Google Announces Nexus 5, Now Available!

Google Announces Nexus 5, Now Available!

Oct 31, 2013

Put your hands down. Exhale. Relax. Sit down.

The Nexus 5 is here!

Google is mastering the fine art of creating demand and finding ways of meeting it, and the latest iteration of its handheld Nexus line underlines this fact.

The main rumor holds true; like its immediate predecessor the Nexus 4, the 5 is Android OS 4.4 wrapped in LG hardware, and shares a bit of design similarities with the LG G2. Further to the specs, the Nexus 5 will be sporting a manageable 4.95-inch 1080p Gorilla Glass display. Under the hood, it’s CPU is a 2.3 Ghz Snapdragon 800 unit to go with the included 2GB of RAM. Per camera, the front end piece is 1.3MP, and the 8MP in the rear also has “Optical Image Stabilization” which will help with an unsteady picture hand.

Of course, wireless connectivity is as to be expected, with 4G LTE (a notable improvement on the Nexus 4), Bluetooth 4.0, wi-fi (a/b/g/n/ac) and NFC/Android Beam. It will also be able to ditch the wires with regards to replenishing the device’s 2300mAh internal battery, as it comes prepped for wireless charging. Google claims 17 hours of regular talk time and 300 hours of standby time.

And all this goodness comes in under 130g, with stated dimensions of 69.17×137.84×8.59 mm.

Additionally, all major networks bands are supported, and the device will debut in 16 GB ($349) and 32 GB ($399) memory flavors. Black and white finishes are available, and the device can be ordered now from Google Play (though at the time of this article, it looks like the 16 GB Black version is already out of stock).

Not to be lost in all this is the simultaneous debut of KitKat. Android 4.4 has been eagerly expected for a while now, and Google also announced that it will be coming to Nexus 4 handset and both Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets.

Sine Mora Hands-On: Video of the Day

Sine Mora Hands-On: Video of the Day

Oct 31, 2013

Sine Mora is a weird and mystifying game. There’s a plot line about vengeance and war, but with anthropomorphic creatures? And time travel is involved? Well, it’s about as difficult to comprehend as every other shoot ’em up out there. After a review on the site mentioned how beautiful the game was, I figured it would be a good time to show this one off as the video of the day.

And boy, this one is a looker. Of course, don’t get caught staring for too long: this is a bullet hell shmup, where navigating your ship through endless streams of bullets is the objective. It’s not easy. At all. The ability to slow time down helps a lot. That the game is now being controlled with a virtual stick doesn’t make things any easier though, and unfortunately there’s no obvious gamepad support, especially not HID gamepads. The game is on Ouya as well for those interested.

The game is rather visually intense, so it’s worth playing this on a powerful device if possible. Hardware at about the 2012 Nexus 7’s level was certainly playable, but it could have been a lot better. Still, the game is impressive-looking, and puts up a mighty challenge, though a forgiving one due to its time-based system, where death only happens when the clock hits zero.

Download the game from Google Play and watch the video below.

New Screenshots Of Star Warsâ„¢: Tiny Death Starâ„¢ Are Released

New Screenshots Of Star Warsâ„¢: Tiny Death Starâ„¢ Are Released

Oct 31, 2013

Star Warsâ„¢: Tiny Death Starâ„¢ 4

Disney’s first attempt at a mobile Star Wars game is closer and closer to its release, so developers released several more screenshots of an upcoming trip down the memory lane. Tiny Death Star is going to be in the same general vein as Tiny Tower, an economic strategy about the challenges of building your very own skyscraper. It looks promising, so there’s hoping that this game will be added to the roster of great Star Wars games. Release date is only set at “soon” right now, and future details can be found here: Disney Interactive on Tumblr.

Ghost Toasters – Regular Show Review

Ghost Toasters – Regular Show Review

Oct 31, 2013

Ghost Toasters takes a rather novel idea: Get Grumpyface, a talented mobile developer that has made several great Adult Swim and Cartoon Network games like Super Mole Escape and Mutant Fridge Gumball, to take the Regular Show cast of characters, including the baby ducks from one of the show’s most famous episodes, and put them into a Super Crate Box affair where jumping through portals switches to a character with a new weapon. Oh, and ] add in portals that can call up extra characters to give the player multiple hits before failing, because this is a game based off of a Cartoon Network show. Throw in a level-based structure and a coins system for upgrades to help differentiate things. On paper, it’s a pretty rad combination, and there are times when it all shines through. The animation is fantastic, and there’s a real sense that making this game faithful to the Regular Show style was important in its creation. But then, the flaws rear their ugly head.

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Everything just feels too lose and chaotic. Games in this genre succeed when the player is ultimately in control. Super Crate Box is really hard, but when the player realizes that, hey, if I don’t make any stupid mistakes, I’m good to go! Ghost Toasters doesn’t quite have that ever happen. The problem is evident when enemies damage the player, as they often trap the player against a wall, making it difficult to get away, and it’s hard to tell when the temporary invincibility has expired. It’s killed me too many times.

The swiping-to-move control scheme feels overly clever. It’s a good idea in theory, it’s just too loose and, leaves the player without the sense of dominion that they ultimately need to succeed. The virtual jump and fire buttons aren’t able to be used in a comfortable way for jumping and fire.

The game’s structure is odd as well: the individual levels lack much variety, and the goals feel nebulous – if the portal and ghost kill counts were given beforehand, I think it would help make the game feel like it was giving the player something to aim for on their initial attempts. Endless levels should be unlocked quicker, too.

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While I think there are a lot of flaws with Ghost Toasters, it’s something of a noble failure: Grumpyface tried to make something cool, and the production values are obviously apparent. But, the flaws just damper the proceedings too much. There’s enough good here to make the game not a waste of time, but it’s just frustrating because this could have been really cool. Maybe next time, Grumpyface. Good effort, it just fell short. I’m still looking forward to whatever they put out next, whether it be for Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, or something completely different!

Introducing Portrait Lens, A Photo Manipulation App

Introducing Portrait Lens, A Photo Manipulation App

Oct 31, 2013

Portrait Lens 2

Portrait Lens makes the photos, taken with a mobile camera, look like pictures, taken with a professional DSLR camera. Obviously, it won’t improve pixel density or anything like that, but it will create a fine-looking illusion of focus, with just a few operations. Portrait Lens can be downloaded for free from here: Portrait Lens on Google Play.

Introducing doo, A Document Organizer And Scanner

Introducing doo, A Document Organizer And Scanner

Oct 31, 2013

doo Document & Scanner App 1

Office apps are always a welcome on mobile devices, especially as interesting as this one. doo developers claim they tried to revolutionize the way documents are handled, with the app being able to organize, auto-tag, scan, and access documents from all kinds of sources, including cloud storage. Now it got a total renovation, and has a version tag of “2.5”. doo can be downloaded for free from here: doo Document & Scanner App on Google Play, or here: doo Document & Scanner App on Amazon.

Edge of the World Review

What if pirates, rather than plundering the seas, decided to play games of shuffleboard using their ships and abilities in a contest to see who can avoid falling off the earth? This unique situation is the focus for Edge of the World, a fun new game by Central Core Studios.

Edge of the World plays a lot like a naval game of shuffleboard. The object of the game is to launch your ships along a lane of water marked with different scoring zones. At the end of the lane is a cliff; the literal edge of the world. The object is to get your ship as close to the edge as possible, into the highest scoring zone without falling off.

Screenshot_2013-10-30-06-01-31Because you’re playing with ships floating on water this isn’t as easy as it sounds. After you launch a ship, it remains on the playfield and must stay on its zone for you to keep the points, just like real shuffleboard. The other player can and usually will ram your ships off of the scoring zones and off the edge of the world if you aren’t careful.

Screenshot_2013-10-30-06-16-59Luckily, each captain has a power that helps them stay in the game. The starting captain can anchor one of his ships per round, making it harder to move. Ships next to the anchored ship are also more difficult to move so it’s possible to protect your whole fleet this way. Later unlockable captains have different abilities.

Several powerups can be bought with in game currency to tip the balance. While this may seem like it would unbalance the game, the use of powerups is quite rare online and if they are used it’s not too much of a disadvantage.

In game currency is gained by winning games and you can gain bonuses by playing skilfully as well. Generally, coins earned from a win are enough for 1 or two powerups and you never feel pushed to purchase the game’s IAP at all.

Edge of the World uses an asynchronous multiplayer mode, much like Words With Friends. You can take as long as you like to play your turn and the online multiplayer is very slick. Pass and play is also available, as is matches against the AI.

Edge of the World looks fantastic. Each ship and captain is very colourful and has their own personality and the playfield is very pretty, featuring nice shiny water and sunny beaches. The game’s animation is slick and smooth and there are never any framerate hitches.

Soundwise, the game’s music does a great job of driving home the nautical theme of the game. The sound effects are well done, with plenty of peaceful crashing surf, grinding wood as you ram into ships and ambiance. There is plenty of voice work as well.

