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“Shadow Cities” turns New York, London and other urban areas in mystical battlezones

“Shadow Cities” turns New York, London and other urban areas in mystical battlezones (photo)

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You know how on Foursquare you become the mayor of a location just by getting the most check-ins? Seems kind of..easy, doesn’t it? There’s no wrangling, no jockeying for position. You just show up. Anyone who’s followed politics or human nature throughout history knows that that no leadership title has ever been gotten that easily.

ShadowCitiesBattleNYC.pngFinnish developer Grey Area knows this. That’s why their iPhone MMO “Shadow Cities” turns the real world into the a arena of competition. The game’s fiction casts you as a technomage with the iPhone as a magical device that lets you see a magical overlay on top of real-world maps. You recruit friends no matter where they may be and together you conquer neighborhoods for points and power. To battle, you draw runes on the phone’s touchscreen. Because it’s location-based, you’ll have access to different spells and spirits depending on where you are in the real world.

“Shadow Cities” is a quick play experience, which probably accounts for its popularity so far. When the game launched in its native Finland, it bested “Angry Birds” to get the #1 spot on its first day. Grey Area’s rolling out expansions throughout Europe today, meaning that there’s tons of new territory just waiting to be grabbed. So, if you’ve ever wanted to own the Guggenheim Musuem in Bilbao or the Millennium Tower in London, now’s your chance. Best of all, “Shadow Cities” is free on the App Store–though you can buy power-ups through microtransactions–with weekly campaigns rolling out regularly. Think of it as LARPing with the cloaks and swords.

Are you on “Shadow Cities”? Just how big is your domain? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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