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Say the Same Thing: OK GO’s smartphone game is more than OK


You probably remember the band OK Go from that one video with the treadmills or that other music video with the Rube Goldberg machine. Oh, or maybe you saw them in concert. They do make music. You might know the band from that, too. OK Go seems like they aren’t content with just being a fairly popular band. They’ve got a plan to leave their legacy wherever they possibly can. Their latest venture? The world of mobile games. Say the Same Thing has nothing to do with OK Go and far simpler than any of their music video choreography but it’s still darn addictive, which mirrors the band’s music pretty accurately.

Say the Same Thing doesn’t exactly bury the lead with it’s title. The game is literally about trying to say the same thing as your partner. You each start out by saying a random word, then work to try to find the common bonds until you eventually both say the same word on the same turn. Words are submitted individually and revealed when both players lock in their guesses. It’s essentially an asynchronous word association game that relies on both you and your partner hitting a similar brainwave to come to the same connective word.

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Because the game relies just as heavily upon your partner as it does on you, getting a good match can be the difference between getting a match on turn three or turn thirty-three. For example, one of my games got to a point where my partner and I were on similar footing and just needed to exhaust the list of words we knew relating to a topic before we got a match. This can be as frustrating as it is exhilarating, knowing that you and your teammate are on the same page but just a little off.

On the other hand, there is the occasional player who will frustrate you with their total lack of understanding of what you’re trying to work toward. I had one such encounter where my partner started with the word “ninja” and just delved deeper into the topic with total disgard for the words I was providing. I had to search for definitions to try to make any clue of what the person was going for (my knowledge of ancient fighting techniques and samurai weaponry is lacking, apparently). If something like this does happen, you have the option of chatting with your partner to express your complete loss or place a sticker on the board that can indicate your feelings to the other player. Worst case is you quit the game and start up another. It’s not exactly a time consuming process.

The only real indication that OK Go is involved in this project at all is the ability to play a member of the band. Choosing to do so will simply place you on a wait list to have your shot with a group member, and you’ll receive a notification when it’s your turn to try make a match with Damien, Andy, Tim, or Dan. Otherwise the game shows little indication of being a promotional tool at all. It has a jungle theme and has no mention of OK Go aside from the ability to play a match with the band.

It’s easy to dismiss new games that come available on mobile as flashes in the pan, especially when a “big name” or any sort decides to throw their weight behind it. But Say the Same Thing is a genuinely fun experience, essentially free of any of the branding and promotional pitfalls that similar projects have fallen victim to. The game is a solid mix of low time investment and high entertainment. Barely missing a match will make you want to make sure you nail the next one and challenges you to not over think things and instead rely on your word association skills. It’s challenging enough to keep you guessing and has a high feeling of success when you finally get a match. It’s everything you’d want in a mobile game, plus OK Go.

Say the Same Thing is available for free download on Android and iOS.

