April 13, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
At the end of every week, Androinica.com chronicles the best Android apps and games that were released recently. These recommendations are a recap of great Android games and apps that you should try out. Click the icon to be taken to Google Play to download the apps.
Programming note: Instagram’s Android arrival was among the biggest news of the week. To celebrate, we’re running a contest with CanvasPop that allows users to print their photos on 12 x 12 canvas to decorate their home or office. Click here for more info.
Android 2.2+ required
Spacetime Studios is known for producing popular massive multiplayer online role playing games for mobile devices. Dark Legends, the company’s latest MMORPG, is one of its most interesting yet. Players join forces as vampires fighting for survival after humans discover their existence. They must deal with human attacks and “Dark, demonic” forces humans turn to in desperation. The game features custom characters, quests to drive a story mode along, 3D fighting and audio, co-op or pvp modes, and links to a Google account in case players want to continue the action on their desktop (Google Chrome required).
Bomberman vs Zombies
Bomberman is like an action-packed puzzle defense game. On each level, Bomberman uses explosives to kill all the zombies or discover a key that will enable him to beat the level and eradicate the undead. But he has to contend with three types of zombies with AI, not the kind that mindlessly walk around. There are roadblocks and surprises along the way, so players have to quickly use the virtual controls or gestures to survive. Openfeint is included for users looking to compare scores. Download the ad version first and if you enjoy yourself, upgrade to the paid $0.99 option; on a scale of 1-10 on the Annoying Meter, the ads score an Angry Birds. There’s also an HD app for tablets.
Dance Dance Revolution? Pfft, anyone can do that. Guitar Hero? Amateur hour! If you want a challenge in the rhythm gaming genre, and don’t happen to have the large equipment associated with the previously mentioned games, download Cytus. Similar to Tap Tap Revenge, Cytus asks players tap on-screen buttons in sync with music, but they also must drag or hold notes, and keep up with the pace dictated by a bouncing line. It is not as easy as it sounds, and players are rewarded for well-timed taps and can challenge themselves by choosing from the 9 difficulty levels. There are plenty of songs and genres to test, and OpenFeint inclusion to compare your best scores against others.
Speaking of games, don’t forget about the official TwitchTV Android app that launched recently. TwitchTV is made by the same folks who brought us Justin.tv, only it focuses entirely on watching gaming. So fans of competitive Starcraft, Call of Duty, NBA 2K11, and other multiplayer games. I know some of you wonder why people would watch online streams of other people play video games, but it’s actually well-supported and there are professional leagues built around it. I’m surprised that Twitch didn’t bother to build a tablet-optimized version; the app is compatible on devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but the video quality makes it tough to want to bother with it.
Official UEFA 2012 App
Android 1.6+ required
Android 3.0+ required (tablet version)
Ukraine and Poland will host UEFA Euro 2012, and Orange has teamed up with Europe’s governing soccer body to release an official companion app for the competition. UEFA Euro 2012 will be ready to deliver live match updates for scores and major moments, custom notifications (so get an alert when goals are scored), view video highlights after midnight of a game’s completion, see photos of players and game action, read news reports, and see the group standings. It’s all standard fair from an official app, so it can be a good tool to keep track of it all. You’ll have to be in Europe to do it though because it doesn’t seem to let me download from the U.S. You’ll also need at least Honeycomb if you want to use the tablet-optimized version.
BlingBoard: Social Widget
Android users love a good widget, but there may not always be enough space to install the ones that we care about. If you fit that description, checkout BlingBoard, a social media dashboard that shows your latest communication in a 4 x 2 widget. The app shows a user’s most recent email messages, calls and SMS, and streams from Facebook or Twitter.
Users can tap to go to the next update or launch a corresponding app. You’ll notice that previously-received missed calls or texts are not accessible in the app, but you’ll be able to see updates later.
- The Daily Show released an Android app for fans obsessed with the show. You can’t view full episodes, but you can watch some of its most recent and popular clips, grab quotes, see classic bits, and get additional info about the show’s guests.
- Dolphin Browser HD updated to include a new interface for its Sonar feature, menu bar, sidebar, and performance. If you’re unsatisfied with the default browser, this is probably your best friend.
- Google+ got a massive update on the desktop, and a small improvement on the mobile side. Sharing with 3rd party apps is now better, and users can now browse hashtags (ie. #googleplusupdate)
Android App Reviews & News of the Week
- BBM for Android appears in leaked photo ahead of rumored launch later this year
- Google Currents available internationally and syncs “dynamically” – add Androinica to your library
- Springpad 3.0 takes on Evernote with all new design and collaboration features
- Adobe Reader for Android adds annotations, comments, sticky notes, links, and signatures
- Morning Routine is an alarm clock app that forces you out of bed [VIDEO]
- Amazon Appstore officially launches in-app purchases
- Facebook + Instagram = $1 billion acquisition
- BlackBerry Playbook will lose app side-loading, and its Android appeal in the process