Hail to these presidential apps

  • Article by: RENE GUZMAN , Houston Chronicle
  • Updated: February 19, 2012 - 6:34 PM

Here are some free and cheap entertaining distractions to mark Presidents Day on your mobile device.

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Presidents vs. Aliens app.

Who hasn't wanted to smack some sense into a president or pit him against aliens? Or maybe you'd rather focus on the more memorable verbiage of our commanders in chief, such as "Read my lips."

For Presidents Day, we found apps that make it fun to learn about our nation's leaders -- or, at least, have fun throwing them into absurd small-screen adventures.

"Presidents vs. Aliens" (free light version, 99-cent full version; Apple): This "Angry Birds"-style educational app arms kids and older players with presidential knowledge. Answer each trivia question correctly to earn a presidential portrait, which you then fling at colorful alien faces to knock them down. The full version has the bonus games "Heads of State" and "Executive Order," plus 44 president flash cards to educate yourself before you play.

"Aliens vs. President" (99 cents; Android): In this side-scrolling shooter, you're President Obama or George W. Bush mowing down skeletal xenomorphs from the "Alien" movies. It's a great idea but with glitchy execution. Throw the president into the far better "Zombieville USA," and you'll get more votes.

"2000+ USA Presidents Quotes" (free; Android): "Government is not reason ...," "A house divided against itself ..." and "I am not a crook" are just some of the famous and not-so-famous presidential phrases that are yours for the reciting. Share them via Facebook, Twitter and other digital discourse or simply in face-to-face conversation (you know, like our forefathers did before texting).

"Presidents by the Number" (free light version, 99-cent full version; Android and Apple): This app offers an all-ages assortment of info and trivia for presidents Nos. 1 through 44, including kid-friendly poems that review each president's legacy. It includes monthly updates. Users can contribute "Fan Facts," which the app researchers will confirm before posting.

"U.S. Presidents" (free; Android): This bare-bones-but-informative app offers simple stats for each president, paired with a Wikipedia link for more extensive information, plus a quiz to test your presidential smarts and a "parade" of presidential portraits accompanied by "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

"Kids Fingerpainting: Presidents Day" (free; Apple): The next best thing to an official portrait, this app offers 44 presidential pages for kids to color and draw on. Use the 10 preset colors or customize the palette, along with brush size and color shading. Some images are color-inside-the-lines enabled to accommodate not-so-little fingers.

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" (free; Apple): In this blood-splattering homage to the bestselling novel and soon-to-be film adaptation, the Great Emancipator emancipates vampire heads from vampire shoulders with a chop of his ax. Just don't hack Mary Lincoln or Edgar Allan Poe, or you'll lose points. For players 17 and up.

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