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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Ground Effect Pro XHD

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

If there's one game I loved playing as I was growing up, it'd have to be Hydro Thunder. Piloting souped-up speed boats with ridiculous turbo jets tacked onto their backs was one of the highlights of any trip to the arcade, and I could burn endless amounts of quarters playing again and again and again.

While Ground Effect Pro XHD isn't Hydro Thunder in name, it's pleasantly similar in design and gameplay. You pilot an incredibly fast hovercraft over all sorts of different terrain, taking corners at ludicrous speed, all while racing against computer-controlled opponents for the top spot.

When you open the game up, there's three game modes to choose from: Race, Ghost Race, and Just Cruise. Race is the main game, and where most of the action is at. You pick your favorite hovercraft (they're all the same, spec-wise), pick your race track (there are 14 of them), and hit the ground water running.

To ensure you follow the course fairly, there's checkpoints every so often you have to pass through. if you miss a set, you've got to turn around to go through it, which usually loses you a lot of time. Try to avoid obstacles, too. If you happen to go careening off into a mountainside or something, your craft will explode and you'll be reset close to a checkpoint.

Ghost Race is a sort of practice run, where you're racing a single computer opponent, fighting for first place. It's a bit less hectic than the normal eight-man racefests the normal mode has, and is awesome for learning a particular track.

Just Cruise is exactly what is sounds like: you, by yourself, just cruising around a track of your choosing. This is the ultimate practice, because there's no competition, no stress, and you can really enjoy the digital scenery (and secretly wish you had a boat of your own).

You control the hovercraft by turning your device like a steering wheel. The controls are fairly tight, so if you're like me and have a tendency to overcompensate turns, you'll definitely see the effects of that on screen.

Aside from that, there's two solitary pedals on the bottom-right corner of the screen. The left pedal is your air brake and the right one is your Hydro Thunder-esque super boost. Both abilities are limited (the brake is the green bar, the boost is yellow), but they replenish fairly quickly.

Oh, and did I mention you've got to place in the top three in a race to unlock the next track? That's the game's brilliant way of making sure you're not in over your head.

Ground Effect Pro XHD's other big feature (aside from tight gameplay) is that it not only supports stereoscopic 3D on devices that support it (I'm looking at you, EVO 3D), it also supports regular 3D using those tinted-lens glasses that were all the rage back in the day.

From the settings menu, you can choose either red/cyan, yellow/blue, or green/magenta glasses, and the game will adjust itself appropriately for your extra-dimensional gaming pleasure.

If there was a race you just absolutely killed it on, you can watch a replay of the entire thing from the Hi-Score/Replay menu. Very cool stuff.

Ground Effect Pro XHD is awesome. It's long (14 levels!), it's tricky, it's got a kickin' soundtrack, and it supports 3D (if you're into that sorta thing). If you like racing games (or have a soft spot for Hydro Thunder), give this one a look.

Ground Effect Pro XHD is $5.99 in the Android Market. We've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

My Consumer Cellular app now available in the Android Market

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Consumer Cellular announced today that its My Consumer Cellular Android app is now available for download on its sole Android offering, the Motorola Bravo. Consumer Cellular is a  no-contract provider that caters to an older audience (it's the exclusive wireless provider for AARP members) and with its new app, users can track usage, shop for plans, and view and pay bills. And if you're an AARP member, the app includes a scan-ready AARP card to replace your wallet's hard copy. Hit the break to grab the free app from the Android Market.

Source: Consumer Cellular

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2 years ago

Skyrocket in white, afternoon delight

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Read our Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket review

We're still not seeing it on AT&T's product page, but Samsung most certainly does have a white version of the Galaxy S II Skyrocket waiting in the wings, for those of you who are into that sort of things. Specs look to be identical to the black Skyrocket, save for the shell. Keep an eye out for this one to be available at some point, we reckon.

Source: Samsung; Thanks, Eric, for the tip!

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2 years ago

World of Goo has arrived on Android

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2D Boy's popular title World of Goo is now available in the Android Market for a cool 40% off sale price of $2.99 through December 5. Previously available on PC, Mac, Wii, and iOS, World of Goo is an physics-based puzzle adventure through the world of goo balls, which sounds slightly sillier than reality: the game won IGN's Wii Game of the Year along with MetaCritic's iPad Game of the Year, accolades which don't go unnoticed in the gaming world. There's also a demo version available in the Android Market for the remaining skeptics. Hit the break for the download link.

Source: 2D Boy

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2 years ago

Google IO 2012 changes dates to June 27-29 in San Francisco

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Can't get enough of Google IO? Google's developer conference has just announced expanded dates -- moving from two days in April to June 27-29. The conference will still take place in San Francisco, at Moscone Center West.

Source: Google Developers

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2 years ago

AT&T announces the LG Nitro HD with 720p display and LTE

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AT&T today took the wraps off the LG Nitro HD -- the carrier's verison of the Optimus LTE. Leading the specs charge is the phone's 4.5-inch display (it's an "Advanced High-Performance IPS display, if you must know), with the new high-end resolution of 1280x720. It's also got a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and will run on AT&T's LTE network, which has hit 15 markets.

The Nitro HD will be available in stores and online Dec. 4 for $249.99 with a two-year contract. Hit the break to see our pal Stephanie -- aka the LG Girl -- give the Nitro HD the what-for.

Source: AT&T; More: LG Nitro HD Forums

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket review

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It was a long wait between the release of the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S II and a version for AT&T, but the U.S. carrier has now ended up with two of them.  One version is pretty faithful to the original (check out our review here), and the second version, the Samsung Skyrocket, is what were looking at today.  There's a good bit of difference, both the obvious (a larger 4.5-inch screen and an LTE modem) and the not so visible (different chipsets), but the user experience is the same for the most part.  Hit the break where we dive in and have a look at what the Skyrocket has to offer, besides having one of the best device names since the OG Droid.


The beautiful screen looks even better at 4.5-inches.  Handoff times from LTE to a GSM/HSPA network are quick.  HSPA+ fallback when not in an LTE area offers a better experience to the user.  Overall the phone is very smooth, like we're used to from the GSII line.


LTE is hard on battery life.  A 4.5-inch screen may be too big for some.  AT&T's LTE network is in its infancy and still full of holes.  The different internals may mean longer wait times for updates from Samsung and AT&T.  NFC is once again notoriously absent from the software.



The Skyrocket stays faithful to the Galaxy S II line, offering the same (or better) performance and an identical user experience.  AT&T still needs to work on its LTE network, but with a fast handoff and fast HSPA network speeds to fall back on, the casual user will be pleased with its speed on the Internet.  The big, beautiful screen and LTE radio are hard on the battery (especially when compared to using it in a non-LTE enabled area) but that can be solved by carrying a spare battery or plugging it in when possible.

Inside this

More info

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2 years ago

Amazon says Kindle Fire sold a bunch, but won't say how many

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Amazon's Kindle Fire was expected to be a success because of the Amazon brand name and $199 price point, but the tablet has continued to outsell predictions and is now the best selling item on Amazon for the eighth straight week. Black Friday saw enormous interest in not only the Fire, but the entire Kindle family, Amazon said, though it didn't actually release any numbers to back that up.

See the full press release after the break.

Source: Amazon

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2 years ago

Head to head: Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the iPhone 4S

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Read our Galaxy Nexus Review!

Take the two top smartphones available today and put them side by side, and you have what we present before you here -- the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The former needs little introduction. It's the iterative follow-up to the original iPhone 4, faster with a better camera and that newfangled Siri to chat with. The latter is the latest "Pure Google" phone, the first with the Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" operating system.

Let's take a brief look at the two phones side-by-side.

Galaxy Nexus Forums | Galaxy Nexus Specs | iPhone 4S review

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