Whenever I think of X-Men, the first thing that comes to mind is the epic intro sequence for the animated series. (Seriously, go look it up if you've forgotten about it.) The second thing that comes to mind are the endless quarters I spent at the skating rink playing the X-Men arcade game with three of my less athletically-inclined friends. Having known an official X-Men port was in the Market, I finally took the plunge and tried it out.
Diving right into the gameplay, it's just as good as I remember it, sans physical joystick and arcade buttons. The replacements for those are all virtual, as you'd expect, and are prominently displayed on the bottom-left and right corners of the screen. I've heard some people complain the buttons are too close together on the phone version, but I didn't experience that and I definitely didn't see that issue on a tablet.
Performance-wise, the game performs well. Period. It's an old 1992 game, so it should run well, and it does. The cheesy opening video goes quickly, there weren't any force closes, and not one framerate skip or stutter to speak of. Simply put, it's just as good as the arcade version, except this one fits in your pocket (or backpack).
My only complaint is that the virtual joystick isn't quite as responsive as I'd like it to be, which caused me to get straight pwned a couple of times. I only really saw the issue when needing to do a quick 180, but still, when Sentinels are coming down on you from all sides, you need cat-like reflexes to put them in their place.
X-Men does support four-player multiplayer, as long as all the players are on the same Wifi network, so yes, you can relive your glory days all over again.
X-Men is 99 cents in the Android Market. Download links are after the break.
Just in time for Hurricane Irene to work its way up the East Coast, the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- you know 'em as FEMA -- has released an android app full of useful tips, checklists, contact numbers and the latest news for before, during and after a disaster. We're not just talking hurricanes here. We're talking all disasters, like earthquakes and floods and Verizon not getting a Galaxy S II.
We've got a handful of screenshots and download links after the break.
Gameloft has today launched a subscription based service for their UK customers which will allow the download of a game a week for just £0.99. As an added bonus, on first signup they're offering an extra game free of charge.
To activate a subscription, visit their website from your Android device and click on the "Club buy 99p" link next to one of the games.
As yet there is no word on future availability of the service outside of the UK, but for those of us lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the offer who play a lot of mobile games, it's a pretty sweet deal. Modern Combat 3 for £0.99 possibly?
Veteran games publisher SEGA has proven time and again that it's not afraid of dusting off an old classic for a re-release on modern systems. The latest to join that list is Sonic CD, with the recent news that SEGA will port the game on Android, iOS and other platforms in time for the holiday season.
Sonic CD was originally released on the SEGA CD back in 1993, but has traditionally been left out of SEGA compilations up until now. The game sees the company's spiky mascot travelling through time to correct the evil meddlings of Dr Eggman, saving all manner of furry critters along the way.
Also, SEGA says the re-release of Sonic CD will include the original Japanese soundtrack. For those of you wondering what that means... well, it means this.
Gameloft has now taken the covers off the next iteration of the Modern Combat game series. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation makes use of the Unreal and Rage game engines to bring you the most realistic FPS game to date. 13 missions, multiplayer action with support for up to 12 players, 6 maps, and 6 different game modes this one is designed for mobile gamers. You can dig the trailer and press release after the break. Gameloft is expected to have this released by 'fall" - so in other words, soon.
If you're a long-time reader of Android Central, you might remember when Phil reviewed Wave Launcher back in March. Recently, the developer updated the application to version 1.8 which added a lot of new functionality, enough that we wanted to revisit the application as well as introduce it to potentially new users.
Wave Launcher is an application that works in addition to your existing launcher (be that stock, ADW, LauncherPro, or something else). You activate it by performing a gesture near the edge of your screen, and a "wave" pops up, which gives you access to a customizable application list. You can put apps, shortcuts, or folders on this list and they all became just a swipe away. While the launcher is limited to 12 icons, you can put up to 10 apps or shortcuts into each folder, potentially allowing up to 120 total shortcuts. Last week, the developers pushed out 1.8, which gave users the ability to add widgets to their wave, turning Wave Launcher into a potentially powerful productivity tool, especially when it comes to music.
Using a music widget before this didn't make sense to me because I had to back out of whatever I was doing just to skip/pause a track on Spotify. Now, I just swipe on the side of my screen, select the Spotify widget, and hit pause. After I'm done with the widget, there is an "X" icon in the upper window you hit, and you can go back to whatever you were working on without ever leaving that application. It might only save me a second or two, but I think it's a more natural, logical way to handle music playback.
1.8 also feels a lot faster running on my Droid Incredible than previous versions did. The new widget options combined with the faster interface make Wave Launcher a great addition to my phone, and something you should check out if you're into optimizing your homescreen. After the break you'll find the 1.8 video put out by the developer, a few more screenshots of the app in action, and a market link. Wave Launcher is currently $1.99 in the Android market.
If taking credit card payments on the go is something you need in your life, then Intuit and Verizon are looking to help you fill that void. They've now announced a new partnership that will brong Intuit GoPayment credit card reader to Verizon Wireless’ 2,300 retail stores and business-to-business sales channels.
GoPayment makes it easier and more affordable for small businesses to process credit cards and for anyone who sells products or services to accept credit card payments wirelessly. The card reader simply plugs into the audio jack of a supported smartphone or tablet. Credit and debit cards can be swiped through the card reader or entered into the app manually. The transaction is processed immediately and funds are automatically deposited into a user’s bank account within a few business days. GoPayment supports devices on Android™, BlackBerry® and iOS platforms for most popular 3G and 4G LTE smartphones and tablets.
Verizon Wireless customers can get the GoPayment credit card reader free with activation of a GoPayment account and a mail-in rebate for the $29.97 purchase price, with 2.7 percent discount rate for swiped transactions. If you're looking to get cheaper rates on swiped transactions, you can pick up the $12.95-a-month package and have swiped transactions processed for 1.7 percent. Full PR is beyond the break, if you need some more info.
We dig Honeycomb apps around these parts, and when they're done well we can't wait to tell you guys about them. HD Widgets looks like it certainly fits that bill, offering up a set of great widgets for your Honeycomb tablet that take advantage of all that real estate and are pretty customizable as well. There's a dozen different widget types, offering clocks, weather, settings switches, and a nice tablet header design that fills the wide screen on your tablet with all the information you're looking for.
On the customization front, you can swipe through clocks, backgrounds, layouts, and other options during initial setup as well as on the fly. Combined with all the different styles of widget available, you're sure to find a combo you like. HD Widgets is now available for 99 cents in the Android Market, for devices running 3.0 or higher. The fellows at cloud.tv say they will be releasing a version for phones in a few weeks, as well as new themes, new options, and "much more." We've got the download link and a handful of screenshots after the break.
Another iPhone favorite has made its way to Android. Sprinkle, from ironically named developer Mediocre, is a cute little physics-based game.
You're among the .. people ... of Titan, one of Saturn's moons, who have been minding their own business until the people of Earth decide to crash the party. And crashing through Saturn's rings have had ill effect on the moon, causing flaming asteroids to come crashing down. Only one way to put them out -- a massive water cannon.
That's where you come in. You control the water cannon. And at first it's easy -- aim and squirt. But Sprinkle quickly takes a turn for the strategic, giving you puzzles to solve, all while trying to extinguish the fire using as little water as possible.
The game is surprisingly addictive, in no small part to the beautiful physics work done with the water, and to a lesser extent the water. The former has to be carefully aimed and worked around terrain and switches, while the later just won't seem to die. The cute character don't hurt, either. And in future-proofing news: It'll be getting an upgrade to NVIDIA's quad-core Kal-el platform later on.
NVIDIA has launched the TegraZone.com website, complete with it's own online community for Android fans with Tegra-powered devices. In addition, the Tegra Zone companion application for Android has received an update with features designed to compliment the new site, as well as offer more for users by way of support for Japan, the UK, and India and a "Get Demo" button to try a free or light version of the game.
The highlights of the new website include:
Allows consumers considering the purchase of a Tegra-powered mobile device to learn about Tegra games and some of the best Android games
Expands Tegra-owner convenience and provides another way to view Tegra Zone content
Makes it easy for users to share links to Tegra games and news through Facebook and Twitter
Includes everything you’ll find in the original Tegra Zone app, plus community forums and sweepstakes
The site is launching in English (US), Portuguese (Brazil), and Japanese; other languages will follow soon
Not to be outdone, the new Android app has a nice set of features as well:
A “Get Demo” button – about 25 percent of NVIDIA games now have a free version of the game
Updated sharing (link to specific page on TegraZone.com)
Better Facebook integration
International app feedback
Support for Japan, UK, and India; in addition to already available U.S., Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, and Spain
As part of the new Tegra Zone experience, NVIDIA has also started a new Developer Zone dubbed "Zone in" to encourage more developers to build Tegra optimized applications. NVIDIA says all applications will be play tested and every developer will be responded to. Those are pretty big shoes to fill, and kudoa to NVIDIA if they pull it off.
Last but not least, to commemorate the launch of TegraZone.com, NVIDIA’s giving away five Acer Iconia Tab A500 tablets during the first month, don't miss your chance to win one. You can enter the drawing at the Tegra Zone website.
We've got a couple more pictures after the break, give them a look then check out the Tegra Zone website at the source link. We've also got the download for the TegraZone app down there, too.
We figure it'll take about 15 seconds before some of you start abusing this one, and about 15 minutes before the Treasury Department finds a way to shut it down. But for now, there's iSpeech Obama and iSpeech Bush for Android. You speak, the the president (or former president) parrots it back to you. You can share what they say, or just have your own twisted one-way conversation.
I can make no bones about it: I like words. It's why I write, why I fail at attempt to do crossword puzzles, and why I've become a huge fan of a big game called 7 Little Words.
7 Little Words is a word puzzle game, but unlike a crossword puzzle, except you're supplied with combinations of letters you need to solve the puzzle. Each "level" has only seven words to solve on it, hence the game's name.
To spell out a word, simply tap the boxes containing the letters you need, in the order you'd spell the word. When something is suitably spelled out, press the Guess button to see if it's correct. If it is, the clue will be bolded and the correct word will appear alongside it. If incorrect, there's no penalty! The letters are simply returned to you.
Another point to mention is that combinations of letters can only be used for a specific word, so as you fill out more of your list, guessing the last words is easy, as there's usually only six or so boxes left.
7 Little Words is free to install and comes with one free puzzle zone. You can buy more puzzle zones for 99 cents. Each puzzle zone comes with at least 30 puzzles inside of it, so there's lots of gameplay to be had.
This is a fun game that isn't too difficult it's off-putting, but is still challenging enough to make your brain work a little bit. If you're up for a bit of word mania or just want to keep the ol' noggin greased up, I'd definitely check this out.
More pictures and download links are after the break.
Hey, parents! A second Sandra Boynton book is now available on Android. "Moo, Baa, La La La!" is another kids favorite. It's done in the same style as "The Going to Bed Book" and "PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit," and once again you can choose to have the book read aloud, or you can read it yourself.
"Moo, Baa, La La La!" is $3 in the Android Market. Check out the promo video, and find download links, after the break.
Image courtesy of General Motors and Wieck Media Services
General Motors wants you to use your phone in the car. No, really. And it's got a way for you to do so more easily. With the addition of MyLink system, using your Android smartphone in a vehicle has never been better -- and that means safer, as well.
A little background: We spent a couple quality days several weeks ago at GM's proving grounds in Milford, Mich. (Full disclosure: We were there on GM's dime.) On the agenda: A look at the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and, more important, its new Chevy MyLink "infotainment" system, which integrates damn near perfectly with Android. Plus, more from OnStar, and some eye candy in GM's wind tunnel and a quick spin around a test track, plus a test drive of a Chevy Volt.
But it was the 2013 Malibu and MyLink -- and the apps -- that were the stars of the show. Yes, the apps. Apps in the car, and apps on your phone. We explain after the break.
Another update to the Android Market is pushing out to your smartphone, and we're liking what we're seeing. There are a couple of new features you need to know about. The first is that you can now +1 apps from within the market on your phone. That's a good thing, and you should practice on this one. The other is that you can now set a PIN lock on market purchases. That means you'll have to enter a code any time you want to buy an app -- but it'll also keep someone else for charging things for you, too.
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