The voting has begun for The Best App Ever Awards for Android. You will be able to vote on a number of categories by visiting this link. After you complete your voting, make sure to share your results with friends and help promote your favorite apps to victory.
There is a new action gameplay trailer available for Combo Crew, a fighting game that provides similar arcade action to what was seen in the ’80s and ’90s. Combo Crew offers beat’em up gameplay without the d-pad, allowing you to use touch and swipe controls to do all the fighting. Along with solo mode, you can also play co-op multiplayer mode which features cross-platform gameplay between iOS and Android. Combo Crew will be available this May.
•No virtual D-pad. Pure fight! How come mobile beat ‘em ups are never as much fun as the old days at the arcade? It’s because virtual D-pads suck. But Combo Crew’s responsive controls are fully designed for touch: one-finger swipe to punch and kick, tap to counter attack, and two-finger swipe for special combo moves. In Combo Crew, your fingers do the fighting — because real brawlers don’t
•Old school fighting for today’s mobile crowd. Inspired by classics like Streets of Rage, Final Fight, and Street Fighter, Combo Crew pulls traditional beat ‘em ups into the 21st century with an arena structure ideal for quick play sessions, multiple game modes (including single-player, co-op, and “endless”), and plenty of power-ups and bonus moves to unlock.
My favorite technological concept? Convergence. In stark terms, I like to be as functional as possible while carrying as few devices as possible. It’s all about creating a hub of business, fun and everything in between, with my smartphone as the center.
This is one reason I found the multi-use Coda One Bluetooth Speaker so compelling. I mean, for real? This accessory promised to fill gaps with regards to mobile uses of bluetooth: car hand-free peripheral, wireless speakers and an ad-hoc handset.
Again… for real?
The review device came in an inviting package, with USB cable, clip and car lighter adapter. I really liked the build quality; I have seen folks use the term “feels good in hand” very ambiguously. Well, it made sense with the Coda One. It easily avoided being a barbell, and the gentle heft made it feel pretty, dare I say, confident. The design was pleasantly atypical, and made sense within the context of the device’s pledged goals. It was black, sleek and nice to look at, with the minimalist buttons, lighted indicators and cleverly placed ports.
Pairing to my phone was easy. My Android device easily found it, and the device announced the pairing robustly. The Multi-Function Button was a catchall function toggle of sorts, allowing me to switch modes. For the true techies, it supports Bluetooth 3.0. It did well in distance tests, and the visor clip made car testing a pleasurable breeze. Call quality was good both ways.
As a bluetooth speaker, it performed well. The output was good at short range, which made it pretty nice as a car accessory. For music, it did as well, but didn’t have the range of more expensive pieces. I’m an admittedly poor excuse for an audiophile, but I still thought the bass could have been a bit crisper. For stuff like music and podcasts, it held its own when close to me; at distance it was not as sharp.
I thought the use of the handset function was a bit gimmicky at first, but I found a major use for it: the final piece of a VOIP telephony solution for a tablet.For calls that came in while using the speakers, I simply adjusted volume and placed to my ear. Of course, the sound stream was not as direct as a “real” handset, but it did an adequate job.
All in all, the Coda Onemay not blow the roof off in any one category, but I felt its true value is in its overall utility and portability. It easily became close to indispensable, something that can be used for many things. It can be purchased on Newegg, eBay and Amazon, and moreinfo on this and other bCoda products can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
IGN reports that Airtight Games and Portal creator Kim Switch have announced that their upcoming game, Soul Fjord, will be exclusive to the Ouya console. Soul Fjord is a rhythm-based dungeon crawler that is set in a fantasy universe, mixing Norse mythology with ’70s funk and soul. Check out the full article to find out more about Soul Fjord and what they have to say about Disco Wizards. Sounds fun to me!
In this side scrolling aquamarine game, I got to guide my adventuresome koi fish on gold collecting errand. The game made me think of arcade games, with its soft color schemes that made up the background. Visually, it was made up of mostly stills; the animations were not groundbreaking, but they worked. Air was air, water was water and little ambiguity existed. The extras, like fish and birds, were utilitarian in looks and movements.
