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Disney’s Club Penguin Releases Android App

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014

Club Penguin whirls onto Android.

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Games

Star Wars Galactic Defence Review

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014

Star Wars Galactic Defence: This isn't the game you're looking for.

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Productivity

MailWise Email for Exchange & Hotmail + Review

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014

A look at MailWise Email for Exchange & Hotmail +.

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App Rundown

Star Wars Galactic Defence Review

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014

Star Wars Galactic Defence: This isn't the game you're looking for.

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Recent Posts

New RPG Exiles Due Out This Week on Google Play

New RPG Exiles Due Out This Week on Google Play

Dec 16, 2014

Crescent Moon is in a merry mood, as evidenced by the news that its new RPG game Exiles is due out this week. Yep, that’s right; according to information provided, Exiles will be available on Google Play on December 18th.

Exiles is the follow-up to hit game Ravensword: Shadowlands; the backstory has to do with figuring out a plot to enslave a struggling colony on a distant planet. As part of the Elite Enforcers, the player gets to live the tale via Android device.

Features:

– Explorer a huge and open world, full of alien hives, underground temples, caves a large colony with various interior locales.
– Choose up to 3 character classes
– Choose a Male or Female Character
– A large variety of weapons to use and upgrade
– Huge Alien creatures to fight
– Mechs and Hoverbikes available to ride around the massive landscape
– A dark story of government plots and conspiracy
– No IAP!
– Real-time Shadows on newer devices
– Full Night/Day System

We look forward to checking this one out.

[Source: Crescent Moon Informational Email]

80 Days Launches on Google Play

80 Days Launches on Google Play

Dec 15, 2014

We’ve been keeping an eye on 80 Days, a fun, graphical treat set in Choose Your Own Adventure style, and we can say, with joy, that it is now available on Google Play.

The game comes from cross-platform development house Inkle, the crew behind Android games Sorcery! and Sorcery! 2.

Since we spoke about it last, we have been giving it a run via the review copy the developer provided us, and without giving away too much, we can say it is well worth a look. It takes cues from the Jules verne book, and adds some interesting steampunk elements to the traveling adventure.

The game costs $5; for folks who like upfront pricing, this will be welcome.

Keep an eye out for Android Rundown’s review, which will be going live soon.

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft Arrives for Android Tablets

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft Arrives for Android Tablets

Dec 15, 2014

Strategy card game Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft is now available on Android, specifically for devices with a screen size of at least six (6) inches.

The game looks to have players invest in mystical play of spells and battle in a race to beat the game UI or friends in duels.

According to the press release from developer Blizzard Entertainment, the game should be available for players in Australia, Canada and New Zealand via Google Play, and further worldwide release should be coming very soon (on the Amazon Appstore in addition to Google Play).

Blizzard Entertainment Chief Mike Morhaime is excited to have Android users in on the fun. “Hearthstone’s intuitive interface and approachable design make it a perfect fit for tablets, and we’ve put a lot of effort into ensuring players have a great experience on a wide range of Android devices,” he says. “We’re excited to welcome Android players to the Hearthstone community, and we’re looking forward to bringing the game to even more mobile platforms—including phones—in the future.”

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft is free to play, with optional in-app content available to purchase.

[Source: Blizzard Press Release]

GOLFINITY by Nimblebit Available on Android Today!

GOLFINITY by Nimblebit Available on Android Today!

Dec 15, 2014

Nimbleit, makers of the ridiculously popular Tiny Tower games have released a curiously looking golf game on Android entitled GOLFINITY. It looks to be endless game of minigolf with an exceedingly simple, stark style.

Nimblebit, known for their reasonable amounts of free to play tomfoolery have seen fit to make GOLFINITY completely free. The only snag is that every time the player retires a hole they must watch an ad first; it remains to be seen how annoying this will be.

Expect a review of GOLFINITY soon.

The Shadow Sun Review

The Shadow Sun Review

Dec 15, 2014

The Shadow Sun is an epic RPG that follows in the footsteps of other epic RPGs, like the venerable Aralon: Sword & Shadow and the more recent Runesword games. Does its huge world equal huge fun?

Screenshot_2014-12-12-05-44-39The Shadow Sun has some in depth character customization. Like any good RPG, there are lot of skills to pick from. Rather than traditional RPG classes, TSS allows the player to simply pick what their character is good at. Thus, it is possible to have a tough warrior or squishy mage, a spellsword, a more sneaky sort, or some other mix. There are proficiencies for each weapon type in the game including swords, axes and bows, so it’s easy to build just the type of character you want. There are also stats like strength and charisma to distribute as you see fit. These stats have more of an effect than combat as well. For example higher perception allows you to see secret doors and charisma is needed for some dialogue choices to appear.

After character creation the player embarks on an epic journey through a massive city and its surrounding area. What starts off as a routine diplomatic mission ends up changing the fate of the world. A mysterious plague, the local king’s sudden decent into madness and the general aggressiveness of everyone in the world point to some dark plan being unfurled.

The Shadow Sun features plenty of combat. Combat in TSS feels a bit like a MMORPG. There is an attack button for basic melee attacks and a row of icons for special attacks, magic and items. Special attacks are vital to surviving in TSS. They can stun enemies, preventing them from hitting you or simply damage multiple enemies or hit very hard. Combat is fast and fun and there is plenty of loot to be grabbed.

Screenshot_2014-12-12-05-45-47The Shadow Sun also does a great job of providing a fun world to explore. There are lots of houses and caves and the like just waiting to be found and looted. The game is full of people to talk to as well. The majority of the game’s quests are found by chatting to people and like Skyrim and other major RPGs, TSS plays much better if the player takes their time and savours it.

Like any good open world RPG, solving quests is down to the player’s choice. Most quests give you a choice of who to side with or a moral choice to be a jerk or not.

For example an early quest is acquiring a scared statue for a religious order. It has been stolen and is being bid on in a nearby auction house. The player can either legitimately pay the exorbitant price for the statue or simply take it and kill the 5 or so guards on the way out, despite the leader of the Order asking you not to use violence to retrieve the statue. The player can then lie about using violence or not. Choosing to tell the truth earns a reward.

Another situation is finding some slaves escaping their slain captors. The player can choose to let them go, or mercilessly kill the former slaves to take the money they were using to make a new life for themselves.
There are also more traditional RPG quests that involve lots of combat. Whenever it’s exterminating giant rats in a sewer, or wiping out a horde of crazed plague victims and smugglers, The Shadow Sun provides plenty of fun combat.

A problem with The Shadow Sun is the weakness of the player’s allies. Every ally in the game is useful for little more than being a meatshield and can’t really kill enemies on their own. Their attacks are pathetically weak, they attack very slowly and they can’t level up or be given better equipment. It’s kind of lame when a legendarily powerful mage ends up slowly throwing weak fireballs at enemies, struggling to kill even the weakest monsters.

Screenshot_2014-11-26-11-38-04The Shadow Sun is also quite hard. A few strong enemies ganging up on the player can kill them very quickly indeed and those used to Skyrim will be in for a rude awakening. Armour and equipment provides minimal benefit and I found myself dying more than I expected. The weakness of player allies compounds this, but the challenge is welcome. Side quests are often all by required to toughen up enough to handle central quests.
The game’s map needs work. With hard to read text and an interface that doesn’t seem to respond unless you tap directly on a certain part of an icon it is needlessly hard to use.

Graphically, The Shadow Sun is a mixed bag. Environments look very nice and the game is packed with atmosphere and varied enemies to fight. The character models themselves though look rather primitive and a few years out of date. Aralon: Sword & Shadow which came out in 2011 has similar quality character models.

The Shadow Sun’s sound is very well done. Little touches, like the way that different amour sounds different as you move in it and how each item type make its own sound when you loot it really make the sound feel polished. There is a fair bit of voice acting and combat sounds nice and visceral.

The Shadow Sun is an excellent game that refines games like Aralon and adds in a lot of player choice and a much more coherent plot. With loads of fun questing on offer and a complete dearth of in app purchases The Shadow Sun is a fantastic game with a few foibles that need tightening.

Netflix for Android Gets Update

Netflix for Android Gets Update

Dec 13, 2014

Popular streaming entertainment app Netflix is getting an update that is currently rolling out.

According to the Google Play app page, the new build brings the ability to recomment content to Facebook friends when using the app on a smartphone.

Netflix remains free for subscribers to the streaming service.

Turn-based Strategy Game Outwitters Due Out on Android in January

Turn-based Strategy Game Outwitters Due Out on Android in January

Dec 12, 2014

2015 is looking to be a great year…

Venerable development house One Man Left has just announced that it’s new turn-based game, Outwitters, is due out for Android users before the end of January.

In Outwitters, 2-4 players take turns investing their resources (called wits) to summon reinforcements, navigate enemy defenses, and destroy their opponent’s base. You can challenge your friends or get skill-matched by our robust league ranking system.

There are four races to choose from, each with its own cast of characters and a combat specialty to master. Will you side with the seafaring Scallywags, cybernetic Feedback, vitamin-rich Veggienauts, or the aptly-named Adorables?

According to the information sent to us, the game will be free to play — with ads — and additional content available via in-app purchase.

We’re looking forward to checking this one out.

World of Warriors Comes to Android

World of Warriors Comes to Android

Dec 12, 2014

World of Warriors, which was formerly an iOS exclusive is now on Android.

Per the press release:

Mind Candy today has launched its hit mobile game, World of Warriors™, on Android Devices. World of Warriors is an epic adventure and combat strategy game from the makers of the phenomenally successful Moshi Monsters™ franchise.

Already available on the Apple App Store, World of Warriors is available on Google Play beginning today. The #1 role playing game for iPad in over 80 countries in the App store, and featured globally in ‘Best New Games’ with an average 4.5 star rating, World of Warriors also features in ‘The App Store’s Best of 2014’ list. Since the game’s debut on the App Store at the top of November, players have entered into more than 87 million fights and collected 10 million Warriors.

An all-new genre and IP for Mind Candy, World of Warriors blends fighting and RPG gameplay in a pick-up-and-play experience built to appeal to console gamers. Featuring an ever-expanding array of the greatest warriors in history, from Ninjas and Aztecs to Knights and Vikings, World of Warriors takes players on an epic journey across the vast Wildlands.

Every warrior comes with their own incredible backstory, special moves and historical facts. Through heart-pounding battle, elemental-based strategy, a rich crafting system and the chance to compete with players across the globe, World of Warriors delivers an unforgettable battle experience in truly stunning environments.

The game is available for free (with in-app purchases) on the Play Store.

Football Manager Handheld 2015 Review

Football Manager Handheld 2015 Review

Dec 12, 2014

Football Manager Handheld 2015 is the latest in the slimed down series of FM games on mobile. While they share the name with their big brother the complexity is toned down greatly for Android. Does Football Manager 2015 buck this trend?

So what’s new in this retread of FM? Not much. The match engine has been ever so slightly tweaked to be a bit smoother and has some new fading effects. Highlights look a little better.

Screenshot_2014-12-08-21-50-23There is a new Scouting Agency option that shows the top 50 players of a certain type in the world. This is fairly unless if you’re managing a lower level team as they will likely be too expensive.
And that’s it

While Football Manager Handheld 2015 is competent and a decent amount of fun, the real problem with it is that it has not evolved at all from FM2013 and 2014. This is almost exactly the same game and nearly zero features have been added over the last three years.

The player still cannot give team talks or talk to players. This makes it impossible to communicate with players, ask what’s wrong with them, warm them about poor performance or form relationships with them. This is utterly unacceptable and removes a huge chunk of the managerial side of the game, namely handling players. They feel far too much like automations.

Tactical options are as limited as anything. Players and teams cannot be given instructions such as to push further up, go Route One or to focus on retaining possession. Players cannot be given instructions outside of an exceedingly simple “role”. This kills a lot of the tactical side of FM.

This dearth of options makes matches little more than an annoyingly autonomous sequence where the player has little to no tactical involvement aside from setting a formation and putting together the team itself.

The press side of the game is still completely half baked. There are no interesting interviews or chances to comment on happenings and what news there is tends to be dreadfully repetitive and droll.

Screenshot_2014-12-08-21-48-37The poorly made interface is still exactly as annoying to use as it was two years before. Names and other items of interest are still never hotlinked to take you to a page about that person or item. You still need to jump through hoops to reach the relevant menu to check, for example, the stats of a player that you received an offer for or where a team sits in the league. It is clunky, slow and primitive compared to the PC version.

Football Manager Handheld 2015 looks just as mediocre as always. A dull spread sheet look is coupled with the now overly familiar sight of circles moving around on match days. At least the game has nice big text and contrasts well, which is good as plenty of reading is involved as with any management sim. Just like the last two years there is no sound whatsoever. There is no excuse for this.

Football Manger Handheld 2015 is a game that is difficult to recommend. While it’s just as interesting as always the shine has well and truly worn off of a game that stubbornly refuses to evolve as its desktop forefather does. With no big changes from last year and the same limited tactical options FM2015 is not worth a purchase.

New Turn-based Strategy Game Scrolls Unfurls Exclusively on Android!

New Turn-based Strategy Game Scrolls Unfurls Exclusively on Android!

Dec 12, 2014

Mojang, developers of the ridiculously popular mobile version of Minecraft have released their second game on Android. Entitled Scrolls the game promises “The best bits of card and board games, combined on your tablet!

Scrolls seems to be a hex based strategy game involving cards, known in game as scrolls. With over 350 scrolls spread over four differing factions, there is a recipe for some steaming strategic goodness here.

Scrolls contains IAP and is launching solely on Android at this point in time. A iOS release date has yet to be announced.

Expect a review of Scrolls here on Android Rundown in the near future.

Microsoft Office Mobile Gets Update

Microsoft Office Mobile Gets Update

Dec 11, 2014

Microsoft seems to be standing string in its commitment to providing a competitive disconnect solution for Android users, as evidenced by the latest update to Microsoft Office Mobile.

The latest refresh brings Lollipop support, high resolution device support and bug fixes.

Snowboard Party Launches on Google Play

Snowboard Party Launches on Google Play

Dec 11, 2014

RatRod Studio is launching extreme sports sim Snowboard Party to Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

Snowboard Party brings the thrill of snowboarding to your mobile device! Get ready to ride down the slopes at extreme speed and catch some big air to perform the craziest tricks in 15 completely unique adrenaline-filled locations. Jump on your board, learn new moves and improve your snowboarding skills to land sick combos and rack high scores!

Play with your friends using the new online multiplayer mode or challenge riders from all over the world using the online leaderboards. Complete over 75 level objectives, 15 achievements, gain experience and upgrade your favorite snowboarder attributes to perform better and achieve higher scores. Customize your outfit and upgrade your board to give you an extra edge over the competition.

HIGH DEFINITION
Snowboard Party includes next generation 3D graphics specially optimized for your mobile hardware to provide you with the best snowboarding experience.
FREESTYLE
Freestyle is all about the tricks! The rider uses natural and man-made features such as rails, jumps, boxes, logs, rocks and innumerable other objects to perform the sickest tricks!
BIG AIR
Go big or go home! Big air competitions are contests where riders perform tricks on massive jumps while going down the slope at high speed.
HALFPIPE
Perform a wide range of tricks while going down some of the world’s biggest halfpipes. Chain multiple tricks in a row to gain more points and achieve a better score.
MULTIPLAYER
Challenge your friends to a snowboard battle and let’s see who can land the baddest tricks! Share and brag your results with your friends on Twitter.
MASSIVE SELECTION
Select between 11 snowboarders and customize each of them to your preference choosing your favorite gear. A massive collection of boards ranging from different sizes and designs are available allowing you to complement your rider’s skills and abilities.
LEARN TO SNOWBOARD
Over 50 unique tricks to master and hundreds of combinations. Follow the tutorial to get started and progress as you go. Execute the craziest combos and trick sequences to rack up some impressive high scores, gain experience and make a name for yourself.
GAME CONTROLLER
Compatible with most game controllers available.
CUSTOMIZABLE CONTROLS
New fully customizable control system to configure your own button layout. Use the right or left handed control mode, select a control preset or create your own. Use the analog stick or accelerometer option as you wish.
LOADED WITH FEATURES
• Supports all the latest generation devices and optimized for high resolution displays.
• Online multiplayer mode to play against your friends or other riders online.
• New fully customizable control system. You can adjust everything!
• Learn over 50 unique tricks and create hundreds of combinations.
• Massive locations to ride including 15 courses located in the Rockies, Alps and Japan.
• Customize your outfit in style!
• Upgrade your board to improve your rider’s stats.
• Play often to gain experience and upgrade your favorite snowboarder’s attributes.
• Share your results with your friends on Twitter.
• Compatible with Android-based phones and tablets.
• Extended soundtrack featuring songs from Closer, Jack Counteract, Minds Without Purpose, Mr. TaBoo Timmons, No Blitz, Paul Spencer and the Maxines, Pear, The Pinz and We Outspoken. Courtesy of Pulse Records/White Knight Music Group, Inc.
• Ability to purchase experience points or special items using in-app purchases.
• Available in the following languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Chinese.

Snowboard Party is a cross-platform affair, and is priced at $1.99, with additional in-app purchases available.

[Source: RatRod Announcement]

Highrise Heroes Shaking up Android Soon!

Highrise Heroes Shaking up Android Soon!

Dec 11, 2014

Noodlecake Games, purveyors of fun have announced that their new word based game Highrise Heroes will make the jump to everyone’s favorite OS in a few weeks.

Highrise Heroes is an unique concept. Trapped at the top of a skyscraper after an earthquake, players assume the role of Seb as he attempts to escape the stricken structure. Players do this by matching words in a find-a-word type interface. Making words creates a path leading closer to the exit of the building and safety.

Along the way Seb must also save other characters caught in the building. These characters have special abilities that will aid Seb in his quest for survival.

Featuring over 90 levels and 60 additional challenge levels, Highrise Heroes looks like a lot of fun. Expect a review of this one soon after it drops.

Bitcoin Billionare Review

Bitcoin Billionare Review

Dec 11, 2014

At first glance Bitcoin Billionaire hardly seems like a game and in some ways it isn’t. It is in fact a devilishly addictive habit that uses a finely tuned system to show you ads while ensuring you won’t care and will in fact welcome the sight of ads!

Screenshot_2014-12-09-00-30-31Bitcoin Billionaire as you might expect is a game about mining the virtual currency known as Bitcoins. After customizing your avatar with clothes and a spiffy pirate bandana it’s simply a matter of tapping the screen as quickly as possible to generate riches; the faster you tap the more Bitcoins you earn. Once a few Bitcoins have been earned, these can be spent on investments like lottery tickets or collectable comic books. These generate a constant stream of income whenever the player is actively mining or not and also while the app is closed.

What really sets Bitcoin Billionaire apart though is the fantastic freemium model it has, a first for mobile gaming and an excellent idea. Rather than freemium elements like banner ads or videos getting in the player’s way, instead the game asks you, the player if it can enable these irritations. In return the player gets some kind of major bonus. They might get massively increased income per tap for half a minute, leading to a frenetic bout of tapping as quickly as possible, or vastly increased income from investments for a while. Thus the player will WANT to watch videos or allow banner ads to appear so they can cash in on these bonuses. At the same time they can be completely ignored in favour of continuing to tap the screen or whatever. This is a fiendishly brilliant model that entices the player to willingly inflict freemium annoyances on themselves, a truly alien concept to say the least but one that works extremely well.

Screenshot_2014-12-09-00-27-00As well as investing, Bitcoins can be used for cosmetic room upgrades. It starts off with a nicer poster or a paper shredder to replace the busted up ugly stuff your avatar starts with, but after earning a few million Bitcoins the player can switch houses, get some high tech computers, add a dog to keep your miner company and generally progress from some guy in a rundown apartment to a rich haxor with cutting edge tech in a fancy house.
Even your avatar is likeable. He talks a lot and the quotes are often clever or funny depending on what is happening.

Bitcoin Billionaire looks great. It’s warm pixel art style is unmistakeably Noodlecake and the explosions of money from bonus incoming and the constantly trickle of golden Bitcoin flying into your coffers will have pleasure zones popping all over your brain in a way few other games do.
The sound likewise is excellent. The constant tap tap tap of your alter ego’s keyboard as you generate cash is a constant companion and the loud DING sounds from bonus coins are music to the player’s ears. The great retro inspired music really gives the game a peaceful feel.

Bitcoin Billionaire isn’t a deep game. Indeed it is hardly even a game. It’s the epitome of a fun timer waster. It’s fun, not mentally taxing and heinously addictive. The great presentation and satisfying progression make it tough to put it down. Just about anyone should be able to get some fun out of Bitcoin Billionaire.


HERE Maps Officially Lands on Google Play as Beta

HERE Maps Officially Lands on Google Play as Beta

Dec 11, 2014

We’ve been pretty pleased with Nokia’s HERE Maps; the navigation software is generally regarded as the best utility outside (and, maybe, for some folks, even including) Google Maps.

Now, HERE is available for compatible devices directly from Google Play.

Listed as a beta, it offers the things we have come to love from HERE, things like offline functionality and voice navigation. Per the app page:

• Always know where you’re going: Turn-by-turn drive and walk voice guidance even without an Internet connection.
• Maps that always work for you: Interactive maps of more than 100 countries that you can save and continue to use offline.
• Choose the fastest transport option: Integrated public transport maps, directions and information for more than 800 cities in more than 40 countries.
• Avoid delays: Real-time traffic and road closure information in more than 40 countries around the world.
• Plan trips before you go: Personalise maps from your phone or here.com and store all the places you’d like see for when you get there.
• Meet friends here and there: Glympse lets you share your location and what time you’ll get there by SMS or email.

HERE is available for free.

[Source: HERE Maps Blogs via Androidcentral]

Uncover Dark Secrets with Corto Maltese: Secrets of Venice Tomorrow

A few days ago Bulkypix announced that a new game known as Corto Maltese: Secrets of Venice will hit Android on December 11th.

This marks the first time that a character by the well known comic writer Hugo Pratt has featured in a any video game and it looks to be an old school point and clicker, a rather uncommon genre on the platform.

The plot seems to be a pretty Film Noir like tale. The central character has been poisoned by unknowns forces and he now must embark on a journey to find a cure for himself as well as the pieces of a mysterious artifact known as the Clavicule of Solomon that fits into the story as well.

Corto looks very striking and is said to pay homage to Hugo’s style. It certainly nails its comic bonk roots.

While details are light on Corto Maltese the game as said lands tomorrow and you can rely on Android Rundown to feature a review of this promising new tale.