Another 30 days, another batch of excellent new Android app and game releases
We've gathered up yet another collection of the very best Android apps and Android games to come out over the last four weeks. Whether you're looking for a fresh new tower defense game or an efficient new calendar app, we've got a little bit of something for everybody. If you're done enjoying that rapidly-improving weather, let's bury our collective nose in the screen for this month's top Android apps.
The best Android games for May 2014
Worms 3 is the touch-friendly evolution of a classic turn-based strategic shooter. Players build a team of squeaky-voiced invertebrates armed to the teeth in order to blast their opponents to smithereens. To do so, they'll use the unlikeliest of weaponry, including the Old Lady, the Homing Pigeon, the Concrete Donkey, and, of course, The Holy Hand Grenade. The implements are deployed with cold calculation across randomly-generated, destructible stages. New to the series are strategy cards which can turn the tide in your favor. Though the heart of the game remains 2D, richly animated-backgrounds and a slew of new visual effects make Worms 3 a proper new generation for the beloved franchise. In-app purchases are offered for additional voice packs. For some truly ridiculous warfare, get Worms 3.
- Download Worms 3 - $4.99, IAPs
Ustwo's Monument Valley has players guide a hapless girl through a twisted maze of Escherian proportions. Optical illusions and impossible architecture are nothing new, but when put into mobile game where you can interact with things that straight-up can't physically exist, you're left with an entirely new sensation. Besides the mind-bending puzzles, a lot of detail has been put into the game's visuals. Every screen looks good enough to print and put up on your wall. Though voracious gamers won't find a whole lot to chew on here, Monument Valley is a beautiful, accessible puzzle game that you won't soon forget. - Download Monument Valley - $3.99
ctOS Mobile breaks walls between mobile and console gamers by pitting them against each other in the action-packed console game Watch Dogs. Anyone on an Xbox, PlayStation, or PC plays as a vigilante bringing justice to a futuristic Chicago by hacking the world with their phone. Meanwhile, players on Android act as the police force, viewing the pursuit of the criminal from a bird's eye view. To slow him down, those officers use the creepily omniscient ctOS operating system to control traffic lights, blow open steam pipes, buzz the area with a chopper and mounted sniper, and dispatch ground forces to bring the other player down.
Even if you don't own Watch Dogs or have any friends that do, ctOS is a free, high-quality multiplayer title with its own rich progression system. There have been server hiccups with the launch, but it's worth picking this up for when they're ironed out.
- Download ctOS - Free
Over The Top Tower Defense is just about exactly what you expect it to be. Players work their way through a series of stages which layer on wave after wave of ridiculous enemies against your expertly-laid array of ostentatious weaponry. The more you kill, the more cash you get to spend on upgrades, but if you let too many through to the end, you'll lose the level. In addition to managing towers, you're also in charge of three heroes, each with their own special abilities, levelling progression, and gear. In-app purchases are used to fast track their gear upgrades. OTTTD features rich 3D graphics on every front in a great cartoon art style.
For a goofy, fun, futuristic take on tower defense, give OTTTD a shot.
- Download OTTTD - $2.99, IAPs
Okay, so they're only available on the NVIDIA Shield, but the release of Portal and Half-Life 2 on Android is a big, big deal. With the Source engine now running on mobile, this opens the floodgates to proper PC and console-quality games on Android (not to mention that Half-Life 2 and Portal are excellent games in their own rights). For the uninitiated, Portal is a first-person physics puzzle game, where players have to use a gun which opens up two ends of a portal in order to work through a series of challenges. There's no real combat, though there's plenty of falling to your doom in a pit of acid, being vaporized by plasma, and enduring relentless mockery from an artificial intelligence gone awry. Though we're all holding our breath for a more global mobile release of these games, now might be your cue to snag a Shield.
The best Android apps for May 2014
Foursquare's new app, Swarm, is taking the reins of the location-based check-in, leaving the original core app for venue recommendations and reviews. The biggest addition Swarm has to offer to the Foursquare experience is planning. Now you can indicate which spots you're going to in the near future, and ping your nearby buddies to see if they're interested in doing the same. Mayorships are now only relative to your group of friends, but stuff like badges and check-ins are still very much the same. It's great to see a veteran in mobile apps take a chance at redefining itself, and we suspect the change will be for the better.
- Download Swarm - Free
Sunrise is a new calendar app on Android which may very well have you ditching the native Android app. It smartly plugs into multiple services, like Facebook, Foursquare, and LinkedIn, as well as your multiple Google Calendars to provide a comprehensive look at your upcoming day, week, and month. Previous Foursquare check-ins populate days past, and birthdays pull in Facebook profile pictures. A strong web app ensures you can keep on top of things from your browser as well. There's a home screen widget as well, but no Exchange support just yet.
If you're in the market for a new mobile calendar, Sunrise is most definitely worth a look.
Secret is an infamous confession app for Android similar to Whisper. Users can sign in, post public, anonymous confessions, and let others comment on, like, and share them. Users within your immediate social circle are visible in the Friend stream, though identities don't get any more specific than that. You can also check the Explore stream to see popular public secrets. The release also includes new features such as a question & answer framework, and a view of how many friends you have using Secret.
Though there's zero guarantee to the legitimacy of the posts on Secret, it can at very least be entertaining.
- Download Secret - Free
AllCast Receiver is an expansion on an already great app that allows your Android device to host content from many other local sources, namely other Android devices. For example, if you have a music library on your Android phone, and you want to play it on your tablet, just launch AllCast Receiver on your tablet and the core app on your phone to beam it over. The simplicity and reliability of the app is a godsend for the media-hungry, and with an ever-expanding group of supporting hosts (such as Chrome browsers), AllCast will likely become a permanent fixture on many devices.
Social media elite will be quick to hop onto the recently-launched Klout app for Android. Though the core of the service is about tracking and ranking your amalgamated social activity online, the mobile app is all about presenting content suited to your audience. Klout for Android lets you schedule when to share content and to which networks. Users can pick and chose the topics they want to keep tabs on, and the interface is sharp and fluid. Though there are plenty of ways to discover and keep up to date on popular stories, folks that are seriously concerned about their online popularity will want to do their posting from Klout.
- Download Klout - Free
Honorable mention for Android app releases in May goes out to Yahoo News Digest.
Your favorite Android apps released in May?
Those are our top picks for Android apps released in May, but the Play Store is a big place. Leave a comment with your favorite new apps, and let us know what you think of the ones we picked out. Of course, always keep an eye on the weekly picks of our favorite Android apps, both new and old.