This week, the App Store was given a treat. Fans of Microsoft’s productivity software can finally use a full-featured version of Office on the iPad. While this may be the biggest release ever for iOS users, they aren’t the only apps in the sea.
Whether you want to get some after-hours work done, or you would prefer to hone up on your poetry skills, we have a list of apps and games to keep you motivated this weekend…
The legendary 1990s role-playing, point-and-click adventure game has finally been ported to iOS. Now, you can go back in time to help Twinsen escape his prison cell and find his true destiny among the stars. This updated version has been redesigned to work with touch screen gestures. Tap to walk, double tap to run, and hold your finger on Twinsen to see the angle and distance you can make him jump. Zoom in to see the action. Zoom out to see the entire level. The game is defaulted to show you where important items may be hidden, but you can turn off the hint feature if you want to explore without help. This game is available for $3.99.
Game of Thrones Ascent
I’m sure I’ve spoken of my love of the land of Westeros. I know I’m not special in my obsession, but it shouldn’t be a surprise that George R.R. Martin’s epic tale is so popular. This game lets players immerse themselves in the land inside The Wall. Create a character and enter Westeros to choose a lineage, hire sworn swords to help you, become a bannerman to your favorite House, build resources, and even create your own family banner. As the HBO show, Game of Thrones continues, new quests will be added to the game that coincides with the story that unfolds through the T.V. series. This game is available on the iPad for free.
I kind of hated the original cell phone game of Snake. It frustrated me to no end. I was asking a friend just the other day whether he remembered playing the game. He had never even heard of it. In his defense, he didn’t get his first cell phone until about three years ago. This game is an updated, “extreme” version of the classic game. Players chase a dot around on the screen with their snake. Instead of clumsily moving around on the screen with a boxy line of pixels, players control a snake with more circular movement. This game is available for $0.99.
Being that I am a bit of a board game fanatic, I can’t skip by an app published by Ravensburger without at least mentioning it (see my review of Las Vegas! and Mister X). The German company may have made some immensely popular board games in the past, but Ravensburger is best known for its puzzles. This week, the company launched an app specifically to showcase 100 years of jigsaw puzzles. Meticulously put together more than 150 jigsaws with between 20 and 500 pieces. This is no simple puzzle app. The high-quality images and jigsaw mechanics are up to the Ravensburger standards. This app is available on the iPad for $2.99.
A couple of decades ago, Magnetic Poetry was all the rage. Practically every refrigerator in every house had a smattering of words stuck all over any metal appliances. Today, instead of cluttering up your already cluttered food storage box, why not make haikus on a virtual fridge. Don’t worry. They aren’t going to mess up your hard drive. These magnets are digital. This entertaining app is now optimized for the iPad so you can create longer, weirder poems with the available poem packs. Change the color of your fridge or wall for even more variety. This app is available for free.
Finally, we are moving past the whole “zombie” trend. Now, apps and games are featuring a wider variety of monsters. This game, for example, features ground-dwelling Globlins that pop out of the earth to try to invade. Your job is to squash them out by popping them. If you find therapy in popping bubble wrap, you’ll enjoy this game. Tap one full-grown Globlin to send its goop flying across the field. A well-aimed pop will trigger a chain reaction that will splatter the other Globlins, too. Pick up extra bonus items, like power surges, point boosters, and more to stop the invasion before its too late. This game is available for $1.99.
Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for iPad
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the biggest app launch in the history of iOS. For years, we’ve wondered whether Microsoft would ever make the popular line of productivity apps available on the iPad. Finally, this week, we were thrown the much-anticipated bone. Now, you can access all of your files with no loss of features from the full, specially designed iPad apps. No more trying to access your file remotely or having to convert them to a different format in order to read them. With a Microsoft 365 subscription, you can actually create and edit files, too. Nothing is going to stop you now. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for iPad are available for free.
Want more apps? Check these out
- Microsoft launches Office for iPad, including Word, Excel and Powerpoint
- How to export iPhone contacts
- Camera Plus introduces AirSnap feature that lets you shoot photos remotely
- Devious Dungeon offers simple platform RPG fun for the casual adventurer
- New Google app: Photowall for Chromecast
- Braveland is a turn-based game inspired by old-school strategies
- Gameloft’s ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ now available in the App Store
- Flexibits teases Fantastical for iPad coming
- Classic action-adventure game ‘Little Big Adventure’ lands on iOS
- Scan barcodes to build your own kingdom in this original game
- Ubisoft’s upcoming social racing title, Trials Frontier, arriving April 10
- The New York Times launching NYT Now app next week with cheaper subscriptions
- Drawnimal goes free as Apple’s latest Free App of the Week
- Defenders combines tower defense and CCG into one epic game
- Symbol Link is Tetris designer’s newest puzzle game
- FireChat for iPhone lets you chat off-the-grid, without cellular or Wi-Fi signal
- BeHere app uses iBeacons to identify which students are attending classroom sessions
- iCab Mobile 8.0: rewritten for iOS 7, QR codes, multi-user support and more
- Perfection! Do you have what it takes to achieve this puzzle?
These apps have been updated
- Office for iPhone is now free for home use
- Roku for iPhone gets facelift, introduces content search and more
- Twitterrific 5 takes the freemium route, demands in-app purchases for advanced features
- Apple updates iTunes Movie Trailers with notifications, AirDrop support and more
- Realmac teases Reminders coming to Clear to-do app in early-April
- Twitter for iOS updated with enhanced photo sharing and uploading experience
- Study shows mobile game developers are seeing success with TV ads
- Yahoo News Digest gains background downloads, improved notifications and more
- Yahoo updates Weather app with new animations, pull-to-refresh for photos and more
- ‘At the Ballpark’ app updated with new iOS 7 design and iBeacon support
- Facebook Messenger picks up contact groups, message forwarding and more
- Microsoft updates OneNote for iPad, bringing it in line with new Office apps