Welcome the 268th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Rome: Total War is headed to Android sometime this winter. The popular war strategy game originally came out on PC back in 2004. Feral ported the game to iOS back in 2016. Thus, this isn’t the newest, freshest release. It should be a pay-once game if it’s similar to the one on iOS and that would make it a rare release on mobile. We don’t know too many of the details, but we’ll let you know when the game comes out sometime over the next couple of months.
- The Google Play Awards voting has commenced. The current voting is for the best trending apps and games of 2018. Google has 40 total candidates for voting with 20 apps and 20 games. Some of the titles include PUBG Mobile, Clash Royale, Reddit, The Athletic, Pokemon Go, The Walking Dead: Our World, DU Recorder, Castbox, and many others. Some of the games are a little suspect. We might have added Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition over the much less enjoyable Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire. However, these are trending apps and games. Freemium games are free and generally get more downloads than premium games do. In any case, hit the link to see more!
- Niantic Labs re-branded Ingress this week. The newly minted Ingress Prime isn’t really much different from the original Ingress game. The UI received an update. Niantic also moved or removed some of the various UI elements and features. Faithful players weren’t too keen on the changes. Thus, they launched Scanner Redacted for fans of the old game. It’s a weird re-brand overall and we expected more of a change. However, with the Ingress anime having launched earlier this autumn, it’s not too surprising.
- Google released a new report this week. It says that Android is safer than it’s ever been. However, that declaration comes with some caveats. It’s only as safe as Google says as long as you use Google Play exclusively for downloading apps. Google Play is classically excellent for keeping the malware at a minimum. Other app stores and other sources simply can’t keep up. In any case, the number of potentially harmful apps (PHAs) drop every year and this year was no exception. Of course, that assumes you use Google’s Android experience.
- Blizzcon had some good surprises and bad ones. Among them was a new mobile Diablo game. It’s a mobile RPG with hack-and-slash elements and it takes place between the events of Diablo II and Diablo III. It’s developed by Blizzard along with Netease. Netease’s involvement likely means a freemium experience. That has irritated many of the loyal Diablo fanbase and we get it. However, it may get some casual fans back into the game because it has been so long since Diablo III came out. Blizzard is also working on Diablo IV so that should help curb the anger from the fanbase. The game is out for pre-registration now.
Sephirothic Stories is a new RPG from the venerable Kemco. This one is decent. It features PS1-era style graphics, turn by turn combat mechanics, and JRPG style storytelling. It's about what you expect from a Kemco mobile RPG. I has a lot of odes to previous games in the genre, including the combination of character abilities and things like that. It's a tad short for a mobile RPG and it's a little more expensive than we would generally like. In any case, there is a free version to try first before you buy it outright.
Blizzard has some of the most popular games for esports. Some of them include Hearthstone, Starcraft, and, of course, Overwatch. Thus, it makes sense for a Blizzard Esports app like this one. It lets you live stream events, check out news, and you can surf by game if you want. It also supports about a dozen languages. The news section and stream quality were just fine during our testing. It's an obvious choice for fans of Blizzard Esports and fans of Blizzard games. It is obviously less exciting if you aren't into those things at all.
Trivia Crack 2 is the sequel to one of the most popular quiz games on mobile. It keeps many of the popular elements from the first game. That includes tons of questions and topics for players as well as a strong online PvP element. It also includes teams, friendly battles, and support for over 20 languages. That makes it a great worldwide game. This one also includes some new game modes and some additional customization elements. It's a freemium game, but most people don't seem to mind. The biggest complaints are the lack of light touches that the first game has that this one doesn't.
Migrate is a rare new root app. It wants to make the process of backing up and restoring apps between ROM flashes easier. It backs up a lot of information, including apps, app data, call logs, text messages, app permission settings, contacts, and even your default keyboard. A lot of people have drawn comparisons with the venerable Titanium Backup, but with a better look. Titanium Backup is more functional after the app restore, but the backup and restore experience is pretty even between the two. You basically hit the restore button and your phone is exactly as it was when you left it last. It's currently in the beta stages, so prepare for some bugs if you try it out. It's completely free for right now as well.
RWBY: Amity Arena launched just in time for season six of Rooster Teeth's popular show. This is a card duel game similar in premise to games like Hearthstone, Badland Brawl, and similar games. You collect various characters from the RWBY universe, put them together in a deck, and play that deck against opponents. There are both PvE and PvP elements. Thus, those who don't like competing online all the time can take a break and face the offline opponents. Devleopers NHN may need a few balancing tweaks here and there, but it's otherwise an enjoyable dueling experience.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, launches, or updates, tell us about them in the comments! Also check out our weekly podcast here!