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Winter is coming: Apps to enjoy the start of the season

The app spinoff to HBO's hit series "Game

The app spinoff to HBO's hit series "Game of Thrones" puts gamers in the mythical land of Westeros with a mission to capture the Iron Throne. Credit: Warner Bros. International

Winter descends on Long Island on Friday. But even when it’s bitterly cold and snowing outside, you can snuggle up with these apps and get yourself in the spirit of the season.

Game of Thrones: Conquest

(iOS, Android; free)

Winter is coming. This official spinoff to HBO’s hit show puts you in the mythical land of Westeros, where your mission is to capture the Iron Throne. Like many of the episodes in the TV show, the game takes place during a seemingly endless winter. And like the TV show, there’s a lot of adventure, political intrigue, dragons and stone-cold death scenes.

Winter Survival Kit

(iOS, Android; free)

Think a Long Island winter is bad? Try living in North Dakota, which averages about 52 inches of snow per year, about twice as much as Long Island. This app from North Dakota State University offers advice on what to do if you are stranded during severe weather. If you are in your car, there’s a calculator that will give you an idea how long you can keep your engine on before you run out of fuel. And in the “be prepared” category, the app tells you how to put together a survival kit for your home.

Ketchapp Winter Sports

(iOS, Android; free)

This arcade game from prolific Paris-based developer Ketchapp features a number or winter games and events, including snowboarding, ski jumping and ice skating. The game, an example of the “endless runner” genre (or in this case endless slider), is a perfect way to while away the time while a blizzard rages outside.   


(iOS, Android; free)

Even if the weather outside is frightful, you can still have a delightful restaurant meal delivered. Grubhub teams with hundreds of Long Island restaurants representing a wide variety of cuisines. Delivery charges vary among restaurants. If Grubhub doesn’t deliver from the restaurant you want, you can try the similar DoorDash (iOS, Android; free.)

Toy story

Who was the highest-paid YouTube star in 2018? According to Forbes, it is a 7-year-old boy named Ryan, who hosts the wildly popular “Ryan ToysReview.” Forbes said Ryan earned $22 million from his videos, which show him playing with and reviewing toys. Befitting a toy mogul, Ryan (his family keeps his last name secret) now has a line of toys at Walmart.


Test drive

Google sister company Waymo has rolled out its self-driving ride-hailing car service to the public. The service is available only in the Phoenix area, but Waymo expects to expand to other areas if the test project goes well. Like Uber or Lyft, users summon a Waymo car via an app. Waymo says for now drivers will be riding along “to supervise our vehicles,” but the car will drive itself.


Loot boxes draw FTC scrutiny

The Federal Trade Commission said it will look at loot boxes — a growing trend in video games where random bundles of digital goods are offered to players for a fee. Officials say the boxes entice players, especially children, to spend ever-increasing amounts of money and are actually a form of gambling. Loot boxes are found in many popular games, including Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.


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