If you were a Mac user in the late 90s, the must-have game was an open-world 2D space trading simulation called Escape Velocity. You piloted a ship in a vast universe, warping from one star system to another taking on missions, trading, upgrading your ship, duking it out with other ships, and causing mischief. You could play however you wanted to play — be who you wanted to be. It was the greatest realization of the open-world spacefaring concept since David Braben’s much-renowned 80s classic Elite.
This is the context for Space RPG, a game that looks and plays remarkably like Escape Velocity — only less fleshed-out. It feels right at home on Android, and stands strong as one of the better space games on the platform, although EV fans might think it something of a prototype — or a lite version — for a revival of their beloved franchise. Space RPG is good, but it could be way better.
I’m loving the current trend of old games getting polished up and ported to new platforms. It exposes new audiences to ideas that maybe don’t get the due they deserve nowadays, dishes out nostalgia to fans of the original, and explores how old-school gaming can adapt to the pick-up-and-play modern world.
But it’s not often one of my old favorites gets a reboot. Galactic conquest game Spaceward Ho! was a mainstay on the Mac in the 90s, burning through five major revisions over 13 years and helping pave the way for the likes of Mater of Orion and Gazillionaire, and now it’s been resurrected for Android. Let’s see how classic holds up.
Space Invaders gets re-imagined and remade all the time, and nobody bats an eyelid. But every so often one of these games does something interesting or different. Voxel Invaders mixes Space Invaders with the Galaxian/Galaga formula of wraparound screens and kamikaze dives, throws in a little modern space shoot-‘em-up, and wraps it all in voxel-based graphics — voxels are three-dimensional pixels.
When it’s not destroying you with overbearing difficulty, Voxel Invaders is a fun game and a cool twist on an arcade classic. There are a number of minor issues, but it’s definitely worth a look.
I love space. Floor space. Closet space. Memory space. But most of all I love space; the one up there, out there or whichever way you want to put it. That big hollow abyss conversely filled with such energy and wonder. One of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done was to drink a cup of coffee with the intention of working through the night. However, writer’s block set in and the words would not come. I lay in a state of self-induced insomnia staring up out at the universe feeling like the smallest drop in the ocean.
As any self-respecting human knows, NASA are somewhat of an authority on all things space. So when they released an Android application last month it pretty much made my morning. I’ve been a fan of their ISS feeds, web shows and news blogs for many years so having an application could only be a good thing.
Update (27 May 2015): Since this article was originally written, it’s become much easier to free up space on your Android device. These days it’s possible to take advantage of services such as Google Drive or Dropbox to relieve the strain on your SD card. If you want a more advanced cloud storage solution, check out Hightail, which allows you to access and share important files on your Android devices or anywhere else.
“Low on space: Phone storage space is getting low.” Uh-oh. This issue is easy to fix if you’ve rooted your phone, but what if you haven’t? Let’s take a look at the possibilities…
What’s the Big Deal?
Does it really matter if you run out of internal phone storage? After all, you’ve got an SD card that can fit gigabytes of data and applications.
Actually, yes; being low on internal storage causes problems. If you’ve got less than 25MB free, you won’t be able to install over-the-air updates to your system (including new versions of Android). Less than about 15MB, and you can’t sync emails, Facebook statuses, calendar appointments, and so on. Also, some applications can only be installed to the internal storage: Flash Player 10.1 and the AIR for Android runtime are two big examples of this, each weighing in at a hefty 10MB.
Rooting your phone allows you to move these applications — as well as various system files — to the SD card, freeing up plenty of space. In this article, we’ll look at what you can do if you don’t want to root it.