‘Under Leaves’ is one of the most relaxing games on the App Store right now

If you want to conquer ancient civilizations, get into a car chase with the cops, or be frightened to death in a haunted kids restaurant that bears a striking resemblance to Chuck E. Cheese’s, there is no shortage of games on the iOS App Store that will satisfy your needs. But what if you just want to explore the world, meet its creatures, and feel closer to nature? That is a market that hasn’t been quite so adequately served — which is precisely what makes Under Leaves so interesting.

Under Leaves is a visual search game, similar to I Spy or those old hidden pictures challenges in Highlights magazines you may remember reading as a kid. There are 21 stages around the world, each situated in the natural habitat of a particular animal. Your job is to help that animal find what they are looking for — flowers, nuts, leaves, you name it.

That is it. No gimmicks, no flash — just a therapeutic game of find the needle in the haystack as the soothing ambient sounds of the world’s most exotic biomes play uninterrupted in the background. It is an elegantly simple concept, and it is one of the more relaxing gaming experiences on the App Store.

It is helped by the beautiful watercolor illustrations that serve as the background to each environment. According to the developer Circus Atos, the story goes that the designer, Barbora Podhorska, would create watercolor paintings to gain some relief from the stresses of working on other projects. These paintings became the inspiration for the game.

Under Leaves is perfect for little kids, too, as it doesn’t feature any text to read, save for numbers to count how many of each item you’ve located. It transcends age and language barriers — though don’t assume that means adults can’t enjoy it too.

Under Leaves is available starting Thursday on the iOS App Store for $2. You can also get it on PC through the Mac App Store for $4, or Steam for $5. There is no word on an Android release just yet.


Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

Santa Claus is coming to town. Get ready with these Christmas apps

Like it or not, Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully, we've got a list of the best Christmas apps to help get you into the holiday spirit, just in case you want to call Santa or become a Christmas elf.

Apple's iOS 12.1.1 makes it easier to switch cameras in FaceTime

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.

Google makes it easy to donate to charity straight through the Play Store

As we head into the holiday season, Google announced a new feature on Google Play that makes it a little easier to donate to charity. Through the new page, you'll be able to choose from a range of charities to donate to.
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.

Sprint’s 5G rollout: Everything you need to know

Sprint is building its next-gen 5G network in preparation for a 2019 rollout, but it's taking a decidedly different approach than some of its competitors, including Verizon and AT&T. Here's everything you need to know.

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

Amazon slashes price of 2018 iPad to under $250 in time for Christmas

Whether you love Apple or prefer Android, this 2018 iPad 32GB tablet deal is rather tempting. If you're still on the hunt for gifts, then this deep discount from Amazon makes now an excellent time to pick one up.

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.