The Play Store has a crap-ton of content, much of which you might not want your kids to access. Google is aware of this, and at I/O 2015 the company has announced a new set of tools specifically designed to help parents find age-appropriate content, plus a few extras to help kids engage with the content itself. It's all being introduced to the Play Store under the "Family Star" label and logo.
If you check the other apps from a developer in the Play Store right now, you get a boring generic list of apps. Going forward, you'll start seeing richer, branded pages where developers can properly display their wares.
Chaos Rings is Square Enix's only RPG series that started on mobile, namely on iOS and then ported to Android. The series is actually developed by Media Vision and only published by Square, but it's hard not to see the latter's influence on thirty years of Japanese RPGs in the games. The latest release is Chaos Rings III (actually the fourth game to hit Android), now available in the Play Store for a hefty $19.99, thankfully without in-app purchases.
This one's been waiting in the wings for quite a while. NVIDIA teased The Talos Principle, a puzzle game played out primarily in full first-person 3D, way back at the reveal of the SHIELD Tablet in July of 2014. After nearly a year of waiting (and the game's full release on the PC), it's now available exclusively for newer high-end Tegra-powered devices. According to the game's Play Store description, it's intended for the SHIELD Tablet, the Nexus 9 (equipped with a Tegra K1), and the upcoming SHIELD Android TV set-top box only. It uses either touchscreen controls or external controllers.
The Talos Principle is an introspective and somewhat philosophical puzzler created by Croteam, of all people - that's the developer of the over-the-top Serious Sam shooters.
Fancy a bit of customization for your Android version of Minecraft? You'll soon be accommodated by developer Mojang. According to this blog post, the Pocket Edition of the game will get a significant update later this week, with player skins being the biggest addition. If you've played the PC or console version of Minecraft, you know that custom skins for player avatars have become a big part of the game's community aspect.
At least a few free skins will be available, and Mojang will sell more as in-app purchases, with packs of around 20 skins costing one US dollar. But that's not the only way to access the feature.
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Expense IQ - Expense Manager
This week's roundup is brought to you by Expense IQ - Expense Manager from Handy Apps. This amazingly complete expense tracking system has a solid and colorful UI, and just about every possible checkbook, alert, and tracking feature you could want.
NVIDIA is getting ready for a big push with the GRID gaming service and the SHIELD console. GRID has been free so far, but it's expected to transition to a paid service soon. So is it worth it to pay monthly for access to streaming games? That all depends on the value you're getting, doesn't it? A page put up by greenrobotgamer.com calculates how much the GRID catalog is worth, and it's a lot—over $960 right now.
I remember the Cartoon Network of the early 2000s, back when shows like the Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo, and Ed, Edd n Eddy were the latest things out. But the channel has moved on to a new generation. These days I find myself writing about cartoons I've never heard of, like Steven Universe and Mixels. The latter apparently involves tribes of colorful creatures that defend Mixel Land from destructive things called Nixels.
Now there's a new game for Android called Mixels Rush... and it involves mixing Mixels to combat Nixels (what did I even just say?).
Mixels Rush requires you to get to the right side of a level before Major Nixel's Nixelstorm catches up with you.
A good way to describe Breath of Light would be "ethereal." The soft, flowing music, abstract visuals, and odd lack of any kind of verbal or numerical user interface can almost lull you into a daze, which is an odd thing to say in praise of a puzzle game. And yet in a strange way it is a praise: the combination of music and visuals give Breath of Light that hard-to-define but nonetheless positive vibe of the best "zen" games.
The objective, such as it is, is to get the ever-expanding cloud of white dots (pollen? "Light?" I've no idea) streaming out of a lotus flower into one or more of its fellows, using...
In an attempt to fit in with the cool kids, a teenage girl named Erica Page is trapped overnight in a haunted house full of creepy crawlies that want to kill her. Using her wit, will, and a wide variety of weapons she must solve a 200 year old mystery and escape the mansion before dawn, or she will become a creepy crawly herself. That's the premise of Amazon Game Studio's latest game, built in collaboration with WayForward (developer of Ducktales: Remastered), Til Morning's Light.
In the game, Erica wanders through a darkened mansion with her trusty flashlight looking for clues, solving puzzles, and fighting a host of ugly monsters along the way.