Google Plat Indie Games Festival Award Winners Announced

Google Plat Indie Games Festival Award Winners Announced

Sep 28, 2016

Google Play hosted the first Indies Games Festival, and there were a few awards to give out.

First, the winners:

1) bit bit blocks (Presented by Greg Batha):

Bit Bit Blocks is a cute and action-packed competitive puzzle game. Play with your friends on a single screen, or challenge yourself in single player mode. Head-to-head puzzle play anytime, anywhere.

2) Numbo Jumbo (Presented by Kaveh Daryabeygi, Wombo Combo):

Numbo Jumbo is a casual mobile puzzle number game for iOS and Android. Players group numbers that add together: for example, [3, 5, 8] works because 3+5=8.

3) Orbit – Playing with Gravity (Presented by Chetan Surpur & Eric Rahman, Highkey Games):

ORBIT puts a gravity simulator at the heart of a puzzle game. Launch planets with a flick of your finger, and try to get them into orbit around black holes. ORBIT also features a sandbox where you can create your own universes, control time, and paint with gravity.

And the finalist nominees:

1) Antihero [coming later in 2016] (Presented by Tim Conkling).

2) Armajet [coming later in 2016] (Presented by Nicola Geretti & Alexander Krivicich, Super Bit Machine).

3) Norman’s Night In: The Cave [coming later in 2016] (Presented by Nick Iorfino & Alex Reed, Bactrian Games).

4) Parallyzed (Presented by David Fox, Double Coconut).

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[via Android Developers Blog]

G5’s ‘The Cursed Ship’ Goes on Sale on Google Play and Amazon Appstore

G5’s ‘The Cursed Ship’ Goes on Sale on Google Play and Amazon Appstore

Sep 27, 2016

G5 is one of our favorite developers/publishers… and with good reason. We’ve all become spoiled by all the freebies and discounts G5 jovially doles out.

It helps that the games our easy to love too.

This week, G5 has a steep discount. The Cursed Ship can be had for relatively cheap — $0.99, to be exact — for a limited time on both Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

That’s 80% off the regular price of $4.99.

The Cursed Ship is a puzzle-laden adventure, chock-full of mystery and parallel worlds. It comes in two gameplay mode flavors, and includes a stated 100 quests, more than 60 locations, scores of mini-games and several characters.

It also incorporates Google Play Game Services.

Ah… but good things don’t last forever; this sale is on now, and runs through October 2nd.

Check out the trailer below:

Micro Machines Comes to Android

Micro Machines Comes to Android

Sep 27, 2016

A blast from the past…

Micro Machines has new life… on Android via Google Play courtesy of entrenched mobile developer Chillingo.

Micro Machines pays tribute to the original toy-based series with a miniature multiplayer combat adventure with a lot of fun features. The best news is that Codemasters, creators of the original, are still front and center in this port.

Four players can play, and there are several tracks with different locations players can pick from. There are literally dozens of vehicles, and just as many weapons to choose from. G.I. Joe is represented in vehicular fashion — Cobra RAGE… Hello! — and even NERF blasters to procure.

One choose from a host of small-scale vehicle types: emergency vehicles, SUVs… even hovercraft.

Leaderboards, events, battle arenas. Check, check and CHECK.

All this goodness is available for free (plus optional in-app purchases) on the Play Store. Check out the trailer:

Looty Dungeon Launches on Google Play

Looty Dungeon Launches on Google Play

Sep 27, 2016

It’s here!!!

The previously announced Looty Dungeon has been on our minds for a while, and now, it’s live on Google Play courtesy of Yodo1 and Taco Illuminati.

In this dungeon crawler, one gets the full monty: traps, goodies, bosses and scores of different heroes — just what one would want in this type of game. It has time trials, encouraging the player to get from point A to B as quickly as possible to continue.

Different hero characters have different abilities, and one might even find a familiar character from other Yodo1 stablemates.

Yodo1 chief Henry Fong wants to keep Android gamers well occupied. “Looty Dungeon takes what dungeon crawler fans love and spins it into something fun and accessible to everyone,” said he says. “Deadly traps, vicious monsters, multiple character classes and tons of loot – it’s all here and it’s going to keep Android gamers busy for hours.”

Looty Dungeon is available for free (with optional in-app purchases); check out the trailer below.

[via Looty Dungeon press release]

TYLT VÜ SOLO Hardware Review

TYLT VÜ SOLO Hardware Review

Sep 27, 2016

It’s no secret that we are fans of TYLT’s designs. There’s something infinitely cool about the minimalist designs that allow them to be as functional as they are fashionable. TYLT generally manages to make mobile accessories that one can almost build decor around.

