Geocaching is not for the casual urban adventurer. The concept is simple enough – seek out a hidden treasure by following a specific set of GPS coordinates – but there's a reason why it never caught on in the mainstream. Not only does it command a giant commitment of time and energy, but there's also a pretty steep learning curve for new users. Wonderground is geocaching for the rest of us. Created by General Electric (yes, that one), the scavenger-hunting app challenges users to explore their favorite cities with the promise of the ultimate reward: Knowledge.
When you can't help but whip through a couple dozen attempts each time you open up a game, it more than likely has its hooks plunged quite deep into your psyche. Luckily, Impossible Road is a game worthy of such obsession, as the unflinchingly difficult quest to guide a ball along an endless roller coaster track into the abyss rewards persistence, and wastes no time in getting you back into its dazzling world upon inevitable failure. And trying to circumvent the typical rolling approach to maximize your score? Well, that's just part of the appeal.
Known for console and computer heavy hitters like Civilization V and XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Firaxis’ latest strategy game is the unexpectedly kid-friendly and cartoonish Haunted Hollow for iPhone and iPad. Starring familiar monsters like vampires, ghosts, and witches, this free-to-play game offers a surprisingly rich level of depth and enjoyment that is sure to please any fan of the genre.
Depressed by its bleak perspective, alone and freezing in the digital marketplace, Don't Starve survives solely on mystery and cheek. The first self-released offering from developer Klei Entertainment – best known for attractive consoles side-scrollers like Shank and Mark of the Ninja – Don't Starve drops the player into an unforgiving boot camp in wilderness readiness.
Everything about Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles -- from its overhead camera to its unit building mechanics -- resembles a real-time strategy game. The adorable characters and familiar Star Wars iconography could have made this free-to-play affair a worthwhile introduction to the genre for newcomers, but for a game with all the trappings of a strategy title, it curiously lacks any real strategic decision-making.
Angry Birds Friends brought the fowl-flinging sensation to Facebook, and unsurprisingly, it proved hugely popular in that format. Now the socially-connected spin on the franchise makes the return trip to iPhone and iPad while maintaining the distinct, free-to-play approach that defined that browser-based take. On a platform that already hosts five distinct Angry Birds games packed with several hundred total levels, the prospect of playing in one six-stage tournament per week may not seem remarkable, but it's the competitive aspect that puts an interesting tweak on the usual formula.
Though it draws heavy inspiration from a particular sci-fi franchise well known for boldly sending a spaceship full of uniformed crew where no one has gone before, Star Command doesn't fiddle around with any namby-pamby prime directive. The galaxy is full of danger and backstabbing aliens looking to get a piece of your sweet tech. Sure, diplomacy is sometimes an option with the strange crafts you encounter in this slick pixel-based quest, but it's just way more fun to blow your adversaries out of the stars or die trying in an often intense and chaotic adventure through the cosmos.
It's that time again, where we at Free App Friday headquarters take a closer look at some of the more basic apps out there that are worth your time. Not unlike a fine IPA, just because they're smaller servings, doesn't mean they lack a punch.
Storm Raiders is the best entry yet in the Sky Gamblers aerial-combat franchise, sending you soaring through two separate World War II campaigns—the Battle of Britain and Asia-Pacific War—packed with diverse missions, intense action, and impressive visuals. Even more notable are the eight-player dogfights, which span a large number of play modes (like team deathmatch and capture the flag) and deliver ample competition whenever you want it. The Mac version doesn’t control quite as comfortably as the iOS version, but it’s still plenty enjoyable.
Getting from one place to the next is trickier than it seems in Hairy Tales, a colorful Mac puzzler that finds you moving and turning various tiles to send the hero safely toward a goal. Initially, this means little more than evading hazards and creating a safe path forward, but as the 70-plus stages progress, you’ll encounter new obstacles, like enemies and fixed arrow tiles. It’s solidly smart and only occasionally frustrating, though the samey puzzles turn a bit monotonous before too long.