Scene It? Horror HD haunts iPad Apps of the Week

The iTunes App Store is currently being inundated with Halloween-themed silly apps, but one hits the mark and can be enjoyed far after the scary season ends. In other iPad app news, Sports Illustrated delivers the goods to football fans, sim-lovers can build an entire city and encourage it to prosper, news ripe for the campaign season comes from The Hill, and kids have a whole new way to learn to read.


The Scene It? series of games are a hoot for film geeks. I particularly enjoy beating my nieces and nephews while playing the Harry Potter game. The franchise has hit the iPad, and in perfect Halloween timing, has released Scene It? Horror HD ($4.99). In regular gameplay, watch clips of horror films, and then answer questions following the clip to advance. A hilariously fun “Scream Machine” lets you play screams, layer them on each other, and manipulate the frequency and volume. “Death Match” lets up to four players compete to answer questions about horror films. The multi-player mode allows players to connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This app is terrifying fun, and a great mix of classic and contemporary horror films, which means I have a slight chance of possibly beating my son at the game.


At $10, Virtual City HD had better deliver (wary? Try the free version first). These kinds of games require a little patience—this app is no fast-paced thriller. As you progress, you complete goals set out for you to help build up each town. You build houses, roads and industrial buildings, create transportation routes, and earn money by transporting raw materials to be made into finished products; you then deliver those products to the shopping mall. With 50 levels and a sandbox mode for free play, it’ll be a while before you get tired of Virtual City HD.


Keeping up with what our lawmakers are up to is particularly important during campaign season. brings its coverage to the iPad with The Hill HD (free). Nicely organized, The Hill HD offers up a home screen filled with the current top stories. Scroll down to find news categorized by the Senate or House, various blogs, campaign news and more; the app lets you scroll across in each category, and you can tap any summary to get the whole story. Tap “Sections” in the upper right corner to quickly access any of the categories. The best part of this app is that you don’t need to be connected to the Internet to read, and you can share via email, Twitter or Facebook (this should be standard fare on any app, really).


Any football fan would be a fool to think $7.99 (and this is an introductory price!) is too much to pay for what Sports Illustrated The Football Book offers up on the iPad. Based upon the book, the app brings to life the history of the sport, including stories and some amazing photographs, such as a great sequence of photos from a game in 1999 showing then-Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell flying over the top of two Cleveland Browns to land in the endzone. Tap on any item in the table of contents to be taken directly to it. It’s an interactive coffee-table book, and no iPad-owning fan should be without it.

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