Posts Tagged Fav 4

Given recent news events, the privacy of our data and just who has the ability to look at it is a growing concern. Many services that we use are proprietary creations, often served by corporations who may be willing (or forced) to distribute data transmitted through these services to governments or corporations. Now, for the security and privacy conscious, using iOS is probably not recommended because it is running on a proprietary OS and only allows apps that Apple specifically approves. However, for those who are more moderate on issues of privacy and security especially considering the closed-source nature of iOS as a whole. Thankfully, there’s a variety of services that can replace ones you currently use with open-source and more secure alternatives. Here’s four privacy-friendly replacement apps for iOS.

DuckDuckGoDuckDuckGo: Google’s whole business model is based around the fact that they use and sell data to sell more advertisments. DuckDuckGo is an anonymous search engine that is also partially open-source. The app allows for searches to be made, and top stories from the engine’s sources are available in a Readability-powered format, though this can be disabled for those concerend about just what Readability is doing with article reading data.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2013-06-27 :: Category: Reference

OpenMapOpenMap: Powered by OpenStreetMaps, this app provides access to the open source mapping project’s series of maps that are freely-available. While the official website offers a mobile-friendly version, the app provides another advantage: it supports the ability to edit the maps, helping to clear up errors and contributing to the project as a whole. As well, maps can be saved for offline use. All this without possibly transmitting data back to Google or Apple who may be using it for unknown purposes.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-03-10 :: Category: Navigation

ChatSecureChatSecure: Just because you’re concerned about security doesn’t mean you can’t be social. This universal IM client supports multiple IM clients both open and proprietary with secure “off-the-record” chat that encrypts messages to keep away prying eyes. The app is open source as well, for those who like their software free as in freedom (well, as free as App Store software gets) as well as free as beer. Even for those not concerned about privacy so much, a free multi-protocol IM app is hard to pass up.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-12-17 :: Category: Social Networking

MumbleMumble: Sometimes text chat just won’t do. So Mumble brings low-latency, secure, open source voice chat that’s also cross-platform to iOS users. Connect to a public or private server with other users of the service and enjoy free, secure, voice chatting. Sure, it was designed for gaming, but hey, doesn’t mean you can’t use it to have important chats. Or chat while playing games too. Even privacy advocates gotta unwind somehow.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-02-13 :: Category: Social Networking

The past five years have seen the App Store’s library of available titles grow from a respectable 500-800 (July, 2008) to an almost inconceivable 1,000,000-plus. Of course the larger a software library gets, especially on a platform abundant with independent developers, the more likely for things to get weird. I mean really weird. With that in mind, here’s a list of four of the App Store’s most bizarre releases spread out over the last five years.

Tomena Sanner (2009)
It’s not the first runner to show up on the App Store, but it’s definitely one of the weirder ones. Guiding an energetic business man through levels filled with cowboys, dinosaurs, and even stranger obstacles is interesting enough. However, he doesn’t just leapfrog over robots and aliens and such; he dances with them. He dances with pretty much everything. And if he makes it to the end of the level in time, he dances there, too.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-23 :: Category: Games

Enviro-Bear 2010 (2010, obviously)
Anyone who’s familiar with Enviro-Bear 2010 should know that it’s impossible to create a list of off-the-cuff weird iOS games and not include it. I mean it looks weird enough as it is. Actually playing it is a whole other bundle of weird as players control a bear’s hand as it attempts to drive around the woods gathering food for the winter. Food that falls in through the car’s sunroof as the bear runs into things, that then has to be eaten using the bear’s one and only paw that’s needed for accelerating/steering/braking/everything else.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-07-08 :: Category: Games

NOM 5 (2011)
NOM 5 is basically the App Store’s most disjointed and surreal runner. It’s running and obstacle avoidance coupled with complete sensory overload, and the plot makes about as much sense as trying to imagine the personal relationship between a squirrel and the tree it’s climbing. Even that would probably make more sense than anything to be seen here. If you’re looking for something that makes so little sense it’s actually a little unnerving, look no further.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-08-25 :: Category: Games

Quadropus Rampage (2013)
Rounding out the list is a game about a very angry four-armed octopus on a quest to destroy Pete, the evil god of the sea. The bizarre creatures that make up Pete’s army aren’t about to make things easy, though. You’ll have to grab whatever weapons you can find (including flaming swords, guitars, sticks, and frogs) and make good use of your starfish companion if you’re to have any chance of reaching Pete at the bottom of his ocean kingdom. It’s probably the most “normal” game on this list, but the story and the world are still surreal enough for it to count.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-06-14 :: Category: Games

