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The Most Popular Social Games for Android

Posted By Guest Contributor on August 9th, 2012

Mobile platforms are the new frontier for gaming, and the result is that many gaming companies are still working out the kinks.

Some games are simple and overly repetitive to keep file sizes small while others are so large that they use up all of your memory or crash constantly.

Some games are free (but ad supported) while others seem to cost more than they’re worth. And then there are freemium games that you can download for free with the addendum that they nickel and dime you with in app purchases.

The long and short of it is that this platform for gaming is still in relative infancy, so you’re bound to hit a few snags. However, one major advance that most gamers can truly appreciate is the advent of social games. Here are just a few notable titles that you may want to download to your favorite Android device.

Draw Something

Arguably the most popular and addictive social game, Draw Something provides free fun for anyone with an Android phone or tablet. The premise is a play on the classic board game Pictionary, wherein users are prompted to draw one of several options listed and then send the depiction to friends so that they can guess the word.
Whether you’re drawing or guessing, this is one social game that offers nearly unlimited opportunities for fun in the mobile space. And while simple, it does have 900 words, color packs to enhance your pictures, and the option to issue challenges and track leaderboards as you compete with friends.

Words with Friends

Okay, so this is basically just a re-skinned version of Scrabble that allows you to formulate words from a limited selection of letter tiles. But you can chat with friends as you play, participate in up to 20 games at a time, and even challenge players that you don’t know. It may not sound terribly impressive, but you’ll quickly find out why Alec Baldwin got kicked off a plane for refusing to turn off the game; it’s ridiculously addictive.

Raging Thunder 2

This multiplayer racing game is pretty standard fare (compete against other drivers on courses that have been plopped down in the middle of spectacular settings like beaches and abandoned temples). But considering that it can be played across multiple platforms (you can race with friends who have an iPhone, for example) and it features great graphics and streaming mechanics that run without a hiccup, this free social game provides one fun ride.

Top Eleven

There are surprisingly few social games that center on sports (most of them want you to build cities, plant crops, or attack enemies), but this soccer management games is one that sports enthusiasts can quickly get on board with.

You’ll basically build your own club from the ground up in order to challenge other teams. You’ll manage a budget, create a roster, train your team, and basically perform all of the tasks that a real general manager would tackle. To say that this social game is immersive is an understatement.

Earth and Legend

Some of the earliest video games were in the adventure genre. But we’ve come a long way from PC text command games like Adventure. Earth and Legend is one social game that offers more than just your basic hack-and-slash experience, with real-time lighting (the gaming world follows a 24-hour light cycle), changing weather patterns, and of course, the ability to go on adventures with your online friends.

Evan Fischer is a contributing writer for Download Free Games, where you can find games like Feeding Frenzy, Feeding Frenzy 2 and countless others.

Review of Draw Something for Android

Posted By Guest Contributor on April 18th, 2012

Draw Something has been around for less than 2 months, but already it has topped Angry Birds in terms of popularity with over 50 million downloads.

Created by OMGPOP (which was bought out by Zynga, the same company that’s famous for Words with Friends), the app is a bit like the game Pictionary, allowing you to draw things that your friends guess.

When the app was first released, drawings per second averaged about 3.  The most recent stats from the developer suggest that there are over 3,000 drawings per second being created.  More than 6 billion doodles have been created since the app was released.  So what’s this app all about?

There are two versions of the app – one free, and one paid. The free version and paid version have almost the same features, though the free version features ads and the paid version eliminates them.  It only costs $0.99 for the app, and it is well worth the dollar to eliminate the annoying ads.

You can sign up using Facebook or Twitter, which allows you to see which of your friends are playing so that you can engage them in games as well.  If you’re not a Facebook user, or prefer not to use your Facebook or Twitter account you can still signup with an email address.

How Draw Something Works

The game allows you to pair up with a friend and take turns at drawing.  The object is to be the first to accurately guess what your opponent is drawing.  In each round, you get a list of words and you may choose one to draw.  The words are categorized according to varying difficulties.  You can choose the thickness of your pen and alter your color, in order to give you flexibility in what you’re drawing.

Once you’ve finished your drawing, the picture is sent to your opponent, who can watch you draw it and try to guess what you’ve created.  They are given a selection of letters to tap, so they don’t have to completely guess.  This is helpful when the drawing is particularly complicated.
After they’ve completed their guessing, you get to see how quickly they were able to figure it out, and you can exchange stats – checking out who is generally better at guessing and how quickly they are able to guess.

There’s also a random feature which pairs you up with a complete stranger.  This can be fun too, but keep in mind that unlike Pictionary, there is no one to keep track of “rules”.  You may find that people use words in their drawing (not allowed in Pictionary) if they’re unable to accurately draw the word they were given.  There’s also a “bomb” feature which allows you to “blow the word up” if you’re having difficulty with that particular word.

Pro & Cons

There have been a few complaints about minor issues: with a smaller screen size, for example, you will not be able to see and participate well, but it is a good Tablet game.  Other complaints center around the lack of notifications when it’s your turn, and the fact that it doesn’t override the display settings of a phone, allowing the screen to go dark in the middle of games.  Overall, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and downloads/uses continue to grow exponentially.

Jonathan Martin is a Seattle Magento developer and avid player of Draw Something.

A Brief Review of GTA 3 for Android Devices

Posted By Steve McFarlane on January 26th, 2012

Rockstar Games, as is known to all its fans, is singularly related to the blockbuster series of GTA (a.k.a Grand Theft Auto) – has celebrated the tenth birthday of one of its most influential games by repeating history. Late last year, the 10th anniversary of GTA 3 brought the action packed open world 3D sandbox styled game to mobile devices i.e. Android and iOS.

This reincarnation of Liberty City from the classic consoles to the high tech world of mobile computing has been a success. Considered as a port because of the fact that the original setup of the game remained intact, GTA 3 for mobile devices allows the massive and diverse world of crime along with its complete set of characters to be played on touch screen devices and is now available on Android Market sites such as the one over at AndroidPIT.

Gameplay

Unlike other iOS GTA clones the interface on this version is more like the real one. The game play as we said before follows the original, only the controls have been changed to fit mobile devices. The map, options and open world is the same as that in the older version as well. It functions smoothly especially on larger tablet screens but the old essence of the game is still preserved. Unfortunately, it may come as a disappointment to longtime Grand Theft Auto players who have played the later installments of the game to find that recent features such as jumping out of moving cars is none existent. But that in some sense it keeps the spirit of GTA 3 unspoiled. All GTA fans should be in their element on this one.

Controls

It is well known that controls can kill or make a game, even more so when you are playing on a touch screen as opposed to traditional consoles. GTA 3’s controls are designed to be intuitive and the buttons are all in their right place and sensitivity is just perfect. However, the auto camera works very well until you try and change it. This is when one has to bring his finger to the middle of the screen, which unfortunately disrupts game play. Otherwise everything about the input is snazzy.

Graphics

The gaming experience would be enhanced if the scenery was better.  It is not too ‘real estate’ but this Android game has just enough realism to make you feel in your element, though the pixel density and colors seem to have remained unchanged from the previous version. We just hoped that the real estate would have been better rendered to enhance the gaming experience, but then some have argued that more refined visuals would have made the game out of character with its theme.

Mods

It’s only recently that modders have found a way to work their magic on the Android GTA 3 too. Since all the files are there, only in different places, users can easily mod the game if they are so inclined.

Summary

GTA 3 has fit extraordinarily well onto the Android platform. Since the game has a sapping effect on the battery, producers have made it easier to save missions. Instead of heading to your safe-house gamers can exit the game and return exactly where they left off. Overall, GTA 3 is well worth its $5 price tag for all the nostalgia, excitement and experience.

About Author: Sarah Smith who is a professional Guest blogger. Writing for PC Keeper – useful software that also contains disk cleaner and registry cleaner.

Top 3 Android Sudoku Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 16th, 2011

Whether you call it soduko, sudoku or sodako, the game is fun for passing time by yourself or even engaging others in a multi-player environment. This is a roundup of some of the best Sudoku apps for Android tablets and phones.

Sudoku is a logic-based number-placement puzzle. A new sudoku puzzle will present the player with a partially completed grid. The objective is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the sub-grids contain all of the digits from 1 to 9.

 

Enjoy Sudoku by Jason Linhart

Sudoku provides daily games at 16 separate difficulty levels. Novices and experienced players alike will enjoy the extensive feature-set, which includes tutorials and an advanced hint system.

The multi-stage hint system starts with a gentle reminder to get you back on track, and progresses to demonstrate the exact technique to use if you are still having trouble solving the puzzle. The hints feature seeks to ease those frustrating moments while teaching you how to be a better player. For unlimited puzzles, you will need to get the paid version of this app.

Features include:

  • Daily puzzles at 16 levels
  • Sudoku tutorials
  • Optimization for fewer touches
  • Supports phones and tablets
  • Undo/redo option
  • Advanced techniques, including sashimi fish, chains, etc
  • Save your games
  • Highlighting reveals patterns
  • Includes a game clock so you can compare your times with others
  • Choice of digit styles, including Kanji and Hanzi
  • Automatic or manual pencil marks
  • Supports touch screen, keyboard, and trackball input
  • Large, high contrast digits are easy to read

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Sudoku Solver by jdamcd

There are times when you will come upon a particularly challenging puzzle that will prove difficult to solve. In those instance you may want to use a Sudoku solver to see what numbers should be placed in particular cells. Sudoku Solver allows you to enter the given numbers and with the tap of a button it will solve the entire puzzle for you. To help you enter the numbers correctly it highlights any inconsistency with the Sudoku rules while you make each input. QR Code

Sudoku Plus

This is another classic Sudoku game, but this one has over 4,000 free Sudoku games that range from easy to very hard. Features include:

  • Undo
  • Multiple playing options
  • Themes
  • Folder filter: select what puzzles to display (new/playing/solved)

QR Code

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An Android Children Reading App for Kids 3 to 7

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 2nd, 2011

Kids Learn to Read FREE was developed for kids ages 3-7. The app has the same functionality as the paid version (Kids Learn to Read) but is supported by ads. To ensure that kids don’t see ads, offers are handled differently than usual using the following strategies:

  • Ads only appear when the app is launched. The developer’s reason that it is the parent that normally open the app
  • Only banner ads are shown, because they aren’t click by accident as often
  • When you sign up for offers, you will not be taken outside the app.

Prerequisites:

Your children will need to have a knowledge of letter names and their sounds in order to used this app effectively. The app assumes that your kids already know the sounds that letters of the alphabet make. If the child does not know the letter names and sounds the app may not be fun and may indeed frustrate them. The developer recommends that you have your child use its Android children’s app called, ‘Kids ABC Phonics’, if your child needs to be brought up to speed.

What Will Your Child Learn?

’Kids Learn to Read’ is a delightful Android game for children that invites your child to practice blending sounds to form, read and spell words that are made up of only three letters, such as “dog”,”sun”, and “big”.

What activities are included in this game?

The game has four wonderful child-friendly sections.

  • Learn to Blend with Tommy Turtle – In this delightful learning activity, your child hand Tommy his walking stick, sneakers, and then a skateboard and watch him cross the letter bridge while they learn to blend letter sounds into words.
  • Learn to Read with Tommy’s Friends – In this section kids will have fun practicing elementary reading as they are asked to fit Tommy’s animal friends with skateboards and helmets.
  • Learn to Form Words with Letter Cubes – In this inviting activity, kids get to make words in a way that’s fun by turning real-looking blocks with letters on each side until the three-letter word is spelled out.

Download/QR code

Best Android Augmented Reality Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 2nd, 2011

Augmented reality apps can be used for a host of informative and fun things. From fun gaming adventures to marketing your business, there are tons of ways to use augmented reality apps. Unfortunately, if you do a search for Android augmented reality apps you will find some good ones, and an even larger list of crappy ones. This is a roundup of some of the best Android augmented reality apps we could find.

Wikitude World Browser

Find events, tweets, ATMs, restaurants, user reviews, related Wikipedia articles and a host of other interesting information with Wikitude.  The Wikitude app overlays interactive content and information onto your phone’s display by using the augmented reality browser platform to allow you to explore the world around you with your smart phone. However, if you don’t take the time to configure this app to your preference you can be overwhelmed by the shear amount of information that Wikitude presents to the user. QR code

See this app in action below:

Wikitude Drive US

This Augmented reality app can make it fun, or nauseating, or dangerous to stare at your phone’s screen to get driving directions. The app allows the user to see navigation information being display onto the device’s screen in real time. Because Wikitude overlays navigation directions onto the phone’s camera feed there is no need to view aerial maps. The app will also show you points of interest as you travel. For example, it will show you when you are about to pass a restaurant or pizzeria.

PLEASE: If you decide to use this app, hand it over to a co-pilot while you focus on driving; do it for the rest of us. QR code

Car Finder AR

A car is a pretty big thing to loose, but sometimes those large parking lots can get the better of us. If you often forget where you park that car of yours, ‘Car Finder AR’ can help you find it. Car Finder AR will help you find your way back to your vehicle by giving walking or driving directions to where you left it. The app makes it easy to save where you parked the car by simply opening the app and shaking the phone. You can also set a timer to remind you that you had parked beside a parking meter. Other features of the app include:

  • The ability to manage up to 3 cars
  • Driving/walking directions to where you had parked the vehicle
  • A home screen widget for saving a location with just one click
  • Location history
  • Share a location (via email and SMS) with other phones to coordinate a meet-up
  • Augmented reality map or RADAR view to find your way back to a saved location
  • Saves location automatically on bluetooth disconnect
  • Store a log on Google Calendar

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Locus – Addon AR

Locus is one of those highly rated map applications that can record the route you hiked or traveled, and display POI (points of interest) along the way. This app is an addon that allows you to actually visualize POI’s on map in an Augmented reality view. QR code

Layar

Layar is the premier Augmented reality browser. It can be used to discover information and facts about the world around you. The app uses augmented reality technology, called layers (of which there are many), to display information on the phone’s screen that is relative to the devices current location. For example, a real estate layer can be used to overlay information about apartments that are available for rent in your immediate vicinity by simply pointing the phone in the direction of buildings that you think may have vacancies. It also has a map view that can be used to see places and information of interest to you. QR code

See this app in action below:

TweepsAround

Here is a great app for stalkers. TweepsAround allows you to see who is tweeting near you and gives you and option to tweet back at them. I don’t know about you, but I would be pretty freaked out if someone responded to one of my tweets by accurately describing what I was wearing. Fortunately, TweepsAround does have a limited area restriction so in theory no one should be able to track you from across town, if they aren’t good at hacking that is. This app requires that the Layar app be pre-installed though, if it’s not, you will be shown a download link to get it. QR code

Star Chart

This astronomy app allows you to carry a virtual star chart in your pocket. Install the app and point your phone to the sky to have it reveal the constellations and stars that are in the visible universe. Using GPS technology, an accurate 3D universe, and all of the latest high tech functionality, Star Chart calculates, in real time, the current location of every star and planet that is visible from Earth and shows you precisely where they are; even in broad daylight, if you can see your phone’s screen that is. QR code

