Apps to pass a stormy weekend

We’re sure that, like us, your hearts sunk a little to hear that we’ve got another stormy weekend on the way. We may luck out with mostly rain this time, but it sounds like another homebound weekend to spend by the fire. We thought we’d recommend ten of our favorite games today to help you while away the time!


1) Words with Friends by Zynga: Board games are always the traditional bonding way to pass an evening, and Words continues that tradition. It’s a tile based word game (aka, a Scrabble clone) that allows you to play with strangers or friends. You can link your facebook account to the game to play with facebook friends as well. Warning: it can get addicting and cuthroat. It’s turnbased, so you don’t have to worry about playing within a set amount of time, and you can play multiple games at once.


2) Little Inferno: Little Inferno is a surprising charmer from Experimental Gameplay Group. The premise is simple — you “order” items from in an in-game catalogue, and then you burn them in your virtual fireplace and collect more money from the ashes. There’s a quiet plot, but the real enjoyment is finding the combinations of things for achievements. The item descriptions in the catalogues are also quite funny, and the animation of the game is quirky and beautifully done.


3) Plants vs. Zombies: Popcap’s eternal hit is Apple’s free app of the week — it’s a modified tower defense game wherein you protect your home from hordes of strange zombies by planting various plants — from pea-shooters to corncobs to cattails. There’s a reason this game has never lost popularity — it’s got a gradual difficulty curve, it’s funny and it’s perfectly addicting.


4) The Room: This game, from Fireproof Games, was one of Apple’s apps of the year for 2012, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a puzzler — you manipulate an object to find hidden secrets, from drawers to clocks to tinders. Unsettling and creepy, it reminded us a bit of playing Myst for the first time — there’s no immediate threat, but as you make progress on the puzzle you continue to feel something isn’t quite right. We’re waiting eagerly for a sequel. 


5) RealRacing2HD: With unbelievably realistic graphics, Firemint Pty Ltd’s racing game helped set the standard for driving games on the iPad. Pick your car, upgrade it, and earn money for newer and greater cars by racing realistic circuits — gain followers, gain popularity and gain sponsors. 


6) CSR Racing: If full on racing isn’t quite your thing, check out CSR Racing by NaturalMotion. It’s an easy to learn drag racing game wherein you pit your car against another driver in short straight bursts — you control shifting and nitrobursts, but you don’t have to worry about steering or braking. Again, you upgrade your car with proceeds from wins, and you progress through tiers of difficulty, fighting “bosses” on each level for a chance at their specialized cars.


7) Puzzle Agent: Telltale Games’ classic puzzler is funny and creepy all at once. It features a variety of puzzle types as you progress the plot, and the characters are unforgettable. Graham Annable’s art is unforgettable, and elevates the game far above many other puzzlers available on the store. It’s a low pressure game — no baddies hanging out ready to kill you, just a snowy landscape and a one-street town to explore.


8) Year Walk: Brand new to the app store, Year Walk is by Simogo, the developers who also brought us Bumpy Road and Beat Sneak. It’s a whole lot more serious and atmospheric than those games; just the thing for a winter evening. You explore the world through by going forwards and backwards and side to side through a wintery woods. Simogo also created a companion guide for the game, filled with information about the myths and creatures encountered within the game.


9) Infinity Blade: Just as RealRacing set the bar for the racing experience on iOS, Infinity Blade by Chair Entertainment Group was a milestone in action game graphics. You explore a castle, fighting enemies with swipes and parries — upgrading your character with found weaponry and items as difficulty progresses. 


10) Lego Harry Potter: Most movie tie-in games are a bit lackluster, but the Lego series of games are always entertaining. Play years 1-4 and 5-7 through two different apps, both by Warner Brothers, and use unique characters with unique skills to solve puzzles, fight enemies and protect Hogwarts and the wizarding world. We’d love to see more of the Lego games ported to iOS.