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 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 psychological horror game, baseball simulation, arcade shooter, point and click adventure, platformer, puzzle game, and a side scrolling shooter. Without further ado:
Major League Baseball (MLB) is no stranger to VR experiences. Now, in what it's calling the "first-ever complete live-game virtual-reality sports experience," you can stream live games through Daydream with the new At Bat VR app. The app aims to combine the experience of watching live on MLB TV while keeping an eye on stats through Gameday on a phone, tablet or laptop.
GAMEVIL Inc. has seen fit to retire their MLB Perfect Inning 16 game in order to replace it with MLB Perfect Inning Live. This means that any and all purchases that were put into PI 16 are now completely defunct. As you can imagine many players of the game who spent the last year (or more as the series has systematically carried over since the release of PI 14) building their teams by spending their time and money on the game areprettyirate.
For the uninitiated, the Home Run Derby is an annual competition for Major League Baseball players celebrating the sport's most explosive play. The MLB already publishes an official game based on the yearly contest, a full 3D affair with licensed player likenesses and $100 in-app purchases, for Android phones and tablets. But it looks like they've decided to join the early ranks of developers officially supporting the Daydream VR system.
Pretty much every media company that has so much as a pinky toe dipped into the sports pool wants a bit of that lucrative fantasy market, and since ESPN is (allegedly) nothing but sports, you can bet they're making a go of it. Previously the Disney subsidiary published dedicated fantasy apps for both football (that's the American kind with the big dudes in armor, not the other kind with the little dudes in shorts) and baseball, but now they're consolidated into a single app, and basketball and hockey can come along for the ride.
We reported a few days ago that T-Mobile, in conjunction with MLB, would be offering a free membership to MLB.TV Premium, their complete live game streaming service, to all T-Mobile subscribers. The promotion (as well as the Major League Baseball season) is now live. Here's what you need to do to sign up.
Start by heading over to this page on your T-Mobile connected phone or tablet. Make sure you are connected to T-Mobile's signal, not WiFi, or else you will get an error message. Once you open the page you will have the option to create a new MLB account, or sign into an existing one.
Many baseball fans—not to mention non-fans—know the R.B.I. Baseball franchise fondly remembered by NES console gamers as the first baseball title to include real MLB players. Major League Baseball has acquired the rights and revived it as a true premium game, in which the $4.99 upfront cost gets you the full experience. Ahead of the coming weekend's Opening Day, the 2016 reboot has hit the Play Store.
While last year's revision was fairly substantial, with realistic MLB stadiums, full team rosters, and a season mode, this year, the changes are far more modest. Beyond the customary update to each team's players and their ratings, all we get are some improvements to fielding actions that include dives and home run robberies along with vague promises of enhanced AI, a "reworked batting engine," and "reworked pitching strategy."
Of course, these are nothing to shake a stick at, but you may have to spend a lot of time with the game to know whether these changes are just bluster.
Baseball games tend to veer on the side of "simulator" sports titles - they've been getting progressively more complex, and more technically taxing, since the 16-bit days when players stopped looking like a collection of squares. The latest high-profile game to hit NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV device bucks that trend with a setup tuned for quick play that emphasizes fun over everything else. Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings combines cartoony visuals and an unlicensed feel with surprisingly deep physics and a ton of options. It's available on the Play Store now for the high price of $20, and unfortunately, it's only compatible with the SHIELD TV.
You've probably heard of TuneIn. It's that app that some kids these days think of as the radio (not to be confused with the static that old people are still able to get their cars to produce). TuneIn lets you stream stations from all over the world, regardless of how far outside of their coverage area you may be.
Now the company is rolling out TuneIn Premium for $7.99 a month. For your money, you get access to over 40,000 audiobooks. You know, because paying for novels individually has apparently become old-school.
TuneIn Premium also comes with over 600 commercial-free music stations.
Baseball fans, are you ready for the All-Star Game?!? Probably. I mean, it comes every year, and unless it happens to come to your city, it all pretty much plays out the same. But if you're the kind of fan who subscribes to MLB.com At Bat so that you never miss a single game of your beloved Braves, it's probably a big deal - big enough that you're excited for the yearly update to the Android app in order to watch it. The latest incremental bump brings support for the 2015 All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.
What's more interesting on a technical level is that the app also adds support for Android Auto.