If you have no idea what Skyrim is, you might want to read Dave’s 3 reasons why you should play Skyrim now, or listen to our lengthy discussion in episode 3 of our weekly Technophilia Podcast (nsfw language).
The sheer scale of Skyrim – not only in terms of explorable areas, but also the stories and lore contained within characters, books, and taverns – results in a game that many will never get to fully experience. So here are 4 iPhone apps and 1 eBook to aid you in your epic quest and help you get the most out this amazing game – because unlike Dave, we don’t all have 12 hours a day to play video games!
Unofficial Guide to Skyrim (iTunes – $1.99)
A text-only affair, this is a full walkthrough and guide to all the quests in Skyrim, as well as some extras in the way of FAQs, achievements, talents trees, and tips.
Generally, I deplore the use of walkthroughs and people like Dave who look up sneaky ways of levelling up faster. In a game with these many quests though, there have been occasions where my clairvoyance spell (which usually shows a path to the objective) has been useless, and I just can’t figure out something which the designers clearly intended to be patently obvious. In those cases, where my experience of the game is being detracted from – this guide can be a lifesaver.
Is the app worth $1.99 when you can basically find the same information online? Right now, having been without a home internet connection for a week – thank you very much Virgin Media – I would be inclined to say yes. The content in the app is 100% original work, so if a quick help guide to use offline or without significantly taking away from important Skyrim time is what you’re after, this could be it.
DragonShout (iTunes – free):
For iPhone and iPad, DragonShout is a personal map, to-do list and journey log for the really hardcore role-players. The app doesn’t reveal any locations, walkthroughs or facilitate any kind of cheating or fast-levelling – rather, it’s just a blank map slate onto which you can record your thoughts, significant moments etc. It’s incredibly helpful for those times when you discover an abandoned Dwarven mine and promise to come back to explore it later, only to find you’ve then bought a house, found a life partner and suddenly all your epic exploration goals have slowly faded to the wayside.
Social features are also promised, whereby you can share locations and journal entries with other users – though the idea of reading endless tweets of “w000t, just killed my first dragon here” is not particularly appealing to me.
Skyrim Alchemist (iTunes – $0.99)
Alchemy is something that has completed eluded me in Skyrim, much as chemistry did in high school. Though I obsessively collect alchemical components, they’re all sitting as yet unused in a big chest. I just can’t seem to find any recipes, and combining things randomly just results in a big mess of greenish gloop on my newly waxed wooden floor that my trusty thane Lydia is forced to mop up.
This simple app – a steal at 99 cents – is like the Wikipedia of Alchemy, showing the exact effects of each ingredient and cross referencing them with other ingredients with the same effect. Epic. Is this cheating? Probably. I’ll justify it to myself as having summoned a fire demon who just happens to have an incredible knowledge of alchemical components though, so that’s my conscience in the clear. “Lydia, tidy this mess up, I think I just snorted some vampire dust”
MAppZ – Skyrim Edition (iTunes – $2.99)
This is one for the real cheaters out there, and it’s a straight up labelled map of every location in the Skyrim universe. With downloadable updates from other users and a gorgeous UI that works on the iPad too, the only downside is the somewhat expensive price. I’m not sure I could justify this myself, but if you’re happy playing like a dirty cheat (just kidding!) then it’s certainly a useful little app to have.
Books of Skyrim Compendium EBook ():
Honestly, I’m usually not one to actually read the books in Skyrim. Like most people I open them hoping to find a beneficial perk, then sell the expensive ones on to some intellectual type in the nearest town in the hope of saving enough to purchase an ever larger strip of sharpened metal or perhaps a new rug for the house.
But if you do find the urge to engross yourself even further into the lore of Elder Scrolls, one happy chap has helpfully extracted, formatted and compiled them all into a single ebook for your download pleasure – thats 1665 pages in the smallest font size apparently. These probably aren’t technically legal, but I also doubt that Bethesda will complain of lost revenue..
The fact that there’s an app for that just goes to show how enormous Skyrim really is, so however you choose to play I do hope you’re enjoying your experience. Found any other cool Skyrim apps you’d like to share, or perhaps even some stories you’re dying to tell? Well, I’d love to hear them in the comments, so do share.