Keep Those New Year Resolutions

Posted by Jennifer Allen on January 10th, 2013

It's that time of the year where many of us make plans on how to improve life for the next 12 months. In my case, my resolutions are based around learning new skills and remembering to relax and take some time out every now and then. Like with any resolution, though, we all need motivation and regular reminders to keep at it. There are plenty of apps that can help you in a multitude of ways, but we've rounded up our four favorites, each hopefully making life a little more successful!

WishLab
Visualization is a vital key to keeping strong and working towards your goals, even when times get tricky. WishLab is an app that encourages precisely that, by offering a place to write about wishes and aims, as well as allowing for time frames to be set, and progress to be tracked. Users can write about how they're feeling about their goals, as well as be inspired by others through social features. The app will even remind users to keep going via push notifications or email alerts. Once the goal has been achieved, there's an attractive section within the app to look back at how things went and feel good about oneself.

The Habit Factor
Habit building is an important part of completing goals and ambitions. The Habit Factor encourages such sensibilities by tracking everything imaginable, from drinking water regularly to remembering to complete a certain number of exercise repetitions each day. It's a little pricier than other tools, but its great user interface, color coding and note taking facilities should boost anyone's motivation to achieve their goals.

Fitocracy
One of the most popular New Year's resolutions each year is to exercise more frequently. While Fitocracy can't force anyone to get moving, it can give them great reason to persevere. Using a leveling up system, the app challenges users to compete with their friends, unlock achievements and complete quests. It effectively turns exercise into a game, which is something that many people can relate to and be motivated by. Plus, it's fun to look back on progress as they steadily improve.

Roller Journal
A mixture of useful tools, Roller Journal both provides a simple way of keeping a journal, while also encouraging users to reflect on the past year and plan ahead for the coming months. This is done through it asking the user a series of questions, creating the perfect foundations to a high quality journal to look back on. Simply writing about what you've accomplished that day can do wonders to your productivity levels and Roller Journal appreciates that.

Favorite 4: Special Dietary Needs Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on December 5th, 2012

Christmas is very nearly upon us and with it, the time of year where we all eat too much and enjoy relaxing with our families. While I'm lucky that I have no significant food allergies or special dietary needs, much of my extended family isn't so fortunate. Various meals have to be adjusted accordingly for those with allergies, intolerances or medical conditions that restrict what can be eaten. Here's a look at four of my favorite apps for making finding relevant recipes a little simpler.

Allergy Free Entertaining
Covering most of the bases, Allergy Free Entertaining isn't quite as perfect as its name suggests but it does a good job, regardless. The app offers 124 recipes, each with gluten free options and ways to substitute ingredients for those who have a dairy, egg, wheat or nut free requirements. Each recipe is easy to read through and understand, plus there's a comprehensive search facility for those after inspiration.

21-Day Vegan Kickstart
Aimed at those who are starting out on the path to Veganism, 21-Day Vegan Kickstart also offers some handy ideas for those trying to cater to vegans' needs. Divided up according to meal type, it's simple to check for ideas for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In each case, there are some delicious ideas, whether you're a Vegan or not. Attractive photography rounds things off nicely.

So Simple Gluten Free Recipes
It's not quite the most attractive of apps to look at, but So Simple Gluten Free Recipes offers plenty of recipes for those suffering from a gluten intolerance. Including over 75 recipes, there's a particularly great Holiday themed section ensuring that there are plenty of cookie and cake based ideas that are perfect for everyone, not just those on a gluten free diet.

iCookbook Diabetic
Diabetics have a particular challenge on their hands, having to juggle their sugar levels so carefully. iCookbook Diabetic offers a selection of free recipes for users to read through, as well as the option to spend money for the full selection. Each recipe is attractive and easy to browse through, with AirPrint support and voice commands make things all the more convenient. Best of all, though, the recipes are high quality and the kind of thing that ensures that no diabetic feels like they're missing out this Holiday season.

Favorite Four: Games To Show Off Your iPad Mini

Posted by Jennifer Allen on November 2nd, 2012

Were you one of the lucky people to pick up a shiny new iPad Mini? Wondering what gaming delights are worth buying for it? There's a whole bunch. You're going to have an awesome time discovering them. To start you off, though, we've rounded up our four favorite titles that should give you a great idea of just how many hours of quality gaming can be had on the iPad Mini.

Fieldrunners 2
It's a personal favorite of mine mostly because it's so darn addictive. Fieldrunners 2 is the creme de la creme of tower defense gaming, offering just enough challenge to keep you playing while still always feeling inviting. This is thanks to its wide selection of difficulty levels, mission types and a trickling of new towers and power-ups that can be unlocked throughout. There's hours of fun to be had. It looks stunning, too.

SpellTower
Be warned, SpellTower is going to cut into your productivity levels. That five minute session will turn into hours, easily. Players simply swipe words together with extra points gained for using bonus tiles and creating long words. It's a simple Boggle style idea but one that's perfectly implemented. Five different game modes, including local multiplayer, will hook you in for a long time to come.

