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5 Apps for Earth to make your gaming greener

 

If you go down to the app store today you’re sure of a big surprise – a ‘green’ power-up for the Earth’s most popular online games.

Apple and WWF, along with a whole host of big names in the app development world, have been having a bit of a digital picnic. Together we’ve taken the top 27 apps and added some panda-inspired extras. And the best bit? Until 24 April, 100% of the proceeds from ‘Apps for Earth’ apps or an associated In-App Purchase, will go to WWF.

Apps for Earth interface on tablet and mobile © Apple Inc.Apps for Earth interface on tablet and mobile © Apple Inc.

So what do these additions look like? Well I spent the best part of my Friday last week trying out the more popular UK game apps (it’s a hard job but someone has to do it). Here are five popular games (in no particular order) you can get hold of, whilst doing your bit for the planet:

The Earth

The Earth app © Apple Inc.The Earth app © Apple Inc.

This digital toy-like planetary handbook provides schools and young people insight into how the Earth moves. It’s intuitive and fun and the interactive dioramas, although taking a while to work out, are pretty cool. If you want to find out what happens when a volcano erupts, then you can see cross-sections of the landscape with true to life colours, as well as rumbling sounds of magma explosions and tectonic plates shifting. Here’s what Apple have to say about the app:

“An accompanying guide for parents and teachers delves into technical science behind all these phenomena, but kids can explore, experiment and absorb earthly knowledge at their own pace.”

Candy Crush Soda Saga

Candy Crush Soda app © Apple Inc.Candy Crush Soda app © Apple Inc.

Help the planet by buying sweets? Well the words Candy, Crush and Soda kind of give it away. This is what the game aims to do to draw your attention to the plights of the planet.

This cheeky number is charming and light-hearted where a swipe results in a match in every five-piece combo. Sweet!

The real delight however is that players can experience a live in-game event, Bamboo Hill. The next one is on 21 April. This in-app purchase will boost your game-play andprovide a 100% donation to help conserve our planet. If only sugar were good for you (sighs)… we’d all be living in tree houses!

Dragon City Mobile

If like me you’re a Clash of Clans fan, then this fire-breathing Sim City-style experience for the younger gamer is cheeky and fun.

Forum reviews say it’s the best dragon game on Earth – better than DragonVale. The golden egg however (those who’ve seen ‘Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire’ will understand) is that you can add six exclusive dragons to your collection, all themed after key WWF efforts focused on forests, oceans and more.

However, in order to unlock them, you need to become a Dragon Master, which is no mean feat. And be warned: breeding dragons can be quite an addictive commitment. The added bonus is that waiting for you at the end of your dragon-mastering is the chance to unlock Panda Island as a level!

Ultimate Guitar Tabs

Ultimate Guitar Tab © Apple Inc.Ultimate Guitar Tab © Apple Inc.

As a guitarist, I liked this one. Always on the lookout for apps that will help me keep time, tune my guitar, or provide tablature for new songs – I found the chord diagrams with note placement was a particular favourite feature.

UGT also gives you a host of songs to inspire you to learn. Some of my favourites include: What a wonderful world by Louis Armstrong and Fireflies by Owl City. All songs have been hand selected for Earth Day and come with free limited edition Apps for Earth Tabs.

You also get a funky green skin featured interface, so you can show your band mates how planet-conscious you are – shaming them to follow suit.

Now where’s that song by Will Young about what the world needs. It’s got to be here somewhere..?

Cut the rope: Magic

Cut The Rope: Magic app © Apple Inc.Cut The Rope: Magic app © Apple Inc.

To round off our Apps for Earth tour, I’ve left my favourite until last.

This platform-style game sees Om Nom, a circular green buffoon-like character, manoeuvring his way through levels, collecting points in the form of swirly shiny objects, as he tackles whirlwinds and water pools. But before you swipe away, thinking that you don’t need this kind of character in your life. Think again. Fun has many faces, and I mean that literally.

Not only can this loveable character turn into a fish, a mouse, a spirit and a dragon, but for a limited time only in the Earth for Apps feature, you can transform him into a sneezing Panda!

Each character has its own special ability and you can switch easily between forms. Don’t be fooled my friends, a sneezing Panda is not to be trifled with, especially when he’s on a level-smashing, planet-protecting mission.

Powering-up for the planet

With more and more consumers demanding greener and sustainable products, the conversion of micro transactions into micro donations on a macro scale, reaching millions of people in over 155 countries, will hopefully influence more big corporations like Apple to sit up and realise the benefits of going green. That in itself is a planet-protecting power-up.

Why not visit the App Store and download an Apps for Earth app.

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