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Some more Android game bargains

This week saw the launch of a Halloween-flavoured Humble Bundle, called the Humble Mo-boo!-ile Bundle. As per usual, six games are offered, three if you beat the average, and all follow a scary theme.

Humble Mo-boo!-ile BundleThe bundle consists of the following games:

  • Rebuild
  • Oscura: Second Shadow
  • Containment: The Zombie Puzzler
  • Five Nights at Freddy’s (beat the average)
  • Dead Effect (beat the average)
  • The Walking Dead: Assault (beat the average)

The current average is only $3.04, so it’s an absolute bargain (the RRP is around $25) and it’s likely that there will be further games added. Additionally, another game called ‘The Spookening’ is available for free simply for entering your email address on the Humble Bundle site! I have previously played Rebuild and enjoyed it a lot, and look forward to playing these other games.

Elsewhere, the Grand Theft Auto series has been discounted this week. Grand Theft Auto III is going for £1.99, as it GTA: Vice City, and GTA: San Andreas is available for £2.49. Considering these games cost £40 when originally released on the PS2, this is amazing value, especially considering just how much gameplay is available from each game!

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Android v5.0 announced, named ‘Lollipop’

The latest version of the Android operating system has been announced by Google, and continuing with the alphabetical naming convention it has been named Lollipop.

Android Lollipop

The major difference with the Lollipop release is the new Material design, which is much cleaner than previous designs such as Holo. A triangle, circle and square are used instead of the previous back arrow, home and apps buttons.

Notifications have also been enhanced and will also appear on the lockscreen. Multitasking now utilises a Google Now-like display. The notification bar has been changed. A new battery-saving mode has been implemented. Behind the scenes, Lollipop uses the ART runtime rather than Dalvik which should see big performance gains, especially when using newer 64-bit processors.

My phone is too old to receive a stock Lollipop ROM (thanks for nothing Samsung), but I’m hopeful my LG G Pad 8.3 will get it, because there was a Google Play Experience version of this device released – hopefully LG will update both at the same time.

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In the market for a new phone

I’ve had a Samsung Galaxy S3 for over two years now, and it’s starting to show its age – the screen occasionally becomes too light on the right hand side, and it’s becoming a little slow – only having 1GB of RAM is the culprit here I think. I like the form factor of the device and the camera, and my contract is up for renewal so I’ve started looking around at alternatives.

As I mentioned, I like the size – whilst I think before I would have liked a phablet (i.e. a Galaxy Note-sized device), these days I use my tablet (an LG G Pad 8.3) around the house much more for general browsing, game-playing, etc. and so the phone would only be used when I’m out and about. As I work from home this is not too often and so I am happy with a screen of under 5″.

The other function I could not do without is a camera – I rarely take my proper camera out unless we’re going away for an extended period of time, and being able to take photos and videos is a necessity. A lot of cheaper phones these days do not have the best cameras – I don’t need the best quality camera but an average one would do.

At the moment there appear to be two main contenders:

  • Motorola Moto G (2014 edition) – this is very cheap (<£150 sim free), features an almost vanilla version of KitKat and has a much better camera than the 2013 version.
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact – I don’t really want the bigger version of this, but the Compact looks ideal in terms of size and especially the camera. However, it is a lot more expensive than the Moto G.

In the end it will come down to whatever I can get for the cheapest price possible – I’ve seen the Z3 Compact available for £20/month which is about the upper limit of my budget, but the Moto G would be much cheaper. The screen on my S3 is working for now so I’m not quite so desperate to upgrade, but I would like to get some money for it when recycling and that value is dropping by the day as it gets older.

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Humble Mobile Bundle 9 out now

The Humble mobile bundles now seem to update every two weeks, meaning even more great value gaming goodness (or alternatively more money forked out!) The current bundle features six games, three of them if you beat the average (currently a very reasonable $2.87). Additionally, you can get Devil’s Attorney for free whether you buy the bundle or not!

Humble Mobile Bundle 9

The games featured are:

  • Syberia, an adventure game
  • Neuroshima Hex, a tactical board game
  • Bardbarian: Golden Axe Edition, an RPG
  • Leo’s Fortune, a platform game (beat the average)
  • Out There, a space exploration game (beat the average)
  • First Strike, a strategy simulation game (beat the average)

As per usual, more games will be added soon, which will make this even greater value if you buy it now for $2.87! There are 13 more days until the bundle finishes, I’d advise buying it sooner rather than later as the price may go up.