Christmas morning is here and we all feel the same excitement while rushing to check the gifts under the tree. As geeks and technology addicts, we’re hoping for gadgets and more gadgets, especially the Android kind. We’re not picky either, we’ll take anything from a phone to a tablet, an NVIDIA Shield, or an Android TV Stick.
If you’re lucky enough to be a recipient of such gear, you’re certainly excited to set it up and load it with excellent apps and games. Or maybe, this is your first foray into the Android ecosystem and you have no idea how and where to get started. That’s why we’ve combed through the hundreds of posts we published this year to roundup the best content for you.
From apps to games, how-tos, and opinions, you’ll find enough articles here to last you weeks. So get your browser tabs ready for an onslaught of articles, press that power button on your shiny new gadget and follow us down this wonderfully geeky journey. But keep in mind that we are not responsible for the amount of time you spend glued to your screen and away from your family today!
When Ubisoft’s massively successful franchise ‘Assassins Creed’ was released for consoles a few years ago, gamers just couldn’t get enough. The seemingly endless world made for a fantastic environment for a free-running assassin. After a few more iterations, things are slowing down on the console front, and heating up on smartphones.
The developer has just released the much-anticipated ‘Assassins Creed Pirates’ for Android and iOS prompting mixed reviews on the Play Store. Ubisoft say that players will “break the rules” to “challenge empires and build a fortune”; an ambitious claim for a game restricted to smartphones. Let’s see if the newest Assassins Creed will live up to its huge expectations.
There’s no question that smartphones and tablets have become by far the biggest gaming platform in the world, surpassing dedicated gaming devices with the sheer size of their user base and gaming software on offer. However, it is worth considering that the Google Play store is an environment which creates only a few gaming mega-hits per year, with many hopeful, worthy titles quickly fading into obscurity.
For an independent game developer, these struggles for exposure are often insurmountable. Google’s openness and transparency regarding app download figures provides a sobering — and often depressing — insight into these difficulties, with many games boasting a shocking lack of players. Here, we have collated 7 very worthwhile gaming experiences on Android that have most definitely flown under your — and almost everyone else’s — radar, but are well worth playing.
One of my favourite things about writing app reviews is the amount of cool new things I’m exposed to daily. It goes well beyond software, and I often learn about really cool projects simply because I’ve been exposed to unique designers and their interesting projects.
One of those exact situations happened recently with Neven Mrgan, a designer who believes in the end product and not the means (and yes, that’s how you spell his name). I like his work. As it turns out, he has released a new game on both iOS and Android called Blackbar that’s… Well, it’s unlike any game I’ve ever played. Read on to find out more about it.
I’m always impressed when I find a really great game on a smartphone that feels like it’s really been handcrafted for the platform. Most of the games I play on smartphones feel like they’re console game imitations, unaware of their own limitations or grossly ignoring them.
That’s what makes Finding Teddy such a joy for me. This is one of those rare Android games that’s not only excellent and tons of fun to play, but truly built from the ground up for a mobile platform. In every sense of the word, this is a smartphone experience. But that doesn’t mean it feels small — in fact, I’d argue the opposite.
Since Need for Speed: Underground revolutionized racing games a decade ago, many copycats have come into the market. I’m a big fan of the genre and have dozens of racing games on my tablet, however, to my detriment, it’s very easy to develop and publish on Android, so many of the games that I find are barely playable and most seem to sing from the same hymn sheet — zero innovation.
But now that devices are getting more powerful and the OS can handle more complex graphics and processes, things are certainly getting interesting. Games that would have been impossible just a couple of years ago are easily developed and supported on Android. CSR Racing is such a game. Judging by its appearance, this drag racer has very little to offer. But looks can be deceiving; let’s check it out.
I remember my first video game console. It was 1989, I was 4 years old and my parents got me a NES with Super Mario Bros. Since then, I’ve been a fairly avid video game player — though admittedly not as often lately as I’d like to. I’ve had Nintendos, PlayStations, Xboxes, PC Games, mobile games, and more. Right now, we are on the cusp of a new popular platform for gaming: the browser. They are getting more powerful, they are everywhere, and thanks to Brass Monkey, they feel like consoles….
I’m always looking for quick fun games that, hopefully, don’t cost me too much money. I have friends with kids — and a new niece. Since I’m not a parent yet, I have no qualms with passing somebody else’s kids an electronic device in the hopes that they’ll amuse themselves.
With that in mind, Busy Beaver caught my eye when I saw it on the Play Store. It was free and looked like a more colourful version of Tetris. Plus, it featured a beaver! There probably wasn’t a single better way to let Canadian children pass the time. I just didn’t realize I’d like it too.
With Android 4.0+, Google introduced the Holo scheme of design principles that promoted clean and digitally authentic design. Many third-party apps have since adopted these design themes, but the phenomenon isn’t exclusive to just social networking clients and calculators. In this roundup, we’ll be taking a look at fifteen awesome Holo-inspired games that you can grab for your Android handset from the Play Store today!
Google I/O week is a time in which we’re always promised a bunch of news from everyone’s favourite Mountain View-based company. While some rumoured announcements, especially in regards to hardware, failed to show, the week was still filled with a whole host of interesting Android news. Let’s jump in and take a look! (more…)