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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Buddy Rush

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

I get to play a lot of games as I'm looking for the best stuff to show you guys and gals. Most of the time I find pretty good stuff. Occasionally though, I come across something that's kind of a dud. Buddy Rush is one of those games.

Buddy Rush is a cross-platform (Android, iOS, and Facebook) action/RPG where you pick a character and complete missions to get items. Instead of just playing with developer-created computer players, though, you can take computer controlled characters that your friends have made. That's where the social aspect is supposed to come into play, anyway.

You control you character by tapping the place you want to walk to and you attack enemies by tapping them. Likewise, you also tap on computer characters (like merchants) to open up a dialog screen where you can either accept items or quest invitations, or purchase items that will advance you on your journey.

There's three characters you can pick from the start (a melee class, a mage, and an archer), and all the other characters on the roster need to be bought. They've got pretty funny names (like the Worrier, who is a worrisome warrior, or Wizz the wizard), so I'll give the developers one for creativity there.

From a gameplay perspective, Buddy Rush is alright. The graphics are ok, the music is chipper, and everything runs generally without issue. Now, I did get a few force closes here and there, and the mission progress I was in the middle of in had reset, so that kind of sucked.

Buddy Rush is also peppered with weird grammatical errors. If you pay attention you'll notice phrasings that aren't quite right, like they came straight out of Google Translate. I don't mind if the game was originally localized somewhere else, but that just kind of bugged me as I was reading mission information.

Buddy Rush also uses a special (see: paid for) currency called Chips. Chips are used to buy special items in-game or buy the characters that are both cooler and off-limits to you when you're creating a character. If you don't want to spend cash for chips, there's a list of offers you can complete to get Chips for free. Some of them require you to sign up for Netflix while others are as simple as installing and running a free app.

I wanted to see the Chips system at work, so I downloaded one of the free apps and booted it up. Not surprisingly, my Chips weren't awarded to me. So I played that free app for a little bit, tried to see if there was some threshold I had missed, but still, no Chips. That bugged me quite a bit because it's either poor programming and partnership or a thinly veiled attempt to set up your expectations and then deny you (so then you'll buy Chips).

The social aspect is also completely ruined if none of your friends play (like in my case), so you end up losing a whole component there. I know the rewards for having friends play are trivial at best, but it'd at least be a little entertaining to see a friend's avatar instead of some weirdo wearing a pumpkin for a head.

Fortunately, Buddy Rush is free, so there's no barrier to entry (just a barrier for Chips). If you're one of the folks who has already enjoyed it on the browser side of things, this is the best way to take it with you when you're on the go. And if you're someone who can convince your friends to give it a shot, it might not be a bad idea.

For me, it's lacking some of the polish I've become accustomed to in a great Android game, but that might just be me.

We've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Verizon Wireless launches Mobile Unified Communications Client

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Verizon is well aware of the growth in the mobile industry and as such, they're also aware that buinesses no longer rely on their workers to be in the office all the time. Fact is, we're becoming a mobile society and being in an office all day is quite a thing of the past. Knowing this, they've now announced the Mobile Unified Communications Client.

This allows business owners to have both a landline and mobile number attached to their employee's smartphones. Calls initiated from the mobile phone’s line are routed through the existing corporate IP PBX system and display the employee’s business number to callers.  This helps maintain the corporate identity while allowing employee's to be wherever they need to be outside of the office.

The Mobile UC Client is available for a $7 monthly fee per user, and most Motorola Android devices such as the Droid X, Droid X2, Droid 2 & Global and Droid Pro are supported. Full press release is past the break for you all.

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2 years ago

Live from CTIA Enterprise & Applications in San Diego!

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We're here in sunny San Diego, Calif., for the fall CTIA show, better known as Enterprise and Applications. By now you've no doubt heard that the main event -- Samsung and Google's unveiling of the next Nexus phone and Ice Cream Sandwich -- has been put on hold for a bit. No matter. We're goint to bring you everything there is to bring from this thing.

And that starts Tuesday morning with the Day 1 keynote featuring the CEOs of Sprint, Verizon and AT&T, and there's plenty to come after that. So don't ya'll go nowhere, ya here?

(And for the really hardcore, be sure to follow @philnickinson on Twitter and Google+ for all the inside poop. Same goes for @anndrew and, erm, Anndrew on Google+.)

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2 years ago

HTC Amaze 4G hands-on

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Here we have it, folks, the HTC Amaze 4G on T-Mobile. Maybe it's amazing because of the gorgeous qHD Super LCD display. Maybe it's amazing because it just feels good in your hand. Maybe it's amazing because of T-Mobile's 42 Mbps network. Maybe it's amazing for the 1.5GHz dual-core processor pushing the latest version of HTC Sense. Or maybe it's amazing because HTC finally has begun paying attention to camera quality.

These all are things we'll be testing out over the coming days and weeks. But our initial impressions are pretty good. It's fast. It's sleek. It's not the most svelte phone available today, but we're betting all those superlatives above will make up for it.

Hit the break for our initial hands-on video and some more pics.

Amaze 4G Specs | Amaze 4G Forums

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Minecraft - Pocket Edition

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

When Minecraft: Pocket Edition was announced as an exclusive for the Xperia Play, block-builders the world round collectively wept. How long would it be before we could all run from Creepers, beat up sheep for their wool, or build giant structures to worship your favorite Android mascot?

It might have felt like forever, but Minecraft: Pocket Edition is finally available for all Android devices, and it's actually pretty cool (despite how feature-limited it is).

If you've ever played Minecraft on a PC (or even if you haven't), Minecraft: Pocket Edition will look pretty familiar. Everything is nice a blocky and retro-inspired, and it runs quite well. In lieu of actual physical controls, there's an onscreen directional pad with a jump button in the middle of it.

To place blocks, tap somewhere close to you. In the same vein, holding a block close to you will bring up a circle, and when the circle is filled, the block will be destroyed. Currently, there's no tools to destroy things, so everything is destroyed with your bare hands (Chuck Norris-style).

There's also no harvesting of items that you've destroyed. Instead, you have an inifinite amount of supplies, but only the supplies that the game gives you. Tapping the three circles on your item bar brings up the list of blocks (and other assorted goodies), and then you can pick three from there. I'm a bit disappointed TNT isn't included by default, and once crafting is (re)introduced, that'll be the first thing I make.

The controls are fairly tight, although the lack of precision on placing blocks when trying to balance a tablet can become a little frustrating. The camera is no different than the non-pocket edition, and the blocky, first-person interface is still top-notch.

Also missing from this early alpha are day/night cycles, and with that, bad guys. I really wanted to run and blow myself up next to a Creeper (cause hey, that never gets old), but there's none of them to be found. Zombies are suspiciously absent as well, along with all of the farm animals you beat up for their delicious meats, eggs, and wool.

You can still play with friends as long as you're all on the same wireless network, but otherwise, you're flying solo. Minecraft: Pocket Edition also sidesteps the normal Minecraft servers entirely, so you can have any name you want (for now).

Overall, Minecraft: Pocket Edition is a bit underwhelming, especially when there's so much on the desktop version that's missing from the mobile experience. I know it's an early alpha, but for $6.99, I was personally expecting more. That being said, it's still kind of a technical marvel, having such an open sandbox running on mobile devices.

If you just can't live without your Minecraft when you're not at home, we've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Are they phones? Are they tablets?

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Is it a phone or a tablet? It's becoming harder to tell these days.

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2 years ago

Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S II now being accepted by T-Mobile

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If you are on T-Mobile and have been anxiously awaiting the day to arrive for you to be able to place your order for the Samsung Galaxy S II, you're in luck. The Samsung Galaxy S II is now available for your pre-ordering pleasure, and if you are on the fence be sure to check out this hands-on to help steer you in the right direction. For those with an upgrade, or signing a new two year deal the device will be $279 out the door and a $50 mail in rebate, or if you have to go the full retail route it will run you $529. 

Source: T-Mobile

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2 years ago

New Verizon LTE locales going live Nov. 17th

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Verizon is continuing their roll out of 4G LTE across the Nation having now announced even more cities that will be enabled by November 17th. The list is as follows:

  • Little Rock, Ark.
  • Savannah, Ga.
  • Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, Iowa
  • Lexington, Ky.
  • Kansas City and Springfield, Mo.
  • Lincoln, Neb.
  • Orange County, N.Y.
  • Greater Providence, R.I.
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Roanoke, Va.
  • Appleton, Wis.

In total, Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network will be available in 178 cities on Nov. 17. You can jump on past the break for their full press release.

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2 years ago

Welcome back to Monday: Here's what you missed

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We're out on the West Coast this week, which means we're even more laid back than usual and a couple hours behind the rest of you in the U.S. But that's no excuse for missing out on some of the great stories we posted over the weekend. Here are a few you might have missed:

Three stories you surely don't want to to miss.

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2 years ago

Some Motorola Xoom LTE upgrades have a quick turnaround, bring a new OTA, and make things zoom-ier.

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Quite a few of you guys have sent your 3G Motorola Xoom's off to get the LTE upgrade, and we're hearing good things all around.  If you've sent yours off, expect to receive a small OTA update to HLK75D when it returns (packed full of performance-related improvements per the notification, just like the Wifi models) if you haven't already received it, and of course expect some fast-as-heck data speeds.  Turn around time seems to be good -- we're hearing it averages about a week -- and so far (knock on wood) we haven't heard a single horror story or tale of misfortune.

Motorola and Verizon may have taken longer than anyone would have liked -- and we are hearing the occasional story about delays for the retrofit -- but it looks like they are making good on their promises.  Hit the break for two more pictures that are sure to make any Xoom owner smile.

More: Motorola Xoom Forums; Thanks Chris and Jon for the pics!

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