Make your voice be heard! Or perhaps your music as well. Whatever sounds you need to record, there’s an app to make that happen. Here are four of our favorites.

iSaidWhatiSaidWhat?!: I’ve used probably 6 different iOS devices over the past 3 years, and the list of apps that I’ve installed on all of them is short; iSaidWhat?! is on all of them. This audio recorder is perfect for recording audio anywhere and everywhere from the iPhone or the iPad (though it’s not universal, it still works), with the ability to trim files down. But really, the reason why it’s so great? It’s possible to reduce the gain on the mic, so in particularly noisy situations, it’s possible to prevent audio clipping. It’s perfect for loud situations, and makes it the app that I keep using. It could use a modern update, but it’s still great.

$3.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-12-19 :: Category: Business

GarageBandGarageBand: Want to record some music? Why not use Apple’s mobile version of their famous music app? It supports recording through the mic port, including from third-party accessories like iRig for guitar, and external microphones. As well, there’s MIDI support for using devices like keyboards with the app. When it’s all arranged, the files can be exported to SoundCloud, to a desktop iTunes library, or even to Facebook and YouTube.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-10 :: Category: Music

MixlrMixlr: Pre-recorded audio is for suckers. To paraphrase Bill O’Reilly: “We’ll do it live!” This app is perfect for that. Just fire up the app on iPhone, and start broadcasting over wifi or 3G/4G/LTE! Want to play music for strangers on the internet? Go for it! Want to start up a live podcast with friends? Sure! Just have random grumblings and rantings that need to be shared with people right now? This app is perfect for that as well. The audio can then be saved for posterity to SoundCloud, Mixcloud, or Dropbox. The revolution will be broadcast live!

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-12-19 :: Category: Music

AudioNoteAudioNote: Need to take some notes with the audio you record? This app is a perfect choice to use with it. You can record audio and type notes along with the recording. Best of all, it’s possible to tap on text and go right to that part of the recording. It’s great for transcription or taking notes in class. Plus, the app is universal, giving it an advantage over the similar Notability.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-04-29 :: Category: Business

As interesting (and surprisingly tough) as it was to put together a list of RPGs that have nothing to do with fantasy stuff, that’s no reason to ignore more “typical” examples of the genre. So now we’re back to fantasy RPGs in all their kobold-bashing, dragon-taming, evil-conquering, zombie-slaughtering glory. I’ll admit that none of the games on this list is a real “traditional” role playing game, but they’re all still RPGs (of a sort) and all chock full of fantasy goodness.

dragonisland09Dragon Island Blue
If you’re ever in the mood to hunt down and capture dangerous monsters, delve through perilous dungeons, and create the ultimate team of badass creatures then Dragon Island is the place to be. Most if not all of the enemies (and by extension potential allies) are fairly typical fantasy archetypes, but they each manage to look so much cooler than the typical examples and feature a pretty diverse range of abilities. Constructing a well-balanced team with complementary skills is a must for higher level encounters.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-08-30 :: Category: Games

nimbleNimble Quest
An action RPG crossed with Snake. Who would’ve thought such a combination would work so well? Nimble Quest might feature plenty of typical fantasy baddies (i.e. bats, skeletons, evil wizards, etc), but its emphasis on a conga line procession of heroes with their own unique abilities really sets it apart. It’s also one of the few action RPGs where I’ve found the super-frail magic wielders to be easier to use than the melee fighters.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-03-28 :: Category: Games

fav4rpg_brogueBrogue
Roguelikes are something of an acquired taste, but those who can learn to accept their brutal difficulty and typically steep learning curves will be able to enjoy virtually limitless hours of dungeon exploration and desperate fights for survival. So why Brogue and not any of the other fantastic examples of the genre that are also on the App Store? Well first off it manages to make use of its ASCII visuals to create some truly impressive-looking environments. Secondly it’s high fantasy to the core; filled with kobolds, goblins, wands, spell scrolls, and more.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2013-03-21 :: Category: Games

fav4rpg_slayinSlayin
Slayin might be the least traditional RPG on the list but it’s possibly the most fun by virtue of its addictive arcade style gameplay. All the expected baddies make an appearance here – slimes, bats, dragons, minotaurs, etc – and all are ready to fall before your sword in the name of the almighty High Score. Character levels are constantly climbing, and enemies are always getting more numerous and aggressive, equating to one crazy bite-sized action RPG.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-04-04 :: Category: Games

