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The Globe and Mail

New iPad? Have fun with 12 addicting games

Scrabble with friends, jump motor bikes and Vikings on logs, hack, slash and blast through actioners and try other clever puzzles and diversions

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Flapcraft You’re a Viking, standing on a log. The log slides down a ramp, and you’re airborne! Moments later, you crash. No problem. Add some feathers to your log and try again. Now you can soar through the air (briefly) before crashing. Now add a jet engine... Welcome to the fun and silly world of Flapcraft, a new game made exclusively for iPad. Flapcraft is simple, funny, and addictive. You can complete all 30 levels in an evening, provided you have some help from a child or two. The villagers will cheer when you sail into town on your flying log. ($1.99, iPad only, flapcraft.com)

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Scrabble The world's best-selling word game is now available on iPad as well as iPhone and iPod touch. There are many ways to play: you can connect with your friends via Facebook or in person, play against a random opponent on the internet, or you can challenge the computer. Scrabble comes with a built-in Chat feature you can use while playing. When you get a “bingo” for using all your letters, Scrabble will ask if you want to post a message on Facebook. The Scrabble app also comes with a Teacher feature that reviews you play after each move and tells you how you could have done it differently. If you're ever at a loss for words, use the built-in dictionary to see how you can use your Z, V, and Q in one word. ($1.99, iPhone and iPod touch, $9.99 for iPad; eamobile.com)

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Death Rally Cars + guns + dirty tricks = explosive fun. Death Rally is a combat racing game with attitude from Remedy Entertainment, the developers who brought you Max Payne and Alan Wake (and previous versions of Death Rally for DOS and Windows). Win events to unlock and upgrade cars, weapons and challenges. Race in single player career mode or connect with your friends (or enemies) for multiplayer battles. Load your guns and start your engines. No trick is too dirty in Death Rally. ($0.99, universal app, death-rally.blogspot.com)

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Doodle Jump for iPad Doodle Jump is easy to play and hard to put down. You control a bouncy creature who never stops jumping. The direction of his jump changes slightly when you tilt the screen. Your goal is to climb as high as possible without falling. You get points as he moves up. The game ends if the Doodle jumper falls off the bottom of the screen. First released in 2009, Doodle Jump was one of the first great games for iPhone and iPod touch. The new iPad version features better graphics and a new racetrack theme background. ($2.99, limasky.com)

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Plants vs Zombies HD “The zombies... are coming!” says an ominous, raspy voice. Your job is to defend your home from an undead mob. The only weapons at hand are the plants in your garden. If the zombies reach your door, they will eat your brains. This sounds like a dark game but it's not. The plants are friendly, the zombies are silly, and their battles are imaginative and charming. Gather up sunshine and use it as fuel to grow pea shooters, corn cannons and frozen melons that will slow down, confuse, and decapitate the zombies before they reach your door. The big screen HD version for iPad has great graphics and nice animations. It also makes use of the iPad's multi-touch gestures, so you can protect your home with more than one finger. At $6.99, PvZ is more expensive than many other games for iPad, but it's also one of the best. I can't count how many hours I've spent playing this game. (popcap.com)

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Infinity Blade You are a lone knight, on a quest to overthrow the evil king who rules your land with an iron fist. As you journey into his dark castle, you must battle his titans, one by one, until you face the tyrant himself. Use the simple, tap-to-move controls to navigate the castle and collect treasure. Attack, dodge, block, and cast spells, all with the swipe of a finger. Infinity Blade is a universal app – you can also play on iPhone and iPod touch, but the beautiful graphics and quick action are much more enjoyable on the iPad's larger screen. The sequel, Infinity Blade II, is also out now. ($5.99, infinitybladegame.com)

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Jetpack Joyride This new game from the producers of Fruit Ninja and Monster Dash is full of energy and fun. You control Barry Steakfries, the bored little hero who should have ignored the secret lab, but instead broke in and stole the jetpack. Now he's trying to control his flight while being pursued by a small army of scientists. After liftoff, you control Barry's flight by touching the screen. (He descends if you let go.) Pilot your way through the secret lab for points, collect coins and complete missions to earn cash and buy new gear (like a better jetpack). ($0.99, universal, halfbrick.com)

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Bike Baron Bike Baron is similar to Trials HD, a popular game in Xbox Live Arcade. Your mission: drive to the end of each track without crashing. There are loops, jumps, and exploding barrels in your way. The fun is in the track design: more than 40 tracks plus a level editor, so you can create and share your own challenging courses. ($0.99, Universal app that works on iPad/iPhone/iPod touch, thebikebaron.com)

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EP0CH When happened when the old world ended? Is this the dawn of a new Epoch? Why are you a robot, and why are all those other robots shooting at you? You’ll find out if you stick with EP0CH, a “post-apocalyptic robot combat” game that throws escalating waves of robot attacks at you in arena-style combat. When each battle is over, you can upgrade and configure your robot with weapons and armour recovered from your fallen enemies. Impressive gameplay and graphics based on the same Unreal game engine used in the award-winning Infinity Blade. ($5.99, uppercut-games.com)

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Osmos for iPad Highly recommended but hard to explain. You are a mote of dust drifting through the universe. Your objective is to grow by absorbing other motes. The laws of physics require you to fire some of your mass behind you to travel forward, which makes you smaller. The world of Osmos is peaceful and relaxing at first. Once you're comfortable, the playing area enlarges and intelligent opponents arrive, as well as attractors, repulsers and biophobes who zip away when you get near. It's a strange and wonderful game. ($4.99, hemispheregames.com)

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Scribblenauts Remix One of the coolest video games ever made is also one of the most creative. Scribblenauts Remix is a puzzle game in which your words come to life. If your little guy (Maxwell) needs a ladder, type “ladder” to make one appear. If Maxwell needs a pot of gold, type “rainbow” and see what happens. Giant robot? Check. Dinosaur? You bet. Part of the fun of Scribblenauts is entering words just to see if the game makers anticipated your ideas. The game works so well because thousands of animated objects WERE included, and appear when you ask for them. ($0.99, universal, scribblenautsremix.com)

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Whale Trail A flying whale? You bet! Whale Trail is a joyful, colourful flight through rainbow coloured lands. Help Willow the Whale collect floating Blubbles to feed his rainbow colour trail, dodging the angry Thunder Brothers. Each kingdom has a new Way out Friend to help Willow on his way. This might sound like a children's game but it's great fun for adults too. Loop the loop, collect Blubbles, smash enemies, discover new lands and make friends along the way. Enjoy the soundtrack while you're at it – it's one of the highlights of the game. ($0.99, universal, ustwo.co.uk)

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