Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
This edition focuses only on new games. The app roundup is coming up soon.
Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the AppBrain widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Strategy & Tactics: WW II
Today's roundup is presented by Strategy & Tactics: WW II from HeroCraft. You could be forgiven for thinking that this turn-based strategy game looks a lot like Risk, but instead of Napoleonic struggles, the digital adaptation takes the battlefield to WWII-era Europe.
Mark your calendars - Carmageddon will appear on Google Play next Friday, May 10th. The fine developers working on this decade-old port have announced that the game will be available free for the first 24 hours. If you need help remembering, they've offered to send you an email reminder. How nice.
Carmageddon first debuted in 1997 for Windows and Macintosh computers. It has since been ported to the original Playstation, the Nintendo 64, and the Game Boy Color. A modern port appeared on iOS in October of last year, but the Android port remained MIA. That's no longer the case.
It seems that the CyanogenMod team is on a roll with Sony devices. Just yesterday the first nightly turned up for the Xperia ZL, and today the Xperia Z and Xperia V are joining the ranks. We know the two phones can survive water and boiling soup, but thanks to CyanogenMod, they will now survive the test of time with the latest versions of Android.
Definition: A "nightly" is a bleeding edge release that is built on a daily basis, usually at night after a full day's worth of new code has been committed.
It could oftentimes be unstable and not properly tested, lacking any changelogs, but eventually evolving into alphas, betas, release candidates, and finally stable releases.
Native PlayStation DualShock game controller support is a feature Sony fans have been clamoring for on Android for some time now. So long, in fact, that there's a very popular app devoted strictly to making this possible for rooted users. But requiring root access is definitely a major roadblock for some people, and an official solution from Sony has remained elusive - until now.
A video of the soon-to-be-released Xperia SP phone shows off built-in DualShock 3 pairing functionality, and it seems to work great.
The catch is that in order to pair the controller, a USB OTG cable (and USB host support on the phone itself) is required initially.
You might not have heard of Sega's After Burner [sic] series if you don't frequent the arcade. It's one of Sega's oldest franchises, centered around flight simulations of fighter jets, though the games' arcade origins give them a more casual approach to the genre than, say, Ace Combat. (In fact, the games have always felt a lot like Space Harrier.) The last entry in the series, 2006's After Burner Climax, just touched down on the Play Store for a cool three bucks.
Players will pilot some of the Air Force and Navy's finest machines, including the F14, F15 and F18, through 20 stages against a variety of airborne enemies.
Need a little old-school kick to start your weekend? Then look no further than SNK's developer page on the Play Store. Over the last few months they've populated it with no less than four of their classic Metal Slug side-scrollers (Metal Slugs 1, 2, 3, and X) and the top-down space shooter Blazing Star. All are available at significant discounts: half off for the Metal Slug games, bringing them to two bucks each, and a full two-thirds off for Blazing Star, which is now just a dollar.
If you've never heard of Metal Slug... well, shame on you. It started out in the Playstation era as a modern (for the time) arcade riff on Contra, featuring copious amounts of both running and gunning paired with crushing difficulty.
Ok, first I'm going to tap for a red to bolt the Dimir Guildmage and swing for 6. Then, tap another red and my Everflowing Chalice for 4 to summon a Deathforge Shaman and pay the kicker 5 times for 10 damage. See, you should have mulled in the beginning, you were too mana screwed to play your hosers. I've got the game unless you topdeck a Geddon. Oh crap, it's shutting down! No!!! I've been playing Magic 2014 all day and forgot my charging cable!!!
Thanks to Wizards of the Coast and a press release for Magic 2014 - Duels of the Planeswalkers, conversations like these are about to become way more common.
One of these days, we're finally going to figure this whole buttons problem for Android devices. While touchscreens are great, the tactile feeling of physical controls will always have its appeal. Some solutions are better than others, but maybe the Wikipad can find the sweet spot. The tablet comes with an attached set of game controls that can be removed, leaving the player with a regular 7" Tegra 3 tablet. The entire unit costs $250.
Here are the specs for the tablet itself:
7" 1280x800 IPS display (up to 5-point multitouch)
16GB storage (expandable w/ 32GB micro SD)
4,100 mAh battery
The attached buttons actually make this look a lot like a Wii U tablet, but this one is running Android 4.1.
If you're into classic games – everything from arcade throwbacks to more modern Playstation titles – then you may have a handful of game emulators installed on your various devices. Now, thanks to an open source, multi-console emulator called RetroArchthat just made its way to Android after six months in the making, you can do away with the collection of emulators and get all your old school gaming action in one place.
Some of you may actually already be familiar with RetroArch, as it's available on basically every platform in existence, including: