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4 years ago

Android Game Review: Pocket God

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Pocket God, I'm not sure where to place you. You're definitely a well-made game, but your lack of purpose makes me feel powerless to accomplish anything. That's a sad irony, because Pocket God is all about making you feel powerful.

If there are any questions about what Pocket God is about, look no farther than the name. You're the big man on campus, with near unlimited powers and a whole civilization of pygmies to save (or destroy). Really, it's all up to you

There's various locales you can jump around using the map, each with its own special perks. Underwater, for example, you can create whirlpools to torture your pygmies or skewer them with a harpoon. In the graveyard, you can turn them into ghosts, zombies, or have them get eaten by a spider. There's a lot of little goodies slipped into Pocket God that you'll totally miss if you don't just try and touch everything.

The game settings are fairly thorough and unique to each location on the map. Most of the things you'll be looking to do (ghosts, zombies, etc.) are revealed to you through these settings because you can turn them on or off. For things like items, tapping the item "on" will drop one on the play area. These can range from baby T-Rex eggs to spears (to defend against said T-Rex).

The one issue I had with the actual game (besides wondering what I was supposed to do with it) was the consistent force closing. Maybe I just wanted to add some pygmies too quickly, but when I went to town on the + button, I force closed out. It didn't necessarily need to be spam-fast, either. Sometimes I'd take my time, sometimes I'd rush it, but despite the speed, I'd force out. Only niggle I had, but still irritating.

Pocket God still escapes me as far as Android games go. For what you can do, it's fun. I'm not a "microgamer" and I don't really geek out on hidden/endless minigames, so besides being able to zap pygmies with a lightning bolt, Pocket God didn't really do it for me. However, for those of you ready to try your own hand at being a supreme being, it's only 99 cents in the Market.

Download links are after the break.

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4 years ago

Android App Review: Android Pro Widgets

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If that widget looks familiar and you're not using HTC Sense, chances are you've been acquainted with LauncherPro Plus and the Sense-like widgets that are bundled with it. I'm a big fan of LP+ and all, but the only thing keeping me tied to it were the awesome widgets. Thanks to Android Pro Widgets, however, I'm free to move on.

Android Pro Widgets is a free Market download that looks to replicate the Sense/LP+ widget and make it usable on any launcher. Android Pro Widgets does just that, and it does it well. Widgets scroll nicely, and there's a good variety.

One of the best selling points about Android Pro Widgets is that it's actually free to use. The only things you miss out on by not buying the license are the skins, unlocking the timeline widget, and a few features unique to certain widgets (people, calendar, agenda, and bookmarks). There's fairly strong theme support already, and the "Holo" theme based off of the Honeycomb look is just too cool.

If you're looking for excellent widgets but don't want to have to be confined to Sense or LP+, I'd definitely take a look at Android Pro Widgets. For me, it means being able to use ADW EX again, and that's worth the $1.99, to me.

More pictures and download links are after the break.

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4 years ago

Android Game Review: Robot Unicorn Attack

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

I remember way back when in April, Adult Swim put Robot Unicorn Attack in the Market. I was pretty fond of the browser version, but for some reason convinced myself to not buy the Android game. Today, that changed.

For those of you that live under a rock aren't familiar with Robot Unicorn Attack, the premise is simple: jump when appropriate to not fall to your demise, dodge things in your way (or rainbow dash through them), and last as long as you can to get your score up. It's not any different from other games in this same genre (what to call it? "Move until you run into something" games?), but you get to play as a robot unicorn with rainbow hair, plus there's a kickin' soundtrack.

Gameplay is just what you'd expect. The robot unicorn runs forth, doing it's robot unicorn thing. You control the jump (and double-jump) with the button on the bottom-left corner of the screen. If there's something like a star rock in your way, you can dash through it with the button on the bottom-right corner of the screen. There's also pixies or fairies or something mystical along the way, and running through those nets you more points, too.

There's three "wishes" (your lives) per game, and once you run out of wishes, your game ends. The game totals your three individual scores for your overall score, which is the only thing you're trying to beat each time you play. Gameplay is smooth as butter, but I wouldn't expect anything less from Adult Swim.

The app description says tablets aren't supported, but it worked on my Thrive, just scaled up and pixelated. Point is, it still loaded.

Robot Unicorn Attack is only 99 cents, and for something so epic, I don't know why you wouldn't spend that money, especially to have your wishes come true. And remember, always I wanna be with you, and make believe with you, and live in harmony.

Download links are after the break.

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4 years ago

Verizon officially unveils Verizon Video - more than 250 TV shows for $10 a month

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Those of you with Verizon Android smartphones might have noticed a Verizon Video app pushed out over the past few days (yeah, we didn't ask for it either), and this morning Big Red has officially announced it.

Essentially, Verizon Video is exactly what it looks like -- on-demand streaming (powered by RealNetworks) of more than 250 television, and on-demand video from ABC, NBC, CBS, MTV, Comedy Central, Animal Planet, CNBC, Disney Channel, ESPN, PBS Kids and others. You'll also have access to NFL RedZone on Sundays, NBC's "Sunday Night Football" and the NFL Network.

Verizon Video is available "on select smartphones," (we've got it on a ThunderBolt here) and is currently in a free preview. After the preview ends, a monthly subscription is $10, or you can try it out for 24  hours for $3.

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4 years ago

Android Game Review: Spirit HD

5

 

YouTube link for mobile viewing

Holy moly. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I downloaded this game. I've got this nice, shiny Thrive to check out tablet apps on, and this was featured, so I figured "Why not?" Lemme tell ya, as far as Android games go, one of the best decisions I could have made.

In Spirit (HD optional), you control this little ghost-looking guy, presumably a spirit via touch. He's a deceptively powerful little guy, creating black holes/vortexes/scary holes that swallow stuff whenever he makes two points of his movement trail touch. This is the key to your victory.

The reason he can make these portals is out of sheer defense, because there's shapes (yes, shapes) of various colors and abilities that are out to hurt you. One touch, boom, you're done. It feels very Geometry Wars in terms of aesthetic, but fortunately, the gameplay differs.

What I noticed in my time with Spirit is that the levels are seemingly random. One level, I faced these terrifying, red triangles that came at you like a booby trap from an Indiana Jones movie. That same level (the next time I played) had green laser shapes shooting, you guessed it, lasers at me. That was pretty refreshing, because it keeps working through the lower levels from getting stale.

There's also three modes of gameplay. There's Classic, Extreme, and Pulse. Classic is just what you'd expect: Good, ol' fashioned shape-destroying via scary portal. Extreme ups the ante, sending more deadly shapes your way. Move quick, or your Spirit goes bye-bye.

Pulse takes your normal system of gameplay and turns it on its head. Instead of being able to create portal by making circles, you need to fly into the circle pulse orbs that spawn. Hit one and you get a nice portal for a little bit. In the mean time, baddies of all color and variety are teleporting in, and it can get pretty hectic really quickly. It's incredibly challenging and definitely my favorite way to play.

Spirit is an awesome game, and I can tell why it did so well on iOS. What's really cool for us Android users is that if you buy Spirit, you get both the phone and tablet version with one purchase, so you can install on any device you have and you'll be able to play. Spirit is $1.30, and it's not priced unfairly.

Download links are after the break.

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for August 20, 2011

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Got apps? We do, and we love to share them with you. The market continues to grow, but we all know that it can add a bit of confusion to finding apps. Hit the break with us while we take a look at some of our favorites again.

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4 years ago

Android Game Review: Herman the Hermit

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Herman the Hermit is a strange guy. He lives up on a mountain, being all hermity, honing his mind and body for jumping from platform to platform. He's also totally insane. Plus, he can't ever actually die. This is the premise of Herman the Hermit.

The first time you open the game up, you're shown a tutorial on how to leap to-and-fro. You "slice" at an angle to plan your jump, and then Herman goes for it. You'll notice my slicing is pretty off the first time, but I definitely got better the more I played the game.

Your objective is to either jump over platforms to keep your time meter filled or pick up the clock power-ups to refill your time meter. The more time you have in your meter, the longer your game. You accumulate points for stringing together many leaps without falling as well as having your distance tracked. In all, you're shooting both a high score and a far distance.

Fortunately, if you fall or miss a platform, Herman simply uses his staff like a helicopter propeller and floats himself right back to the bottom of the screen, where you're free to slice your way back onto the platforms.

There's also a number of interesting power-ups, like a lightning bolt, a jet pack, and a rocket. Any one of these nets you a nice combo, as it hits every platform in front of you for a while, stringing together a nice combo. All of them are pretty self-explanatory, too. Grab the bolt and turn into a lightning bolt. Put on the pack and fly around, Rocketeer-style. And the big rocket? Let's just say it reminds me of Dr. Strangelove.

The graphics are really stellar and gameplay is smooth. I wouldn't expect anything less from a studio like Capcom, but the polish really shines through. Gameplay can get repetitive and I'm not sure it's necessarily skill-based so much as just flicking your finger around, but it's still good for killing time. Herman the Hermit is 99 cents in the Market, if you're interested.

Download links are after the break.

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4 years ago

Android Wallpaper Review: My Stock Ticker Lite

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With the stock market being as volatile and uncertain as it is right now, I know some folks are going to want to be able to keep an eye on their investments without hassle. For those who are a fan of the real-time ticker style, there's My Stock Ticker Lite.

My Stock Ticker Lite is actually a live wallpaper, but functions more like a widget. From the wallpaper's settings menu, you can add up to five stocks as well as customizing refresh rates and scrolling speed.

You can also move the ticker anywhere on the screen (it's only in the middle of the screen by default) with just a tap, and then you can lock the position in from the settings menu, as well.  My Stock Ticker Lite does support tablets as well as custom launchers and didn't seem to have any issues in portrait or landscape mode, which is awesome.

Unfortunately, you can't get rid of the less-than-pleasing dollar bills wallpaper and the developer opted to not allow for upgrades in the Market version. There are some more fully-featured versions (unlimited stocks, near real-time pricing update) but they're only available from his website.

Overall, if you absolutely need to have your stocks scrolling on every screen of your phone, this app does that, and it does it fairly well. If you need updates faster than three minutes or check more than five stocks, you'll have to go outside of the Android Market to get it. The Lite version is free, however, so at least you're not out anything if you don't like it.

Download links and more pictures are after the break.

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4 years ago

Android App Review: Battle.net Mobile Authenticator

5

If any of you are like me (or Alex), you like some of them Blizzard games. Be it World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, or the upcoming Diablo III, there's a Battle.net account sitting somewhere with your whole game stash on it.

How can you protect your level 85 Night elf Mohawk from the thieving, grubby fingers of gold sellers and account hackers out there? Say hello to your new best friend, the Battle.net Mobile Authenticator.

The Battle.net Mobile Authenticator works just like their separate, keychain authenticator. You attach it to your account, plugging in both the special serial number and one of the time-sensitive codes the first time, then just the time-sensitive code every time after that.

If your code gets out of sync, you have the option to resync it to fix things up. New to this version is the ability to restore an account if say, you wipe your phone without removing the authenticator. I had this happen to me a number of times when flashing ROMs, and while the support people will do it, it requires pictures of your drivers license and other annoying procedures.

The best part of it all is that it's free and ad-free. If you're an avid Blizzard gamer and want an extra level of security on your account, I'd head straight to the Market for this one.

More pictures and download links are after the break.

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4 years ago

Pops for Android brings a whole new level of customization to your alerts

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Sure, you can have just about any custom sound you can think of for notifications on your device, but one thing you can't easily do is make the alerts themselves a bit more fun to receive. Pops, a new style of alerts for your Android device, does just this by allowing users to have different themes of notifications, they are cool animations that make it a bit more fun. They have a constantly expanding gallery of notifications that can be accessed, and users have the ability to create their own as well, making your phone even more personal. Be sure to hop in the market, and check this application out if you want to take your device to the next level. Download information available after the break.

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4 years ago

Android App Review: Pocket Casts

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I’m a big podcast listener. On a given week, I’ll probably listen to at least several hours of podcasts during commutes and downtime. Due to this, I require a high quality podcast app for Android that makes managing and listening to the content that I enjoy simple and easy. I’ve been a fan of Doggcatcher for a long time. While it is more costly than the average app ($6.99), the amount of use I get from it makes the purchase more than worth it for me. While I love the app, I’m always searching for alternatives that provide different experiences. Pocket Casts is the best alternative I have found thus far and for half the price ($2.99), it’s a really good deal. It doesn’t have all of the functionality that Doggcatcher offers but it does just what you need it to do and the UI is better in my opinion.

Once you open Pocket Casts, you’ll see the the homescreen with five tabs along the bottom. The options are, from the left:

  • Library: Displays all of the podcasts you have chosen to subscribe to.
  • Now Playing: Shows you the artwork for the podcast that you are currently listening to
  • Refresh: Will refresh your podcasts and display an aggregated list of all your subscriptions and the most recent episodes
  • Search: Allows you to search or browse for podcasts that you enjoy. Options include ‘search by podcast name’ browse ‘popular podcasts’, ‘podcast networks’, ‘categories’ and ‘import’ if you know the url.
  • Settings: The final button is where you can find the settings if you want to tweak the app to our liking. Options include the ability to set the amount of time the player skips ahead or backwards, whether to store the podcasts on the SD card or phone, and whether to auto-delete after you’re finished listening, among many others.

There is one more option up in the right hand corner when you’re in the Now Playing tab. The Playlist option allows you to create customized playlists if you know that you'll be listening to a variety of podcasts at one time.

Pocket Casts is a good podcast app with a very good UI. If you’re looking for an app that will manage your podcasts but don’t want to fork over $6.99, check out Shifty Jelly's app. Pocket Casts is available from the Android Market for $2.99. Links and more pictures after the break.

And don't forget to check out the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!

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4 years ago

Evernote acquires Skitch, releases Skitch app for Android

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The Evernote Trunk Conference is happening today and during that event, Evernote CEO Phil Libin announced Evernote had acquired the Mac drawing and screen capture app, Skitch. With the announcement, also came the news that Skitch will now be offered for free for Mac users. But that wasn't all -- Skitch has now unveiled their Android app which is available in the Android Market for free. As described on the Evernote blog:

Calling Skitch for Android addictively fun is an understatement. It’s the perfect way to quickly add your mark to any image. Take a snapshot of something awesome, draw an arrow and add a caption, then post the image on Facebook. When you’re at a conference, snap a picture of the people you meet, annotate it with their names and save it into Evernote. 

If you're looking for something new to try on your images, give Skitch a look. -- we'll get a better look at it later on but for now, check it out on your own. Download link is past the break for you all.

Source: Evernote Blog

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4 years ago

GetGlue for Android receives a facelift, new interface with the same great features

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GetGlue is a great social networking application for those of us who enjoy sitting at home watching movies, TV shows, and listening to various musical artists. The Android version of the application has been a bit behind in the looks category in comparison to the iOS version, but luckily they have not forgotten about us, just put it out a little bit later. Today GetGlue has released an updated that brings a great new interface to the same great application. Hit the break for some more photos and download links.

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4 years ago

Android Game Review: STAR BLITZ

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I like checking out what the featured apps are in the Market, because I usually assume it's featured for good reason. STAR BLITZ isn't one of those apps.

If you've played GUN BROS, seen any videos, or read our review of it, you've experienced STAR BLITZ. Glu Mobile could have named this one "Space Siblings" and that'd probably be a better name for it. At least it'd tip you off to how much of a GUN BROS clone it is.

And what a clone it is. The user interface is identical, just about. Same digital joysticks, same menus, same store, all of it. Yeah, the story is different. Instead of bad guys on a planet, now they're bad guys in space. You don't carry around guns, you fly spaceships. Oh, and it's a lady and a guy this time, hence why it should be Space Siblings and not Space Sisters or something.

The gameplay isn't bad, it's just uninspired. We've been here, done that. This is last week's hit song, dressed up in new clothes and paraded around as something new, original, and unique. And I just don't dig that.

The worst part? It's not even one of those cheap, weird knockoffs you find in the Market that might or might not be malware. It's made by the same group who made GUN BROS. That's just lazy, in my opinion, and if you're going to get featured in the Market, your game should actually be something worth featuring. (Fun fact: if you look at its app ID, they actually named it "Space Bros." What does that tell you?)

At least it's still free.

Download links are after the break.

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4 years ago

Android Wallpaper Review: Celtic Garden HD

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Some of you might remember DualBoot Games from our Spring Zen HD wallpaper review, and I was so impressed with what they'd done with that wallpaper, I decided to look into another. Today I've stumbled upon Celtic Garden HD, but to mix things up, I tried it on a tablet.

Celtic Garden HD gives us just that, a celtic garden. Surrounding it are various flora, and you can also choose to add fireflies or a butterfly, too. Similar to the other live wallpaper I reviewed, there is a "randomize" option, which will pick a random option from each category you can customize every time your screen loads.

You can really define your wallpaper down to a T, choosing everything from the basin type, flora type, garden life and leaf type, and even the pot type. You can also enable touch effects, so "special effects" happen when you touch the screen. In my experience, that was having the fireflies swarm around where I'd just touched.

In terms of performance, there wasn't the slightest bit of lag on the Toshiba Thrive I was running it on, so I'd assume everyone using a Tegra-2 device can expect similar results.

Per DualBoot's pricing scheme, there is also a free version available in the Market, but it restricts access to the well-thought out and comprehensive settings menu.

More pictures and download links are after the break.

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