iPad games of the week: Rock of Seasons edition

Game: Scrabble for iPad
Price: $9.99 / £1.79
Size: 12.6MB
Buy it now from the iTunes store:US/UK

Loading up Scrabble for iPad in the App Store immediately displays the message that the app has been chosen as one of Oprah's "Favorite Things" in 2010. Way to pick this little-known, struggling indie app from the ether, Oprah.

But seriously, while we're bigger fans of Words with Friends for our iOS multiplayer battles, Scrabble offers a lot of unique features, like playing against the A.I. or in local pass-n-play battles. Really, though, our favorite Scrabble for iPad feature has to be the Party Play mode, which lets you use up to four iPhones or iPod Touch devices as tile racks (using a free app for each) for a local match. It's truly the apex of technological excess: using thousands of dollars of portable gadgetry to simulate the sensation of playing a $10 board game.

I can speak from experience: during a recent weekend trip to a Midwest vacation house with friends, four of us busted out our iPhones and tested it out, primarily out of curiosity. It works well enough – though the board game version is arguably the more fluid (and reasonable option) – but be prepared to battle back feelings of smugness or embarrassment. Though it's worth it to find out which side of the fence you fall on.

One final note: Why is this app three times more in the US than the UK, where it costs the equivalent of $3? Looks like someone’s laying down the letters “corporate greed” on a triple-word score.

Game: Scene It? Harry Potter HD
Price: $0.99 / £0.59
Size: 597MB
Buy it now from the iTunes store:US/UK

Whether you're still raving (or reeling) over the recent release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 in theatres or pondering what went wrong with the wretched game adaptation, chances are you have the boy wizard on the brain a fair amount of the time. Screenlife's done a pretty solid job with its iPad trivia apps, based on the Scene It? series of DVD board games, so what better way to keep Potter fever alive while you wait for the final flick?

Scene It? Harry Potter HD is a hefty download, weighing in at nearly 600MB, but that thick file comes with a load of video and audio clips from the films, as well as 30 different question sets (with 16 puzzle styles) that keep things varied and ensure you're not answering the same questions every time you play. Beyond simply answering the questions on your own, you can bring in three pals for single-device multiplayer or play over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi if everyone's got an iPad and copy of the app.

And for just $0.99 (at the time of this writing), why shouldn't they? Know-it-all Harry Potter nuts can prove their mettle – or eat some humble pie – and it's the perfect app to play while waiting in line for Deathly Hallows Part 2. Because we’ve no doubt that someone somewhere is already warming up a spot in the queue.

Dec 6, 2010

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