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Best Apps of the Week: Giant Boulder of Death, Vert, SayIt, Terraria, and more
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It's no surprise that the big news from this week was the announcement of the iPhone 5S and 5C. Apple announcements seem to have a way of getting everyone's attention, whether you care about the company or not. With iOS 7 and its major redesign on its way and the iPhone 5S bringing 64-bit processing to mobile, its clear the platform will be undergoing some changes - especially for Apple users. But you know what doesn't change? The fact that great apps are coming out every week. We've collected all our favorites of this week for you to download and enjoy.
Vert, iOS ($1)
Quick, how many feet in a yard? That one is pretty easy, how about how many light nanoseconds in a fathom? Vert can tell you that and much more. It's packed with over 700 units from thirty different categories and will convert almost anything with precision up to seven decimals. Vert is the easy, accurate, and quick--especially compared to how long it'd take you to do in your head - way to find out any conversion, including currency for different countries, clothing sizes, and pretty anything else you can think of.
Pouch update, Windows Phone ($1)
It doesn't matter what device you use, it's always nice to be able to get some reading done during your down time. Unfortunately, there's not always support from some of the best reading apps around for every mobile OS. Pouch saw that problem for Windows Phone and make a Pocket (formerly Read it Later) app of its very own. In the latest update to Pouch, users will get a tutorial the first time they log in. A new reading theme has also been added, as well as the ability to limit articles downloaded for offline reading.
Giant Boulder of Death, iOS (free)
One might look at Giant Boulder of Death and expect to play as a person running from the boulder as it rolls down a hill, trying to continue as long as possible until the rock catches up. Nope. You play as the boulder and it's up to you to destroy everything in your path. That means villages, animals roaming the countryside, people - everything must be crushed. You'll get upgrades to your boulder along the way - in case a normal giant rock wasn't enough, how about one with giants spikes on it - and can see a full gallery of all your victims. It sounds a little morbid, but it's a lot of fun.
Human, iOS (free)
It doesn't matter where you go to get your health and fitness advice, you're going to be told that exercising for 30 minutes a day is a necessity. It seems like it's going to be grueling in theory, but in practice it doesn't have to be all that bad. Human aims to prove that for you. This app keeps track of your activity over the course of the day and tells you when you've hit 30 minutes of movement. It notifies you when you've achieved your goal, keeps track of the details of every day, and make sure you keep moving.
Roku update, Android (free)
Have you ever been watching a video on your phone and told your friend to come watch it? The two of you watching the same screen makes others wonder what's going on, and before you know it you've got a full group of people hunched over a small screen trying to figure out what's happening. With the latest update to Roku for Android, you can beam the videos from your phone to your Roku box on your TV so you can put the video on a screen that everyone can see.
Heroes of Loot, iOS ($2) and Android ($2)
Heroes of Loot invokes the old school style game that had players crawling through dungeons, unsure of what was coming at them next. But Heroes of Loot gets the benefit of a modern twist: The dungeons change every time you play, giving the game tons of replay value. It also gets harder and more dangerous the further you make it, but you can't let that stop you from finding your way into all of the secret rooms and snatching every last item you can get your hands on.
Music Maker Jam, Android and Windows Tablets (free)
Music Maker Jam can make you and your friends into musicians. The app is packed with tons of professional quality loops from different instruments and different genres. You have eight slots on your mixing board to put these loops to use and find a combination with the sound you're looking for. Add effects by turning or shaking your device to manipulate the music. Once you're done, export it and send it off to your friend so they can listen and make their own mix to match yours. You can start a dance party while on the go.
SayIt update, BlackBerry ($5)
BlackBerry may not have Siri or Google Now, but it does have SayIt, a voice-based search app built specifically for the OS. SayIt recently was updated to include even more capabilities to its arsenal. Highlighting this list of new search features is the ability to search for music by song title, artist name, or album name, and have SayIt find and stream a song for you. The update also brings improved results to weather searches and has improved overall performance by reducing the response time after each query.
Terraria, iOS  ($5) and Android (free)
Terraria is a popular as an indie game for the PC, but there's no reason for it to be limited to just that platform. It's a game that should be in as many hands as possible, which is why the makers of Terraria built the game from the ground up for iOS and Android. Now mobile players can experience the award-winning sandbox-style adventure game and all of its beautiful pixel art. Every part of the game that was addictive and enjoyable on the PC is present in the mobile game. If you can't get enough of Terraria and its hundreds of crafting items, enemies, and block types, why not take it with you on the go?