Favorite Four: Non-Fantasy RPGs

RPGs are incredibly popular, and probably will be for quite some time to come. The weird thing is that for some reason people seem to have trouble adapting the genre’s concepts into a world that isn’t full of magic, goblins, dragons, and so on. These games certainly do exist but they’re few and far between, especially on iOS. Hence our shoutout to four of our favorite iOS RPGs that aren’t saturated with dwarfs and elves and such.

fav4nonfantasy_missioneuropaMission Europa Collector’s
One part dungeon crawler, another part shooter, a sprinkling of horror, and a ton of stat driven RPG elements make up this offbeat adventure. Players must brave the abandoned tunnels of Jupiter’s moon as they attempt to piece together what happened to the crew that was initially stationed there, as well as try not to get torn to pieces by the hideous amalgamations of rotting flesh and electronics that continue to roam the halls. It’s a very action and loot-heavy RPG with nary an orc to be found.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-15 :: Category: Games

fav4nonfantasy_corporatefuryCorporate Fury
When a new CEO takes over a company, they can sometimes really shake up the way things are done. Corporate Fury takes that concept to a whole new level when salary men (and women) are forced to fight each other one-on-one for every little thing. Want a promotion? Then beat the snot out of the person above you. Thinking of passing that report along to the intern? You’d better hope they’re a pushover. Amidst all the goofy violence and mayhem players can improve their character with new skills, equipment, and combat moves as they attempt to fight their way to the top of the corporate ladder, leaving a trail of broken bodies in their wake.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-08-25 :: Category: Games

cq_rainslick03Penny Arcade’s On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3
Zeboyd’s latest convention-defying RPG might be full of all sorts of fantastical creatures, but they include things like mollusks with a love of mimes and giant crab-wizards. It’s a vaguely steampunk world filled with semi-Cthulhian horrors and a remarkably goofy sense of humor, not a series of dark forests filled with giant spiders and ogres. There’s still plenty of evil afoot only this time it’s a bit less conventional, as are the protagonists and their rampant multi-classing.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-10-24 :: Category: Games

fav4nonfantasy_theworldendswithyouThe World Ends with You: Solo Remix
When putting together a list of non-fantasy RPGs I knew I just had to include The World Ends with You. It’s a fantastic RPG in its own right that still manages to set itself apart from most other titles in the genre thanks to its style, music, characters, and plot. And it all takes place in modern day Shibuya as Neku and his accomplices attempt to survive the Reaper’s game and save themselves from a horrible fate.

$17.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-08-27 :: Category: Games

Favorite Four: Pixel Worlds

Like it or not (I personally like it), retro-inspired pixel graphics are here to stay. A lot of people love the nostalgia that comes with such visuals, but it’s also interesting to see how pixel artists interpret different ideas. They can squeeze a surprising amount of detail out of a few well-placed squares. This list chronicles four of the pixilated worlds we find the most impressive. Not just the characters, mind, but the overall artistic style of their universe.

fav4pixel_arrangerArranger
I’ll admit that it’s a bit rough around the edges. Some of the mechanics aren’t fully realized and the movement controls, while much better after an update, are still a bit tough to use. However this is a list about fantastic, pixilated worlds, and Arranger has definitely got that. Part homage to Atari classics, part acid trip through a 1970s arcade cabinet, it’s nothing it not incredibly imaginative and unique.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-11-15 :: Category: Games

fav4pixel_pixelkingdomPixel Kingdom
I know I’ve already mentioned how much I love the visuals in Pixel Kingdom but I’m going to reiterate because I really love them. Capturing so much personality and charm in characters that sport such small dimensions is no easy task, yet here it’s pulled off almost effortlessly. At least it seems that way. Simply watching the heros walk across the field brings a smile to my face. The added draw of discovering what other bizarre and wonderful creatures lurk just off-screen on higher difficulties is another big draw.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-04-05 :: Category: Games

fav4pixel_canabaltCanabalt
What impresses me so much about Canabalt is how minimal its visuals are. Aside from the main character, I mean. His animations are pretty spectacular. There’s no color and practically no fine details to the backgrounds, yet it manages to tell a rather harrowing story. It’s a world on the brink of destruction, under attack from seemingly invincible extra-terrestrial aggressors, all depicted through the use of various shades of gray and some silhouettes.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-10-02 :: Category: Games

fav4pixel_sworcerySuperbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
Of all the worlds I’ve visited that can be expressed through “bits,” Sword & Sworcery‘s is definitely my favorite. It’s a world full of whimsical forests and foreboding caves. The magic floating in the pixelated air is almost tangible. And to say it’s gorgeous would be a rather terrible understatement. The warrior monk’s quest might be sorrowful (and a tad short), but it’s stayed with me ever since its completion.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-24 :: Category: Games

