Halloween is fast approaching, bringing with it the many frivolities like trick or treating. However, being a seasonal event, there’s also a ton of great Android apps that go along with it, from the spooky to the fun. Today’s roundup is all about ghosts, zombies, vampires, and, er, pumpkins: virtual ouija boards, augmented reality ghost hunters, creepy ringtones – it’s all here!
The first apps we’re going to look at are games, including the likes of Angry Birds Seasons and Plants vs Zombies.
No mobile game roundup is complete without the venerable Angry Birds. When Angry Birds Seasons first launched it was with a Halloween theme. Now Rovio has expanded it with a bunch of additional seasons including Christmas and the Chinese Moon Festival.
Bubble Blast Halloween is a variant of Bubble Blast in which you must “pop” halloween icons in order to create a chain reaction that eliminates them. The game boasts 2500 levels and follows on from other variants, similar to Angry Birds, for Valentine’s day and St Patrick’s. Plus, it’s free!
These days, zombies are somewhat synonymous with Halloween, so what better way to celebrate the holiday than to play as one? The scenario is “On a dark night, in a cold morgue, you arise.”, meaning Zombies Live turns out to be on the side of evil unlike most other games.
Zombies not doing it for you? Storm8 has a similar game to the above, but centred around Vampires instead. Like the accession from lowly zombie to Crypt Lord in the Zombies game, in Vampires Live you start out as a vampire at the bottom of the blood-sucking hierarchy and try to make your way up the food chain.
I’ve spent many an hour defending my front yard, back garden, roof and pool against waves of zombies in the iconic tower defence game Plants vs Zombies. In PopCap’s popular game, you play essentially a gardener who plants defensive plants to shoot peas, hypnotise, eat, squash and explode the incoming threat of zombies to your home.
The one downside is that Plants vs Zombies is only available through the US-only, carrier-dependent Amazon Appstore.
Like Plants vs Zombies, Zombieville USA isn’t meant to be a scary game and introduces an almost cute aspect to the nature of Zombie games. In this game, your town is overrun by zombies and it’s your job to kill them, earn money and build up your arsenal of weapons. Zombieville USA is one of the more refined Halloween games on Android, and it’s definitely worth checking out.
Seeing a recurring theme here?
Zombies Road is another zombies game in which you must defend your town against the oncoming threat. Your road is dirty with zombies and it’s your job to clean them, earning money and buying weaponry upgrades in the process. The graphics look great in comparison to some of the other listings here; they’re amazing for a free game.
Devilry Huntress is a Bejeweled-style match-three game themed specially for Halloween. The idea is to try and clear up the evil spirits by bursting them in the same method as one would do in a game like Bejeweled or Jewellust.
Augmented Reality Games
The following applications are games, but use augmented reality for more immersion. Instead of sitting on your phone, these are a bit more of a physical game that takes place in your area.
SpecTrek takes ghost hunting into real life. The aim of the game is to hunt ghosts in your area, running through the streets to find the virtual occult and capture them. The game features a timer in which to capture the ghosts on the map pulled in by your phone’s GPS. Definitely a great alternative to trick or treating!
Similar to SpecTrek, Zombie, Run! is an augmented reality game which takes place in your area during a zombie apocalypse. As the living dead roam your streets, it’s your job to get to the end point, avoiding the undead threat (the intensity of which can be changed to make the game easier or more difficult.) Certainly worth checking out, especially if you maybe want to add some more fun to your next run!
Halloween Live Wallpapers
I always like keeping my device’s wallpaper seasonal, reflecting the times with images like snow in winter and leaves in autumn. The next few downloads are all Halloween live wallpapers to use on and around October 31st.
The aptly named Halloween Live Wallpaper II is an orange-and-black live wallpaper featuring the traditional hallmarks of the October holiday such as jack-o’-lanterns and black cats. Of course, being live, you’ll enjoy flying bats across your screen the next time you unlock your phone.
Fancy a bunch of floating pumpkins and skulls taking over your home screen? With a four-and-a-half star rating, Halloween Live Wallpaper looks like one of the best seasonal live wallpapers available on Android and comes sans price tag – a good thing if you’re only going be using it for a couple of days.
Continuing a streak of simple names, “Halloween Live Wallpaper” paints an amazing 3D scene on your Android home screen. Although it comes tagged with a price (albeit nominal), this live wallpaper is extremely well-featured and has a ton of customisation options right down to the right down to the frequency of the witch appearing and what colour to display inside the carved pumpkin.
Midnight Scene LITE is another great live wallpaper with a similar amount of customisation options as the previous wallpaper. As you can assume from the name, the wallpaper paints a picture of a midnight scene on your Android handset.
