(You're reading all posts by Evan Killham)

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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‘Keep Calm And Breathe On’ And Try Not To Cough Too Much

Keep Calm and Breathe On

Every once in a while, I find an app that shows me just how much I need it. This time, it’s Keep Calm and Breathe On, which offers you seven guided breathing exercises (based on cycles per minute). The goal is to relax you and “calm your heart activity,” and when I tried it out for this write-up, I realized that I’m apparently really bad at breathing.

It has two sounds to accompany your oxygenation: Wind and River. I preferred the wind. It just made more sense because if I’m in a river, breathing might be a problem. And that’s less than calming.

Featherweight Burds Is Mercifully Short [Review]

Burds

There’s nothing inherently wrong with Burds, and yet I’ve never been so confused about why I continued to play a game.

Burds by Tiny Marble
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: Free

It’s a little heavy on in-app purchases, but I can ignore those with only a touch of annoyance. And while Burds is shallow, fairly mindless, and dumb, it doesn’t take that long to play.

So I’m a little conflicted.

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‘Install New Fonts’ And Make Your iWork All Fancy-Like

Install New Fonts

Your iPhone and iPad already have some fonts on board, but what if you want to make something that looks like it was stenciled or written in cursive? Or maybe you just like knowing that you have like 800 typefaces to choose from, just in case? Install New Fonts has you covered with enough options to keep you out of trouble for a while.

It’s free to download, but most of it is locked behind a $2.99 in-app purchase. But everything’s licensed for commercial use, so think of it as an investment.

Instantion: It’s Up To The Five Of You To Solve These Tricky Puzzles [Review]

Instantion

Anyone — even a fat plumber — can run around and jump on things. But what if progress depends on being in two places simultaneously? Or three? Or five? Mario can’t even handle that. Unless we’re talking about the Mario vs. Donkey Kong games with all the mini-Marios.

Instantion by Finjitzu
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: $1.99

Which we’re not.

Anyway, the hero of Instantion can be all those places. Let’s focus on that. Because it’s a fun game.

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‘Spell Checker’ Hopes To Keep You From Looking Stoopid

Spell Checker

Sometimes, you’re just typing an e-mail or note on your iPhone, and you realize that you have no idea how to spell the next word you want to use. It could be genuine ignorance, it could be a brain fart, but the person on the other end isn’t going to care why; they’ll just notice the mistake.

Spell Checker wants to help you out. It accesses your onboard dictionary to keep you from looking dumb. And because it uses the built-in resources, it even works offline.

You know, in case you’re writing an e-mail in a cave that you would want to send after you left the cave. It could happen.

Catena Enables Lessons Onscreen, Encouraging Ingenious Usage. Sagebrush. [Review]

Catena

If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a sucker for a good word game, and here’s a new multiplayer offering with an interesting idea behind it.

Catena by Fusee
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: Free ($0.99 upgrade)

Catena is all about you and your opponent making a chain of words. One player starts, and then the other has to come up with another word that uses one or more of the last letters of the previous entry. For example, if I played “wholesome,” my opponent could play “somewhat” or “metric” or anything else that continues the chain.

It has a few hiccups along the way, but it’s mostly a good time.

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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.