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2 years ago

Android Game Review: A Space Shooter for Free

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

I buy a lot of games. Some are just a buck, some are a couple of dollars, but sometimes I'm just itching to find a really sweet free game to try out and mess around with. I stumbled upon A Space Shooter for Free today, which takes the old, retro shooter genre and adds some over-the-top characters to produce a pretty fine little game.

You take the helm of the USS Eradicator as Commander P. Jefferson, a rough-talking, alien-thumping pilot who wants nothing more than to take out as many aliens as he can, anywhere. The Commander (and all the other characters you meet) are all voice acted, which is pretty unique for an Android game, and their voice actors all knock it outta the park.

Gameplay is just what you'd expect from a retro space shooter. You control a lone, tiny ship against hordes of other alien ships that want nothing more than to remove you from the map. Fortunately, most aliens of the grunt variety end up getting offed with only one shot from your ship, so you've got that advantage.

As far as graphics are concerned, this game is tops. Ship models are pretty detailed considering their size and there's a lot of variety on the screen. From the oodles of weapons you'll pick up to the oodles of weapons you'll try to avoid, there's lots of eye candy to keep you engaged. Add in a variety of different environments, some packing giant space rocks (meteors? asteroids?) and other environmental issues, and you'll begin to notice just how much detail was put into the game.

Controls are all done via the touch screen with no virtual joysticks. Move your finger along the screen and the ship will follow suit, shooting along the way. Being right-handed, I usually ended up getting exploded when I had to turn to my left thumb, but with a bit more practice, I'm sure I'll be fine.

A Space Shooter for Free is a pretty rad game, especially considering it's (mostly) free. You can unlock more bosses, difficulty levels, and weapons for $1.01 (what's with the penny?) using an in-app purchase you'll see on the main screen. A Space Shooter for Free is also OpenFeint enabled, so for the achieve-chasers in the crowd, there's more for you to do.

At any rate, get the free version cause it's awesome. We've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Emissary of War

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

First things first: I know the video says iDevices. Obviously I didn't make it, but it's gorgeous and really captures the game experience better than any video I could do. With that out of the way, know this: Emissary of War is one of the best games on Android right now and probably the best game in its genre right now.

Emissary of War is epic. It takes the feeling or idea of a console or PC game and puts it on Android for us to enjoy. The first thing I immediately thought of when I saw the environments was World of Warcraft. Nerdy, I know, but that's what the open world and graphics and textures all reminded me of. It also kind of reminds me of say, Diablo, since you're walking around, fighting bad guys, and adding skills to your repertoire as you go along. Like I said, it's epic.

The story has got to be one of the best I've seen on Android, too. If someone decided to blow this out into an entire game, I wouldn't be surprised, and I hope more chapters are coming (eventually). You are Ghent, barbarian on a task to do some barbarian things and fight a bunch of bad guys along the way. Your companion is the trusty Hassock, a nice, bald-headed alchemist who gives you support via potions and has a bit of an issue with balance (he trips often).

Go from chapter-to-chapter, slaying baddies, picking up gold and runes, and upgrading your arsenal. There's an entire shop that has weapons for Ghent, potions for Hassock, and a slew of status upgrades for both of them. It's entirely up to you how you spend them, which is such an awesome thing.

Controls are all done via pointing. Tap a place on the screen, Ghent walks there and Hassock follows him. That's it. Tap on a bad guy to attack him. You can also control Hassock's potion queue by picking what order he'll throw things in. Ghent also has a sweet rage move he can use when his rage meter gets filled up. Depending on what sword he's got equipped will affect what rage move he does, though.

Graphically, I'm pretty blown away. There's real character models here and unique characters actually look special and unique. The legions of bad guys you take down all have the same face, but I wouldn't expect things to get that detailed. This game looks great, though. Environments, weapons, potions, everything. It's really a marvel to see something like this on Android.

Performance-wise, the only time my Thrive even remotely stuttered is when there were 15+ enemies on the screen and I was using a rage attack that hit everyone. Otherwise, this game runs well. There's no stutter, there's no lag.

Emissary of War is $1. Go and buy it, trust me. I think the entire story took me a couple of hours, but it was awesome. There were twists, there were turns. It's entirely voice acted, for cryin' out loud. This is truly a gem of a game and anyone who even remotely cares about Android gaming owes it to themselves to play it.

We've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

FlightAware app now available for Android

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One of my favorite flight tracking websites soft-launched its Android App earlier this month. FlightAware is one of the most in-depth aviation websites around, with tons of content, tracking and information for those in the cockpit or sitting back in the cheap seats.

The Android app has all of the flight tracking you're used to from the website -- you can track by flight number, tail number or route. You can look up airport info (by name or airport code) as well, and see airport delays for the major hubs nationwide. If you're registered with FlightAware's website, you also can access your saved airports, aircraft and alerts.

The app is easy to use, but the maps could be a little smoother, and we'd kill to see Tripit support. FlightAware's not yet going to take over as our No. 1 travel app just yet, but it's certainly a strong showing for an initial launch.

We've got hands-on video, the press release and download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Age of Zombies

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Zombies, zombies, everywhere! In fact, not only are they everywhere, they're also every time. Such is the issue facing the world in Age of Zombies, thanks to a huge jerk named Professor Brains. (Don't worry, he gets his.) Enter protagonist Barry Steakfries, who quickly gets to what he does best: shooting things.

From there you begin your epic tale of bouncing around different eras in history, shooting zombies. You start off in prehistoric times with a brief tutorial, reduce a bunch of zombies to meaty pulp, and then move on your way. From there you'll encounter zombie cavemen, zombies who took that dumb time travel portal, and zombie T-Rex's. Yeah, you read that right.

Controls are done via two virtual joysticks (one on the left, one on the right), with the left controlling movement and the right controlling your gun. Both respond really well (especially on a tablet!), but if you're like me and end up moving your thumb too far off the joystick, prepare to get munched on by some zombies.

The graphics are really good looking (both on a phone and tablet) and while there's not full-blown voice acting, Barry does sort of mumble/grunt out whatever new weapon you've picked up. So picking up a 1UP sounds like "Hehhgstra life!" But he's Barry Steakfries and that's exactly how I'd expect him to sound (think Rocky after he'd gone the distance with Apollo Creed), so it works.

Gameplay is fun, if not a little repetitive. It's repetitively entertaining though, so it never seems to get old or boring. Just when you think you can get complacent, some giant samurai zombie is going to pop out and keep you on your toes until he's been reacquainted with the earth. Have your finger slip off of the joystick and watch the zombies come barrelling down on you from every side. It'll keep you working (and having fun), and that much is worth it to me.

Age of Zombies runs $2.99 in the Android Market, but for a game that runs on tablets just as well as phones, that's a steal. Keep in mind this game comes to us from the same team that developed Fruit Ninja, so if you're expecting anything less than awesome, you might need to up your standards. Age of Zombies is fun. And there's zombies in it. Isn't that enough for anyone?

We've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Android App Review: MellowYellow Theme for CM7

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With the arrival of the CyanogenMod 7 alpha for the EVO 3D and the Sensation, it meant I could finally take advantage of the theme engine that's built in. I've been on a bit of a yellow kick lately, so I was pretty excited when I pulled the trigger and installed MellowYellow.

For anyone who has used MattedBlues before, you'll probably be able to tell MellowYellow comes from the same developer. It's described as being for people that "love minimalism, dark greys and blacks with bright highlights" and it certainly delivers on that front.

Once you've selected MellowYellow from inside the Theme Engine app, all your taskbar icons, highlights, check arrows, and the like go yellow. That's expected, so all is good. There's also at least one new icon that I found, the 3G indicator, when you're not on Wifi or 4G.

The biggest visual change is the notification pulldown menu. Instead of the usual pulldown, all of the CM7 widgets are now black on a background of yellow. (I've found if you make the widget color black, it blends really well.) The pulldown bar itself is different, too, pleasantly transparent and sporting a MellowYellow'd Android head at the bottom.

The phone dialer has also received a much-needed revamp, with the same transparency found on the pulldown bar. The font has also been altered slightly, and there's plenty of empty space, giving the dialer a clean, open look. This is seen throughout all of the dialer menus, too.

Overall, I'm really pleased with MellowYellow. I liked MattedBlues when it came out, I knew these guys were good, but to see them branch out into other colors (orange next, please?) is great. The theme works without a hitch, looks great, and adds a great vibe to the phone.

MellowYellow for CM7 is $2.99 in the Android Market.

We've got more screenshots and download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Type like a pirate - PirateKey X

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Arrrrr, matey. If ye wants to talk like a pirate, PirateKey X be the keyboard of choice. OK, we can't keep that up. But keyboard maker Swiftkey has released PirateKey X in advance of International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Monday September 19. Once you get through the piratey setup, it'll help predict your text like normal (and Swiftkey's really good at that), and as it does so, it'll help translate into pirate-speak.

So it's a little novelty app, but it's well done, and it's all a part of Swiftkey's larger community relaunch. You can get PirateKey X from Swiftkey's VIP community at the link below. Full release is after the break.

More: PirateKey X; Swiftkey VIP forum

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2 years ago

Bolt browser enters second beta round -- we've got your download codes!

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The venerable Bolt browser has reached its second beta. And just as before, they want your help in testing. A few noticeable changes this time around are adaptive video streaming, UI fixes for a smoother experience, and a social tab that currently points to Facebook.

Want to get in on the beta? We've got you covered.

  1. Just head to the Bolt beta signup.
  2. Enter your name, e-mail address and use the code andcentral. (Note it's not androidcentral. Just andcentral.)
  3. Check your e-mail, which will contain the apk link.

There you go. Happy beta testing!

More at boltbrowser.com/android

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2 years ago

Google launches new developer site, kicks it off with the Google+ API

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Google has launched a new developer portal where it can share news about events and updates, as well as offer examples and use cases for developers of all their products -- including Android.  To get things started, Google just released the Google+ API and has shared a couple methods to retrieve public data from Google+.  Initially, the API will only collect public data, which should alleviate any privacy concerns and give the folks in Mountain View some time to get a secure method worked out for data that isn't shared with the world.

You might be asking what all this API mumbo jumbo means for you and I.  Think of it as  code that developers can use in their programs, across various platforms like Windows, Mac OS, Android, even ChromeOS.  They can plug this code into their programs and collect data and display it however they like.  This means the third-party applications, like Twitter clients, will be able to hook into Google+ like they currently can with Twitter or Facebook.  As we've seen so far with Google+ itself, this will take some time to get a viable solution worked out; one that addresses users privacy, yet makes things easy for web and mobile developers to use.  We're looking forward to see how this all develops, and of course to see what enterprising developers can come up with.  For more information, visit the links below.

Google Developers; Google+ API. Via +Reto Meier

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2 years ago

Using PlayOn and PlayLater to take your recorded content on the go

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

A daily struggle that many of us face is finding the time to keep up with our favorite shows, not everyone has the time to sit down and catch up, and want to take it on the go with them. We caught up with the creators of PlayOn and PlayLater and they showed us how you can achieve just this, and how they hope to improve on it in the near future. Unfortunately the work around shown above will run you two separate $4.99 subscriptions, but once they launch their PlayLater application for Android you can knock off one of those, running you only $4.99 to be able to take your recordings on the go. Check out the video above for a preview, and be sure to stay tuned for future updates. Download links available after the break.

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2 years ago

Verizon and FuzeBox announce Fuze Meeting for the Business Solutions Alliance program

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Verizon has just announced that they have partnered with FuzeBox, and will be featuring Fuze Meeting as part of the BSA (Business Solutions Alliance) program.  If you're unfamiliar with Fuze Meeting, it's an online collaboration tool that provides virtual meetings via computers, tablets, and smartphones.  As Michael Toto, director, Enterprise and Government Partnerships at Verizon Wireless says:

As tablets and mobile devices continue to advance their capabilities and get adopted as de facto tools in the business environment, video collaboration is becoming mainstream for diagnostics, analysis, transactions and many other drivers that companies rely on. FuzeBox is delivering a perfect meeting place for the two technologies, offering high-quality, user-friendly solutions to a wide range of industries and customers, and the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network ties them all together.

And he's right.  With new high-speed cellular data networks come great ways to be even more productive on connected devices.  With rising fuel and travel costs, many businesses have turned to online meetings instead of flying folks cross-country to work together.  Here at Android Central, we conduct most of our internal business this way, and it's high time that mobile gets in on the action.

Be aware though, this isn't a tool for the average consumer.  A quick look at the Fuze Meeting pricing page shows that this tech doesn't come cheaply.  But it's still far more cost effective than the alternative, and should be a heavy hitter for Verizon's BSA.  We have the full press release after the break, and you can learn more at the link below.

Fuze Meeting

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