Apple is set to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its App Store, the very thing that differentiated the company from its competitors when the feature launched with iOS 2.0 in 2008.
Now, the App Store has upwards of 900,000 apps, many of which are considered the best in the business. On top of their availability, Apple is celebrating the fifth anniversary by making free some of its best (and in one case, most expensive) apps.
Tiny Wings (iPhone) / Tiny Wings HD (iPad) – this is an amazing little game that dethroned Angry Birds from the top of the Paid Apps section back in 2009. Despite the avian familiarity, this is nothing like Angry Birds and has since been updated with another game mode. Try it, it’s magical. Formerly $0.99/$2.99
Infinity Blade II – A graphically-intense fighting game, famously iOS-only, from the team behind the Unreal series. While the game itself may not progress beyond the typical Fruit Ninja-esque hack-and-slash genre, it’s gobs of fun and a great way to show off the Retina Display of your new iPad. Formerly $6.99
Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP – we spoke about this incredible Toronto-made game extensively when it came to Android, but iOS is where it started and is arguably a better version. It’s quirky and may not be for everyone, but a time-sucking adventure awaits you once you overcome the need for immediacy. Patience, knights. Formerly $4.99
Where’s My Water? – the puzzle game from Disney that started the influx of sequels and add-ons. This first game excels largely due to its deceptive, head-scratching simplicity. The goal is to redirect an errant stream of water to get a cute li’l Alligator, Swampy, clean. It’s adorable. Formerly $0.99
Badland – a stylish, fluid one-touch Apple exclusive that lives as an example of why iOS is still the best platform for mobile game development. Not just a pretty face, Badland combines arresting (and creepy) visuals with equally haunting sound and a menacing soundtrack that needs to be heard with headphones. A must-play. Formerly $3.99
Traktor DJ (iPhone/iPad) – an amazing DJ tool for aspiring MCs, or anyone looking to get the hang of the real thing. Considered one of the genre’s best and most innovative tools. Better on the iPad. Formerly $4.99/$19.99
Day One – a very cool journaling/memories tool for iOS that has an OS X equivalent for easy syncing between platforms. A great way to keep private what should stay private, and a gorgeous interface to boot. Formerly $4.99
Over – an app to append text to images so you can make Instagram photos even more unnecessarily twee. I will judge you if you use this.* Formerly $1.99
Barefoot World Atlas – a very cool atlas app that has more style than Google Earth and more facts than your grandpa. A great app for kids learning about the world. Formerly $4,99
How To Cook Everything – Mark Bittman’s accessible encyclopedia of every culture, dish and ingredient from around the world. Straightforward instructions, shopping list support and compatible with iPhone and iPad. Awesome app. Formerly $9.99
*Not really, but probably