Metal Soldiers Review

Metal Soldiers Review

Aug 31, 2015

When it comes down it, Metal Soldiers feels like a game one should be able to enjoy.

It comes in in 2D, with simple yet effective graphics, and smooth animations, with arcade-y sounds that ensconce the gameplay quite adequately.

The gameplay itself is a varied mix of elements which are all pulled under the canopy of a staged platformer. The first and overriding task it to travel as far as possible, and the control mechanism helps it along. There are buttons that control movement, firing and jumping.

So our hero moves from left to right; off the bat, one will run into the gaps, and the jump button is of great use here. It also helps one traverse some of the boxes, walls and such that make up the play area. Early on, the player also encounters enemy soldiers armed with guns. If one tarries in front of these moving soldiers, they will shoot our enemy off the platform.

Another obstacle that presents itself are drones which look to knock off the hero by contact. These are pretty smart in the way they come from the top and into range. One option to avoid the enemy troops and the drones is to jump over and out/run them, but this can get difficult considering some of the other elements.

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Another option is to use the gun our runner is equipped with; one shot takes out the flyers and soldiers when they are close enough, and can even be used to blow up the random drum and such.

There are also collectible goodies. Gold coins appear, and can be acquired by touch, as can be time clocks, which dd time. Time, you ask? Ah… yes… one concept is to move as quickly as possible, because there is a countdown clock. Now, one can extend time by collecting aforementioned clocks, but when one adds in the other variables — other obstacles, collectibles, etc. — one has to pick and choose what to pursue. Assuming one is able to keep going past the obstacles (and yes, they do get worse), time running out ends the run.

Collected gold can be used to get boosts, extend runs and such. Altogether, it is a simple game that feels particularly well-rounded.

Novatel Wireless Mobile Hotspot Hardware Review

Novatel Wireless Mobile Hotspot Hardware Review

Aug 31, 2015

It’s all about the connectivity.

You can pack as many devices and peripherals as you can handle, but without a connection to the World Wide Web, you’re only s good as the information on hand… and what fun is that?

Nah. We need to get online, and even on wi-fi only smartdevices, a secure connection away from home base is beneficial. And, as we like to muse, being restricted to using insecure public networks has its drawbacks.

And then we have solutions like the Novatel Wireless Verizon Jetpack Mifi. It’s a small mobile wireless hotspot, capable of connecting to up to 15 devices on the go, using cellular networks to spit out 4G speeds.

The review unit Novatel sent us contained the puck, power adapter, USB cable and paperwork. At 2.6 x 3.7 x 0.76 inches and under 5 oz, it’s pretty compact, mostly black and red with white lettering plus a prominent screen and navigation buttons. It has ports for micro-USB charging port, a USB port and a 4,000 mAh li-ion Battery user serviceable battery.

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After an obligatory charge, it’s nice to know the unit is ready to go. The screen is bright, and connecting devices to it is intuitive to anyone who’s ever connected to a wi-fi network. The navigation buttons allow one to scroll through pertinent information.

Now, hooking into Verizon’s network definitely has its benefits; on the road and moving across states, a good connection was mostly maintained on the major highways, though there were dead spots on some remote rural rural routes and the occasional hand-off stuttering between towers. It worked well with eight devices connected simultaneously, allowing for each to stream videos, play connected games and such. Downloads of data did seem faster with less devices connected, but overall, the speeds were pretty fast, especially in metro areas.

Using it as a stationary hotspot was pretty impressive when a connection was established. Connection quality remained consistent, and re-connecting was mostly automatic when toggled to do so from the device. The access control is easy to manage and works well. The ability to toss it one;s bag (or even pocket) is invaluable. The battery life is better than decent, and the device charging ability adds another layer of built-in functionality.

It’s one of the better solutions we’ve tried; it merges great hardware with consistent service in such a way that it feels like an easy addition to one;s mobile workflow versus an unneeded extravagance. Forgive us for saying it again, but Verizon’s network is a huge advantage that adds to its overall charm.

