App stores are crowded places these days, and because storage space on your phone is often at a premium, you’ll want to find and fill it with not only the best, but also the most helpful apps out there. Because they come and go quicker than the latest fashion trends, and digging through Google Play, the iTunes App Store, or any of the others is such a mission; a little nudge in the right direction is often very welcome. Here are the apps we think you need to check out this week.
There is no shortage of music players available for your device of choice. Since there are more songs out there than you’ll ever have time to listen to and more coming out all the time, it’s less about what you’re listening to and more about how you listen to it. Most services try to differentiate themselves with a little flair you won’t find on another platform. Pacemaker is like your own private DJ built in to your iOS device.
You can pick a song or playlist from your iTunes or Spotify library to kick things off, then Pacemaker takes over on the virtual wheels of steel to give you the perfect mix. The app’s Match Machine picks out tracks for you when you aren’t sure what to listen to, while it’s Autopilot mode makes a mix to give you a new listening experience for your familiar tunes. You can even take back control and add in effects and personal tweaks if you want to play to a party. For the dedicated Apple fan, Pacemaker has an Apple Watch app for wrist control.
Will Wright is known for his innovative games. Hits like SimCity and Spore weren’t just new games, they created new genres. Now the creative, game-centric mind of Wright is tackling something entirely new with his app Thred. Essentially a content remixing app, Thred lets you build stories based using your favorite content. Every time you upload something, you add another page to a graphic novel style story of your life that people can follow.
Have you ever listened to Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, the always entertaining topical gameshow on NPR? If you’re a fan, you’ll probably enjoy Newsmiester, a new app that works on the same principle, by gamifying the news. Top stories from around the world are turned into quiz questions that will test just how engaged you are with what’s happening around you. It’s a great, new way to brush up on the day’s headlines and keep yourself informed.
We’d really love to explain to you what Goat Simulator is. Actually, better yet, we’d like to have someone explain it to us. The inexplicably popular game has made its way to mobile, and it makes the transition with undead eyes. Goat Simulator GoatZ is an off-the-walls zombie game set in the Goat Simulator universe, which means nothing makes sense and everything is insane. There’s a crafting system to build weapons and a huge map to explore. Who knows what you’ll find? Well, you’ll definitely find zombies. And tons of weirdness.
If you grew up in the era of point-and-click computer games, you’re probably familiar with Grim Fandango. The quirky adventure game from Double Fine Productions was a cult classic during its original run thanks to its unique premise and entertaining dialogue. Now the game has been remastered for today’s mobile devices. While the graphics still aren’t anything special—it’s amazing how far graphics have come that a computer game now looks bad on mobile—everything else holds up flawlessly.