Grab your mobile device this Halloween season, because app developers have been busily coming up with ways to help you celebrate. From the creepy and spooky to the silly and fun, they’ve managed to capture many of the things that make this holiday great.
Here are just a few of the interesting options.
Playdead / $3.99
A 2D platformer, the player (you) controls a boy as he wanders through an ominous and creepy world. Limbo’s unique artstyle sets it apart from other types of games typically found on iOS. Fans of gaming may remember Limbo from its PC and console cousins, and while this version is very much “more of the same”, for those that have never played it, Limbo on iOS or Android will be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
Controls are easy thanks to its native touch functionality. Tap, touch, and swipe to control your character as you run and jump, exploring the world around you.
It’s not scary, but it can be. This app is recommended for teens.
Jeff Mohl Design / $1.99
Everyone loves jack ‘o lanterns, but such is not always the case when it comes to the mess. This iPad game lets you carve your pumpkin in any way you want- with no mess! Choose from 4 different pumpkins and 18 premade design stencils to get your carve on with ease.
This family-friendly game brings out the best of Halloween without being too scary or spooky- making it ideal for families with young kids.
Share your pumpkins with your friends and family and get them involved in the fun. For $2, this game is a perfect little time waster.
Tap Pocket/ Free
In this simulation game, players can decorate and explore an entire city devoted to Halloween. There are hundreds of characters to play with, as well as haunted buildings to explore. You can even “cross-breed” characters to create new monsters!
The app includes a tutorial to get you started, and allows you to move up through levels. Parents should be aware, however, that the app does include outside advertisements and in-app purchases (some quite expensive). The app is rated as acceptable to everyone with mild fantasy violence, but you may wish to preview it for younger players.
Since it’s a simulation game, players can immerse themselves in Halloween fun. It makes a nice addition to any Halloween collection of apps.
Twisted Lands: Shadow Town Free
Alawar Entertainment, Inc/ Free
Explore the town, lake and forest, but beware! Most who enter never return. Try out this addictive hidden object game this Halloween and get lost in its weird and wonderful world.
Take on the monsters and mysteries as the main character, Mark, who is looking for his missing wife, Angel. You’ll enjoy 80 locations and 11 hidden object scenes. You’ll thrill to bloodcurdling sound effects and horrifying visuals. And you’ll be addicted before you know it.
The app does include in-app purchases, and is rated teen for violence, blood, use of tobacco and language. There is a built-in tutorial and hints if you get stuck. Try your hand at rescuing the hapless Angel in this fun game.
Peekaboo Trick or Treat with Ed Emberley
Night & Day Studios, Inc./ $1.99
Peekaboo Trick or Treat with Ed Emberley will delight and amaze your toddler and preschooler with a spooky twist on that favorite classic, peek-a-boo. Friendly Halloween monsters play dress up and hide in not-so-scary settings for kids to find. The app costs $1.99 on the App Store and will provide lots of fun for most young children.
The app includes many options to personalize the experience, including choice of narrators, looping or ebook mode, 14 different characters, and artwork by an award-winning illustrator. The storybook mode ends with all characters going to sleep, great for your bedtime routine.
This app is a perfect way for young children to join in the fun of Trick or Treat without the negative imagery and frightening characters that older children sometimes enjoy. Let your toddler or preschooler celebrate while playing hide and seek and learning about words, cause and effect, and more.
Labo Halloween Car (4+)
Labo Lado Inc. / $1.99
Preschoolers and young children will love creating an endless array of Halloween cars this holiday. Use colors, special tires, stickers, and more to make unique vehicles, then save it to the gallery to share and enjoy.
The app also includes 21 roads to get the young drivers moving. Each road has a different set of spooky obstacles to overcome. You can also help your child share the cars if you wish.
If your child is in love with cars and the endless variety of vehicles in the real world, he or she will be in heaven with this app. There are literally thousands of possible combinations and each car will be more spooktacular than the last.
Make a Zombie
Skunk Brothers GmbH/ Free
Want to sneak a little learning into your children’s Halloween? Try this app! Kids will be delighted with making their very own zombie from the parts provided, which include mouths, eyes, arms, legs, and more. It truly is a “do-it-yourself” scare!
Once the zombie is created, save it to your camera roll. The app includes tools for sharing on various social media platforms, so it’s possible to “let your zombie” loose for your friends to enjoy. The app is rated 12+ due to infrequent themes that some parents might find objectionable, such as mild fantasy violence and occasional drug/alcohol references. There are also in-app purchases available and connections to social media.
How can you squeeze educational value out of this fun app? Developers suggest that players find a partner, each make a zombie in secret, and then describe their zombie to their partner. The player that duplicates the unseen but described monster with the most accuracy is the winner. Have fun!
Math vs. Zombies 2
TapToLearn Software/ $4.99
Here’s a perfect way to inject some learning into Halloween fun! Elementary-aged kids can solve math problems that let them rescue zombified children and restore their humanity. No worries-this zombie game is about as non-scary as they come: the zombies are after sweets, not brains!
Parents and teachers will love the fact that this app is correlated to Common Core Math Standards for kindergarten through grade 4 and includes a “report card” that allows adults to see the kids’ progress on the skills. Skills addressed include a hefty dose of basic operations practice (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) as well as number order, magnitude, and more. With over 84 levels, the app will meet nearly any student’s needs.
Math vs. Zombies 2 is a great way to engage learners this fall and get everyone to practice critical math skills. After all, there’s a world to be saved!