No small feat. Trust us.

With wireless charging becoming more of a standard feature, finding useful chargers is becoming more of a need. The TYLT VÜ SOLO isn’t entirely new on the scene, but looks to remain a serious player in the field.

The review package TYLT sent us does highlight the expected TYLT aesthetic: rich retail packaging that showcases the goodness within; inside, one gets the charging pad, unique flat micro-USB cable and relevant documentation. The most important piece is obviously the silicone pad, and outside the bright burnt orange coloring, the slight brick is almost understated, being pretty small in profile and very light. It has a simple led light, and a micro-usb port. The flat cable has an “alignment edge” to hello with precise placements.

Officially, it comes in at 3.44 x 3.35 x 0.59 inches and 2.6oz.

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The whole system is simple and intuitive with regards to setup. One needs a USB adapter (not provided) to connect the pad to an electrical source via the provided cable. Then, it’s ready to go.

The true action is initiated when one gets a Qi-enabled device and places it on the charger; we tried it with a Samsung device with built in wireless charging capabilities and also with an HTC device coupled with third-party Qi charging coil. The LED light announces the charging action.

In practice, the charging pad was fairly liberal with the newer device we tested on it; we didn’t have to work hard to position of the device. Of course, this may be more of a testament to the device, because it was a bit more temperamental with the coil accessory. As with all QI charges we have seen, there is trade-off with regards to time and heat generation, but in our testing, charging was consistent.

The TYLT VÜ SOLO is a nice, simple product that’s small and light enough to be portable when needed. it’s the perfect accessory for folks who are particular about charging ports and/or saving plug-in time at night. At $19.99 (for a specific color) on Amazon, it is quite affordable too.

A look at Samsung+

A look at Samsung+

Sep 26, 2016

In today’s tech-crazed world, the simple truth is we want what we want almost before we want it. Seriously… it should be right there.

Mark my words: prescient mind-reading apps will rule someday.

Everything we do now is seemingly based upon an assumed speed of return, and this is especially true of our mobile device use. And with all these little gizmos do — and when one considers it’s easier to figure what they do not do — getting a bit mixed up isn’t that unbelievable.

So, what to do when one hits a roadblock on his/her shiny new device? Web forum? Complex device support page? Google? Well, if it’s a Samsung device, one can get with Samsung+, the on-device Samsung-exclusive support portal that is geared towards making Samsung ownership a breeze. Some devices — those devices — have swanky brick-and-mortar locations. Samsung is looking to put that experience and advantage in the palm of your hand.

Bingo. And Samsung even provided a spanking new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge to try it out on.

Right from the application launch, it mostly exudes business. The app is split into sections, and one that stands out is the Diagnostics tab. This area gives a quick run-through of performance basics: a battery charge forecast tool, a data monitor, speed test, and storage manager. It also packs a “scan” tool that checks the phone for any major issues, like irregular charging, rebooting and even root.

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It also has an Answers section, which is sort of an onboard knowledge base. It’s a veritable first level of service with regards to getting solutions and answers to basic questions. The For You has a lot of interesting articles and pointers, like “Emergency Uses for Your Phones Camera.” Next is Explore… here, there is the informative “Life Hack” set, and more stuff like “Community Buzz,” “Do More” (to see what tweaks one might do to eke out even more from one’s device), “Getting Started” and more.

The Community section is a portal to the user forums, right there on the device. Powered by the knowledge of Samsung users, it is a great resource.

The crown jewel of the application is probably the Live Help. For those truly bogged down, it is a great tool, allowing users to connect with help staff via voice or videochat. Now, the former is available for 24 hours, and the latter 8AM to 11PM EST, but they do work.

When it’s all said and done, Samsung+ isn’t the first time a device manufacturer has placed a self-help app on a device, but it sure is one of the snazziest iterations around.

Investing.com App Adds Personal Alerts

Investing.com App Adds Personal Alerts

Sep 26, 2016

​INVESTING.com’s Android app — officially known as Stocks, Forex, Futures & News — is receiving an update that brings what its developer expects to be the most concise personal alert system in the business.

This new alert system allows users to customize real-time alerts, such that they use the Android device notification system. Price alerts, market changes and trade volume triggers are all able to be added and monitored.

The new system is free.

And then’s there more.

Users can keep track of articles written by specific authors. With more than 500 writers (according to Investing.com itself), that’s a lot of information to choose from.

Armada Trice – Miami 2016 Mp3 Album for Sale on Google Play

Armada Trice – Miami 2016 Mp3 Album for Sale on Google Play

Sep 24, 2016

Attention music lovers!

