I'm not afraid to say I play Dungeons & Dragons; I think it's a great way for people to have fun together and enjoy a truly dynamic narrative. However, since I write about tech and other nerdy stuff for a living, I like having the old-school pen and paper mesh with technology whenever possible.
However, like tech, Dungeons & Dragons isn't for those who don't have much in the way of disposable income; you've got numerous things to buy before you can get started, including handbooks and manuals that can run you up to $35+ each. Like the books, multi-sided dice are an integral part of the game, and a set of 10 standard dice will run you ~$7.99.
You know what's more frustrating than a beautiful-looking game whose controls don't work?
A beautiful-looking game that requires you to use those controls to react to events in a split-second.
Alright, perhaps that was being a little harsh. Stellar Escape is a new game that comes to us on the Android Market from a small dev team called Orange Agenda. In the game, you play as an interstellar courier who has delivered a package that could power a planet-destroying death ray. having a moment of conscience, he grabs the power source and sprints away from his client, becoming the most wanted man in the galaxy at the same time.
Call me a stickler, but I think games should play well before looking pretty. I think they should be functional, polished and most of all, not frustrating. This seems to elude most developers who insist on using on-screen joysticks for their products, as more often than not they're a buggy, non-responsive mess.
From having poorly-defined boundaries to not reacting to multi-touch well, the system seems to be a bit flawed.
However, Halfbrick studios (the developers of the wildly-successful Fruit Ninja) have finally managed to code some joysticks that work straight out of the box, no tweaking required. Their newest game, Age of Zombies, relies quite heavily on them, so I'm both glad and relieved that they've decided to make sure people can actually play their game before they've released it to the wild.
We're big fans of Wirefly over here at Android Police, and frankly, we're always a bit covetous when the online retailer gets their hands on a new piece of kit before everyone else. Still, we watched this review longingly, as it demonstrates many of the changes in Sense 3.0, benchmarks, and some of the built-in games on the 3D. It's over 12 minutes long, so, pull up a chair:
X-Men: The Arcade Game is a throwback to the days before X-Men: The Animated Series. That show, known for it's amazing title track and some pretty laughable moments, gave us the "traditional" X-Men lineup most of us know today. However, before that aired, there was a one-off pilot called X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men. In it, Wolverine had an Australian accent.
It was pretty horrible.
Pryde of the X-Men served as X-Men: The Arcade Game's inspiration; inside, you play as the X-Men that were present in the cartoon, and face the villains they faced, as well. The original game stood out in arcades for a few reasons: it was a two-monitor, six-player cabinet, much larger than most other games, and actually quite fun to play.
Sometimes, you have to go with what works. It's no secret that some mechanics are tried-and-true, and will allow you to please gamers while adding in your own twists. Sometimes, though, it's evident when a game borrows a bit too much and doesn't give enough back.
Happy Vikings mixes gameplay from a number of different classic puzzle titles, including a lifting-and-matching mechanic from an NES game called Wario's Woods. Instead of just flipping tiles with a cursor, you actually have a sprite in the puzzle area which you can use to manipulate tiles. This is the titular "happy Viking." Our Viking (let's call him "Olaf") can lift and push treasure, booze, and food to form shapes beginning with three tiles.
Mr. Mixit puts a spin on the classic "memory match" formula by adding a turntable motif and some decent tunes. As Mr. Mixit, you drag shapes down from the monitors behind you to the turntable game area. After choosing two you think will match, you spin the turntables and try to get the image to overlap.
Doing this quickly gives you multipliers to score, which forms the core gameplay of Mr. Mixit; scores are saved in a "top 10" format as opposed to using online leaderboards, like OpenFeint. As levels progress, more symbol possibilities are added, and the multiplier meter decreases at a faster rate.
Did you used to have a boombox? Don't you miss the freedom it gave you to enjoy your music at high volumes, headphone-free and cordless any place, any time? Sure, earbuds and noise-cancelling headphones are a lot more portable (and polite to everyone around you), but when you weren't concerned with drowning out all ambient sound or disturbing others, the boombox really was just... better. And it had so many great uses: In the kitchen. Outside. During household chores. By the pool. At the beach. The boombox made ambient music an option everywhere you went.
Unfortunately, boomboxes (good ones, at least) were big, heavy, ate through expensive disposable batteries, and were limited to physical media playback.
Welcome back to another lovely edition of our Boot Animation Roundup! We've been scouring the net for the past couple of weeks looking for the coolest boot animations that we could find, and here's what we came up with: a hungry Android, the guts of a Gingerbread man, a new take on a classic, some TRON-esque lovin', and a little somethin' somethin' for all the gamers out there.
Don’t know how to change your boot animation? Take a look at our primer on the matter.
Don’t forget to take a look at the last four editions of this roundup: Vol. 1, Vol.
Sonos is a company well-known in the tech industry for their line of wireless speaker systems, designed to let you sling music around your house without the hassle of complex setup processes or routing wires through ceilings and walls. To mark the launch of their Sonos Controller for Android application, Sonos generously loaned me a full multi-room system consisting of two Sonos S5 speaker units and a wireless ZoneBridge router. Given the buzz surrounding Sonos's products, it seemed best to review the system as a whole, viewing the application and hardware as a complete set. Read on to see how it all stacked up.