Five great iPhone apps perfect for Thanksgiving travels

Nov 23, 2009
Games

Thanks to the iPhone, there are now more ways than ever to survive massive delays at the airport en route to a holiday weekend with family. Whether you are interested in role-playing adventures, shooting games or just want to find an entertaining way to help mom out in the kitchen, we have some iPhone app […]

Thanks to the iPhone, there are now more ways than ever to survive massive delays at the airport en route to a holiday weekend with family. Whether you are interested in role-playing adventures, shooting games or just want to find an entertaining way to help mom out in the kitchen, we have some iPhone app recommendations for you.

As Thanksgiving is the busiest travel weekend of the year, it is a good idea to know where you are going once you arrive at the airport. Make sure Airport Maps ($2.99) is by your side no matter if you arrive at the gate two hours before takeoff or board just before they close the door on you. The application provides detailed gate information, restaurant locations and shopping attractions for 59 airports throughout North America. Airport Maps is great for locating that Panda Express in a pinch or letting you know if you have enough time to race to Hudson News before takeoff. As no data connection is required, Airport Maps also allows you to scope out your connecting gate strategy while still in the air.

If you arrive early at the gate, settle into a little fantasy with Ravensword: The Fallen King ($6.99). This action role-playing-game of the “Oblivion” and “Fable” ilk shrunk down into portable — but still epic — proportions for the iPhone. Only “Ravensword” veers more onto the action side of the road, automatically parsing out your stats as the game sees fit, tweaking the game’s core to be more about questing. Its lame attempts at humor (like a carpenter who makes an MC Hammer joke) help add some character, and serve as good practice for laughing at Grandpa Lou’s timeless pull-my-finger “jokes.”

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If flying is not an option for you, you may want to invest in Magellan RoadMate 2010 North America ($79.99) before hitting the road. Sure, it’s pricier than most iPhone applications, but what do you expect from a voice-enabled turn-by-turn navigator that will literally guide you all the way home? Magellan is a pioneer in global positioning systems, so you’re in good hands. Unlike many similar products, the RoadMate app requires no extra fees or subscription costs after it is downloaded. You’d have to travel around the world and back to find a better deal than that.

Once you’ve made the trip back home, it’s time to help out with the cooking. Cooking Mama ($6.99), Taito’s ubiquitous and simplified kitchen simulator, is a good way to hit the ground running. Like in the console versions, you assist Mama in making myriad recipes like gyoza dumplings and hamburgers with the touch screen by poking ingredients to slice, dice, season, and grate. Only, in this version the difficulty is dialed down considerably. It sounds impossibly simple, but it also can quickly get addictive — especially when you’re stuck on a flight for a few hours with nothing else to do.

 If none of the planned recipes pan out quite the way everyone wanted, be prepared to improvise. Big Buck Hunter Pro (99 cents) will give you ample experience in killing your meal yourself, provided everyone wants to eat a wild buck antelope for dinner. It’s a straight-ahead shooting gallery take on a hunting simulator, and after the initial learning curve and getting a knack for quickly reloading, you’ll also be able to bag yourself enough frogs, gophers, ducks, and raccoons for a full-on smörgåsbord.

READ  The Quest for Quality Food Allergy Apps - #FoodAllergyAwarenessWeek

 

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David Wolinsky

David Wolinsky is the Chicago city editor for The Onion's A.V. Club and is also the  undisputed 1994 Blockbuster store champion at collecting bananas in Donkey Kong Country.

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