Edge of the World is an excellent game. It is a perfect fit for mobile, a lot of fun and looks and sounds great. It’s a game anyone should play and enjoy.

cAPPoeira App Hits Google Play

cAPPoeira App Hits Google Play

Oct 31, 2013

cAPPoeira: The Capoeira App 2

If you’ve never heard of Capoeira before, it’s a dance-like martial art, focusing on kicks and movement. Its moves are quite difficult to remember, and it’s all too easy to get them all wrong, which is why it’s great to see an app that can provide help with that. cAPPoeira features training videos, lists capoeira groups around the world, and all the useful links for everyone, experienced or not. It can be downloaded from here: cAPPoeira on Google Play.

Perplexicon Review

Perplexicon Review

Oct 31, 2013

Perplexicon is a fun word game from Greenrift Software.

The game combines a few different elements that make up the game, and the biggest is the word formation aspect. The game uses a square grid as the playing area, and there are letter tiles just like one would see in Scrabble. At the bottom is a bank of times to pick from, but unlike Scrabble, it isn’t possible to select any tile; only one time is available (the one that is up). As a tile is selected and used, the next one in line becomes available. The words seem fairly random in order and distribution.

On the grid itself, some letters are usually placed to start. Using these letters, in conjunction with the single-pulled tile from the bank, it is possible to make words. Positioning of the tiles is everything; touching and dragging perp1a path through adjacent tiles to create words at least three letters long for points. There is a timer, and a point threshold that must be made before the butter to unlock and advance to new levels. Once a word is formed thus, the tiles used disappear.

This is where the other elements become a factor. There are green tiles, and a standing requirement is that they have to be used up before the time limit is reached, regardless of the score. Sometimes, the placement of the greens can make it harder, as can the letter (a V or Q in a corner, perhaps). Then there are special tile spaces that give cash or multiple word values of used in the construction of a word. Stuff like time freezing squares also pop up. An interesting element is viral tiles, that can infect other letters and render them unusable. These can be countered by potions that can be unlocked down the line.

All together, it creates a pretty fun, engaging game that can be tough to put down.

Rockstar Releases iFruit From GTA 5 For Android

Rockstar Releases iFruit From GTA 5 For Android

Oct 31, 2013

Grand Theft Auto: iFruit 2

iFruit is a mobile app in the world of Grand Theft Auto 5 that consists of two parts. First, user can order customized cars from a vendor, using the app’s interface, and second – he can train his dog to learn new tricks, and generally be more helpful. The game is simple, but is quite an unusual addition to GTA experience. Download iFruit for free from here: iFruit on Google Play.

Elevator Joe Review

Elevator Joe Review

Oct 31, 2013

Elevator Joe is a simple time management simulation game from Kuyi Mobile.

The pacing of the game is, in my mind, a feature. It starts out at a reasonable clip, with four levels. The 2D styling is used effectively here, with the rectangular floors stacked evenly, and the elevator cage, manned by Joe, on the leftmost part of the playing area. The elevator moves from floor to floor, up and down in a straight vertical path. Different people (chibizens) walk to the elevator from the right and when Joe gets the elevator to the floor where a person is waiting, the elevator automatically collects the person or persons waiting. Now each of these people had a floor number attached where they want/need to be dropped off; the key is to get everybody whether they need to go as quickly and efficiently and possible. ej1

Moving people around quickly keeps them happy; inefficiency leads to upset purple and a lack of tips. Good performances allow for nice chobani payment, chobanis being the money off this wacky world.

Stuff like the elevator capacity restriction alter the way the game can be played. Specifically, like real life elevators, the one Joe manages has a set number of people it can carry. Thus, there is some strategy that has to be attached to moving people and calculating the opportunity cost of jumping floors and people on the fly. Additionally, there are special characters that are change things, like red-hued, helicopter transported celebrities that demand even promoter movement than “regular” to be happy, or the yellow-tinged purple who distract and slow Joe down. The gameplay gets faster and more furious, with chibizens darting to the elevator from different floors and forcing quick thinking.

IAP is available to upgrade playing conditions and obtain short term boosts, but are not necessary; it is possible to play through and get chobani during the “natural” run of play.

Looks-wise, expressive colors and whimsically humanoid bodies make up most of the visuals. Yes, it is simple, but not necessarily silly. It could probably do with more definition, but is nice as-is.

Simplicity wins here. Fun game, can appeal to several age categories, is free and makes sense.

Did I say fun?

Batman: Arkham Origins Comes To Puzzle & Dragons​

Batman: Arkham Origins Comes To Puzzle & Dragons​

Oct 31, 2013

Puzzle & Dragons​ 1

Puzzle & Dragons​, a famous match-three/RPG mix, is getting yet another update – and it’s nothing but surprising. All of a sudden, the world of Puzzle & Dragons​ is filled with various characters from both sides of the iconic comic and gaming franchise, Batman: Arkham Origins, from Robin to Joker, battling it out in the dragon world. Puzzle & Dragons can be downloaded for free from here: Puzzle & Dragons on Google Play.