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Jet Run City Defender – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked November - 21 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

What is Jet Run City Defender?

Jet Run City Defender is an endless runner that features a lot of action, a more 3D look and feel, and some colorful graphics. It’s a little more action packed than your standard infinite runner and that makes it all the more challenging. It’s currently free in the Google Play Store with in app purchases.

The game immediately sets itself apart from other infinite runners thanks to its graphics and mechanics. On top of the standard infinite runner controls, there are also shooter controls so you can kill bad guys while you avoid obstacles. Thanks to some clever graphics design, the standard infinite runner control scheme (duck, jump, and dodging side to side) feels more fluid and is more enjoyable. The end result is a game that is virtually packed with action.

Underneath the unique premise is the standard infinite runner stuff. You collect medals to purchase upgrades and you can also buy them via in app purchases. There are high score leaderboards so you can compete with friends to see who can do better. Scores are based on enemies killed and distance. There are two ways of looking at this. It’s either a tired premise with a fresh coat of paint or a fresh game that relies on tired, old mechanics. Jet Run City Defender tries really hard not to be just another infinite runner but there are parts where it definitely is.

Jet Run City Defender review

It tries really hard not to be just another infinite runner.

  • Mixes infinite runner with shooter mechanics to add a fresh coat of paint to an old and played out genre.
  • A lot of action flanked by bright, colorful, and above average graphics.
  • Simple and familiar controls and mechanics will make fans of the genre feel right at home.

Overall, the game is enjoyable if you’re a fan of infinite runners although it’s hard to imagine this game drawing all that many new fans to the genre. It is free to play, the graphics really are quite good, and the shooter mechanism adds a bit of chaos and depth that typical infinite runners lack. However, at the end of the day, it is an infinite runner through and through.

google play

Check out the previous indie app of the day: Dangerous Ivan
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

Nokia Z Launcher quick look! (video)

Posted by wicked November - 20 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

The Nokia Z Launcher was recently released in beta to the Google Play Store. It’s been met with mixed reviews and we thought that we would give it a try and see what we think. This is a quick look at the Nokia Z Launcher. If you would rather watch it instead of read it, the video is linked above.

Nokia Z Launcher quick look
The first thing you’ll notice about the Nokia Z Launcher is how clean it is. There aren’t any unnecessary widgets or controls to worry about. It is just this one home screen along with an app drawer and a fairly barebones settings menu.

On the home screen you’ll see a short list of the applications you use the most and, in some cases, the people you contact most frequently. Along the bottom is your standard dock with four shortcuts and the app drawer button. Finally, along the top, there is a scrollable clock widget. If you scroll to the right you’ll see your next upcoming calendar event and finally one more swipe brings you to the weather.

Nokia Z Launcher quick look
The hallmark feature of the Nokia Z Launcher is the gesture controls. It works by essentially combining your home screen with an app search function. You draw the first letter of the application you want and sometimes you may have to draw additional letters. The app then pops up and you open it.
The other big feature is that the Z Launcher learns what apps you like and shows them to you during different parts of the day. I’ve only had it a day so I couldn’t really test this one but contextual stuff is usually hit or miss so your results may vary.

In the app drawer you’ll find one big, long, alphabetized list of all of your applications. At the top you’ll see a gear symbol to get to the Z Launcher settings and an icon shortcut to take you to the Google Play Store and while it is a small thing, the Play Store shortcut is a nice touch.
Here’s the thing, folks, that’s really it. I can’t stress enough how minimal and easy-to-use this launcher really is and that is both its biggest strength and its greatest weakness. Thanks to its clean, small, minimal style, the launcher uses little memory and doing anything requires very little time or effort and we liked that a lot. Many launchers these days have a labyrinth of features and settings but Z Launcher keeps it simple.

