App reviews: The Trace mystery game, Emergency, for disaster aid

 
By Hayley Tsukayama
The Washington Post
Posted5/2/2015 7:34 AM
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The Trace

This whodunit game puts players in the role of a Baltimore Police Department detective who is called in to investigate a suspicious suicide that quickly turns into a murder mystery. Players unleash their inner Sherlock by collecting clues, piecing together information and eventually pulling the elements together to uncover a much deeper plot. This game requires not only a sharp eye, but also a willingness to think outside the box to advance the plot.

The game is not violent or particularly realistic, but it is a murder mystery and could upset younger or more sensitive players. The App Store recommends it for users 12 and older, which is probably a good guideline. It's also a bit pricey at $5, and honestly isn't nearly as fun upon replay. But it is a well-constructed, compelling app and a great deal of fun to puzzle through. $4.99, for iOS devices.

Emergency

Although it's not fun to think about rainy days, it's always good to have some information to help deal with them. This app from the American Red Cross is full of how-to tips, quizzes and shelter lists designed to help you prepare for severe weather such as tornadoes and natural disasters such as earthquakes. It also has monitoring features that allow you to keep an eye on several locations at once. In an emergency, the app will show you an alert outlining what's coming your way and offering next steps.

Users can also opt to give the app access to their contact lists, which will let you assign certain people to particular locations -- a feature that also gives you an easy way to contact others to warn them of any emergency. The app also provides information on what to do in case of smaller-scale (but no less urgent) emergencies such as a fire in the home or chemical incident. Free, for iOS and Android devices.

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