Get in the mood for a spring clean with a new zen puzzler

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Empty (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android) By DustyRoom It’s almost time for the big spring clean this year, which might mean you need something to get you in the appropriate head space. Empty could be that something. It’s a zen puzzler that has you clearing out all the objects inside a series of rooms that look like they were decorated by Mark Rothko. You achieve your goal by rotating your view around the room to match each object’s color to the blocks of color on the…


Circles is a masterclass in minimalist game design

Anyone should be able to play Circles regardless of age, language, and their experience with videogames. It’s a game that has mastered the art of communicating abstract ideas to players in as minimal a way as possible. A designer’s wet dream, no doubt. At the heart of its success is tying everything in the game to the movement of your mouse. Circles grow larger, shrink, rotate in unison, or otherwise move around the screen according to how you move the cursor. Some may react to how fast you move the cursor, others to which direction it’s moving in, while others care only…


Go on a beautiful voyage into the unknown with Verreciel

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Verreciel (iOS) BY DEVINE LU LINVEGA Verreciel is the latest entry in Devine Lu Linvega’s “sequence of linguistically involved projects,” which includes Paradise (2011), Hiversaires (2013), and Oquonie (2014). Verreciel has you explore various star systems by connecting the consoles that surround you inside your Glass Ship. As you navigate outer space, you follow simple missions: harvesting currencies and trading them for warp keys to new locations. It’s a game about mastering the mechanical intricacies of travel, which echoes Linvega’s latest life choice to live on a boat and sail the world. Linvega’s…


Progress to 100 makes your iPhone surprise you all over again

The iPhone may be eight-years-old, but with Apple reiterating on its design every year, adding new features to its tilt and tap core, it’s still a magic box full of tricks. Nevertheless, the experimental phase is kinda over for Apple’s smartphone—we know what works well and what doesn’t—and so we often see the same ideas crop up over and over with apps mostly applying only new skins and contexts to differentiate themselves. “rules should be broken”  This is why when Progress to 100 comes along, asking you to stroke, shake, perhaps even smooch the screen, showing you what seems to…


Prune is a breath of fresh air

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Prune (iOS)  BY Polyculture Whether your thumbs are green or usually poised over a joystick, Prune will have something for you. As the virtual botanist/god of the universe, it’s up to you to help a blossoming tree find its path into the light. By circumventing natural obstacles like shadow and wind, you allow a beautiful, branching life to take shape. Through minimalist design and a meditative soundscape, Prune builds an atmosphere for creation rather than competition. There are no timers, no scores, not even impassable level barriers. This…