Nokia Z Launcher quick look
However, it is a weakness as well. There aren’t a lot of features aside from the gesture control and the favorite apps functionality. The non-paginated app list can be a hassle to scroll through and more than once you’ll go to scroll on the home screen out of habit but end up drawing a letter instead.
Perhaps the worst part is that there isn’t anything to do. If you’re like me, you like to browse around your home screens and if an app or game catches your eye you’re like hell why not. With the Z Launcher, there is no browsing really. It’s meant to keep things quick and simple. The kind of people who will like this are people who are minimalists and who know what they want when they pick up their device.

Aside from that, I noticed no discernible battery drain. The performance was fantastic. I’ve heard that the performance isn’t so great on Lollipop but this is a beta so those people should relax. I really liked the three page, scrollable widget at the top of the home screen and the Google Play shortcut in the app drawer. The gesture controls are really fun once you get used to them and the favorite apps list on the home screen is off to a good start.

Nokia Z Launcher quick look
If you’re a fan of Nova Launcher, Action Launcher, Apex Launcher, etc and you like having all of those features and controls then you’re probably not going to like Z Launcher so much. If you’re looking for something smaller, more minimal, and something that stays out of your way unless you need it, Z Launcher may be for you. If you want to try it out, click the button below!
Get it on Google Play

Dangerous Ivan – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked November - 20 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

What is Dangerous Ivan?

Dangerous Ivan is a 2D platformer and shooter where you play as a character named Ivan. You’ll regularly interact with bad guys, challenging platforms, bears, vodka, and other stuff. It’s currently free to play in the Google Play Store with in app purchases.

The game is your classic 2D platformer with shooter elements. You’ll have to jump up and down various things, shoot bad guys (and bears), and avoid obstacles. The game play is a little slow but that actually comes in handy when things get a little chaotic. The graphics are bright, colorful, and give the illusion of 3D which makes the game look pretty good but not amazing.

There are two game modes: story and survival. In story mode you’ll break into a mansion and explore it. It’s a pretty typical premise with the usual array of traps and bad guys to avoid and kill respectively. There is Google Play Games support with leaderboards so you can go on speed runs and compete with your friends which adds a little bit of depth.

Survival mode is exactly what it sounds like. You’re put in a level and you must survive the endless waves of bad guys and obstacles for as long as possible. There are leaderboards for this as well for you Google Play Games users out there. Combined, the two modes make one enjoyable game that you shouldn’t feel too bad about wasting an afternoon playing.

Dangerous Ivan screenshot

It’s way more enjoyable if you read all the dialogue in a Russian accent.

  • Two modes: story and survival. They’re both fun.
  • Google Play Games services for those that enjoy that.
  • Simple graphics and mechanics (including on screen controls) make the game easy to pick up and play.
  • Small game (31MB) and what in app purchases it does have don’t cost more than $0.99
  • It’s slow and while that is an advantage during some parts of the game, it may be too slow for some people.
  • It’s new so there will almost certainly be a bug or two for some people.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable title. Obviously, if you don’t like 2D platformers then you won’t like this game either. Fans of the genre should enjoy it and the addition of Google Play Games services and survival mode add a bit of depth and replayability. It’s free so it doesn’t cost anything to check it out.

google play

Check out the last indie app of the day: Autumn Leaves in HD Live Wallpaper
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

Autumn Leaves in HD Live Wallpaper – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked November - 19 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

What is Autumn Leaves in HD Live Wallpaper?

Autumn Leaves in HD Live Wallpaper is, obviously, a live wallpaper that shows you autumn leaves. It uses parallax effects along with your gyroscope and home screen scrolling to show you a bright, colorful autumn scene that look really good. There are free and paid versions in the Play Store. The paid version goes for $0.99.

It works like pretty much every other live wallpaper. You download it, install it, and then change your wallpaper to start it up. In the free version you get three background images and two foreground themes which lets you try out the app to see if you like it. The paid version contains nine background images and six foreground themes. The app also boasts being 100% ad free and requires no permissions to run in both the free and paid versions.

