The holiday shopping season is in full swing, which means you are likely encountering mobs of frantic shoppers at Walmart, lots of traffic at the mall and long lines at the Post Office.
Take a few minutes from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and enjoy yourself with these five winter-themed apps.
JibJab ElfDance (iOS Universal, Free)
JibJab made headlines back with its parody video of George W. Bush and John Kerry singing “This Land is Your Land.” More recently, the digital entertainment studio has brought its funny brand of humor to the iPad and iPhone with a series of apps that allow you and your friends to star in your own JibJab-style videos.
Naturally, JibJab has a holiday-themed app that allows you to take center stage as an animated dancing elf. And it’s not just you doing a jig, you can add up to five friends to create a quintet dance line.Just snap a few quick photos of your friends (r upload them from your camera roll) and drop them into the JibJab elf bodies. When you are done, hit dance and get ready for a good belly laugh that’ll make Santa jealous. You can share your creations on Facebook or via email.
Cut The Rope: Holiday Gift (iOS Universal, Free)
Cut the Rope star Om Nom leaves his bubble-based homeland and travels to a world filled with Christmas delights in this special Holiday Gift edition. The original Holiday Gift debuted in 2010 and has been updated every subsequent year.
In the holiday edition, you can feed Om Nom delicious holiday candies that are hanging from a Christmas tree. Stockings and other ornaments adorn the tree and help you in your quest for food. It’s standard Cut The Rope fare with a delightful holiday theme. If you are the greeting the card type, you even can take a photo and decorate it with holiday-themed Cut The Rope attire.
Ski Safari (iOS Universal, $0.99)
Ski Safari is one the best casual games in the App Store. It’s fast paced and fun, but not overly complicated so it’s easy to pick up and play. You play as Sven, the sleeping hero, who has to race to stay in front of an avalanche. There are a variety of animals that can help Sven with his escape, including penguins, yetis eagles and more. Each animal has its strengths that can help Sven ski or sled faster or higher as he stays ahead of the avalanche. As an added bonus, you can do back flips or ride animals to boost your score.
Pic Collage (iOS Universal, Free)
Pic Collage is for the iOS owner who enjoys working photos more than working with on-screen game controls. Pic Collage is one of the best collage makers available on the iPhone and iPad. It allows you to take a series of pictures, place theme in frames and decorate them to be festive for the season. When you are done with your collage, you can share it on Pic Collage, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Path. You can also email it your friends or family. There’s even a printing option that’ll send off your creation as a postcard.
The latest version of Pic Collage was updated for Christmas with new free holiday stickers and holiday backgrounds. The app is free and ships with a limited number of decorations, but you can buy additional sticker packers for less than $1.99.
Santa’s Village (iOS Universal, Free)
Get into the holiday spirit by firing up Santa’s Village helping Santa build a bigger and better village for his elves. You will become Santa’s helper and will be tasked with the duty of building houses and toy factories for the elves. You’ll also get to teach the reindeer how to fly. There are mini games and missions, like gathering up the elven children who ran away from their mom, that’ll keep you on your toes.
Santa’s Village is a bit more time consuming than a pick-up and go game like Ski Safari, but the 3D graphics are cute and the game play is engaging once you get embrace the Christmas theme.