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Stardew Valley Review For PC And PS4

On the surface, Stardew Valley is a game about farming, but there are more adventures awaiting curious players beyond cultivating a rich and bountiful garden. From mining and fishing to making friends and falling in love, Stardew Valley’s Pelican Town is stuffed with rewarding opportunities. As modern day woes give way to pressing matters on the farm and within your newfound community, Stardew Valley’s meditative activities often lead to personal reflection in the real world. It’s a game that tugs at your curiousity as often as it does your heart.

Your journey begins in the field, cleaning up a neglected and rundown farm. Plotting and planning your garden requires care and attention to detail. What fruits and vegetables do you grow? How much room does each plant need? How do you protect your crops from nature’s troublemakers? You learn through practice, and while the basics are easy to grasp, you quickly need to figure out the best way to outfit your budding farm with new tools and equipment.

Upgrades help speed up essential tasks like tilling the earth and watering your plants, but advanced equipment becomes a necessity when the time comes to break down large rocks and stumps that stick out in your garden. The crafting menu also entices you with optional time-saving tools; automated sprinklers that water the crops every morning, artisan equipment to make preserves or beer out of your harvest, and refineries, such as a furnace for turning ore into metal bars. If you want something, you can make it, you just have to scour your environment for the necessary components.

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Stardew Valley Review

As your farm improves, you gain the ability to raise livestock. Animals are expensive to buy and maintain, and the barn they live in isn’t cheap either. You start small, with a barn just big enough for a few chickens and ducks. But if you run an efficient and bountiful garden, you can eventually afford to upgrade to a bigger barn and keep hearty livestock like pigs, cows and sheep.

You have to feed your stock every day, which can get expensive, but they will eventually begin to produce eggs, milk and other rewards for all your hard work. Beyond their monetary value, animals are simply endearing to be around. Give them a name and work a little petting time into your routine; before you know it, your commodities have become your friends. Like your crops, the goodies livestock produce give you a sense of accomplishment, but their companionship is a different yet equally valuable reward.

The goodies livestock produce give you a sense of accomplishment, but their companionship is a different yet equally valuable reward. When your farm is healthy and your equipment set, Stardew Valley opens up and your routine expands: after you water your plants, feed your animals and tidy up in the morning, you get to head out in search of adventure and friendship. There’s a mine north of Pelican Town with a seemingly endless bounty of buried treasure, but also danger. Combat is simple–a plain swipe of a sword will brush back most common monsters–but the dangers you face grow as you delve deeper into the mine, pushing your basic tactics to the limit.

There’s a risk/reward relationship to seeking out valuable treasure, as it becomes increasingly more difficult to defend yourself from procedurally generated creatures the deeper you go. You hit checkpoints–in the form of elevator stops–every few floors, which both encourages you to keep going and to return in the future in search of grander rewards as checkpoints allow you to skip past the mine’s early levels. The precious gems you find can be sold for profit, donated to a museum that will conduct and share research, or simply hoarded in a chest to be fawned over down the road.

When you grow weary of toiling underground, you can also spend time fishing on lakes, streams and coastal beaches. Fishing in Stardew Valley is straightforward–you use one button to reel in a fish and let go when the line is tense–but it gives you a chance to soak in your surroundings and experience the joys of catching a wide array of fish unique to specific seasons and locations. It’s a calming experience at sunset after a long day that gives you a chance to reflect on your progress and daydream about adventures to come.

Stardew Valley constantly encourages you to explore, be it mining, foraging for fruit in the woods, or collecting seashells, and your curiosity is amply rewarded. Every hidden area you find, every train track you follow, leads to new sights and discoveries that add detail and color to the world around you. Yet as fulfilling as farming and exploring are, visiting Pelican Town’s community center pulls you ever deeper into your new life. Like your farm at the beginning of the game, the community center needs a little attention at first: you’re sent out on fetch quests to gather the necessary materials to fuel its reconstruction.

Outside of the community center, the rest of Pelican Town’s inhabitants also need your help. In working together to achieve small goals, you grow to understand your neighbors’ personalities and identify what makes them tick. Some are pursuing their hopes and dreams, while others fight day to day to overcome personal obstacles; others are quirky creatures of habit that round out the community’s overall identity.

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Relationships are gauged by a heart meter, and getting to a certain number of hearts results in a cutscene that offer a closer look into your new friends’ lives. Offering gifts and completing tasks from a board in the center of town are easy ways to increase your connections, and slowly but surely you’re allowed in the inner circle of people’s otherwise private lives. You may befriend a father named Kent who’s dealing trauma after years at war. He’s working on his temper and trying to bond with his child after being away from home. The child, whom you meet in hiding in his parent’s basement, is quiet and introverted. But when you put the time in to get to know him, he reveals that he actually doesn’t mind being alone, even though he believes that he’s at odds with his parents. These personal moments are touching, and encourage you to spend more time getting to know the people around you.

