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Treat yourself to these great apps at Halloween

Dead Effect 2 puts players aboard a spaceship

Dead Effect 2 puts players aboard a spaceship in a challenge to ward off invaders. Credit: App Holdings

Ghosts, goblins and terrifying monsters will be out in force on Wednesday for Halloween. But for those who would rather find frightening fun on their mobile devices, these scary games are treats, not tricks.


(iOS, Android; $4.99)

When this game was first released more than five years ago for iPhones and iPads, it created an immediate sensation — and rightfully so. The game is more adventure than horror, but some of the events that happen to a little boy in search of his sister can be unsettling. Developed with stark black-and-white graphics, the intelligence behind the gameplay is startling and revolutionary.

Dead Effect 2

(iOS, Android; free)

A follow-up to the popular Dead Effect game, this sequel brings amazing graphics and excellent sound effects to mobile devices. Unlike many shooter games, there is a well-thought-out story line that picks up after the original Dead Effect ended: You are aboard the Spaceship ESS Meridian and must rally a diminished and damaged crew to ward off invaders. 

Ellie — Help Me Out, Please

(iOS, Android; free)

The game’s off-putting title foreshadows an upsetting and scary mission. Ellie is trapped in a room where an uncertain fate awaits her. Your goal is to cobble together clues and solve puzzles that will free her. You can communicate with Ellie and watch her actions via a surveillance camera set up in the room. Many of the puzzles are superbly intricate and clever — and very hard to solve.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

(iOS, Android; $2.99)

This first entry in the continuing horror series (there have been a total of six Freddy games since 2014) is still considered the best. A perfect game for Halloween, Five Nights at Freddy’s puts players in a children’s-themed restaurant (think of a “Twilight Zone” version of a Chuck E. Cheese's) where the animatronic animals come to life —with death on their minds.

Google+ didn’t add up

Google+, the tech giant’s unsuccessful attempt to create a social network to rival Facebook, is shutting down. While a recent report found that a longstanding Google+ security bug could allow developers to access user data, Google says the reason for the shutdown was because the 7-year-old service has not attracted enough members. Users who visit the site stay, on average, for “less than five seconds,” Google says.  


Lost and found

The dreaded “404 page not found” errors are a frustrating reminder of how haphazardly the Internet has grown. But the Internet Archive, which keeps traces of more than 500 billion old web pages, is doing something about it. The not-for-profit company says it has reconnected more than 9 million formerly broken links on Wikipedia. The ongoing project is being done by volunteers and a software robot named IABot.  


Online bullying 'a serious problem'

Three-quarters of 15- to 26-year-olds say online bullying is a serious problem, according to a new poll from The Associated Press and MTV. Young women (11 percent) are more likely to say they were bullied than young men (3 percent). The poll also finds that about half of both young people and their parents view social media as having a mostly negative effect on the younger generation.  

— AP

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