Pocket Platoons Launches on Android

Pocket Platoons Launches on Android

Aug 31, 2015

En Masse Entertainment, the crew behind hit game Fruit Attacks, is back with a new game we’ve been eagerly waiting for called Pocket Platoons.

Are you looking for action? Here’s your chance to take command of your own pocket war. Deploy units strategically to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses. Recruit, train, and control an unstoppable military force! Victory is at your fingertips!

Construct a base of operations and prepare for battle. Rally your troops to smash the enemy or train them to defend your position. Promote officers to customize their skills. Develop tactical strategies to make your army be the best it can be!

There’s strength in numbers! Team with allies and create coalitions. Combine forces with your friends to fight for victory against opposing players. Go forward together to defeat the enemy’s secret weapon.

Are you ready to answer the call? Assault Normandy with the Allies or stand your ground with the Axis! Take control of the battle to turn the tide or sit back and watch the action unfold. Choose a side and fight for supremacy of Europe!

The game is available now on Google Play for free (with in-app purchases); an Amazon Appstore release is slated to follow “soon.”

Look out for our review, which should be out shortly.

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Geometry Wars 3 Goes on Sale

Geometry Wars 3 Goes on Sale

Aug 30, 2015

The excellent arcade shooter formally known as Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is a blast, and it’s even cooler on sale.

Currently, it can be procured for $1.99, a special sale price on Google Play.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved includes all of the great content & features from Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions and more:

• Over 100 total levels

• Classic arcade levels inspired by franchise heritage

• 15 3D grids and 12 battle modes including Pacifism, King, Claustrophobia 

• 6 unique companion drones including Attack, Collect, Ram, Snipe, Defend, and Sweep 

• 5 devastating super abilities including Homing, Black Hole, Turret, and Detonator

• “Hardcore” mode for Geometry Wars purists with no drones or supers and a separate leader board 

• Compete with friends and other players on global leaderboards for every level in the game

• Dual and single-stick touch control configurations

• Bluetooth controller support

• Sign in to Google Play to save your progress and pick up where you left off across multiple Android devices.

So get it while the 50% off getting is good!

[via Slickdeals]

Slack for Android Gets Emoji Picker Keyboard and More via Update

Slack for Android Gets Emoji Picker Keyboard and More via Update

Aug 29, 2015

Slack, the cross-platform group collaboration utility, is pushing out an updated build for its Android port.

WHAT’S NEW

– A shiny new emoji picker keyboard, for discerning pickers of emoji. (Developed by our amazing summer intern Jonathan! Hi Jonathan! `:wave:`)
– Performance improvements in the crucial area of channel syncing
– Channel Info and Private Group Info got their hair did
– Fixed: Enter key on hardware keyboard now sends the message rather than carriage return. PAF!
– Many bug fixes!

Slack remains free on Google Play.

[via Slack]

Buddy Guy: Born To Play Guitar Digital mp3 Free on Google Play

Buddy Guy: Born To Play Guitar Digital mp3 Free on Google Play

Aug 29, 2015

Buddy Guy’s Born To Play Guitar is free on Google Play.

Yes, the Buddy Guy. That Buddy Guy… the American Blues icon and influencer.

We’re talking about 16 tracks for nothing at all. Did we mention “Buddy Guy” yet? From the press release:

Legendary blues icon and six-time Grammy Award winning artist BUDDY GUY claims the #1 spot this week on Billboard’s Top Blues Album charts with his latest masterpiece Born To Play Guitar, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Released July 31st on Silvertone/RCA Records, Born To Play Guitar marks Guy’s fifth #1 album on Billboard’s Top Blues chart and twelfth Top 10 Billboard Blues album. Since its release, the album peaked at #1 on the overall Amazon music chart and remains #1 on the iTunes Blues Albums chart. Internationally, Born To Play Guitar debuts at #1 on the Australian ARIA Jazz & Blues Album chart and remains Top 5 on iTunes Blues Album charts in UK, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Portugal and more!

To get you’re copy, visit Google Play (or use the Play Music app on a device), sign in and click to “buy.”

