A simple tap-and-score game using some gradient-heavy backgrounds and simplistic artwork to keep you entertained. The audio, like most of the Halloween-themed apps, is appropriately annoying. I found this one to be too hard and pointless to play with it long. When ghosts, pumpkins or bats are "busted" they grow larger and fade away. That's really about it, except for choosing levels of difficulty. Price: $.99
Clever way to carve a 3D pumpkin on the iPhone. You swap between "rotate" and "carve" modes and carve into the pumpkin by tapping corners. A final tap near the first point closes the loop and carves a hole in the geometry. As an interesting touch, the light actually shines through the geometry, so you can project the face you carve, though getting the camera in a good spot is tough. Price: $.99
eZone has a slew of nifty, gimmicky apps (they remind me of the Johnson Smith Co. products). Around Halloween several went free, including Crazy Pumpkin. It's a very simple app: swap the eyes, nose and mouth of a virtual jack-o-lantern. I like the pulsing colors and the audio is well-done. Kids love this one. Price: Free.
Crazy Metal Head
Essentially a ventriloquist's dummy in the form of a chrome skull with fire in its mouth. You can toggle metal music on or off. The head bounces around, like a bobblehead. That's about all it does, but it still is fun if you do crazy voices and have no shame. Price: $.99
Another freebie from eZone, this time a skeleton with eyes that bounce around. You can control the mouth (like Metal Head), but shaking the device makes a random video play, animating the skeleton. There are maybe a dozen cute performances here, and my kids found this one the most entertaining. $1.99
More apps, keep reading...
When this first appeared on the store there was an uproar because of the price and what it does (I won't spoil the surprise, but if you've been on the internet in the past 5 years you've probably seen it). If you know an easy mark and don't mind scaring the crap out of them with a cheap gimmick, this is for you. If they know what's coming, it's horribly lame. If they have no idea, you WILL scare them. But I will also say you can do the same thing with iMovie and a little editing work. Price: $1.99.
One of those "put your pic in a funny card" apps, using a pumpkin as the photo. There's also a jack-o-lantern with a mouth, but that one's not quite as good. You can take a pic from your album, but you can't take a pic with the app itself. Once you've rotated, scaled or stretched it, you can save the "card" to your photo album (there's no way to email from within the app). Price: $.99.
This could be the most annoying app ever. The functionality is this: a flashing silhouette with screechingly annoying audio. Each cutout has an associated noise (the shark plays the music from "Jaws" and the crow screeches). The noises are awful, beginning with the crow that will startle you upon startup. Price: $.99
Ah, Jirbo. This is Memory, gussied up with Halloween icons and pleasant sound effects. If you've played MooseLite, this is the exact same thing with different images. Price: Free.
Not really a Halloween thing, but it has a snake and it never fails to occupy my kids while we're waiting in a candy line. Price: Free.
Again, not specifically Halloween, but it is a lot of fun and it has a monkey. In space! Price: $.99.
Another simple tap-and-score game, but with bugs on a circuit board. OK, maybe it isn't specifically Halloween-themed, but the bugs are a little spooky, right? More satisfying than Bust-a-Spook because bugs explode into fireballs. Price: Free.
A space cowboy shooting aliens? Not Halloween enough for you? There are ghosts too! Billy Frontier is a great shooter game for the iPhone, brought to you by the folks at Pangea. Price: $1.99 and worth it.
A magic trick, where you read a spectator's mind. I won't spoil anything other than to say it's a fun trick and priced to move. The design is clever, aiding the effect itself. Price: $.99.
This is a sound effect app, but you're able to upload your own sounds. Plus, you can set a sound to repeat at intervals you set. So I set the "squeaky door" effect to trigger every minute -- perfect for a haunted house or spooky room. One step further: WiFi remote control. You can remotely fire the audio from your Mac to the iPhone, which opens quite a few spooky scenarios.
There are plenty of other apps in the Halloween spirit. From fortune-telling to a Ouija board, I've only scratched the surface. Let us know what you'll be carrying around during Halloween and why in the comments.