FinBlade / Free
Build spelling and vocabulary skills while you celebrate with this selection of Halloween-themed word search puzzles. The app features holiday word lists, scary backgrounds, and spooky sound effects to dress up a traditional and fun activity.
The app has puzzles that are middle-of-the-road for elementary aged players, with words like “haunted” and “slash.” The rating is 9+ due to some fantasy violence and infrequent fear themes, but most kids will relish rising through the spooky levels as they earn points in the game.
The app features “gorgeous backdrops” and touch-and-trace interface, making it easy to enjoy holiday fun. Give it a try!
Haunted House 3D Pop-Up Activity Book
Story Toys Entertainment Limited/ $2.99
Candy is not the only thing that will hold your preschooler’s interest during this sugary holiday season. The Haunted House 3D PopUp Activity Book combines the engaging nature of an ebook with the excitement of Halloween games.
The monsters in this not-so-scary haunted house just want to play. Choose from 8 spooky games that build skills in sneaky ways, earn badges and points for progress, and more.
Tames are fun and educational for young revelers, engaging memory, coordination, attention, observation, and more. The app keeps players engaged with awards, badges, and other earned items.
Landon’s Pumpkins – LAZ Reader [Level P–second grade]
Language Technologies, Inc. / Free
Children who can read second to third grade text will enjoy this story about a young boy who remembers a Halloween disaster when he carved his pumpkin last year. He and his father plan to raise, harvest, and do a better Jack-O’Lantern this year and learn some important lessons along the way.
This digital graded reader is just one example of the materials available from A to Z, a publisher dedicated to providing quality reading materials for elementary students around the country. This book includes a glossary and other tools to encourage students to learn new words and develop reading comprehension skills.
Add a little holiday spice to reading practice with this free seasonal story that kids will love!
Ghost Stories – English horror, scary spooky tales
Huyen Trang Nguyen /Free
How about a few dozen creepy stories to read by candlelight (or on your device)? This free collection will raise the hair on the back of your neck. Read them alone, or share with friends.
The Ghost Stories app features a selection of tales from other cultures, which makes it even spookier. Everyone loves a good scare, and this app will deliver. The stories include classics such as Dracula by Bram Stoker and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, as well as an article about Ghosts in the White House and eight eerie tales from Singapore. The multicultural take on spookiness makes this app very unique.
Photo Booth & Editing Apps
ZombieBooth: 3D Zombifier
MotionPortrait Inc. / Free
Of course you’ve always wanted to know how you’d look as a zombie, right? Now you can find out (without becoming undead)! Turn your 2D pictures into 3D animated masterpieces you can share with your friends.
Your zombies will come alive with the built-in animations: they will breathe, growl, and even try to munch on your finger if you get it too close! Ooooo shiver!!! Share your zombies on various social media platforms and save them to your device’s camera roll.
This app is rated 12+ for mature and sometimes scary themes. It also includes outside advertising and in-app purchases. Seems like a small price to pay for the ability to actually turn your friends into zombies with you, though. Ready to take over the world and start the Zombie Apocalypse?
Halloween Booth 2016
UAB Target Works/ Free
Everyone else is dressing up for the holiday, so why not dress up your photos, as well? This free app is a great place to start. It offers Halloween stickers to easily add to your photos.
You can even check out how your picture will look with the chosen stickers in the app’s handy preview mode. It also provides the option to do editing on the larger iPad screen even from your phone. The app does offer in-app purchases, so be sure that any children planning to use it understand the household rules for such things.
This app is perfect to add just the right touch, whatever that may be, to your pictures for the holiday. You can be scary, funny or downright mysterious as you choose to add pumpkins, ghosts, skulls and more to your creation. Boo!
Backgrounds, Wallpapers, & Ringtones
Halloween Backgrounds & Halloween Wallpapers HD
Pocket Books/ Free
Here’s an outstanding collection of holiday wallpapers for your lock and home screens. This app features easy navigation, an awesome slideshow of options, and the capability to download your choices to your camera roll to use them when you wish. Content is updated regularly to keep things fresh and new for you.
Users should be aware that this app includes options for in-app purchases, so you’ll want to make sure your kids understand household rules before allowing them to use it. The app provides social sharing tools for all the major platforms, so you and your friends can keep up with each other. You can also create your own categories to organize your favorites right within the app.
All in all, this is a great way to give your phone, tablet, or other mobile device a festive appeal!
Halloween Spooky Sound Box Free
Cookie Balloon/ Free
What’s a haunted house, party, or other event without some great bone-chilling sounds? This app’s got you covered. Choose from 50 spine-tingling sounds, spooky music clips, and more. It’s the perfect way to keep Halloween fun right in your pocket.
The app is rated at 12+ due to some infrequent mature themes and some crude humor, but it sure is fun! Also, there are some in-app purchases available, so be sure young users understand the household rules on such matters.
One big plus is that no internet connection is required. This means that the sounds play instantly when you want them, with no lag or download time that spoils your timing. It’s a must-have if you are planning a party or doing a haunted house.
Halloween Live Wallpapers
Fexy Apps /$0.99
Get into the spirit of the Halloween with these backgrounds for your phone’s lock screen that take advantage of iPhone’s Live Photo technology. Imagine having gorgeous, even 3D (if your phone is enabled for that) spooky pictures that MOVE! You won’t want to be without it this October.
Halloween Live Wallpapers features a built-in selection of thematic live photos and easy-to-follow directions to set one up on your lock screen. You’ll be amazing your family and friends in no time, and showing everyone around you just how much you love Halloween.
It’s a bargain at ninety-nine cents, and you’ll bring your lock screen to life in a way you’ve never done before!