Enjoy!

[via Slickdeals]

AMIDuOS Unwraps Lollipop

AMIDuOS Unwraps Lollipop

Aug 29, 2015

Somehow, saying that I love AMIDuOS manages to be a bit of an understatement. The concept — an Android emulator for Windows machines — is great, but it has the added advantage of actually working pretty well in practice.

From the official press release:

Now, Androidâ„¢Lollipop is just as sweet on Windows®PCs.With the latest edition of AMIDuOSâ„¢ – version 2.0 – users can enjoy the latest and great Android apps right on their Microsoft Windows® 7.x, 8.x or 10 devices.

The new, Android 5.0.1 (Lollipop) compatible version of AMIDuOS is available for download from www.amiduos.comfor a $15 lifetime license –with a 30–day free trial. AMIDuOS, which delivers a full Android experience to Windows desktops, laptops or tablets, was created by American Megatrends, Inc., the number one BIOS vendor in the world by shipment volume.

In addition, AMI will continue to make AMIDuOS 1.x, which supports Android 4.3 (Jellybean), availablefor only $10. Current users who installed AMIDuOS 1.x before Aug 7th can get a free upgrade to AMIDuOS 2.0 upon registering their licensed copy. The upgrade process is simple – and AMIDuOS even preserves all previously installed apps and settings during the upgrade from 1.x to 2.0!

AMI founder and President Subramonian Shankar reaffirms the company’s focus on bringing Android to Windows. “People should be able to run their Android apps on any device they wish,” he says. “We created AMIDuOS to make it easy for anyone to get the full Android experience on their Windows machines. Now, even the most recent Android apps developed for Android 5.0.1 will run smoothly and with full compatibility on the Windows platform.”

The backup and update process was easy enough, and the program itself feels even smoother the previous build.

Some screenshots are below:

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[via AMIDuOS Post]

Speedy Ninja Launches on Google Play

Speedy Ninja Launches on Google Play

Aug 28, 2015

We have been eagerly awaiting Speedy Ninja, and it is finally here.

Speedy Ninja flips the endless runner on its head! Use your dexterity and skill to overcome deadly obstacles and destroy menacing monsters on the run, in the air – even upside down as only a master Ninja can! Build your experience to unlock awesome new characters, dragon mounts, and powerful weapons as you chase the high score on the leaderboard!

Features:

* Play Free! The best Ninja action endless runner on mobile! (In-app purchases available)
* Dive under the rope to defy gravity and avoid treacherous obstacles
* Unleash screen-clearing weapons to destroy waves of enemies
* Ride mythical dragons high into the sky to build your special abilities
* Upgrade your Ninja to run farther and faster than ever before
* Complete daily challenges to unlock progressively greater rewards
* Unlock character skins to increase your power beyond max levels
* Rank up by topping the daily leaderboards
* Build up a friends list, then summon your allies to extend your runs

The game is free on (with in-app purchasing).

[via NetEase Press Release]

Humble Bundle Launches “Choose Your Own Charity”

Humble Bundle Launches “Choose Your Own Charity”

Aug 28, 2015

Humble Bundle is reaffirming its commitment to transparency with a new initiative; now, users can pick a charity of their choice… from a pretty long list.

Humble Bundle is proud to announce that the Humble Store has now implemented a new feature which expands on Humble Bundle’s transparent, user-controlled approach to digital distribution. Starting today, customers are able to select a charity of their choice that will benefit from their purchase in the Humble Store. Previously, the choice was limited to a select amount of charities, but going forward, customers will now have the opportunity choose from a database of over 35,000 reputable U.S. and UK charitable organizations.

Since the store’s inception in 2013, 10% of all profits from the store have gone towards worthy charities and raised over $3 million to date from the store alone. Paypal Giving Fund, a non-profit that enables eBay users to benefit charities in a similar way, has made this possible as that is how charitable funds are transferred from the Humble community to the impressive number of reputable charities in the PayPal Giving Fund’s database.

