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US-based Instagram Users Get Region-Specific Update

Posted by on Aug 26, 2016

Instagram gets an update in US.

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Games

Dots and Co Review

Posted by on Aug 26, 2016

"Nice" is the word...

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Productivity

Slack Gets an Update

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016

Slack update goes live.

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Tip the scales in your favor with Online Casino X

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016

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Recent Posts

US-based Instagram Users Get Region-Specific Update

US-based Instagram Users Get Region-Specific Update

Aug 26, 2016

Everyone’s favorite filtering and image-sharing app Instagram is getting a locale-based update.​

Announcing a new video channel on Explore that lets you experience events as they happen around the world. This channel collects the best videos from concerts, sporting events and more so you can feel like you’re in the front row. This update to Explore is currently available only in the United States

Instagram remains free on Google Play.

GroupMe Refines Features via Update

GroupMe Refines Features via Update

Aug 26, 2016

GroupMe users should be pleased with its current update, which adds features and refinemenmts.

Per Google Play:

WHAT’S NEW

* Find Friends now shows the address book email and number as well as the name
* Added support for Direct Share
* Improvements to sign up
* Improvements to GIF notifications
* General bug fixes and improvements

The app remains free on Google Play.

Google Drive Gains New Features via Update

Google Drive Gains New Features via Update

Aug 26, 2016

As Google’s all-encompassing take on cloud storage and document management, Drive does receive a lot of attention; now, via update, it is adding a host of new features, including the ability to toggle comment notifications and upgrade opportunities.

It also marks the last official update for folks that still use Android ICS.

The app’s Google Play page has the full change log:

WHAT’S NEW

* Easily upgrade your storage plan in-app
* Add homescreen shortcuts to your favorite files
* Receive comment notifications
* Performance improvements and bug fixes
This is the last supported release of Drive for Android on all Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) devices. Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) users will receive no further updates to Drive on Android.

Drive remains free (with new-ish) in-app upgrade opportunities on Google Play.

Pokémon GO Gets Appraisal Feature via Update

Pokémon GO Gets Appraisal Feature via Update

Aug 26, 2016

International phenomenon Pokémon GO is getting an update — one which, among other things, introduces a new creature battling prowess appraisal feature.

More specifically (per Google Play):

WHAT’S NEW

– Implemented Pokémon Appraisal: Trainers will now be able to learn about a Pokémon’s attack and defense capabilities from their Team Leader (Candela, Blanche, or Spark) to determine which of their Pokémon have the most potential for battle.
– Fixed a bug that kept defeated Pokémon at 1HP; these Pokémon will now return as fainted Pokémon. We’re working on rebalancing the training battle, stay tuned.
– Minor bot fixes

The popular game remains free on the Play Store.

Upcoming Literary RPG ‘Fallen London’ Gets Firm Date

Upcoming Literary RPG ‘Fallen London’ Gets Firm Date

Aug 26, 2016

Fallen London is an interesting desktop game port that has done well on iOS, and we hear that it will be on Android as soon as this month.

Excerpts from the press release are below:

Fallen London is a dark and hilarious Victorian-Gothic text adventure, where every choice has a consequence: from the style of your hat to the price of your soul.

FEATURES:

● Literary RPG with over 1.5 million delicious words
● Choose from a miscellany of avatars and gender options
● Befriend, beguile or antagonise hundreds of characters from diplomats and devils to Clay Men, Rubbery Men and the elusive Masters
● Increase a vast array of character qualities, shaping your character as you go
● Hundreds of items, outfits and pets available in the Bazaar
● Play the mobile version alongside the browser experience with the same character
● Forge your own path through a dark Victorian city and beyond!

So, for those still paying attention… due date: August 31st. The game will be free (with in-app purchase opportunities).

fallen london

[via Failbetter Games Blog]

Dots and Co Review

Dots and Co Review

Aug 26, 2016

I often think long and hard about the words I write. It might not seem like it sometimes, but it’s true. I fret over each adjective, hoping that I find the one that really evokes the meaning I’m going for. With Dots and Co I’ve struggled to find the perfect word. I wanted to say ‘nice’, but nice seemed a little bland, a little basic and a touch too simple.

