20 best Android apps and games this week

Android App Screen

Welcome to this week’s best Android apps roundup. As ever, prices are correct at the time of writing, and (Free + IAP) means the app is freemium and uses in-app purchases.

APPS

Beatport (Free)
Best known as a downloads store for dance music, Beatport is getting into streaming – and for now, its service is entirely free. How long that lasts remains to be seen, but if you love your electronic music the app is well worth checking out.

Nuzzel: News From Your Friends (Free)
There’s definitely a niche still to be filled with apps that access multiple social networks, and find a smart way to present updates from your friends across them all. Nuzzel is the latest attempt, starting with Twitter and Facebook.

UltraTuner - Chromatic Tuner (£2.99)
IK Multimedia has released a succession of useful apps for musician, with this latest tuner app making the grand claim of being “ten times more accurate than a mechanical strobe tuner”. I’m not quite expert enough to judge that, but the app is certainly easy and fast to use.

LinkedIn Job Search (Free)
Believe it or not, business social network LinkedIn is good for more than merely endorsing colleagues for “unicorn hunting”. It’s not bad for hunting down prospective jobs, with this standalone app aiming to make that process even easier.

Nick (Free)
Nick is the official app for children’s TV channel Nickelodeon, with a mixture of games, videos, animation and full episodes of shows including SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers. A good distraction in times of parental need.

Ditty for Messenger (Free + IAP)
This is one of the first apps made for Facebook’s Messenger messaging platform, which was announced earlier this week. It’s a musical messaging tool: you pick a song from the choice available, add text then send the results to a friend via Messenger.

The Edit (Free)
More and more people are shopping on their smartphones in 2015, even in categories – clothing – that were once thought impossible for e-commerce. Here, clobber, shoes and jewellery are on the menu, complete with a Tinder-style swiping system to like or reject individual items.

Shaun in the City (£1.49)
One for children, this, from Aardman Animation. Based on its Shaun the Sheep character, it gets kids out and exploring London trying to find 50 statues of Shaun decorated by artists. Later in the year, it’ll also work for a similar scattering of statues in Bristol.

850 Sports Digest (Free)
If you’re a keen sports fan, this is definitely worth a download: it provides a daily digest of sports news covering football, cricket, rugby union and league, tennis, golf, Formula 1 and others. It’s a quick, simple way to dive in to the latest happenings.

Caliber - Business Messenger (Free)
Another business tools for business people doing business, here. A messaging app, specifically, with the idea of separating your work instant messaging and contacts from your social chats. A clever idea, although its success will depend on those contacts being on the app.

GAMES

Silly Sausage in Meat Land (Free + IAP)
It sounds ridiculous. It IS ridiculous. But it’s also brilliant fun: a game that’ll put a big smile on your face while keeping you coming back for play after play. It’s a carefully-crafted game starring a stretchy dog – nobody mention Adventure Time at this point – which works beautifully on a touchscreen.

Fast & Furious: Legacy (Free + IAP)
Developer Kabam is becoming something of an expert in freemium movie games, with this new racer its latest accompaniment to the Fast & Furious films, just in time for the seventh flick. Expect various race modes, lots of ride-pimping, and social features to interact with friends.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper (Free + IAP)
A real treat for Final Fantasy fans, this is essentially a greatest hits package: not of the individual Final Fantasy games in full, but rather some of their most memorable moments. It’s a brisk adventure through the RPG series’ history, with a big roster of characters and weekly events in store.

Stormblades (Free + IAP)
The Infinity Blade games have never yet made it from iOS to Android, which is a hugely frustrating affair. Stormblades is cut from similar cloth to that epic fighting game, even if it’s not quite up to its standards. Warriors, weapons and a galoot of enormous enemies to take down.

To Be Or Not To Be (£4.49)
“William Shakespeare’s Hamlet has finally been restored to its original second-person non-linear branching narrative format,” chirps the Google Play listing for this. The sharp humour runs throughout this narrative-led game, as fun if you’re a Shakespeare buff as for complete newcomers to the Bard.

Star Wars Rebels: Recon (Free + IAP)
In theory, animated TV show Star Wars Rebels is for children. In practice, it’s appealing to a fair few nostalgic adults too, filling the gap before the next all-new Star Wars film. This is its first official game, throwing in Stormtroopers, TIE fighters and all sorts of other familiar Star Wars faces.

Motion Tennis Cast (Free + IAP)
Remember the tennis bit of Wii Sports? Developer Rolocule Games does: they’ve taken the idea and run with it for Android smartphones, working with screencasting technology like that provided by Google’s Chromecast. Swing your phone and see how it plays out on your TV. Although please find some way to attach your phone to your wrist first…

Boss Monster (Free + IAP)
Boss Monster had me from the initial concept: you play as a game’s boss character rather than its hero. And it’s just as fun once you get into playing it, based on a tabletop game and thoroughly rooted in retro gaming culture.

Home: Boov Pop! (Free + IAP)
DreamWorks’ new animated movie Home is very good, and the official game that accompanies it is pretty smart too. Yes, it’s a match-three puzzler, but with enough touches to distinguish it from the Candy Crush Sagas of the Google Play store. Fun for kids, although have a word with them about the in-app purchases first.

Taichi Panda (Free + IAP)
Not Kung Fu. No. Taichi. Despite the name, this isn’t a cheap rip-off of an animated movie. Instead, it’s a fun fantasy-themed dungeon-crawling game. Just with more pandas than you’d usually expect. The multiplayer features have lots of potential too.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Friday 27th March 2015 16.13 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010