Apps of the week: Microsoft Office, Goblins, Little Big Adventure, and more

Apps of the week

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…

Little Big Adventure

Little Big adventure

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

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.

0-Snake [Extreme]

0-Snake Extreme

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.

Ravensburger Puzzle

Ravensburger Puzzle

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

Microsoft Word 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.

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