Get Android Game Recommendations From Over 250,000 Games With the Hooked App

With Android gaming popularity on the rise, it’s becoming harder and harder to find games that you are interested in with the flood of new daily releases. That’s where the Hooked app comes in. Hooked is an Android app that searches a database of over 250,000 games and provides “personalized game recommendations based on each users’ game preferences and ratings”.

Hooked runs off of a proprietary algorithm based on your previous game rankings and the more rankings you create, the better the recommendations. Hooked CEO Prita Uppal, explains the app like this:

“As the number of games in the Android Marketplace continues to rapidly increase, it is getting harder and harder for consumers to find the games that best fit their interest. The Hooked app is an easy-to-use resource that will help gamers find the ‘hidden gems’ in the Android Marketplace and deliver compelling content that until now was not receiving the attention it may have deserved.”

Also equipped with social integration, Hooked allows users to recommend games to friends on Facebook and Twitter. I haven’t yet had the chance to try out this app so if you end up giving it a whirl, be a pal and let us know what you think! If you want to read the whole press release that contains all of the apps additional features, jump past the break.

Android Market

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Namco: “Freemium” Games Hurt Quality, Do Gamers Really Need Them?

 

There’s no doubt about the impact of gaming in our society today. Much of pop culture and our social lives are impacted by gaming to a certain extent. Angry Birds went from being a small app to a pop culture reference in the form of mentions from celebrities and clothes with Angry Bird characters being sold in designer stores now as noteworthy examples. We see celebrities and famous figures discuss how they play Modern Warfare or Grand Theft Auto and the impact it’s had on their lives’, which in turn affects our lives. Let’s face it, we play games on our Android devices. What once was an afterthought because of our Sony PSPs, Nintendo DS systems, Xboxes— is now very much status quo and the norm to even the average and simplistic Android user.

The continuous advancements from the development of games allows for users to have respectable Android gaming experience at the very least. One significant thing about the Android platform is the significance of the choice of apps that users want to use: paid apps or free apps. This is especially relevant with gaming on Android. The Android platform caters to two main categories of Android gamers: the recreational gamer and the hardcore gamer. The recreational gamer (and even Hardcore gamers to a certain extent) can enjoy popular gaming series such as Angry Birds, Words With Friends and Shoot The Apple, at no cost to them generally speaking. The hardcore gamer can enjoy such games as Modern Combat 3, Grand Theft Auto III, Madden ’12 and Need For Speed just to name a few, for a premium price that is more than reasonable especially with the vast amount of content included in the various games. There’s a consensus that both gamer types love seeing games that are free, especially when they are free games that look and play at a high level. Knowing that, there’s a troubling trend growing among developers of Android games found in the Market— the “Freemium” model. Read on to find out why this is not only a bad practice among developers, but why it turns me as a gamer off to certain games, even if they look and feel great.

Brass Monkey Raises $750k In Seed Financing, Looks To Turn Android Devices Into A Wii-Type Controller For Browser Games

While using your Android device as a controller is nothing new, Small development company Brass Monkey has just made a potential breakthrough. They developed and released SDKs for Android and iOS devices not too long ago which allowed those devices to act as a remote controller for Flash-based, Unity3D-based and desktop games and apps. There was some understandable excitement generated at the idea of using your device as a sort of Wii-type controller, but there was one problem– there was no support for being able to play games on a web browser until now. Brass Monkey has officially enabled the ability to play games right through your browser.

It works in a pretty straightforward manner too. Using the brilliant mind of Francois Laberge of Emotely, Brass Monkey developed the necessary technology to convert devices into controllers and run games on the browser using HTML5 for both the interface and communication layers (with HTTP and WebSockets). That means Brass Monkey has turned browsers like Safari, Firefox or even Google’s own Chrome into virtual gaming consoles that work with your device and turn it into a controller. Moreover, the same SDKs Brass Monkey released to developers includes the ability to create games similar to those from Wii, Xbox, and PS3 consoles. Pretty neat, isn’t it?

Of course this technology is still quite young and needs to be developed further. Brass Monkey realizes this and has announced it has raised over $750,000 in seed financing from various investors. Also, it’s development efforts have not gone unnoticed. It was after all a finalist in the 2010 MassChallenge which is a competition for networks and startups. CEO Chris Allen is excited about the direction of the company and has since announced an Android version is in the works and will arrive to devices by March, while there is an iOS version out now. How many of you all will be trying out this cool concept? Be sure to sound off in the Comments section below and let us know what you think of the cool technology.

