Apps of the Week

As many of us get our weekend World Cup viewing under way, the folks here at Android Central have put together our weekly roundup called Apps of the Week. This isn't a soccer-themed list, though — we've pulled together an app that each of us here at AC have been using in the last week, no matter what it is. That means we get a nice diverse list of games, utilities, media apps and other odds-and-ends.

This week we have two games, a news reader, an alarm clock app and a couple others to round out the weekly selections. Read along with us and see how they stack up.

Simon Sage - Prime World: Defenders

Prime World: Defenders

Prime World: Defenders is a free-to-play tower defence game mixed in with collectible card game elements. As with all tower defence games, players drop towers on a map to defend against waves of enemies crawling towards a final objective and upgrade them mid-game. Single tower types get more expensive the more of them you put down, which encourages diversity in tactics and adds some extra challenge. As you play through stages, you unlock new spells and towers to use, represented as cards. You earn in-game currency which can be spent on talents depending on your play style, and if you don't have enough coin, you can always sell cards you don't use, or cash-in with in-app purchases. Cards can also be combined and upgraded in the Forge area. Though Defenders takes place in a fantasy setting, some of the steampunk stuff borders on sci-fi. Whatever you want to call it, the graphics are fantastic and the few changes in an established formula makes for a great little game.

Download: Prime World: Defenders (Free, In-app purchases)

Richard Devine - Newsblur

Newsblur

If this weeks Feedly issues left you looking for a replacement RSS aggregator then you could do a lot worse than Newsblur. The basic service is free, with restrictions, which might be enough if you're only a light user. For the power user a $24 a year subscription opens up everything Newsblur has to offer as well as feeding the developers dog, Shiloh.

For that subscription you get a strong RSS experience with real-time updates, tagging features, search and much more. Newsblur has a free, official app for Android which isn't the most elegant but it gets the job done well and is pretty decent to use.

Download: Newsblur (Free, subscriptions)

Alex Dobie - Soul Calibur

Soul Calibur

Namco's Soul Calibur was one of the most iconic arcade fighters of the late 90s, and a hugely popular title on Sega's Dreamcast. The Android port is a faithful recreation of this game, complete with over-the-top swordplay and ridiculous outfits. All 19 characters, including unlockables, are present and correct, along with a whole bunch of stages — including unlockable stages — and Bluetooth controller support. As well as the classic Arcade mode, there's Time Attack and Survival mode, which gives you just one life to beat as many opponents as possible. Despite the lack of multiplayer, Soul Calibur on Android is a great distraction for fighting game fans.

Download: Soul Calibur ($13.99)

Jerry Hildenbrand - Glimmer (luminous alarm clock)

Glimmer

If you're the type of person who can't sleep with a bright light in the room, you just found a new alarm clock. Glimmer will slowly ramp up the screen brightness until things are blindingly bright. While this is happening, it hits you with the soft sounds of birds chirping. If you haven't got your lazy bones out of bed in one minute, it will blast out your alarm. I've been using it and really like the gradual wake up as opposed to the jolt of a regular alarm.

There's also a "night mode" setting that turns off notifications and Wifi, and sets screen brightness to the minimum for those of us who don't charge all night or want to use our phone as a bedside clock. In the morning (or whenever you have the alarm set) things turn back on during the ramp-up phase so all your notifications are there waiting for you when you rise.

The app is fully functional for free, but a donation (as little as 1 Euro) will unlock other "scenes" and extra features. If you hate getting up in the morning, give this one a try.

Download: Glimmer (luminous alarm clock) (Free, In-app purchases)

Andrew Martonik - FIFA

FIFA

We recently published a list of great apps to follow and watch the World Cup, but if you want to get information on the tournament straight from the source, you'll want to take a look at the official FIFA World Cup app. You can follow every team, get stats on the matches, check out the standings and get live updates of ongoing matches — all within a smooth and simple interface. You can even get information and take some tours around the host stadiums.

If you're looking for news and analysis you'll have to look elsewhere, but for all the facts and information surrounding World Cup 2014 this is a great app to have installed for the next month.

Download: FIFA (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.

 
There are 16 comments

DeerSteak says:

Yikes. I think Soul Calibur on Xbox Live Arcade is only $10 (I don't know for sure, I bought it when it came out and thought that was the price). Glad to see Namco Bandai keeping up with inflation. ;)

mwara244 says:

I wish Namco would put out more popular classics, like my all time fav Galaga

Nintendo would make a killing porting all the popular games from NES, super nintenddo and 64 titles to the play store.

thatguy97 says:

You can get it for a dollar for the dream cast

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5

Been using Gentle Alarm for about 5 years... Starts out quiet, gets louder... Plays anything.

Posted via Android Central App

dbareis says:

Exactly, I would not use any alarm that did not ramp up the sound and delay vibration.

TheDu9du says:

For world cup I prefer Univision Deportes. It let's you watch games wherever you go and play is pretty flawless considering it's live. Evening you don't mind it's all Spanish, is very much the way to go.

Dizfunctions says:

The official FIFA app is awesome

Posted via Android Central App

Vacmfuzzy says:

Playing Soul Caliber makes me long for Tekken on Android.

A895 says:

Yikes! $13 for Soul Calibur is one of those purchases you have to think about for two days and see if you still want it. I have a habit of buying a lot of stuff because of you guys suggestions on AC. My bank account can't keep taking abuse!

Posted via Android Central App

A895 says:

Also unless NewsBlur has a Chrome extension it is a no go for me. Feedly has the advantage of being multiplatform.

Posted via Android Central App

There's a full web client and an unofficial chrome extension available

Tigrisan says:

There is, but I just pin the tab in Chrome and Firefox. Whenever it updates, the tab flashes and I know a new feed has come in. Not a huge fan of extra sidebars and things.

Clak says:

I'd love to see power stone come to android. Loved those games.

Tigrisan says:

After the painful demise of Google Reader, I tried all of the RSS readers out there and ended up choosing Newsblur as my app of choice. I ended up subscribing because it offered the closest to Google that I could get without a lot of additional things I didn't. I get things listed on the left, can group the way I want, it's a real time feed so it updates constantly (which I can turn off on my phone/tablet) and worth it for me. I know not everyone will like it, but I won't change again.

Unless of course they go away like Google Reader did...

DrLouie says:

You should try TinyTinyRSS. You have control of the server and source.

speculatrix says:

I put the recommended-by-android-central alert on my kid's phones for their alarm clocks
http://m.androidcentral.com/best-alarm-sound-world