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 an online battler with the soul of a 2D side-scroller, a stylish silhouetted space shooter, and a rather typical (if flashy) 3D endless runner.
If you're a console or PC gamer (or you've watched primetime TV in the last two months), you know that EA's Battlefield shooter series is kind of a big deal. Battlefield 4 is getting huge amounts of press even in its current beta stage before its release next week. In a New York Times interview, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau (who's also the new head of mobile development) said that the company is working on a version of the extremely popular FPS for smartphones and/or tablets.
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here.
Google Maps is a fine tool if you need to find your way around, but Google also has a way to create custom maps called Map Engine. The service is getting a mobile upgrade today with the release of the Map Engine app. This will allow users to view and share custom maps on Android devices. It even comes with some neat samples.
The Map Engine Lite web service is available to everyone and has a fairly robust set of tools.
The latest gaming rigs are powerful enough to run circles around the upcoming generation of gaming consoles, but unless a PC gamer is willing to run a title in windowed-mode, invest in a second display, or become an alt-tab ninja, getting absorbed in a game can mean tuning everything else out. Keyboard and mouse developer ROCCAT's Power-Grid app offers gamers a way to stay immersed with much less effort. This free offering turns your Android device into a customizable remote for your PC, giving you the means to monitor system stats, play music, follow social media, and more without having to interrupt the game.
After a number of delays and an untold number of fake spam apps, BBM for Android is about to really arrive in Google Play. This will mark the first time Blackberry's premier messaging service has been available on a non-Blackberry device. You'll be able to download the app today, but you might not be able to actually use it.
BBM was leaked a few weeks back and the flood of users caused all manner of server issues for the company.
A lot of Android devices have dedicated buttons to bring up the multitasking list, but Switchr may offer an even faster way to jump between running apps. This utility debuted on XDA recently as a beta, but now it has come to Google Play in both free and paid forms.
Switchr, like some similar apps, creates an active swipe zone on the edge of the screen. Swipe in through that area, and you trigger the app switching interface.
Namco-Bandai released Sky Gamblers: Rise Of Glory more than a year ago, and the WWI 3D air combat game was well-received. The sequel takes the setting to the near future with a mix of modern fighter jets and alien invaders. Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy is definitely one of the most graphically-intensive entries in the admittedly small niche, and the loose arcade style is well-suited to touch controls.
The game isn't quite as sci-fi as the trailer on the Play Store suggests: when Air Supremacy launched on iOS 18 months ago (sigh), its primary campaign had you facing off against conventional air and ground targets.