Google recently began rolling out version 5.3 of its Google Play Games app introducing an all-new UI and some new pre-loaded games. The difference is clear immediately, with the landing page now featuring a rotating list of titles rather than the up-and-down list seen previously (version 5.2 can be seen above left, with 5.3 on the right).
Each title in the new carousel view has the game icon, when you last played it, your current trophies (and out of how many) and a play button to jump straight into it. Below this, you’ll also see a “games library” button which brings you to a smaller itemized list of all your current games.
So it’s a lighter interface, with less information displayed until you start tapping some buttons, and it has also gotten rid of the “discover new games” area of the previous Play Games iterations.
There’s no replacement for this — instead, you’ll have to move to the Play Store to see the recommendations there (via a button at the top of the page). It’s a surprising move given Google’s typical eagerness to push these games on you: the Google Play Store houses several games recommendation sections, all of which usually fail to offer anything interesting. I can’t say I’ll miss this from the Google Play Games app and I presume it was dropped because it wasn’t being heavily engaged with.
The settings menu remains largely unchanged while the experience points menu has been remade to be more lightweight, as you can see in the comparison images below.
As for the pre-loaded mini-games, these come in the form of Cricket and PAC MAN — previously seen as Google Doodles — and the classic single-player card game Solitaire, all of which can now be played from within the app when you install the new update. Don’t worry, they don’t take up internal storage space: the app comes in at around 20 MB total.
Google Play Games version 5.3 should be rolling out in the Play Store in all locations soon. Download the latest current version at the link below.