July 10th will mark the 5th birthday of the iTunes App Store. Yep. That’s right. The App Store will be old enough to go to Kindergarten on Wednesday. It’s crazy. It’s even crazier than in the last 5 years 50 BILLION apps have been downloaded.
Apple has a lot to celebrate. They have made a ton of money (and helped a lot of people make money) and they are celebrating by giving away some of their best apps and games.
This is a great value for families and it shouldn’t be missed. Here are some of the highlights:
If you have a child who loves a challenge in their touch based games, then this is the app for them. You control a shadowy floating monster and navigate through a world that is falling apart. The levels start off easy enough, but they get VERY hard VERY fast. The developers also update the game constantly by adding levels and achievements.
This is a deceptively difficult game that kids will love. This is another touch based game that involves controlling a bird and helping it take off from ramps and fly across islands while racing computer controlled opponents. My 4 year old figured it out quickly and was showing us all how to make it work by the end of the day. Being told how to play a game by your preschooler is a humbling, yet awesome, experience. I recommend it to everyone.
Where’s My Water:
Disney hasn’t been known for releasing amazing games since the 8 and 16 bit era (we’ll talk about those games soon). But, they have a hit on their hands here. Where’s My Water is a puzzle game where players need to wipe away dirt in order to guide water to help a friendly Gator take a shower. The puzzles start out easy, but eventually get maddeningly difficult. The good news is that starting over is easy, and sometimes failing has hilarious results. You’ll have a blast sitting around the iPad testing out potential solutions. Trust me on this one. It’s worth the full price, so getting the game for free is just a miracle.
Infinity Blade II:
Infinity Blade II is a timing based sci-fi/fantasy combat game. The story can be difficult to follow, but older kids and teenagers will love exploring this insane world and gearing up their guy with all manner of armor and weapons. There is some violence, so I wouldn’t play this with young kids. For a comparison, a night watching Monday Night Raw will be more intense.
If you are an old school gamer and have been dreaming of letting your kid play an updated version of Punch Out then this is your chance.
Barefoot World Atlas:
This isn’t a game per se, but it is a very neat app. It is a touch controlled globe that lets kids explore the world and discover interesting facts from all around the world. I recommend it for any family with lots of curious kids.
The only real challenge is that the narrator is VERY British so you might have to help explain some words to kids that aren’t familiar with the Queen’s English.
There are a few other apps on the list that might be of value to you so make sure to check out the full list. Whatever you do, make sure to do it fast because these apps won’t be free forever.