Your guide to the hottest gadgets, apps, and games that will be keeping you busy all season long

By John Young
July 13, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

7 Awesome Apps

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7

The latest edition in the LEGO Harry Potter saga is just as fun as the first, as you cast spells and maneuver your minifig characters through new locations like the Ministry of Magic. (iOS; $4.99)

The Tossing Dad

Zombies go soaring in a simple yet splatterific app that lets you chain-saw and blast your way through a whole range of gnarly undead. (iOS and Android; $0.99)

Pix’n Love Rush

This charming throwback was recently launched for Android and tasks you with collecting coins and leaping over obstacles, all against retro Space Invaders-inspired backgrounds. (iOS, $0.99; Android, $1.99)

Shark Dash

Yes, it’s an Angry Birds clone, with shark bath toys and rubber duckies subbing for birds and pigs. But Dash‘s Rube Goldberg levels are just as gripping. (iOS and Android; $0.99)

Rinth Island

This adorable and addictive puzzle game requires you to carefully navigate a spiraling 3-D tower. You can also design and share your own levels. (iOS; free for a limited time)

Lostwinds2: Winter of the Melodias

Mobile games don’t get much prettier than this. Ported over from the Nintendo Wii, the clever platformer follows a young boy who can manipulate the wind. (iOS; $3.99)

N.O.V.A. 3

The thrilling first-person shooter series continues with our galactic hero’s return to a ravaged Earth — all the better to show off the stunning graphics and increased firepower. (iOS; $6.99)

5 Super Games


Nearly two years after its launch, the PlayStation Move may finally have its killer game. In the Celtic-inspired fantasy adventure, you control a sorcerer’s teenage apprentice, Finn, as he attempts to protect the Faerie Realm from the subtly named Nightmare Queen. While Sorcery‘s story seems geared toward children, the game promises sophisticated motion controls that will allow you to cast spells, conjure up whirlwinds, summon fire, and brew potions — no Latin required. (Out now; rated E10+; PS3)

Gravity Rush

Like Royal Wedding did for Fred Astaire, this action platformer grants you the ability to walk on walls. You play as Kat, an amnesiac girl who can levitate and alter her center of gravity, allowing her to run along any surface as if it were the ground. And if that hook weren’t already enticing enough, the narrative occurs in a floating steampunk metropolis that looks dazzling on the Vita’s handheld display. (Out June 12; rated T; PS Vita)

Spec Ops: The Line

In a sea of military shooters, Spec Ops: The Line stands out for its ambition. As U.S. Army captain Martin Walker, you must lead a special-forces team into a sandstorm-destroyed Dubai to rescue the possibly deranged Col. John Konrad. Equal parts Heart of Darkness and Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, the game should challenge you with one moral dilemma after another, not to mention the ever-present threat of more catastrophic storms. (Out June 26; rated M; PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Far Cry 3

As with the franchise’s previous entries, a major selling point of Far Cry 3 is its open-world locale: in this case, a tropical-island paradise teeming with mentally unstable thugs. You play an ordinary tourist who has to find a way to survive the treacherous setting while searching for his kidnapped friends. A first-person shooter that encourages exploration, this one looks like it could win the highly coveted Time Suck of 2012 award. (Out Sept. 4; rating TBD; PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Quantum Conundrum

This downloadable first-person puzzler has DNA from the beloved game Portal running through its veins. Designed by Kim Swift, who worked on the original Portal, Quantum Conundrum lets the protagonist — a boy navigating his uncle’s labyrinthine laboratory — switch between alternate dimensions. Need to move that heavy sofa? Activate ”fluffy dimension” and the sofa’s light as a feather. You’ll ultimately need to combine multiple dimensions, inevitably leading to that wonderful puzzle sensation: being stumped. (Out in July; rated E; PS3, Xbox 360, PC)</p