Android Etam

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Where's My Perry? is too easy to keep you coming back

Where's My Perry? is weirdly named; at all times you know exactly where your Perry is (its actually so named because this is kind of a sequel to Where's My Water?). Perry is hiding in a tube, waiting for you to use your six year-old powers of deduction to open a door for him. Yes, Where's My Perry? is aimed squarely at children and/or people who are really not good at puzzles. So, if you're constantly looking for that great new puzzle game to keep you occupied, you won't stay with this one for long.

Where's My Perry? looks like it has a lot going on in it, but it really doesn't. All you have to do is move water into a hole on the floor, or move steam into a hole on the ceiling, or whatever. You move the H2O by cutting through dirt with your finger. So the extent of the game is you directing water toward where it needs to go. If there were a version of this game that required you to use your phone's tilt sensor, you might have a physics-based puzzler that is complex and interesting. Unfortunately, the puzzles tend to be very simple and not challenging. At most, an experienced puzzle player will have to try a given puzzle twice before moving on, and even doing a puzzle two times will only take you 20 or 30 seconds.

If you're bad at puzzles, or if you're looking for something totally mindless to do as you're sitting on the couch half-watching TV at the end of a long day, then this game might be for you. But for most consumers of phone games, Where's My Perry? will not satisfy that puzzle itch. Those folks will probably do 10 or 20 puzzles and then play something else as it's just not challenging enough.

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Kayla Purnama Azzahra
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Android App Video Review: Cubes vs. Spheres

Cubes vs. Spheres is a delightful gem of a game from ShockPanda Games, who also brought us the less popular Space Bunnies. It's a physics-based turret defense game, in which you launch spheres against an oncoming horde of cubes. Gameplay is simple and elegant, and the minimalist, almost monochrome style of the game is quite unique. Actually, this is definitely one of the more unique games you'll play in a while.

I know not the cause of this great geometric conflict of the ages, nor do I know the motivations of either party at war. All I know is that there are some cubes that need smashing. By swiping or tilting, you'll move the camera, swiping upwards to launch your sphere. You don't have to shoot completely straight, and the longer your swipe is, the higher and farther your sphere will go. All you have to do is keep all cubes away from your actual launch pad. Once three make it past the barrier, game over.

Cubes come in a few forms, such as the normal red, tougher black, or stealthy transparent (though not invisible). There are also larger cubes that will explode into smaller ones when destroyed. Luckily, as tougher cubes show up, you'll unlock better spheres, starting with upgrades to the default blue sphere, which you can split into three or five separate spheres after launch for some real devastation and ground coverage. There are also exploding spheres, ice spheres, homing spheres, and even cube attracting bombs that are just like the pipe bombs in the cooperative first person shooter game Left 4 Dead. But really, once you have the five splitter sphere, you're pretty set. The other spheres are more situational, to get you out of tough jams.

The excellent physics really make this game fun. Everything behaves as you'd expect it to. Blasts knock cubes in the right direction, including towards you, meaning you have to be careful. Cubes explode into a shower of tiny cube shards when destroyed, and those cube shards can also damage and destroy enemy cubes, which make for fantastic chain reactions and high scores. The game is just a pleasure to behold, despite being very low on textures. There are thirty main levels plus a survival mode. If I had one complaint, it would be that some levels drag on, with you cleaning up cubes that are no threat to you, and thus boring. Otherwise, this game is fantastic, and I fully recommend it for one dollar.

Download the free Appolicious Android app

Kayla Purnama Azzahra

New Android apps worth downloading: Messaging + Google Voice, Wheres My Valentine?, QuestLord

Messaging + Google Voice is a straightforward app that lets you send text messages either from your phones cellular number or your Google Voice account. Weve also got some solid games: Wheres My Valentine?, a holiday-themed version of the popular Wheres My Water?, and DungeonLord, an 8-bit dungeon-crawling role-playing title.

Messaging + Google Voice (Free)

Whats it about? DreamBig has combined Androids stock messaging app with Google Voice, allowing for a lot more functionality if youve installed Google Voice on your phone or tablet.

Whats cool? Youll need Google Voice for Messaging + Google Voice to work at its best, but once youve installed it, the app can send messages both across your cellular plan, or through your Google Voice account. That means youre able to control where your messages are sent from and what number appears, giving you an added layer of privacy. With Google Voice integration, you can also see who is sending messages back to your Google Voice account without having to switch into the app or check your account on a computer.

Whos it for? If you like filtering some messages through a Google Voice account instead of sending them all directly from your phone number, try Messaging + Google Voice.