However, Dots and Co is a simple, somewhat bland and basic puzzle game. It’s really nice.

It’s a really stylish looking game full of clean designs and pastel colours. Cute characters and animals place themselves at the top of the screen, acting as your avatar. There’s a good amount of polish to proceedings, with your avatar following your touch across the screen and with blips, blops and pops following every action. There’s also some really… nice ambient music that accompanies everything, filled with chilled out acoustic guitar.dots2

The game is made up of coloured dots placed on a grid. You need to draw a line between as many dots of the same colour as you can. Drawing a line causes the dots to disappear and more dots fall from the top of the screen to take their place. The challenge is that you need to clear a certain number of certain coloured dots to complete each level.

Adding some difficulty and variety to proceedings is special abilities you’ll pick up as the game progresses, ice blocks that stop you starting a line on certain squares of the grid and the fact that the grid itself will change shape and size from level to level.

The problem is that each level doesn’t really ask too much of you. There’s very little strategy to any of the proceedings means it’s hard to really call it a puzzle game. You just do the thing it’s asking you to do and all without much thought. I guess this makes it ideal for a casual audience but it’s probably safe to say that Dots and Co is a little too casual, especially for the first 50 or so levels.

This being said, it’s hard to be too negative. It’s just too nice, too relaxed and too gentle for you to get sick of it. I found myself not so much bored, more in a state of zen.

Which might be exactly what you’re after. A game to kill some time whilst you’re sat on the bus, something to keep you busy whilst waiting for a microwave to ding, something that requires very little thought and it really quite pleasant to look at.

Dots and Co is a nice game.


Mint Gets an Update

Mint Gets an Update

Aug 26, 2016

Intuit’s financial management application Mint: Personal Finance & Money just received an update.

WHAT’S NEW

– Removed requiring the camera and vibrate permissions
– Fixed issues relating to Account refreshing
– Added pull down to refresh the Overview screen
– Removed closed accounts from the Accounts screen

The app itself remains free on Google Play.

Woody: Endless Summer Launches on Google Play

Woody: Endless Summer Launches on Google Play

Aug 25, 2016

Endless wakeboarding? Yessir… that’s the premise behind INDT’s newest gift to Android, a water-bound runner called Woody: Endless Summer.

Here are the details (per the press release):

Play as a wakeboarding mutt named “Woody” — and jump, spin, and dive your way to stardom in this sharp-looking 2D arcade game developed by Brazil’s INDT (Instituto de Desenvolvimento Tecnológico).

Show off your skills by performing tricks while ramping over islands, gliding over platforms, and maneuvering around dangerous obstacles. Time your jumps just right to make daring underwater dives and rack up the big points. Earn enough points and you can claim a spot on the leaderboard :)

POWER-UPS & SPECIAL ABILITIES
* Time Freeze: Stop the clock!
* 2X Multipliers: Double your coins and points
* Magnet: Bring coins directly to you
* Head Start: Go through a tunnel of coins without running into a single obstacle
* Continue: Keep wakeboarding after the clock has run out … or if you run into a bomb.

Every missed jump and collision costs valuable seconds — but you can extend the clock by reaching checkpoints. Keep Woody’s wakeboarding fluid and flawless by hopping through speed-boost rings and sliding smoothly over ramps. Just be on the lookout for bombs: Sliding over one of those will ruin Woody’s run!

The game is free on Google Play, with optional in-app purchase opportunities. The trailer is below:

The Paranormal Society Arrives on Android

The Paranormal Society Arrives on Android

Aug 24, 2016

The Paranormal Society: Hidden Adventure, a new hidden object caper from mobile development heavy-hitter G5, has just launched on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

Per the Play Store:

Victorian London is experiencing an invasion of malevolent phantoms. The government officially denies it but has secretly asked the Paranormal Society for help. As a young wife who witnessed your husband’s spirit leave his body to join other phantoms, you become the newest member of the Paranormal Society in order to get answers. In the process, you will also:
EXPLORE London’s stunning manors,
FIND AND USE hidden objects,
SOLVE enigmatic puzzles,
USE scientific tools and…
BANISH evil spirits!

