If you ever see me on a bus, don't talk to me. Even if I know you extremely well, I will not engage you in conversation. Why? Because public transit is horrible, and everyone should try to get through it with little-to-no unnecessary interaction.
Mostly, though, I'm trying to play a game and would rather you not disturb me.
In the times I need to hastily throw up a barrier and/or make the would-be conversationalist seated beside me uncomfortable, I pull out my iPad and start playing a few games with … unsettling themes. They aren't overly explicit, but when someone sees you playing them, he or she might reconsider talking to you.
So, if you've ever needed a media wall during your travels, these iOS games might help.
1) Unpleasant Horse
The goal in Unpleasant Horse is to see how long you can jump across the sky without falling into a horrible pit full of saw blades. Along the way, your throughly reprehensible protagonist jumps on pretty ponies, throwing them down into the blades to save himself.
Unpleasant Horse is actually a PopCap game, part of the 4th and Battery projects the company published last year. I like it a lot more than the studio's other game Candy Train, and find it is the perfect way to keep chatty people from pursuing me for too long. The idea of throwing innocent ponies to their death is a certified deal-breaker on the friendliness front.
Also, I'm really bad at this game and always look angry when I play it.
2) Plague Inc.
Possible world-ending pandemics scare the crap out of me. Apparently, it also scares people riding in close proximity to you on a bus or train.
Plague Inc. lets you nurture your own pandemic from mildly infectious to Contagion-movie-like severity. The goal is to mature your disease and kill the entire human population before countries can develop a cure for it.
Recently, the developers released an update adding neurax worms to the disease list. I've been playing through that option in public a lot lately and it certainly gets results. When I was checking on how far my worm's feelers reached into the human brain, a woman actually got up and moved to a different seat after glancing at my screen.
3) Go Ninja
This game is certainly the goriest of the three. You play as a ninja running, jumping, and viciously slicing his way through a horde of demonic samurai while trying to save Lord Takei's castle. Go Ninja is a running game with a twist, meaning you need to kill baddies but also avoid bombs, spikes, and heavily armored guys along the way.
I find more people watch me play this one than the others. While it is gory, those obstacle-avoidance mechanics are very bewitching. I don't mind if people watch me play something as long as they don't tell me how horrible the balmy Arkansas summer is.
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