Bumpy Road
Bumpy Road is an adorably, charming endless runner style game. Players must clear the path and keep the road bumping along in order to keep an ageing couple safe on their journey down memory lane. The further you play, the more you discover things about the couple and their family. It's that sweet and delightfully heart warming.

Real Racing 2 HD
Consistently on the cutting edge of iOS technology, Firemint's Real Racing 2 HD demonstrates the power of your iPad Mini while also offering a great racing game. No other game has surpassed it in terms of its extensive career mode, impressive visuals and use of licensed cars. And? If you have an Apple TV, you can zap the gaming up to the big screen in your living room. There's multiplayer functionality available, too, to seal the deal.

Favorite 4: US Elections 2012 Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on November 1st, 2012

In less than a week, the USA goes to the polls for the 57th time with the two main contenders for President being Democratic candidate and current President, Barack Obama, and Republican candidate, Mitt Romney. While there's no telling what might come about on Tuesday November 6, there are some great apps out there to help voters remain informed as to any latest developments and see just how each candidate feels about certain subjects. We round up the four best ones currently out there.

PollTracker
PollTracker keeps users informed in real time while offering a stats heavy interface of new polls and figures that have come out about the election race. Tracking everything from voter subgroups to swing state opinions, PollTracker is a statistician's idea of heaven. There's analysis, too, courtesy of the app's editors, plus the ability to see how contests for Congress are going.

Politifact Mobile
Ever lose track of where a candidate stands on a certain issue? There's a lot to take in, after all, especially when considering how many different campaign promises are made by the candidates. Politifact Mobile promises to offer no agenda and merely a look at exactly what items have been promised by which candidate. A report card style interface tracks the Truth-O-Meter record of each politician to ensure that if anyone backtracks on an issue, it's noticed. It makes for fascinating reading.

2012 Map: The Presidential Election App
Tracking how each state is voting is extremely important to determining who is set to be the overall winner in the Presidential elections. 2012 Map: The Presidential Election App embraces that concept by providing a "Live" map that provides daily updates on the best estimates of what will happen come election day. Offering historical data from 1789 to 2009, it's possible to see just how each state has voted in the past to get a sense of what's expected this time round. It's also possible to create personalized scenarios to see exactly how one swing state could change everything, causing some great conjecture.

NBC Politics
Many of the major media outlets and networks have released their own official app devoted to the election but NBC Politics provides the best all rounder. Its app is entirely free with no subscription required, and it offers the latest news and videos about how the election is proceeding. For those short on time, its daily "Tip Sheet" is a particular highlight offering a round-up of the day's most interesting moments and headlines.

Favorite 4: Scary Games for Halloween

Posted by Eli Cymet on October 23rd, 2012

It’s hard to say exactly when it happened, but Halloween has undisputedly crept up on us to become a big league holiday. The kind where preparations begin over a month in advance, with horror movie marathons, costume discussions, and decorations. With that in mind, it would be a grave mistake to go in ill-prepared, so we’re here to do our part to help ring in the festivities. Here are four spooky games that will have horror-lovers shambling on over to the App Store and coffin’ up their dough.

The Room
Perhaps not the most obvious pick at first, The Room makes up for a lack of blood and gore with an ample amount of atmospheric tension. What starts off as Myst-like series of interlocking, symbol-filled puzzles soon emerges as an implied storyline filled with spine-tingling mystery. Much goes unsaid, but plumbing the depths of the unknown backed by eerie music box chimes is a meticulous thrill all its own.

Papa Sangre
From one nontypical experience to the next, Papa Sangre is a video game with no...video? Tasked with saving the soul of a loved one, players will take a frequently terrifying first-person audio journey through the palace of the titular demon. With an elegant interface and gripping story, Papa Sangre is a truly unique title that speaks to the power of sensory deprivation. The horrifying, horrifying power.

The Walking Dead
For a game filled with zombies, The Walking Dead’s horror derives almost entirely from the heart-breaking failings of humankind. Telltell Games has earned a mausoleum full of critical praise for its serialized interpretation of Robert Kirman’s graphic graphic novel, which uses the point and click adventure genre to force players to make tough, lasting decisions about life, death, and the brainless hereafter. All episodes can be purchased from within the app, so start this gripping tale right now.

Dead Space
As far as mobile horror goes, this one may be an oldie, but it’s most definitely a goodie. One of the best, in fact. Not only is it a faithful translation of Visceral Games’ flagship survival horror series to the small screen, but this version may just be scarier. In a dark room, with headphones in, the game’s brilliant tension between all-out action and edge-of-the-seat inaction is brought to the forefront, all backed by a methodical, shriek-worthy soundtrack. Player beware: Necromorphs may induce device dropping. (iPhone version also available.)