Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a runner game with some Portal inspiration, another runner that should please physics buffs, and a game that delivers exactly what it promises.
|Jeremiah Rice||Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.|
The Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition started its Android 4.4 update yesterday, a little later than many of its owners would have liked. For those who are eager to get KitKat on their expensive AOSP phones and don't want to wait for the rollout, we've got a download link for the manual OTA update ZIP file.
Those of you who are Nexus veterans know how this goes: download the file on your PC and use ADB to reboot into recovery, copy the file over, and then flash it.
If you're a regular user of the iHeartRadio service, there's a big update waiting for you in the Play Store. The most useful addition in the new version of the Android app is undoubtedly the expanded control options: you can now pause, play, or advance your streaming music on the lockscreen or the new notification. The notification is even expandable - are you watching this, Pandora?
The user interface gets a fancy new slide-out menu, accessible from the main player and home screens.
If you've been hankering for a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the high price for Verizon's contract phone may be off-putting. Wirefly is offering the Verizon Note 3 for $199.99 with a new contract, but Amazon has one-upped them - they've got the same phone-contract combo for just $169.99. The price for both is $249.99 ($50 off Verizon's price) for returning customers.
You could take the view that Wirefly has a better deal here, at least if you're willing to wait.
We had previously heard that the US version of Motorola's shockingly inexpensive Moto G would be headed to the United States in January, a couple of months after some international markets. It looks like Motorola couldn't wait until next year and has started selling the phone on its website. You can order the US version of the GSM phone now, and it's set to ship on December 2nd.
The phone is being offered in 8GB and 16GB versions, with the low price of $179 and $199, respectively.
If you've been waiting for your magenta-flavored Galaxy S4 to get its long-awaited Android 4.3 update, check your notification bar now. According to both T-Mobile's official support page and some evidence from the denizens of XDA, the phone is getting its final Jelly Bean release as you read this.
screenshot credit: jbreeze228
The 4.3 update for this and other Samsung phones packs more than the usual updated software: it also makes Samsung's later phones compatible with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, previously restricted to the Galaxy Note 3.
As a tech addict who lives in a remote area, Amazon Prime is a godsend for me: getting stuff delivered to my door quickly when it would otherwise necessitate a three hour round trip is well worth the nominal fee. Amazon hopes you'll agree, and to that end they've now included the ability to sign up for an Amazon Prime free trial right in the official Amazon app.
If you qualify for Prime (and just about everybody does), you can sign up for a 30-day trial within the app itself.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Strategy & Tactics:USSR vs USA
Today's roundup is presented by Strategy & Tactics:USSR vs USA from HeroCraft, which was recently updated with 2 new scenarios.
Crescent Moon has been one of the more reliable developers on the Play Store as of late, and their newest game is definitely worth a look from anyone who enjoys a good old-fashioned beat-em-up. Nakama evokes the spirit of 2D side-scrolling fighters like Streets Of Rage or Double Dragon. At least, it's like Double Dragon might have been if you played it at 200 frames per second.
You play as an inexplicably blocky ninja on a quest to save his friends.
Minecraft-themed shooter? Yeah, we've done that. Minecraft-themed platformer? Yup. Minecraft-themed dungeon crawlers, RPGs, and (of course) zombie games? You bet. Now developer DogByte, of 8-bit Ninja fame, is bringing Minecraft to the racing genre with the cleverly-titled Blocky Roads. For the moment this 2.5D driving game is exclusive to the Amazon Appstore, where you can pick it up for two bucks.
How do you combine the blocky sensibilities of Minecraft with a super-simple racer a la Excite Bike?