Just two days ago I decried the relative lack of innovation in mobile gaming, and after climbing EPOCH's surprisingly steep difficulty curve, I get to eat humble pie. This cover-based shooter from Android newcomer Uppercut Games blew me away with its original control scheme and immersive graphics. It's not flawless, but its combination of mobile-friendly gameplay and and impressive presentation should make every action gamer (and developer) sit up and take notice.
Yep, I'm calling it: the HTC One is the most important smartphone that will be released this year. And I know, this year is far from over - but let me explain why I think it will hold true regardless of what's to come.
Right now, the smartphone industry is slowly but surely evolving into a duopoly. Samsung and Apple control a larger piece of the proverbial pie than ever, as almost every other major Android OEM's market share shrinks - a trend that has continued for nearly two years now.
In Dynamite Jack, you play the part of a space marine that has been captured by the enemy and forced to work in the Anathema Mines. You don't have time for that nonsense, so escape it is. It seems like your alien captors are not the brightest stars in the cosmos – they leave explosives, flashlights. and keycards laying around everywhere. Lucky for you.
Gameplay And Controls
You start at the lowest level of the mines, and your goal in each stage is to find the exit denoted by a shimmering point of light.
Expansive role playing games are usually the realm of PCs and consoles. Experience systems, loot, quests, massive 3D worlds, and magic are too much for a puny phone or tablet to handle, right? Well, maybe not. Crescent Moon Games was somewhat successful bringing that experience to mobile devices with last year's Aralon: Sword and Shadow. Now the developer has gone back to the land of Tyreas in Ravensword: Shadowland. Is this your next RPG adventure?
Update: The update is now live in the Store – find it by hitting the widget at the end of the post.
Last month, Google announced they'd be killing off Google Reader this July. Yes, in just a couple of short months, one of the most beloved RSS resources in existence would be kaput. Google says it decided to pull the plug because of dwindling use numbers. While there were plenty of discussions about Google's real motivation (everything from well-reasoned examinations of the situation to cries of "EVIL!"), there was something more important happening behind the outcry – there were people stepping up to fill the gap in as seamless and timely a fashion as possible.
When Jawbone's UP wristband was released in late 2011, I was excited. Then I was disappointed. The motion-tracking band seemed like a perfect step into wearable tech at the time, but its companion app wasn't available for Android. Whether and why Jawbone didn't see fit to invest resources in developing for Android was a mystery, but now – thankfully – it's immaterial. Just over a week ago, Jawbone released an official UP app to the Google Play Store, and I wanted to be first in line to try it out with Jawbone's updated 2012 wristband.
We first heard about Vavo through its Kickstarter campaign – which was successfully funded by roughly 200% – back in June of last year. The product has been available in the retail scene for a little while now, and I've actually had a pair of them (one white, one black) for the last few months. As such, I've had plenty of time to get a feel for VaVo's strengths, as well as its weaknesses.
Soundfreaq isn't the best-known player in the Bluetooth audio market, but if you haven't checked them out, there's never been a better time to try. The company's new Sound Platform 2 is a heavy-hitting stationary speaker system with a set of pipes that really sing, and a genuinely useful dual-speaker pairing mode (read on for more about that).
I reviewed Soundfreaq's Sound Kick last year, and came away genuinely impressed. It's still my go-to portable speaker around the house, and occasionally travel.
As soon as we heard that the Nexus 4 was covered in glass on both the front and back, how am I going to keep that safe?! was a question on the minds of many. We've already taken a look at a way to keep it free of scratches with the Spigen Steinheil Dual screen/back protector, but that's just not enough for some people. Some users just want – or even need – a case.
Real Boxing has garnered quite a bit of success on iOS, and with a little help from NVIDIA, it's grabbed headlines on its way to Android as well. Though the game was first spotted running on the Shield hardware, it's now available on other Tegra devices. With a title as pretty as this, it would be a shame to run it on anything less than the most advanced hardware out there - too bad we'll have to settle for a Tegra 3 for the time being.