Books are great, aren’t they? They’re magical portals into new worlds and stories filled with characters you can’t help but root for or despise or, for the more detached of us, utterly fall in love with. Books are so great, I could just sit in this nook at approximately 20:00 and, using this handy lamp I’ve installed over my couch, read until the wee hours of…oh, there goes the power. Great. Forgot about load shedding. “Why not light a candle?”, you ask yourself, confident you’ll be able to enjoy Moby Dick through the magic of contained flame. Yet it just makes you sick, the constantly moving shadows and dull illumination. You search for the solar powered lamp but find it hasn’t been charged since the last time you had load shedding. Now what are you meant to do until bedtime?
As luck would have it, you’ve kept all your other devices charged and up to date. Your phone and tablet sit ready and waiting. Their time is now. They’ve prepared for this moment all their lives. They’ve even gone ahead and installed some of the best apps to keep you entertained during this literal dark period in your life. Smart technology, that.
We’re throwing EskomSePush onto this list as an honourable mention because while it’s not strictly the best means of entertainment, the information you’re able to glean from this useful (and sarcastic) piece of software is essential for maintaining some level of preparation for when the lights go off.
Somehow knowing Eskom’s schedule for loadshedding better than Eskom does, EskomSePush provides an easy, accessible means to browse through the your area and determine when exactly you’ll be hit by the shedding of loads.
Sardonic, tongue-in-cheek and beyond helpful, EskomSePush might not be the thing that kills your hours but it’s certainly the app that will get you prepped and ready for the dark.
Free on Android and iOS |sepush.co.za
Okay look, we’re cheating a little by including Apple Arcade as the first entry on this list but… hear us out. Well, hear us out if you have an iPhone that supports Apple Arcade. For everyone else, we’re sure you’ll something else just as entertaining further down.
With a wide variety of different games and apps to keep you entertained, the value you’ll get out of an Apple Arcade subscription is truly impressive. Games such as Grindstone, What the Golf?, Card of Darkness and Mutazione… the variety of games on Apple Arcade is tremendous. With the massive collection of titles available, you’ll find something that’ll keep you entertained for the two to three (to four) hours of darkness that envelop you.
What’s even better is that all the games on Apple Arcade are available for all subscribers, meaning the only thing you have to worry about is picking and choosing which games to download before the power goes off. Can you do that with a stupid book? We didn’t think so.
R85 per month | apple.com
This speaks for itself, doesn’t it? Sure, Netflix requires a little preparation but much like anything worth doing, making sure you’re load shedding proof is worth doing properly. You don’t need us to explain how Netflix works because, unless you’ve somehow been displaced forward through time, nearly everyone has come into contact with the media streaming service.
With a gigantic catalogue of movies and series to waste hours watching, all you need to download The Witcher or Stranger Things to your phone or tablet is an active Netflix account. And some open storage space. Once that criteria is met you’ve opened up a doorway to all the content you’d possibly ever want or need.
From R99 per month | netflix.com
The worst part of load shedding? Being left to sit alone with nothing but your own thoughts to keep you company. Sure, maybe you have roommates or something, but they’re not going to around all the time. Without the constant stream of distractions, you’ll be forced to look inward and come to terms with yourself as a person. arguably the most horrible fate known to humankind.
Too dark? Yeah, maybe. However, this is a post about load shedding. If you didn’t expect a little darkness, then you’re confused, friend.
To help combat these feelings of anxiety, PocketCoach will encourage you through the dark times. With a wide variety of courses, helpful secrets and lessons provided by certified mental health specialists, PocketCoach is like a therapist distilled into your electronic devices. Why not learn to start practicing mindfulness or efficient relaxation techniques when you have nothing better to do?
Free on Android and iOS | pocketcoach.co
One could argue that the worst part of load shedding is the boredom or being forced to socialise with your equally bored family, but we raise you that the actual worst part of a power outage is the inability to cook a decent meal. Hunger is the great motivator, of course. You could go out to a restaurant and get some food there, but is it really worth braving those crowds?
Mr Delivery is the solution to such a Catch 22 problem. With a wide range of different restaurants to choose from and speedy service, there’s nothing quite like ordering your favourite meal from that one restaurant you really should frequent more often. You just get to do it in the comfort of your own home. And the dark, we guess.
Free on Android and iOS | mrdfood.com
You could use the power outage as an excuse to laze around the house, getting fat. We’ve all done that at least once during load shedding, but it’s really the best time to get outside and get the blood flowing! Which sucks! People who enjoy exercise are urban legends and if anyone says otherwise they’re lying! Yet their is way to make trudging miles upon miles all the more bearable: Pokémon GO!
Why not explore the neighbourhood with the added incentive of catching some very good ‘mons. While the game has certainly waned in popularity since those glorious three months of Winter 2016, that hasn’t stopped the developers from building the game up with an exceptional level of content.
Load shedding is a great excuse to get out the house and stretch your legs a little and Pokémon GO is just the right incentive to give you that extra push out the door. There’s never been a better time to catch ’em all. Unless its really fully dark outside, in which case, take a party with you.
Free on Android and iOS with in-app purchases | pokemongo.com
Look, we started this off by slagging off books and in our defence, books are still totally for nerds. But even nerds need something to do during load shedding and the Kindle app is perfect to keep those book lovers entertained throughout the dark (and possibly stormy, you don’t know) night.
Just slapping the app onto any of your smart devices opens up a world of literature to explore, with an enormous category of both classics and modern books. See something that catches your attention? Quickly buy it, download it and you’re set for a few hours of words and grammar.
The best part about the Kindle app is that you don’t need an actual Kindle to use it, just something that’s capable of running the app. It also doesn’t use a great deal of power, meaning this is probably the most efficient form of entertainment during load shedding. Nerds.
Free on Android and iOS with in-app purchases | amazon.com