paranormical
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Go beyond the music visualizer in today’s Playlist pick

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Panoramical (PC, Mac)  BY FERNANDO RAMALLO & DAVID KANAGA Forget the “music visualizer” that has been spinning webs of geometry on your PC since the ’90s. Panoramical finally makes it as outdated as dial-up internet or the word “gnarly.” It’s not a fleeting distraction for your boredom but an aperture into ethereal places. Here, music is transformed into bucolic alien worlds that billow into absorbing synesthesia. You can tweak the timbre, tempo, and volume and see hues warp, trees and mountains arise, clouds whiz by and moons arc.…

sandylead_1
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UCLA and Kinect just made sandboxes so much cooler

When I was a kid, I had a small plastic sandbox on my patio in the shape of a turtle. It came with a little turtle shell cover to keep the sand clean and safe when I wasn’t playing with it, but looking back on it as an adult, that stuff still probably wasn’t all that sanitary. Still, it was always one of my favorite things to play with as a child, even if it annoyed my parents, and I’m guessing I wasn’t alone in that. It could never quite replace the joy I got from videogames, but sometimes you…

ksbarmark
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Find peace by gardening the harmonious landscapes of Barmark

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Barmark (Android)  BY Stormhatt Studios The characters in Barmark are all damaged in some way. You can see this as they wander the rigidly-cut pastoral landscapes guided by your finger. They are searching for harmony (which is believed to have healing properties), and to find it, you need to help them shape the environment to a pleasing arrangement. To this end, you can plant trees and flowers, but the idea is to seek out hidden ancient machines that can enact dramatic changes on the quiet forests,…

ksprune2
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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…