Regardless of what you celebrate, where you live, or which traditions you hold during the holiday season, spending time with your loved ones, eating tasty grub, and celebrating the good things in life should be a should be top priority as the year winds down to an end. If you're ready to fire up the holiday cheer, look no further than our selection of festive apps to maximize the good times. We've got a little something for everyone to unwrap!
Nobody likes to watch home movies. Whether it's your niece's dance recital beamed to an Apple TV or your grandmother's old reel-to-reels, we can all agree on one thing: the shorter the better. Videokits does its part to keep things moving. Where other video editing apps encourage longer movies filled with transitions and effects, Videokits focuses on your content, helping make your masterpiece as concise and interesting as possible. After you've used its series of tips and prompts, you'll never want to shoot solo again.
The freedom of being let loose to explore, build, and carve out your own little niche in an open sandbox world made games like Minecraft and Terraria tremendously addictive. Deepworld attempts to capture that same magic by injecting the formula with a post-apocalyptic steampunk vibe, and while there's plenty to do both above and below the surface of this fantasy realm, this online crafting adventure doesn't quite click in the same way as the games it emulates.
Initially pronounced the best mobile mapping solution on the planet, the reimagined iOS 6 Maps has become a PR disaster for Apple, leading CEO Tim Cook to publicly apologize for the debacle. Google heard the frustrated cries of iOS users and, like a knight in shining armor, now comes riding back onto the iPhone with its own Google Maps app, a mere three months after being banished from the castle. But this isn't exactly the same app iOS users have loved since its debut in 2007.
Robots for iPad is equal parts creepy and cool, and it's one of the most informatively fascinating apps you'll find on the subject of artificial intelligence. Bursting at the seams with well over 100 real-world robots that range from freakish human lookalikes to quasi-sentient kids toys, this exhaustive app is a repository of incredible information about the history of our mechanical pals. Each entry features detailed photos, historical rundowns, tech specs, neat factoids, and embedded links to related articles about the robotic creation in question.
There's a whole culture out there built specifically for gamers, so even when you're away from the PC or console that houses your favorite virtual world, you're never really removed from it. We have a collection of eight apps for the avid gamer that are sure to help organize your next raid, improve your high score, get your hands on the best games around, and more.
When Gearbox released Borderlands in 2009, the studio managed to simultaneously combine the shooter and role-playing genres while creating one of the most enjoyable cooperative-play experiences ever devised. Borderlands 2 doesn't rewrite the book -- frankly, the changes are somewhat minor -- but when a formula works, sometimes a follow-up only requires just enough in the way of improvements and an expanded story to bring fans back to the fold.
You may need a computer to play popular MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) titles like League of Legends or DotA, but the genre is starting to make inroads on other platforms. The first mobile MOBA of its kind, Heroes of Order & Chaos successfully brings the feel of the genre onto iPhone and iPad without sacrificing too much of what makes the game approach so much fun to begin with.
It's easy to lose perspective on a game like Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, particularly for those of us who enjoy lavish first-person shooters on consoles or computers. Gameloft's military shooter series seems content to mimic the immensely popular Call of Duty series from other platforms -- and Zero Hour boasts some serious parallels with this year's Black Ops II -- but despite its lack of ambition, the franchise delivers a big and entertaining mobile shooter at a fraction of the cost. And Zero Hour really does improve on the formula in small, but meaningful ways.
As dusty as the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition rulebooks it's based on, Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition is a relic from gaming's past. For long-time tabletop RPG nerds like myself who get misty-eyed over the nostalgic glory days of rolling up a fresh character, recruiting a party of misfit NPCs, and gallivanting off in the Forgotten Realms to bash in the heads of some ne'er-do-wells, this antiquated fantasy adventure still hits a certain sweet spot. Baldur's Gate's classic sword swinging and spell flinging is well-preserved in this iPad port of the PC original, though it's perhaps a little too faithful to its roots for modern times.