Apps of the Week

A few new apps to try out this weekend

Many of us are still trying to digest a generous Thanksgiving feast, but we still rounded up a great selection of apps for our Apps of the Week. Each Saturday we have the writers here at Android Central tell us about an app that they've been using the previous week and why it has stuck around on their devices. It won't always be the best app in its category or a top seller, but if it works for them it must be doing something right.

We have another full list of app picks this week, with a bunch of games and a couple utility apps to round out the offerings. Hit the break and see if you can find a few apps to install this weekend.

Simon Sage - Badland

Badlands

After a long wait, Badland has finally come to Android. Badland is a beautiful physics game with one-touch controls. Usually, it’s game over as you hit anything in a platformer, but that’s not the case here. In Badland, you control this odd little creature trying to flap its way through a treacherous forest. Debris falls in your path, and odd machinery peaks through the brush and occasionally knocks you around, but the really interesting part are the power ups you pick up. Some types make you smaller, and able to fit through tiny crevices, while others make you larger and massive enough to push aside obstacles, and others still spawn a batch of clones that you control all at once. You can play local multiplayer and try to nudge opponents off the edge of the screen, which moves gradually forward as you progress. The art style is certainly dark, but a little whimsical too.

Definitely check this one out if you're looking for something visually refreshing.

Download: Badland (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand - PickMe Fruits

PickMe Fruits

While we play games, send Tweets, take pictures and generally goof around with our Androids, we should never forget they are supposed to be smartphones. That means they need to be able to help you do the little things — like make sure the Cantaloupe you're about to buy isn't still green and yukky inside.

PickMe Fruits means I don't have to try and remember how to tell when a piece of fruit is ripe and ready (or even better — almost ripe). I know a few off the top of my head; I can pick out an apple or an orange easy enough. But after that I sit in the grocery store or farmers market and look like an idiot tapping on the side of a watermelon or apricot. That doesn't help.

You can install PickMe fruit for free, but to get any real use from it — as in how to pick through the hard ones like coconuts or guava — you're going to have to spend a buck. It's a small, silly little app, but it's also pretty darn useful. 

Download: PickMe Fruits (Free; $0.99)

Chris Parsons - Doctor Who: Legacy

Doctor Who: Legacy

If you’re a Doctor Who fan than you should already have this downloaded but just in case you missed it, BBC and Tiny Rebel Studios have now released the latest game to celebrate the longest running science fiction show in history. Over the years, there has been a few Doctor Who games but none of them have been really good. Legacy, though, brings some credibility to the franchise finally by offering fantastic artwork and a fun mix of a Bejeweled and puzzle-like gaming. Best of all, it’s free and there’s no ‘energy’ system in use so you can play on without being nagged to buy upgrades and the link within the game. As far as games go it’s interesting and fun to play on its own but if you’re a Doctor Who fan you’ll likely find it a breath of fresh air in the franchises previous subpar games.

Download: Doctor Who: Legacy (Free)

Jordan Miera - Hunger Games: Panem Run

Hunger Games: Panem Run

In light of the still-relatively-recent release of Catching Fire, Reliance Games and Lionsgate have teamed to bring an adaptation of the film from the silver screen to the mobile screen. This game is interactive and you can challenge friends to races, collect and share resources with them and other things as Panem falls into unrest.

Although I have yet to try out the social/interactive aspect of the game, I have enjoyed being able to do my best to avoid obstacles and becoming becoming a target practice for bees. It's a nifty little free game that helps me feel a little bit more of a connection with the world of The Hunger Games.

May the force--wait, wrong epic movie. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Download: Hunger Games: Panem Run (Free)

Andrew Martonik - Heads Up Charades!

Heads Up Charades!

I was introduced to Heads Up Charades by my family when we got together for Thanksgiving this week, and as it turns out it's a great party game. The concept is basically just the charades you know and love, with a digital twist. Open the game, choose a category and put your phone up to your forehead — the phone shows words that you have to guess with the help of the people you're playing with. When they guess right, you flip the phone down and the game moves on. See how far you can go and rack up points!

The game is free with ads or $0.99 to remove them — a bargain for a game you're likely to get hours of fun out of the next time you're at a party or family gathering.

Download: Heads Up Charades! (Free; $0.99)

Phil Nickinson - Google Wallet

Google Wallet

I don't use Google Wallet for contactless payments. Nothing against that, mind you — it's just that pulling out a credit card generally is quicker and easier of me. That, and I'm old, and I don't like new things sometimes. But where Wallet has finally excellent for me is in keeping track of all those damned loyalty cards. Just scan it in, and it's attached to your Google account in Wallet. And that does a few things. First, it gets all those little togs off my keychain — and they were going to fall off and get lost at some point anyway. And because the cards are now in my Google account, it's one lass password I have to remember for some other app to keep track of all this stuff. Simple, easy, done.

Download: Google Wallet (Free)


Happen to miss previous editions of our weekly app picks? You can check them out right here. Our continuing weekly app coverage can also be seen right here as well.

 

Reader comments

Apps of the Week: Badland, PickMe Fruits, Doctor Who: Legacy and more!

21 Comments

My girlfriend had this heads up game for iPhone a few months ago. The trick was that when you put it on your forehead your actually recording the people guessing. It's really funny if you don't let them in on the joke until afterwards. Is this the same game? Guess I'll DL and find out.

Update. It does not record. That was the coolest part of the game. I'll keep it for a bit and hope for an update
Posted via Android Central App

It does record. The "Heads up charades" in this post is the generic knock off version so IT doesnt. The real one IS also on the play store.

Posted via Android Central App

I don't use the tap and pay feature of Google Wallet like I want to because of root, which is why my I have a NFC enabled bank card.

Posted via Android Central Beta Tablet App!
Hisense Sero 7 Pro

I live in st.louis and only seven business' have nfc, walgreens has one but never set it up cause no one has ever asked for it except me, but I did use it a couple times getting gas at the station with my vzw galaxy nexus with side loaded apk.

Its awesome that badlands is free but hate that you have to buy everything in game. At least make this demo version and have the full 2.99 upfront like in iOS.

Posted via Android Central App

Huh? This is a demo version in that the first 40 levels are free, and nothing has to be purchased unless you want the next 40, or the other addon content.

Phil, if you have to pull your phone out to use your loyalty card, you might as well use it for NFC payment since it's already in your hand. That makes more sense than pulling out your phone and your wallet.

That said, who actually carries around a lot of loyalty cards attached to their keyring? I just attach my phone number as an alternate id to my club/loyalty accounts and then type in my phone number at the pay terminal while the cashier is ringing things up.

As much as I think NFC payments from my phone is cool, it's a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist. To say Google Wallet is somehow actually useful in the real world because it stores loyalty cards really seems like just an excuse to try to say it's a useful app... when for multiple reasons it really isn't (yet).

I've always enjoyed using Wallet for the NFC payment, but once it added the loyalty cards, it made Key Ring expendable as Wallet is a system app on my GS3. Being able to use Wallet to sign up for Red Mango's loyalty program proved to be beneficial, but I was surprised the location closest to me didn't have the ability to scan the bar code on its POS system.

Posted via Android Central App

Not all loyalty cards can be used by entering your phone number on a device. Just because it's not useful for you, other people's usage may be different and they might find this to be a useful feature.

Not everyone fits into the same "bucket", which is part of the beauty of Android itself.

I agree that Google Wallet isn't there yet. But I am excited about COIN. Their new electronic credit card will hold 8 CC/Debit/Loyalty cards at once, allowing you to change to the intended card and swipe. It's pretty ingenious.

Check out the video on their home page...

https://onlycoin.com

Been playing Dr who for the last few days...no bad and certainly better than the others..but alas it isn't my kind of game...

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So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

Badland is great and beautiful, the visual style reminds me a lot about Limbo.

Posted via Android Central App

That Dr Who game sucks. It's not a Dr Who game, it's bejeweled with Dr Who art. It doesn't even make sense, at least the Brave themed Temple Run knockoff made some sense.

Winter is coming. She's quite the screamer.

Thanks, good to know.. was a bit disappointed it wasn't available in Japan, but I guess it's actually saving me some disappointment!

Posted via Android Central App

I couldn't even get it to start, so I checked the logcat to see if it was something I could fix myself - and it shows it blowing up trying to talk to Facebook which I don't have installed... So no game for me.

Posted via Android Central App

Well FWIW, I do have Facebook installed but it has never once actually asked me to connect to my Facebook account in any sort of way nor has it ever posted anything even remotely related to my Facebook timeline so alas, I'm not sure what the issue would be for you. In any case, sorry you had troubles with it. I suggested it based on my own experiences with it and I've had no issues with it thus far on my stock HTC One.

I agree. Not sure why the BBC's Doctor Who game, Say what you see, isn't getting more attention. The BBC game is on sale for 99cents. Note, it currently only works on the Nexus devices.

Why do we always get reviews over mainstream bs apps? I wanna see reviews over new and upcoming apps. Not the same be we see every week at the top of pages in the play store.