Welcome to the 246th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- PUBG is suing Fortnite over alleged copyright violations in South Korea. This is a long time in the making. Fortnite announced its battle royale mode late last year. It was immediately controversial for its similarities to PUBG. Now, a court is going to settle it. PUBG isn’t the first battle royale style game. However, the claim is over similar elements from both games and not necessarily the genre itself. We’ll see how it all goes down.
- Facebook is losing its teenagers. A report from 2015 states that 71% of teenagers surveyed used Facebook. The same report showed only 51% in its 2018 report. It also showed that most kids use YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. Thus, Facebook is still in the running as the owner of Instagram. Many pundits blame the Cambridge Analytica debacle. However, it’s more likely that teens simply don’t enjoy the platform as much as they used to. The other networks they use are faster, more flashy, and overwhelmingly less political than Facebook. It may very well be that Facebook isn’t a kid friendly place anymore, not that it ever was.
- Netflix surpassed Disney as the most valuable entertainment company. Netflix’s stock valuation put it at $153 billion, just barely squeezing by Disney’s $152 billion. This likely answers a lot of questions we’ve had about Disney over the last year. For instance, Disney plans on opening its own streaming service with its massive library of content to compete with Netflix. As it turns out, that may be a good business decision because Netflix is cleaning up right now.
- Hello Neighbor is in beta on Android and iOS. It’s a quirky horror game with Pixar-style animation. The player breaks into their neighbors house to find out why he’s always acting to strange. The game features procedural AI as well. Every subsequent attempt to break in gets harder as the neighbor learns your patterns and tries to set traps for you. We can’t wait for an official launch on this one.
- Nintendo announced some new Pokemon stuff this week. That includes a new Pokemon game. Pokemon Quest is an action-RPG with voxel graphics, simple touch controls, and various customizations. Unfortunately, it won’t be a real Pokemon game like we all want. However, it is something. The company also announced new Pokemon games for the Nintendo Switch for later this year with Pokemon Go integration. Grab your power bricks, folks, Pokemon Go is probably making a minor comeback later this year.
Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians is a new mobile RPG. It's also one of the oldest PC RPGs still in active development. This one doesn't play quite like the PC versions. Instead, it opts for a fairly typical mobile RPG experience. You create and customize your hero, choose a house of magic, and level up your character as you progress. The game also features PvP, events, guilds, and more. It has a few early bugs, but nothing too bad. It's also a freemium game.
Driving Detective is a new safety app. The app detects when you drive with GPS. It then silences your phone, puts on Do Not Disturb Mode, and does not shut it off until your car comes to a stop. The developers state that you must walk away from your car or stay parked for 15 minutes before it relinquishes its control. That way you don't get the urge to check during red lights or stuff like that. This is an excellent app for distraction-free driving and, let's face facts, we could all use more of that. The app is currently free with no in-app purchases or ads.
Goosebumps HorrorTown is a new horror game. Of course, it's Goosebumps so it's more goofy than horrifying. It's features over 100 playable characters, including many famous Goosebumps monsters. There is also a crafting system, a city builder sim element, and more. You can even scare humans into dropping special loot. It's a freemium game and it feels and plays like one. However, fans of the series should enjoy this for a little while at least. It's above average, but only by a little bit.
YouTube Music received a full revamp a couple of weeks ago. It's not its own music service and that's a significant change. It offers on-demand music along with direct integration with YouTube's massive slew of music videos. It's in an early access beta right now and that beta is only available in the United States. However, we expect expansion over the course of this year. It should also get Google Play Music features as Google prepares to wind that service down. It's not great yet but it has a lot of promise. Our hands on video is just below if you want to see it in action.
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth is Square Enix's latest big release. It's a port of the 1999 PlayStation game. The game is basically the same as its predecessor. You play as Lennth, a Valkyrie. The player recruits various dead people to fight in a war in the heavens. It's a retro game and feels like it. Square Enix seems to have put a little less zest into this remake unlike others like Final Fantasy V or VI. Still, the controls translate well to mobile. The voice acting is just as bad as ever and you only get a choice of the English dubbed version. We didn't notice any serious issues with this one. It's a tad expensive, but otherwise not a bad adventure game.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, updates, or releases, tell us about them in the comments below. Stop back by next week for more!