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So you’ve opened that new present you’ve been waiting for all year – a brand new shiny (or perhaps, hand-me-down) iPod touch, iPhone or iPad. No doubt your loved ones scrimped and saved and pooled their money for this revolutionary and/or magical device.

Now what to put on it?

If you’ve got an iPad, Virgin Media’s Project Magazine is a must have. All iPods touch and iPhone NEED Facebook… What about GAMES?

Whether you’re using your own hard earned money or that iTunes gift card your least favorite cousin sent, your choices are many and all purchases are final – we’ve  put together a quick list to give you a good starting point.

Read on for the advice!

Rage/Rage HD – id Software

Rage is a showcase of what kind of graphical prowess the iOS devices can throw forth. Sure Epic’s Infinity Blade is slightly prettier but it had a full team of guys working day and night for months to create it.

Rage for the iOS devices (Rage for 3G and 3G S, Rage HD for iPhone 4 and iPad) was made basically on a whim by John Carmack and polished by a handful of guys over the course of a week or so before release. It’s a testament to id Software’s ingenuity and a brave new direction for the company. And it’s pretty, oh so pretty.

Angry Birds – Rovio

Everyone has it. Everyone else has already beaten it. The game is a simple tower defense game with an addicting difficulty curve and fun, eye-catching graphics. It’s a nice way to wile away your time. With the new Mighty Eagle in-game purchase insta-win button, it can even relieve all that stress it’s been creating for you!

There’s even a festive, seasons version with snow and holiday things.

Fruit Ninja – Halfbrick

Fruits fly across the screen and you swipe your finger to cut it. Simple right? Think again. Fruit Ninja is amazingly addictive and has several different modes and challenges, as well as multi-player.

It’s an easy way to relax with something simple in Zen Mode but switch over to classic or Arcade and you will curse yourself for not looking closely enough or swiping just too far. It’s a brilliant little game. Kids love it, too.

Words with Friends/Words with Friends HD – NewToy Inc.

Addictive, spare time, turn-by-turn scrabble. All your friends have it, why not prove once and for all that your vocabulary is bigger than theirs? The folks at NewToy have created one of the most per

sistent Apps on the App Store because it’s so simple, and has changed little. Everyone knows how to play, everyone can play. The HD version is exclusive to the iPad.

Warning: Do not play with loved ones.

Plants Versus Zombies – PopCap Studios

Skip the iPhone version, which is scrunched and hard to aim. The iPad is what this game, originally a flash-based browser game, was created for. It’s a bizarre premise: horrifically mutated plants shoot things at hordes of approaching zombies, but it’s maddeningly addictive.

On the nice, big, beautiful screen of the iPad the entire game pops. The best we can liken it to is playing with a cartoon. It’s on the expensive side, but the challenges, sense of humor and addicting gameplay make it well worth it. Every family iPad should have it, and “professional” ones too! (Admit it… You’re going to play games!)

Enjoy your holidays – be careful and don’t let your new toys consume your focus. If you have any stories or other suggestions be sure to leave them in the comments!

 

About the author: Jonathan Harrop

 

Jonathan graduated in May of 2008 with a degree in Journalism in News/Print from the University of Arkansas. He currently lives in the Dallas, Texas area and has recently learned that 'freelance writer,' like 'starving artist' is not a cliche. Jonathan has played video games since Desert Strike forced him to break his 'B' button on his Sega Genesis controller.

 

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