The iPad is a wonderful device. Granted its expensive but it is easy to use and looks fantastic. Our surprise was how usable it is as a family game with four of us sat round the kitchen table. How often do you get teenagers to sit down and spend quality time with you. Here’s some of the apps which worked for us:
1. Marble Mixer 69p. Everyone can play marbles but you choose a more tactical game or a “Hungry Hippo” -type frenzy
2. Multiponk £2.99. This sums up the difference with the iPad. The game is effectively a four-sided game of Pong (the very old video game like table tennis) but with all sorts of effects coming into play to make the game harder (e.g. green fog in the middle of the screen, gravity etc). Everyone starts with 4 lives and then the action begins
3. Hey!That’s My Fish £2.99. Really simple Risk-type game but much quicker and perfect with mixed age groups.
4. Jenga HD 69p. We’ve all played the wooden blocks version and this is an identical, surprisingly good simulation
5. Slice £1.99. Imagine Twister with razor blades. Probably not one for small kids but lets face it they are often the ones who want to see the gory stuff. Basically you have to move blades out of the way to press buttons but if you get it wrong the blades spring back and there is blood on the screen. You end up looking at your finger tips expecting to see it!
6. Labyrinth HD £3.99. And finally a real strategy game that the family will either love or hate – we’re divided. The game is simple in that you move rows and columns of a labyrinth to create a path for you. The problem is that so is everyone else.
7. Carcassone £6.99. I can’t believe I am now of a mindset that thinks £6.99 is expensive – ah the world of Apple apps. This is a classic boardgame with a good conversion to the format. I like the simple rules but lots of skill
8. Yahtzee £4.99. This is a great little time filler. It’s the classic Yahtzee game of rolling dice and trying to complete all the combinations but its also got versions with colours, one where everyone plays with the same dice rolls and a knockout version. Again, really simple to understand.