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Whether visiting family, off on vacation or spending some quiet time at home for Christmas, chances are you'll have an iPhone or iPad at your side. AppleInsider offers together a list of critically acclaimed and family-friendly iOS games to make the season bright.
Lara Croft Go
Lara Croft Go is Apple's 2015 iPhone Game of the Year winner, along with numerous other mobile game of the year awards in its cap.
Follow Lara Croft, the Tomb Raider on her latest adventure. Face down snakes, lizards, and giant spiders across more than 100 puzzles to stay alive and collect artifacts and gems to complete her quest.
The game starts out with a couple of tutorial levels that have you take the titular character through a series of stories that teach you how to move, activate levers and get past the various types of dangers and enemies you'll face throughout the game. After this, the game really takes off. You'll face pits, snakes, lizards, and giant spiders that follow you around, along with traps, giants boulders and more — everything you've come to expect from a classic Tomb Raider game, along with puzzles and patterns that turn up the intrigue of the game. With 40 levels, there's plenty to keep you busy in this well-designed and executed iOS Tomb Raider adventure.
Lara Croft GO is available for the iPhone and iPad. It costs $1.99 and can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store.
Sequel to the 2013 iPad Game of the Year, Badland 2 was released to the iPad last week. If you liked the original Badland, Badland 2 delivers a similar experience with more challenging environments, improved graphics and more refined controls.
Badland is a side-scrolling adventure game that feels a little like a mixture of Temple Run and Angry Birds, with bombs, sharpened wheels, lasers and more obstacles trying to keep you from completing each stage, as the game constantly moves to the right.
It's a pretty simple concept, hold a button to fly and try to pick up the vital power ups to stay alive through the onslaught of obstacles, some new and inventive and some pretty common to the genre. The game is fast paced and you'll die a lot, but it's addictive and engaging, and comes with generously prevalent checkpoints so that you won't feel like you're starting too far back.
Badlands 2 is available for the iPhone and iPad. It costs $4.99 and you can download it from the iTunes App Store.
Star Wars: Uprising
The force is strong with this new RPG from Disney, set between Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Build your character's abilities and attributes from a small-town criminal on a backwater planet to an intergalactic warrior as you hop between planets and locales famous from the movies.
The game play can become repetitive, but the fighting and ability upgrades throughout the game add new dimensions to keep it fresh. Take on local crime lords, Imperial blockades and classic Star Wars villains in this fun game that will keep you busy for hours, with endless upgrades and new directions of the story. This is a perfect game to capitalize on the popularity of The Force Awakens, and a thrilling entry for Star Wars fans.
Star Wars: Uprising is available for the iPhone and the iPad. It's free to download, though there are In-App purchases. You can download it from the iTunes App Store.
The latest installment in the Scribblenauts puzzle-game franchise, Scribblenauts Unlimited, made its debut on iOS earlier this month.
The game is similar to Mario 64, with an open-world concept leading to hundreds of different puzzles and levels. The wrinkle is that any word you can type, you can insert into the game to use in your quest. Add an adjective or "attribute" to the words and objects and you can change their abilities even more. Just like Mario, you can stop and start new levels at will without adhering to strict completion, so you don't have to worry about getting bogged down behind a boring level or tough puzzle.
This truly is a game you must try. You're solely limited by your imagination, so anything you can type, the object builder can make and you can use along your journey.
Scribblenauts Unlimited is available for the iPhone and iPad. It costs $4.99 and you can download it from the App Store.
A Charlie Brown Christmas - 50th Anniversary of a Peanuts Classic
Relive "A Charlie Brown Christmas" with this interactive storybook recreation of the film on its 50th anniversary, and share the experience with children as they discover "A Charlie Brown Christmas" for the first time.
See a film-to-page translation of a"A Charlie Brown Christmas," complete with dialogue from the original film. The storybook is narrated by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown from the 1965 film, and the book comes with a soundtrack featuring music and sound effects from both the movie and the show.
You can play Schroeder's piano, go caroling with the gang, and play a contest to unlock decorations so you can decorate your very own "Charlie Brown Christmas tree." There's enough fun and games and references to the original show and movie here to entertain the kids for hours.
A Charlie Brown Christmas - 50th Anniversary of a Peanuts Classic is available for the iPhone and iPad. It costs $4.99 and can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store.
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