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G5 is putting it’s praised The Magician Handbook 2 on sale for a limited time.


The game is a hidden object and puzzle adventure that employs a lot of artistic scenes and a unique hints system. Per the official press release:


The Magician’s Handbook II: Blacklore is 2X challenging, fascinating and absorbing as its predecessor. Two years have passed since your trip to the Cursed Valley. The pages of the Magician’s Handbook remain blank and life has resumed its natural course, until the day a tiny fairy appeared in your house, pleading for help. The ev

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il magician pirate, Blacklore, has captured all the magicians and fairies and will use their magic for evil, if you don’t help. You have until the next moonrise to free the captured fairies hidden throughout the land. Otherwise, Blacklore will come for you. Should he capture you, the fairies will be trapped forever. Search gorgeous, hand drawn locations, learn powerful spells and solve witty puzzles, free your friends and stop Blacklore in this immersive adventure.


The game will be available for free on both the Play Store and Amazon Appstore from October 6th through October 12th, 2014.



[Source: G5 Press Release]


The Magician’s Handbook II: Blacklore Going Free For Limited Time is a post from: Android Rundown


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Terry Cavanagh’s extremely challenging arcade game Super Hexagon was recently released. Notably, it has an issue with the Nexus 7, thanks to a hardware issue where recognition of a released touch input is slightly delayed. For most games, this is not a problem. For Super Hexagon, where lightning reflexes are necessary, this is a big deal. Well, at least in theory it is. In practice, is it an issue? I decided to put some rudimentary, un-scientific statistics work to the test.


After a short warm-up session, I played 20 rounds on Hexagonest on the Nexus 7, then 20 rounds on t

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he Motorola Xoom (which does not suffer from this touch-release issue), then another 20 on the Nexus 7, and another 20 on the Xoom.


Here’s what my results found:

Nexus 7, round 1: avg. 9.58 seconds, max 29.3

Xoom, round 1: avg. 12.26 seconds, max 37.1

Nexus 7, round 2: avg. 12.16 seconds, max 27.29

Xoom, round 2: avg. 12.21 seconds, max 49.29



So, it appears I may have still needed some warming up – Super Hexagon’s harder difficulties require hours of practice to figure out how the patterns work and how the player needs to spin to survive them, and some acclimation is necessary. It seems as if the difference over time evens out on each platform. While the difference is noticeable, especially to a veteran of the game like myself, it may not make a big difference.


Except that the problem is that my high scores were achieved on the Xoom. And I felt way more confident on the Xoom, because I could make small adjustments if necessary. And really, Super Hexagon is about those outliers, trying to get the high score. So while my own errors are dooming me no matter what, it’s possible that the touch-release issue is hurting me at those all-important outliers. But then again, the game at its higher difficulties is so challenging that adding another layer of difficulty is like spitting into the ocean.


My verdict, taking into consideration the quantifiable evidence with my anecdotal experiences? Veterans of the game and those actively seeking high scores should stay away from the Nexus 7 version, as the delays will be frustrating. Otherwise, for casual players, it doesn’t make a huge difference. It’s still a difficult game no matter what it’s being played on.


Does Super Hexagon’s Nexus 7 Touch Response Delay Really Make a Difference? is a post from: Android Rundown


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When perusing the happenings at CES through various reports, it seems that everyone and their mother is showing off a tablet. There’s a lot of Windows 8 tablets out there, but there’s still plenty of Android tablets. Now, while there’s obviously going to be vendor-specific modifications because that’s just the way things work around here, it definitely appears that most tablets are running Jelly Bean 4.1, and not 4.2, based almost entirely on the status bars that are out there: the combined design where the back/home/multitasking buttons are on the lower left, and the n
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otification bar in the lower right. 4.2 uses a standardized interface across all devices where the buttons are on the bottom (with lots of black space) and the notification bar with clock is on top.
Now, Jelly Bean 4.2 is a minor update to 4.1, but this still means that these devices are going to be a version behind when the next big release comes out. But there’s two reasons why this comes off as particularly ludicrous: one, this is a show for upcoming hardware. Features can and will change. Jelly Bean 4.2 has been out for 3 months. There’s no reason why a device, especially a tablet where carrier considerations don’t have to be taken into account, couldn’t have it by this point.