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Best apps of the week: Splyce, Boinc, Google Play Games, and more
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Another week and another major phone unveiling. Motorola showed off its new Moto X handset on Thursday. When these announcements happen, it's easy to get caught up in looking at the specs of the device and all of the promises that the company makes for it, but once you have the phone in hand there's really only one question that you want answered: How do your favorite apps run on it? If you're planning on picking up a new mobile device to round out your summer experience, test out what it's truly capable of with the best apps and updates from this week.
Google Play Games (Android, free)
If you hate intermixing your apps and games because you take games seriously, then Google Play Games is a godsend for your mobile gaming experience on Android. Promised during Google's I/O 2013 event, Google Play Games became available this week and will give gamers their own dedicated app for playing and discovering games. The app also brings new layers to Android gaming, including the ability to join multiplayer sessions, better connection with friends, scoreboards, achievements, and more.
Splyce (iOS, free)
There are already a lot of options for listening to music on your phone or tablet, but there aren't many that will DJ your entire listening session for you, complete with automatic mixing of your favorite tracks. Splyce calculates the BPM of all the songs in your music library, matches the tracks that have a similar speed, and mixes them together to provide a DJ-at-the-turntables style sound right in your ears or over the speakers at a party. The app will even turn your phone into a light show while playing if you want, using your screen light and camera flash to produce lighting effects to go with the tunes.
Boinc (Android, free)
Here's an app that will make use of your phone when you aren't. Boinc kicks in when your phone is plugged in to a power source and is connected to a Wi-Fi network. What Boinc does is take advantage of the down time for your phone by using its power to transfer computing power to scientific studies taking place at academic institutions. Your device will be given tasks to help out with and will make you a key part of the computations taking place to do things like study diseases, research climate changes, discover pulsars, and plenty more.
wpTorrent (Windows, free)
Lots of mobile apps like to advertise their social features, the ability to share content between friends. But there are other things worth sharing other than pictures of your cat. For those who prefer to pass around things like full programs, sizable PDFs, and other big content items, wpTorrent is probably more your speed. This full-featured torrent app is built for file sharers. It includes file priorities, upload and download rate controls, integrated video and music playback, search engine management, a file manager, and much more. It's the ultimate app for torrenters on the go.
Cobook Contacts (iOS, free)
Your phone is all about communication, so having the people you want to talk to in order is important. Cobook Contacts takes care of that for you, and with its update to version 3.0, it's feature set is only getting better. Most notably in this update is the inclusion of Mailbox-style gesturing that improves your ability to navigate in app. The look of Cobook Contacts got a makeover as well, which has readied the app for the transition to the world of iOS 7. Support for sorting contacts and contacting multiple contacts has also been added.
Burpple (Android and iOS, free)
If you consider yourself a foodie, Burpple is a must-have app. It's a social food guide that not only lets you track your own dining experiences but get recommendations and ideas from others in the community. Version 2.0 of the app is now available for iOS and Android devices and sports a new, simpler design. Social menus will help you decide what to eat based on others' experiences, a new section focusing on places that include an impressive view or enjoyable ambience, and wish lists will keep places you'd like to visit at some point on deck.
Guess Where (iOS, free)
Instagram is easily one of the most popular photo sharing app and consists of millions of pictures of places all over the world. But if you were shown a picture, would you be able to identify where it was taken? Guess Where takes the collection of Instagram photos, tagged with #guesswhere, and challenges you to figure out what you're looking it. See how sharp your geography skills are while enjoying the great looking snapshots that others have taken. It's part social photo sharing, part game, all fun.
Dropchord (Android and iOS, $3)
Double Fine is a well known name in the world of gaming, with notable titles like Psychonauts and Brutal Legend on its resume. It's also made smaller but equally playable games like Dropchord. Originally released for PC and OS X, this music-driven puzzle game is now available for Android and iOS. Packed with an impressive spectrum of visuals, a trance-inducing soundtrack, and challenging on screen activities, Dropchord is sure to keep players tapping and swiping to manipulate the on screen items in attempts to collect notes until they achieve victory. 
Rymdkapsel (Android, $4)
Some of the most popular mobile games have catchy names that are easy to remember. Rymdkapsel is lacking on that front. But that doesn't mean it can't be successful. Branding itself as a "meditative strategy game," Rymdkapsel strips out the tedious parts of strategy games like unit management and intrusive enemies and challenges you on just building up your base to be the best you can make it. Take control of a group of minions to create your station and explore the world around you. 