The gameplay was equally simple. Coins lined the travel path at different levels. I had two touch controls; tap to dive, and multi-touch to increase speed. The trick was a combination of timing the dives to get deep coins, and also getting enough latent energy to arc into the air to capture highly placed coins. When you add in the objects that could slow me down, it became quite the challenge to get a set amount of coin in the shortest time possible. For a side scrolling game, it was not boring.
I liked the different flavors of challenges. Want to race to 10 coins? 100? Fine. Differing levels of difficulty helped round out the playability of the title.
And then there is the Green Throttle Bluetooth Controller compatibility that I hinted at earlier. At the risk of sounding like it has mystical powers, I truly felt the accessory really made the game POP. I do not dare belittle the work of the developers, but I really loved this game when it was played with a conventional-felling controller. Frankly, it makes it stand apart.
For a no frills time waster that works well with Green Throttle peripherals and transforms to a two-player game on the big screen, one cannot go wrong with Fish Tails. It’s lack of frills is a tribute to the inevitable occasions when some basic, mindless fun is sorely needed.
Pocket Gamer reports that Angry Birds Friends is due out this week. Beginning May 2nd, you and your friends will engage in battle against each other to show who really is the best Angry Birds player. Besides competing for high scores on the leaderboards, you’ll also be able to send mysterious power-ups to help with difficult situations.
Google Glass running Android should surprise no one – after all, if you’re building a piece of hardware that you want developers to test on, and if you’re spending a lot of money to build an OS, why not make it run Android? The reasons are just too obvious.
What should be surprising is that Google isn’t running the latest version of Android on it – it’s running a build of Ice Cream Sandwich instead of Jelly Bean. Google is usually the company that pushes out the latest and greatest Android versions to their devices, so for them to be 2 versions behind (if you count Jelly Bean 4.1 and 4.2) is a bit shocking.
But is it really necessary? Is there some Jelly Bean feature that Google Glass would be tremendously improved by? For limited-purpose devices such as this, does it really just need a functional version of Android in order to work properly, as opposed to the latest and greatest? Your Android-powered oven doesn’t really need Project Butter, does it? For phones and tablets, user-facing devices, yes, having the latest version should be a goal. But for limited-use devices, is it such a big deal?
There is just one problem: Android updates include fixes for security holes. For devices like phones and tablets that have users installing third-party software that can potentially contain malware that exploits these holes, this is why they need updated system software. Right now, holes go unpatched for long periods of time while manufacturers wait to get updates ready, or if they never get them ready at all. Thus, bugs can be fixed quickly, but never actually reach the users who need the protection.
For devices like Google Glass and ovens where their purposes might be more limited, there’s still a potential issue because of the fact that they are still connecting to networks, and with Android’s open source nature, it seems like breaking in would be within the realm of possibility, if not likely.
Now, Google Glass is still a product only for a limited market of developers and early adopters, and as such, probably doesn’t need the kind of security that consumer models will need. But still, to see that even Google doesn’t necessarily care about always getting the latest version of Android out there is a bit distressing.
Deltek has released Kona Mobile, an Android application for the company’s leading social collaboration platform. The app lets users work collaboratively from any location so they can participate in group conversations, share files, keep up to date on calendar events and more.
“As more people work in a variety of capacities in different settings and on-the-go, and as the debate continues about telecommuting, Kona Mobile has been developed from the ground up to provide powerful collaborative capabilities via mobile devices,” said Scott DeFusco, Deltek’s Vice President of Product Strategy and Management for Kona. “Kona Mobile is the most robust collaboration and productivity platform available for iOS and Android, bridging the gap between traditional and distributed workforces.”
When it comes to hidden object games on Android OS, G5 Entertainment pretty much holds the patent. It’s offerings in that category of games truly run the gamut. Now, I would guess it’s more a question of retaining quality and keeping new titles interesting. Art Mogul is definitely a chance to see if G5 is able to do these things.
It is an adventure into high-stake world of art ownership; the ego, the taste and even deception. With cash to spend and an eye for fakes that would make Thomas Crowne sniff with jealousy, I was tasked with making a fortune, and crashing spectacularly otherwise.
So, it was G5 making an art game. It wasn’t too much to ask for some intricacy, and, as expected, the venerable development are delivered. I like art, and this game is an art lover’s dream, with the excellent visuals providing a most appropriate backdrop.