Second, both Nvidia and Synaptic showed off test devices that are running 4.2. Synaptic’s showing off a technology on a Sensa test tablet that will help detect user touch on thin-bezel devices, doing things like rearranging text. And Nvidia developed a reference tablet to show off the Tegra 4. Both are running Jelly Bean 4.2, from all appearances.
Let’s reiterate: Nvidia has Jelly Bean 4.2 running on a device using a brand new processor. Hardware manufacturers using existing hardware can’t be bothered to get Jelly Bean 4.1 working on it. And Synaptics has a tablet using brand new technlogy and hardware running the latest version of Jelly Bean. While it’s possible that Nvidia got early access to Jelly Bean 4.2 source code as they are a power player with Google connections (the Tegra 3 powers the Nexus 7), there’s no indication that Synaptics got early access, so why are they ahead of the game? Perhaps manufacturers feel more secure in releasing established versions of Android software on their tablets? Still, it just seems like the manufacturers are selfishly prolonging the fragmentation problem on Android, and for what purpose, exactly? It’s baffling.
CES 2013: Why Fragmentation May Not Be Going Away Any Time Soon is a post from: Android Rundown
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Now, I am not a big mobile gamer. I enjoy the simple, cerebral puzzlers just as much as the next man but when it comes to some of the huge action titles that are now available for Android or iOS I would much rather play their brethren on my 43″ TV as opposed to my smartphone that is 1/10 the size. The other problem I have with hardcore mobile gaming is the lack of physical buttons. Trying to aim a gun without tactile mouse or stick is hard and no matter what some people say, not very intuitive. Besides, the screen is small as it is, why try to clog it up with my thick sausage thumbs.
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There are Bluetooth remotes out there and most games of this genre are compatible with these. The problem here is that it really negates the mobility of a smartphone. The biggest selling point from the gaming aspect is that the phone is with you 24/7 and is able to be quickly taken out and enjoyed while waiting in line or on the train. By introducing a giant controller that has to be consciously packed into a bag or purse, the mobility is suddenly constricted. No more can the phone just be complete in the pocket of a jacket; these full sized controllers cannot be comfortably thrown in a pocket because they are just too big.
Like all KickStarter blogs I do here, I now present a solution to this problem. Welcome, iMpulse, a tiny rectangular controller that is small enough to comfortably fit on any keychain. iMpulse was specifically designed to go onto keychains because they are with the player constantly. Anytime they leave the house their keys must go with them along with the phone; meaning that at anytime, gaming with a controller is possible. At about the width of an average palm iMpulse is small but it does not seem too small where it would be frustrating or unusable. Oh, and did I mention that it will help locate lost keys? For me, as forgetful as they come, this is almost more than worth the price of the whole device, gaming notwithstanding.
The only thing that makes me leery of the iMpulse is the lack of a second analog stick. The whole device basically is a 4 button NES controller with an analog stick in place of the traditional d-pad. Being a person who owned the older PSP for a number of years, I can attest to how hard it is to play a FPS without dual analog sticks. I am not quite sure if or how the design team plans on marketing the iMpulse but from their video they do not seem too concerned with marketing to the FPS crowd as most of the games they demoed were more traditional, less complicated mobile games.
If the iMpulse sounds interesting be sure to check out their KickStarter page for more information and possibly donate to the cause and get a pre-order for a pretty generous discount.








KickStarter Spotlight: iMpulse Game Controller is a post from: Android Rundown
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Spacetime Studios have launched yet another cross-platform MMORPG. I say that not like it’s becoming boring, but that it’s impressive how standard this is becoming for the studio with Dark Legends. Where some developers have trouble transferring save data between platforms, Spacetime has built another game that launched on Google Chrome, Android, and iOS within short time of each other, and it all works perfectly.
Dark Legends follows a similar core gameplay style as Pocket Legends and Star Legends: players traverse dungeons either by themselves or with friends, fighting all s
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orts of supernatural creatures and dark figures. Players control vampires who don’t see the need to cover everything up while they’re fighting. The newest aspect of combat is the ability to charge up attacks and magic for more damage. Magic drains from the same bar as health, which requires blood packs in order to refill. Well, actually, any kind of blood will do, which is why there’s the ability to drain blood from an enemy, which also grants a temporary stat boost.
Dark Legends‘ one negative addition to the game is the energy mechanic, one that essentially incentivizes the player to stop playing the game in order to progress. Each action undertaken requires a certain amount of energy, with some being ‘missions’ that have a quick animation, and then a timer to wait for them to finish. The levels themselves take 3 energy per play.
The problem in particular seems to be the way that it’s shifted multiplayer from an experience where the game can be enjoyed in long sequences with random players, to one that really only reinforces existing relationships, and encourages the joining of a guild. It was fun to go on extended dungeon raids in Star Legends, sticking with the same group for a long period of time. Because progression now is blocked by waiting for missions to complete, this means that random multiplayer is short-term at best. Some missions take an hour to complete, and while platinum can be used to bypass them, they’re still just a hindrance, one whose best solution is to just sit and wait for an arbitrary reason for them to complete. It creates more of a short-term and solo experience, for better or worse.
However, after all of that, Dark Legends is at its heart still a fun game, and rather impressive considering that it’s still free to play. It works out of the box with seamless cross-platform multiplayer. The only problem is that because it shares the core technology with its predecessors, the only differences are the setup and inclusion of vampires. While long-term play will be best enjoyed with the purchase of platinum (vanity items get expensive and some rare items can be obtained by buying some items packs with platinum), it’s definitely still worth taking the free dive in.














