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Today's Best Apps: Sid Meier's Ace Patrol, Running With Friends, My Penguin And More

The App Store takes delivery of hundreds of new apps per day. The overwhelming scene makes it possible to easily overlook an exciting game, valuable productivity suite, etc. However, we have a solution. Today’s Best Apps tackles this problem by providing you with a handpicked and tested list of apps that are truly worth your consideration each and everyday. Remember: Even though in-app purchases typically require your iTunes Store password for processing, you can further prevent them and other unauthorized actions by enabling local restrictions using the passcode locked iOS parental controls.

iPhone:

Running with Friends by Zynga Inc. (Free, 43.3 MB): The latest "With Friends" competition has commenced and it's a bullseye for endless running game fans. For this particular challenge, you are swept away to Pamplona to take part in Spain's famous Running of the Bulls festival. Unfortunately, the trip isn't about being an excited spectator but rather a target for these very potentially dangerous animals. So, now you must dash through the crowded streets while leaping over cars and canals, sliding under gates and through bales, dodge other runners and oncoming bulls, plus more. The game features colorful 3-D graphics, multiple turn-based match support, global leaderboards, as well as Facebook and Zynga network integration.

Universal:

Tasty Tadpoles by Mark White ($0.99, 35.4 MB): It's the survival of the fittest in this adorable action puzzler. As the tiniest of tadpoles, Taddy has trouble with nearly everyone in the pond, including those of his own species. However, the little fella is skilled enough to zip by all of those nasty creatures and make it to safety, but he needs your help. Using timed taps to spring and leap, instruct Taddy past all of the other tadpoles to collect the three starts and reach safety. Along the way, it will be beneficial to utilize protective bubbles and other power-ups as some of the pond dwellers get fierce. The game features charming 3-D graphics, 75 levels spanning three ponds, four unlockable characters, 14 challenges, as well as progressive difficulty in two play modes: standard and limited move puzzle-style.

Mosaique by Winning Blimp ($0.99, 31.6 MB): This may appear to be a simple bubble shooter-style matching game, but it's much more and tougher than that. Instead of cascading or simple grids of gems, you're presented with a random board of sand blocks. The objective is to strategically use the sand gun to launch new blocks and clear the board by grouping colors. So, what's the biggest problem? There's a very limited amount of sand, and it depletes quickly except when matching large groups. Put simply, efficiency is essential for any notable success. The game features beautiful 3-D graphics, simple three button control to maneuver around the 360-degree board, endless play, as well as Game Center leaderboards and achievements.

Daddy Was A Thief by Cezary Rajkowski ($1.99, 35.5 MB): Here's an action-packed variation of the endless climbing genre. In an attempt to flee from the crime scene, the strangely talented criminal leaps to the adjacent building and begins smashing through the roof and each floor like the Hulk. This man's destructive capability is impressive and worthwhile, although, we don't know if he'll ever get to the street and escape. As the crumbling stomp caves in every ceiling, it will be necessary to avoid law enforcement, aliens, and other unhelpful entities while grabbing a little extra loot. For an advantage, plus extra fun, hop into tubs for a multi-level crushing experiences. The game features animation-style 3-D graphics, single finger control, as well as Game Center leaderboards and achievements.

Sid Meier's Ace Patrol by 2K Games (Free, 180.5 MB): Prove yourself as pilot and commander in this strategy game of the skies. It's the early 1900s and the location is Europe. The time has come to recruit, instruct, and mange the top pilots of the Royal Air Force. Your squadron will start with a single skilled flyboy or flygirl, but soon will expand to include talented wingmen and women. Through turn-based actions, maneuver the flying fighters into position and commence attack on other planes, blimps, and more. Success and, of course, experience will be awarded with commendations, increased skills, and other positive outcomes. The game features a mixture of 2-D and 3-D graphics, variety of hazards and obstacles, several uniquely talented pilots and planes to select, 120 mission single player campaign, multiplayer, and Game Center integration.

iPad:

My Penguin by Disney (Free, 41.9 MB): Penguin Club goes mobile, offering five great games as well as penguin customizations to elementary and middle school children on-the-go. At the top of the list is a physics based platform puzzler called Pufflescape where kids need to collect the key and other items, then send the Puffle to the exit. Next up, Puffle Rescue challenges strategy and reflex skills in a top-down action-platformer that requires navigating the penguin to the stranded Puffle and then bringing the little fella back to the beginning. The third choice is Puffle Roundup, a quirky mini-game where children need to coerce Puffles into a holding pen by directing them with taps. Stepping away from Puffles for a bit, Ice Fishing spotlights a dedicated penguin who's out to snag some nearly frozen fishes no matter what underwater creatures and debris stand in his way. In addition, the app includes access to the Disney blog, game trailers and other preview videos, plus the aforementioned Club Penguin access with login.

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