The live wallpaper itself is quite gorgeous. It uses a little bit of camera trickery, your gyroscope, and home button swiping to create a parallax effect that is surprisingly enjoyable. There is a gentle wind that will move the leaves for you which adds a sense of realism you don’t generally see even if other well done live wallpapers. Most of the effects can be adjusted in the settings on both the free and paid version.

Autumn Leaves in HD screenshot

Damn this is one sexy live wallpaper.

  • Gorgeous, high quality wallpaper.
  • Parallax effects are marvelous.
  • Free and paid version available. Neither one uses permissions.
  • Perfect for fans of autumn.
  • Not perfect if you don’t like autumn.
  • While it is beautiful, it is seasonal so by the time winter rolls around you’ll probably be looking for another wallpaper.

Overall, this I wish I had found this back when autumn first started. It’s a great wallpaper with amazing visuals, no permissions, and the free and paid versions both hold great value. There’s very little wrong with this app for most people. It’s a solid all around experience if you enjoy the colorful leaves of fall. You can pick up the free version by clicking the button and you can access the paid version by clicking here.

google play

Check out the last indie app of the day: Payback 2
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

Payback 2 – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked November - 18 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Payback 2 is a third person shooter and action game that takes place in an open world. Players have the option of playing offline or online events that are almost constantly packed to the gills with action. It’s free to download with in app purchases.

The game is a third person shooter that is literally packed to the gills with action and chaos. You can drive vehicles including tanks and helicopters and there are a variety of guns to find and use. The game includes 50 campaign events that include brawls, races, and shootouts. There are also hourly, daily, and weekly challenges to help keeps players immersed and provide them with something to do. You can even make your own events.

Most of the game is very simple to play. The mechanics are classic shooter and the controls are easy to grasp. There are separate controls to drive vehicles and you can change the controls a little bit in the settings to make it easier on yourself. You should have the hang of things once you’re finished with the tutorials.

I cannot stress enough how much action is in this game. There is almost constant action going on all around you at almost all times. With the variety of game play modes and the custom events option, there are a lot of options when it comes to things to do. Each game takes place on a large level and players roam around killing one another. Sometimes they race while they do it. The graphics are passable and get the job done.

Payback 2 review

Action packed doesn’t quite describe it.

  • Loads of things to do, including online battles, custom game modes, and 50 campaign missions.
  • Simple mechanics and graphics puts the action and carnage in the forefront and that’s great.
  • Highly rated and free to play (with in app purchases).
  • It likens itself to GTA and we couldn’t figure out why. It’s more like a mix between FPS multiplayer played in third person and a Twisted Metal game.
  • Small issues like hanging while searching for multiplayer can sometimes get annoying.

Overall, this is a really fun game. There is always something to do and the various game modes, challenges, and custom game modes add depth to an otherwise simple premise. They’ve also recently updated the game to include free multiplayer without time limits so that’s a serious plus. It’s highly rated with few issues and it’s free to download so why not?

google play

Check out the last indie app of the day: Instabridge Free WiFi
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

Holo Droid Info – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked November - 16 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

Holo Droid Info review

What is Holo Droid Info?

Holo Droid Info is a live wallpaper that features Tron-style graphics and displays your system information. It can display quite a bit of information and there are even some customization options. There is a free trial available in the Play Store and the full version costs $1.49.

The wallpaper is capable of displaying such info as date and time, platform info, battery, CPU, storage, and network state. You can choose what it displays so you view all or only some of the options. There is support for both tablets and phones although on phones things start to get a little cluttered if you put all the information on there. This is much better for tablets.

You can also customize the look. There are various color options, animations, and some other things. It’s a darker wallpaper so if you’re rocking a lighter theme, you may need to look elsewhere. Otherwise, between the color options and customization options, you can make this look pretty much how you want.

Holo Droid Info screenshot

Functional and good looking.

