Upon perusing the Google Play store for cannabis-related applications, I discovered two pop-out themes about stoners.
First, the only apps a stoner really needs are cool live wallpapers, a dope Rasta keyboard on your phone, a dispensary locator and a weed-farming game. Second, every stoner will rate an app four stars, even if their rating commentary berates every single aspect of said application.
The second discovery is problematic. If everything is four stars, how do we know which apps to choose? Thus, the Weed App Showdown 2018 was born. The contest is simple: Take all four major categories of cannabis apps and choose the strongest, most capable from among the contenders.
BEST LIVE WEED WALLPAPER
Smoke Weed USA Magic FX: The profoundly iconic American flag overlain by a shimmering, gossamer pot leaf that dances and swirls under the user's touch. A strong contender in that this live wallpaper reaches the niche market of "hardcore conservative patriotic weed smoker."
Marijuana Weed Live Wallpaper: Hits all the touching points of a basic cannabis wallpaper app: shoddy graphic design, sparkle effect gold lettering, a girl in a bikini, bright Rasta colors, cliche pot mantra usage; a solid show pony.
Hypnotic Weed Live Wallpaper: Appreciate this app for the direct approach: Pot leaves spin around your classic black and white hypnotic spiral. Points deducted as I was not hypnotized, but rather nauseated.
WINNER: Smoke Weed USA Magic FX
BEST RASTA KEYBOARD
Weed Rasta Smoke Keyboard: Smoky white keys and neon green highlights achieve a more elevated aesthetic, separating this keyboard from the stems and seeds of lesser apps. Users rave: "I like how the weed pops out," "10000/10 on da weedscale of awesomeness" and "I like the way it looks like."
Gold Rasta Keyboard: Gold is the color of victory and these app developers know it. Keep it bold, keep it simple. Bonus points for classy pot leaf edging. The sophisticated theming means this keyboard is a true companion for a multifaceted user, transitioning seamlessly from the boardroom to the grocery store to visiting grandma in the old folks home to the bedroom.
Weed Rasta Keyboard: App title and description in rainbow Comic Sans. Pot leaf symbols replacing backspace and enter keys. Including a fire emoji in an app name is a bold choice — but the symbolic usage of the fire emoji holds true with the other overtly Rasta imagery.
WINNER: Gold Rasta Keyboard
BEST WEED LOCATOR MAP
Weedmaps Marijuana Cannabis Weed Reviews: Points for ultra-direct app name. Humongous user base with all the goodies in the bag: dispensary info, menu items, local news, doctor finding, ad infinitum. No egregious bugs and solid UX design.
Leafly Marijuana Reviews: Virtually the same functionality as Weedmaps, but better. Better UX design, cooler articles, more relevant deals updates and a self-centering map. At this point we're really just comparing apples to apples. If you were stranded in a foreign land (where pot was legal and you had a strong cell signal and a full phone charge), both apps would get you high.
ID WEEDS: Developed by the University of Missouri's College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources' plant science division, this app helps you identify weed plants in your area. App provides a list of weeds you can search by the weed's common or Latin names, or you can input a variety of characteristic about the weed to identify the plant species!
BEST WEED FARMING APP
Wiz Khalifa's Weed Farm: Classic weed farming app that's become a staple in the cannabis gaming community. The Wiz Khalifa branding really makes this app sparkle, but I wasn't a fan of the art style. The character arc feels one-dimensional and I was left yearning for more meat on the plot bones of this game. Why does Wiz Khalifa, in all of his professional and artistic success, pivot his career in the direction of pot farming? Who is he as a person? What drives him?
Hempire Plant Growing Game: Same general process and concept as our friend Khalifa's game, but with better graphics and art. This game also drives the gameplay with a juicy plot — something that Wiz's game was severely lacking. Plus, a punny title!
Weed Crush Match 3 Candy - ganja puzzle games: This is a blatant reskin of Candy Crush that is hitting a weird gray-area demographic of stoners who have, apparently, never heard of Candy Crush. Literally just putting a transparent pot symbol over the original Candy Crush icons. But one reviewer isn't hoodwinked: "This game is kool it's a lot like candy crush."
WINNER: Hempire ♦