And if you decide to enter Pelican Town’s dating scene, don’t be surprised if you end up with butterflies in your stomach. Giving your crush the right gift and seeing the joy on their face makes you genuinely happy, but you have to put yourself out there first. Sure, working with townsfolk in general is a good way to understand the ins and outs of potential suitors, but no amount of preparation diminishes the impact of anxiously delivering a heartfelt gesture. Because you’ve invested so much time and energy into forging relationships, you get nervous when you expose your feelings, regardless of the fact that you’re courting a pixelated crush. Through strong writing and characterization, Stardew Valley stirs up surprising feelings: when your date shares his umbrella in the rain, you know he’s the one.

Through strong writing and characterization, Stardew Valley stirs up surprising feelings Romance often buds during community events that take place each season. In spring you’ll attend a dance and try to get someone to be your partner. At the summer luau you’ll have to bring something delicious from your harvest for the community potluck. At each of these events you’ll have time to get to know the people within the community and see them in a different light than usual. Although it’s lovely to see them outside of their usual activities, it’s a shame year after year the comments and actions of the villagers remain the same. Still, you can learn from previous years, adding better food to the potluck and finally earning the affection of your favorite dance partner.

Mastering farming and earning the affection of your special someone in Stardew Valley are fulfilling journeys filled with surprising and rewarding challenges. But when you have those accomplishments under your belt, it’s hard to know where you go from there. Divorce is an option, but if you put a lot of yourself into finding a spouse, dumping them merely to extend your game doesn’t seem like an attractive path. Besides, with your money-making farm, cash isn’t a concern either.

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Ultimately, Stardew Valley’s eventful world is so inviting that you may opt to simply start from scratch and forge a new life. For anyone who played Stardew Valley earlier this year when it launched on PC, the new console ports capture the same magic that made the game special all those months ago, and allows you to play from the comfort of your couch. Controls on console are essentially identical to what you get from the PC version’s controller support. Console versions also get the fully updated version of Stardew Valley, which includes the aforementioned divorce option, new farm maps that focus on different skills, and a handful of new mechanics that add appreciable wrinkles to life on the farm and about town.

The sheer number of things to accomplish in Stardew Valley can keep you interested beyond the original three in-game years you need to reach the end of your story–you may just want to start over rather than continue on. You’ll work quite hard to gather enough money for your first horse, so that you can quickly move to the mines to get a mineral to complete a bundle at the community center. It’s all centered around whatever it is you want to accomplish that day. And that’s truly what makes Stardew Valley such a lovely experience, it encourages you to go out and be the best you can be, in whichever task that brings you the most joy. Stardew Valley motivates naturally, with blissful optimism.

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Steep Reviews For XONE

Steep Reviews For XONE

Mountains are far from uncommon in open-world exploration games, but even in the most impressive ones, they’re normally little more than pretty white fences encircling a greener playfield. Steep reverses this concept with some success. Here, it’s the valleys and green spots of the world that trigger the invisible walls and the mighty Alps that fill its rocky, snowy sandbox. Steep’s gameplay unfortunately falls short of matching the grandeur of its open world, but it’s a tough act to follow.

Steep lets you seamlessly zip down mountain ranges via snowboards, skis, wingsuits, or paragliders with a quick click of a radial menu. At any time, you can leap from below the treeline to miles-high “drop points” you’ve discovered–either by walking or taking a helicopter–and partake in events and challenges that pepper the slopes. The races and time trials you find are fun ways to test your skill against everything from smooth powder to tougher rocky paths. Meanwhile, the freestyle events celebrate and grant experience points for general showmanship, and the “Bone Collector” events add some humor by inviting you to throw your body off a cliff as spectacularly as an avalanche.

The trouble with Steep is that beyond the gratification you get from simply moving about it’s impressive world, the best rewards it offers are cosmetic items, like fluffy bunny suits, and newly unlocked events that closely resemble ones you’ve already played before. The gameplay itself never changes: Your wingsuit might eventually look cooler with that sleek GoPro branding, but it always handles the same way regardless of how it looks. Nor does Steep actually embrace its “play as you want” philosophy as thoroughly as initial appearances suggest; you’ll need to rank well in most events in order to level up, even if you find the paragliding events as appealing as a snowman might find the Bahamas.

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That wouldn’t be such a problem if some equipment wasn’t considerably more enjoyable to use than others. Snowboarding is the best by far–performing spins, flips, and short glides off rocky prominences remains thrilling even hours in, as does navigating through narrow snowy chasms and deserted, half-buried villages. Skiing comes in a close second, although with a slightly more ponderous sensation of weight.

Whether you snowboard or ski, you’re bound to encounter frustrating controls. Even after hours of experience, timing jumps remains more of an art than a science, and sometimes your character may refuse to respond to commands that should have sent them flipping through the air for tricks that generate more points.

Steep often comes off feeling like the collaborative effort of two wildly divergent personalities–a John Muir-like wilderness sage, say, and a loud-mouthed Red Bull announcer. The wingsuit supplies a different brand of excitement, allowing you to jump off piers far up in the peaks and hurtle yourself face-first near powerlines and mere inches above jagged slopes for greater points. The physics involved sometimes seem wonky and fantastical, but they’re never impossible to master and the wingsuit events yield an entertaining alternative to the ground-based trials. Steep also allows you to paraglide, but from a mechanical perspective, this approach comes off as painfully dull. Watching Europe’s grandest mountains pass below as you glide overhead is initially awesome, but the paragliding suit’s simple controls leaves a lot to be desired; it demands little more than occasionally steering toward pockets of air in humdrum events that can drag on for a quarter of an hour. They’re not even particularly challenging–in many cases, you can skip off the designated course, over a neighboring peak, and glide right down to the finish line.

