Well, it’s Monday and due to unforeseen circumstances we missed last week’s Friday app roundup, so instead we’re here to liven up your dreary, rainy, grey Monday with some fresh new apps. That’s right, we’re offering all the tools you need to avoid doing work for the remainder of the afternoon on a Monday. So yeah, put away that task list and prepare for some quality time goofing off.
This special Monday app roundup includes: a trippy photo-bending app; an app that makes chess fun again with the power of randomly assigned pieces; an app that lets you message the Japanime fake boyfriend of your dreams; and the perfect anti-Tinder shaking up the world of dating apps.
What is it? This is an experimental photo app from Google Labs, that uses the gyroscope inside your Android to give your photos a mind-bending effect designed to make it look as if the pics were taken inside a 360-degree sphere. It’s nice to see Google, thinking outside the box and offering us just a cool app that will help you up your Snapchat game and enhance your the quality of your ‘grams. So give this trippy photo-bending app a whirl!
Best review quote: Sprayscape is a quick hack using the phone’s gyroscope to take pictures on the inside of a 360-degree sphere. Just point your phone and tap the screen to spray faces, places, or anything else onto your canvas. – Android and Me
Get it now: for your Android.
What is it? It’s true chess is a board game that can be perceived as too complicated, not fun, kinda boring and hard to learn. What if it could be a lot more fun? That’s where Really Bad Chess comes in. With Really Bad Chess you and your opponent are given chess pieces at random, for instance you might have all knights whereas your opponent has mostly pawns, a queen and a bishop and yet you’re playing chess as if it were a normal fair game. So whether you win or lose, is now much more about luck and making the best of what you’re given. All in all, this game almost makes me wish I had an iPhone, only to be able to play this awesome game.
Best review quote:Really Bad Chess changes this by completely randomizing what pieces both sides get. You could have a second row that has three knights and a queen in addition to some pawns. Or maybe you have a couple extra rooks. Your opponent will have something completely different.
This setup not only makes the game different each time you play, but it’s also a clever way of dealing with difficulty. When you play Really Bad Chess, you always play against the same artificial intelligence. It doesn’t get smarter or faster the further you progress. Instead, as you move up in rank, the quality of the pieces you get changes. In the beginning you will have much better pieces than the AI, improving your chances at winning. But as you get better and win matches, the balance starts to shift in the other direction. – The Verge
Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.
OS: iOS, Android
What is it? If there’s one thing Japanese girls and some of their Japanime-loving Western counterparts like, it’s games that give you a pretend boyfriend to woo/be wooed by. Mystic Messenger is one of those faux relationship building romance games. You are given the choice of pursuing one of these Japanese animated high school dream boats. Each potential suitor has his own unique personality traits, for instance he might be an aloof businessman who loves cats or an up-and-coming JPop star expressly forbidden via contract from having romantic relationships. The app is designed to look like a fake messaging app which allows you to text, call, chat or email your paramour of choice. It’s the perfect game to play while listening to One Direction on a lazy Sunday afternoon on a pink chenille bedspread in a room plaster with Katy Perry and Chris Evans posters.
Best review quote: The “otome” genre is one that’s not particularly well-known among mainstream game. The word “otome” is Japanese for “maiden,” and that’s precisely who these games target: women. Typically, otome games are text-driven visual novel adventures with a strong romantic component: the men you interact with are young and attractive, and through your choices, you can (hopefully) woo one of them into a virtual relationship. Branching paths and multiple decision points mean that you can replay the story multiple times and see different endings, good and bad, while pursuing different relationships. There’s an element of role-playing as well as reading (virtual) emotions: what would the guy I’m looking to smooch want to hear from me in the current situation? – Motherboard
OS: iOS, Android
What is it? This dating app is the anti-Tinder. It hates shallow swiping on looks. Instead you interact with other users by answering daily open-ended questions, thus simultaneously devaluing your looks and promoting interpersonal interactions that are more organic, more akin to meeting someone in daily life. It’s a refreshing concept in a tired genre of terrible copycats that seem to emphasize the exchanging of unasked for pictures of what’s in a man’s shorts. It’s nice to see an app that understands that I don’t do well when pitted against prettier girls in a photo lineup. So yeah, definitely going to give this one a try, you should spread the word about it though, because a dating or messaging app is only useful if the people you want to interact with are using it.
Best review quote: Unlike other popular apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, Siren doesn’t encourage you to swipe through people’s photos. Instead, there’s a daily open-ended question that users answer, and their responses are displayed on a feed.
The idea for Siren was inspired by their frustration with other dating apps, the majority of which were created by men. Lee and Hess, who are both women of color, believe that Siren offers a different perspective on how people can meet — or, at the very least, doesn’t objectify people as much. – Business Insider