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Mind-bending Game ‘Tricky Test 2’ Receives Christmas Update

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016

Tricky Test 2 gets decked out for Christmas.

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Games

Robo Guy Review

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016

Leveled, platformed adventure.

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Productivity

Flyp Review

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016

Multiple numbers on one phone.

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Sponsored Features

Explore the era of piracy and adventure in Oceans & Empires – downloadable now

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016

Sponsored content.

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Recent Posts

Slack Takes on Emoji

Slack Takes on Emoji

Nov 24, 2016

Slack has long since shown it can work hard; the app is great for teams looking to stay in touch.

Now, it takes a light-headed tack by taking on emoji management.

Per the update, Slack version 2.23.0 brings the ability to longpress on an emoji and get a skin tone selector. Along those lines, users of the Android app can select a default skin tine within the “Advanced” section of the app’s settings.

Also, the developer made some tweaks to the right side of the main menu… to make it (in their words) “righter.”

All in all, any changes to this already vibrant app are welcome. The app remains free on Google Play.

[via Slack Release Notes]

GroupMe Messenger Adds Nougat-facing Feature

GroupMe Messenger Adds Nougat-facing Feature

Nov 23, 2016

Popular messaging application GroupMe has a new feature available now, and it should be of interest to folks that are already immersed in Android Nougat.

Now, GroupMe allows users on Nougat to reply directly from notifications; the update also clears out some bugs.

The app remains free (with in-app purchases).

G5’s Mahjong Journey Gets Thanksgiving Content

G5’s Mahjong Journey Gets Thanksgiving Content

Nov 23, 2016

G5’s Mahjong Journey is getting in on the holiday spirit with a themed update rolling out now.

This update brings a Thanksgiving Event, which tosses in 30 new levels festooned with holiday treats; there are other seasonal goodies like avatars and the like.

There are also bug fixes.

The updated game can be found on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore; it is free with in-app purchases.

mahjong

Toca Boca Launches Toca Life: Stable

Toca Boca Launches Toca Life: Stable

Nov 23, 2016

Well regarded kid-friendly developer Toca Boca has a new app out on Google Play called Toca Life: Stable.

This one brings one of the most requested subjects to the Toca series: equine care. Yep, horses are front and center in this one, as the player moves on from Stable to Arena and Forest.

Players can record video in-app; there are also 24 characters to interface with. Themed outfits, and more.

FEATURES:
– Explore four locations: stable, arena, forest and shop.
– Create stories for 24 new characters plus horses and other animals!
– Care for your horses: feed them, lather them up till they’re nice and clean, brush them.
– Choose outfits from your favorite themes: medieval, western, everyday stable life and fantasy!
– Hop on to ride bikes in the forest and race motorcycles in the arena!
– Set up obstacles and show off your horse’s jumping skills!
– Eat at the food court and use the portable potties!
– Have a campout!
– Snuggle into your sleeping bag to stay warm under the stars!
– Take a canoe ride or swim by a waterfall.
– Make music with magical lily pads!
– Move horses, characters and objects from here to there in the horse transport!
– Record your stories in the app and share with your friends!
– No time limit or high scores — play for as long as you like!
– No third-party advertising

The game is available now, and costs $2.99.

Roundup: Our Favorite Mobile Accessories

Roundup: Our Favorite Mobile Accessories

Nov 23, 2016

We love our gadgets.

There’s no way to get around it. All those circuits and such. And LEDs. We really, really like LEDs. We especially love our smartdevices, those svelte packages of mobile goodness.

And we do love those lovely doodads that make our smartdevices more useful.

We are lucky bunch, in that we get to try out tons of new accessories just about everyday. Some are more useful than others, yes, but each has its own individual charm. Here is a list of some of our favorites… the ones we refuse to leave home without (extra emphasis on the “mobile” aspect of “mobile accessories” here):

Jabra Eclipseje2

Yes, we love our audio accessories, and Bluetooth resources are a dime two dozen, but the Eclipse is one of our favorites.

Sleek form, incorporated charging solution, Google Now functionality, companion apps, Find My Car/Device… this earpiece does the deed, and does it very well.

pm4Polar M400 Fitness Watch

This one is a fitness device first, and a smartwatch second. It’s durable, far from geeky, and its Bluetooth connectivity is just what the doctor ordered. Whether updating fitness data to the MapMyRun app or discreetly showing ones latest email invite, it’s an infinitely fun, useful piece of technology.