Taking everything into account, Steep often comes off feeling like the collaborative effort of two wildly divergent personalities–a John Muir-like wilderness sage, say, and a loud-mouthed Red Bull announcer. In its finest moments, swishing past the pines over a landscape awash in varying shades of white for long stretches at a time, it invites slipping into the meditative trance. But then, without fail (unless you turn him off in settings), the extreme announcer butts into that tranquility and drags you back to garish corporate reality, complete with Red Bull logos emblazoned on the sides of helicopters. The HUD itself sometimes ruins the mood, as the gaudy markers showing the locations of the many events stand out as starkly as billboards might in an Ansel Adams photo.

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Some of Steep’s commendable exploratory features can tend toward the goofy, as in the “mountain stories” that personify peaks like France’s Pointe Percée by giving them voice actors who brag about how they’re “the showman, the bombastic” and how “you’ll shred snow-caked ruins below my summit.” There are lingering bugs to contend with as well, which usually amount to mere inconvenience, but might send you falling under the mountain like Gandalf and the Balrog.

Still, Steep’s reflective moments and the sheer joy of its exploration can outweigh some of its rougher points, and some of the most fun it offers comes from simply traveling to undiscovered locations–just you against the mountain. Most players on the slopes seem to favor this playstyle despite Steep’s easy grouping options and its insistence on online play; time and time again, it’s challenging to find people interested in grouping up. Most of the time, unless you have some friends to invite along for some real competition, the multiplayer implementation seems best for watching others pull off complicated tricks.

Steep is a game that’s never really sure what it is, and its vagueness and lack of meaningful rewards causes it to suffer in any comparisons to the likes of SSX. But there’s a quiet thrill to exploring the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc, and snowed-in Alpine villages. It’s a strangely attractive approach for all its qualifications, and there’s a constant sense that Ubisoft is channeling George Mallory’s famous response when asked why he wanted to scramble up Mount Everest: “Because it’s there.”

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Dragon Ball: Fusions Reviews For 3DS

Dragon Ball: Fusions Reviews For 3DS

Humor is an element of the Dragon Ball series that often goes overlooked in games. Where many Dragon Ball Z games effectively showcase superpowered combat, Dragon Ball Fusions is an attempt to embrace the sillier side of Dragon Ball in gaming form–though, sadly, it falls victim to repetitive combat and dull progression systems.

In some ways, Fusions feels like a companion game to the Dragon Ball Xenoverse series. Much like those games, you start off by designing a custom character based on one of the various races from the show, picking facial features, a hairstyle, and an accompanying voice. Once you’re done, you’re immediately thrust into the colorful world of Dragon Ball. The bright, often surreal environments and structures from the Dragon Ball universe are beautifully rendered on 3DS, and although the ability to view the game in 3D had to be sacrificed in the process, it’s not a huge loss.

Your adventure begins as you and your pal Pinnich–an original character created for Fusions–find the last of the Dragon Balls, earning the right to make a wish. Pinnich is a pretty simple-minded type: he wants to have the biggest, baddest tournament ever to determine the strongest warrior in all of the Dragon Ball universe. Before you know it, a wide range of the series’ locales are combined into a towering vertical universe, and everyone from across the franchise’s history is now trying to find teammates for the upcoming brawl. Pinnich has gone his own way, but you make fast friends with familiar faces: Trunks, Goten, and young Goku. With the help of other Dragon Ball favorites, you’ll meet and recruit numerous other characters to your team, ascend further skyward, and hopefully take the title of the greatest fighters the universe has ever seen.

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In between battles, you’ll soar around 3D environments, exploring and battling foes that cross your path while finding the means to progress further. There are towns to visit along the way that offer side quests, places to shop, and people to chat with. Fitting with the game’s overall lighthearted tone, your chats with NPCs tend to be on the silly side–though they may be ally or foe, you’re more likely to discuss things like food and puns than you are to address the bigger conflict at hand. Unfortunately, Fusions’ localization leaves something to be desired: there’s no English voice acting, some character names are inconsistent across menus, and there are times when dialogue in text boxes cuts off entirely.

You control up to five characters in a flat, overhead-view 2D space, fighting against a team of up to five opponents. As you battle, you and your foes move around the arena. This positioning proves to be very important in numerous ways. For example, if you’re close to friendly characters, they can help the fighter you’re currently commanding land some extra damage. If you’re launching a melee attack against a foe, you can try to knock them in a direction where another ally character will hit them, or you can smash them against another enemy for a pool-style ricochet effect. If you decide you want to fight with ki blasts or special moves instead, you can try to hit multiple enemies in a line or go for an area-of-effect technique. If you manage to knock an opponent out of the arena entirely, you’re treated to a cutscene, extra damage, and you reset their turn. But you must stay on your guard, since these same rules apply to your foes’ attacks as well.

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Attacks big and small are accompanied by an unskippable cutscene. While these initially replicate the dynamism of the fights in the anime and manga, repeatedly seeing the same animations greatly diminishes their impact over time. Zenkai attacks, which use stock from a bar that charges over the course of battle, briefly turn the game into an action aerial dogfight where you slug it out one-on-one with a chosen enemy for big-time damage. The titular Fusions allow you to combine characters using the ever-so-ridiculous Fusion Dance, granting the resulting character stat buffs and access to advanced techniques–along with some pretty funny-looking character hybrids.

There’s even a fusion skill that combines all five characters participating in battle into a single, superpowered warrior, who then launches an intense assault for a huge burst of damage. While this last option consumes a lot of resources, more or less emptying your power bar, it’s immensely fun and provides benefits beyond just incredible damage, such as reviving warriors on your side who might have been knocked out. Again, your foes can also do these techniques, meaning that you’re technically on equal footing in terms of your combat resources–though, depending on their level and team makeup, their abilities may vary.

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This all sounds pretty cool on paper, but in practice, it quickly turns into a slog. Attacks big and small are accompanied by an unskippable cutscene. While these initially replicate the dynamism of the fights in the anime and manga, repeatedly seeing the same animations greatly diminishes their impact over time. Fighting low-level enemies to farm energy and, eventually, recruits becomes an exercise in tedium.

Characters are designated as power, speed, or technique types in a triangular advantage/disadvantage system, which can be a real pain if you wind up in a lopsided fight. Even then, most of the non-boss fights in this game aren’t hard–they’re just drawn-out and repetitive. The frustrating elements of fighting come to a head at Fusions’ end, where the game starts asking you to perform very specific actions in combat in order to win battles–a sharp contrast to the free-form fighting seen earlier in the game.

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Ultimately, Dragon Ball Fusions feels like a game with some great ideas that could’ve been executed better. The interpretation of the Dragon Ball world is great, and the fun of allowing all kinds of fan-fiction-style character fusions is a strong basis to build a fan-service-laden romp around. If the progression felt a bit less stilted and fights weren’t drawn out, repetitive affairs, this would be one of the strongest Dragon Ball games out there. Alas, just like Hercule in the series, Dragon Ball Fusions postures and promises more than it actually delivers.

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Owlboy Game Review For PC

Owlboy Game Review For PC

By their very nature, retro-inspired games are fighting an uphill battle against the nostalgia they aim to invoke. How can they form their own identity when they’re partly designed to make you remember other games? After finishing Owlboy, it seems D-Pad Studio might have the answer.

For almost a decade, Owlboy has lurked behind the curtain of mainstream releases with a small-but-devout following. Looking at screenshots and videos over the years, it was always apparent that Owlboy would look and sound great, but there’s so much more to love about the final product: the humor, the varied cast, the disasters that befall its otherwise bright and uplifting world, and the incredible action set-pieces that punctuate the calm found elsewhere. It’s not until you break through the surface that you’re blinded by Owlboy’s artistic brilliance and swayed by its heartfelt story.

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Owlboy review

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It begins with Otus–our muteprotagonist and the runt of his village–during a stressful dream where his professor and dark figments criticize his inadequacies and chastise his inability to speak. It’s a powerful setup that endears our hero to you. Trouble brews shortly after he wakes up and concerns of pirate sightings explode into panic as a nearby metropolis comes under attack. Otus teams up with a military mechanic, Geddy, to put a stop to the pirates before their home is destroyed.

Owlboy is old-school, not just in its presentation, but also in its storytelling–there’s no voice acting, and events are set in stone with nary a major decision-making opportunity in sight. The plot manages to avoid predictability, however, not only through a handful of twists, but by allowing characters to evolve throughout the course of the game. Sad moments aren’t swept under the rug by unreasonable optimism–they stay with your squad and fundamentally alter their outlook on the mission and their own identity in surprising ways. There’s great attention to detail in the cast’s animations, which are often tailored for a specific scene, as opposed to falling back on routine reactions. Coupled with a script that’s rife with emotion and nuance, Owlboy’s characters feel real in your heart despite their cartoonish look.

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Owlboy review

Owlboy tackles multiple artistic themes and subjects with consistently impressive execution. It may be a throwback of sorts, but Owlboy’s visuals aren’t tailored to specifically ape 8- or 16-bit graphics; it doesn’t have a limited color palette, and its pixel resolution changes based on the scene at hand. When you enter wide-open spaces, the camera zooms out, chunky details shrink, and meticulously designed structures and environments take shape. In tight spaces, you’re brought closer into the scene for more intimate inspection. From subterranean creatures to ancient structures, Owlboy tackles several artistic themes and subjects with consistently impressive execution. And if you have a soft spot for 2D games with multiple layers of parallax scrolling–where the background moves slower than the foreground to simulate depth–you’re in for a treat.

When you first take control of Otus, darting around floating islands and chatting with other creatures makes for a pleasant experience, and while the open air and bright colors deserve some credit, it’s the orchestrated soundtrack that solidifies Owlboy’s shifting atmosphere and tone. Violas and flutes instill merriment at first, but this innocence is short lived; when the pirates invade, oboes drone and cellos growl to the slow beat of a heavy drum. When the dust settles and the second half of your journey kicks off, sprightly piano compositions provide a much-needed respite from the stress of a society under attack.

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Owlboy review

Your trek to the pirate’s den takes you through expansive spaces and into the heart of sprawling cave systems where buccaneers and wildlife alike lie in wait. They typically bombard you with rocks and other projectiles, rarely engaging in close-quarters combat. On his own, Otus can only dash into enemies, stunning them at best. However, with the help of a handy teleportation device, he can summon one of three partners into his claws mid-flight to utilize their long-range blaster, shotgun, or webbing that can ensnare enemies and be used as a grappling hook to escape dangerous situations.

Otus is unfortunately a tad slow by default, which causes you to spam his dash move repeatedly to keep things moving along outside of combat. There’s a modest upgrade system driven by collecting and turning in coins found in chests, but you’re upgrading health reserves–in the form of soup canisters–and your team’s weapons, not physical traits. Still, a keen eye and fast reflexes are more critical to success than any upgrades purchased during your adventure. Knowing that success comes from a show of skill rather than your ability to collect upgrades is gratifying, but you walk away from Owlboy with the sinking feeling that the equipment and upgrades in the game have unrealized potential.

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Owlboy review

Owlboy is consistently charming and surprising, and when its final act doubles down on every front, it’s bittersweet to see watch it end. Standard combat isn’t anything special, but it never wears out its welcome thanks to deft pacing. Owlboy steadily mixes combat and exploration with measured stealth challenges, fast-paced escape sequences, and entertaining exchanges between characters. The chase/escape sequences in particular are some of the most impressive moments in the game, throwing you into a harrowing race against time in the face of tightly choreographed hazards. These scenes are challenging and filled with visual effects that add to the sense of danger, and they’re overwhelming at first, but should you die, not to worry: Owlboy never truly punishes you for failure, allowing you to restart from the last room you entered.

Owlboy is consistently charming and surprising, and when its final act doubles down on every front, it’s bittersweet to see watch it end. As you relish the outcome of the final battle and watch the closing cutscene, you can’t help but reflect on the beginning of your adventure and how far the world and its inhabitants have come. You’ll never be able to play Owlboy for the first time again, but the memories of its magic moments stick with you. This is more than a treat for fans of old-school games; Owlboy is a heartfelt experience that will touch anyone with an affinity for great art and storytelling.

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Hoverwatch Gives You a Bird’s Eye View–Android App Review

Hoverwatch Gives You a Bird’s Eye View

Parents today definitely have a tough job when it comes to ensuring their loved ones are safe—even from themselves. One way that helps where online safety is concerned, is to monitor a variety of activities so you know what’s going on. Privacy, or the lack thereof, is a touchy subject but in some cases, such as parents of young kids with smartphones, parent’s have a duty to know what their kids are doing and make sure they’re safe. You may have other reasons to monitor online activity, and in cases where it’s perfectly legal, it’s good to know there are tools and services available to get the job done.

An excellent option for monitoring a host of online activities is Hoverwatch. Developed by Refog, Inc., Hoverwatch is a fantastic way to keep tabs on all sorts of activities being done on the device you want to track, as well as the location of the device itself. Be it a an Android device, an iOS device, a Windows computer or a Mac you can easily keep track of text messages, WhatsApp messages, Facebook activity, the device’s location, and more.

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Hoverwatch Gives You a Bird’s Eye View

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Concept and Functionality Hoverwatch gives you basically what you would expect: users can install the application on the intended tracking device, and then monitor its use from afar in real time without the actual user knowing. That sounds invasive (and it is, we suppose) but there’s good reason for it. With Hoverwatch, a parent can easily see what their child has been up to, and determine if any monitored activities have potentially endangered them. The application keeps records of all incoming and outgoing text messages, regardless of whether they’re deleted on the device or not. Likewise, all call records are kept safely on the company’s servers. Hoverwatch Android App It goes beyond this, though. Let’s say the individual with the device is not where they’re supposed to be—you’re concerned, but what do you do? By using GPS tracking, Hoverwatch can monitor the devices location, allowing you (or the authorities) to quickly locate it and resolve the situation. You can even listen to the device’s surroundings through the application, allowing for unprecedented control and security. It’s smooth, effective, and endlessly useful. And if you’re using another application similar to Catch Me If You Can, we can assure you that it offers as many or more features.

Design and Graphics When it comes to layout and design, Hoverwatch is also everything we could hope for and more. It’s good-looking, easy to navigate, and of course, totally silent. If you don’t want the device user to know the application is running in the background, they will never see it. This allows or perfect security across the board, which is of pretty obvious value. We also appreciated how well the desktop, browser-based version of the app ties directly into the mobile app. You can, in fact, have a number of devices all running Hoverwatch, and monitor them all directly from the Web. This kind of functionality is not only useful, but downright gorgeous.

Overall Value At the end of the day, Hoverwatch is a terrific app with a specific purpose. The Personal edition lets you track one device and is $19.95 per month or $8.99 per month if you sign up for one year. The Family Plan lets you monitor up to 5 devices and $39.95 per month or $199.95 for a year, which comes out to $3.33 per month for each of 5 devices. If you’re interested in the functionality of this type of app, it’s worth it to check out the site to see all that the service covers. And as stated, if have a legitimate need for an app like this one, Hoverwatch is easily one of the best in the genre. Hoverwatch is easy to set up, easy to use, solid, well-designed, and feature-packed.

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The Way For Androids Review Game

The Way For Androids Review Game

A lone man stands tall among hundreds of gravestones. His hunched shoulders and back, and the slight grimace on his face indicate the burden of impending peril. He grabs a shovel and starts digging. You can spot an intimidating city skyline in the distance, with gloomy clouds suffocating the sky. Eerie, synthetic piano notes play in the background. “Her grave..,” the man whispers. He quietly moves through the cemetery, beginning his tumultuous journey to discover a way to bring back the dead.

What is the meaning of life, and how far would you go to hold onto your loved ones? The Way asks these two age-old questions throughout its intriguing narrative. The premise is simple and familiar, but The Way sprinkles enough clever story beats and surprises to avoid predictability. The beginning chapters show promise, offering inventive puzzles that make great use of your character’s strengths and weaknesses. These obstacles require patience, thought, and the ability to accurately retrace your steps. The puzzles during the game’s opening hours range from simple tasks, such as deciphering riddles and acquiring precious passwords, to unlocking hidden doorways and passageways in dangerous locations. Early on, you sneak into a security building crawling with deadly robots and cameras armed with lasers. Avoiding the detection while crawling through vents and hitting switches makes for thrilling James Bond-esque moments.

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The Way Review

All your character can do at this point in the game is jump, crawl, and fire a gun–if he has one. It’s this simplistic approach that makes The Way a momentarily delightful experience. One early challenge requires you to find a way to disable streams of water so you can reach your destination. There are curious, bright green numbers placed above each stream. Switches that stop water from flowing are hidden in a different room, and also have the same numbers. I had to figure out in what order to hit the switches based on their placements above each stream. It took some time to solve, but it felt gratifying when I finally did.

The Way unfortunately devolves from this type of level design in favor of mundane trial and error. Where the earlier puzzles give subtle clues, later obstacles offer almost nothing in the way of hints or direction. You’ve no knowledge to refer to, and you end up stuck on a puzzle that can only be solved through banal repetition.

The Way further discourages you when it combines these poorly-designed obstacles with haphazard mechanics. At one point you acquire the ability to use a shield that deflects laser beams. The shield, when deployed, is difficult to wield with skill, and it has to recharge between uses. One of the worst puzzles in the game tasks you with precisely deflecting lasers with your shield towards small tiles in order to create a complicated circuit. This took me an hour to solve due to the cumbersome nature of the shield, and because I had no clue which tiles to hit first. This bogged down the game’s swift pace. From then on, the puzzles grew progressively more boring and confusing. Thankfully, the story and characters are fascinating enough for you to keep playing.

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A beautiful, happy moment.

The small handful of characters you meet along your journey are all eccentric, and play a vital role in the plot. A group of barbaric, colorful villagers you encounter in an ancient village wear strange masks, and can’t speak English very well. You also partner up with an orange behemoth-like creature nicknamed “Tincan.” The highly detailed, pixelated settings and character models, and the synth-like sci-fi musical score further enrich the excellent worldbuilding and storytelling. No environment or level looks the same, from decaying graveyards and ancient caverns, to sunny sand-swept deserts and bright green forests.

Making your torturous, long trek across planets and galaxies to discover the key to the afterlife can be fascinating. It’s a psychological examination of the human spirit and mind, and what we’re truly capable of when we can’t accept our losses. You have to spend several hours solving frustrating puzzles to see it through, but The Way’s poignant story is worth the occasional struggle.

In addition to your gaming tastes there are other hobbies, I like reading and I casually Jokes that are funny

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Solitaire Party is One Party Not To Miss-Android Apps Games Review

Solitaire Party is One Party Not To Miss

Mobile games can be really fun, but if you tend to collect them they’ll end up occupying a significant amount of space on your Android device. If you’re looking for a fun new solitaire game bundle, Solitaire Party is the one for you. Created by BP Mobile Games, this bundle of classic solitaire games will surely keep you entertained for hours on end.

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Mobile games can be really fun

Concept and Gameplay Solitaire Party is a suite of your favorite solitaire games: Klondike, Freecell, Golf, Forty Thieves, and Spider (1, 2, and 4 suits). Sometimes called a patience game, this solitaire card game collection has all the ones you want to play. It’s very easy to switch between game modes and tweak them to your liking. Gameplay is very simple and you can choose to either tap once or tap and drag cards to play your moves. Figuring out how to play is super simple and you’ll be flipping cards in no time flat. Solitaire Party is very straightforward on how to do different things like set up games exactly how you want them, so you don’t have to worry about things getting boring. One of the aspects that I really like about Solitaire Party is the fact that you can customize the cards themselves. It’s very easy to change the backs and fronts of the cards by choosing from a nice variety of designs. Solitaire Party makes it easy on players who might find themselves in a pickle by providing unlimited free hints. This is particularly rare to find in games because hints are often a premium feature or they’re available in very limited supply.

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Solitaire Party Android Game

Features Solitaire Party packs a pretty big punch for such a small game. In fact, one of the key features of the game is that it occupies less than 4 MB of space. For once you won’t have to worry about removing games or other apps in order to make room if you’re low on device space. If you like daily tasks in games, Solitaire Party even includes daily challenges for you to complete. This is an awesome feature because it allows you to come back to the game and experience something totally new.

Value Solitaire Party is available to download from Google Play for free and does not include any in-app purchases (that I could find). Overall, Solitaire Party is a very solid solitaire game that I highly recommend trying. It offers tons of variety and hours of fun with a very light download size.

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Pokemon Go Review–Game Review

POKEMON GO REVIEW

Pokemon Go, described in simple terms, is a clever concept: Walk to real-life locations called PokeStops marked on a map on your phone to get items and collect the Pokemon that pop up along the way to gain XP. Use those Pokemon to take over real-world objectives called Gyms from other players. It has all the basics covered to make it a functional mobile treasure-hunting app, though technically its performance (and that of its servers) is often very poor on iOS and Android. But the main appeal of the free-to-play Pokemon Go is how being out in the real world, finding tons of other people who see the same augmented reality you do, brings the sort of intangible dream of Pokemon to life.

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pokemon go

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It has to be experienced to really make sense; without that social aspect it’s really just an extremely light RPG level-grinder. Pokemon Go’s success or failure hinges on that experience, and right now it’s stuck somewhere in between, simultaneously fun and unique but also inconsistent and incomplete. (It is, after all, listed as version 0.29 despite being released onto the App Store and Google Play without caveats.) It’s not mechanically interesting, but it is socially very interesting thanks to a few smart design decisions. You wouldn’t jump off a bridge because everybody’s doing it, but that is a great reason to play Pokemon Go.

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how to play Pokemon Go

Welcome to the World of Pokemon At least in the short term, Pokemon Go is a proven phenomenon with millions of players. I was at a party in the San Francisco Bay Area over the weekend where at least two dozen adults were out on the front lawn, calling out the names of Pokemon as they appeared on our phones. We ran inside when someone claimed a Bulbasaur was in the fridge; we ran back outside for Ponyta. We walked a block or two to challenge a nearby Gym only to have it taken over right from under us by someone we didn’t know and couldn’t see, and we all had the app crash on us a few too many times during our hour out and about. It was silly and frustrating and fun all at once.

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Pokemon Go’s setup

The San Francisco area is admittedly really well-suited to Pokemon Go’s setup — your mileage may vary if you’re out in a remote area with few points of public interest around. Here, it feels like there’s no shortage of PokeStops to visit, and on multiple occasions I arrived at a PokeStop or Gym only to find that a group of other people playing Pokemon Go was already there. I also learned a lot about my neighborhood and the landmarks I walk by every day just by taking meandering walks to PokeStops, which was one of the best things about the times I played Pokemon Go by myself. In this environment, at least, Pokemon Go’s design — the RPG-lite level system combined with the collection aspect and the nostalgia only a hugely popular, decades-long franchise can bring — all build to the kind of experience that developer Niantic wanted, the kind the trailer seems to evoke.

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people playing Pokemon Go

“ It feels like the whole world is playing Pokemon Go.

I was drawn to Pokemon Go for that real-life Pokemon Trainer dream, but even when that aspect of it underwhelmed me with its simplicity and bugginess, I keep playing because having to go outside puts me in front of new places surrounded by other people doing exactly what I’m doing. All of my friends are playing, random passers-by are playing; it feels like all of the world is playing.

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Pokemon games

When It’s Not Very Effective But this is a precarious house of cards built on top of a wobbly foundation of nostalgia. For the most part, Pokemon Go’s design as a paper-thin RPG is super accessible, but it’s completely unremarkable. You as a trainer have a level, and your captured Pokemon have “combat points” tied to your level, but none of that relationship is explained very well and thus feels confusing. It turns out that your level impacts the combat point ceiling of Pokemon you acquire, which is essentially how catching Pokemon in the regular games works… but just not as polished or intuitive, even to long-time Pokemon players. Fortunately (in a way) combat lacks the depth of traditional Pokemon games, so it barely matters.

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Pokemon’s rock-paper-scissors

Battles for control of Gym locations are nothing more than simple, real-time tapping-based combat, and it’s virtually unaffected by anything other than combat point value. Even Pokemon’s rock-paper-scissors type matchups hardly matter, either — if you have the higher-powered monster, you’re all but guaranteed to win. It’s boring by itself and, like the combat points system, isn’t explained well. (There’s dodging, but it doesn’t seem to do much to turn the tide of a fight.) It’s not that the only acceptable form of combat is turn-based and tactical, but the system in its place here is simply a dull chore after just a few fights.

