So, you may or may not have noticed that a pretty special thing happened recently: we surpassed 500,000 followers on Google+. Five hundred thousand. Half-a-million people now get their AP fix directly from Google+, which we think is pretty great.
As a huge thanks to all of our G+ followers (and everyone else who reads AP, of course), we teamed up with NVIDIA to offer a giveaway that's just as special as the occasion it represents: we're giving away two SHIELDs.
Those SHIELD owners who are lucky enough to be eligible for NVIDIA's GRID game streaming service, you've got two new options for cloud-based entertainment today. NVIDIA has added the zany open world sandbox game Saints Row: The Third and atmospheric zombie shooter Dead Island to the GRID beta, bringing the total number of streaming PC games to twelve.
For those of you who don't frequent the PC gaming scene, Saints Row is sort of the madman's alternative to Grand Theft Auto.
Just in case you didn't see this in our enormous Black Friday deal roundup, we thought the discount on NVIDIA's SHIELD gaming device was worth highlighting all on its own. Today you can score the SHIELD for just $250, $50 off its retail price, plus some free goodies that shift based on which retailer you buy from.
The official NVIDIA SHIELD store has the device for an even $249, plus a free SHIELD T-shirt, a free first-party NVIDIA case ($40 on NVIDIA's store), and free standard shipping.
Zombie games are more played out than Star Wars at this point, but combining them with new and interesting genres is a way to get my attention. Thus we have Zombie Tycoon 2, the latest game to jump from the PlayStation 3/Vita to Android. But this one is unique: in keeping with its console gaming roots, Zombie Tycoon 2 requires a controller to play. That officially makes this the first SHIELD-exclusive title for the time being.
There's an almost obsessive quality to equipping and upgrading your character that makes the RPG genre so addictive for some players. OrangePixel's long-awaited Heroes Of Loot understands that and strips out all the unnecessary fluff like story, character development, and whiz-bang 3D graphics... to make room for more loot. The game is available now on the Play Store in a $2 paid version or a free ad-supported version.
Heroes Of Loot technically fits into the "roguelike" sub-genre thanks to semi-permanent player death and procedurally-generated dungeons.
If you're a SHIELD early adopter, you may want to head into the settings menu and grab the latest update – it's a good one. Update 59 brings improved PC streaming stability, along with support for more PC Games, like FIFA 13, Call of Jaurez: Gunslinger, Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition, and several other. There are now 31 officially supported PC titles. Not bad.
Aside from that, it also adds support for Tegra developer tools and possibly the most anticipated feature: the ability to move apps to the SD Card.
SEGA's Crazy Taxi was a very welcome addition to Android's gaming lineup last month, and no less so for a wide array of controls. The game came with standard on-screen controls, tilt steering, and support for HID and MOGA controllers. It was strange, then, that the game was incompatible with the controls on NVIDIA's SHIELD. Other SEGA games had already been updated for the launch. But today Crazy Taxi was updated to version 1.2, complete with SHIELD-friendly controls.
With SHIELD, NVIDIA made the decision to support the open source/root/Android modding community and embrace the hack-centric nature of the platform by making the device unlockable and easily modifiable. Now, it has made the necessary files available to really open it up for devs: the open source binary drivers and stock recovery image. Together, these files will not only allow developers to start tinkering with the device, but also flash everything back to its stock state should something go awry.
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 high-end dungeon crawler, a game that combines bouncing and terraforming, a colorful puzzle game, and an absolutely stunning shoot-em-up...