I can remember when Apple first released the original iPhone in 2007 and, therefore, released to the world a little thing called “The App”.
Now, with billions (with a “B”) of songs, Apps, books and movies downloaded from all of Apple’s combined Stores (iTunes Store, App Store and the iBook Store), I felt it necessary to finally do a blog that focuses on the numerous requests that I have received from readers asking me...
“What are your favorite Apps?”
Well, focusing on Universal Apps for iOS devices (and by Universal , I mean the one’s that have been developed for both the iPhone / iPod Touch and iPad), the following is a list of Apps that I hope you will enjoy as much as I have.
The first two games, which I am grouping together because they are what I call “World Games”, are not only fun, THEY...ARE...F-R-E-E, FREE!
The Simpson’s Tapped Out and GodFinger All Stars both enable players to create their own worlds and, in slightly different ways, watch them take shape and evolve.
For the Simpsons , you get to re-create Springfield (hometown of the Simpsons) due to Homer “accidentally” blowing up the original Springfield.
Growing up watching The Simpsons (since they debuted on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987), I have really enjoyed playing this game because I get to mold and shape Springfield to my liking. For all intensive purposes, you get to be “the creator” of the Simpsons and their world. In my opinion, that’s a lot of fun (especially since it’s free).
[ Note : The Simpson’s Tapped Out was “so popular” when it launched, it maxed out the game developer’s servers just three days after the game debuted. But the game will be back on the App Store eventually because, obviously, the interest is definitely there.]
As for GodFinger All Stars , you get to shape your own planet , (essentially) create, name and control your own citizens (including ninjas, Knights, Santa Claus and Indiana Jones) AND you get to control the sun (for heat) and clouds (for rain and the occasional lightning strike).
Both are worth downloading for your iPhone/iPod Touch AND your iPad because all of your progress is synced between your iOS devices; i.e., you can start playing one device and then pick up another device only to continue where you left off.
The next two games are from the same game series, and are called Cut the Rope HD and Cut the Rope: Experiments HD . Neither game is free (but they aren’t expensive either), and if you want to try the game out online before you download it for your iOS device, go to: http://www.cuttherope.ie/ .
The object of each game is simple: feed a piece of candy to the adorable (alien) character named Om Nom . That’s it. Feed. Alien. Candy. BAM!!! ( Sorry, had to throw that in there ).
But what makes these titles great is the challenges that are presented to get the candy to Om Nom, as well as, to collect three stars (per challenge) along the way.
The next App is one that I use everyday. It’s tailored to what I like to read about and it isn’t even a game. It’s what has been referred to as “Your Social Magazine”. What I’m referring to is Flipboard .
Have you ever been in a Target or the Grocery Store, seen a magazine and said to yourself, “I want to read the article highlighted on the cover, but I don’t want to spend $5.00 (or more) on the magazine that is going to eventually either become a coaster for my drinks or find the bottom of my trash can?”
Well that’s a lot to say if you ask me, but what if you could have “live” feeds into websites (that periodically update automatically) for anything that interests you on the web...for FREE? The solution is Flipboard .
To put it another way, Flipboard is your ticket to practically never having to buy a magazine EVER AGAIN. That’s right. And newspapers are quickly getting on board.
If I have peaked your interest, check out the website for the App here . And remember, like most of the other Apps in this Blog, Flipboard is for BOTH iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch.
Getting back to gaming, what would an App Review be without ZOMBIES!!!???
To date, my two favorite Zombie games are Zombieville USA 2 and Plants vs. Zombies HD . Neither are overly gruesome, but each have their own flavor of taking down waves and waves of zombies that want nothing more than to eat your brains.
Zombieville USA 2 , the sequel to (you guessed it) Zombieville (one of the first games that I downloaded for my original iPod Touch a few years back), provides the ability to choose from a list of “colorful” characters, devastating weapons and various upgrades to make the characters and weapons more lethal - better preparing them to take down your friendly neighborhood undead.
One additional aspect to Z-2 (which is a change from Z-1) is that if you and a friend have the game on your iOS devices, you can “play together” via BlueTooth. Nothing like quality time with a friend killing zombies! Ahhhh, the memories...
Plants vs. Zombies HD is a totally different zombie experience. Technically it is a real-time strategy game where you “plant” different types of flowers (and other assorted vegetation) in your backyard and on your roof in order to keep the zombies from entering your house and yes, eating your brains.
The original Plants vs. Zombies PC game won Game of the Year, and in my opinion, it earned the award and then some. Check it out or else you might have to mow your lawn instead of clearing it of zombies.
The final three games that I would like to highlight in this blog (although there are many others that I could easily add) are in three, different genres: Tower Defense, Driving/Racing and Flying.
The first App, entitled Kingdom Rush HD , is a tower defense game which is as enjoyable as it is artistic. The purpose of this game is similar to Plants vs. Zombies in that you have to “plant” (or place) different kinds of towers (Arrow Towers, Cannon Towers, Troop Barracks, etc.) in order to stop the various kinds of monsters from getting from point A to point B.
For as simplistic as it is, this game is truly a test of skill and patience. But if your patience is running low and you want to try it out online before you get it on iPad (and eventually for your iPhone / iPod Touch because it “will be” universal soon), check it out here .
The second to last App that I want to highlight is for anyone who has ever wanted to jump in an old junk car (or a high-end race car) and race to the finish with “reckless” abandonment.
Reckless Racing 2 is a straightforward, 2.5-D racing game that puts you in the driver’s seat and let’s you get to the finish by being as reckless as possible to your fellow racers. After you’ve done a few laps in the 18 upgradable cars on the 24 routes that are available, you will be hooked. It can be downloaded for your iOS device here .
The final App for this blog is entitled Flight Control HD . This App is not Universal (the iPhone / iPod Touch version being called Flight Control ), but it is worth every penny.
The goal of this game is to land planes and helicopters of all shapes and sizes. This is another title that is as enjoyable as it is visually appealing. But what makes this game truly fun is that you can play it with a friend via BlueTooth.
When playing this game with a friend, you can either work together or go head to head. Since this game came out, it has been updated with new levels that help to mix up the game - leaving you wanting to play again and again.
Flight Control is a lot of fun, and great to play while you are waiting for your food at a restaurant (which, of course, I have never, ever done).
So there it is. There you have it. My abbreviated list of Apps that I have enjoyed to date, and that I recommend to you. Will you take the leap and try them out? Only time will tell.
Either way, good luck, have fun and thanks for reading!