New iPhone apps worth downloading: Play-Doh Create ABCs, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Moscow Dash

by Phil Hornshaw

Head into the weekend with three fun apps that will captivate your attention. The first is Play-Doh Create ABCs, a great app for kids learning their letters and who love to create stuff with virtual Play-Doh. For the more adult among us, there's XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a phenomenal strategy game making the leap from PC and consoles to iOS devices. Finally, Moscow Dash brings some old-school arcade shooting your way.

Play-Doh Create ABCs ($2.99)

Play-Doh Create ABCsWhat’s it about? Kids can learn their ABCs and create scenes using virtual Play-Doh in this educational app.

What’s cool? The primary goal of Play-Doh Create ABCs is to help young kids learn the fundamentals of reading, while having fun doing it. The app includes fun activities, like the ability to learn how to write the letters of the ABCs (using a Play-Doh twist), and a matching game in which kids match the appropriate letter with the Play-Doh scene or creation the app presents them. There's also a free creation area where kids can use virtual Play-Doh to make their own creations and save them to the device's Camera Roll.

Who’s it for? Play-Doh is aimed at kids, particularly those just learning the ABCs, but the creation portions of the app might be fun for older users, too.

What’s it like? Check out Magic Stickers and Dora ABCs Vol. 1 for more educational fun.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown ($19.99)

XCOM: Enemy UnknownWhat’s it about? Turn-based strategy title XCOM: Enemy Unknown puts players in the role of a commander who sends squads of troops on missions to repel alien invaders.

What’s cool? XCOM was one of the best games to hit PCs and consoles last year, and now the strategy title is available for iOS players to enjoy. Players are responsible for fighting off alien invaders attacking Earth through the use of the super-secret XCOM project, which has well-trained soldiers, powerful technology, and the backing of nations from around the world. In each mission, your goal is to tactically deploy your squad around levels to take down various aliens, but you'll need to be careful – if a soldier dies, you lose them and all their training and experience. Plus, you'll have to balance which nations you protect and which you ignore in order to keep all of them happy (and funding the project). A deep, awesome strategy experience, XCOM is definitely a game you should play, even with its slightly higher mobile price tag.

Who’s it for? Fans of strategy titles, you won't want to miss this.

What’s it like? You might also enjoy Gameloft's StarFront Collision and the simpler, but equally fun, Plants vs. Zombies.

Moscow Dash ($0.99)

Moscow DashWhat’s it about? Shooter Moscow Dash sends waves of enemies at players as they venture across a demon-strewn Moscow in an attempt to deliver a mysterious package.

What’s cool? Things have gone a bit crazy in Moscow, and it's your job to cross the city's various locales in order to deliver and important package. As the Courier, you'll need to fight through all kinds of crazy Moscow denizens, all of which have been turned into murderous fiends in this shooter. There are a number of weapons from which to choose to bring to bear against bad guys in Moscow Dash's side-scrolling gameplay, and if the 70 or so epsiodes aren't enough, there's also a survival mode that will push your shooter skills to the limit.

Who’s it for? If you're into old-school, side-scrolling shooters and arcade gameplay, check out Moscow Dash.

What’s it like? Grab Zombieville USA and Zombie Wonderland for more shooting and strategy.

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