There's something magical about opening that new tablet or smartphone on Christmas morning, plugging it in, and then opening the app store for the first time. Wonderful, isn't it? Like a toy store that never ends, filled with promises of fun and delight. Then you download some of the apps on our list and the magic is instantly asphyxiated. Santa's dead. The tree's on fire. Grandma's in tears.
Yes, as a special Christmas treat we've brought back our worst apps list for a one-off festive edition. If you want a Merry Christmas this year, you're best avoiding this lot.
Platform: (iOS and Android)
Nothing says Christmas like military strategy and in-app purchases. Iron Desert: Christmas Edition gets you in the festive spirit as you fight to free the continent from the oppressive despot, Iron Dragon. We're not saying the game is bad, but this is one of the most shameless bits of Christmas shoehorning that we've ever seen. Ah but look, they put tinsel on a tank. We take it all back.
Christmas Dentist Office
Plaftorm: (iOS and Android)
We've played with some atrocious apps in our time, but none that have bombarded us with as many adverts as Christmas Dentist Office. Not just that, most of them are for 'John Edwards Funerals', diminishing the Christmas magic just a tad.
Then we come onto the locked content, which turns out to be most of the game. Even once you've waded through the copious death-related pop-ups and you're faced with Santa's decaying molars, a number of the tools are unusable without further purchases. You literally cannot succeed in this game without coughing up money to drill Santa's face. Happy Christmas everybody!
We don't know where to begin. While it's meant to be an app for sending cheerful Christmas pictures to loved ones, the images are small and crappy, the app barely works, and, frankly, if we received any of these in an email we'd disown our families. "Touch here for 100 more cards for free", it tells us as we start roasting our smartphones on an open fire.
Christmas Photo Frames
Christmas is cancelled.