The developers that brought us Pushbullet have announced a brand new app. Portal is designed to do one thing and one thing only: move files between your computer and your Android device. While this is possible with Pushbullet, it isn't a strong point and requires sending those files to their servers and back. Portal sends them within your local wireless network, avoiding potentially costly data fees and making possible far faster transfer times.
To be clear, the developers haven't really invented anything here. Sharing files over your local wireless network is as old as, well, wireless networks. The innovation here is making it so simple that you don't have to have a clue how it works.
The biggest Android gaming news of the month was certainly the release of NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV, and it brought with it quite a few high-profile PC ports. But since the vast majority of readers don't have one, I've decided to restrict this month's top picks to more general smartphone and tablet games. Fear not, SHIELD early adopters: you get your own picks down there below the honorable mention section.
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 several PC and console pilgrims including Hotline Miami, War Thunder, and Always Sometimes Monsters, a new Portal-inspired Zen Pinball table, a mashup of tactic, RPG, and city-building, and standard platformers and puzzlers.
Portal and Half-Life 2 were both launch titles for the SHIELD Portable, and to this day remain two of the best games you can play on Android. Recently, both apps got updated to support Android TV, which really only means one thing: they support the new SHIELD set-top box. That's good, because playing them on the TV is honestly one of the best ways to experience these classic FPS titles. Here's a look at the changelogs for each:
- Android TV support
- UI improvements
- Broader localizations
- Cloud saves, achievements
- SHIELD Android TV support
- UI improvements
- Broader localizations
While Portal got cloud saves and achievements via Google Games, it looks like HL2 may have not been so lucky.
Valve's Portal and Half-Life 2, despite being quite old in terms of PC games, are two of the best showcase titles for the SHIELD right now. Naturally NVIDIA (which publishes both games in the Play Store) is eager to highlight them for the shiny new SHIELD Tablet. Actually, it's not shiny - the tablet is quite matte. But anyway, both games have been updated with SHIELD Tablet support, a week before the device is released.
The app update text doesn't mention any specific changes to gameplay or graphics, but hopefully they include on-screen controls for people who buy the SHIELD Tablet without also purchasing the $60 SHIELD controller.
It's a good day to be an NVIDIA SHIELD owner. Valve's Android ports of PC shooter classics Portal and Half-Life 2 just dropped in the Play Store for $10 a pop. They're only for the SHIELD (even other devices with the Tegra 4 chipset aren't invited to the party), which is a bit of a mixed blessing - these games really require a full controller to play.
Valve teased an Android release for the 2007 classic Portal way back in March, but we only heard about the Half-Life 2 port last week (via crowbar). Since both of these games run on an older version of Valve's Source engine, it makes sense that it didn't take long to get HL2 up and running once Portal was finished.
This morning Android Police editor David Ruddock received a package in the mail. The only thing enclosed was a lime-green crowbar.
It says it all, really.
PC gamers will recognize the logo for Valve's much-loved science fiction shooter Half-Life 2 emblazoned on the bar, which is the iconic starter weapon for the game. "What Would Gordon [Freeman] Do?" and NVIDIA's SHIELD logo, along with NVIDIA's signature green color, makes this a not-so-subtle indication that the game is coming to the Android-powered SHIELD at some point.
Portal was released nearly seven years ago as part of the Valve Orange Box, which also included a few other games. Seven years is an eternity on the internet, but the excitement was still palpable when Nvidia announced it was working on a version of Portal for the Shield. Now here we are just a weeks later and the game is about to hit the Play Store. The questions we have to ask are... has Nvidia done the original game justice, and how does Portal hold up after so long?
Valve has made some of the most beloved games of the last decade, and now one of them is coming to Android. Or more accurately, one of them is coming to the Nvidia Shield. According to Nvidia, the original Portal is coming to the Shield at some point in the not too distant future.
After a bunch of clever Russian programmers started creating their own Portal for Android last month using the Unity 3D engine and Valve's assets, the news got picked up and spread through the Internet like wildfire. It all seemed too good to be true, but the initial demo was playable, and as I was monitoring the development thread, I saw how quickly progress was being made. The developers were literally recreating the Portal world at a phenomenal pace, and things were looking up.