Let’s be honest, it can be hard making adult friends, especially as we get older and our peers are becoming increasingly occupied with keeping tiny humans alive and healthy. Or when work moves us to a new city, away from our usual support networks. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could skip all the boring smalltalk about the weather and the traffic, and see who’s likely to become a friend? The ladies of Vina have noticed this problem, and are starting a networking app to match awesome ladies up with awesome new lady friends.
The new Hey! VINA app is a social matchmaker for introducing new girl buddies. (You might have heard TechCrunch call this the Tinder for friends. IT’S NOT TINDER, YOU GUYS! Unless your goal is to ignore the whole personality matching part and pick potential friends based on the sexiness of their profile photo. Takes all types, I guess.) The app promises to match new buddies up by personality style and shared interests for maximum friend compatibility. So far, Hey! VINA has just one short quiz, and it doesn’t ask any of the essential friendship questions yet (What kind of drunk are you? How late is too late to text and expect a reply? Who’s your favorite Doctor?) but it’s still in beta so I can assume those questions are on the way.
The app is live and matching pals in NYC, LA and SF, with plans to spread to other cities and start matching new friends soon.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Wednesday, February 10th, 2016||No Comments »|
Monument Valley. Are you playing this? You probably should be.
This mobile game from ustwo has been out for a while, but the description of it as a casual puzzler kept me expecting yet another underwhelming freemium click-and-wait game. I missed out on months and months I could be playing Princess Ida on her beautiful puzzle path!
In each level, players are tasked with helping Princess Ida through a strange and gorgeous world towards her goal. Over time, she’ll have friends to help her and obstacles to overcome. Ida’s paths have a dreamlike, Escher quality to them, creating such pretty scenes that iam8bit has art prints based on Monument Valley levels, but they also make perfect sense as gameplay.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Friday, January 29th, 2016||1 Comment »|
I loved the browser minigames GrowCube and GrowTower, so I was really excited to put eyezmaze’s new Grow Recovery on my phone. The basic premise of the Grow games is deciding how to add new items to the scene. Each item interacts with the other items in interesting ways, and to complete the game, you’ll need to find the optimal order so that each item is used in the best way possible. Of course, plenty of “wrong” combinations are great fun to watch, too.
Grow Recovery, though, adds a little narrative to the Grow game formula, showing an exhausted little figure in need of comfort and healing. It’s a simple human outline, but the task of looking after him is surprisingly moving. Each of the items available will make him feel better in a different way, Give him a blanket, and he’ll wrap himself up. Give him a friend, and the friend will help heal him. I think the animation at the beginning of the game is meant to show that the little grow guy is exhausted, but it’s easy to see all kinds of self-care and recovery in this tiny charming game.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Tuesday, November 10th, 2015||1 Comment »|
PictureThis asks players to compete in photo scavenger hunts with friends and strangers. Users snap photos to answer challenges like “an epic high-five,” a “view out the window,” or “extreme hipstering” (to name a few popular challenges). There’s a daily photo challenge from Picture, as well as ongoing challenges, badges to earn, funny photos to view and share, and the option to come up with your own photo challenges. Perfect for the Instagram aficionado looking for photo inspiration!
This social photo challenge game reminds me of older iOs games Herograph and Awkward Hug’s Bout, although PictureThis includes more badges and more social sharing as these have become app essentials.
For the real scavenger hunt feel, PictureThis only accepts images through the camera, so no awesome shots from your gallery will be accepted. This forces players to go and take a photo for the day’s challenges instead of finding a saved one.
The game is currently only available for iOs, but there’s an Android version in the works.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Friday, January 17th, 2014||No Comments »|
Hipster Zombies, available on iOS and Android from indie devs Sharkbomb Studios, is yet another game inviting players to battle oncoming hordes of zombies. But these are hipster zombies, and in addition to brains, they want old records, black plastic glasses, retro bicycles and cans of PBR!
Players stand behind a makeshift barricade and try to defend their neighborhood (Is it Williamsburg? Greenpoint? Probably is.) from oncoming zombie waves by throwing hipster gear at the zombies. Mechanics are classic and the controls are simple—you’ll move side-to-side with your left hand, while choosing what to throw with your right. The game is free but monetizes on players’ in-app purchases of hipster gear like vinyl records and PBR cans, much like Brooklyn does.
Enjoy the simple game and hipster jokes as you deploy your zombie-fighting powers of irony to battle the undead!
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Tuesday, January 7th, 2014||1 Comment »|
We’ve already discussed how the brilliant New York-based startup HealthyOut helps users be both lazy and healthy. San Francisco startup Sprig offers another variation on that low-effort, healthy dining theme by offering locally sourced, chef-made delivery meals. Sprig doesn’t focus on specialized diets, but it does offer vegetarian and gluten-free meals to diners.
Sprig’s service is available to iPhone users in (most of) San Francisco, between 5:30 and 9:30 PM daily. All you’ll need to do is choose what you want and then have the meal delivered. The service promises about 20 minutes for delivery and offers $10 for an entree with a $2 delivery fee. (Twelve dollars is a pretty great price for any kind of dinner in San Francisco!) The menu changes daily, so users can check the day’s specials and order it up for dinner.
Sprig’s next steps will be developing and releasing an Android app. No word on whether a satellite Sprig might be headed to other locations.
[Thanks for the tip, BreakTap!]
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Thursday, January 2nd, 2014||No Comments »|
The App Store is pretty saturated with word games, but indie ZWorkbench’s QatQi deserves attention as it’s an elegant and clever twist on the typical word puzzler. (It’s pronounced Cat-Key, by the way, and sadly, proper nouns like QatQi are no good for racking up Scrabble points.) QatQi is that rare game that is both easy to start playing, without a lot of explanation and tutorial, but long-lasting with varied play strategies and options for experimenting.
ZWorkbench’s Christopher Garrett has blended word formation with an exploration mechanic by asking players to create words and then place them strategically in order to unlock treasure and new areas.
Garrett worked with game artist Kun Chang on QatQi, creating a simple, elegant and immersive game aesthetic. Kun Chang’s previous work includes Hemisphere Games’ Osmos, a wonderful ambient indie with some of the same delightful simplicity as QatQi.
The game is free to download and play, with optional in-app purchases, but differs from the App Store standard by offering players purchased do-overs or take-backs instead of charging for progress or time.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Wednesday, December 18th, 2013||No Comments »|