[via Tech Crunch]

Penguin Palooza Comes To Android Thanks To Polarbit and Pixelbite, Another Great Physics Puzzler (Video)

Having been playing Sprinkle for Android non-stop, I seem to be all about the physics puzzler lately.  And damn if this one doesn’t look cool too.  Two of the industries most influential entities have teamed up to bring you an Android instant classic.  From the makers of Reckless Racing, Publisher Polarbit teams up with game studio Pixelbite to bring you this crazy penguin packed pass-time, Penguin Palooza.  The object of the game is to assist the flightless birds across a chasm set with various obstacles in an effort to hinder your quest to reach an ancient breeding ground.  We can’t have that now can we?  A bird has to do what a bird has to do, if you know what I mean.  In your journey to reach the breeding ground, there’s only one way to get your penguin safely across the chasm, and that’s to draw a trampoline under them just in time to bounce them along.  The game will run you 99¢ but is well worth it for the fun you’ll gain.

FEATURES:

  • Palooza, VS and Challenge game modes
  • Physics-based trampoline action
  • Head to head battle on one device
  • GameCenter leaderboards and achievements
  • 36 challenges and hours of fun

Check out the quick demo along with a few screen shots below and don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below.  Enjoy.  Download links are after the break.  

SteelSeries Announces Ion, A Bluetooth Gaming Controller You Can Easily Put In Your Pocket

As popular as Android gaming has become, it’s no shock that the company SteelSeries wanted to make a gaming controller that you can comfortably put in your pocket. The new SteelSeries Ion gaming controller is just that. It works off of Bluetooth technology and is no larger than a deck of playing cards (18mm), yet maintains all the functions you would find on a PS3 controller. Sounds pretty cool for the more serious gamers out there, or those who simply don’t like playing with touchscreen controls.

Google Maps-Based Game Set To Be Launched For Google+ [Video]

What would you say if I told you that you could play a game using Google Maps and Google+? You’d probably call me crazy and think that would be unusual, if not impossible. Well kids, the ability to play a game using both Google Maps and Google+ is now a reality. Let me explain: Google has nonchalantly released a promo video which highlights the ability to “Play your world, like never before” and then leads you to a link to “Start Here“, directing you to other cool videos on how to use Google Maps.

The game is based off a unique technology used by the Google Maps development team. The technology— called WebGL– features a unique 3D engine powering the graphics. What’s special about the technology is it can create 3D web graphics you can see without having to install additional drivers or software.

There’s one other subtle feature as well for this concept as well.  You remember how Google acquired Zagat, but has been mysteriously mum about its intentions since? Well it looks like we now have a hint of Zagat’s integration with Google services. If you look at the demo carefully, you’ll see the ability to earn more points for rolling over Zagat-rated venues and locations. Neat, isn’t it? You can always count on Google to be clever and witty when it comes to their products and services.

Look for the game to come out sometime next month. In the meantime, check out the video below to get an idea of how this cool game works.

 

[via Mashable]

 

 

 

 

Like Fast Paced Puzzle Games? Check Out Speedx 3D For Android (Video)

If you’re into fast paced arcade & action games and you want to make the best out of your CPU, GPU and accelerometer, then boy do we have the game for you.  While Speedx 3D for Android isn’t new, it has received some hefty updates to be optimized for running optimally on your Android device.  The game offers stunning 3D graphics as you use the accelerometer driven controls to tunnel race your way through various objects in an attempt to whiz by unscathed.

“Challenging and addictive gameplay” – AndroidAndMe.com

“A slick, stylish and addictive Android exclusive” – PocketGamer.co.uk

“Like many excellent games, Speedx 3D starts with a simple premise that quickly becomes addicting”. ***** review – PCWorld.com

As you make your way through the 3D tunnel, your challenge is to avoid, as best you can, a multiple array of colorful blocks all using tilt motion functionality on your device.  But be aware, as you progress, the level of difficulty only increases with every level.

Collect bonuses to increase your shield resistance, destroy blocks, break warnings or to slow your speed. In addition, Speedx is a first game on the market which supports red-cyan and green-magenta 3D glasses!

Ready for the challenge?  Head on over to the Android Market for the download or hit up the QR code below for an added convenience.  Don’t forget to hit the break to check out some more screen shots and to watch a quick demo of the game in action.  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.  Happy racing.

Madden ’12 Gives You Tackles, Interceptions & Penalties In Android Market For 99¢

The most recognizable football game ever is now available under a whole dollar. That’s right— Android gamers can now find EA Sports’ Madden ’12 for a mere 99¢. There are tons of value in Madden ’12 too. Gamers will be able to to play as any one of the 32 NFL franchises, play in multiple Madden modes and of course, experience the hard-hitting and fast-paced gameplay. Those of you rocking tablets or the Xperia Play smartphone will be graced with specially optimized-versions of the game to make the overall experience that much more sweeter for those devices.