Whats it like? Also worth trying is the standalone Google Voice app, as well as Handcent SMS.

Wheres My Valentine? (Free)

Whats it about? Riffing on Disneys Wheres My Water? and Wheres My Perry? for the holiday, Wheres My Valentine? brings 12 additional puzzle levels to players with a V-Day theme.

Whats cool? The puzzle levels available in Disneys Wheres My franchise are well-loved by players, because they require smart thinking and careful planning in order to solve them. In Wheres My Valentine?, players get to interact with both mascot characters from the franchise, Swampy and Perry, in two sets of levels, all of which feature hearts. The mechanics at work in Wheres My Water? and Wheres My Perry are back, requiring players to carefully cut through dirt to allow water to flow downward to a goal in Swampys levels, and to utilize the three forms of water to succeed in Perrys.

Whos it for? If you like puzzlers, you should try Wheres My Valentine?, as should anyone whos had a good time with this franchise before.

Whats it like? Grab Wheres My Water? and Wheres My Perry? while youre at it, as both are pretty great puzzle titles.

QuestLord ($1.99)

Whats it about? Delve into dungeons and fight monsters as you explore for loot in QuestLord, all in an 8-bit world.

Whats cool? QuestLord is an interesting combination of old and new. Its a 3-D dungeon crawler role-playing game, which means that most of its gameplay includes players walking around grid-based dungeons as they search for treasure and fight off monsters. The new part is the games use of touch controls, which are gesture-based. Youll find new gear and weapons as you explore, become more powerful, and wander through a huge world that includes more than 160 maps.

Whos it for? Fans of role-playing titles, dungeon crawlers and old-school graphics should definitely apply to become a QuestLord.

Whats it like? Check out Dungeon Quest and Block Rogue for some more dungeon-diving action.

Download the Appolicious Android app

Kayla Purnama Azzahra
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

These Valentines Day Android apps have heart

Valentines Day has a bad reputation for being overly commercialized. Our thoughts on the international day for lovefests were best summed up over at popular comedy site The Oatmeal. Whether you celebrate with the traditional box of chocolates and long-stemmed roses, or spend the night drinking vodka with your friends yelling YOLO! out taxi windows, here are some marvelous mobile apps to spice up your Valentines Day. After all, you only love once. OK, thats blatantly untrue.

justWink Greeting Cards (Free)

Start the holiday for lovers with American Greetings justWink, a one-stop shop for browsing and shipping realistic ecards to friends and that special someone. Within the app you can preview both the front and inside of cards featured in various Valentines Day categories, including LGBT-specific offerings. After you pick out the perfect card, you can easily personalize it: Add a photo from your Camera Roll, type a message, sign with the swipe of a finger, then send it off. Of course, this app is serviceable year-round, and even has a Reminders feature that syncs with Facebook, so youll never forget to send birthday cards to friends and relatives.

Match.com (Free)

If youre going to date online, you might as well go with the best. You can create a profile, browse user profiles, exchange winks, and view Daily Matches, with the free account. Match.coms app lets virtual casanovas sort search results in numerous ways, including by Newest, Distance, Age, and more. All this pertinent information is displayed, along with when they were last online -- this is handy in weeding out who takes the dating service seriously. In order to send and receive messages to that cutie youve been scoping out, youll need to buy a Match.com Subscription, starting at $15.99 per month (for the first three months).

Gravy (Free)

If youre looking for something a little bit more creative than dinner for your Valentines Day date, download the free Gravy Android app to discover nearby events to match your mood. Whether you are going on a date or just hanging out with friends this year, use the Gravy app to find activities that are classy, brainy, lively, or whatever. The app provides drive times based on real-time traffic patterns and showcases events that are free, discounted, or exclusive. You can also view events that are trending in your area. Make your date - or date-defying night out with friends! - more groovy with Gravy.

Wheres My Valentine? (Free)

You will want something to do while waiting for your date to show up at that elegant restaurant you both decided was reasonably priced. Disneys popular and well-hydrated puzzle game Wheres My Water? recently updated their seasonal offering, transforming it into the Wheres My Valentine? Android app. The promotional game stars fan favorites Swampy and Perry in 12 love-themed levels, where love-themed translates to each level has a heart-shaped obstacle. How apropos!

Uber (Free)

We love Uber so much! You can impress your date with something new this Valentines Day with this classy Android app. Instead of picking him or her up in a yellow cab, try a snazzy black Uber car. Use the free Uber app to schedule your sophisticated black car and pay for the ride in-app. The map in the app gives the driver exactly where to pick you up and will even update you on Uber car arrival times. Its fancy, yet convenient transportation that is sure to earn you bonus points with your date for being smart and sexy. The best part? You and your date can each polish off an extra cocktail or two, since neither will have to deal with getting behind the wheel. The backseat beckons!

Have a safe and happy Valentines Day!

Download the Appolicious Android app

Kayla Purnama Azzahra

New Android apps worth downloading: Twiize update, Quietto, Cordy 2

Get the most out of your phone calls with Twiize, which allows users to check Facebook and even draw on photos while talking. Quietto is up next, and gives you a discreet timer for situations like when youre giving presentations. Finally, theres Cordy 2, the follow-up to the great side-scrolling platformer that brings new mechanics to the formula.

Twiize update (Free)

Whats it about? Twiize allows you to make calling your friends more fun, allowing you to view photos, interact with Facebook, send drawings and notes, and more, all while youre on a call.

Whats cool? Hop on a call with Twiize and you can use your smartphone to do other things while youre also talking. The app lets you send photos and even draw on them along with your counterpart on the other end of the line, and you can also check things like recent Facebook feeds and send birthday cards, when applicable. Twiize makes it possible to do all the things it offers both with a friend as you talk and alone, so you dont have to involve anyone else if you dont want to.

Whos it for? Anybody who likes to stay active while on a call will find Twiize useful.

Whats it like? Youll also want to check out call apps such as Tango and Paltalk.

Quietto ($0.99)

Whats it about? Keep track of time increments discreetly with Quietto, which can help you with things like giving presentations by helping you stay on task and moving forward.

Whats cool? Quietto is a timer app, but rather than making loud noises and tripping alarms to notify you when a time increment has passed, its a lot more discreet. It either buzzes gently or signals with a discreet visual sign. The idea is that you can take Quietto with you into a presentation and use it to time how long youre taking so you can keep on track, without having to watch a clock or risk a noisy alarm.

Whos it for? Anyone who might need a timer to stay on task, and who also doesnt want a noisy alarm to go with it, should check out Quietto.

Whats it like? You can also get timer help with StopWatch & Timer and UltraChron Stopwatch.

Cordy 2 (Free)

Whats it about? The follow-up to the gorgeous side-scroller Cordy sends players back into the franchises inventive levels to find components and discover secrets.

Whats cool? The original Cordy included some great side-scrolling platforming levels for players to work through, and Cordy 2 starts off with more of the same formula. It expands on the idea greatly by adding additional robot friends for Cordy to help best various puzzles and explore levels, and adding new mechanics and enemies for players to deal with. Its also possible to customize Cordy by earning different cosmetic items. The game comes with its first four levels for free and 48 in total available through in-app purchase.

Whos it for? Platforming fans, youll want to give Cordy 2 some of your attention.

Whats it like? Definitely try the original Cordy, a solid entry into the platforming genre, as well as League of Evil for more great level design and controls.

Download the Appolicious Android app

Kayla Purnama Azzahra
Monday, February 11, 2013

Will OUYA allow for true multi-platform Android gaming?

You might remember OUYA, the Android-based home game console created by Julie , from its legendary Kickstarter campaign, which pulled in more than $8.5 million against a goal of $950,000. When any Kickstarter pulls in millions of dollars more than its goal, you might start to think things are getting real, but you don't know what real is until you can pre-order the thing on Amazon.

Guess what? You can totally do that now. If you're into putting in an order for an item five months before its likely release, you are more than welcome to go to Amazon and commit $99.99 to the cause. Because we are reaching a heretofore unknown level of readiness with the OUYA, it's time to start pondering what the thing will really be able to do. And how, as an Android system, it will interact with the smartphones and tablets you already have. OUYA will, after all, be a completely connected device, as every game you obtain for it must be downloaded. Folks have long been skeptical about the thing, and for good reason, but if it can enhance or add to our existing mobile experiences then it might be worth your allowance money.

Whats all the hubbub?

OUYA, I should point out, is a completely open platform. It will come with proprietary software based on Jelly Bean built in, but this software will not restrict developers. When one builds a game for, say, the Xbox 360, that version of the game can only live within the Xbox Live infrastructure. It can't interact with the versions made for the PlayStation 3 or the Wii U or the PC. This wont be the case for OUYA.

What this means for the games and media-based apps that have already been announced for the OUYA is unclear, but developers will take cues from the geniuses at Spacetime Studios. Those folks have created several MMOs that are truly cross-platform, where users can switch between mobile and console platforms at will without losing progress.

Being an Android platform, OUYA will have a number of games and apps that have either been released on Google Play (Final Fantasy III, VEVO, XBMC, TuneIn, iHeartRadio) or will be (Double Fine Adventure, Saturday Morning RPG,AirMech, Shadowrun Online). Sony recently pioneered the idea that you can play the same AAA game on both a mobile platform (PS Vita) and a home console (PlayStation 3) without missing a beat, and if the OUYA wants to find true life beyond the folks who funded the Kickstarter, developers must take this and Spacetime's philosophy to heart.

Learn more about the OUYA media system via this video:

As of today, though, your options for going back and forth between a mobile and home version of a single game is very limited. You can do that with Pocket Legends and its derivatives on phones and the Chrome browser, and there are are only a small handful of titles that allow you to switch seamlessly between the Vita and the PS3. This is because its unusual for developers to create a single version of a game built for mobile and home. The magic of Android, though, opens the door for developers to experiment with this mostly untapped form of multi-platform. With OUYA, we have a platform on which developers can easily port games they've already been making for mobile.

OUYA is crucial for the future of gaming

Put simply, it is absolutely necessary for gamers to be able to play OUYA games outside the home and then pick up where they left off when they plop down on the couch. We already have too many gaming ghettos in our lives, and it's time for the mobile and home experiences to truly come together in a way that only OUYA can provide.

In order to truly take off, though, the OUYA team will need to sell this idea to some name brands. Many Gameloft games already support gamepad controls with the MOGA controller for Android, and so it would probably be relatively simple for them to drop, say, Modern Combat 4 on this new platform. Thus far, though, we haven't seen much endorsement for the OUYA from real names within the mobile community.

The OUYA, when combined with mobile platforms, has the potential to pose a real threat to the traditional home consoles, because it will come with exclusive games. Android gaming is already thriving, but the OUYA could push it over the top with the right kind of connectivity. They could literally usher in a new age of gaming, one in which mobile and home experiences successfully blur together. It's an exciting prospect, but game developers need to collectively step up and make it happen.

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Kayla Purnama Azzahra

New Android apps worth downloading: Twitter update, Snapseed, Vector

Twitters Android app update adds the services Discover tab and new ways to follow people via your feed. Weve also got Snapseed, a powerful photo-editing app, and Vector, a pretty, Parkour-inspired running title with loads of levels.

Twitter update (Free)

Whats it about? The official app of the micro-blogging social network site Twitter has seen even more improvements to its Android version, adding its Discover feature.

Whats cool? Twitter already is one of the best apps for using, well, Twitter. The app provides most of the full web experience, allowing you to interact via timelines, mentions, lists and direct messages. Its not the fanciest Twitter client, but its highly serviceable. Adding the Discover feature and the Connect tab displays more information, including: new followers, retweets, and mentions.

Whos it for? If you use Twitter at all and you want the official app, Twitter is among the best for posting statuses and checking a single account.

Whats it like? For a Twitter app thats a little more robust, try Falcon Pro or TweetDeck.

Snapseed (Free)

Whats it about? Quick and easy photo edits are possible with Snapseed, an Android app that for enhancing or adjusting your images with filters and effects.

Whats cool? Ease of use is among Snapseeds greatest features. Navigating through and editing images is a breeze, as the app includes a single-tap Auto Correct for fixing photos. You can also fine-tune your photos and selectively adjust certain areas or tones. Apart from editing, cropping, toning and more, you also get a number of creative enhancements such as filters and colors schemes to give them an artsy feel. When youre done, you can save images as JPGs or TIFFs, and share them through integrated Google+ support, email and other social networks.

Whos it for? Snapseed can help both serious and casual mobile device photographers seriously improve their images.

Whats it like? PicsArt and PicShop also offer powerful photo-editing capabilities on your mobile devices.

Vector (Free)

Whats it about? Side-scrolling running game Vector has players doing more than 100 Parkour-inspired moves to earn points and escape an oppressive society.

Whats cool? Though its a side-scroller and uses a silhouette art style, Vector is impressive in its animations and the variety of executable moves. The game has you free-running through office buildings and over rooftops, dodging obstacles, and trying to stay ahead of your pursuers. The moves earn points, and the goal is to speedily move through each of the games 30-plus levels for the maximum score. The control scheme makes the moves easy to pull off, so its a game you wont have too much trouble with at the start.

Whos it for? For fans of Parkour and running titles, Vector has all the right moves.

Whats it like? Youll also want to give Canabalt HD and Doodle Runner a try, both of which are similar to Vector.

Download the Appolicious Android app

Kayla Purnama Azzahra