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This Week in Weird: 4 games about gettin’ them dollas

Weird games header

Photo courtesy of 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, and they’re all about playing with fat stacks of cash. Or change. What you do with this information is between you and your iPhone.

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Curiator is a browsable and portable worldwide art gallery

Curiator

I like looking at art, but I don’t always like going to galleries because my fellow patrons don’t usually appreciate my habit of giggling uncontrollably whenever I see pictures with naked butts in them.

And sometimes galleries are really far away, too. I probably should have just said that.

But Curiator puts a whole lot of art from all over right into your phone and lets you browse and giggle as much as you want without bothering anyone but your coworkers, roommates, or people on the bus. But you probably annoy them daily, anyway, so it probably doesn’t matter.

Wingsuit Cute elicits more awws than wows

Wingsuit Cute

Wingsuit Cute is a game about a bunch of adorable animals forced to glide through the air and collect snacks while under the constant threat of smashing their widdle snoots on rocks and trees.

Wingsuit Cute by Iron Foot Studios
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: $1.99

It really downplays the animals graphically smashing their faces open, but that’s basically what’s happening. The game takes a sunnier approach, choosing to focus on the part where tiny mammals don wingsuits in search of thrills and noms. And it’s really cute. And kinda fun, with a fair amount of challenge to keep perfect-run seekers coming back.

But it’s mostly cute.

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TextSync makes your computer a giant iPhone keyboard

TextSync

TextSync is kind of a confusing app, and it took me a while to figure out what the point was. It lets you link your computer and your iPhone or iPad over Wi-Fi so that whatever you type on the big screen appears on the smaller one. You can then copy that text to paste elsewhere or save it as a note.

But what’s the point? Well, it’s a good workaround if you don’t want to spring for a Bluetooth keyboard, and it’s handy for these really long and tedious iMessages that I send all the time.

They’re epic, people. Blue boxes for days.

Lumena beats you senseless with rhythm

Lumena

Once again, I’m here to tell you about a little minimalist game that has completely kicked my ass.

Lumena by Elevate Entertainment
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: $1.99 (promotional price, reg. $2.99)

It’s called Lumena, and it doesn’t look like much until you play it and fail in like two seconds. And then you try again, and again you fail because the game is, in fact, so minimal that it doesn’t even bother to tell you how to play it. But after a while, you figure it out (it’s not really that complicated), and with newly found confidence, you give it another shot. And you lose in five seconds.

But stick with it because it’s way better than I’m making it sound.

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Cigar feeds you all those Kickstarters you might otherwise miss

Cigar

Cigar is a new aggregation app that pulls in new content from crowd-funding site Kickstarter, Netflix, TED Talks, and the App Store and presents it to you in a giant pile for your consideration. You run through them one at a time, swiping up to dismiss ones you don’t like and double-tapping to save some for later.

It can be a little daunting when it throws like 300 things on your stack. But Cigar also e-mails you a digest of things you liked, so you don’t have to go back to the app and sort through your “Liked” list again.

Which is nice.

Spirit Run: Fire vs. Ice will challenge your coordination and stress management

Sprite Runner

I’ve been playing video games for almost 30 years. I like to think that I’ve developed a certain level of hand-eye coordination and an ability to recognize patterns and learn rules reasonably quickly.

Spirit Run: Fire vs. Ice by Lunagames
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: Free

But Spirit Run: Fire vs. Ice, a new endless runner from developer Lunagames, made me question all of that. Suddenly, I was transforming when I wanted to jump, and jumping when I wanted to slide, and just falling the hell off of things that I normally wouldn’t.

That isn’t to say that it’s a bad game; it’s actually quite good. But be prepared to feel like a monkey trying to do algebra. You know, if that’s a thing that one might call upon monkeys to do.

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Daily Productivity Quotes wants you to work smarter and harder

Daily Productivity Quote

A lot of apps hope to inspire you to improve yourself and focus by offering you words of wisdom from people whose names you recognize. Like that rather stern one up there, which comes courtesy of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Maybe you’ll get something out of this app, which gives you a new quotation every day to make you work harder and feel better. But I’m going to use it to reply back to coworkers who have silly inspirational quotes in their e-mail signatures. It’s the ultimate passive-aggressive office way of saying, “Leave me alone, and get back to work.”

I’m sure my boss will love that.

Minimalist puzzler Bicolor will charm you right to sleep

Bicolor

Here’s yet another artsy, minimalist puzzle game you’ll want to check out.

Bicolor by 1Button SARL
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: $0.99

Bicolor gives you some colored blocks with numbers on them, and your job is to swipe them around to make the entire screen a single color. It sounds easy — and it typically is, if I’m honest — but it has moments of beauty and elegance that make you forget that it isn’t challenging you. And it’s fun enough without the head-scratching because, like all minimalist puzzle games, it’s about calm, man.

And as long as you keep that in mind, the two of you will get along just fine.

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This Week in Weird: 4 oddball games about food

Weird games header

Photo courtesy of 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, and they’re all about food (mostly desserts, oddly enough). What you do with this information is between you and your iPhone.

Read the rest of this post »