Holiday Gift Guide: iPhone App Edition

Posted 9 years ago by Games

I love gifting apps to friends and family. Give someone an iTunes gift card and they could blow it on Neil Diamond albums or TV episodes, but gift them an app and chances are they’ll at least give it a try. It helps that they’re super cheap and have enormous value (Angry Birds updates, anyone?), so think of them as digital stocking stuffers. I’m addicted to quite a few iPhone apps at the moment, so here are some of my recommendations that would make great gifts for other iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch owners.

Angry Birds Seasons

Angry Birds is the biggest iPhone addiction of me and a whole lot of other people, and for good reason. The gameplay is easy to pick up on, but the endless levels can be very tough and take you quite a few tries to master. Angry Birds is the original classic, but Angry Birds Seasons might make a little more sense to gift. It’s like an advent calendar, and each day until Christmas a new level unlocks. Both are 99¢.

The Incident

My second favorite iPhone game (at the moment) is The Incident by Neven Morgan and Matt Comi, an 8-bit styled game where you try to dodge an endless array of falling objects. You control the main character by tilting your iPhone, and the combination of the gameplay, graphics, and music makes it one of my top picks. It’s $1.99.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

Warner Bros. just ported their hit LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 to the iPhone and iPad, and from what I hear it’s brilliant. I’m holding out for the Xbox 360 version, so I haven’t played it yet, but you can see some gameplay and read more over at Kotaku. It’s $4.99

Super Mega Worm

Super Mega Worm

Super Mega Worm is my guilty pleasure. Like The Incident, it’s retro graphics appeal to my nostalgic side, but the gameplay is so fun I would play it no matter what. What’s better than terrorizing tiny pixelated people as a huge mutant worm that spits acid? My biggest complaint is that the woman pushing the baby stroller only counts as one person. Come on! It’s 99¢.

Instagram

Instagram

Instagram is blowing up right now, and I’m glad, because I’ve been using it from day one and I love it. There are so many photo sharing apps that came before, but Instagram makes it so fun and simple, and it actually produces some very nice results. If you download it, make sure to look me up. It’s free!.

Trainyard

Trainyard is not only a great game made by Matt Rix, but a great example of an independent developer hitting it big with an app. The game has you solving puzzles with color-coded train tracks. The puzzles get surprisingly complex, and the presentation is very classy. It’s $2.99.

Astronut

Astronut

Astronut by the Iconfactory is a simple but fun game where you jump from planet to planet, taking advantage of your Boost and the gravitational pull of the objects around you. You get bonus points for making longer jumps, but with all the obstacles and aliens, that gets rather difficult. It’s Free, with a $1.99 in-game unlock for the full version.

Path

Path

At first glance Path may seem like just another mini-social network/photo sharing app, but I think it has the potential to be a lot more. It’s a social network designed only for your 50 closes friends and family members. You share moments in a gorgeous interface, and I would use it a lot more often if I knew more than two people who had it. It’s Free.

Reeder

Reeder

An RSS reader as a Christmas present? That may sound boring, but if you know anyone who uses Google Reader and has an iPhone, Reeder is a must-have. It’s got a great UI that easily trumps Google’s mobile browser version, but it also has a lot of integrations built in for saving and sharing items. It’s $2.99

Rage HD

Rage HD has gotten a lot of attention on gaming and technology blogs lately. It’s from ID Software, and it’s the best looking game I’ve ever seen on a mobile device. That being said, it’s not the most fun, but if you’re looking for a rails-shooter or a “wow-factor” game to show your friends, Rage HD is a good bet. It’s $1.99.

Your Turn

What iPhone apps do you think are most gift-worthy? Let me know in the comments!