The game is available today for those of you rocking Android 2.1+ devices. Hit the market link below or use the QR code to get in on some football on your device today.

Android Market link

 

Hands-On With Qualcomm’s GameCommand App (Video)

 

CES is as good a place as any to demonstrate an breakthrough product as you all know. That’s why Qualcomm chose the event to demonstrate its GameCommand app. As we highlighted before, GameCommand is an app that features a library of over 100+ games that are optimized for devices with Snapdragon-based processors. Rob Nazarian went hands-on with the app to get a feel of what it is and its overall uniqueness. Right off the bat, we can see the cool Grouping feature which essentially allows you to group your existing .apk files— specifically games, into one easy to access column for quick viewing and access.

There’s more to GameCommand too. You will also see the Features column which is the main feature of the app: seeing all of the games available in the game pack. Here you will find a nice lineup of available games ready for you to download and play. You can also see nice preview information for each game including pictures and even some video demos of the gameplay. The final piece of the app is the ability to see gaming news from various sources. That means you will be up to date with all of the gaming rumors, news and notes. Moreover, Qualcomm plans to update the feature to include the ability for users to add in their own RSS feeds from their favorite sources. Be sure to check out the video below to get a better understanding of the app and to see it in action.

 

Hands on with Augmented Reality apps utilizing the Qualcomm Augmented Reality SDK [Video]

We had a chance to sit down with the Qualcomm Augmented Reality team. and wow, did we seem some really cool stuff. A little over a year ago, Qualcomm hosted an Augmented Reality Developer Competition followed by the Augmented Reality SDK last April, which is now being marketed under the Vuforia name. We haven’t seen too much from either of these ventures up until today, and it looks like Qualcomm’s investment is really starting to payoff as there are about 300 or so apps in the works or available now. Many of them are still yet to be released, but we had a hands on demo of three really cool apps. Of the ones in the video, Moosejaw X-RAY and 3illiards (a billiards game) is available now in the Android Market and we have download links below. The Sesame Street Street Workshop is coming soon. Folks, we have some really exciting stuff here.

Download links after the break.

Hands on with the OnLive gaming service [Video]

We had a chance to sit down with OnLive CEO Steven Perlman. As you know OnLive is a cloud based gaming service that was officially launched about a month ago. It’s basically a Netflix type of service for gaming. You can buy in at a monthly rate of $9.99 a month or purchase individual games for approximately $40+ each. Right now there about 200 games available from every genre. You can play with people all over the world and even watch games in action as they are happening as a spectator. You can quickly and easily save highlights from your games and share the via them and others can rate them.

OnLive works on your tablet, smartphone, Logitech Revue, or the recently released Vizio VAP430. Since it’s cloud based, it always saves your game data so you can seamlessly switch from the TV to your tablet or vice verse. You can even pair the controller with tablets and the USB connector works with the Logitech Revue. The app for the revue just launched, however, you can only use it as a spectator. In the coming weeks an update will take place in which it will give us the ability to play any of the 200+ games.

This is truly an amazing service and I believe it’s the future of gaming. Whether you’re a hardcore or casual gamer, you need to checkout this hands on video presentation by Steven.

 

Sphero Unveils Two New App/Games at CES [Video]

A while back we showed you a quick look at Sphero, the robotic ball that is controlled by your Android device. While we were at CES we were able to meet up with the guys from Orbotix to get a run down on two new games that are available for the device, Chromo and Space Fighter. Unfortunately they are only available for iOS devices right now, but are due to drop in the Android Market in the near future.

In Chromo, challenge your coordination and memory by correctly matching the colors on your screen by tilting Sphero in the right direction. And in Space Fighter, use Sphero as the controller to navigate a virtual Sphero through outer-space, dodging flying meteors and gaining power-ups along the way. These mixed-reality apps are only the beginning of many exciting apps to come in the year ahead.

Jump past the break to see these cool games in action and be sure to check out the rest of our CES coverage from this years show!

Action-RPG SoulCraft in Android Open Beta, Available in Android Market

Nvidia continues to announce more and more awesomeness at CES this year. Fresh off Multiplayer Shadowgun, the 7-inch Transformer Prime and the release of ICS for the Transformer Prime today they announced yet another awesome game to play. SoulCraft THD is in open beta and your feedback will help shape the game. This game is free2play with in-app purchasing and has the following features: