Twin-stick shooter Ekon the Cyborg is the best kind of throwback

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Ekon the Cyborg

I really can’t get enough of twin-stick shooters.

Ekon the Cyborg by Wicked Dog Games
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: Free

I don’t know what it is, but they have a very specific kind of frantic energy that appeals to me without being overwhelming. And I like them so much that every time I have an opportunity to play one on iOS, I give it a chance despite the fact that my iPhone has no sticks to twin, so the touch controls usually suck.

Ekon the Cyborg is a new two-pad shooter that somehow has controls that work. And I’m as shocked as anyone. But beyond that, it’s a nostalgic and colorful romp that is pretty much made of my childhood.

Plot Twistz fills your daily quota of movies and puns

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Plot Twistz

Here’s a quick, funny, and surprisingly challenging word game for movie buffs.

Plot Twistz by Adrenaline Punch
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: Free

Plot Twistz presents you with a slightly modified plot to a famous film, and your job is to figure out the name of the augmented movie. You get the answer by changing one letter of the original title, which doesn’t sound like much, but you’d be surprised.

It’s also pretty hilarious if you love puns.

Rhythm runner Record Run makes your music collection more fun

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Record Run

If you like rhythm games at all, stop reading right now and go download Record Run.

Record Run by Harmonix
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad iPod Touch
Price: Free

I can elaborate if you insist, but here’s what you need to know: It’s from the developer of Frequency, Amplitude, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Dance Central. It’s a colorful runner with simple gameplay and personality for days. And with a few taps, the game will make a level from any song stored on your iOS device.

Oh, and it’s free. Just go get it right now.

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

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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.

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

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Spirit Run

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.

This Week in Weird: 4 oddball games about food

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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.

Endless runner gives you highs, lows and a fat guy jumping bombs

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Hill Runner

When you first start playing Hill Runner, it seems impossible. And then after a few dozen dismal failures, you have a really good run and restore your faith in yourself. And then you’ll mess up the next try immediately.

Hill Runner by Stephen Brown
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: Free

It’s a glass case of emotion, this game.

But it’s very simple, and it’s free, and it’ll offer some distraction and charm for a few minutes if that’s all you’re looking for.

Racing game Greedy Ladder might be the cutest thing ever

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Greedy Ladder

Every once in a while, something drops into the App Store that makes my Grinch heart grow three sizes. So after I take the pills my doctor gave me to keep me from dying when that happens, I spend some time with the game and see if it’s any good. And this one, which a 7-year-old boy designed, is actually pretty fun.

Greedy Ladder by 18th Day Limited
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: Free

Greedy Ladder is a new free-to-play game in which you play as one of eight boys or girls (the differences are cosmetic) climbing a ridiculously tall ladder in one of six major cities. It’s a racing game: The goal is to reach the top as quickly as possible while eating healthy foods that will speed you up and avoiding junk food and inedible objects that slow you down.

All proceeds from the game go to charity, apparently, so that’s pretty cute, too.

Equilibrium combines magic square fun with an evil timer

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Equilibrium

Magic squares have always vexed me. I understand the concept — arrange a grid of numbers so that the rows and columns add up to predefined values — but actually doing them is beyond me.

Equilibrium by Bavlos Boutros
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: Free

So maybe I’m not the best person to review Equilibrium, a new iOS game that is nothing but magic squares for days, but I think I can put my own incompetence aside to recommend it. It has great presentation, a good challenge and is as accessible as can be.

I’m still awful at it, but hey.

This Week in Weird: 4 bizarre ripoffs of popular games

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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 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 weirdo versions of other titles. What you do with this information is between you and your iPhone.