As of Christmas Eve, the soundtrack to the hit Disney movie Frozen sold more albums than any other in the year 2014. Yep, even more than Taylor Swift. In what is likely just one of several post-Christmas deals and freebies to come, Google is giving it away for free.
I'll confess that the Club Penguin phenomenon is somewhat indecipherable to me. As someone who is neither a kid nor has kids, that's probably OK. But if you have children of a certain age, you might be familiar with the online site, a Disney property filled with simple browser games and penguin-themed customization portals. Now there's an Android version, for better or worse, aimed at taking the experience on the go.
Everyone wants a piece of the digital streaming pie these days, and some companies seem to be a little too quick on the proprietary trigger. But Disney's solution, which often lets consumers pick between iTunes, Google Play, and their own Disney Movies Anywhere platform when redeeming digital copies, seems to be a pretty good one. Now the official Android app has arrived for easy integration on phones and tablets.
Disney Movies Anywhere is a separate app and system from the Google Play Store, but it has a few connections to the service.
Gameloft's latest game, Cars: Fast As Lightning, is targeted towards kids, and it has all the makings of a good movie tie-in experience. The visuals are sharp and capture the feel of the films. The voice overs are convincing, the characters are well animated, and the dialogue might elicit a giggle or two.
Since Fast As Lightning is based on Cars, as you would expect, it's a racing title. And since this is game, there are controls, but they couldn't be more basic.
Go to the Play Store on your Android device and look for Tiny Death Star, the Star Wars-themed version of Nimblebit's smash hit casual game Tiny Tower, and you won't find it. If that's surprising, you're not half as shocked as Nimblebit. According to a report from Pocket Gamer, Lucasfilm's new owners at Disney decided to un-publish the game without even telling the developers their plans. Disney also pulled a Star Wars card game, Assault Team, though that me-too CCG title is hard to get upset about.
The stable of apps that support Google's Chromecast device just seems to keep growing. In addition to NPR One and Watch ABC last month, Google just announced a handful of new apps that have been enabled today. The biggest additions for our readers are probably Twitch, the online game stream broadcasting service, and iHeartRadio, the radio streaming service from
ClearChannel iHeartMedia. Both of them should be ready to stream content to your TV now.
If you've got a spare buck sitting around, now might be the time to blow it on a game. Disney's Castle of Illusion usually costs $9.99, but it's currently on sale for just $0.99, which is a full 90% off. Note, this deal isn't valid in all regions, but this game has proven pretty popular even at full price.
Update: The price has now also dropped to $0.99 on the Amazon Appstore. Go spend some coins, people.
The Amazon Appstore doesn't have as many games as Google Play, but it sure knows how to give them away. In addition to the long-running free app of the day (today, Age of Zombies), the store regularly dishes out discounted games in mass. Today all but two of Disney's sixteen paid games are available for 99 cents each, with ten of them usually costing a couple dollars more.
Unfortunately Disney's $9.99 HD remake of Castle of Illusion isn't one of the ten discounted titles.
Back in the 90s, I was a Genesis kid, but I missed out on the 2D platforming classic Castle of Illusion. This game starred Mickey Mouse and was one of the more popular titles available to tide console owners over until the release of the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Last fall a completely new HD version hit the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, PC, and iOS, giving newcomers a chance to experience the adventure for the first time and long-time fans a reimagined take on the world they may have forgotten.
Disney has hit Google Play with a trifecta of video streaming apps that are ready to provide you or your kids with plenty of full episodes to enjoy on your Android devices. The trio include one app for the Disney channel, one for the more animated Disney XD, and one the younguns can enjoy, Disney Jr.
Unfortunately, you need a cable subscription to enjoy any of this content, but at least the list of supported providers is relatively thorough.