PARALLEL KINGDOM [Free] This role-playing game, admittedly for total nerds, doesn’t just drop players into a wholly fictional world; it enhances real life by using your location on Google Maps and overlaying your environment with special challenges. Parallel Kingdom, for example, reveals hideous creatures lurking on a street corner, or mythical beasts standing in front of your local bodega. Battle it out with a host of characters in real time while talking to—and hunting down—other players. Trade resources with allies in this parallel world, and then stake out land to found your own kingdom on this invisible plane of existence in your own city. Reality bites, so escape into this enhanced one.
BRAINWAVE TUNER [Free] Do you have undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder? Use BrainWave Tuner to control your mind, settle down, and focus on the task at hand. The (somewhat terrifying) concept is one part subliminal message and one part Mozart, enhancing your state of mind by generating beats that direct your brainwaves towards your mood of choice. Choose from over 19 preset sound patterns, including headache therapy, self-hypnosis, and sleep induction. With its well-designed and easy-to-use interface, you needn’t waste any more time feeling unbalanced.
PSYCHO [Free] Of all the iconic scenes in pop culture history, the shower sequence in Psycho stands out as a masterpiece of cinematic terror. Thanks to the magic of modern technology, we no longer have to imagine what it feels like to wreak such violence on our enemies. An eerie soundboard plays the sinister music from the Hitchcock classic, while the app transforms your phone into a butcher’s knife. Just touch the screen to enable the blood effects, and allow yourself to go all Norman Bates on an innocent bystander. Go ahead, take a stab at it.
PORTABLE ART [Free] The editors of The Dirt Floor, an online magazine devoted to underground, contemporary art, insist, “We have no direction, motivation other than a cursed reflex to purge our anonymous mental overflows in a public forum and then run away from it and hide behind our cloak of digital anonymity.” Right. As such, they’ve created an app, which features articles and images centered on aesthetic appreciation in its many forms—from artist interviews and new stories (a recent headline reads, “Banksy Partnership with Wal Mart”), to pictures of street art from around the world. Peruse while, well, exiting through the gift shop. SNESOID LITE [Free] At the nexus of cult and current lies Super Nintendo, and this app recalls the absolute awesomeness of the gaming system that only accepted cartridges labeled Street Fighter Turbo and Super Mario Brothers. Play all three versions of Mario and Donkey Kong, as well as classics like Contra, Yoshi’s Island, and Zelda. It’s the grown-up, cartridge-less, cordless Super Nintendo you always wanted as a kid.
GOOGLE GOGGLES [Free] Your smart phone is sometimes much smarter than you are. This app is a living Google search engine that utilizes the Droid’s camera to scan your surroundings and offer search results related to whatever object it focuses on. If you’re too lazy to type, but want to know more about a DVD before buying, take a picture and find reviews, plot synopses, and virtually any other relevant information about the movie. Goggles can act as a personal tour guide if you’re in a foreign city and need to navigate between recognizable landmarks. It’s all but omniscient, taking artificial intelligence into that creepy realm we always knew it could go.
PLUME [Free] Become a functioning social media addict with the Plume app for your Droid. It’s a Twitter client that’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is efficient, allowing you to use multiple twitter accounts with color-coded separation, so you can stay up to date on the Twitterverse around you. Originally named “Touiteur,” which, when said aloud, sounds like “Twitter,” the app had to change its name for infringing on the original social media source. With an app this clean and user-friendly, we can see why Twitter had their panties in a bunch.