Top Ten: Apps I’m Purchasing Before Boarding

So. Many. Planes.

I’m going to be sick of traveling by the time I get to France, can I just say…

As it is, I have to get to Washington D.C. before I get to Paris, and I live in California. So that’s eight hours of pressurized cabin air right there. Lucky for me, I’m True Blue (Jet Blue airlines), so I’ll have some amenities like a bit more leg room, the ability to charge my iPod at my seat, and the Sirius Radio I’m already addicted to from my Ford Fiesta. I’ll have my own personal TV screen on the back of the seat ahead of me on my Air France flight, and should I need to charge my computer, I’m told there will be outlets on the main deck of the aircraft. If nothing else, it’s about another eight hours, and I’ll be on a bus from Paris to Tours for about five hours (from 11 AM to 4 PM local time) after that. I’ve researched that the DRIVE from Paris to Tours is only about two and a half hours, so I think we’re sight-seeing. Either way…

I’m going to need some new things to keep myself busy while I “waste away” in those tubes. I do have some apps on my iPod Touch that are great for time wasting, but since I’m usually the one doing most of the driving in my life (Noah is all thumbs… oh the irony), I haven’t played many of them recently, if at all. Some of the applications on the following list are ones that I already own, might have played, and will be getting expansions to, or I might not have played them at all, or I’ll be getting them for the first time. I’ll make notes as I go, don’t worry!

Onto the applications!

Application: Zuma’s Revenge HD

Genre: Games
Purpose: Strategy/Puzzle
Platform: iPod Touch/iPad, PC, Nintendo DS
Company/Artist: Pop Cap
Price: $4.99 iTunes, $19.95 PC Download (1 hour free trial), $19.99 DS (if you can find it)
Why I Want This App: I’ve played the game online before, and it’s pretty fun. I’ll admit, this definitely expensive compared to any of the other games I’d be willing to put on this list, but for what you get on the game, I’d say it’s worth it. You get 60 levels of game play in two different modes (so that’s really more like 120 levels), and like I said, I’ve played the game before and managed to make myself quite the addict. This is one of the more… graphics heavy applications on this list, so I fear battery depletion, but this iPod Touch battery life extender should help alleviate some of those fears, now shouldn’t it?

Application: Sleepstream 2 Pro

Genre: Lifestyle
Purpose: Relaxation
Platform: iPod Touch/iPad
Company/Artist: Cannonball Consulting
Price: $2.99 (sometimes on sale for $0.99), but you can try the light version for free.
Why I Like This App: I’ve had it for about a year by this point, and I use it to go to sleep every night. It uses binaural beats that go through your headphones (specific to each ear) to help set your brain to a certain frequency depending on what you need to do (sleep, power nap, wake up, de-stress, get energized, focus, etc) paired with nature sounds like crackling fireplaces, babbling brooks, and other things, and even musical overlays like piano music, or guided meditations. You set the volume level for each “track” so that you get the effect of the binaural beats, but that’s not all you hear. You can download other updates for the app (some you have to pay for, some are free) like other music overlays, new binaural frequencies, and more nature sounds. I can’t sleep with headphones when I’m in bed, and the binaural beats won’t come through the built in speaker on the device, but you can hear them if you mount the device on an iHome or similar product. This is a great app for trying to sleep on a plane, since you’ll have the headphones in anyway, and the binaural beats help you get to sleep quicker.

Application: Slice It!
Genre: Games
Purpose: Brain Teasing/Math
Platform: Android, iPod Touch/iPad
Company/Artist: Com2us USA, Inc.
Price: Free on all Platforms
Why I Want This App: It’s free. You REALLY can’t go wrong with that! The idea of this game is to divide the shape you’re given on each level into a perfectly equal pair of halves. Each level gives you a more complex shape to split. Sure, it’s more tuned for a kid, but who says an adult can’t have fun with a kid’s game? I like to try to tune my body to my destination’s time zone once I board that particular flight, so having an app in my pocket that’ll force me to use my brain comes in handy. This one might give me a bit of a headache once I pass a certain level, but it’s certainly worth a shot!

Genre: Games
Purpose: Art/Design/Relaxation
Platform: Android, iPod Touch/iPad
Company/Artist: Bejoy Mobile
Price: Free on All Platforms
Why I Want This App: A friend of mine on Facebook posted a picture that she had drawn herself on the app. You literally just doodle the entire time. This app has a lot of “replay” ability, meaning that it’s not a game you can beat, then never want to play again. There’s no music that goes along with the game, so I can listen to my own, plug my headphones into the nearby seat jack and listen to the airplane radio, or talk to people around me. I can even save and share the images later on. For a free app that will keep me busy for a decent amount of time, I’d say it’s definitely worth the “trouble” of downloading… considering that’s hardly “trouble” at all.

