Welcome to the 396th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Kids in China can’t game as long as they probably want. A new restriction only allows for a single hour of video games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It’s an effort to quell some game addiction issues in China. There is real data to suggest that gaming addiction is a real thing, so on paper, this isn’t the worst idea. However, this new law gives parents little say in the matter.
- A hacker recreated Google Maps on an original Nintendo. There isn’t much to the story other than the fact that it’s kind of cool. The system renders Maps in 8-bit, obviously, and it looks like the overworld map from a JRPG in the late 1980s. Hit the link to check it out for yourself.
- Google is eventually adding Quick Phrase support to Google Assistant. This new feature lets you assign short phrases for a variety of actions without the need for an “Okay/Hey Google” hotword. There are some security concerns as there always is with something that listens to you 24/7. However, Assistant already listens 24/7 for the hotword anyway, so hopefully, the Quick Phrases feature is useful.
- Windows 11 has an official release date of October 5, 2021. However, that release won’t have Android app support. Microsoft intends to test Android app support with the Windows Insider program over the course of the next few months. It’ll likely see a full release when the kinks are worked out. This is all part of Microsoft’s phased and measured approach to the Windows 11 release.
- South Korea passed a bill that forces the Play Store and Apple App Store to allow certain payment systems through the app. This is the latest story in a saga that started with Epic Games, developer of Fortnite, suing Google and Apple for taking too big of a slice of their profit pie. We reported on an antitrust lawsuit filed in the US a few weeks ago and it’s likely that a similar bill is passed here in the US as well.
Price: Free to play
Purrfect Tale is a cutesy slice of life game. Players start the game as a student who adopts a cat. The cat turns out to be a boy and you build a life with that boy. The game presents itself in a series of interactive comics. You make choices that affect the outcome of the game along with small things like what to wear and what to do. There are three primary parts of the gameplay loop. The comic aspect, the little daily activities, and playing the storyline. It’s a relaxing experience overall.
MLB The Show 21 Companion App
MLB The Show 21 Companion App is exactly what the name of the app suggests. It lets you do things that then reflect in the game. Some examples include searching for cards, managing your watchlist, and viewing card details. It also has a news section, information about game updates, and more. The app definitely seems like it needs a bit of polish with a lot of complaints about the login process and things like that. I personally don’t play MLB 21 The Show so I was limited in my testing.
Price: Free to play
Beatstar is a new rhythm game. This one differs from most others by having songs relevant to pop culture. It features hundreds of songs from popular artists, simple controls, and it has enough bright colors and animations to make everything feel exciting. The actual rhythm part of the mechanics is pretty basic. You can tap on or swipe notes based on the symbols you see on the chart. Players unlock songs by doing well in the songs they already have unlocked. It’s actually pretty decent and the pop songs make it feel familiar.
Opera, the web browser developer, is trying their hand at a sports scores app. This one is specifically for European football. It boasts real-time scores for over 10,000 matches across over 1,000 leagues. You can also get notifications, news, kickoff times, stats, and more. The app design is basic but effective. Stats and information is laid out in a consistent fashion that is easy to read. It fits in well with the existing app selections for soccer fans.
Murders on Budapest
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Murders on Budapest is the latest game from Buff Studio, developer of Buff Knight, Underworld Office, and 7Days. This one is a visual novel game. Players make their way through each chapter of the game to figure out who the killer is. The game also boasts multiple genres. You’ll see some RPG mechanics, arcade mechanics, and other such mechanics as well. The mix of genres with the visual novel style helps make the game more fun. There is a ticket system that is pretty easy to circumvent by watching ads. Otherwise, it’s a solid visual novel game.
If we missed any big Android app or game news or releases, tell us about it in the comments!
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