Game developers have a new player in the game engine market, and it's one most of them already know quite well: Autodesk. At GDC Europe, the software company behind some of the most popular 3D modeling tools in the industry – 3ds Max and Maya – has announced the Stingray game engine to compete with the likes of Unreal, Unity 3d, and others. Alongside Autodesk's other design tools, it offers a seamless solution for game developers and designers to rapidly prototype and build high performance, cross-platform games.
Stingray is based on the Bitsquid game engine acquired by Autodesk last year. It supports testing and deployment to Android, iOS, Windows 7 and 8, Oculus Rift DevKit 2, PS4, and Xbox One.
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.
Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Weatherback Weather Wallpaper
This week's roundup is brought to you by Weatherback Weather Wallpaper from Aceou. This interesting live wallpaper takes a static image (like Android's default wallpaper) and adds dynamic weather effects based on the weather at your actual location.
Don't think I'll find where a show is available online? Just watch me. There's an app or two for that, and now that JustWatch has brought its search engine to Android and iOS, there's another one. And it's capable of searching through Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, HBO Now, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, Play Movies, PlayStation, Showtime, Vudu, Xbox, and a couple other online streaming services.
JustWatch's grid layout looks like those of the services it interacts with, and it feels like a natural companion, like the modern-day equivalent of a TV guide. You can create a watchlist without having to create an account or provide any credentials.
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 democratic tank battle game, a strategic minimal online battler, an atom-smashing puzzler, and the most singularly terrifying thing I've ever seen on a phone screen. Without further ado:
Democracy vs Freedom
You fancy yourself a pretty good tank commander, I'm sure.
Hey you! Yes, you, with the 60-hour-a-week League of Legends habit and the inordinately expensive microphone setup! Do you aspire to make seven million dollars a year, but lack the apparent "talent" and "charm" of the Twitch streaming giants?
The classic game emulation scene for Android is really blowing up. Not only do we have more single-use emulators than ever, more powerful hardware is opening up the sixth generation of home consoles like the Dreamcast and Gamecube. Today one of the more notable all-in-one emulators is getting a huge update on the Play Store: RetroArch. The multi-platform, multi-console emulator has updated its entire user interface system and added a few under-the-hood changes as well.
This video is from the Linux version of RetroArch, but it shows the new menu system in action.
The most striking addition is the user interface, with a cross-style main menu reminiscent of the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable.
Emulating games is hard, y'all. There are a ton of classic game emulators for Android, and most of them work really well... replicating relatively ancient, low-power hardware for two dimensions. Even something like the 20-year-old PlayStation is difficult (but not impossible) to emulate on the latest mobile hardware, which is objectively about a hundred times more powerful. That's what you get when console makers create more or less customized hardware and software that doesn't have to play nice with any other platforms.
We've seen a ton of Android games launch in June, but even so there are some clear standouts. There are true premium games for fans of top-down shooters, space flight games, tactical RPGs, and crafting... and that's without even dipping into the Honorable Mentions section. On a technical level we've got everything from 60fps 3D masterpieces to a game that looks like it was made in Microsoft Paint. Check out the best offerings from an extremely generous month on the Play Store below.
It's honestly kind of surprising that a company as huge and far-reaching as Amazon hasn't made a more serious effort to sell things in Mexico yet. After all, there are over a hundred million people in the country - surely a few of them want to buy some books and phones and such, and Amazon already sells to much smaller markets in Europe. The company announced today that it's expanding its online retail services to Mexico, including both conventional sales and its Marketplace program.
That will make the Amazon Kindle e-readers available in Mexico, but oddly there's no mention of the Kindle Fire, Fire TV, or Fire Phone lines (you never know, someone down there might actually want one).
Square Enix, listen to me: stop making Android ports. Please. You're really bad at it. All of these games, most of which are decades old and extremely expensive by mobile standards, are embarrassingly lacking in polish and features.
Take the latest, Dragon Quest VI. By all accounts it's a classic JRPG, and one that many never got to play in the west since the original Super NES version was only released in Japan. On Android it's fifteen bucks. It comes with zero Google Play Games features (no cloud saves!), has no compatibility with Bluetooth controllers or Android TV, and it doesn't even work in landscape mode.