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New year, new experiences

We are a few weeks into 2022 and I suspect many of us are still trying to grapple with the events of 2021. Heck, some of us may still be dealing with 2020! Time, however, waits for no one. We’re almost to the halfway mark of January (gasp) so we need to prepare ourselves for the rest of the months to come and if you don’t know where to start, Guru has you covered. From fun games that chillax you to getting the living daylights scared out of you to apps that could help your productivity, your health and even your love life, here are a few things to help you get on track.


FOR FUN

Five Nights At Freddy’s: Security Breach

PS4, PS5 and PC

Remember 2014 when the internet’s subtle fear of animatronics and Chuck E Cheese became an all-out screamfest thanks to Five Night’s At Freddy’s? The franchise has tried to change it up along the way with varying degrees of success, but at the centre of it all remains the creepy murderous robots and the jumpscares that signal your death. Its latest entry, Security Breach, is another franchise first as it gives you the chance to freely roam the sprawling Mega Pizza Plex, and if you thought being able to go around and not be restrained in a claustrophobic room is better, think again. This time around though, Freddy is actually an ally but that doesn’t mean he’s less creepy. The game’s been out for a few weeks now but if you still haven’t gotten it, it may be the perfect game to jumpscare — sorry, jumpstart — your year. 

ALIEN: ISOLATION

Available on iOS and Google Play

If you’re looking to get some scares wherever you go, you’re in luck. Alien: Isolation, the videogame released in 2014 based on the iconic horror franchise, has been ported to iOS and Android devices. This gives you the chance to make a fool of yourself by jumping and screaming like a little girl on the BTS while playing the game (just me?). Mobile ports don’t necessarily have a great track record, but Isolation on mobile devices got tremendous reviews. That’s a relief since the app isn’t free: it’s B199 on the Google Play Store and a somewhat hefty B549 on the App Store. The mobile version also comes with all the game’s DLCs. It might just be the first major mobile game purchase you’ll make this year.

HALO: INFINITE

Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC

Master Chief’s return has long been awaited and is finally here. I’m aware most of us here in Asia prefer PlayStation over Xbox, but with many of us still struggling to get our hands on the PS5, Halo: Infinite may be the game that convinces us to cop an Xbox Series X or S. Actually if you’ve got a PC, then you should be good. All hail the PC Master Race and all that good stuff. Anyways, the newest instalment to the franchise doesn’t just come with a fun multiplayer but it also has a compelling campaign storyline. You’re bound to spend hours on this one. The game has been out since December but if you’re looking for a game to get into to welcome the new year, stepping into the boots of Master Chief isn’t the worst way to go. 

WORDLE

PowerLanguage.co.uk/Wordle

Years ago, everyone went crazy for Sudoku. However, 2022 seems to be the year of words. Wordle is a game that has gone viral in recent weeks and has gotten everyone hooked. If you’re on Twitter and you’ve seen tweets with Wordle with a bunch of green, grey and yellow boxes then you’ve encountered the game yourself but may not know what it’s all about. The premise of the game is simple: there’s a five-letter word you have to guess. Everyone gets the same word everyday and you only get six guesses. The coloured boxes show how many tries it took for a person to guess the word, which you’ll understand more once you play the game yourself. But like the classic crossword puzzle, people enjoy the game as a communal experience and share how they did on Twitter because, y’know, bragging rights. 


FOR LOVE

COFFEE MEETS BAGEL

Available on iOS and Google Play

If the act of swiping is somehow too strenuous for you, Coffee Meets Bagel could be the new dating app for you. Unlike other apps where you swipe left at numerous people only to swipe right every now and then, Coffee Meets Bagel will instead suggest people who might be likely matches for you according to your profile. Every day at noon, they’ll show you a handful of people you might possibly like, so they’re basically like an FBI profiler except for romance and for less creepy reasons (sort of). You’ll still be swiping but you won’t have to go through the many catfish accounts out there. Plus, you’ll only spend a few minutes swiping and hopefully, spend more time actually talking with someone once you’ve matched. 


FOR PRODUCTIVITY

GATHER

Gather.town

The pandemic and Mark Zuckerberg’s creepy introduction to the Metaverse has shown us that the world is embracing remote workplaces and hangs. After all, it’s been two years since the whole world had to deal with the reality of Covid and it shows no sign of stopping anytime soon, so things like Gather have started popping up. You’ve probably had your fair share of Zoom meetings already so it’s no mystery that it can sometimes be mind-numbing. Gather allows you to actually create a virtual character — a little eight-bit version of you that you can customise — and also create a virtual space according to your needs whether it’s for a party, a game night with friends or a meeting. Boring Zoom meetings are no more. It almost seems like you’re actually playing a game when logging into Gather so don’t be surprised when you’re so enticed to build up your own space just the way you like it or you spend more time on there even after your meetings are done. Signing up is free though if you want to get the full experience like having unlimited people in your space, you’re going to have to shell out some cash. 

MYNOISE

Available on iOS and Google Play, visit MyNoise.net

If you don’t like working in complete silence but music distracts you instead of getting your flow going, MyNoise may be the solution you’re looking for. Available as an app and also accessible on its website, MyNoise has a number of background ambient noises you can choose from like Distant Thunder, Japanese Garden or Irish Coast. It’s not just useful for when you want to focus on work but can also help if you want some relaxing white noise to sleep to, if you want to calm down or if you have ADHD, it can help you focus or even prepare for a crowded exam room that might be challenging for you to focus in. The best thing about MyNoise, however, is that you can customise the sounds to your liking. Turn up the waves crashing a little louder on the Irish Coast or lower the background chatter on the Calm Office background noise. Basically, you can tweak the sounds to your liking, which really makes it a useful tool.

FOREST

Available on iOS and Google Play

We’re so attached to our phones that the lure to spend a few minutes scrolling through socials is always present. But it’s almost never just “a few minutes” and we end up wasting precious time we could have spent doing work. The Forest app is a simple app that could help you focus. Technically, it’s simply a timer. You set how long you want to work without picking your phone up, but to incentivise you, the app grows a tree in the time you’re not scrolling through your phone. The longer you spend working, the more your tree will grow. You can plan different kinds of trees to make your forest lusher, which also signifies just how productive you are. You can also invite friends and challenge them to do uninterrupted work so the whole gang can get into the productive zone instead of sending TikToks to each other.


FOR HEALTH

ZOMBIES, RUN!

Available on iOS and Google Play

If you’re looking for a way to get into running but you know that your lazy butt isn’t just going to do it without motivation, the Zombies, Run! app may be what you’re looking for. There are numerous running companion apps out there but Zombies, Run! gives it a cool apocalyptic twist. Every run you do is a mission and the story plays out while you’re running like an audiobook. You gather supplies while on the run, supplies that you can use later on to build your base. However, there are zombies hot on your tail and the app will tell you to pick up the pace when they’re chasing you. Otherwise, they’re going to swipe the supplies that you’ve gathered. It’s a fun way to inject some adventure into your runs and may be the catalyst for you to start running this year. Maybe you can even get some willing friends to act like zombies and chase you. Wait, isn’t that just playing tag then?

STOIC

Available on iOS and Google Play

Our mental health has taken a toll because of the pandemic, and since it shows no sign of wavering, we have to make sure that we take care of ourselves mentally. Stoic is a great app that helps you in your mental well-being offering you guided journaling, mindful walks and even exercises that will remind you to check-in with yourself and see how you’re doing. The app’s simple and monochromatic user interface allows you to use it with ease. Plus, you can also set up reminders with it and you can even set it up so that it’s the first thing you do when you wake up so you really get a good headstart to the day. A few of its features are ready for you to use but you will need to pay for premium to fully experience what the app has to offer.

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