Fans of critically acclaimed international music collective Armada Music have something to cheer about: its collaborative Armada Trice – Miami 2016 mp3 album can be had for cheap — real cheap — via Google Play Music.

How cheap you ask? $0.69, to be exact, for some head bobbing, clubby electro/progressive music, worthy of the famed Miami nightlife.

The album boasts ten tracks (seven of which are exclusive) by ten different artists. Individually, the songs would cost just under $20; the album has a 4.5 rating on Google Play (at the time of this article).

No word as to how long the groovy pricing will last, so make hay!

Pokémon GO Gets New Build

Pokémon GO Gets New Build

Sep 23, 2016

Pokémon GO is still very much a very popular game, with somewhat frequent updates, including its current one, which is rolling out now.

Now, when one looks at a caught Pokémon’s screen, one will see where it was captured. Also, one can now use Incense and the Pokémon GO Plus accessory to attempt to catch the beings.

This update also has the ubiquitous bug squashing.

Pokémon Go remains free on Google Play.

[via Google Play]

MARVEL Future Fight Update Brings Daredevil-Themed Content

MARVEL Future Fight Update Brings Daredevil-Themed Content

Sep 23, 2016

Netmarble’s popular superhero-laden mobile RPG MARVEL Future Fight is receiving an update, and with said update — dubbed “Shadowland” — players get new characters and modes.

Prominent among the new characters is the iconic Daredevil. Also added are cloning/Kung Fu maestro Shang-Chi, a master of Kung Fu and physically enhanced detective Misty Knight.

The game developer promises that the Shadowland event calls to bear one of the most difficult combat modes the game has ever seen. We also hear that Daredevil might take an unexpected, boss-like role.

The new build also adds what is described as a “tower-type” challenge mode; here, players take on waves of increasingly more capable enemies while making way to the top of the building.

Then there are new uniforms, new cards, updates to the Alliance Tournament… and a bunch more.

Netmarble’s marketing chief Seungwon Lee hopes the update is well received. “We hope that Shadowland, based on a much beloved storyline in the Marvel Universe, will be greeted by the MARVEL Future Fight fans who’ve waited for more powerful bosses and the content to perform at peak,” he says. “We are always striving to create exciting and authentic content that will attract a broader array of Marvel fans to the game while keeping existing players engaged and happy.”

The update is available now; MARVEL Future Fight is free (with optional in-app purchases).

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NCIS: Hidden Crimes Review

NCIS: Hidden Crimes Review

Sep 23, 2016

Make no mistake: NCIS is a cultural icon. I remember picking it up all the way back… you know, when that intense agent from the “Navy NCIS” (ha!) who first tried to put JAG darling Harmon Rabb behind bars — but the helping clear his name. With that simple beginning, that CBS spin-off has gone big, creating its own offshoots, and, for folks like us, companion games that help beget mindshare.

NCIS: Hidden Crimes is just that.

The action gets going almost immediately, with animated cutscenes allowing one to catch a glimpse of something nefarious. Then, just like on the show, Gibbs’ likeness pops up, letting us (the players/viewers) know about an untimely ncis3death somewhere in the city.

In this one, the crime has been committed, and the player, being a special agent, gets his/her “gear” on heads to the crime scene. At this point, the main foil of the adventure becomes clear: find objects. The trick, which is obvious to anyone who plays this type of game, is to pick out a list of objects that are placed in a larger scene. In this particular game, the objects are key to solving the crime at hand, starting by going into each visual puzzle and tap on the objects to “collect” them.

After objects are found, generally a secondary process begins. Evidence is analyzed and such, and eventually, a hypothesis might be formed, and, if one picks right, one might just get the person responsible.

So, the finding mechanism is enough to understand; the difficulty of the surveying task is mostly a function of the artwork in any level. It feels as though it gets tougher as one goes on, but the developer does an enviable job of using depth and simulated light to make targets less obvious to the eye. The crime-solving piece is a nice addition too.

The game feels a bit grindy in parts; the energy requirement isn’t too bothersome, and the artwork does make it feel somewhat familiar. On the other hand, it’s tough to make a hidden object game stand out, because the core element is so well known.

In the end, its hit show affiliation only helps, and the gameplay does well.

Taichi Panda Gets New Content via “Savage” Update

Taichi Panda Gets New Content via “Savage” Update

Sep 22, 2016

Popular dungeon crawler Taichi Panda is getting some new content via an update that is rolling out now.

Dubbed the “Savage” update, the new build brings a host of new stuff, including a new battle mode called Edge of Survival, a new being, new mount, new pet and new pet enhancements, among a host of improvements.

Also, there is a new trailer highlighting the update: