ASUS's ZenFone line may not be popular stateside, but that's not the case in overseas markets. Unfortunately, it looks like the ZenFone phones may soon have to be completely rebranded in India. This is thanks to a lawsuit made by Telecare Network, which owns the trademarks "ZEN" and "ZENMOBILE" in the country.
ASUS in the recent past has been pushing harder into Western markets and into smartphones in general with the ZenFone product line and its associated ZenUI software layer. Those who remember the Transformer tablets of yesteryear may be surprised at the non-geeky, colorful, feature-filled approach of these devices. Now well into the second generation of ZenFones, ASUS has announced the ZenFone 2 Laser for wide release, including the USA.
It is a slight refinement on the ZenFone 2, which we reviewed back in June. David felt that its base model was one of the best values around for just $199.
The Sparkle series of games use a 2D layout and a "zen" approach, putting players in the role of a tiny plankton-like creature as it eats, grows, and evolves. The third game steps up the design of both the sea life and the background until it looks like you're playing in a catastrophic oil spill comprised entirely of tie-dye. Eat, grow, and try not to be eaten in return as you swim through the levels.
There's a dedicated "amoeba" sub-genre out there (it works pretty well on touchscreens) but Sparkle 3 Genesis adds some much-needed complexity. Different food sources will make your creature grow in different ways, introducing a crafting element, and twelve different levels and intermittent screen-filling bosses lend structure to an other wise nebulous experience.
A good way to describe Breath of Light would be "ethereal." The soft, flowing music, abstract visuals, and odd lack of any kind of verbal or numerical user interface can almost lull you into a daze, which is an odd thing to say in praise of a puzzle game. And yet in a strange way it is a praise: the combination of music and visuals give Breath of Light that hard-to-define but nonetheless positive vibe of the best "zen" games.
The objective, such as it is, is to get the ever-expanding cloud of white dots (pollen? "Light?" I've no idea) streaming out of a lotus flower into one or more of its fellows, using...
You'll have to excuse me, I'm a little out of it. After a few short sessions with Entwined Challenge, going back to a boring writing window is kind of like dunking your head in ice water. This abstract casual game comes from developer Pixelopus, the maker of the full Entwined game on the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita. Now you can get a bite-sized version of the experience on your Android device, Sony or not, in the Play Store. Entwined Challenge is $1 with no in-app purchases.
In Entwined, you control one character with either thumb: an orange fish on the left and a blue bird on the right.
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 official Candy Crush clone, a shapely puzzle game, and a game that lets you hone your sheep abduction skills. Without further ado:
Farm Heroes Saga
This here puzzle game would be notable even if it was only a Tetris knockoff, thanks to developer King of Candy Crush fame.
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 mobilized, social-savvy real-time strategy game, yet another minimal puzzler, and an unapologetically old-school RPG. Without further ado:
Apoc Wars tries to mix the conventional aspects of the real-time strategy genre with a persistent mobile game.