Who doesn't love a good trebuchet? Who doesn't love castles? And who doesn't love using a trebuchet to knock down a castle? That brings us to Namco's Crush the Castle, an Android game that will undoubtedly bring to mind another game about surly avian creatures.
But what we have here is a simple premise. There's a trebuchet, and there's a castle, and one of 'em is gonna leave on the ground. There's a bit of a map element to it, so you move from castle to castle. To actually do the deed, you tap the screen once, starting the boulder on its way. Tap the screen again to send the large rock flying toward the castle and the inhabitants thereof. Knock 'em all down (and bloody them in the process), and you move on. The fewer the throws, the better your score (and reward from the king).
But a warning: Gameplay is quick. Very quick. It's pretty tough, actually. I'm not sure yet if that's going to keep me from playing the game, or infuriate me into playing it more.
Balancing that is the ability to actually create your own castles. There's something you don't see every day in an Android app -- you can build your own levels. Very, very cool.
And to top it all off, Crush the Castle is available for 99 cents. More screen shots and download info after the break.
If you're running Android 1.6 and above right now (which should be most of you), you can now download the latest update to Gesture Search from Google Labs. For those not familiar with the app, Google has created an app that allows you to search everything on your Android device by simply drawing out symbols or letters on your device's screen.
The new update brings the abilty to literally face the phone away from you and doing a "double flip," resulting in the app starting up to begin your search. This is a step forward, as the app once required you to exit to the home screen and select the widget to run the app.
Evernote has updated their excellent Android application to include a widget (pictured), the 'send to Evernote function' (also pictured), pinch zooming within a note, note caching, and a slew of performance tweaks and bug fixes. For those who don't know, Evernote is a cross platform note application with great clients on both mobile and desktop operating systems. We've talked about Evernote a bit before, and you Android Central Podcast listeners know how much Mickey and I enjoy it. This update makes an already great Android application even better. Evernote users, check for the update in the Market, and those who want to check it out for the first time can get the download details after the break. [Evernote Blog via @Sethjk on Twitter]
SwiftKey, one of our favorite keyboards, just added a much-wanted feature that many popular third-party keyboards lack: speech to text. The microphone gets a dedicated button in its familiar spot to the left of the space bar, but the implementation is slightly different from what most of us are used to.
Pressing it brings up a blank screen with the "Speak now" dialog rather than staying on the screen you're actually entering text on. While slightly jarring, this may be due to one other tweak--after speaking, a popup lets you select what you meant to say. Will this alleviate the frustration of the speech-to-text engine constantly misunderstanding you, or just add another step?
The app description now also promises the "full app out soon." Their beta release added a lot of polish compared to the alpha, so we may be in for a treat in the near future. Download link and another screenshot after the break
One of the many applications that I have been waiting to come to Android would be a replacement for Words with Friends, which is available on the iPhone and iPad. Wordfeud FREE is a great new Android application that allows you to play a Scrabble like game with either a friend or random opponent. Once you open the application you are asked for your email address, then asked to select a user name, which will allow friends to search for you to start a new game. Once you are all set up you can invite a user by user name or you can search for a random opponent, so even if none of your friends have Android devices, you can still take advantage of this great application.
We're still waiting for the official beta period to begin for the Tweetdeck Twitter client for Android. But in the meantime, a Version 1 build has leaked out. It's an early build, CEO Iain Dodsworth says (update: it's coming Thursday), so we're going to give Tweetdeck the benefit of the doubt and not post the file link. (It's found easily enough.) But we are, however, going to take it for a spin, with the understanding that some features might not be complete. So keep that in mind.
A newsreader is something that quite a few of us rely on in our day-to-day life. Digging through the slew of them on the Android Market can be quite a task, so allow me to suggest you start with Pulse. It has all the basics you would expect from any newsreader -- handles rss feeds, links to full stories on the web, customizable sources, and a robust selection of pre-defined newsfeeds to choose from. Pulse just does things a little more visually, and in this author's opinion, a little better. And it's currently discounted to 99 cents. Let's check it out, after the break.
We're still waiting on the public beta of Tweetdeck for Androidto go live sometime this week, but a very short video from Tweetdeck CEO Iain Dodsworth showing the log-in process is on Twitter. Of particular droolworthiness: The multiple account access, which for a good many of us is a must-have in any Twitter app. Check out the video after the break. Thanks, Eddie, for the tip!
Here's a look at the free version of Home Run Battle 3D. This is the perfect game for me, because I can pick it up any time I want a quick release from boredom and then put it back down when it's time to get back to work. There are two game modes: matchup and arcade. In the free version you have to earn the right to play a multiplayer game (after your first free free matchup games) by actually being competent at the game and hitting a home run with a "gold ball." You can also earn gold balls by unlocking achievements. There are other "special" balls in the game, and I haven't quite figured out what they all do, but the ones I do know are:
Angel Ball: takes away 1 out
Gold Ball: you can spend it on matchup games and maybe other things in the accessory store
Multiplier Ball: I've seen 2x and 3x, and they double or triple your score
Ghost Ball: it goes invisible for a moment or two while it's on the way to the plate
Magic Ball: sends an "attack" ball to your matchup opponent
Iron Ball: sends an iron ball to your matchup opponent if you hit a home run with it, which only flies half the normal distance
So that's enough here. Take a look at the video after the break
TweetDeck has announced that it will be holding a public beta for its Android Twitter application sometime this week. No, we don't have the exact date -- just like Froyo for your device it will come when it comes. A few things from their announcement (read it at the source link) really stand out -- the application is not a port of their iThing client, they have built it from the ground up; and retomeier (a well known Android Developer Advocate) has said "it's a thing of beauty."
Internet dating has been on the rise over the past couple of years, many couples have success stories from meeting someone through some type of social networking service or website. MeetMoi NOW is a new Android application that brings the ease of meeting people via the internet to a whole new level. This location based application allows users to see other singles in their area after filling out a profile about themselves. Users will be notified when new matches are found in their respective areas so they are able to decide whether they wish to strike up a conversation with the person or not. So whether you are the shy guy, someone always on the go, or just someone who is looking for another way to meet someone new, this application is a great way to do so. Check out the full presser for some more information, as well as some additional screen shots after the break.
Developer Unstable Apps just released their latest update to their 'Easy Root' application yesterday. Though, just as soon as it went up, Google quickly yanked it off the Android Market. The latest 'Easy Root' update (1.2.2), allowed owners running Froyo on the Motorola Droid, Motorola Droid X, and the Motorola Milestone to easily root their phones by a single touch of a button.
We got in contact of the developer of Easy Root, as we're trying to get to the bottom of why the application was pulled from the Market. That's what we do. He was kind enough to give us a statement. You can read it, as well as see a walkthrough video of the app after the break. [AndroidPhonesBlog via AndroidSPIN]
Update: The developer of Easy Root has again contacted us, this time with news that the application is once again live and available for download from his site HERE. Want some even better news? Emails are already going out to those that purchased from the Market with a new product key and download instruction. Our own Jared has already received his. It's really nice to see this level of support for a $0.99 application. Keep doing what you do Nathan!
Blockbuster has finally unleashed its Android application (see our hands-on) to the masses. Whether traveling, hanging out, or just in the mood to rent and watch a movie, the Blockbuster application will allow you to do so, right from your handset, and you also can purchase the movie. Also available built-in on the Droid X, the Blockbuster application also integrates with the Blockbuster On Demand service, so you are able to resume a movie you were watching from any other device with Blockbuster On Demand. There are no monthly fees associated with the application, just the rental and purchasing costs of the movies, which leads me to ask, why is this not already installed on your device? Hit the jump for the download information.
Update: The good folks at Blockbuster got in contact with us, and there's been a bit of a snafu. The app wasn't supposed to be made available for all devices just yet. The application gets optimized for each device by working with the OEM's and carriers, and we were assured that Blockbuster is in the process of getting the application optimized for other devices. In the meantime, the app has been unpublished from the market and is once again only available for the Droid X.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Luckily, not all of them in life have to be hard ones to make. We like to make things easy for you, so each week we bring you a sample of our favorite Android applications, so why not hit the jump and take a look at what we got for you this week?
You might remember last month when we talked about AppBrain's new Fast Web Install, the application that allows you to install applications from the Android Market directly to your phone right from the AppBrain web page.
That just got waaay cooler. AppBrain announced it has enabled extensions that allow a new Fast Web install link to be placed on any web page. When the link is visited from your Android phone, you go directly to the application's Market page, but the real trick happens when you visit from your computer. Rather that talk about it, have a look. Visit the link below from your PC's browser.
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