20 best Android apps and games this week

Apps

Welcome to this week’s roundup of the latest, greatest Android apps and games, covering smartphones and tablets.

All the apps below have been released in the, ahem, three weeks since the last roundup. Where an app includes in-app purchases, it includes “IAP” in its pricing information.

APPS

Google Handwriting Input (Free)
The latest official Android app from Google, the title says it all: it’s a way to scribble text into your device, whether using a stylus or (less than ideally) a thumb or finger. It works for smartphones as well as tablets.

Office Remote for Android (Free)
Microsoft’s new Android app is great for PowerPoint presentations: and specifically the ability to control them from your Android device. It’ll also work with Excel and Word, connecting to your PC via Bluetooth.

Handpick (Free)
If you get cross at people Instagramming their sandwiches, this isn’t for you. If, however, you quite fancy browsing food posts on that app as well as cookery blogs for inspiration, Handpick is great fun – including suggestions of ingredients to pair.

River Monsters Fish On! (Free + IAP)
Based on a TV show, this is an app for keen anglers whose main use is for logging details of your best catches – but also browsing those of other people, which in turn could give you a few hints and tips about how to fish better yourself.

Charlie & Lola: My Little Town (£2.99)
This isn’t the first time children’s book/TV characters Charlie and Lola have appeared in an app, but this one’s official from the BBC. It’s a collection of mini-games, from creating animals and dressing up characters to building a virtual town.

Phonograph Music Player (Free)
If Android’s default music player isn’t floating your boat, Phonograph may be worth a try. It plays your music collection, while pulling in artist pics and biographies, helps you create playlists and edit tags, all within Google’s Material design guidelines.

Golf Media: Tyler, the Creator (Free + IAP)
Many musicians have apps, and most aren’t that engaging. Tyler, the Creator (of Odd Future) is trying something fun, though: his own digital magazine gathering topics he’s interested in, with a monthly subscription. One for the fans, perhaps, but creative and interesting with it.

edjing PRO (£6.84)
As a freemium DJ app, Edjing has picked up millions of users. Now this pro version adds more features and manual tweaks for DJs ready to step up a gear – although like the existing version, it can still pull tracks from Deezer and SoundCloud as well as your local files.

Hole19 - Golf GPS & Scorecard (Free)
Already popular on iOS, this golfing companion app is now available for Android too. It shows you the hole you’re about to play, tracks your distance and general score/stats, and then helps you analyse how well (or otherwise) you played afterwards. An Android Wear smartwatch version is included too.

6 Seconds (Free)
6 Seconds is a novel take on music streaming: rather than hosting its own catalogue or pulling tunes from YouTube or SoundCloud, it gets you to search for a song then scans its real-time data on what radio stations are playing around the world, so you can switch to one streaming that song.

GAMES

Football Manager Classic 2015 (£14.99)
The Football Manager Handheld games are excellent on Android, but if you want to go even further down the football management rabbit-hole, get this new version. A tablet-only release, it’s the full version of the FM Classic mode in the PC game, with a full match engine and bags of depth – but still accessible enough to play in short pick-up-and-play sessions.

Skullduggery! (Free + IAP)
Freshly transplanted from iOS, this is one of the most original and playable indie games in recent memory, as you ping a skull (sorry, “Semi-Organic Autonomous Skull”) around a series of obstacle-packed levels by stretching then letting go of your brain. Except much less disgusting than that sounds.

Implosion - Never Lose Hope (Free + IAP)
A little bit Devil May Cry and a little bit God of War, this is a beefy action title that makes the most of your modern mobile device. It sees you facing off against a nefarious alien race on Earth, with neat touch controls and some impressive graphics.

Plunder Pirates (Free + IAP)
Looking for a new strategy fix beyond Clash of Clans and similar games? Plunder Pirates might be it. Themed around piracy (the old-fashioned kind, not the ‘downloading Game of Thrones’ kind) it sees you building a pirate base, then sailing off to loot other players. Opens out nicely the more you play.

Gumball Rainbow Ruckus (£1.55 + IAP)
Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball is a treat on TV, and its new game is very fun too. It’s a colourful platformer where you have to restore the rainbow of Gumball’s hometown Elmore by guiding it through sewer pipes. Fun for fans and newcomers alike.

Joe Danger (£2.29 + IAP)
It may have taken its time to cross from iOS to Android, but Joe Danger still feels like one of the fresher game ideas, putting you in the shoes of a stuntman, flying (and often smacking your face) through a series of oversized stunts. It’s simply marvellous.

The Firm (£0.84 + IAP)
Working as a trader in a big financial firm doesn’t seem like much fun, to be honest. Except in this game, where it’s a hoot – albeit occasionally a frantic hoot. It’s a simple game revolving on your reactions, tapping on the screen to make as big a profit as possible. Or, if you’re not quick enough, getting fired.

Does not Commute (Free + IAP)
A novel take on driving games, here, where you don’t just control one car: you control everything on the road. Often, frankly, to the detriment of established traffic-control procedures. Basically you have to avoid pile-ups, although it’s hard not to occasionally sit back and watch chaos unfold.

Spirit Lords (Free + IAP)
Can action/RPGs be as popular on mobile as they are on PC and console? Yes, it just takes the right games to come along. Spirit Lords may be one of them: a well-crafted game that sees you battling, looting and playing with guild-friends through an engaging story.

Crowntakers (£4.49)
Finally, something for strategy fans to get their teeth into: an absorbing turn-based game that involves exploring a different procedurally-generated map each time with your collection of mercenaries, levelling up as you go.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 29th April 2015 14.59 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

 

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