I think most people can agree that we probably don’t need quite as many first-person shooters on the market as we actually have. There are some great games to be had, sure, but with so much over-saturation it starts to become difficult to get excited about it. That’s why we’ve got a list of four of our favorite first-person games that aren’t shooters. They use the same perspective, and in some cases the same “floating hands” motif, but there are no firearms to be found. See? Just because a game is in first-person doesn’t mean it has to involve shooting stuff in the face.

fav4firstperson_darkmeadowDark Meadow
Okay, so technically you do shoot some stuff in the face here, but not in the traditional sense. That’s kind of a weird thing to say now that I think about it. Anyway the crossbow isn’t actually a gun, and it functions are more of a way to chip away at an enemy’s health before they close the gap. Dark Meadow is primarily a first-person adventure/action game with an emphasis on exploration and melee. A combination that ends up being pretty awesome.

$5.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-06 :: Category: Games

fav4firstperson_thequestThe Quest
Now The Quest is definitely not a shooter. It’s an old-school inspired, first-person, turn-based RPG that isn’t afraid to force those who write about it to use lots of hyphens. It’s also an incredibly robust adventure that allows players to create a number of various custom characters and tackle the world and its various quests as they see fit. And that’s all before taking the ridiculous amount of expansions into account.

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-02-20 :: Category: Games

fav4firstperson_ravenswordRavensword: Shadowlands
If you were to ask any console gamers about first-person games that aren’t shooters, one of the first titles that would pop into their head would have to be either Oblivion or Skyrim. This is the iOS gamer’s equivalent. Ravensword is a huge RPG full of little nooks and crannies to explore and unique creatures to slay. It can, of course, be played in third-person as well but in this instance first-person is far superior.

$6.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-12-20 :: Category: Games

fav4firstperson_minecraftMinecraft – Pocket Edition
Betcha didn’t see this one coming. Minecraft is a lot of things to different people: gaming’s most amazing sandbox, a great way to be creative with friends, The Second Coming, a boring and over-hyped piece of junk, or even just “meh.” But what isn’t debatable is the fact that it’s one of the least shooter-y first-person games currently available on iOS devices. Not only is there little to no emphasis on shooting (plus there’s only a bow), but it’s a game that’s actually about building rather than destroying. At least for those who wouldn’t jump into another player’s game just to troll.

$6.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-11-17 :: Category: Games

Favorite Four: Bathroom Finders

We’ve all found ourselves in the unfortunate situation of being out of our element and desperately needing a toilet. It’s an awful scenario to be in; not knowing where to find one or how long you can hold out. For that very reason we’ve compiled a list of four restroom location apps that might not be super-versatile, but they can sure come in handy when they’re needed.

fav4toilet_publictoiletsPublic Toilets
This isn’t just a bathroom-finder, it’s an extensive database of close to 50,000 toilet locations across several different countries. Users don’t just find bathrooms with it, either. They can also submit their own entries, complete with photos and ratings, for everyone’s benefit. Just don’t go too crazy with the toilet pictures.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-06-30 :: Category: Reference

fav4toilet_wheretoweeWhere to Wee
It’s not as user-driven when it comes to submissions, but Where to Wee is still a handy at-a-glance restroom app. Not only does it display the necessary location info on a map, it also highlights the highest-rated toilets with a vibrant green icon. In addition to finding restrooms and displaying properly on the iPhone 5’s screen (yay!), it can also help roadtrippers and other out of towners find some nice out of the way spots to eat.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-07 :: Category: Lifestyle

fav4toilet_cantwaitCan’t Wait
Canucks (and tourists) rejoice! Can’t Wait is a Canada-centric toilet app that chronicles various porcelain thrones, displays their locations in relation to the user’s iOS device, lists amenities, and allows for submissions that can be shared with friends or all users. It’s the perfect app to have after a huge breakfast full of syrup and ham slices that they refer to as “bacon” for some odd reason.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-10-27 :: Category: Medical

fav4toilet_pottysPottys
Pottys offers up all the expected perks of a toilet app – locators, ratings, reviews, bookmarks, photos, and so on – with one interesting addition. Users can also earn “potty points” and achievements for performing various actions (using a restroom, submitting photos, etc). So with enough use it’s possible to become a Knight, Emperor, and so on. It effectively gameifies potty time.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-03-27 :: Category: Travel

Favorite Four: At-a-Glance Weather Apps

Anyone who ventures outside with any regularity needs to know what the weather is doing, no matter how they get around. Thing is, people are often in a rush and need to either figure out how to plan for the day or wing it and hope for the best. For anyone who often finds themselves flying out the door and subsequently caught in the rain without an umbrella or sporting a thick coat in 60 degree temperatures, this list of at-a-glance weather apps is for you.

