Free-to-play games make us nervous. Let's face it, there's no shortage of them available for Android, and a sizable number sacrifice gameplay in their quest for riches. The original Royal Revolt was an exception. It didn't cost a dime to download, and the entire experience was enjoyable even if you opted out of buying any of the in-app purchases. Now the sequel is available in Play Store, and hopefully it keeps the tradition alive.
Adobe's Photoshop Express app has rocked Android for longer than many of us have, so earlier this year it underwent a makeover for the big 2.0. The new app is zippy, attractive, and designed from the ground up for KitKat. Now Adobe is rolling out 2.1, and the most notable changes are two new in-app purchases. These two packs, already available in the iOS and Windows 8 versions of the app, are the Premium Looks pack for $3 and the Noise Reduction pack for $5.
Has it really been two years already? You're getting to be such a grown up app marketplace, Google Play. Google is offering some modest sales to celebrate two years of Google Play (also two years since the Android Market was smothered in its sleep). You'll find an assortment of apps, music, books, and movies, but don't expect amazing deals.
Most of the apps are offering discounts on in-app purchases. Although, you can play as a bugdroid in Badlands now, which it worthy of celebration all by itself.
The Stig isn't your average racer. Actually, the character is. Hidden behind the same black visor that prevents us from knowing who is behind the wheel of any racecar before their helmet comes off, the character is both no racer and every racer at once. What does this matter? It doesn't, really. Here's what does - despite its name, Top Gear: Race The Stig isn't actually a racing game. Instead, it's a pretty straightforward endless
The folks at game developer Mediocre have given us such classics as Sprinkle and Granny Smith, but now it's time to break some stuff. Smash Hit has come to Android with neat physics and compelling gameplay. It's a good opportunity to get some of that aggression out too.
Smash Hit is equal parts on-rails shooter and physics simulation. You coast along, approaching various glass barriers. You have to tap to launch balls that break the glass to clear your path.
Ever since the Chromecast came out, we've been wondering when an official screen mirroring feature would show up. Rather than wait, Koush is already working on that with the Mirror beta app. The functionality is limited right now, and of course, is still only accessible to those in the beta program. You might want to check it out, because Koush has pushed a new version with preliminary support for Chromecast mirroring.
The Touchless Control feature on the Moto X and Verizon's 2013 DROIDs (Ultra, Maxx, and Mini) is already one of the coolest Android manufacturer add-ons around. Today it gets just a little cooler: the Touchless Control app was updated to add a "What's up" command. This voice command will make your phone read out the unread notifications in your status bar. This should be great for hands-free updates while driving. Or bathing.
It's been a busy month in the Android app world, particularly if you want useful tools or visual tweaks. There's one big app that we're not featuring in this roundup: the Google Now Launcher, AKA the Google Experience Launcher. We're omitting it from the main list because it's only compatible with Nexus and GPE devices - even the few standard Android devices that have been upgraded to KitKat can't play with it unmodified.