Genre: Games
Purpose: Strategy/Puzzle
Platform: iPod Touch/iPad, Android
Company/Artist: Zepto Lab UK
Price: $0.99 for either.
Why I Like This App: The idea of the game is to work through the puzzle to get the gravity-bound candy into the adorable monster (named Om-Nom-Nom)’s mouth and make him happy. If you ever drop that candy, he gets really sad, and I’ve actually wanted to cry a couple times after repeatedly not being able to complete a level. The Experiments game gives you commentary from the professor and allows you to make In-App purchases (called superpowers) so that you can complete the levels a little easier. It keeps your brain going, but the graphics are really well done and it’s an adorable concept. I’ve enjoyed the game when I’ve played it in the past. I had stopped because I’d ran out of levels, but the developer made more, and they were added through free upgrades made to the game at later dates.

Genre: Games
Purpose: Strategy
Platform: PC, iPod Touch/iPad
Company/Artist: Gogii Games
Price: $2.99 on PC, $0.99 on iPod Touch/iPad. You can try the game for free on both.
Why I Want This App: My mom and I like watching Gene Simmons Family Jewels together, and I saw the episode where Shannon was working on the game with the developer. I looked into the app, and it looks like fun. It’s a tower defense type of game. For the price, it doesn’t look like it would be a total bust if the game turns out to be less than I had hoped for. I figure I’ll do the trial for my domestic flights and if I really like it, I’ll see if I can get into the airport WiFi and purchase the full version for my iPod.
Genre: Games
Purpose: Role-Playing
Platform: iPod Touch/iPad
Company/Artist: NEXON MOBILE
Price: $1.99
Why I Want This App: The best way I can describe Maple Story is that it’s World of Warcraft with cuter characters, maybe aimed more at girls than at guys. I played Maple Story for a little while in high school, but I never really got the hang of it. I like the idea of role-playing games simply because I like to choose my own destiny as much as possible, which is probably why I like the Sims franchise so much. This game scales down the whole world of Maple Story a lot, and packages it neatly into a piece that give you enough story to not want to put your iPod down (a lot of the reviews say things like “IPOD DON’T YOU DARE CRASH”), but not so much that it’s Maple Story Live, and it’ll kill your iPod battery in a heart beat. Keep in mind, this is one of those apps that I don’t already have yet, so I’m worried that it’s going to kill my battery because of the type of game this is.

Application: Monopoly
Genre: Games
Purpose: Board/Pass-N-Play
Platform: iPod Touch/iPad
Company/Artist: Electronic Arts, Inc.
Price: $0.99
Why I Want This App: I’ve always loved Monopoly. Growing up, a couple of my cousins would come over to stay with my mother, my grandmother (rest in peace) and me when their parents would go out of town, and we’d all play. The orange and magenta section of the board always inevitably became “Claire Alley” (and that’s still one of my strategies) while my two cousins would “strategically” throw the dice too hard so they’d fly off of the table, they’d pick them up, and claim they rolled double sixes. At any rate, I have the game for my Wii system, and I like playing that with friends. No epic dice-throw cheating here, and no hour-long clean up either! That’s a great feature that the iPod/iPad version has as well, this one also includes a multiplayer interface that operates via local WiFi connection, and even Bluetooth! Of course, you can always Pass-N-Play, which will always be allowed on a flight. Not too sure about the other two methods.

Application: Fruit Ninja

Genre: Games
Purpose: Relaxation
Platform: iPod Touch/iPad
Company/Artist: Halfbrick
Price: $0.99
Why I Like This App: I’M SO ADDICTED TO THIS APP. I’ve had it for a while, and I’ve loved the in app upgrades that the developer has made in the past. You can play the original version, or just relax with the zen mode (no bombs to worry about hitting, and if you miss slicing a fruit, no big deal). My personal favorite is arcade mode, where you try to slice as many fruit as you can with one fell swoop (or should I say slice?) and use the special bananas to unlock temporary modes of play within the game. Best part? No messy fruit to clean up when you’re all done playing!

Application: Zen Bound 2 Universal

Genre: Games
Purpose: Relaxation
Platform: iPod Touch/iPad
Company/Artist: Secret Exit Ltd.
Price: $2.99
Why I Want This App: The idea of this game is simple enough. You balance your iPod Touch, iPhone, or your iPad and try to paint a carved wooden figure with a rope. The music is the best part, that’s what REALLY relaxes you. Did you watch the video at the beginning of this segment? Come on. Like you’re not going to want to knock out after a few minutes of play time. If not, you’ll probably be totally relaxed despite the crying baby three seats ahead of you, right?

So what’s your favorite Airplane App Buddy? Let us know in the comments!

One more app suggestion: My friend @elysesharp saw this post and sent me a text. She has an app she uses to track her work outs. If you’re a fitness buff (or you need some encouragement to work out more), try Fitocracy. It gives you points as you record work outs that you do, and I LOVE the tag line – “the video game that helps you Level Up in real life.” À bientôt!

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