Google Sky Map

Google Sky Map turns your Android-powered mobile phone into a window into the night sky. This app works similar to Star Chart, in that it turns your Android into an astronomy app. Point your phone or tablet at the sky, and Google Sky Map will show the stars, planets, constellations, and more to help you identify the celestial objects that should be in view. QR code

Satellite AR

Except that you want to impress your friends with a cool app, or ensure that you don’t mistake a satellite for a star, I am not sure what good this app can be used for, but if you have ever wondered what satellites are flying above, this app will show them to you using augmented reality. Point your phone’s camera to the sky, and small icons will track the location of various satellites. Those in sunlight are colored yellow to help you look for them on a clear night. QR code

See this app in action below:

3D Compass (AR Compass)

Instead of the plain old digital compass you have on your phone use this cool app to superimpose a virtual compass over the phone’s live camera shot. Use the app to take screen shots of you current address, bearing and speed and send that to your friends. QR code

There are many other augmented reality apps for Android phones and Tablets as we pointed out earlier. While many are built on a good concept, there is a large percentage that isn’t well executed. The apps we presented in the article represent some of the best we could find. Be sure to check out our roundup of Android augmented reality games. The following apps did not make our list, but are worth a second look. Photos Around, Lookator, PhantomALERT and Dashboard Assist.

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Enjoy a Game of Chess on Your Android with these Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 19th, 2011

While many of us play chess simply for the fun of it and don’t mind if a friend beats us now and then, others harbor ambitions of becoming Grand Masters. It is for that reason that we put together a list of the top three chess apps for Android devices for those who like to have the option to play when they want, and also have the resources necessary to improve their game. Here are some of the best-rated Android chess games. (more…)

Android Math Games for Kids and Adults Alike

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 9th, 2011

Mathematics and fun aren’t usually a combination that kids will talk about in a general conversation. However, with the advent of some very engaging and entertaining math based apps, the conversation for kids may very well change to include the term ‘fun maths apps’.

The main thing with these math-based games is that they are educational yet fun. Who wouldn’t love to have their kids playing something that will help them with their time tables, fractions or with other mathematics related concepts that often seem dull and boring? The following Android math apps are highly rated and are great math apps for your kids to spend hours having fun and learning with. While this roundup only covers the paid versions of these math game apps, there are free versions of each app available. (more…)

The Best Android Tablet Games

Posted By Steve McFarlane on January 25th, 2011

Despite the fact that most Android games were initially designed for phones, there are some great Android games that make good use of the larger screens that Tablets have. Here are some to the best Android Tablet games that are compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Tab or other popular models.

You can download any of these Android tablet games by scanning the QR Code with a barcode scanner app

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Best Android Games – Card Game Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on January 23rd, 2011

Card games have long been used for entertainment, to pass time and to wager. Here are some to the best-rated Android card games on the market.

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Best Android Games – Augmented Reality Games

Posted By Steve McFarlane on January 23rd, 2011

Augmented reality games allow players to use their phones to interaction with a so-called parallel universe. From shooter to treasure hunt games, these apps allow Android users to have fun with their phones in ways that weren’t possible before. Here is a list of some of the best augmented-reality games for Android mobile devices. (more…)

The Best Android Games – Brain and Puzzle Games

Posted By Steve McFarlane on January 23rd, 2011

A good puzzle, sudoku or chess game can really help the keep the mind sharp and can also relieve boredom. This is a list of the best brain and puzzle games for Android devices.  The list consists of those Android games that have the highest user ratings.

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Best Android Games: Free Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on January 23rd, 2011

Some of the best Android games are paid versions, but still, there are some good freebies on the market. While it is true that some are supported by ads, we made every attempt to compile a list of some of the top rated android gaming apps on the market and put it here for your convenience. (more…)

Best Android Apps for Golfers

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 22nd, 2010

We searched high and low to find the most popular and best rated Android golf applications. The apps were chosen based on three criteria, they all needed to have a 4 star rating or better (based on a five star ratings system), needed to give a good overall user experience and had to be among the most popular Android golf apps on the review sites. (more…)