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Best apps of the week: Netflix, Snoopify, Say the Same Thing, and more
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Ever look at the pages and pages of apps installed on your mobile device and just been totally uninspired to use any of them? You've seen them all before, used them to their full potential, and you're just unmoved to open any of them. Maybe you need to add a little bit of variety to your apps; it is the spice of life, after all. Just a little bit of a kick from something fresh might give you a whole new perspective on the rest of your apps. We have the freshest and the kicking-est of new apps and updates from this past week. Give them a download and enjoy.
Say the Same Thing (new game for iOS and Android)
OK Go is well known for being inventive with their music videos, but now they're branching out far beyond their comfort zone. The band has entered the world of mobile with ... a game? You wouldn't think that would be in the wheelhouse for some guitar-yielding rockers, but turns out they've put together something pretty fun. Say the Same Thing is a word game that you play with a partner in which you attempt to bridge words together by saying the same thing, prompted just by your previous words. 
DabKick (update for iOS)
DabKick solves the problem of wanting to watch videos or listen to music with friends or family even when you aren't in the same place. It allows users to share multimedia content with one another and talk in real time via text or voice. With a new update to the iOS app, plenty of issues have been fixed to make the app more useable. Owners of an iPod Touch can now join in on the experience, the music player no longer interrupts phone calls, functionality with the address book has been improved, among others. It's an all around better experience now, and one that you can share with others.
Snoopify (new app for iOS and Android)
Move over Instagram, Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion as he's now called) has entered the photo app business. Have you ever taken a picture and thought to yourself "I don't look blinged out enough?" or "This is a great picture, but I feel like it's missing a giant blunt hanging from my mouth?" Snoopify is the answer to these problems. The app allows you to modify your pictures and add stickers to make them Snoop Dogg approved. You can even put Snoop Dogg himself into pictures with you, an image that would be difficult to capture otherwise because of the permanent cloud of weed smoke that usually surrounds him. 
Mosaique (new game for iOS and Android)
Mosaique is a game that seems to be just as much about getting lost in the experience as it is about winning. It's a puzzle game of sorts that requires players to slide tiles around the screen as they try to match colors and clear the level. According to the game's description, players only get as much strategic challenge out of the game as they put in to it, so you set the pace for yourself. With an original soundtrack that can put you in a trance, you very well may get sucked in to this game and forget what you're supposed to be doing. You know, like your job or something.
Gmail (update for iOS)
We're going to go ahead and assume we aren't breaking any new ground pointing you to Gmail as a really solid email service. But the app for Gmail users on iOS just recently got an update, and we do want to make sure you get it. The latest version of Gmail will keep you in the app for much longer. Now other Google products like YouTube and Chrome are functioning right in the Gmail app, meaning you don't have the leave the app to experience items that are linked to you via email. It's all part of Google's plan to entrench you in its universe. We're really not objecting.
Story (new app for iOS)
There are few companies that know story telling better than Disney. So, it's only fitting that Disney is behind the new Story app, a tool that allows users to create memorable moments out of their otherwise plain photos and videos. It lets you personalize your moments, adding captions that help tell the story between the imagery, and then spruces up the presentation with some unique themes that will present your memories in fun ways. Once your story is finished, it's easy to share via your social network of choice.
Ace Patrol (new game for iOS)
Sid Meier is responsible for some of the most notable game franchises around, from his Pirates! series to the Civilization strategy games. Now he's headed to mobile and taken to the skies at the same time with Sid Meier's Ace Patrol. Play pilot of a World War I aircraft as you soar through the skies above Europe in attempts to stop the axis powers. Your plane will get upgrades along the way, making you more flight-ready for each mission. And there are a lot of missions; 120 of them to be exact. That has to qualify for frequent flier miles.
Netflix (update for iOS and Android)
If you saw Netflix in the news recently, it probably wasn't because its mobile app got updated. It was more likely because it lost a pile of titles. But there is still way more content on Netflix than you could even begin to digest, and Arrested Development is coming back on the platform at the end of the month. Might as well update the app in preparation. This update brings enhanced second screen options, a post-play feature that automatically queues up the next episode of a show, and recommendations at the end of films.
Timelapse Pro (new app for iOS)
Time lapse videos take simple, fairly mundane things and make them seem way cooler and more interesting than they actually are. What's amazing about watching people walk into the same building over and over at normal speed? Nothing. What about at a higher speed where you see the same thing but it blows by? Considerably more cool. You can make videos like that with your iPhone with Timelapse Pro. Shoot in a variety of different ways, choose your frame rate, add a song, and make boring things seem way more interesting.

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