Apps of the Week

Take a look at what the Android Central writers are using on their devices this week

Another week, another great set of app picks from the folks here at Android Central. If you're new to this, we take time each Saturday afternoon to show off one app from each of the AC writing staff and see why they've been using it on their own devices. This isn't necessarily meant to be the top selling apps list for the week, but more of a discovery of the diamonds in the rough that the rest of us may have missed.

Hang with us after the break where we show off a few different games, a tool that will help you game and a few odds and ends.

Simon Sage - Pocket Trains

Pocket Trains

Okay, I'm trolling you guys a little with this pick - it's currently soft-launched in Canada, but a broad launch has got to be right around the corner. Pocket Trains is NimbleBit's latest game, which, as you might expect, puts you in control of a sprawling rail empire. Players build out new routes, deliver commodities, assemble new trains, and upgrade stations. It's an awful lot like Pocket Planes, especially when you factor in the freemium model for speeding up arrivals and other timers, but there are some new mechanics which add a significant amount of depth from the original Tiny Tower set-up. Trains have fuel which is used up at a rate dependent of how much you're loading up, and though you refuel slowly at stations, you can spend Bux to get filled up immediately. Luckily, you can earn Bux through high-priority deliveries.

Pocket Trains is a fun little business sim game with lots of charm, if a little heavy on the freemium angle.

Download: Pocket Trains (Free)

Sean Brunett

My Wendy's

I had no idea Wendy’s has an official app. Those of you who don’t like Wendy’s or don’t eat fast food in general obviously won’t be interested in this app, but for the rest of you, it’s pretty good. I don’t go to Wendy’s often enough to notice, but they recently have been implementing mobile payments at select locations. No stores nearby me have participated yet, but hopefully soon because I would love to try that. I think where the app excels is giving you an easy-to-navigate menu to view the food and the nutritional value of each item. You can easily find the nearest location to you and find out if that store accepts mobile payments. If you find yourself eating at Wendy’s often enough, this is the app for you. I definitely love a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger every once in a while.

Download: My Wendy's (Free)

Casey Rendon

DraStic DS Emulator

I always enjoy putting my current-gen Android hardware to use running previous-gen gaming emulators. However, the newer the system being emulated, usually the more problems there are with the games being played. I happily found this not to be the case with this Nintendo DS emulator, Drastic DS. After playing a few rounds of Mario Kart, and a little bit of Kingdom Hearts 365 (killing time waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3!!!), I noticed that this emulator kept up very well with graphics and sound. There were a couple minor hiccups here and there, but overall the games were extremely playable. The free version has options limitations, including not being able to save, and limiting game time to 20 minute intervals. The free version is a great way to test the app out, however, before deciding to spend the $7.99 for the full version. If there are any DS fans out there that want to play their DS games on an Android device, definitely check this app out.

Download: DraStic DS Emulator (Free)

 

Chris Parsons - Indie Game: The Movie

Indie Game: The Movie

I am cheating a bit this week because my app pick really isn't an app or a game but it's totally related to games and development. This week I chose Indie Game: The Movie, which is a documentary that follows the underdogs of the video game industry, indie game developers, who give up a lot of their life, time and money to bring their creative visions to the masses. Indie Game follows the making of the games SUPER MEAT BOY, FEZ and BRAID and overall, it's a pretty awesome 'behind the scenes' look at game development and what the folks behind them go through. It's available on Google Play to rent for $2.99 or purchase for $9.99.

Download: Indie Game: The Movie ($9.99 / $2.99)

Andrew Martonik - Chinese Open Face Poker

Chinese Open Face Poker

If you're an avid card player, or poker player more likely, than you probably have heard of a game called "Chinese Poker." It's a card game built on the principles of poker hand strength, but each player receives 13 cards to make 3 different hands out of and score points against one another. My friends and I like to play Chinese Poker with a deck of cards whenever possible, but when we're not together we've been playing head-to-head online with this app, Chinese Open Face Poker.

Despite its naming, you can play either open face or closed face Chinese Poker, and can even set the particulars of your game — fantasy land, royalties, number of rounds, etc. — before you start. Best of all the game is free to start and is cross-platform with players on iOS. You can grab a free version of the game and deal with a few ads, or you can pay $5.99 for an ad-free version. In-app purchases for a few different game functions are available for $0.99 each also.

It's a good casual game you can play with friends and work on your Chinese Poker skills, what's not to like?

