It seems like summer just started, but here we are counting the hours until August is upon us. Soon it will be time to pack up the swim trunks, leave the beach behind, and return to the cool days of Fall. If you’re feeling the end of summer bummers, here are the best apps and games of July 2013 to help while away the final days of fun in the sun.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Our first entry didn’t officially launch in July, but its release at the tail end of June was close enough. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the first mobile entry in the sci-fi strategy series, based on 1994′s UFO: Enemy Unknown. XCOM is another big leap forward for mobile with gameplay and graphics that challenge its console counterparts. The $19.99 price tag will likely scare some off, but this is a case of getting what you pay for — in a good way. [DOWNLOAD]
EBooks are big business. Just ask Apple. That was a lawsuit joke. Moving on… Byliner is to reading what Netflix is to television and movies. You pay a monthly subscription rate of $9.99 and gain access to a sizable library of content including short stories, novellas, and long-form nonfiction from authors like George Saunders and Jonathan Lethem. You can even tell Byliner how much time you have to read and it will suggest stories that fit your schedule. Currently the app is supported for iPad and is free to download. [DOWNLOAD]
The first of two games on our list to rely on atmosphere to set the mood, Limbo is a unique title cast in black and white and filled with plenty of challenges to keep you busy. It’s dark tone is sure to leave an impression even if the gameplay doesn’t. But it will, which is why Limbo has been earning high marks from nearly all who have reviewed it. Its $4.99 price tag might not be for the faint of heart, but Limbo isn’t either. [DOWNLOAD]
IFTTT, which stands for “if this, then that,” is a neat little automation tool for iOS that creates connections between services, devices, and actions to perform simple tasks. An example could be as simple as saving Instagram photos to Dropbox. More intriguing is the ability to control external hardware like the Philips Hue lightbulb. Change the color of the bulb based on the weather? Yes, please. But that’s just scratching the surface of what you can do with this free app. [DOWNLOAD]
Another entry from late June, Home is a unique adventure/horror game that originally debuted on PC before seeing a port to iOS. The premise of the game is to guide the 8-bit protagonist through the corridors of his pixelated nightmare, making decisions along the way that affect how the story unfolds. While it won’t keep you up all night, Home features its fair share of creepy moments. Play in a dark room with headphones on for maximum effect. [DOWNLOAD]