YOU CAN UNLOCK ADDITIONAL BONUSES VIA IN-APP PURCHASE FROM WITHIN THE GAME!

● Nine absorbing locations to search, each with multiple rooms
● 14 unforgettable characters to meet
● 35 phantoms to chase and defeat
● Over 500 engaging quests to fulfill
● Dozens of collections to assemble along your adventure
● Four types of puzzles to master

The game is free (with in-app purchases) on both stores. Check out the trailer below:

Mobius Final Fantasy Review

Mobius Final Fantasy Review

Aug 23, 2016

I have to admit it. When I first saw the screenshots for Mobius Final Fantasy, I didn’t believe it’d look that good, let alone look that good on my crusty old phone. I was wrong. This will undoubtedly be the first thing you’ll likely notice about Mobius Final Fantasy. It looks brilliant and it’s beautifully animated too.

The game itself is both confusing and extremely straightforward at the same time. The bit that’s easy to get your head around is the fact that this is simply a set of battles, one after the other. There’s a map shown to you but there’s zero exploration as all you need to do is simply click on the next location you need to move to. It’s entirely linear and it’s only the animation that takes up the top of the screen that lets you know that your character is actually on the move.

What’s also easy to understand is the controls. To fight your opponents all you need to do is tap on the screen to do a normal attack and press a button to cast some magic. Dead easy.ff3

This is now where things get out of hand and the tutorial lets you down in a big way.

You see, Mobius Final Fantasy is actually all about collecting, fusing and levelling up cards in a deck. The cards you’ve got will dictate what type of fighter you are, a melee, ranged or magic user, they’ll dictate what spells you can cast and they’ll also decide what your summon attack is.

The thing is, there are so many stats to each card and so many ways you can build a deck it makes your head spin.

Each deck has to have a ‘job’ card, this can be levelled up to unlock more jobs, has status boosts and abilities that can also be unlocked on it. Each deck has to have a weapon, this will also boost stats and attacks and statuses. Each spell also has abilities, both passive and active that can be levelled up. You can fuse two cards together to make the levelling up process quicker. There’s also an ‘affinity’ system during battle that means you take less damage from those types of attacks. Using and ‘affinity’ spell will mean you’re less likely to receive seeds of that type. Seeds are used to cast spells but only spells of that type of seed. Before you go into battle you can ‘rent’ a card. This is a card that is owned by another player and by fighting with it you gain experience for that card. This is good for the other user because they can be offline and have people level up their cards for them.

That giant paragraph I just wrote? It seems like total nonsense to me and I wrote it. Lord only knows how you feel.

So this is the major problem with Mobius Final Fantasy. It’s a bunch of systems built on systems with other systems that support it. Fuse this, rent that, meld them, collect these, pick up shards of the other… it’s too much for what is essentially a game that requires little skill.

Maybe you’ll enjoy building decks but the only thing that changes after you’ve spent hours in confusing menus with confusing systems is the fact you get to see larger numbers appear over a monster’s head. It’s so much work to play and to understand and not much fun to play. A visual spectacle that dazzles before the gameplay itself confuses. You can always press the ‘Auto’ button, whereupon the game literally plays itself. At least it seems to understand its own rules.


Dropsy Review

Dropsy Review

Aug 23, 2016

Some games take very little explanation – ‘hit the ball’, ‘cross the road’, some are pretty simple. Others, like Dropsy, need a little bit of a set-up. Whilst the gameplay of Dropsy is straightforward enough, it’s a point and click adventure game, the story is pretty unique.

You control the titular Dropsy. He’s a clown who has a somewhat terrifying appearance, with a bald head, permanently applied make-up, missing teeth and a body that seems to resemble more water-balloon than flesh. He’s a little unnerving to look at.

As if things couldn’t get worse for poor old Dropsy at the start of the game you’re shown that the circus tent he lives and works in burned down years ago, with his Mother and other townsfolk dying in the fire. Now he lives with his poorly Father and is ostracized by the outside world who believe the fire was his fault.