Dark Legends Review is a post from: Android Rundown
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After a few weeks of ADW Launcher, I have finally switched back to a theme from, in my opinion, the superior GO Launcher named Color Box EX. The last few themes have revolved around darker themes that didn’t involve much color but Color Box EX, as its name implies, breaks that mold. As stated in previous posts, consistency and continuity are one of the biggest factors of a great theme.
The best themes are those that smoothly blend unsupported app icons in with the custom themed icons. Color Box EX does this better then any theme that I have reviewed so far. The colorful icons are a
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treat and fit nicely in with the chosen background. Color Box EX places existing and unsupported icons into randomly colored tiles that blend in perfectly with the default embossed ones. This turns the app drawer into a veritable bag of Skittles as opposed to the usual mindless crawl of mismatched icons. Going along with the colorful layout is the simple yet brilliant multi colored bar along the bottom of the screen below the dock. This neat accent plays perfectly off of the dark, textured background that comes default with the theme, and the candy colored icons really pop when placed against this great wallpaper.
Contrasting again to the bright, boxy containers are the app drawer and home screen icons. These wire-framed, glowing blue logos stick out and note the difference and importance of the command they represent. The 2 dollar price tag does not bother me at all because it is obvious looking at Color Box EX that a lot of personal care was put into this theme and I was really impressed with it from the moment it started running. The great play between the dark, textile background and the bold colorful icons combined with the perfect continuity throughout make this a theme that is well worth checking out for those with GO Launcher.






Theme Thursday: Color Box EX is a post from: Android Rundown
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Toot Toot ABC is a cute game by Australian based company Game Labs that introduces preschoolers (ages 1-4) to their ABCs and 123s. Children play one of three darling trains who live in an colorful, interactive World. Kids encounter various animals while learning their alphabet and numbers. With three adventures to choose from there is always something for the little ones to explore.
Kids can pick from the ABC adventure, 123 adventure or take a break and race against other trains. During the ABC adventure, kids match animals with their corresponding letter. In the 123 adventure, kids coun
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t animals by dragging them in the train cars. What makes Toot Toot ABC extra unique is the use of exotic – or at least Australian – animals; I have officially learned of the numbat’s existence.
One of my favorite aspects of Toot Toot ABC (besides its Australian animal theme) is the brightly colored, interactive World the trains live in. See the red apples on the tree? Click one to have a little snack. Want to show your train some love? Tap his bell and he makes noise. Need a break? Take some time to pop balloons floating around the screen. Children like to explore their surroundings as a way of learning and Toot Toot ABC takes that into considerations when designing their educational World.
Toot Toot ABC also helps children develop fine motor skills. For example, in the 123 adventure, the child needs to be able to click an animal, hold the screen, and drag the animal to the train car for it to be counted. The controls for Toot Toot ABC are responsive and accurate enough for young children to control but not so responsive there is no challenge.
As a new mother I am looking for fun, new age, technological tools to help my daughter learn as she grows and reaches new cognitive and physical developmental milestones. She may not be ready for Toot Toot ABC yet, but it is definitely a game I will keep in mind when the time comes. This cute, colorful, educational game is too darling to pass up for $2.07. I really hope Game Labs continues to develop other educational games for various developmental levels.








Toot Toot ABC Review is a post from: Android Rundown
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Spacetime Studios has announced their newest entry in their cross-platform MMO Legends series, and this one will delve into a world that is culturally en vogue: vampires. Yes, their latest title is Dark Legends, and it will involve vampires. Yes, players will control a vampire, as they fight off the humans, and other supernatural forces that want to see them knocked down the supernatural food chain.
What Spacetime Studios is promising with Dark Legends is not just Star Legends or Pocket Legends reskinned with supernatural creatures, but gameplay that promises to be more action-based than
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previous games. Abilities such as charge and draining attacks will be part of this new combat system. As well, the game promises to have interactive story sections to help expand the narrative, which will be a larger focus in this game than in previous titles.
Of course, the game will still have the features that the Legends series was known for: MMORPG gameplay that works on cellular networks, and across many devices. This means that Dark Legends will be playable on iOS, Android, and Chrome, with players able to partake in missions together, and to carry their accounts from device to device. The game will also feature single-player missions for those who don’t like that second M in the MMORPG acronym.

According to Gary Gattis, CEO of Spacetime Studios, ““With each entry to the Legends franchise we raise the bar for the pick-up-and-play MMO space. The changes between Pocket Legends and Star Legends were significant, but Dark Legends is a quantum leap forward in interactive storytelling.” While these are bold words, both Pocket Legends and Star Legends were groundbreaking technical achievements, taking cross-platform mobile online play to levels that other games have struggled to reach. While there’s only currently concept artwork publicly revealed, we’ll have more on the game as it is publicly revealed at GDC 2012 in early March.
Spacetime Studios Announces Their Latest Cross-Platform MMORPG, Dark Legends is a post from: Android Rundown