Welcome to this week’s roundup of the latest, greatest Android apps and games, covering smartphones and tablets.
All these apps have been released for the first time – ie not updates – since the last roundup. All prices are correct at the time of writing, with “IAP” indicating use of in-app purchases.
You can read the previous Best Android Apps roundups for more recommendations, but if iOS is your platform of choice, check the Best iPhone and iPad Apps roundups. On with this week’s selection!
RE: Shakespeare (Free)
Samsung is trying to find a new way in to Shakespeare, working with the Royal Shakespeare Company on this Android app. Purists look away now: there’s beatboxing, 360-degree filmed scenes from Much Ado About Nothing, and a hip-hop v Shakespeare quiz. It looks good fun though.
Crayola DJ (£3.79)
I’ve always associated crayons with DJing, haven’t you? Oh. Yes, the match between Crayola and the dancefloor may not be obvious, but the children’s brand’s latest app is still well worth a look for musical kids. They can blend loops and sound effects to create their own tunes, then mix and scratch them for an enthusiastic audience. That would be you, of course.
Halo Channel (Free)
Can’t get enough of Microsoft’s Halo games franchise? Here’s an official app to provide all manner of videos and tips, from documentaries made by the developers through to let’s play videos from the best players out there in the community.
Hooks – Alerts for Everything (Free + IAP)
If you’ve used apps like IFTTT to fine-tune the various apps and web services that you use, Hooks is well worth checking out. It’s a way to create alerts for yourself from … well, pretty much anything you want, from entertainment and sports to earthquakes and lottery results Media Focus.
Mickey’s Super Rocket Shapes (£3.89)
This is the latest Android release from Disney’s Imagicademy series of educational apps for children. It’s not rocket science. Oh wait! Okay, it is a bit: kids have to help Mickey Mouse build rockets then fly them into space, via a spot of shape-recognition and manipulation.
Streaks: Daily Habit Tracker (Free + IAP)
Whatever your daily habits, this app will help you track them. Obviously, it’s supposed to be for the good ones … You set up what you want to remember to do every day, then the app will notify you, and keep track of your “streaks” – consecutive days when you’ve completed your goals.
Ivy Big Number Calculator (Free)
Here’s an interesting thing: an app produced by a team within Google using open-source programming language Go – a proof of concept, possibly. Anyway, it’s a minimal calculation app that can handle complex maths with aplomb.
Sago Mini Toolbox (£2.49)
Sago is the sister studio to children’s apps publisher Toca Boca, and its apps are just as high-quality. This one has a DIY and crafts theme, with children able to virtually hammer, saw and sew among other activities.
This could come in handy if you’re looking for more secure cloud storage for your files. Cloudifile’s desktop software synchronises folders on your computer with Dropbox while encrypting them – and this Android app lets you access those, while also uploading new files on the go.
There’s a very good YouTube app for Android: it’s the one made by YouTube itself. But some people prefer to find an alternative: if you’re one of them, Tuber may be worth a look. It’s a stripped-down app for just watching the channels you’re subscribed to.
Alphabear for Android.
Alphabear (Free + IAP)
Developer Spry Fox made the enduringly-marvellous Triple Town puzzle game, and its latest shares that title’s cutesy bears. It’s a different game though: a word puzzle where you turn Scrabble-ish letters into words to grow bears, over a succession of challenges. Superbly moreish.
Fearless Fantasy (£3.12)
“Probably the weirdest RPG you’ll play this year,” claims the blurb for this game, and it’s not lying. This is all kinds of strange, yet it’s also a brilliant game, as you explore, battle and upgrade your character while hoping that the memories won’t keep you awake at night.
Democracy vs Freedom (Free + IAP)
The developers of this game describe it as a MOVA – multiplayer online vote arena – which sees you teaming up with lots of other players to vote on what moves your tanks should make next, as they battle an opponent. It’s like a strategy game crossed with Twitch Plays Pokemon, and original with it.
Atomas (Free + IAP)
I always struggled with Chemistry at school, but if it had been as fun as this puzzle game, perhaps I’d have done better. It sees you fusing atoms to create new elements, working your way from hydrogen to gold, platinum and silver via lots of chain reactions.
Agar.io (Free + IAP)
More scientific fusion here, albeit of the biological kind. Based on a popular web game, it sees you playing a cell and eating smaller cells to grow bigger, while avoiding bigger cells that want to eat you. And these cells are all controlled by other players, obviously.
If digitised board games are your thing, take a look at Splendor – an accurate version of the inventive jewel-trading game that’s won a succession of awards in recent years. You can play alone or pass your device between up to four players, with a challenges’ mode helping you learn new tactics.
Rumble City (Free + IAP)
More boardgame-inspired mobile fun here, albeit in a brand new game rather than a conversion. Rumble City is a tactical-strategy game based on American biker culture, as you batter your way through a cast of fellow brawlers.
FootLOL: Crazy Soccer (£1.99)
Say what you like about Sepp Blatter, but at least he never allowed cows on the pitch during World Cups. Maybe he should have: they’re one of the features of this comical football sim that’ll raise a smile, along with aliens, mines and a host of other unsanctioned-in-the-real-world power-ups.
Dead Among Us (Free + IAP)
Forget hordes of zombies: there are hordes of first-person zombie shooters available for smartphones. Dead Among Us comes with some original ideas though: including controls designed specifically for one-handed play (good if you hang off a tube rail while commuting) and some clever power-ups.
Quadrush has Tetris firmly in its ancestry, but enough new features to make it worth a look for falling-block-puzzle fans. You tap or swipe same-coloured cubes to remove them, aiming for combos to clear the screen as often as possible.
That’s my choice, but what Android apps and games have you been enjoying this week? The comments section is open for your recommendations.