So this is Dropsy’s story. He wanders around the town looking to make people’s’ lives better, though they initially don’t trust him and don’t want anything to do with him. All he wants to do is give everyone in the town a hug (seriously, there’s a ‘hug’ button) but he’ll need to prove his worth first. Along the way Dropsy will acquire new friends, in the form of a dog a chick and a rat – with these little critters being controllable and allowing you to solve puzzles, such as climbing up a drainpipe, that Dropsy himself couldn’t do.unnamed-16

The puzzles are pretty simple, such as planting a new flower for the girl that’s crying over the fact her current flower has died. There’s no ‘click on everything’ nonsense that you usually get with point and click games. Interestingly, the game has no dialogue, either written or audio, as it conveys all of its messages through the use of symbology. It’s a system that works well and puts you in the oversized shoes of Dropsy, as he feels alienated and can’t communicate with people all that well.

The game is surprisingly focused, considering you’re never funneled through the game and are given a great deal of freedom. The developer calls it an ‘open worl point and click’ and whilst that’s a bit too bold of a claim, it’s fair to say there’s plenty of screens to walk through to see where they’re coming from.

One system that’s a little bit of a miss is the way the day passes. You see, as you switch from screen to screen, a clock of sorts ticks down. This means that each screen you visit has a day and a night version. This also means that the people you can interact with move from screen to screen as the day progresses. This can leave you confused and wandering around wondering where that one character has walked off to. It can also leave you with the situation where you need to ‘wait’ for the sun to set before you can actually get on with the game.

It’s a fairly minor gripe, in the grand scheme of things and considering all of the positives this game has going for it. The graphics, the animations, the music, the story, the characters – it’s all incredibly unique and ultimately sweet-hearted. It’s unlike any point and click adventure I’ve played before and I can’t recommend it enough.


Zootopia Crime Files Review

Zootopia Crime Files Review

Aug 23, 2016

Well, it is becoming tougher to find a major movie without a companion mobile game than with one. We are not complaining though; it is a fine way to increase potential engagement with regards to said movie, and everybody wins.

It is what it delightfully is.

Disney is an old-hand in this game, and brings us Zootopia Crime Files, a hidden object caper based on animated feature Zootopia.

The game itself pack in familiar characters, as one would expect, really. The opening sequences give us a front-hand view of the graphics and navigation mechanism: very bright visually, with plenty of perspective, plus text boxes to help move stuff along. The game also utilizes virtual buttons to instigate actions.

Without much ado, the game throws the player into it. A crime has occurred, and we have to solve it. Here, it pops towards its main job, which is to be a hidden object adventure. After a few helpers, one gets to look for objects — uh, clues — in an area represented by a still image.

zoo3

Simple taps retrieve the items, and finishing a stage earns one cash… more, based on speed and accuracy. There is also a hint system if one gets stuck. Retrieved items can be “analyzed” and information can be gathered for future use, such as to infer who did what when. New scenes are opened, and one can proceed on.

There is an energy requirement that can be overcome with patience or in-app purchase.

In games like this, the quality is all but determined by the way the objects are hidden. In this one, they puzzles are not very complex, which might be a function of the targeted demographic. The investigation aspect is fairly interesting, but seems bare-boned in parts.

Altogether, it’s a tidy entry, which is able o stand on its own, even while doing it’s source franchise good. It doesn’t tax the brain too much, and that isn’t neccessarily a bad thing.

Rogue Jet Fighter Launches on Google Play and Amazon Appstore

Rogue Jet Fighter Launches on Google Play and Amazon Appstore

Aug 23, 2016

Developer Fierro Studios has a new game out on Android called Rogue Jet Fighter — and it’s available on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

Per Google Play:

Rogue Jet Fighter is the most thrilling and exciting space shooting game out there. You are on a Rogue Mission to steal the secret and key information of the alien’s invasion plan. Now that you have accomplish it, you are on the run and the aliens are trying to stop you by all possible means. Run away in your jet fighter ship; you have to escape the alien’s attacks, dodge the asteroids, destroy as many asteroids and alien space ships as you can, and reach the Jump Gate portal to get transported back to the Earth.

This amazing star fighting game has very exciting game play, amazing space environments with great sounds, and a great user interface to let the fighters have wonderful experience. You can select the space scene, and your spaceship from several options. The controls are super handy and easy to use (motion sensors or swiping on the screen) to navigate your jet fighter space ship.

The game is available for free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play, and completely free via Amazon Underground.

rjf3

‘Space Warrior: The Origin’ Launches on Google Play

‘Space Warrior: The Origin’ Launches on Google Play

Aug 23, 2016

Nekki has brought the former iOS-exclusive Space Warrior: The Origin to Google Play.

Game details per (Google Play):

Space Warrior is a thrilling shoot ’em up game with unbelievable visual effects. Experience the world of an alternative future of the Earth and get caught up in a plot of a full-on space saga.

It would seem that there is nothing to discover in the Solar System. But in the most remote corners of the Universe mankind has come up against cruel resistance. You are the only one who can save the galaxy from an alien race of invaders!

Features:
– popular Space setting of the game with futuristic NPC and Bosses
– stunning art which creates a real 3D world with accelerometer support
– tons of amazing explosions, lighting, post effects and slow motion wow effect
– easy one-finger game control
– an unique blend of addictive game mechanics and technologies
– it’s easy to play

The game is free (with in-app purchases); it is scheduled to launch on the Amazon Appstore in the near future.

Check out the trailer:

LEGO Star Wars: TFA Review

LEGO Star Wars: TFA Review

Aug 18, 2016

Two things I hold dear: Star Wars and LEGOs. The former opened a world of imagination, and the latter gave me the tools to physically build it.

The continual amalgam of virtual LEGO characters and major franchises is almost always welcome, as is the new LEGO Star Wars: TFA, based off the latest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens.

As with most LEGO-themed games, this one relies somewhat on the relevant source material to cobble together an adventure that encompasses more than one movie period. The imagery is quite LEGO-ey, with adjusted looks and interesting constructions. The animations are quite smooth, and the game does an engaging job of creating several different type of playing environments with the same template. It looks fun, relives the movies and pops visually.

Controls-wise, a simple gesture system makes things happen; a big part of the game is exploration and interaction. There are a lot of things to research, and this allows the game to take on a bit of an adventure path. Beyond the crafting aspect, one sees opportunities to battle enemies.

tfa3

If getting involved with movie characters is one’s thing, this game shouldn’t disappoint; starting with Poe, there are quite a few to invest in. I found the different type of fighting enjoyable. Dogfighting, gun battles and the like. Interestingly, there are new fighting mechanics included that further set this iteration apart from early stablemates.

All content isn’t available for free though; a paid All Season Pass unlocks everything, plus feature additions. The game is Family Library-eligible.

All in all, it should be a visual feast — even for folks who are used to LEGO entries. It doesn’t try to match the movie plot point for plot point, and I think that serves it well. It stands on its own, and that’s all someone can ask for.

Gamegou’s ‘Soccer Shootout’ Launches on Google Play

Gamegou’s ‘Soccer Shootout’ Launches on Google Play

Aug 18, 2016

Sweden’s Women’s Olympic Team aside, penalty kick shootouts are exhilarating… especially for the folks watching. I should know, being a retired netminder myself.

Thus, it’s great news that Gamegou Limited, the crew behind award-winning game Perfect Kick, has a follow up effort out now called Soccer Shootout.

Game details (per Google Play):

Can you make the shot? Can you make the save? Can you handle the pressure as a stadium of sports fans looks on?

New authentic multiplayer penalty kick game Soccer Shootout puts you in the roles of football kicker and keeper for an ultimate showdown. Enjoy live, 3D gameplay with a simple flick of a finger. Build your dream team of kickers and train them in special skills. Go head to head with opponents from around the world in free and unlimited challenges. Win rich rewards every week! Are you ready to be a hero? The world is watching.

The game can be downloaded for free, and has in-app purchase opportunities. The trailer is below: