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Tech Review: iTunes editors' picks for best game apps

Leo's Fortune is iTunes' runner-up for Game of

Leo's Fortune is iTunes' runner-up for Game of the Year is this beautifully designed adventure where a fuzzy character named Leo must find his stolen gold.

Did you get a new smartphone or tablet for the holidays and are looking to add some games? These apps, chosen as the best games of 2014 by editors at Apple's iTunes app store, are available for both iOS and Android devices. Next week: a look at iTunes editors' picks for the best nongame apps of 2014.

Threes!

(iOS, Android; $1.99)

Picked as the Game of the Year by iTunes, this addictive puzzle app has a simple concept: Slide numbered tiles on top of each other to make multiples of the number 3. The higher the multiples, the higher your score. iTunes editors cited the app's "immensely thoughtful design" as one of the reasons they chose it as 2014's best game.

Leo's Fortune

(iOS, Android; $4.99)

iTunes' runner-up for Game of the Year is this beautifully designed adventure where a fuzzy character named Leo must find his stolen gold. The landscapes and backgrounds include deserts, forests, cities and mountains, and each is stunning. As Leo hunts down his stolen fortune across several levels, there are traps he must avoid and puzzles he must solve.

Monument Valley

(iOS, Android; $3.99)

No. 3 on iTunes' list, this eerie, surrealistic and exquisitely rendered app features straightforward gameplay with pleasingly captivating puzzles. The goal is to help Princess Ida journey through spare, fantastical palaces in the sky highlighted by hidden paths and obstacles. While you ponder your next move, you can stop and simply enjoy the exhilarating backdrops. There are several chapters included in the purchase price. Monument Valley was chosen as Best Game of the Year by editors at Google Play's app store.

Hitman Go

(iOS, Android; $4.99)

iTunes' fourth-best game of 2014 is about as different from Monument Valley as a game can be. Instead of silent, spare Princess Ida, Hitman Go features Agent 47, an assassin for hire. The goal is to kill your targets without being killed first. Along the way, you use disguises and weapons to complete your mission as you make your way through strikingly designed landscapes.

 

Tech bytes

 

Teens unfriend Facebook

Facebook is getting less cool among teens. A report by Frank N. Magid Associates found the number of 13- to 17-year-olds who use Facebook slipped to 88 percent this year from 94 percent in 2013 and 95 percent in 2012. Facebook warned a year ago that teens were using its website less but stopped discussing teen usage on earnings calls after the disclosure alarmed investors.-- Bloomberg News

Autopilot

Google will finally roll out a long-planned version of Android that will be built directly into cars in about a year, sources say. Android Auto will power a car's entertainment and navigation systems and allow drivers and passengers to connect to the Internet without plugging in their smartphones. Google hopes Android Auto will solidify its position in a hot market where it is competing with archrival Apple. -- Reuters

Classic example

As everyone prepares to turn the page on 2014, BlackBerry is turning the page back to 2007. The smartphone maker has unveiled the BlackBerry Classic, a phone with a physical keyboard that looks similar to models from the past decade when BlackBerrys were the No. 1 smartphones. The phone may look retro, but BlackBerry says the device has all the speed and power of its Android and Apple rivals.-- PETER KING

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