WHOOSH! Screen Cleaner Systemwhoosh2

We admit it: we didn’t expect to be as impressed by WHOOSH! Cleaning System as we were, but this stuff just works. It almost literally breathes new life into hitherto grimy smartdevice screens.

The coolest part? It can be used on a host of products: TVs, keyboards, docks and more. WHOOSH! is the cleaning gift that keeps on giving.

bsfiSeagate Backup Plus Portable Drive

Got an angry spouse that’s irate your lost all the Yuletide photos due to an errant SD card? Indemnify yourself with this multipurpose hard drive.

The Seagate Backup Plus is the perfect smartphone complement, as it is small, portable and easily manipulated via companion app. It ain’t no one trick pony neither — it can double as a networked hard drive at home or at work.

Travel with a Chromebook, Macbook or laptop in addition to a smartphone? This baby works with them all, making it even more valuable. By the way, it doesn’t need charging.

Kingston DataTraveler microDuo kmdfi

Speaking of backing stuff up, one thing that makes a lot of sense is an OTG jump drive.

What about an OTG/USB combo unit? Small enough to ride round in your wallet or on your keychain? 16GB? 32… did you say 64?

Now you know why we love the Kingston DataTraveler microDuo; Pictures, movies, ROMs, backups… whatever a smartdevice user could look to use by way of portable data, right on the keychain. It also makes transferring data from a computer to a micro USB device simple, since it has both relevant ends.

Pair this up with the Kingston MobileLite below… yessir.

lime1Limelens Lenses

Good smartdevice cameras aren’t just a cool extra nowadays; they are important components of the perfect device.

Limelens is a dual lens systems that looks to improve camera options from a hardware perspective.

The lenses come with a nifty carry case, and an extra bonus are the cases that work with the lenses, such that one can make a ready-to-go system that can be activated by swapping out a case.

TYLT Energi 10K Portable Chargeren2

TYLT does make stylish accessories, and while there are smaller, handier options (even in TYLT’s own stable of products), but this one stands out because of its raw power.

The Energi 10K can output 2 amps (plus two extra 1 AMP outlets), suitable for the hungriest of current devices. The multiple charging ports are also pretty valuable as it allows one to juice multiple devices across platforms simultaneously.

Its standby ime is pretty commendable too.

lsfiLivescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen

This one is a bit of a novelty, yes, but it can be useful, especially with regards to taking and managing important notes. The optional Evernote functionality helps it to really shine when one has a flash of brilliance that must be recorded.

The wireless functionality is an added plus, as is the on-board voice recorder.

It is fairly durable, and doesn’t mind being used outdoors.

Livescribe has newer (and arguably better) products available, but this one is still very much relevant, and quite affordable.

Logitech Keys-To-Go Bluetooth Keyboardlktg5

Keys-To-Go is a nifty, ultra-lightweight keyboard that is almost thin enough to fit in one’s pocket. In a messenger bag, it could get lost it’s so thin. It comes with a device stand, and the standby time is to die for.

It can be used with any number of bluetooth devices, and is quite cross-platform in nature, meaning one device for all (Windows, iPad, Android, et al).

ken4Kingston 5-in-1 Mobile Companion

Let’s count the ways that the 5-in-1 Mobile Companion warms our hearts: expansive card reader, portable battery, media streamer, private wi-fi router. More. This thingie is the perfect travel companion. Load a movie to USB drive and/or SD card, and folks within range can watch movies.

Perfect for long family drives, as different folks can watch/listen to different media at the same time.

Multipurpose units always find a place on our love lists.

Pelican Case Hardware Review

Pelican Case Hardware Review

Nov 23, 2016

Smartphones are serious business; we have to protect these expensive mini computers. As such, we are taking some time to look at some case options for some of the more popular current devices.

Our loose criteria is based off of style, usage and choice (we’ll be testing with a flagship device, but expect the cases we test to have options made for other devices).

Pelican has made gear that has stood the test of time; seriously, we mean some seriously tough stuff. Now that they also craft smartphone protection, it peli3only make sense to how its mobile products work in the real world. We got to see the Pelican Protector smartphone case in action.

In hand, the case looks and feels like a solid piece of hard plastic, with the cutouts and allowances made for the specific device our test piece was made for: the Samsung S7 Edge. The exterior comes in a light shade of blue with grey accents, while the interior is mostly in grey (there is a black and grey option as well).

Getting it on is as simple as snapping the phone into place; at first glance, it hugs the phone very securely. Towards the left, it utilizes soft cover buttons that work over the volume toggles, and the same setup protects the power button on the other side. Each cutout is precise, and the ports and openings are unobstructed and quite usable while the case is in place. The non-slip finish does come in handy with regards to device usage on the go and the case is fairly easy to remove as well when required.

The S7 Edge provides some interesting challenges when it comes to case coverage because of its side panels; the Pelican Protector side coverage sits right at the base, allowing the device functionality to remain.

In pseudo drop testing, this lightweight accessory does a better than decent job of protection. We did not perform any face down drops though.

Now, the Pelican Protector doesn’t necessarily dazzle from a raw style perspective, but its svelte build allows it to provide a tough exoskeleton while creating little extra bulk. At $32 (on Amazon), it is an affordable way to get Pelican toughness at home.

Dustoff Heli Rescue 2 Review

Dustoff Heli Rescue 2 Review

Nov 22, 2016

Got a hero complex? Dustoff Heli Rescue 2 is here.

Chunky graphics hold sway, but don’t affect the smooth animations. The attention to detail is impressive, and it frames the gameplay to come quite well.

The on-hands tutorial does a good job of presenting the game and simultaneously allowing players to get their toes wet. It starts off with our friendly neighborhood chopper, and learning to get it off the ground. The player also learns how to land — safely, by the way — and the basics of balance and flying.

After this set, the tutorial hints at the type of missions, and allows one to take part passively. rescue, drop-offs and even firefights; as one goes on through this short sequence, one learns how to use the simple directional system, and to understand the color-coding and other subtle gameplay elements.

The actual action emanates from this simple premise. It’s leveled, and every “mission” is preceded by a small informational that details the goals. Then, it’s time to do it, and do it well; rewards for proficiency include gold game coins, plus a star-based ratings system. Mission times apply, so finger dexterity and timing are pluses.

dust3

As one goes on successfully, more levels and goodies are unlocked. Better choppers can be unlocked at particular levels, or one can look to expedite the procurement of upgraded flying equipment. The same goes for weaponry and the like. It’s also possible to purchase boosts at the beginning of a mission, so gold coins do have their purposes.

The management piece helps keep the game interesting. It’s not all about just upgrading and moving on, because there are some junctures that one might look to pick the best tool for the upcoming job, versus simply going for, say, the biggest guns.

It comes together quite well, and works through the different elements found therein.

Battleship Lonewolf: Space TD Arrives on Google Play

Battleship Lonewolf: Space TD Arrives on Google Play

Nov 22, 2016

Calling all space captains!

Battleship Lonewolf: Space TD is a new game from indie developer Tabasco, and it is now available on Google Play.

If the graphics are anything to go by, it definitely looks inviting. The outer space motif is clear, and fits with the battling aspect. The animations are fierce, and the sound almost begs for speaker support.

There is backstory, but the core idea is to take command of the spaceship Lone Wolf, and as already hinted, takes on a diverse set of enemies.

There are weapons to add on and upgrade, so as to become more competitive.

Per the play store entry, there are two modes: mission and survival.

This one is a straight shot purchase with no in-app purchases; $2.99 gets you this game.

Polar M400 Fitness Watch Review

Polar M400 Fitness Watch Review

Nov 22, 2016

Fitness tools with a mobile bent make sense, and Polar is a leading entity in this space; it’s M400 Fitness Watch looks to be a great option for those that want something that does the job of tracking health strides in a relatively unobtrusive way.

So, what do we get?

In testing, I liked the fact that I could get it going with a touch or two. It did take me a few goes (and false starts) to get comfortable, but it worked well overall. The default screen is effective in monochrome default, and the simple activity bar makes sense. The brightness toggle is also a nice touch.

The companion application works well to expand upon the functionality of the unit. It possible to get data to Google Fit, Google Calendar and Polar’s own fitness utilities via the app and Bluetooth. The app allows one to manage units of measurement, device usage, profiles and more. The app works well to be an extended device manager, and syncing data didn’t take too long.

pm3

Now, one aspect of the watch that does resonate is the ability to sync the watch with Android devices via the aforementioned app. As long as both are running and synced, the watch will get notifications from the device. Now, these notifications cannot be acted upon, say, as would be possible on a “true” smartwatch, but are great for basic info on any number of situations.

The Windows component feels a bit clunky, and I did not like that it was necessary for setup; fortunately, beyond updating, there isn’t be a need for it as far as I can tell.

For folks who are still not completely sold on smartwatches for everyday use, or who might strongly lean towards an emphasis on fitness and health tracking, the M400 is a great option. It works well as a standalone product, but can also add functionality here and there via connected smartdevices and/or Polar itself.

Pixelfield Review

Pixelfield Review

Nov 22, 2016

From a visual standpoint, Pixelfield certainly looks atypical, in a retro kind of way. The sticky animations make the action sequences pop, and the extra effects blend in effectively. The deliberate blast-from-the-past delivery does its duty by powering piquing one’s interest from the get go.

Graphics aside, the gameplay had its own familiar cornerstone: it swings in as a first person shooter adventure. You have the choice of two modes to pick from — single or multiplayer — and the main idea is to, well, stay alive.

Single player mode is where we cut our teeth. After picking location and enemy creepers (robots? Zombies? Choices…) it is time to go.

The player’s character gets dropped into a playing area, usually set up for exploration and the like. The view is, as previously noted, in the first-person, and at some point, this character will come upon an enemy thingie. It’s pretty straightforward here: kill or be killed… while looking for pigs, by the way.

Rinse. Repeat.

The action does feel harrowing at times. The baddies move quick, and do their damage by prolonged contact, so at the beginning, using a gun, moving and keeping as much action as possible in front of you is probably the best collective strategy. The online play is more collaborative, which should appeal to group players.

pixel3

It is almost necessary to do upgrades as you get further into the game. One can improve looks, skins weapons and more, and there are boosts to utilize as well.

It’s a lot of the same, yes. Still, multiplayer functionality has a way of covering up a multitude of perceived ills. I also think an interactive map which shows incoming enemies is a drawback, but hey, one man’s drawback is another man’s challenge.

Challenging, interesting, and cute to boot. Old school never gets old.

Thanksgiving Giveaway! G5’s Build-a-lot 4 is Free for a Limited Time

Thanksgiving Giveaway! G5’s Build-a-lot 4 is Free for a Limited Time

Nov 22, 2016

What would the holidays be without a G5 giveaway?

This time, the prolific cross-platform mobile game publisher has Build-a-lot 4 (also styled Build-a-lot 4: Power Source) for free on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

This one makes an adventure of harnessing green energy; say hello to wind farms and solar sourced power. Indeed, this take on city development and resource management means players have to grow judiciously, as getting too ambitious too quickly can be quite detrimental.

Players might have to rethink strategies to succeed, because the drive to be a thriving eco-friendly environment is all about using what one has as wisely as possible.

The game boasts multiple play modes, four campaigns, 60+ levels and upgrade opportunities.

As noted, the game is free now; don’t tarry too long, as the goodness ends on November 27th. Yes, this giveaway extends to iOS.

Check out the trailer:

Slickdeals Gets Better Search Functionality

Slickdeals Gets Better Search Functionality

Nov 19, 2016

It’s holiday season.

Yay?

Everyone has his/her own routine, but if you’re like me, you probably don’t make any purchase, small or large, without consulting the Slickdeals app. The mobile manifestation of Slickdeals.com is perfect for doing minor price comparison.

Now, with its latest build, it has refined its search functionality.

Per Google Play, it is now possible o filter and sort through any search results, and it has incorporated auto-suggest to help speed searches up.

Also, the search bar is always open for prompt access.

We love to hear about Slickdeals getting better; after all, it is an app we are addicted to.

It remains free on Google Play.

screenshot_20161119-012555

The Trail Review

The Trail Review

Nov 18, 2016

You might not believe you have a New World pioneering spirit deep down inside, but The Trail, a new-ish game under the Kongregate banner, just might have you doubting that surety.

This one has some great pedigree too, being another Peter Molyneux production; this one definitely reaches for the inner pilgrim; it’s set in a what feels like a newly populated land, and the player takes on the persona of one of the brave souls looking to make their fortune in the mostly uncharted territory.

The game begins with a very detailed, extensive tutorial; it leads one through selecting a character, and then gives the hint of a backstory which involves trail3the player arriving in the new land by ship. Thereafter, the game leads the player through the activities that hopefully ensure success. With the use of an in-game guide, the game slowly comes to life.