Halloween Photography and Ghost Detectors
Nothing like a good bit of photo manipulation to spook some friends on Halloween – and what about the good old (admittedly fake) ghost detectors?
There’s countless websites that publish photos of so-called “ghosts” creeping into a shot. I even remember one that had a smile and a thumbs-up in a group photo! Now, you can create your own fake ghost photo with GhostCam by just snapping and having a ghost overlay your shot.
Ghost Camera is another app that places paranormal objects inside your photographs, opting for one of nine of the included “ghosts”. The app is simple, straightforward and self-explanatory, though is a little too simple for its $0.99 price tag.
Ever wondered what you’d look like as part of the living undead? ZombieBooth does just that by zombifying your self portrait, or that of a friend, family or even a pet. With a nice 4-star rating on the Android Market and top reviews of “Horrifically Impressive!”, this free app is definitely worth checking out.
This is another type of photography app that, rather than capturing a traditional photo, alleges to detect high frequencies and recognise them as ghosts. Ghost Night Cam is one of the more highly-rated “ghost” detectors on Android that puts you in the shoes of a Ghostbuster. The application apparently scans for high frequency signals that are detected by the on-board camera to detect ghosts, à la the Ghostbusters PKE meter. Definitely a great little tool to try out at a Halloween party but, whether they’re fake or not is a question for you to answer.
Another Android “ghost detector” is Entity Sensor Pro, an application that claims your phone has an EMF sensor in it and will poll for paranormal readings. According to the description, the application “uses your phone’s magnetic sensor (electronic compass) to read the local magnetic field and record the results!” It has a decent 4.3/5 rating, so it’s not something to push aside instantly, unless you care deeply about the high price tag.
Ghost Radar employs a proprietary algorithm to analyze the quantum flux (their words, not mine) in an app that has gained over 50,000 installs and a 4.2/5 rating on the Android Market. The application seems to “analyse” something and then throw back a load of connected works which, naturally, have coincidentally found some relation to some people humorously reflected in some of the app’s reviews.
Ghost EVP Analyser is another app that claims to detect ghosts by analysing various energies. Mind you, if you’re still looking for an app to play about with and spook out your friends, this app has a nice 4+/5 rating even if it, unfortunately, costs a quid of your hard-earned cash.
Do note that this app requires Adobe AIR (which is free).
Ghost Speaker does something a little more original than the aforementioned ghost detectors. Through what is described as a “propriety algorithm”, Ghost Speaker will pick up various readings from the surrounding area and then somehow translate it into readable English text.
This app is Marmite: you’ll either love it or hate it, according to the diversity of the reviews that range from “spookily awesome” to “totally lame”.
The Ouija Board used to be an innocent parlour game before it became associated with the paranormal, and is still trademarked by Hasbro as a board game. Nevertheless, developer Yuichiro Endo has immortalised the game on Android in this 84p app. Again, a great little app to pull out on Halloween night, as long as you have a friend nearby willing to help you contact the dead.
As we approach the end of our roundup, these are the leftover apps that didn’t fit in any of the categories above.
We’ve looked a lot at virtual paranormal activity, such as the ghosts in SpecTrek, but now we have an app that lists sites of allegedly real ghost sightings. Haunted Sights finds nearby haunted places based on your GPS location so it can be Halloween any day.
Unfortunately, the app is limited to the US, Canada and the UK, with only a few locations noted in the latter.
Going camping on October 31st? Well, make sure you have your phone loaded up with this app. Scary Campfire Stories is pretty self-explanatory: an app that lists scary stories to tell around a campfire, preferably with some sort of torch shining up from beneath your chin.
Can you guess what type of app The Ultimate Horror Sensation Quiz is? Indeed, it’s a quiz app based on Halloween, horror, and related cultural events and media. These questions cover a wide range of topics, everything down to who thought of the Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters.
Scary Ringtones is an aptly-named application that includes 42 free ringtones which, in addition to the live wallpapers, can contribute to a spooky customisation of your phone. Pair it with one of the above wallpapers to build a Halloween phone theme.
October 31st is the one day small children are practically expected to roam the streets in pitch black, which can still raise concerns for parents. Luckily, TrickorTracker steps in to help save the day offering a tracking utility for both a child’s and parent’s phone that feeds back location, so parents are constantly updated on where their kids are trick-or-treating. Definitely a must-have app for parents this Halloween!
That’s the best bunch of Android Halloween apps out there and I hope you will enjoy using them. Hope you have a great Halloween, and be sure to share any of your experiences with these apps in the comments below!
One last note: if the dead do rise and take over the world on Monday, you’ll probably want to check out our list of essential Android apps to help you survive a zombie apocalypse.