Monument Valley 2, Halide, and other awesome apps of the week


Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Monument Valley 2, an M.C. Escher-inspired mobile gaming masterpiece, is just one of the brilliant titles we’ve picked out for this week’s “Awesome Apps” roundup.

We’ve also got a great task manager, an ancient Egypt-themed strategy game, and a superb camera app. Check out our picks below.

Monument Valley 2

The sequel to 2014’s brilliant Monument Valley, one of my favorite mobile games of all time, Monument Valley 2 offers more of the (brilliant) same.

For anyone who never played the original game, it works like this: You control a protagonist as she moves through an isometric landscape by tapping where you want her to go. To help her reach the end of each stage, however, you must manipulate an M.C. Escher-style piece of impossible architecture. That means raising and lowering platforms, or spinning physics-defying stairways and crosswalks, even if — actually, especially if — this means breaking the laws of perspective.

The sequel doesn’t fundamentally change the formula, aside from adding a daughter who follows the protagonist around. It’s not especially long, but this is still a gem of a game that you should totally drop everything to play. You can read my full review of it here.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: $4.99
Get it from: App Store


halide for iPhone
Halide is packed with neat features that are intuitive to use.
Photo: Halide/Cult of Mac

There are a ton of camera apps available for iPhone. While you might think there are too many, to quote Alan Partridge, “another way of looking at it is, people like them, let’s make some more of them.”

Halide is one such app, only this is one you’re definitely going to want to check out. Why? because it not only adds extra control to the stock camera app, it is also easier to use than Apple’s built-in app. In addition to being one-handed simple, Halide adds power features like manual focus and RAW capture.

It’s full of nice visual touches, too — including neat visual touches like its built-in manual resembling an old school paper manual. Check out our full write-up here.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: $2.99
Get it from: App Store

Predynastic Egypt

Historical accuracy is one of the main selling points of this turn-based strategy game, created with the expertise of real Egyptologists. Spanning the years 5000 B.C. through the Unification of Lower and Upper Egypt in 3000 B.C., you lead a nomadic tribe in a quest to establish the first Egyptian state.

Along the way, you’ll deal with wars, epidemics, political strife, religion, exploration, and plenty more in detailed simulations. It’s also a good learning tool, since there are 48 historically-accurate technologies and cultural achievements to find out about, which come with their own descriptions.

An in-depth gaming experience you’re definitely going to want to set aside some serious time for, Predynastic Egypt is one I’d recommend to any fan of the genre.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: $4.99
Get it from: App Store

Things 3

An Apple Design Award 2017 winner, Things 3 updates the already great, award-winning task manager to make it better than ever. Improvements over its predecessor include an all-new design, with more clarity, improved workflows, and better structure.

You also get the ability to add more details to checklists, calendar integration, natural language recognition, improved search, week planner, reminders, and way more.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: $9.99
Get it from: App Store


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