Good news incoming for fans of the kid robot with cannons in his butt! Developer Animoca Brands has announced two new Astroboy games!
Astroboy Flight is a vertically aligned endless runner (flyer?) that looks rather a lot like an old school vertical shooter. It should be available “shortly” on Android and is already available on iOS.
I recall getting on Android, and finding out how cool it was that I was able to so thoroughly customize a device to fit my personality. Way back then, I found out about this fantastic database of free digital content called DeviantArt.
I admit: the name scared me. But I soon found out that it was the best place to find curated content that can be used in a number of ways. My device wallpapers and backgrounds have never been the same.
And now, finally, DeviantArt is going mobile — really mobile — in the form of a dedicated app.
The mobile app will allow users to check out content, and also submit work and interact with other users. When one considers the amount of traffic DeviantArt gets (2.5 billion monthly page views according to the presser), the app clearly sounds that much more valuable. As is stated in the informational, “Simply put, the DeviantArt mobile app is the world’s largest art gallery in your hand.”
– Today Page – every day, the editorial team will draw from and reflect back to the community a vibrant combination of news, features, curations and conversations.
– What’s Hot, Undiscovered, Daily Deviations and Explore – gives users ways to be liberated and inspired with extraordinary images drawn from an art collection powered by over 33 million artists and curators on DeviantArt. Features like “More Like This” associate images through member-curated Collections to provide endless entertainment and inspiration while traveling through the app by browsing layers of similar art.
– Status Updates – post short updates and in-phone camera images in a simple and direct format that lets users create informal conversations with watchers. Status updates allow users to share how they’re feeling, what they’re thinking, what they’re working on or to share the work of an artist they love.
– Watch Feed – a personalized and easy-to-access feed of every Journal, Collection or Status Update posted by watchlist.
– Notifications – the communication center of the app where users can manage all mentions, replies and other messages. This feature is similar to the website’s Message Center.
– Submit – submit art and literature to DeviantArt or compose a status update to initiate rich visual conversations.
I’m sure of one thing: there is a Bruce Lee in all of us.
There’s something about the martial arts legend that causes us to want to take on multitudes of unjust enemies, and kick them into oblivion. Watching his movies growing up almost always caused impromptu, slippered hand-to-hand combat fights.
Well, it seems we can relive those days, here and now, on our Android-powered devices, in the manifestation of Bruce Lee: Enter The Game.
The game is a 2D-ish, colorful arcade game with elements of beat-em-up and side-scrolling tossed in. Front and center, an appropriately shirtless Bruce Lee is our controlled protagonist, and right from the get go, with the interestingly set graphics, we can see our man is ready for business.
The gameplay gets straight to it. The first stanza is a tutorial of sorts, and gives an idea of how the controls work: generally, gestures rule the coop, and they guide walking and attacks, as well as counters. Intuitively, the direction of the swipe determines the direction of the hit or counter. Basically, a lot of lifebar-ed hoodlums come from either side of Bruce, looking to crash his awesome party; Bruce’s (the player’s) job is to use aforementioned moves to thwart them and reduce their lifebars to nothingness.
So, at the base level, the idea is to stay alive while accumulating spendable coins by beating up the bad guys. With a little bit of practice, one gets better at taking on the waves of thugs effectively. The gameplay is leveled, with each styled as some sort of missions, and the challenge predictably gets harder as one makes progress.
To deal with the heightening capabilities of the game engine, it becomes necessary to upgrade Bruce. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How does one improve on unparalleled greatness? This game allows us to pretend to, and Bruce’s attributes can be increased with earned coins. The increased attributes (like the ability to withstand initial hits) are invaluable further on in the game. Also, there’s the ability to acquire helpers (boosts) before every round. Each round gets scored on a star system.
The game does allow for in-app purchasing, but, with diligent gameplay, the use of real money can be avoided. Sometimes, it does feel a bit repetitive, but the complexity of the characters, the side challenges and the extra moves help alleviate this.
All in all, it is a fun game that manages to bring the past to life without lulling folks to sleep. As such, I suspect this is the type of game Mr Lee would be proud of.
To say that the card battler is a well worn genre on Android would be the understatement of the year. A basketball card battler is much rarer however. Is NBA All Net swish?
NBA All Net’s gameplay is mind numbing and no different to other card battlers on the platform except it’s in the form of basketball. Players simply tap on the “challenge” they would like to play (Which features a description that has nothing to do with the game) and then sit back and watch the game as it unfolds. Players play no role in the game once it has started and it is based on card stats only. Games are dreadfully boring to watch and feature more repetitive animation than an entire season of Scooby Doo so they are best skipped.
After the match the player receives experience and sometimes an item or extra player for their team. These items can be given to cards to increase their stats. Repeat ad infinitum and that’s NBA All Net in a nutshell.
There are many ways to make players stronger. The most basic way is training,which rasies card stats after a timer and at the cost of money.
Ranking up is another way to increase stats. Using items randomly found in game (or more commonly bought with real money) and large amounts of in game currency this provides much larger gains than training would but is otherwise exactly the same.
None of this is interesting or involving. It lacks any of the fun and personality of a game like WWE Supercard. The only reward for making cards stronger is more dull tap-and-watch “gameplay” that gets dull fast. Players cannot even build a team of their favourite basketball players because of how the game randomly dishes out players.
As benefits its b-ball theme, NBA All Net features drafting and training. However these are simply the way the player acquires new cards and strengthens their existing cards, just like every other card game on mobile.
NBA All Net is packed with in app purchases to a ridiculous degree. There are not only straight up diamond purchases, but also a $5 a month scheme that provides 100 diamonds a day, ensuring that pay to win is in full effect in the game. On top of that there are “loyalty packs” that provide extra awards for purchasing large amounts of diamonds. The money grabs in NBA All Net have the subtlety of a neon sledgehammer.
NBA All Net’s graphics leave much to be desired. The actual basketball action is a herky jerky affair with a poor framrate and animation that jerks all over the place. This is simply not acceptable on a quad core smartphone with 3gb of RAM.
The sound is also very repetitive. Every basket has the same crowd roars, and fanfares repeat too often. Some tepid rap music does nothing for the game and gets irritating very quickly. Here’s a dope jam indeed.
NBA All Net is a entirely forgettable entry in the already packed card battler genre on Android. It has absolutely no strengths, cynical in app purchases, and is boring to play. Players will be much better served playing WWE Supercard or an actual basketball game.
I know we’ve been harping on being organized… with good reason, too. With all the devices and accessories, it gets busy. Toss in a kid or two (with their own electronics and such) and a company-issued device, and one begins to approach wired purgatory.
So, it makes sense that accessories that help us to more effectively manage these devices will be if a high premium. Thankfully, proprietary cables are not the norm on Android, because solutions like the RAVPower USB Charging Station use cable standardization as a means to being order to chaos. In essence, this series of products looks to a central port for multiple USB cables, theoretically eliminating the need for several plugs and outlets.
RAVPower sent us two iterations of the product to check out: the four (4) port version (pictured) and the six (6) port one as well. Outside the obvious difference in ports, both units are physically similar, but the 4-Port unit is actually slightly smaller than the “6” at 3.6 x 1.2 x 3.5 inches and 6.1 ounces. Both review units are black, but there is also the option of white. Physically, they both have a polished feel, with a non-slip rubber rectangle on the underside. The port reside on one end, and the power input is on the opposite end. Each unit also comes with a detachable power cord and documentation.
The “6” all but begged to be put through the paces. On paper, it certainly sounds interesting, with three ports rated at a max of 2.4A, and the rest are 1A. Setup is intuitively easy; the unit is plugged into a power source, and then individual electronics can be charged by it via USB cable inserted into onto one of the ports. And yes, the unit charges as advertised. The stated iSmart technology (which adjust charging output as needed) is a simple helper that makes sense.
