Reviews

Twelve great Android games you’re probably not playing on Shield TV

Many people complain about Shield Android TV because it isn’t “full Android” or “real Android” due to the fact that the Google Play store recognizes the device and filters out games that are not flagged specifically for the device. The can lead to misconceptions about Shield TV not being a great Android gaming machine and driving users to stream PC games from either their own computer or via GeForce NOW’s streaming service. Let’s look at ten amazing Android games (available from Google Play) that play fantastic on your Shield TV.  These are in no particular order and whenever possible, we’re ...
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Dustoff Heli Rescue on sale for $2.99 – Our game play video inside

"I need a Dustoff!" became an all-too-familiar call on the airwaves of jungle wars. Now take off with your rescue helicopter and search and save the life of the wounded soldiers in the field, often under fire. If you can't, nobody else can! Find the stolen cargo with your Chinook helicopter and transport them safely to the nearby friendly base, all the while fighting off hostile tanks and other enemy combatants. Save hostages being held in Prisoner of War camps. They are desperately waiting for the remarkable sound of the evac helicopters. You are their last hope so save them ...
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Yes, you can use your Wii U Pro controller on Shield TV!

For $20, you can get an adapter that will let you use the amazingly solid (and great battery life) Wii U Pro controller wirelessly with your Shield Android TV!  Let me show you how... Or buy it now ...
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Plex – The (Near) Perfect Solution for Personal Media

I have a lot of media.  I own several thousand DVDs and Blu rays.  I have collected a lot of media from the internet.  I prefer to OWN (and store) the media I have.  I don't like Netflix and I don't like Hulu.  These aren't solutions for me.  I am paying a lot of money a month for a fast internet connection and I have a lot of stuff I'm storing on my own - not the cloud.  I don't want to have to UPLOAD my stuff to the cloud to get it .... I AM my own cloud. ...
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X-Plore: The Power User’s File Manager

File management is not a part time gig for me. If there is a storage medium attached to the device I'm using? I want the most power possible in accessing and manipulating it. It doesn't matter if it is a local drive, flash drive, network drive, FTP site, Google Drive ... if it stores files, and I have access to it - I want the best experience possible. Let me start off by saying I am not a typical user. Not a typical cell phone user, not a typical tablet user - and certainly not a typical computer user. For ...
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Review: VGBA: A Gameboy Advance Emulator

I've talked extensively about emulation in the .EMU emulators article and subsequently even looked at other emulators like reicast, the Dreamcast emulator and C64.EMU, the Commodore 64 emulator.  Thanks to top quality physical controllers like the Nyko Playpad and Nvidia Shield - we are no longer forced to play our classic favorites with horrid touch screen D-Pads. The great thing about emulation is that it doesn't matter what retro system you loved or what classic era of gaming you were born into; there are emulators for just about every console, handheld and computer out there (within reason of course).  The GBA SP holds a special place ...
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Review: Nyko Playpad Pro Controller

This is a reprint from an earlier review on Green Robot Gamer. Last year I reviewed the little brother of this controller, the Nyko Playpad Controller.  Since then, I floated the cash to upgrade to the Pro edition of this controller. This is an "incremental" review; that is - I will reference and sometimes reuse pieces of the previous review in discussing this device.  I recommend you check out the previous review before consuming this one. Over the course of the last year, we've seen a lot of Android compatible controllers show up on the scene; some have been improvements ...
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Review: ColEm: A Colecovision Emulator

I've talked extensively about emulation in the .EMU emulators article and subsequently even looked at other emulators like reicast, the Dreamcast emulator and C64.EMU, the Commodore 64 emulator.  Thanks to top quality physical controllers like the Nyko Playpad - we are no longer forced to play our classic favorites with horrid touch screen D-Pads. The great thing about emulation is that it doesn't matter what retro system you loved or what classic era of gaming you were born into; there are emulators for just about every console, handheld and computer out there (within reason of course).  I was personally around when home console gaming was all ...
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Review: Nyko Shield Dock

Docks are a hard commodity to come by for almost any portable device; even top of the line popular smartphones.  Even when you do find one, it is usually a piece of crap that still requires you navigate your device onto a plug of some sort.  It seems there is always something to dislike about any dock you find - if nothing else, the price. Nyko is a leading manufacturer of third party accessories.  They make everything from controllers to charging stations to oddball peripherals.  I love their Playpad Pro controller (reviewed here) and I've purchased tons of their stuff in ...
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Review: Pac-Man 256

From the developer of Crossy Road and Bandai Namco comes yet another free-to-play Pac-Man game; Pac-Man 256. What's the 256 stand for?  In the original arcade game of Pac-Man, once you cleared 255 levels the game glitched out on level 256.  They have taken the concept of this glitch and wrote it into an isometric view pellet eating "endless munching" Crossy game. The game doesn't deviate much from standard Pac-Man rules.  Eat pellets.  Eat fruit.  Get the energizers and eat the blue ghosts before they turn back into their multi-colored deadly selves. The maze is endless; scrolling infinitely;  you eat until ...
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Review: Fun Fast Five Reviews (2015-01-09)

Number 5: Scurvy Scallywags While this game may look like a traditional 'match three' game, I'm happy to say it is not. It also isn't a unique genre; match 3 + rpg.  Puzzle Quest opened this genre a long time ago.  But there is something special about Scurvy Scallywags. Of course there is plenty of matching to be done, but you have more control over how the pieces shift when you clear them, adding a huge element on strategy to a mostly random luck style of game.  You'll fight multiple bad guys on the same level, cast spells, build new ships ...
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Review: Fun Fast Five Reviews (2015-01-02)

Number 5: Storm the Castle A strange rapid fire game similar to Risk where you have to occupy all the castles on the screen by moving your men quickly between castles.  There are some environmentals to get in the way and the pace can get to be almost frantic.  Powerups can be freely earned in the game or purchased as IAP. The super fast play is addictive but the game can get frustrating at times.  Being able to group soldiers together from different castles really adds to the game. Google Play | Free + IAP | By Playtime Number 4: Hearthstone ...
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Review: Threes

Sometimes you run across a game that is so simple sounding that you don't even want to install it.  Easy to dismiss by looking at screenshots, Threes is a game about - well, making threes ... and multiples of threes.  Could there really be anything fun about sliding numbered blocks around a screen and making them into pairs of multiples of threes?  Sounds like work ... and math.  Who wants to do math when they are gaming? Fortunately, Threes isn't a mindless box shuffle but rather a tight, well-designed game that has "greed" (the good kind) written all over it ...
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Review: Smash Hit

Let's start this off by saying I'm not an "endless runner" fan.  I tend to prefer games where I can better control my destiny than with a single button click.  Mediocre's Smash Hit er .. smashes the mold of endless runners by making it gorgeous, enveloping and occasionally frighteningly difficult ...
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Review: Chip Chain

Writing reviews for addictive games is hard.  Mostly because I have to stop playing them long enough to write the review.  There are some games that are instantly addictive in their simplicity while others require you to peel back some layers of the gaming "onion" to really get to what makes the game so great.  Occasionally, you get a game that not only instantly hooks you, but gets more addictive as you figure out the deeper nuances of the game.  The movie WarGames inspired game W.O.P.R. (my review) very much fit that mold and I'm extremely happy to find another ...
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Review: Nimble Quest

Let's be honest. Mobile gaming is a crapshoot. For every truly great game on the go, there are tens of thousands of games you wouldn't play on a dare. Trying to find a quality game that isn't loaded with Smurfberries-Or-Wait or one that isn't just another "Angry-Fruit-Zombies-Endlessly-Running-While-Cutting-the-Rope" wanna be clone is really difficult; and it is getting harder every day as more iOS developers port their clones to Android - all the while, Android developers are chasing the two or three breakout hits hoping to ride the clone wave to profitability. Then along comes something like Nimble Quest which begins to ...
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Review: The House of the Dead Overkill: The Lost Reels

House of the Dead: Overkill proved that the Nintendo Wii could be just a bloodthirsty, crass and mature as any other console.  Sega brought a "grindhouse zombie" on-rails light gun shooter filled with buckets of blood, over the top profanity and heaps of adult situations to the "kiddie" Nintendo console - with plenty of positive press and gamer appreciation.    The game was then taken HD to various other platforms - and now has arrived in a "smaller" version dubbed "The Lost Reels" ...
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Review: Dragon’s Lair

Dragon's Lair - either you love it, hate it - or have never heard of it.  Regardless, the Laserdisc driven quick time event (QTE) style game holds a firm spot in the history of video gaming.  But how does the Android version stand up? ...
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Review: Nyko PlayPad Controller

When it comes to hardware - "software is king"; after all - who wants a great piece of hardware with poor (or no) software available for it? Nintendo has proven that they can take low spec machines and pump out great software for it - and make a killing. Microsoft is combating the "end of cycle blues" by releasing updates to their Xbox software to extend the life of the aging console. The greatest games of all time ... are the greatest games of all time BECAUSE software is king. If "software" is king - then it stands to reason ...
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Review: Shine Runner

Rarely does a mobile game inspire me to write a review. Let's be honest; mobile gaming isn't a gourmet meal; it's a snack. Usually a sweet, rich snack that never quite tides you over until dinner - and usually makes you a bit sick to your stomach - but it's cheap (or free) and is readily available - like all good bad-for-you snacks. But, to quote the old expression - even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Sad, some of you reading this don't get what this means. But I digress ... First, I'll be happy to admit ...
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Review: Cardinal Quest

It has gone by many names ... It started off as Adventure, Telegard, Moria, Hack, Rogue ... then came games like Temple of Apshai, Sword of Fargoal, Mystery Dungeon, Ultima ... and in recent times it has gone by the name of Shiren the Wanderer, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Chocobo's Dungeon 2 and even (to a lesser extent) titles like Diablo, Torchlight and others. Now, we call it Cardinal Quest, a new Android "roguelike" dungeon exploration adventure game. Hmmm... so what does "roguelike" mean? Roughly based on Dungeons & Dragons, roguelike games typically feature a handful of similar traits. Most of ...
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