So you’ve got your mitts on a shiny new Apple tablet, but it’s just a pretty paperweight without some things to do with it.
Never fear: we’ve scoured the App Store for the best ways of having fun with the iPad Air 2, whether you’re a fan of wintry horror, inventive and immersive reading matter, streaming telly, or getting all creative with digital paints and musical instruments.
Lara Croft GO
We’re big fans of Hitman GO, which reimagined a console-based assassinate ’em up as an oddly adorable turn-based clockwork boardgame. If anything Lara Croft GO is even more audacious.
Again, we’re in turn-based puzzling territory, with Lara overcoming traps crafted by an ancient civilisation with a penchant for mischief, guardian snakes and blocky architecture. It’s a stunning game, and manages to evoke the sense of wonder and isolation present in classic Tomb Raider titles, but missing from many of Croft’s more action-packed adventures.
Short but very sweet, Monument Valley is a visually stunning and surprisingly tactile mobile title. You guide the silent Ida through puzzles that incorporate fantastical architecture that boasts impossible Escher-like geometry; twist and rotate structures and you create new paths, gradually uncovering the mystery of the valley.
A slice of chilling Scandinavian horror perfect for dark winter months, Year Walk is an innovative, daring iPad gaming experience. With roots in folklore, classic first-person adventure games, and cryptic narratives, it blurs the boundaries between genres, to unique and enthralling effect. Also grab Year Walk Companion for the full story.
Multitouch marvel Eliss Infinity is single-person finger-Twister. You fuse and tear planets so they’re sucked into like-coloured wormholes. Different colours must be kept separate, or your energy depletes, and space storms add to the challenge. From simple beginnings, you’ll soon be using all ten digits to manage a kind of contained cosmic chaos.
The Room Three
We’re not sure what’s going on in this series. In the original The Room, you were unlocking boxes within boxes, before unleashing some kind of Lovecraftian hell. The Room Two spirited you away to spooky on-rails environments, such as a creaking ship at sea and a seance room where something went badly wrong.
In the third part of the series, you’re locked up by a maniac called The Craftsman, and must navigate a series of trials, in order to free yourself. To call The Room Three brain-bending is an understatement — its puzzles are logical and reward exploration, but aren’t easy to crack. Our advice: get all three games and settle in for the long haul, preferably in a dark room with rain pouring down outside.
Air Video HD
Should you have a nice collection of digital movies lurking on your network, don’t try squeezing them on to your iPad via tedious conversion and iTunes. Instead, install Air Video Server HD on your PC or Mac, and stream with live-conversion to your iPad. With tinkering, Air Video even works over the web. Magic!
Replay Video Editor
With your iPad, you *could* painstakingly sit there with video footage and cobble together a video in Apple’s iMovie. Alternatively, select some photos and videos, pick a style, and let Replay do the hard work for you. Extra styles are available via IAP - US$7.99 buys you the lot.
If you’ve recorded a bunch of videos and fancy doing something with them, but also don’t want the likes of Replay making decisions on your behalf, iMovie’s your best bet. The app apes its desktop cousin’s features, enabling you to quickly cut footage, integrate transitions, add a soundtrack, and share movies at up to 4K resolution. And if you’re in the mood for cheese, you can use one of the trailer templates to create something a little bit ‘Hollywood on the cheap’.