“There are a wealth of amazing charities out there,” said Humble Bundle co-founder John Graham. “We don’t ever like saying no to great causes but in curating things ourselves, we find ourselves mainly picking larger nonprofits that have awesome established global brands that we think will resonate with our community as a whole. With this new feature, if parts of our community want to give aid to homeless shelters in San Francisco and others wish to provide fresh drinking water to Ethiopia, they can choose as they please.”

Head out to the Humble Store to check it out!

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[via Humble Mumble Post]

Upcoming Game Real Boxing 2 Gets New Gameplay Screenshots

Upcoming Game Real Boxing 2 Gets New Gameplay Screenshots

Aug 27, 2015

The recently announced Real Boxing 2 has new screens available for those eager to get a taste of the final product.

There’s also some news. Directly from the presser:

Players eager to get their hands on Real Boxing™ 2 early can join the Real Boxing™ 2 VIP Club for a chance to participate in the game’s beta. Doing so also secures a number of other benefits, including an a unique VIP Club-only gear set, exclusive starter bonus and a chance to unlock even more bonuses via achieving milestones

Screenshots are below:

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And just in case you missed the trailer:

Swype Keyboard Gets Star Trek Themes and More via Update

Swype Keyboard Gets Star Trek Themes and More via Update

Aug 27, 2015

Swype Keyboard is looking to improve the experience for its users, as evidenced by its latest update, which should please Trekkies everywhere.

Per the Google app page:

WHAT’S NEW

v2.0:
Emoji Keyboard
New Swype Store with premium themes featuring Star Trek
New Languages – Lao and Uzbek Latin
Improved auto-correction
Various crash and bug fixes (thanks for reporting!)

We had an opportunity to review the well regarded keyboard soon after it became available on Google Play, and liked it; it is available for $0.99, and there is a limited-time free trial.

[Our Swype Keyboard Review]

Anomaly Defenders Review

Anomaly Defenders Review

Aug 27, 2015

And now, we get to Anomaly Defenders.

About time…

While the series got us going on “tower offense” as a gameplay constant, this one takes it back to more of a tower defense scenario. More pertinently, alien invaders are on the ropes in this one, and humans are the aggressors. Thus, the player takes on the job of saving the home planet of the aliens.

Graphically, it is an interesting projection, clearly futuristic, with a Terminator feel to the dark landscapes. The view is top-down in nature, and the play area generally consists of stretches of land interspersed with defined roads on which enemy (human) attack vehicles travel. The animations sizzle, and it looks pretty good overall.

To begin, one soon gleans the objective of the human belligerents is to make their way to rockets, which are crucial to the aliens survival. The humans want to destroy it.

The player’s job is to build defensive units along the path to thwart the effort. The units can be built only at particular spots, and are susceptible to enemy fire themselves. In its essence, it a continual war of attrition, and the overriding goal is to stop the enemy units before they get close enough to to destroy the launch pad.

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Carusaurum is the the currency of note; this needs to be harvested to build and upgrade towers. As one successfully finishes levels, there are better opportunities to expend this resource on. In other words, better defense towers.

To make the game more compelling, there are different difficulty levels, and other in-game rules, like the placement of specific pieces. One can manipulate each tower (stuff like repairing) and destroyed enemy units yield crystals which are useful too. Each level ends when the rocket takes off.

The game does a fantastic job of incorporating several elements, almost surreptitiously, which make it a fuller experience. Yes, you have the obvious tower defense, which is quite familiar. There’s also the concept of asset management; knowing when to allocate what where is important. As the levels and enemy waves get trickier to handle, one has to contend with major decisions: what technology to purchase, what to sell, when to pick a piece and more.

Then there is the raw strategy aspect. The gameplay allows for a degree of craftiness. At the risk of being a, uh, “spoiler” sport, players should enjoy the ability to re-route enemy traffic by using particular tower pieces. Plus, one has to learn how to manage technology points. It is self-contained, intuitive and logical when all the segments are put together.

The Anomaly series flipped the script on a genre, and, and for a finale, it flipped it back in an exhilarating way.

Who knew battling humans could be so much fun?