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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.

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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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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Robots Love Ice Cream Weaponizes Frozen Dairy To Save … Frozen Dairy. Wait.[Review]

Robots Love Ice Cream

The robots are coming, you guys. And they want all of our ice cream. What are we going to do?

Robots Love Ice Cream by Dragon Army
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $0.99

We could call in the military, or we could devise some kind of electromagnetic pulse. Or, what the heck, let’s just stand out in the street and throw bricks at them. None of these ideas will work. But here’s a fun new game that knows the correct answer.

Robots Love Ice Cream knows that all free people must be prepared to sacrifice everything to protect that freedom, and the same should be true of tasty desserts. So obviously the best course of action is to convert an ice-cream truck into a rolling tank that fires single-scoop cones with enough velocity to penetrate an invading robot’s cold, unfeeling metal hull.

I mean, duh.

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‘Doughbot’ Shares Your Love Of Convenient Pastries

Doughbot

Not everything in the App Store has to be a Swiss Army knife. Sometimes, you find an app that does one thing and does the heck out of it.

Doughbot is one such app. It tells you where you can buy donuts.

You can also get directions, read Yelp reviews, and look at pictures from Instagram, but that’s just overkill. I can count on one finger the number of bad donuts I’ve had in my life. Just point me toward the nearest besprinkled blip on the map so that I can start pointing at lumps of fried dough I’d like to cram into my face.

Millie Is A Puzzle Game As Adorable As It Is Improbable [Review]

Millie

I find the premise of Millie highly dubious.

Millie by Forever Entertainment
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $0.99

It’s a puzzle game that uses the same basic concept as the classic Snake: You’re trying to lead a cute little millipede through a series of mazes, collecting pellets and shoes and navigating in such a way that she does not collide with herself. And the point of all of this is to get her to aviation school so that she can become a pilot.

That’s seriously what this game is about. It’s fun enough, but what?

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Exodite Flies In The Face Of Time-Honored Shoot-Em-Up Conventions [Review]

Exodite

Side-scrolling shoot-em-ups are typically exercises in excess. You have no shortage of enemies, power-ups, or ridiculously large bosses, and most importantly, you have all the bullets you’ll ever need. Just hit the button anytime, and bullets come out. That’s how it works.

Exodite by Afrodude Works
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $0.99 (promotional price)

“Oh, really?” says Exodite. “How about if it didn’t?” And that’s when things get a little weird.

By limiting your ammo, Exodite brazenly defies decades of tradition. And it’s kind of brilliant for that.

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Lightlands Cleverly Injects Efficiency Into Physics-Puzzling [Review]

Lightlands

Any old physics puzzler can ask you to fling a ball into a goal with a bunch of springs or conveyer belts whatever. And most of them don’t care how you get the ball there, as long as it does.

Lightlands by Torsten Winkler
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $0.99

But Lightlands thinks you can do better than that, and it encourages you to get the ball to its home along the most efficient route possible.

You can still go the “no pictures on scorecards” route and just get the thing to the other thing, but where’s the challenge in that?

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TriBlaster Adds A Much-Needed Dimension To The Arcade Shooter [Review]

TriBlaster

You know the drill: You’re up against an endless stream of foes moving toward you, and all you can do is move back and forth and shoot. They may be space invaders or enemy fighters or weird … animal things or something, but it’s always up to you and your single dimension of movement to stop them.

TriBlaster by oeFun
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $0.99

And then TriBlaster shows up and is all, “Pssssh, let’s double that.” So the developers added in a jump button, and suddenly things get completely different.

That’s right, people. Two dimensions. Welcome to the future.

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