On top of that, the app itself is stuttery, crashy, and performs inconsistently. There are updates that help with this, and it’s not a dealbreaker, but it’s often frustrating. I’ve lost semi-rare Pokemon to random crashes that struck during crucial moments (though sometimes those seemingly escaped Pokemon show up as caught once I reload after the crash).

“ Pokemon Go’s biggest weaknesses are more a matter of the features it doesn’t yet have than the ones it does.

Pokemon Go’s biggest weaknesses are more a matter of the features it doesn’t yet have than the ones it does, though. There’s no trading, no player-versus-player battles (you only fight automated Pokemon left to defend Gyms), no friends list, no leaderboards, and no in-app social capability of any kind, other than how we’re all prompted to group into one of three competing teams. Some of these features are in the works, but right now, the most interesting thing about Pokemon Go is not its gameplay but how its design encourages personal connections with other real-world players by physically bringing us together as we all chase common goals. Collecting is fun for a while, but without more things to do with those Pokemon or my Trainer profile, it feels a little empty at times.

The Power That’s Inside Battling against that emptiness are a few key things that keep Pokemon Go together. In order to power up or evolve a Pokemon you’ve captured, you have to catch duplicates of its species — sometimes many, many duplicates. Transferring the weaker ones out of your bank of available Pokemon earns you “candies” for that species to fuel power-ups. It seriously takes the sting out of finding yet another Zubat, something that the main Pokemon games never quite solve. In Pokemon Go, I want to catch that hundredth Zubat so I can farm it for power-up potential.

There’s also an area-of-effect item that all players can use for a limited time: lures. One person can place a lure at any PokeStop, which increases the number of Pokemon that will show up. The cool thing about them is that they lure people in addition to Pokemon — I pulled over while driving because my friend said there were lures nearby, and we ran into the people who had placed them. Wanting to catch Pokemon means more lures, which keeps the community alive. It’s one of the smartest design choices in Pokemon Go.

“ A few key design choices keep Pokemon Go’s community alive.

That drive and incentive to catch ‘em all keeps me walking and venturing out of my way (I walked all the way around a hospital yesterday) to catch even more Pokemon. I mostly want stronger Pokemon to take over Gyms for my team, even though combat is boring. There’s just something satisfying about holding an objective that every other person playing can see, and the draw of taking territory for my team kept me coming back when the battle had long since worn out its welcome. It also helps that taking over a Gym nets you in-game currency, and I’ve found that spending real money on microtransactions isn’t strictly necessary. I haven’t bought any of the in-game money since I can find items and earn coins from playing as normal, and I haven’t felt pressured to do so in order to keep playing at the aggressive pace I’ve been going at.

All of this, even if it’s not too complicated, encourages more walking around, which it keeps everyone playing and encountering each other. That in turn feeds the real-world aspect that makes Pokemon Go special. It’s just a matter of whether people continue to play.

The Verdict Right now, Pokemon Go is an incredible, can’t-miss social experience — like Pokemon is actually real and everyone is on board — but its RPG mechanics and combat don’t have nearly enough depth to support itself in the long term. If people start to lose interest due to its lack of depth once the novelty of seeing Pokemon pop up around their everyday lives expires, the community will fall apart and the spell will be broken. What Pokemon Go needs is more features to support that real-world interaction. Things like Pokemon trading and leaderboards, which developer Niantic says are incoming, could keep that momentum up. Even if it will be short-lived, though, there’s no doubt it’s exciting to be a part of while it lasts.

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Google Maps just made exploring cities easier than ever–Apps Archives

Google Maps just made exploring cities easier than ever

Google is rarely one for a fanfare, and the recent changes to Google Maps likely went unnoticed by many. Aside from some delicate aesthetic improvements, Google has now added “areas of interest”. These algorithmically selected and highlighted areas could change the way you explore cities both new and familiar.

You may have noticed that Google Maps has developed a breakout of peachy blotches. These areas of discoloration over the face of the earth are symptomatic of a new feature that Google recently rolled out.

Each peachy stain represents an “area of interest”, that is, an area particularly busy with economic and social activity, be it shops, bars or restaurants.

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AndroidPIT google maps areas of interest 1

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The new shading extends to individual buildings. / © AndroidPIT Browsing around Berlin, I found the results to be pretty accurate, highlighting popular and interesting areas containing many of my favorite spots. That is not to say the algorithm is perfect. There are problems: some cities are all but covered in orange, only businesses added to Google Maps register, and, ultimately, Google is not really in the cartography business but the advertising business.

Nonetheless, for a quick overview, it’s a very promising feature, and one that I will no doubt find myself using the next time I visit a new city or head to a neighborhood I am unfamiliar with.

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AndroidPIT google maps areas of interest 2

Some cities, such as Prague, are a little over-saturated. / © AndroidPIT And, as is Google’s forte, it has implemented something extremely complex in a deceptively simple fashion, so simple that is easily overlooked or underestimated.

Aside from this exciting addition, Google has made Maps subtly more attractive, dispensing with inessential elements, such as road outlines, and adjusting its color scheme to make different areas and building types more readily distinguishable.

What do you think of Google’s areas of interest? Will you be making use of the new feature?