  • Displays a surprising amount of device information. Even the SDK version your version of Android is running.
  • Color options and other customization options are a nice touch.
  • Free trial available so you can try before you buy. $1.49 isn’t overly expensive.
  • Active and engaged developer fixes issues and responds to user issues which is always a plus.
  • It’s a dark themed live wallpaper so those with lighter themes may not like it.
  • Can feel cluttered on phones. Best used on tablets.

Overall, it’s a solid live wallpaper. It focuses on information more than looks which some people do like but it does also look pretty good. You can try it before you buy it and you can find the trial version by clicking here. Those who want their info displayed on their tablet have a pretty good option here and it’s worth checking out.

google play

Check out the last indie app of the day: Stories of Bethem
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

Stories of Bethem – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked November - 16 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

What is Stories of Bethem?

Stories of Bethem is a Zelda-style adventure game where you must play as an adventurer named Khorma who is looking for the Red Witch to help him defeat the Blue Witch. It’s an adventure game with a few RPG elements and retro graphics. It’s currently free in the Google Play Store.

The game is an adventure title with a linear story line and a lot of stuff to do. As mentioned, you play as Khorma and your end goal is to defeat the Blue Witch to lift the curse on your father. Your main attacks are magic spells and you can also use them to alter the environment around you. You’ll have to solve puzzles and fight bad guys. All in all, it’s a fairly typical game in this genre in terms of mechanics. As you progress you’ll gain new spells and find vast amounts of treasures.

It also features things like side quests and a host of NPCs to help you along the way. The retro graphics are charming and comfortably familiar and the game mechanics are easy to learn. As you can expect, things get more challenging as you progress and that includes the puzzles and bad guy fights.

stories of bethem

A comfortably familiar kind of adventure.

  • A 10-hour, story driven game that, despite its use of typical game elements, is actually a refreshing change from today’s tap-to-play-then-wait games.
  • Familiar mechanics and graphics make this game easy to get into. There’s almost no learning curve.
  • Totally free with no in app purchases.
  • It also requires no permissions to run.
  • Choice of on-screen buttons and swipe controls.
  • Aside from opinions against this style of game (retro, adventure, etc), there is pretty much nothing wrong with this title.

Overall, if you’re into old school adventure games that resemble Legend of Zelda in graphics and mechanics then you could probably get into the game. It features 10 hours (approximate) of game play which is a pretty decent amount and it’s a story driven game so there’s no time waster, tap-to-play-then-wait-forever stuff. It’s also totally free so why not try it?

google play

Check out the next indie app of the day: Holo Droid Info
Check out the last indie app of the day: WearMail
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

Astronest – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked November - 13 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

What is Astronest?

Astronest is a hybrid SIM and strategy game that takes place in outer space. You have to upgrade and level up your ships and planet in order to build a massive empire. It’s free to play with optional in app purchases.

Here’s how the game works. You have control over a fleet, a planet, and a bunch of resources. You upgrade everything, collect more resources, and go on campaign missions. The game has two different story lines depending on which path you take. Each path gives you different bonuses. There is very little actual game play as you’ll spend the majority of your time managing your planet and your fleet. Battles take place automatically using good old fashioned dice-roll style mechanics.

Unlike most strategy games, there is actually a very linear path you’re supposed to take because the game is driven by story. That means everything you do has a point. There is an online multiplayer mode where you attack people (and they attack you). It’s not very balanced but at least it’s something. During the review experience, there wasn’t that vibe that this is a pay to win game but there are the classic bottlenecks that people dislike such as an energy meter that you must wait to refill.

astronest screenshot

It has a lot of potential.

  • The transitions, images, and graphics are pretty decent except for the fight scenes which look much less polished than the rest of the game.
  • Online multiplayer is always a plus, even if it’s not perfect.
  • There is a lot of content, including two story lines and a promised expansion later on. This includes over 100 unlockable items and the multiplayer.
  • Free to play with in app purchases so you can at least get into the game before deciding whether or not to spend money on it.
  • The tutorial is way too long.
  • The multiplayer has been consistently reported to be unbalanced. This may get fixed in future updates or when there are more players.
  • It has some questionable permissions. Make sure to read them before installing.

