iPhone and iPad Apps to Entertain

So, you have decided to go on vacation. Great choice. The “staycation” is so 2009. But, travelling often takes time, and kids of all ages will need some entertainment. Below are some great choices of iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad apps to entertain kids and adults alike.

Apple App Store
Syncing all of your new apps in iTunes

*Apps with a (+) are available on iPad and iPhone/iPod touch.

Simple apps

  • Canabalt (+) – $2.99 – Tap to jump and don’t fall off. The techno background music is pleasant, and the images and design will remind you of the future world from the Terminator series.
  • Robot Unicorn Attack – $2.99 – It’s almost exactly the same as Canabalt, except it’s made by adult swim, it’s a unicorn, and the background music is Erasure. I can see your eyes are open.
  • BlocksClassic (+) – $0.99 – A simple block breaker type game that will keep you occupied in the spare minutes you have during the day.
  • Bubble Snap (+) – Free – Perfect for little kids, because all you can do is pop bubbles. Just be sure to explain that the big button at the bottom isn’t a super-bubble.

Puzzle Games

  • Enigmo – $2.99 – This is a puzzle that lets you place elements to control the flow of water drops. Most puzzles can be solved multiple ways, so be creative with your solutions.
  • Electric box – $0.99 – This puzzler is similar to Enigmo, but adds some science flair. Your inner geek will really enjoy it.
  • Geared (+) – $2.99 – You combine gears of different shapes to turn other gears. However, gravity adds a bit of challenge and this game will keep challenging you.
  • Fifteen – Free – This is a classic puzzle of 16 tiles numbered 1-15 that are shuffled around into correct order. The timer adds a motivator. See if you can beat 21 seconds.
  • Implode! XL (+) – $2.99 – This app offers up structures that must be demolished. If you are any kind of engineer (or like to blow stuff up), then this is a great app for you. The missions get harder with obstacles and height restrictions, so this is one you can play for a long time.
  • Words with Friends (+) – $1.99 – It’s scrabble for the iPhone, but a bit better. Play with your friends and see who is the best wordsmith. Read up on the tips from Qcait.

Great Gameplay

  • Guitar Hero – $2.99 + in-app – This takes the bits we know and love from the Tap Tap franchise and combines it with some great extra features for the iPhone.
  • Monopoly – $2.99 – I know the Urban Houstonian would agree that this is the top game available. Nice graphics, true to rules gameplay, and all of it from your pocket.
  • Fieldrunners (+) – $2.99 – This tower-defense style of game is so much fun to play, and now comes at a much more affordable price. Gotta love the electric towers.
  • Plants vs. Zombies (+) – $2.99 – I don’t actually play this game myself, but I have watched my brother play it for hours on a road trip. It looks amazing and would probably be up your alley if you enjoy Farmville.
  • Flight Control (+) – $0.99 – This game puts you in the role of air-traffic controller and lets you direct plans to proper runways. I highly recommend it, especially if you are on a plane.
  • Angry Birds (+) – $0.99 – Part puzzle and part fun, this app shoots birds into pigs. The silly animations and characters add to the fun of aiming and shooting the angry birds. This is a great fit for kids young and old.
  • Texas Hold’em – $4.99 – One of best games at the original app store launch is still a favorite. Flick your cards to fold’em or push in your chip stack for an All In. My favorite play is to link up with friends who have the app and play heads up poker until someone busts.

Not Really a Game

  • iDaft 2 – Free – Harder, Better, Faster, and Stronger. And fun. Come by the Schipul offices after 6pm and you can hear me rocking out on this app.
  • Koi Pond – $0.99 – Entertaining for little ones, very serene, and you can actually feed the fish.
  • Le Petit Dummy – Free + in-app – Make your friends say whatever you want. Add moving mouths to pictures on your device and make them move as you talk.
  • I am T-Pain – $2.99 + in-app – Auto-Tune your own voice and you can be T-Pain (minus the dreads). Add on songs to sing along with, including the world-famous I’m on a Boat.

All of these apps may not float your boat, but I image there are a few gems in there for everyone to enjoy. I’ve linked to the paid version of these apps because I think they are all worth the money, but several of them do offer free “lite” versions in the app store. The total on this page comes to right around $40 which is probably high for most people. I budget about $10 a month and have built a respectable library in the 2 years that the app store has been open. Start out with what looks interesting to you and have a geek blast on your next vacation.

Did I miss an app? Let me know in the comments!

Image source: apple.com

32 Replies to “iPhone and iPad Apps to Entertain”

  1. Thanks for the tips! Three games I really enjoy (all available in free versions) are DoodleJump, Parachute Ninja, and UnblockMe. And for some seriously creative fun with your vacation pics (or any pics for that matter) PhotoTropedelic will only set you back $1.99.

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  3. JMO…it's all about Bejeweled! You know I am new to the iPhone but put that game in my face and you won't hear a peep out of me. That alone should show you the power of the Bejeweled app.

    Thanks for the post dude!

  4. Aw, this is a really great post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and never seem to get anything done. London,UK

  5. I’ve always heard of love at first sight before but I never experienced it myself until I saw the iPad. From the first moment I owned mine, it’s become an indispensible part of my life. I utilize it for play, work education for my young ones – everything. I just can not imagine not having it. The thing is – I think we’re just at the start of discovering all that the iPad and the next versions of similar technologies will bring to us. The power and flexibility will allow new kinds of efficiencies and learnings available to us. I know there are a lot of iPad haters out there – you just don’t have a clue what you are talking about!

  6. I’ve been playing zynga farmville for a some weeks now. In fact, the only reason i create a junky FB account was to try few of the games my fiancee kept playing.

    I can personally say that the game is actually crap. Everything seems to take forever to do. The bonus are not even really goodies , those are just temptation to put more time with the application. All the current items like animals and enhancement that have been coming out needs FV cash. I will never EVER PAY for this poor designed games ever so they are ruining any chance of me staying with the game since all things is now requiring bucks. The only other means to get FV is to level. They grant you one FV for a level. But here is the thing the experience necessary at higher levels to level, will make you have to play for weeks to get one level and your award for each level is the ability to now plant one or two new plants and repeat it for another level. A lot of the plants you unlock have poor pay outs and in most cases, they are so bad, that you will never ever plant them. Not even once. Other selection. give real money on the game to play, a pretty broken concept. really not fun at all.

    What truly pissed me off was how they required you to have neighbours to be able to spread your farm. Not one of my buddy play this crap, so I had to invite person I do not know and let these people friend me to facebook, giving them my personal info just to broaden a farm… it indeed does not make sense. I was really not going to add person I do not know just for neighbours, so I created fake FB accounts and false farms just to gain neighbours. I can also log in to these buddies and send myself gifts whenever I need to. This is probably why you see so several monthly users of the program all the dummy accounts cause I can not be the only one that said to themselves I am not adding strangers for farmville.

    There are a lot more errors with he game too like gifts vanishing, out of sync issues, farms not saving properly, animals disappearing and the list goes on.

    My best advice stay far far away from this game. I can not even call this a game any more. It is a chore. Maybe that is what they were aiming for, making it tough work like running a real farm who knows…

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  11. What is the difference between an iPad and an iPhone/iPod touch? To me, the iPad seems just like a big iPod touch. How are they different? Does the iPad have different capabilities? I already have an iPod touch, so would it be a waste to get an iPad?

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