Another week, another great set of app picks from the folks here at Android Central. If you're new to this, we take time each Saturday afternoon to show off one app from each of the AC writing staff and see why they've been using it on their own devices. This isn't necessarily meant to be the top selling apps list for the week, but more of a discovery of the diamonds in the rough that the rest of us may have missed.
Hang with us after the break where we show off a few different games, a tool that will help you game and a few odds and ends.
Simon Sage - Pocket Trains
Okay, I'm trolling you guys a little with this pick - it's currently soft-launched in Canada, but a broad launch has got to be right around the corner. Pocket Trains is NimbleBit's latest game, which, as you might expect, puts you in control of a sprawling rail empire. Players build out new routes, deliver commodities, assemble new trains, and upgrade stations. It's an awful lot like Pocket Planes, especially when you factor in the freemium model for speeding up arrivals and other timers, but there are some new mechanics which add a significant amount of depth from the original Tiny Tower set-up. Trains have fuel which is used up at a rate dependent of how much you're loading up, and though you refuel slowly at stations, you can spend Bux to get filled up immediately. Luckily, you can earn Bux through high-priority deliveries.
Pocket Trains is a fun little business sim game with lots of charm, if a little heavy on the freemium angle.
Download: Pocket Trains (Free)
I had no idea Wendy’s has an official app. Those of you who don’t like Wendy’s or don’t eat fast food in general obviously won’t be interested in this app, but for the rest of you, it’s pretty good. I don’t go to Wendy’s often enough to notice, but they recently have been implementing mobile payments at select locations. No stores nearby me have participated yet, but hopefully soon because I would love to try that. I think where the app excels is giving you an easy-to-navigate menu to view the food and the nutritional value of each item. You can easily find the nearest location to you and find out if that store accepts mobile payments. If you find yourself eating at Wendy’s often enough, this is the app for you. I definitely love a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger every once in a while.
Download: My Wendy's (Free)
I always enjoy putting my current-gen Android hardware to use running previous-gen gaming emulators. However, the newer the system being emulated, usually the more problems there are with the games being played. I happily found this not to be the case with this Nintendo DS emulator, Drastic DS. After playing a few rounds of Mario Kart, and a little bit of Kingdom Hearts 365 (killing time waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3!!!), I noticed that this emulator kept up very well with graphics and sound. There were a couple minor hiccups here and there, but overall the games were extremely playable. The free version has options limitations, including not being able to save, and limiting game time to 20 minute intervals. The free version is a great way to test the app out, however, before deciding to spend the $7.99 for the full version. If there are any DS fans out there that want to play their DS games on an Android device, definitely check this app out.
Download: DraStic DS Emulator (Free)
Chris Parsons - Indie Game: The Movie
I am cheating a bit this week because my app pick really isn't an app or a game but it's totally related to games and development. This week I chose Indie Game: The Movie, which is a documentary that follows the underdogs of the video game industry, indie game developers, who give up a lot of their life, time and money to bring their creative visions to the masses. Indie Game follows the making of the games SUPER MEAT BOY, FEZ and BRAID and overall, it's a pretty awesome 'behind the scenes' look at game development and what the folks behind them go through. It's available on Google Play to rent for $2.99 or purchase for $9.99.
Download: Indie Game: The Movie ($9.99 / $2.99)
Andrew Martonik - Chinese Open Face Poker
If you're an avid card player, or poker player more likely, than you probably have heard of a game called "Chinese Poker." It's a card game built on the principles of poker hand strength, but each player receives 13 cards to make 3 different hands out of and score points against one another. My friends and I like to play Chinese Poker with a deck of cards whenever possible, but when we're not together we've been playing head-to-head online with this app, Chinese Open Face Poker.
Despite its naming, you can play either open face or closed face Chinese Poker, and can even set the particulars of your game — fantasy land, royalties, number of rounds, etc. — before you start. Best of all the game is free to start and is cross-platform with players on iOS. You can grab a free version of the game and deal with a few ads, or you can pay $5.99 for an ad-free version. In-app purchases for a few different game functions are available for $0.99 each also.
It's a good casual game you can play with friends and work on your Chinese Poker skills, what's not to like?
Jerry Hildenbrand - Reaper
It's what I've been wasting all my time on this week, and one heck of an enjoyable little game. Half RPG, half action-adventure, you play as the Black Swordsman and sell your blade and skills to various people, filling quests and advancing your character.
The story-line is OK (I've played better) but the overall game play is top notch. Controls are easy — whether touch-based, controller-based like the Shield of with a MOGA, or asdf controls through a device with a keyboard, like the HP X2.
Most of all, I like the new style of freemium that Hexage is trying. Everything is free up to level 10. After that, you can unlock the full game with one purchase. None of this pay 99-cents for 1,000 gold nonsense. You like, you pay, you play. I can get behind this.
If you want to check it out (as mentioned it's free to try for 10 levels) click the link below. Warning — say goodbye to your free time.
Download: Reaper (free)
Happen to miss previous editions of our weekly app picks? You can check them out right here. Our continuing weekly app coverage can also be seen right here as well.
One of the best Windows laptops is $550 right now — and stock is limited
Buying a laptop isn't an easy decision, but it's one that's slightly easier on weeks like this — on Black Friday. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has been heralded as one of the best laptops on the market by practically every site that ranks these kinds of things, ourselves included, and there's a brand new reason to pick it up. Today only, the XPS 13 2-in-1 with Intel 10th Gen CPUs are up to $...
Why it’s worth spending more on faster SD cards on Black Friday
To make the most of any camera, whether it be the one on your phone or one in a security cam or even a drone, you'll want to buy a fast SD card. Here's why.
Cards against Humanity and Exploding Kittens on sale for Black Friday
Some of the best card games and board games are on sale today for Black Friday. If you don't have them already, you should definitely check out Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens.
The Xperia 1 II is our favorite phone for shooting video
If video recording is your thing, then look no further than the Sony Xperia 1 II — it offers a large screen, three great cameras, and extremely robust manual video controls.