Recently, I was fortunate enough to receive a free piece of technology thanks to sheer luck, online procrastination, and a corporation that decided to trade off iPad Minis for advertising.
Normally, I’d be super grateful– and don’t get me wrong, I am– but for once I feel legitimized in being a jerk because the corporation in question just happens to, ironically, be one that had kinda screwed me over in the past.
So Ha-Ha! In their FACES!!! The fates have smiled on me and struck them down, right?? I mean, after all the grief I went through with Verizon in the past, I’m definitely not signing back up with them, so they’ve made no gains from their gamble with me. …Although maybe they were aiming wider. Maybe they counted on me spreading the word via blog. …
Now, I mostly jest. Mostly. I personally dislike Verizon still, and as long as I’ve hopped on the jerk train I’ll add that I never much liked Apple either. The layout always confused me, and I wasn’t good at navigating or using it. (“I don’t want to go on a safari, I want to open the internet, dammit!!”) Therefore the only logical, even-handed solution was to conclude that all Apple products were the devil and also stupid.
How wrong I was. (About Apple, anyways.)
I’ve recently learned that one difference between apple as a fruit and Apple as technology is that while I would quickly throw one out if I received it for free in the mail (or via old lady. Witches be tripping, yo), the other I would keep by my side daily until the end of time.
I’ve also recently learned that apps on the iPad Mini are kind of freaking amazing. I’ve also realized that they are dangerously entertaining and could easily suck the free time out of me with the speed and tenacity of mosquitoes at a swamp side nude beach.
So, in the fashion of old-fashion chain letters, I plan on ridding myself of this curse by sharing it with the world!
My Favorite iPad games (right now):
Kingdoms of Zenia: Dragon Wars: Imagine if Farmville and Warcraft had a one night stand in Middle Earth… Sprinkle that with blue meth and stir in any friend that uses apple, and that might get you close to what this thing is like. Half civilization simulator, half rts, half rpg-esque grind machine, and all mind-numbing addiction. This is one of those online games that requires you check in a few times per day to harvest various materials and boost your friend’s productions. While you’re there, you might as well build up your kingdom, or complete a few challenges, maybe save the world by battle questing, or refuel your troop supply. Along with the typical civilization building rigamarole, the battle portion of the game employs some strategy as you recruit and arrange various melee and distance troops before battle. It also offers the option to engage in some PvP “raiding” as well. This game is easy to put down, but hard to leave alone.
I…I don’t even know what to call it besides cute. You control tiny little people and try to use your resources to build your castle higher and higher. You only have so many resources to build rooms. Certain rooms recruit certain minions. Certain minions make certain resources. All minions require certain things (like toilets and furnaces) to remain happy. That’s the short version of the rules, really. It involves limited strategy and a lot of free time. You have to collect resources from the cute tiny people manually though, and that cuts down on how addictive it actually is. I’m currently uninterested after completing two towers, but those two towers were a lot of fun to raise up.
Miku Flick & Miku Flick/02
So. Much. Love! This is a super addictive take on the usual rhythm games featuring songs and video from the Vocaloid series of synthetic singers. In the flick series, not only do you tap in rhythm, but you have to find the consonant in a 9 panel array and then flick in the direction of the vowel. Needless to say, this ups the ante on concentration and difficulty, but with fluid, intuitive gameplay it adds up to a really rewarding challenge. For those interested in improving hiragana recognition, it’s AMAZING as it has three modes for the phonetics: kana, roman alphabet, and a combination mode. Both titles cost money to play, but are well worth it. Flick/02 is my favorite at the moment, purely because it features characters like Luka, Meiko, Kaito, and the Kagamine twins rather than just Miku. Progression unlocks additional songs and modes, and there are song packs available for purchase if you get bored with what’s available. All the featured songs also have background music videos featuring the characters, as well as stand alone PVs and a karaoke mode you can access when you’re not in the mood to play! <33
I remember the buzz when this game first hit Steam way back when, and was super excited when I saw that it was available on iOS. It’s everything I expected from the trailers– dark, highly stylized, haunting… An absolutely unique, puzzle based platformer that immerses you in the struggles of a young boy trapped in an ominous world. My only complaint is that the controls, especially the jump controls, can be a little sticky at times with the touch system. …There’s nothing more frustrating then having your poor little shadow boy brutally decapitated because your touch screen decided that you wanted to walk INTO the bear trap rather than jump OVER it. Other than that– absolutely gorgeous. (PS. Spiders are horrifying, and those other shadow kids are dicks. :P)
Holy crap…do you see that graphic? I saw that graphic. I saw that graphic and then bought this 5 dollar-ish game without knowing anything about it. I’m glad I did. Infinity Blade is dazzling visually and has one of the best shield and sword combat systems I’ve ever played with. Each battle calls on you to observe and react to your opponent’s attacks by either dodging, blocking, or parrying. Certain chains of these tactics will cause a break in your enemy’s defense and allow you to unleash chains of directional attacks, magic, and special moves. There’s a fruit ninja like quality once you do hit an opening, but it’s still very satisfying to unleash some furious slice and dicing. Infinity Blade also has a strong RPG element and an interesting storyline. The final boss appears relatively quickly, and the odds seem insurmountable…and are. Upon losing, you return to the opening screen 19-21 years later as your own progeny (fortunately, the new, youthful Swordy McSlash-Slash has kept all the armor and upgrades you had previously), and proceed to go forth in an attempt to avenge your father. Sure it sounds repetitive, but at Bloodline #4 the updated enemies and increasing familiarity with the game mechanics have continued to keep me entertained.
I’m not sure if this app appeals to the super artsy, but for the aspiring artsy type (like me!), it’s a really neat little utility.
Half fingerpaint, a quarter microsoft paint, and a quarter photoshop, Paper 53 acts as a fun, interactive toolbox and canvas combo with a lot of features and abilities that scale with talent and practice. The interface is straightforward, and there are multiple albums to help sort and store doodles, daydreams, and legitimate attempts at making something you might one day want to show another living being.
So yes- I dig this app. I use this app. I’m in awe of some of the things I’ve seen from really talented people using this app. …But I will make one caveat here– for a free app, this one sure isn’t.
Yeah, yeah– you can download the bare bones for free, but see the picture? That’s what you get.
Background and a pencil.
As it comes, I think the app would hold my interest for about half a blink, but with upgrades it becomes much, much more. For under 15 dollars, you get markers, pencils, paint (my favorite~!), and a color blender…and even if you happen to be not-so-artistically inclined like me, it’s awesome enough to make you feel pretty alright about your imagineering made pixeled.
So at the moment, these are the titles I’ve chosen to while away my free time with~!
If you frequently find yourself beleaguered with an excess of free time, they might just be the tickets to blissful preoccupation (or even procrastination~!)