The new iPad, the recently released fourth generation model, is a terrific media system. When new apps come out people get excited. Thoughts always seem to cross my mind that they’ve reached the height of creativity and usability. Then sometimes, when I see a really interesting app I think it will be really hard to top it. But then its next month and we get to do it all over again and be wowed by the new, often free apps that can be downloaded.
The great thing about these apps is that whether you are waiting for your laundry to finish, are riding the bus, or just saw the boss step out of the office you can load them up and kill 10-15 minutes. Perhaps I should have prefaced that by saying it only applies to desk jobs and irritating admin; if you’re a bomb disposal expert or work with uranium, for everyone’s sake — wait for your coffee break.
Yes, it is not a new app. It is a very, very old app. But, it is definitely a ‘time-waster’. Garage Band is an audio workstation where you can combine different instruments or different tracks of audio together to create a song. There is a bunch of instruments and it’s always entertaining to load it up and make a horrible symphony. It isn’t a complete cheat to add it to this list as it was last updated in September 2012. The new features are that you can make custom ringtones and alerts and you can also minimise Garage Band to play or record in the background. This useful if you are a private eye or just want to subject your friends to your own music mixing skills.
This app has a nice idea behind it. Essentially you complete pictures that other people upload by turning arbitrary little lines into interesting ‘artworks’. You can download a bunch of new droodls that are just lines, shapes or partial drawings that can then be turned into whatever you choose. You can also share your droodls with friends. Droodl is also available on the iPhone and iPod touch and it’s free on the app store.
Rayman Jungle Run is an adaptation for iPad of Rayman Origins that came out last year. It isn’t the same game but the same engine is used for the iPad version. The graphics are cool – bright happy displays that run perfectly on the iPad. There are several worlds and powers to unlock and then there is the direct nostalgia factor for anyone who played any of the Rayman’s when they were a kid. The game has several levels of increasingly more difficult challenges. It will cost US$2.99 on the app store but it’s definitely worth it.
Punch Quest looks like those old arcade games but instead of button bashing it’s about a whole lot of finger tapping. In every level you will get to smash, bash and punch groups of monsters. They have attempted to make it semi-customizable with special moves and abilities that the tiny little avatar can use to really ‘sting like a bee’. Oh, and there’s also many pots or vases — to smash. It’s free on the app store.
This is fun 3D puzzle solver in which you have use portals, bombs and several other little devices to solve puzzles. Some puzzles are not that challenging but some of the more complicated ones do leave you with that sense of achievement when you figure them out. There is some semblance of a story but that’s never been dealmaker or breaker in an iPad game before. It’s an entertaining time waster and will run you $1.99 on the app store.
There is a definite plus side of game series like Rayman coming the iPad. It encourages developers of short to medium length games to consider bringing games across to the iPad. It also encourages old successful titles to make the jump across. More and more feature games are being released on iOS and it won’t necessarily be hard to repurpose games to run on the iPad. It was announced a few months ago that the first Baulder’s Gate game would be coming to the iPad with several new features. Hopefully many more old school classics will follow.
It’s an exciting thought that developers are starting to wake up to the iPad’s potential. Apps and time wasters are good fun and there will always be a place for them on iPad, but who knows maybe the iPad is the next phase in gaming.
Anyway so there they are, five ways to waste time and have fun doing it. Go on, avoid your responsibilities.