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About Evan Killham

Evan Killham Evan Killham lives in Nebraska and isn't interested in football, so he has plenty of time to play and think about video games. He has written for Bitmob and GamesBeat and sometimes, he even goes outside. But not too often because he's heard there are bees out there.

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This Week In Weird: 5 Games You Won’t Believe Exist

photo: Meghan Stratman/Evan Killham

photo courtesy Meghan Stratman

Hundreds of new games come out every week in the App Store. A select few are the next must-play title that everyone will be talking about (and ripping off) for the foreseeable future. Most of them are perfectly decent but may not receive the attention they deserve. And then you have the third group: games so odd, bizarre, and head-scratching that you’re not sure what to make of or do with them.

They aren’t necessarily bad; they’re just confusing and weird. And worst of all, people may never know that they exist. But that’s why we’re here.

Here are some of the strangest games to drop into the App Store this week. What you do with this information is between you and your iPhone.

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‘Practice Time’ Saves You From That Awkward iPhone/Egg Timer Combo

Practice Time

If you’re doing interval training or something else that requires you to time one thing and then another thing, like, right away, you might be interested in Practice Time. It’s a new app that lets you set up two countdowns and then run them consecutively. You can also tell it how many cycles to go through once you start.

It’s handy for timing exercise and then rest or if you want to be really persnickety about those instructions that tell you to leave soup in the microwave for a minute after it’s done cooking. And if you also timed the cooking concurrently with the microwave.

Nevermind; just use it for intervals.

SideSwype Is So Fun, You Forget It’s Basically A Match-Three Game [Review]

SideSwype

If you like Threes but wish it was less numbery and more Tetris-like, SideSwype might be for you.

SideSwype by Radiangames
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $1.99

It’s a puzzler in which you, you know, swipe. To the side. And when you do that, you move every block on the board as far as it can go in that direction. So you might want to plan ahead a little.

Your goal is to line up three or more blocks of the same color to clear them, and it throws in some complications and special pieces too because otherwise it would be boring. But luckily, it has those things, and it is not boring.

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‘Traveler’s Badges’ Gives You Something To Show For That Time Your Car Broke Down In Bowling Green

Traveler's Badges

It’s nice having some record of the places you’ve visited, but FourSquare is a little granular for my liking.

Traveler’s Badges keeps it simple and broad. You just let it detect your location, and it generates a unique badge for your current city that you can collect and add to your collection. It even logs the date and time you were there, in case anyone asks.

If you want to get all global with it, you can even display all of your badges on a map. It’s not the most practical app, but it is pretty cute (and free). And it’ll kill like five seconds of a layover. Every bit helps.

FreeDum Throws An Innocent Ladybug Into Some Aww-ful Traps [Review]

Free Dum

Cute animals are always in trouble.

FreeDum by Pedro
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $0.99

They’re always lost or in danger, or they want to eat a crap-ton of candy but can’t without your help. They’re a burden on everyone they meet, and if it weren’t for us, they would all die cold and alone in the woods from an attack by a larger animal or scurvy or something.

But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t help them. Like the star of FreeDum, who has fallen into the clutches of a pint-sized Jigsaw Killer of animals. I think he’s worthy of aid, and you can do so in this fun little maze game.

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Wholesome App’s New Update Lets You Assess Your Risk Of Scurvy

Wholesome

A premium update to nutrition app Wholesome lets you do more than just see what’s in your food. The base app — with all its nutritional information — is still free, but for $2.99, you can unlock the “My Nutrition” and “Food Diary” features.

These give you tools to track your intake of hundreds of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and isoflavonoids. I had to look up what isoflavonoids are, but I definitely haven’t eaten any today (they’re in peas).

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‘Blink’ Knows That Sometimes You Don’t Have Time To Swipe

Blink

I don’t know if I’m just ridiculously clumsy or what, but I’ve had times where I saw something happening that I wanted to record, and by the time I got my camera app up and switched over to video, that thing had stopped happening. And regret is a powerful thing.

So Blink (or [Blink], if you’re super fancy) is a new app that starts recording the instant you open it; it also lets you take still photos while capturing with a single button press. And that’s slightly faster than opening your iPhone’s camera and then fumbling my stupid, giant thumb around trying to switch to video.

I feel like the black-and-white parts of an infomercial when that happens.

Shatter Alley Hates Bricks And You Equally [Review]

Shatter Alley

Video games have always had some weird vendetta against bricks. That paddle in Breakout, Mario, Simon Belmont in Castlevania … they all busted up blocks like they caught them stealing their lunches.

Shatter Alley by Dojotron
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $2.99

To be fair, Simon Belmont often found entire hams and stuff hidden in the walls of Dracula’s castle, so maybe some food thievery had happened. I don’t know; you tell me how those hams got there.

Regardless, Shatter Alley wants to bring the blockpocalypse back, and it does so in frantic, retro fashion.

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‘Re(play)’ Showcases Grace, Movement, And Athleticism. Really Slowly.

Re(play)

This isn’t the most practical app for everyone, but it’s certainly interesting to look at.

Re(play) features six clips of athletes being all athletic and stuff. High-speed cameras captured the footage at 236 frames per second, and you can either watch the maneuvers play out or scrub back and forth to study the movements in detail. That could be nice for people studying movement for art or animation.

But even if you don’t have any professional or artistic need for Re(play), it’s really just kind of hypnotic to watch.

Everything About Taijitu Is Relaxing — Even The Difficulty [Review]

Taijitu

Taijitu is a game about balance and serenity. It will level you out, calm you down, and relax you … up, I guess.

Taijitu by Particlemade
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $1.99

I’m not sure which direction relaxation goes.

Anyway, the game. It’s laid-back, and you’ll like it. It has all the colors, and the music just made me nod off for like 20 minutes. But that’s good, really. Kinda the point.

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