Weather Neue
What makes Weather Neue so great is that it pretty much embodies “at-a-glance.” As soon as the app starts up users are greeted with a screen displaying the current temperature and weather conditions, wind speed, and a peek at what the next three days will bring. All with a big, bold, easy to read presentation.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-07-03 :: Category: Weather

Climate Clock
It might seem odd to have this and Weather Neue in the same list since they’re so similar, but what sets Climate Clock apart is the way it displays information for most of the day on a single screen. Users can see how hot or cold it will be later on that evening, and even if they should think about bringing an umbrella, without touching a single menu option.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-12-13 :: Category: Weather

Daily Weather
It’s not as elegantly simple as some of the other apps on this list, but Daily Weather is still great for avoiding awkward weather situations. The current temperature, highs and lows, cloud cover, wind, humidity, and a general sense of what it feels like outside (i.e. “warm”) is all front and center. In a handy and familiar newspaper-style format, no less.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-08-28 :: Category: Weather

Beautiful Weather
It’s perhaps the most complex out of these four apps, but Beautiful Weather is still a cinch to use and great for figuring out how to dress. A title of the device and a single upward swipe will call up a window with virtually every bit of weather-related info the user would most likely want to know (temperature, conditions, high, low, humidity, moon phases, sunrise and sunset times, etc), along with random historical facts.

$999.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-04-29 :: Category: Weather

I love grappling hooks in games. There’s nothing more pleasant than swinging around to get from place to place, because running is for chumps. Who wouldn’t want to swing around to get places? If Tarzan ran around everywhere, would he be as cool? No, he would not be. As such, I have collected 4 of the best games on iOS that feature this mechanic prominently in different ways.

Super QuickHook: Rocketcat Games has made three absolutely brilliant grappling hook games in its time on iOS, and they’re all brilliant, but this one gets the nod for featuring a great selection of endless swinging modes, where learning the optimal paths and coin locations is handy. This is along with its fixed levels, where trying to get fast times and collecting all the secret items becomes a challenge. But Hook Champ and Hook Worlds are both well worth a download.

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-06-17 :: Category: Games

Super Knights: Initially released under the far cooler Knights of the Round Cable title, this game features 360 degree swinging in an open arena. Collecting all the gems in their increasingly-complex patterns becomes the goal, and it becomes a challenge to try and do this while navigating all the hazards. The game also features plenty of upgrades and things to unlock while playing the game, enabling long-time players to get higher and higher scores. I have lost countless hours to this one.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-07-12 :: Category: Games

Gravity Hook: Here’s one that’s less about swinging horizontally with some vertical action, and more about grappling upward. The goal is to latch on to floating orbs, using them to launch upward without falling off the screen. Some of the orbs function as mines that activate when latched on to, or even if just contacted, and some orbs fall when latched on to! The game has a definite learning curve, one that takes a while to get down, but when it’s mastered, it’s absurdly satisfying.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-07-29 :: Category: Games

Rope ‘n Fly 3: From Dusk Till Dawn: Who doesn’t want ot swing around a city like Spider-Man, latching from rooftop to rooftop, flying through the air without a care? Well, perhaps there’s a care whenever one’s face hits the ground, but it’s a pretty sweet ride up until that point. That’s this game in a nutshell, a long-time iOS franchise that has multiple ways to grapple throughout the city. It’s not a looker but it’s a ton of fun.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-17 :: Category: Games

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.

$3.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-08-09 :: Category: Games

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.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-01-10 :: Category: Games

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.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-03-06 :: Category: Games

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.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-07-18 :: Category: Games

Favorite 4: March Madness 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!

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-09 :: Category: Sports

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.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-03-14 :: Category: Sports

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.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-08-10 :: Category: Sports

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.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-07-12 :: Category: Games

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!

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-03-03 :: Category: Entertainment

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.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-09-30 :: Category: Social Networking

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.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-11-21 :: Category: Entertainment

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.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-05-21 :: Category: Travel

Favorite Four: Super Bowl 2013 Apps

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.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-08-31 :: Category: Sports

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.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-10 :: Category: Sports

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.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-09-06 :: Category: Games

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