Where it really shines is the portability. It’s easily slipped in a Go-bag, and while putting it in my pocket isn’t something I would prefer, it can work.
I might be asking too much, but for my needs, even though the unit helps with an organized front, the user will need those USB cables. I am weary about retractable solutions, but maybe, just maybe that could make it perfect. Still, as-is, it is an excellent solution worth trying, and one that lends itself to the notion of being indispensable.
Ludo Master is a colourful attempt to rejuvenate the classic board game played by grandmothers everywhere. Is it worth playing?
Ludo Master plays a good game of ludo with a few bells and whistles. A neat dice strength gauge allows for harder of softer dice throws so you can try to “turn” the dice over to get another six just like real life. When a piece lands on an opponent a mini punch up ensures as they are sent back to their base. Multiple boards are available and the game lacks any nasty bugs or other impediments to success.
At the same time though this is Ludo and nothing more. There are no alternate game modes or special rule sets to use. Ludo is such a well-worn game it would be nice to see a few spanners thrown into the works with some oddball game variations, but what’s here is well executed and perfectly playable.
Games can be played against other players or against the AI. The AI is good enough, although it sometimes make questionable tactical choices, like opting not to land on an opponents pieces and moving something else instead.
A baffling omission in Ludo Master is the complete lack of online play, or even Bluetooth multiplayer. This means that players must share the same device to play games against each other, which is unwieldy to say the least. This is a missed opportunity and lessens the game’s replay value by a lot.
It does seem that dice in Ludo Master can act a bit weird. In a game I played the blue player seemed to constantly cheat as he managed to get two sixes one after another three times in 5 turns and mostly threw fives when he wasn’t throwing sixes. Meanwhile it took me 15 throws to throw a single 1 to win a game in which I had previously thrown 5 ones in a row.
Ludo Master features extremely minimal IAP. The game itself is free and one 99 cent charge removes the banner ad that is on screen during games and the delays between menu screens for “loading”. There are no such delays when games are in progress. This is very reasonable.
Ludo Master looks as good as a board game can. The game is bright and colourful and there are multiple board designs and each looks good in its own way. The sound works well too. A peaceful tune accompanies the pleasant gameplay and the odd popping of moving pieces and amusing punching sounds for taking opponent pieces gets the job done.
Ludo Master is a friendly and good looking game of ludo for free and is worth playing, but the questionable dice rolls and lack of online play hampers its long term gameplay value.
Just as hit TV show Sons of Anarchy is winding down, fans can drown their sorrow in an upcoming game from show creator Kurt Sutter and Orpheus Interactive titled Sons of Anarchy: The Project.
The game looks to be an episode-based story driven game which opens up a “brand new way to take on the Sons of Anarchy universe” according to the official press release.
More from the release:
Orpheus Interactive today confirmed a partnership with Fox Digital Entertainment on the development of an interactive game, Sons of Anarchy: The Prospect, the existence of which was previously teased by show creator and Executive Producer Kurt Sutter.
The first episode of Sons of Anarchy: The Prospect sets the stage for a brand new way to take in the Sons of Anarchy universe. Fans of the wildly popular TV series, which is currently wrapping up its seventh and final season on FX, will have a chance to explore an original story, location and previously unknown chapter of the motorcycle club. The interactive, episode-based game takes players on a new ride, with additional episodes becoming available on an ongoing basis. In keeping with the world Sutter has created, this extension of the mythology gives fans a chance to experience the treachery, graphic action, intrigue and life and death decision making they have come to anticipate from the show.
Orpheus, a freshly-formed Canadian game studio comprised of game development talent with multiple blockbusters under their belts, acquired the rights to make a game using the Sons of Anarchy license in 2013. They’ve enlisted the help of Silverback Games, another Canadian developer known for their story-driven games, and together have teamed up with Kurt Sutter and his creative team to make Sons of Anarchy: The Prospect an experience that is both compelling to players and faithful to the show.
