Android Police

Games

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Dan The Man from Halfbrick Studios is live in the Play Store

After being listed only for pre-registration, the latest game from Halfbrick Studios has finally dropped on Android. Dan The Man is a classic action platformer with lots of punches, kicks, and bad guys just begging for the liberal application of both. It's free to play, but the IAP system doesn't seem too offensive.

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Carmageddon goes free on the Play Store, brings ads and bugs with its latest update

Whenever a paid app or game goes free on the Play Store, it's for one of three reasons: a) the developer is being super generous, b) the developer has abandoned it, or c) the developer decided to use another monetization model. It is almost never the first case, though. The second one is just friendly behavior that we like seeing, despite it giving us grief over the death of another app/game. But it's incredibly annoying when it's the third scenario.

Carmageddon, unfortunately, seems to fall in that category. The game, which normally cost $1.99 for the ad-free version (another Carma (free) version used to pop up every now and then) is now free.

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Streamed game trials have started appearing in the Play Store

Google started fiddling with app streaming about a year ago via searches in the Google app, but only for a few specific apps. Then, we spotted some evidence of app streaming in a Play Store teardown a couple months ago. It looks like this feature has started rolling out today, allowing you to stream games to try before you buy. One AP staffer in addition to our tipster has this option available already, but it's a little buggy.

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InBrief
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[Deal Alert] Catan is on sale for $0.10 (regularly $4.99) in most countries other than the US

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Dolphin emulator adds Vulkan support for Android

The Dolphin emulator is an impressive feat of software engineering. Starting as a GameCube emulator, it later added compatibility for Wii games, due to the similar architecture. Over the years, Dolphin has gradually improved game compatibility; they recently reported that every single retail GameCube game boots. Even accessories like the Wii Remote and Wii Balance Board work perfectly, and experimental Android builds of Dolphin have been in development for years.

Dolphin on Android still isn't as usable as other console emulators, but the fault mostly lies with current Android hardware. Even the Nvidia Shield console, one of the most powerful Android devices on the market, can't run games at full speed.

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[RIP YouTube Gaming] Twitch now supports video uploading through Uploads Open Beta

YouTube Gaming, Google's direct competitor to Twitch, has had something of a lukewarm response from the gaming community. Many streamers opt to stay on Twitch's site, the advantages over the standard YouTube app and website are minimal, and YouTube's infamous Content ID system can result in channels receiving copyright notices for seemingly anything.

But Twitch is first and foremost a streaming site - broadcasts can only be watched for a few days after the air date before they are removed. Twitch users wishing to upload permanent content had to look elsewhere, primarily YouTube. But today, alongside Twitch Prime, they have announced the Uploads Open Beta.

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Twitch Prime provides ad-free Twitch streaming and other goodies with your Amazon Prime subscription

Amazon has owned streaming giant Twitch since 2014, but besides a Fire TV app, you would be hard-pressed to find evidence of Amazon's handywork. Today that changes, with Twitch announcing their new premium subscription, Twitch Prime. And as you may guess from the title, it comes free with an Amazon Prime subscription.

To put it simply, Twitch Prime is a bit similar to YouTube Red. You get free game content every month (such as indie games or DLC), as well as discounts on new games sold by Amazon during the pre-order period and first two weeks of launch. As far as Twitch itself, you will get exclusive emotes and a chat badge, ad-free viewing, and a free channel subscription every 30 days.

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Unity game engine now supports Vulkan rendering on Android

Unity, if you're not familiar with game development, is a popular cross-platform game engine. Although Unity games can most often be found on PC and consoles, Android games utilizing the engine include Crossy Road, Monument Valley, Lara Croft: Relic Run, and more. Today Unity has announced the Vulkan Renderer Preview, finally allowing developers to use the Vulkan API with their games.

The Vulkan API (not to be confused with the Star Trek planet Vulcan) has been hyped to the moon and back in the gaming industry recently, and for good reason. Based on AMD's Mantle API, it is a new graphics API designed to be cross-platform (much like Unity) and have a low overhead.

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Versus Evil releases Banner Saga 2, looks as beautiful as the original

The Banner Saga, first released on Android just under two years ago, is a beautiful, beautiful game, with fantastic graphics and a great story. The company behind it, independent games developer Versus Evil, has just released the sequel, Banner Saga 2, onto the Play Store, and my word does it look good.

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Ubisoft acquires casual mobile game publisher Ketchapp

Even if you're a regular gamer, you might not know about Ketchapp. The publisher is only a couple of years old, and the games it posts to the Play Store and App Store are uniformly small, simple titles. But what it lacks in ambition it makes up for in volume: by my count there are no less than 75 Ketchapp games on the Play Store, an impressive accomplishment in a short amount of time. Ketchapp seems to have caught the eye of some industry heavy-hitters, because it's being acquired by Ubisoft, one of the biggest game publishers on the planet.

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