Overall, the game is passable. The graphics are nice and strategy aficionados should enjoy the mammoth amount of management. There are some classic in-app purchase pitfalls but if you’re patient, you can avoid them. The online multiplayer is a plus but not much of one and this game could’ve seriously used achievements. Thankfully it is free to download so you can try it out for yourself if you’re interested.

google play

Check out the last indie app of the day: Appdicted
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

MinuteQuest – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked November - 11 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

MinuteQuest review

What is MinuteQuest?

MinuteQuest is a very old school, 2D RPG with minimal game play mechanics. It features a lot of bad guys, a lot of equipment, and even a little bit of a story line. It’s currently free in the Google Play Store.

Here’s how MinuteQuest works. You play with a giant menu screen that also functions as your controller. You tap the right side to make your hero move forward and the left side to make him flee. As you fight, you earn gold and experience, level up, learn new skills and get more powerful. Eventually you can buy things which is a plus. Otherwise, you’re essentially just tapping and letting the hero kill things. It can get monotonous but this is a time waster and not a full fledged game so it’s somewhat forgivable.

As you play you’ll obviously get stronger and different equipment combinations offer different stat bonuses. The extremely minimal interface means that this is a tiny game clocking in at just under 4MB. It’s not very entertaining at the beginning but gets more enjoyable as you get more items to equip and get up there in levels so you may have to grind a bit before the game becomes fun.

MinuteQuest screenshot

If it were any more old school, it would be only text.

  • Quick and easy game play mechanics makes this a great time waster.
  • Leveling up, equipment combinations, and pets add a bit of depth into the game.
  • Totally free (ad supported) with no in app purchases.
  • Very small game (4MB) which is great for those with limited space.
  • If you want more meat in your game, you may need to look elsewhere.
  • It takes a minute to get settled into the game. After that it runs the risk of becoming too repetitive.

Overall, it’s a free, ad-supported game and it’s small. It’s perfect for people with older devices with limited storage. The developer also seems to update on a fairly frequent basis to add new content for you to acquire. If you like really old school games or you rock an older device with limited storage, you should give this one a try.

google play

Check out the last indie app of the day: A Better Camera
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

A Better Camera – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked November - 10 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

What is A Better Camera

A Better Camera is a camera application that attempts to emulate a DSLR-like experience by giving you plenty of controls and options. It’s for Android 4.3 and up if you want all of the features and offers quite a few features. It’s currently free in the Google Play Store with in app purchases.

The app works essentially like every other camera app. You can point and shoot like normal and you can choose a variety of settings such as multi-shot, panorama, as well as ISO and white balance (on devices that support that). It also comes with HDR for both pictures and video. Most of these features are available for devices under Android 4.3 but things like the HDR video capture is only for Android 4.3 and up.

The interface is clean with frosted icons so the focus on the screen is always on whatever your camera is pointing at. There are various gestures and swipes you can do to gain access to settings or get them out of the way for clearer shots. The features all seem to work well on most devices although many people will be bottlenecked by the hardware on their devices.

A Better Camera review

It may very well be a better camera app.

  • A solid list of features that include white balance, ISO, HDR (image and video), Multishot, panorama, and night mode.
  • Clean UI that is easy to use.
  • Extra stuff like burst, expo-bracketing, and different kinds of focus are nice touches.
  • Free to use with in app purchases so you can try before you buy.
  • Not all these features will work on all devices or all versions of Android.
  • Bugs you to install editor software which a lot of people (including me) found annoying.
  • Bugs reported here and there.

Overall, it’s worth a shot if you’re looking for a new camera app. It’s free with in app purchases so you can try it before buying anything. It doesn’t bring all that much to the table but it is a simplified and solid option in comparison to a lot of other camera apps out there.

google play

Check out the last indie app of the day: Idle Oil Tycoon
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

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