There is a lot of exploration; there are target destination in place, and the core idea is to make it to the checkpoints, replenish the life-source, and continue on. Secondary to that, there are plenty of mini-tasks to accomplish. One is collecting materials as one travels the pathways. This is very important, because this supplies the entire game, and involves things like collecting edibles and other things which can be crafted for trades.

This collection element is interestingly layered. After a while, one gets to do stuff like hack tree stumps and/or hunt game. There is also a resource management aspect; there is limited space to collect materials, so one needs to know what to carry or discard. Does one item have better trade-in or crafting value than another? Energy depletion is a real danger, so does one have an emergency snack onboard? Decisions, decisions…

These opportunity costs really make the game interesting. Stuff can be expedited with real cash, but play can go on without it. Progress unlocks more and more stuff, and the game continually unfolds, which is surprising for something that, at first glance, looks like a gingerly walk along the path. Take the trading battles for instance; losing is not to be condoned!

It comes together nicely; the graphics feel stilted at times, but the visuals do the job of adequately conveying the gameplay. All in all, it is easy to enjoy, and tough to put down; the combination of action, strategy and management make it easy to get addicted to.

Warlord Strike Launches on Google Play

Warlord Strike Launches on Google Play

Nov 18, 2016

Finally!

We’ve been keeping an eye out for it, and finally, Blind Mice’s new game Warlord Strike has landed on Google Play.

Yessir…

This one is a MOBA title, and calls on players to become the ultimate warlord; players get to select a team of up to five heroes and collect orbs to fight with. There are practice modes which allow players to perfect their craft, and also the opportunity to play with friends or random opponents in PvP battle.

The game is available, now for free (with in-app purchases), on Google Play.

Check out the trailer below:

[via Warlord Strike press page]

Chess Runner Gets an Update

Chess Runner Gets an Update

Nov 18, 2016

There aren’t too many games like Chess Runner — an innovative coupling of the strategy game and endless runner — and it is getting an update that keeps it interesting.

The new update brings new spiral and cube levels and expanded pawn march play.

As a lone white knight, players dodge enemy pieces in real-time on an obstacle course of Chess pieces in order to capture a runaway King or other black pieces. It’s a game that requires quick reflexes and a sharp eye to keep from being captured or from falling off a rapidly crumbling board. Chess Runner is the only game that captures the addictive nature of arcade play along with classic elements of Chess.

Sounds interesting!

The game — with the new build — is free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play.

Check out the trailer:

Upcoming Game ‘Star Wars: Force Arena’ Announced

Upcoming Game ‘Star Wars: Force Arena’ Announced

Nov 18, 2016

Star Wars: Force Arena, an upcoming collaborative effort of Netmarble and Lucasfilm, has just been unveiled.

According to the presser, we can look forward to a game that smack dab in the middle of the Star Wars universe; players get to pick a side (Empire or rebels), and then take a charge of a group of fighters to take on opponents in real time. The game makes use of character cards, and these can be upgraded to build a stronger team.

Of course, we get see familiar faces like Leia, Vader, Skywalker and a lot more.

Netmarble’s marketing chief Seungwon Lee is happy to have the opportunity extend fans high hopes. “We are thrilled to announce Star Wars: Force Arena, a real-time PvP mobile game based on the globally popular Star Wars franchise,” he says. “We hope to bring the same level of excitement to the mobile arena that Star Wars has given its fans around the world. Sign-up for pre-registration today, and be notified when the game goes live as we kick-off a whole new adrenaline-fueled Star Wars adventure together.“

And then, there’s the opportunity to pre-register. Per the press release, if specific registration thresholds are met, there will be bonuses for everyone:

To kick off the game’s pre-registration, all players that sign up will be rewarded crystals that can be used as in-game currency to purchase items and strengthen characters within the game. Depending on the number of players that pre-register, more crystals will be given to players for a duration of two weeks after the official global launch. 250 crystals will be rewarded if more than 10,000 players sign up, 700 crystals for more than 100,000 and 1,400 crystals will be given to all players if more than a million sign up for pre-registration. Players can sign up for pre-registration at the game’s official website (www.starwarsforcearena.com).

Android users can pre-register here: Star Wars: Force Arena Pre-registration.

Check out a Google Play-hosted image below:

swfa2