This weekend's poll is about your money - and how you spend it. Specifically, on the Play Store. Now, when I ask if you've bought an app or game on the Play Store, I mean an app or game, not music, movies, books, or TV shows - nor any kind of subscription. For the purpose of this poll, purchases of "unlock" IAPs (in-app purchases) that unlock a full, ad-free, or "pro" version of an app or game will count. This is because these kinds of IAPs are simply substitutes for a paid license, and we don't want to exclude demo or trial-ware, since the end result of a purchase is the same thing (a fully-featured / unlocked app or game).
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 new take on Shakespeare, an updated "pirate math" game, an interestingly diverse endless runner, and long-overdue MOBA. Without further ado:
To Be Or Not To Be
This isn't your typical Tin Man text-based adventure.
Before Android 5.0, the Android power menu (reached by pressing and holding the physical power button) included options for an airplane mode and setting the ringer to on, vibrate, or silent. And that was just the AOSP implementation: some manufacturer skins, custom ROMs, and root tools added extras like a screenshot button, a reboot menu, and other goodies. But with Android 5.0, we get... this.
Cricket. Cricket. That's the one like baseball, but with the flat bats and a circular field and a ton of players and black tea afterwards, right? I apologize - as an American it's hard for me to concentrate on sports that don't involve constant concussions and commercial breaks every two minutes. But I am reliably informed that Cricket is enjoyed in Britain and all the places that used to be Britain (except this one). For all of those people, the International Cricket Council has teamed up with the UK arm of Indian publisher Reliance Big Entertainment to offer an official World Cup fantasy app.
Tactical military strategy and RPGs make a natural fit for mobile platforms, especially tablets, thanks to a top-down battlefield and gameplay that's helped along by precision movement. Android already has a small but impressive collection of tactical strategy options, including notable PC/console games like XCOM and more niche options like Ambition of the Slimes. Now Android strategy fans can play Frozen Synapse Prime, a well-received remake of the original Frozen Synapse, for $5.
PS Vita version shown above - developer Double Eleven didn't bother to create an Android trailer.
Frozen Synapse Prime was first released on the PlayStation Vita last November, then ported to the PS3 and PC.
You may remember an X-Men film from last year with the same name as this game, and they do tell the same basic story. The difference, however, is the game is true to the 1981 comic book story line and the movie is... well, not. X-Men: Days of Future Past is also a regular paid game with no in-app purchases.
Facebook, that company that is constantly trying to confuse you by naming its own branded apps after system apps, may launch another app it would now like to confuse you with, and it's called - wait for it - Phone. At least, that's what screenshots from a couple of folks who tipped us seem to say.
Facebook, as we know, generally does major interface updates to its application server-side, so users occasionally get seemingly random glimpses of new features or UI designs before they launch. The [FB-ONLY] tag on this button for Phone would seem to indicate somebody flipped the wrong switch, and this element went live before it was supposed to.
Amazon has been giving away one paid app for free each day since the Appstore launched in 2011. It hasn't been the rousing success Amazon probably hoped for, but the Appstore is still doing okay with about 400,000 listings. Now, the company is rumored to be prepping a big project called Unlocked to generate more interest in the Appstore. It's basically Amazon Prime for apps.
According to the internal presentation leaked to TechCrunch, Unlocked will offer paid apps and games at absolutely no charge. Some of the examples listed in the presentation are Sega's Sonic Dash (a free-to-play title) and UsTwo's Monument Valley (a standard paid game) As part of the Unlocked program, both these titles would be offered at no cost.
Synology, purveyor of network attached storage, has brought updates across the range of their Android interfaces for their products. Perhaps most interesting and useful is the latest update to DS photo+, which now allows you to stream photos and video via Chromecast or DLNA from your Synology NAS. If you utilize the private cloud setup offered on many of their devices, this could allow you to take your personal media to work, friends, or wherever else you may want to go.
The best way to ensure legacy support? Use Android 4.1 in your test device! Listening to Ne-Yo hits from 2012 really helps, too.
In Boss Monster, you are the big baddie at the end of a level, and you can only win by killing more good guys than the miscreants you're competing with. You do this by building rooms to expand your dungeon, increasing the amount of damage the environment deals and bettering the odds that the heroes you lure into your lair will die before getting to see your face.
The card game comes in a small box, supports up to four players, is easy for new people to grasp, and allows for an all around good time. I'm a fan.