The gameplay was straight-to-the-point, with a quick tutorial leading me through the basics. Most tasks were based upon finding hidden objects in paintings. For example, to get started, I had to show art expertise by finding objects in the paintings to get discounts. Selling required similar. To find true gems, I had to be able to discover fakes. A keen eye and attention to detail were my greatest assets.
I absolutely loved the check mechanism for finding fakes. It used a copy layover that I could switch to continually. Every variance I found decreased the value if the portrait and increased my reputation, and I could buy or move on. Thus, I was able to increase my net value via the ability to find objects. I could travel around, finding high priced items requested by auction houses, and unlock more cities.
While I found myself entranced in the game, I can see where monotony can set in; I found myself wishing there was a bit more flesh to the story. Even an animated cutscene or two would have been welcome. Still, if anything, G5 did a good job keeping the game familiar and creative at the same time.
1984 was chock full of good stuff. Michael Jordan. The Mac commercial. Miami Vice. It was the year of the unforgettable Icon.
It was also the year of Boulder Dash. Y’all remember Rockford and his timed adventure hunting for diamonds. Well, Rockford is back in HeroCraft’s remade retro Boulder Dash-XL.
It’s always a challenge to redo favorites. A balance has to be struck between original elements and newfangled components. At first glance, however, I suspect the developer was able to navigate that treacherous road; I was able to pick it up immediately. The gameplay was all about mining; as the protagonist (Rockford or Crystal), I had to make it to the exit before time runs out. However, the exit was never initially open; to open it, I had to collect enough gems scattered around the playing area. Between me and the gems (and the exit) were plenty of obstacles. Some could be moved, some could be dissolved. The boulders, with nothing supporting them, could be deadly, so it behooved me to move quickly if I ended up underneath one with space for it to gather lethal momentum.
Further on in the game, there were monsters of different types that started appearing, roaming and reducing my life expectancy. To counter the tougher portions, there were also pickups I could burrow to.
To “solve” the puzzles, quick thinking was the name of the game. A false move could cause the gems to cascade to their destruction, meaning I would not get enough to unlock the door. I could use gems to attack monsters too, so there were opportunity costs to consider when making drilling decisions.
When you toss in the cool graphical touch-up (which matches console versions), it’s easy to like this game. Sharp graphics and subtle animations rounded out a game boasting five modes, ambidextrous touch controls and leaderboards.
All said, I thought it was an excellent reboot of a fantastic retro title.
Pocket Gamer reports that Angry Birds Seasons looks to be taking a trip to the circus in an upcoming update. Rovio revealed an image that shows the new theme and has piggies dressed up as clowns and magicians.
As far as iOS games go, iBomber had always been one of the more coveted titles for me. Well, the Android version just dropped, so there.
Once the most rabid Android nationalist gets beyond the iMoniker, they are likely to find an interesting WWII-themed game that proves to be challenging and rewarding at the same time.
The name somewhat takes care of the mystery; I served as a bombardier on a WWII Allied bomber, with plenty of missions to accomplish. The top-down action looked realistic enough to someone like me who never graced the bomb bay of even toy planes. Using radar and bomb sights, I had to destroy a lot of stuff on the move. Controls were ultra-simple: tilting mostly, and a few touches to catch bonuses.
It took me a few runs to get used to the movements. I was able to move quite well, in fact; it was moving and hitting targets that was not easily done. After figuring out how to adjust airspeed by tilting back, my accuracy increased. To make the bombs count, accuracy was needed. I liked that the game had finite missions that were mostly logical, like keeping cargo ships from leaving the bay, destroying fuel supplies, or a flotilla-themed form of tower defense. There were also plenty of anti-plane mechanized weaponry around, which meant that I couldn’t tarry too long in the air.
And the damage did come. After going down in a swirling haze of shame a few times, I settled on a strategy of living by power-ups. I learned that if I went quickly over the best defended areas, I could procure power-ups like health and upgraded weapons by tapping the revealed symbol.
I liked the gritty, untouched feel of the graphics, though the inelastic borders of this game drove me batty; it seemed tragically unfinished to me in that singular aspect. The Papaya integration was there, so for fans of that specific social networking community, there’s even more to like.
I thought iBomber is an excellent game that thrusts both WWII buffs and casual gamers into the the same boat headed to glory. Mostly.