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 an endless runner from the makers of Rock Band and a trio of BulkyPix casual titles.
Readers probably don't need to be reminded that each month, we distill all of the Play Store's latest entries into a selection of the very best apps of the previous month, hand-picking a shortlist to save you both time and money in testing everything out. This month, though, there were just too many worthy apps to cut down to the usual five, so we've got a slightly-less-short list of the best six apps from April 2013.
If you were to look through the back catalog of console games circa 2009, you might be surprised to find a game called Mini Ninjas getting a disproportionate amount of press. It was a fun little title that mixed kid-friendly themes and Japanese mythology with solid stealth and combat gameplay. If you're hoping for a return to sneaking around Edo castles and facing off against gigantic bosses, too bad, because publisher Square has re-used the name and assets for an otherwise unremarkable endless runner game.
The Tegra 3, NVIDIA's awesome quad-core processor (introduced last November) has been a hero of the mobile electronics world in recent times, making possible amazing mobile gaming, buttery smooth interactions, and better battery life. Until now, though, the only way to describe the chip's innovative architecture was to use its technical moniker – variable symmetric multiprocessing (vSMP). Today, however, NVIDIA coined the term "4-Plus-1" to more easily describe the configuration.
For those unaware, the Tegra 3 uses four cores for resource-taxing activities like gaming, while its low-powered "ninja core" lays back, ready to handle simpler tasks like e-mail processing or standby operation.
When an app comes out that not-so-subtly takes inspiration from major motion pictures, we're tempted to look the other way. The exception, of course, is if they're good. Dojo Madness is one of those exceptions. You play as a ninja raccoon that must defend his dojo from evil wolves, gorillas, and turtles. Also, you shoot blue laser balls.
The app has a very Fruit Ninja feel to it, with the dojo aesthetic and the fast-paced gameplay.
Every Nexus release thus far has been accompanied by a neat YouTube-based Nexus Unboxing
video craziness (see 1 and 2). The Galaxy Nexus launch in the U.S. is no exception - in fact, it turns out to be the subject of Android's tease this past weekend (which some folks found kind of disappointing considering the level of expectations reached something like FREE NEXUS FOR EVERYONE!!11, ICS for all devices, and the release of Majel).
The Android market is filled with apps of questionable legality. But oftentimes, overpriced, branded theme and clock apps like those you'll find here are considered relatively harmless - who's stupid enough to buy them, anyway? Still, apps in this category are in clear violation of registered trademarks - and that doesn't sit well with their holders.
Google even has a page for developers and copyright holders to submit DMCA takedown requests for apps on the Market.
Remember the ninja's unboxing video created for the Nexus One launch by Patrick Boivin? Created using the stop-motion animation technique, the video painted a story of 3 of the greatest ninjas in the world who happened to find a box. In this box - a Nexus One in dire need of unwrapping. Long story short - if you haven't seen the video, here it is, in all its creative goodness:
Take a wild guess who the friends are and then call 262-563-9875 (in the U.S.) ;-]
The ninjas are indeed back, this time with the Nexus S, and they're kicking it up a notch.