Mineshaft is one of those games that takes a simple idea and turns it into a game that is hard to put down and can be played by just about anyone.
Players control a miner on a frightfully unreliable elevator. If this deathtrap slams into anything at more than a very slow speed it explodes, ending the game. The elevator automatically moves downwards and the only player control is a brake to slow it down or stop it. When the elevator comes to a stop, a stick of dynamite is laid and the idea is to get the dynamite as close to the bottom of the mineshaft as possible to dig deeper. The force of the explosion sends the elevator hurtling upwards afterwards threatening to smash it against the top of the mineshaft. As the shaft gets deeper the fuse of the dynamite also comes into play as there is only about 5 seconds to plant the dynamite before it goes off, blowing the flimsy elevator up again!
The game thus becomes a balancing act of getting to the bottom of the shaft quickly with the dynamite before it blows the halpless miner into chunks, but not so fast that the elevator breaks apart like a piece of wet tissue paper. This is great fun and incredibly addictive. Mineshaft is very difficult which just adds to the appeal since every screwup in the game is the player’s own fault as there are no nasty freemium features or paywalls. The one finger controls also make it easy for even the most casual gamers to play. The game also keeps track of how far you dig, how many bombs you plant and how many miners have been “retired”.
Mineshaft does feature ads, but they are only on the screen after the game ends, so they do not detract from gameplay. Both a banner ad and the occasional popup are present, but never any super annoying video ads. The pop up ads only appear every five games or so which is not too often and the game has no in app purchases at all. There is no “shafting” here.
Mineshaft looks nice. A clean, simple pixel style makes the game easy to play on any device and doesn’t distract from the important business of not getting blown apart. The animation for the miner being smashed apart is a hilarious as well as bits and pieces of elevator and miner go every which way and ragdoll all over the place which is always funny to watch.
The sound is simple yet effective. There is the frenetic sound of the elevator hurtling towards its doom that gets louder and higher pitched as it moves faster and faster, the nice BOOM of dynamite and when the game is over a really catchy piece of music plays. There is no music during the actual game. The screaming of the elevator cable really drives the game’s atmosphere home.
Mineshaft is fun stuff and can be played for any length of time. The super simple controls, clever gameplay and fierce addictiveness make it a winner. Pick it.
The app is simple: one can upload an image to it, use the app’s software to scale the image, and submit it to the developer (with the required fees). 14 days later, the custom paddle is shipped to its creator.
Uberpong Chief David Lowe talks about responding to the community. “The possibilities are endless and with the holiday season fast approaching and people looking for creative gift ideas, we are making it even easier for customers to create their paddles,” he says. “The ability to upload your photos from your favorite social networks is a big plus and we are again responding to the demand from our community. The app extends Uberpong’s reach into the mobile space and is the next product in the Uberpong Universe.”
This foray into advanced functionality via mobile app is indeed exciting. The app is available for free, and more information can be gleaned from the Uberpong website.
Creative Assembly, developers of the critically acclaimed and long running Total War series of games have announced a brand new cross-platform game for both mobile OS and PC/Mac known as Total War Battles: Kingdoms.
The game is currently in closed beta and looks to be a mix between real time large scale combat and kingdom building, hopefully with a minimum of freemium. Details are light at the moment but you can trust Android Rundown and yours truly to watch the development of this game very closely.
The game is soon to enter a closed beta so register your interest here!
One More Line is yet another in a seemingly endless stream of brutally hard minimalist games that was kicked off with the venerable Flappy Bird. Is it the bottom line?
One More Line is as simple to describe as it is to play. A small rocket like ship flies along a course filled with strange planet like things. Tapping and holding the screen causes the ship to latch onto these planets and begin orbiting them. The aim is to use the planets to fling the ship around obstacles in an effort to get as far as possible. Hitting a planet or the sides of the course ends the game.
