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Welcome to the 195th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are your headlines from the last week:

  • Google Play is clamping down on incentivized¬†Play Store installs and reviews. Here’s what’s happening. Some developers are giving people incentive to give their app a five star rating. Others are using similar ploys to get people to download the app. The result is a bunch of apps that climb the top charts with huge ratings. The problem is that the climb and the ratings are both shams. Google is cracking down on this by making officially against the rules to do so. It’ll be a while before we see the result of this one, though.
  • The Pokemon Company saw a significant rise in profits over the last year. According to a report, the net profit rise is around 2,600%. That’s a whole ton of money. A lot of that success is because of mobile games like Pokemon Go. Additionally, games like Pokemon Sun and Moon were highly successful in their first year. The result is one of the largest jumps in revenue in company history. Good for them!
  • Google is going to help publishers prepare for when Chrome comes with native ad blocking. Sites and publishers can then use the time before the launch to adjust their websites accordingly. The new ad blocking feature will block every ad on a page. Even if only one of them is a bad ad. That puts the onus on site developers to keep their sites 100% clean. The launch shouldn’t be too far out.
  • Magisk Manager was removed from Google Play. The app allowed root users to do things like play Pokemon Go and use Android Pay. It did so by hiding root. That fooled apps that would otherwise prevent access to root users. As you can imagine, that clashes with the Google Play policies. The developer is going to continue working on the project. However, from now on, you’ll have to get it through third party sites like XDA and others.
  • ustwo had a very busy week. First, they announced Monument Valley 2. The geometric puzzle game will return with a mother and daughter premise. It’ll also have even more of the excellent puzzles we loved from the first one. It’s available on iTunes with an Android launch coming soon. The second announcement involves a new app called MoodNote. It’s a mental health app that helps you document your feelings and moods. The goal is to identify trends in your thinking to help you identify potential mental problems. That app will be out on Android soon as well.

For even more Android apps and games news, updates, and releases, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here. There you can find a bunch of stuff that we didn’t have space for here. That includes a big update to Minecraft: Story Mode, Facebook’s Android TV app, and a Star Wars themed version of Knights of Pen and Paper. You can subscribe to the newsletter using the form below if you’d like. You can also check out the Android Authority app for even faster updates!

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Shadow Warrior Classic Redux

Price: $2.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Shadow Warrior Classic Redux is a retro first person shooter. It's a remake of the classic Shadow Warrior game from back in the day. Your job is to protect future Japan from all kinds of various mayhem. The game includes the original game plus two expansions. Additionally, the game comes with hardware controller support. Reviewers have complained about a few bugs. That includes one that crashes the game every so often. You may need to wait for some updates to fix things. However, it's otherwise a decent port.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Cabana

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Cabana is Yahoo's foray into the messaging space. The app lets you video chat with up to five of your friends. You can then watch YouTube videos while you chat. It bills itself as a hangout app. The interface works well enough. It isn't Material Design and that'll irk some folks. The app will also link to your Yahoo and Tumblr account. Those that don't have those will have to get one. We don't know how successful something like this will be. It is free to use for those who want to try it.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Cabana

Ghouls'n Ghosts Mobile

Price: $1.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Ghouls'n Ghosts Mobile is Capcom's latest arcade game port. It's not much different than it was back in the arcades. You'll be moving around, killing bad guys, and trying to get to the end. It does include some new tweaks to the game play. Sir Arthur can now focus fire up and down. There are also more boss fights, new gear, and two play modes. The first is the classic hard mode. There is also an easy mode for casual players. There isn't a whole lot wrong with the game either. At least not in terms of bugs.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Face Swap

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Face Swap is the latest app from Microsoft. The name pretty much says it all. You take a selfie. You then find a picture that you want to swap with. The app will swap your face with the image you picked. It's a slightly more complex version of the Snapchat filter that does the same thing. Microsoft also claims it has functional uses. For instance, you can try on different fashions by replacing your face with the models wearing the cloths. They can try as hard as they want. However, we know this app is only barely useful and always will be. It is a fun little app, though.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Farming Simulator 18

Price: $4.99 with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Farming Simulator 18 is the latest release in the popular farming sim franchise. This one includes a selection of over 50 farming vehicles. You can also do things like raise livestock, farm crops, and sell stuff for profit. It also includes AI helpers that can do some of the work for you. Earlier iterations of the game were plagued with issues. This one seems to have escaped them so far. It does have a few issues but they'll likely get fixed over time. The game is $4.99 along with optional in-app purchases for more in-game stuff.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments. Thank you for reading and check back next week for more Android apps and games news!

Joe Hindy
Hi everyone! I'm Joe Hindy the Android Authority app guy!
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