Apps

10 offline free-to-play mobile games

Lockdown games to play!

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It’s the perfect time to disconnect. Maybe it isn’t because you want to; maybe it’s having an unreliable connection, hiding from work-from-home tasks, or you’re just about done with the internet for a while. Whatever it is, we all need a little dissociation from the hell the world has recently let loose.

Here are 10 free-to-play mobile games to hopefully help you get through this rough patch.

Cover Fire

Get it on Android and iOS

In Cover Fire, you lead a squad through sieged cities, deserts, and fields. You get prompted missions and encounter (surprise, surprise) enemies. Fundamental mechanics are to cover and fire which earns this game a slow clap for making it the name of the game. See what I did there. The game manages to maintain simple mechanics and controls while keeping some of the fun from playing an online FPS (first-person shooter). For people who like playing Call of Duty Mobile but don’t have a stable connection, fear not! This is a really good game that scratches the itch. 

Adorable Home

Get it on Android and iOS

Adorable Home is a cute passive simulation mobile game developed by HyperBeard. The game seems to be a tip of the hat to Neko Atsume by Hit-Point Co., Ltd. with cats being the surrounding theme. Adorable Home lives up to its name quite literally with cute creatures visiting your lovely home at random hours of the day; bento boxes for your partner prepped and ready, and of course, your lovely cats! You can decorate your home, prep bento boxes, and play with your cats. Enjoy the calm and passive play.

Dadish

Get it on Android and iOS

Dadish is a dad and a radish. His kids have gone missing from his vegetable patch and he’s off to rescue them. You’ll be exploring a quirky world while facing off fast-food foes on your way. This mobile platformer is heavy on the nostalgia with it’s charming pixel design and snarky humor. But out of everything, you’ll be humming away with arguably one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard from a mobile game. Don’t let that fool you though. Stages can get tough to go through which makes this a potentially good mobile game to add for speed runs.

Tsuki Adventure

Get it on Android and iOS

Ever dreamed of settling down to the countryside? Well, you’re in luck. Tsuki Adventure is a relaxing, story-based game filled with charming and adorable animals.  You can check in on Tsuki throughout the day, collect and harvest items, and visit locations around the country. This game has stunning design and you’ll need to see it to believe it. The game is charming in how laid back it is while maintaining a good amount of interaction. The one thing that makes this game strikingly good is its storytelling. Every moment in this game is beautiful: from the stunning view, to the stories behind each new friend.

Hungry Hearts Diner

Get it on Android and iOS 

This game will steal your heart away. If you’re looking for another Diner Dash game on mobile, you’ll like this one — but not for the reasons you’ll expect. Hungry Hearts Diner: A Tale of Star-Crossed Souls is such a wonderfully gentle game of a grandmother who keeps cooking for the people who come to her restaurant. You can talk to your customers and have a deeper connection with each customer as they drop by. The soundtrack against the stunning graphics makes this game lovely. You should really give it a go.

Kingdom Rush

Get it on Android and iOS

Kingdom Rush is a tower defense game developed by Ironhide Game Studio and published by Armor Games. I know this is me being obscenely late to the party, this was first released as a free flash browser game in 2011. The game has since been adapted for both mobile and Steam and has various iterations available. I’ll be straight with you, I’m not a fan of tower defesce games. But there’s something extremely compelling about Kingdom Rush, whether it’s cute art, the Candy Crush style story mode or just the mass of enemies that want to murder you. Either way, I almost didn’t finish this article from playing this game too much.

My Home — Design Dreams

Get it on Android and iOS

My Home — Design Dreams is a design simulation game with a twist of a match-three puzzle game. From a flat to a mansion, you can design and decorate everything the way you want. Since staying indoors and needing to reduce all human contact, I was weirdly in the mood for some interior designing. Since that’s impossible to currently achieve. I gave this one a go. It’s a really good game that incentivizes the its match-three puzzle mechanics. If you’re into designing your own home, you’ll have fun playing this one.

Cat Bird

Get it on Android and iOS

If you want a game that’s adorably challenging, I might have the game for you: Cat Bird. It’s a title developed by Rayumi Adventure, an independent studio headed by Ryan Carag. If you like pixel art, you might want to check other titles from the same studio because they’ve developed similarly designed games. This game is fun, adorable, and strangely unsettling when you find out in my review what I sat through.

Fallout Shelter

Get it on Android and iOS

It’s been out for years and, it’s here for a reason. We can’t just drop the classics on this list. Fallout Shelter is a free-to-play game that let’s you control and build your very own underground vault. It let’s you oversee a thriving community, building it one room at a time. You can explore the wasteland beyond your vault, and protect your inhabitants from incoming dangers from both outside and in. This is the kind of game that you’ll keep coming back to, probably because you’ve just remembered your starving inhabitants. Good for fans of the Fallout series, or if you’re yearning to build your own colony of vault dwellers.