One More Line is extremely difficult. The game requires perfect timing to not slam helplessly into a wall as the player must let go of a planet when the ship is facing the right way, lest they end up facing a wall. This isn’t the fun kind of hard though as found in other games like RETRY or Mineshaft, but rather the frustrating luck of the draw type difficulty where it’s a total crapshoot as to whenever the player can navigate the course or not
None of this is fun. The game simply fails to be interesting. The flinging mechanic is very random and strange as it is nearly impossible to accurately gauge where the ship will go when orbiting a planet. The game lacks any kind of gameplay variation as well making it get dull quickly.
One More Line features rather poor graphics. The planets the player orbits are little more than circles, the player is some kind of tiny white ship and the only interesting looking thing in the game si the neat rainbow trail the player’s ship leaves behind as it moves. Retro can be cool, but this game just does nothing with the concept. It isn’t up the standards of other retro space games, such as Battlestation: First Conflict and doesn’t emulate a particular style.
The sound is fairly bad as well. One More Line boasts that it has music composed by Batterie an apparently famous Sydney based composer. It is difficult to appreciate this however as the music restarts whenever the player dies and so usually players are just going to hear the first few seconds of the song without being able to actually listen to it. It kind of seems that the game itself is an ad for the music. There is also a distracting ad banner on the screen at all times
One More Line is a punishing and dull attempt at yet another overly difficult game and there are simply far too many premium gaming experiences on Android to take the time to play it, let alone play it well.
Ingress, Google/Niantic’s augmented reality thriller, continues the drive to get better with its latest update, which adds the ability to pause missions.
Misions is a new feature that was recently added.
The new build also brings bug fixes.
Ingress remains a trailblazer in its genre, bringing new features and interesting tweaks to its outstanding gameplay just over two years into its life. In that time, it has gone cross-platform and increased play area significantly. In many ways, it has far transcended a “simple capture the flag” adventure.
We had the opportunity to look at Ingress shortly after it launched, and loved it; it remains free on the Play Store.
Mobile devices have quickly evolved into major business, especially for those who actually use them to conduct business. Better technology and more productivity apps have found a home on Android devices, but getting real work done can still be a chore without the right tools. These Android accessories will satisfy the person on your list who just can’t stop working.
ZAGG Universal Bluetooth Keyboard
Android’s built-in keyboard has received steady improvement since the OS first released, but it is still not nearly as efficient as a classic keyboard. The sleek-designed ZAGG Universal Bluetooth keyboard makes typing on tablets and smartphones enjoyable. The ergonomic design makes the keyboard comfortable and natural for all users. While the keyboard is portable, it is not too small where it ruins the typing experience.
The ZAGG keyboard is priced at $69.99 and can be purchased through the company’s official website. It comes packed with a protective case for carrying and storing the keyboard, which also doubles as a stand for any tablet or smartphone.
GoSmart 200 Stylus
A nice pen has always been a classic gift for a bussinessperson. With touchscreen technology abound, a pen can be replaced by a stylus. In addition to avoiding leaving fingerprint smudges and touching a germ-filled device’s screen, using a stylus offers more precision, especially for hardcore users. The GoSmart 200 stylus can easily be mistaken for an executive pen, but it is effective on touchscreen devices.
At only $19.95, the GoSmart 200 stylus represents a serious value. Use it as stocking stuffer and watch as the Android user on your list never uses fingers again. Read our review of the stylus here.
LG G Watch R
The one thing workaholics want more of is time — and who has enough time to actually pull out their phone when a new call or message is coming through? The LG G Watch R smartwatch allows users to save time and keep their focus on the business at hand. The watch connects to an Android phone and displays alerts such as messages, calls, emails and weather directly on the watch’s face. But the G Watch R’s best feature is its design. Unlike other smartwatches, the device looks like a high quality watch when alerts are not being displayed.
Priced at $299, the LG G Watch R is the perfect gift for the Android user who has been extra nice this year. It can be purchased via the Google Play Store and many retail outlets.
SanDisk 128GB MicroSD Card
Between downloading PDFs, creating reports, and updating documents, stock Android devices simply are not equipped with enough memory. Power users will quickly blow through space with music, photos, and apps alone. The SanDisk 128GB MicroSD card is the ultimate solution. The extra memory slides into the Android device’s microSD slot — a luxury that iPhone users do not have — and adds backup to the phone’s own internal memory.
The memory card offers all the storage space an Android user could possibly need at only $119.99. If that is too pricey, choose a smaller amount of memory for a cheaper price.
The best jigsaw puzzle app for smartphone and tablet – of course from Ravensburger. A huge selection of motifs, intuitive controls, original Ravensburger quality, beginner-friendly tutorials.
For more than 50 years, Ravensburger has been known as the European market leader for its high-quality jigsaw puzzles. We now offer a combination of the tradition and expertise of classical puzzles with the advantages and possibilities of digital puzzles for smartphone and tablet.
Never before has it been so easy to follow your passion for jigsaw puzzles. Whether at home or while traveling, your smartphone or tablet allows you to access your personal puzzle collection anytime and anywhere.
No lost pieces, no occupying the dinner table for weeks. Start the app, select a puzzle and go. For beginners, kids or puzzle pros: The original Ravensburger stamps in 20, 40, 60, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400 or 500 pieces offer every puzzler a challenge.
The comprehensive tutorials allow an ideal introduction to the digital world of jigsaw puzzles so you can play like a master puzzler after only a few minutes and enjoy 100% of the puzzle fun.
▶ More than 400 new puzzles from the most popular categories are available in the shop
▶ All of the puzzles can be played in the original Ravensburger stamp version with 20 – 500 pieces
▶ Intuitive puzzle controls
▶ Helpful sorting options for a better overview on your smartphone or tablet
▶ Practical use of the digital medium with several puzzle aids
▶ Sophisticated 3D look of the puzzle pieces with physically realistic behavior
▶ New motifs and puzzles offered weekly in the puzzle shop
▶ Original motifs from Gelini available in the shop (licensed motifs might not be available in every country)
▶ Different table backgrounds can be selected for a customized look
▶ Free selection of the background music
▶ Google Play Games support for comparing your high scores and puzzle success
▶ Playing the app does not require an internet connection – an internet connection is only necessary for the initial download of newly purchased puzzles
This game contains the possibility to buy extra content through in-app purchases. With the initial purchase of the game comes a basic number of motifs which can be played for free. Additional motifs can be bought within the game.
For the launch of the Android version and for a few days only, Ravensburger Digital is offering all images at a special 10% holiday season discount.
80 Days, the mobile title named by Time as Game of the Year, is coming to Android this month.
Set in an alternate-history version of Jules Verne’s Victorian era, 80 Days sends players on a real-time race around an ever changing, often surprising steampunk world. Playing as Phileas Fogg’s French valet Passepartout, you must use strategy and cunning to help your employer win a hefty bet. Choose your route, manage your finances, and lose yourself in an epic, branching adventure as you attempt to circumnavigate the globe in only 80 days — or faster! Stylishly illustrated with art deco-inspired graphics and situated on a lush 3D globe, the game plays out beneath a non-stop clock, the sun rising and setting as you explore cities, visit markets, talk to people, tend to Fogg’s well-being, and execute each stage of your epic journey.
Spinning off from Verne’s 1873 novel Around the World in 80 Days, writer Meg Jayanth has crafted a huge, dynamic world out of branching stories that have outcomes determined by the player’s decisions. Just in time for the holidays, the new arctic expedition offers the globe-trotting Fogg and Passepartout an enticing shortcut through the North Pole — but the unforgiving landscape makes for a treacherous course, and players will find that certain choices result in 80 Days’ most unexpected consequences yet.
According to the press release, Android users can begin to partake of the goodness on December 16th. If we are to extrapolate from an inactive place holder on the 80 Days site, we can expect an Amazon Appstore release as well.