Download: Chinese Open Face Poker (Free) No Ads ($5.99)

Jerry Hildenbrand - Reaper

Reaper

It's what I've been wasting all my time on this week, and one heck of an enjoyable little game. Half RPG, half action-adventure, you play as the Black Swordsman and sell your blade and skills to various people, filling quests and advancing your character.

The story-line is OK (I've played better) but the overall game play is top notch. Controls are easy — whether touch-based, controller-based like the Shield of with a MOGA, or asdf controls through a device with a keyboard, like the HP X2. 

Most of all, I like the new style of freemium that Hexage is trying. Everything is free up to level 10. After that, you can unlock the full game with one purchase. None of this pay 99-cents for 1,000 gold nonsense. You like, you pay, you play. I can get behind this.

If you want to check it out (as mentioned it's free to try for 10 levels) click the link below. Warning — say goodbye to your free time.

Download: Reaper (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: Pocket Trains, My Wendy's, DraStic DS Emulator and more!

35 Comments

Seriously, anyone with a fast food app on their phone would be better served by any one of a hundred nutrition apps from the Play Store.

Someone who pays (in countless ways) for the selfish and destructive lifestyle of generation fat?

Posted via Android Central App

You can legitimately complain about people being fat when you remove your bitchy footprint from the face of this earth.

In the mean time, someone pretzel burger me please.

How, exactly, is being fat "selfish"? I understand that it's not a desirable state, and I think *many* people should be more aware of what they're doing to themselves, but I think in order for it to be "selfish" it would have to affect other people negatively. "Irresponsible" maybe. But not selfish.

Not only that but when I clicked on the link, it tells me the game is not available in this country ... (usa).... Why make a region specific game? You waste so much opportunity when doing g this...

Posted via Android Central App

There's nutritional value in that stuff? I had no idea...

Hmm, I could go for a title called Pocket Tanks - or maybe, you transport your pocket tanks on your pocket trains - yeah, that's it!

I do not eat at Wendy's, as I am Vegan. Their mobile payments are not very intuitive. You have to have a Wendy's profile that links to your card. Then you have to read off a number for the cashier to type in. It is being trialed in Portland, Albequerque, and Austin. Google Wallet on my Verizon S4 FTW!

I need Pocket Trains in the U.S. now! I've been waiting for a train sim like this for a long time.

Posted via Android Central App

I was going to complain about the iOS-ported UI in the Wendy's app, but thought I'd better try it first. I didn't get past the installation phase:

Wendy's app permissions:
- run at startup
- access protected storage
- prevent device from sleeping

... no thanks.

Out of curiosity, why?

Those are all very benign permissions. In fact, the second two should be in every app.

Access protected storage = work with devices using the protect USB storage option. 

Prevent device from sleeping = keeps the screen from timing out while the app is running.

 

 

 

I'm with you Jerry, I know a few too many people who get overly scared of app permissions. Perhaps the wording confuses some, idk.

I'm not one to be overly concerned with app permissions, but "Run at startup" on this sort of app is one that gives me pause. Apps that spam stuff into my notification bar really cheese me off.

I agree. For tasker, it makes sense to run every time the device starts. For a fast food app, or a game, there's no legitimate reason it has to run every minute of every day.

As far as preventing sleep is concerned, if I want the screen to stay on for longer after my last action, I can set my defaults that way. I don't need devices that hog battery power to light up a screen nobody is looking at.

I was going to download also, however It did not mention those permissions. Instead it had:
Phone Calls
System tools(send sticky broadcast)

I really don't get why several app need the phone call permission when they have nothing to do which is phone related.

Posted via Android Central App

Perhaps it's for when people call while the app is open, if it has its own way of handling incoming calls. Or maybe its an NSA plant. I don't worry too much about permissions if the app is a really well known one, or contains enough positive review. I'll read them, at least. But I can't blame some for being wary. I just hate when I see a great app with an occasional review that is so negative simply because of requested permissions. Not saying that's necessarily the case here, as I don't know what the permission in question is needed for exactly, but I'm talking about the reviews that are so bad, over very common permissions they just don't understand.

Indie Game: The Movie is also available on Netflix as well just as an FYI. Get a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and make an evening of it!

Posted via Android Central App

Awesome, going to check out Wendy's app. Never would of guess they had one. I also should download the subway app.

Posted via Android Central App

Pocket Trains is incompatible with a Droid 4 and Asus Transformer TF101??? boo...hopefully this is just because of the soft launch.