Magic Tiles 3

Get it on Android and iOS 

It wouldn’t be fair to drop the classics on this list. If you were playing Tap Tap Revenge when it was released around the early 2000s, Magic Tiles 3 isn’t a far cry. Magic Tiles 3 is a popular piano game that has you tap on black tiles before they reach the bottom of the screen. The game will seem simple at first but, once you get into the groove, it’ll get addictively difficult. Magic Tiles 3 has various quests that let you unlock more songs to try out and play. It even has a battle mode to compete against your friends and other players when you’re online. If you can, download as many songs as you can when you can.

I tried to add as many offline free-to-play mobile games under different genres as I could. Hopefully, you get to find the game to fill your time with something fun on this list. Not everyone has access to stable and reliable connection. Even then, not everyone wants to stay taped to the internet day in and out. So, if you have a good offline free-to-play mobile game to add, let us know!

Apps

Twitter expands character limit to 4,000 characters

But not for everyone

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Despite the traditional limitations, the platform’s users have always found a way to express themselves beyond Twitter’s character limits. Whether broken through extensive threads or third-party sites, strict limitations don’t exist anymore. Now, Twitter is essentially getting rid of the character limit by introducing its biggest expansion to date.

Announced today, Twitter will allow users to post tweets with up to 4,000 characters. That’s a gigantic leap from the original 140-character limit and the expanded 280-character limit in 2017. But, of course, some good things come with a price.

Not everyone will have access to the new feature. Currently, only Twitter Blue subscribers in the United States can create tweets of up to 4,000 characters. Besides original tweets, subscribers can also quote tweet with the same expanded limit.

Thankfully, the new feature will not inundate everyone’s feeds with an ocean of text. Any tweets going beyond 280 characters will be cut off with a “show more” prompt.

Through the past few months, the platform has changed a few fundamental elements before Musk took over. Most importantly, Twitter Blue, the platform’s paid subscription service is now much more expansive. Among other things, subscribers now get the coveted blue checkmark attached to their profiles. Now, they also get a massive boost in capabilities when it comes to tweeting.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is teasing an ad-free subscription tier

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Alibaba is working on its own ChatGPT alternative

Joins Microsoft and Google

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The United States isn’t the only country interested in language learning software. After the widespread success of ChatGPT, a few other companies — including Microsoft and Google — are developing their own versions of the popular software. Today, a new contender is joining the fray. Alibaba has officially announced the development of its own chatbot.

Reported by CNBC, the Chinese giant is currently testing its alternative to ChatGPT. Unfortunately, the announcement did not come with any more details or a timeframe for its release. However, the company does assure enthusiasts that it has been working on generative AI since 2017.

Within only a few months, ChatGPT created a maelstrom of hype for language learning models. The software can generate lengthy but comprehensible essays about any topic. Though there is some debate as to how ethical it is, remarkably intelligent software is slowly finding its niche in today’s world.

To compete with ChatGPT, Microsoft and Google have announced their own software this week. Microsoft is infusing the technology into Bing and Edge. Meanwhile, Google has its own software called Bard.

Also, besides Alibaba, Chinese search engine Baidu is also testing a chatbot called “Ernie bot.” With several companies working on generative AI, the technology is undoubtedly here to stay.

SEE ALSO: Google is working on a ChatGPT competitor called Bard

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Google will blur NSFW photos soon

Turned on by default

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When I search for “food porn” in Google, I’m looking for enticing photos of food to whet my appetite for dinner. Sometimes, Google has other plans and shows me more than what I bargained for. Finally, the search engine is implementing a way to save us from those awkward moments. Google will soon blur explicit images from search results.

For Safer Internet Day, Google has announced the feature to help protect users from accidentally seeing graphic images — including both gore and pornography — from a search. The feature, which will start rolling out in the coming months, will turn on by default. Instead of showing the images directly, users will face the blurred version and a prompt to view the image despite the warning.

If you don’t mind an accidental shower of NSFW imagery, you can turn the feature off at any time. Alternatively, as always, users can also choose to filter out all explicit search results, blurred or otherwise.

Though the feature is easily adjustable, Google will not offer the same flexibility to supervised accounts. Any accounts supervised by a parent or a school will not be able to change how they view explicit content. Parents can add supervision to the accounts of their children.

SEE ALSO: Google is working on a ChatGPT competitor called Bard

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