Features

7 upcoming indie games to watch out for

You might discover a future favorite

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Tired of the constant barrage of sequels and AAA games that all feel the same? An indie game may be what you need! These are seven of the most promising titles coming out in the next year or so. Check ’em out:

Afterparty

Developed and published by Night School Studio, creators of Oxenfree, Afterparty is another narrative crafted in a similar vein. Friends Milo and Lola went and did the inconvenient thing for a couple of hard-drinking best buds — died and went to hell. They get a chance to come back to the surface, but at a cost: They need to outdrink Satan himself. Explore the streets of the underworld, meet (and party with) a host of demons, and see where the story goes by choosing your actions. Expect it out in 2019.

Children of Morta

Take control of the members of the Bergson family, each with a unique fighting style, in the hack-and-slash roguelike Children of Morta developed by Dead Mage and published by 11-Bit Studios. The pixel art graphics look amazing and fluid, especially during movement and in battle with the hordes of enemies coming your way. You are tasked, as a guardian of the mountain, to free it from the Corruption and find out the truth behind what exactly happened to the family’s once-peaceful home. Releases in 2019.

Disco Elysium

Looking for a new twist on the isometric RPG? Disco Elysium by ZA/UM, which you may have heard of by its previous name No Truce with the Furies, drops you into an urban fantasy city as a disgraced detective. Seek the secrets of Revachol, customize your character with skills that emphasize the psychological aspect of dealing with others, and be amazed by the amount of dialogue options and actions you can take to solve cases.

Indivisible

Lab Zero Games, who brought us Skullgirls, will be bringing us the RPG platformer Indivisible. You play a girl named Anja, who awakens to a mysterious power in a lush hand-drawn setting based on Southeast Asian folklore. Once engaged with an enemy on the main screen, you expand into a party (whom you recruit to your team along the journey) and action combat mechanics come into play. The opening intro was even made by Japanese animation studio TRIGGER! Check it out when it comes to PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch next year.

N1RV Ann-A

Sukeban GamesVA-11 HALL-A was an anime-inspired visual novel with a little bartending twist, and was captivating with its great writing and focus on the day-to-day lives of ordinary people in a cyberpunk dystopian setting. The sequel and second part in this “Cyberpunk Bartender Action” series was announced last September to much fanfare. The bar N1RV Ann-A had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it mention in the original game, so this sequel seems like it’ll bring more worldbuilding and character exploration.

Ooblets

Described as a mix between Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and Harvest Moon, in Ooblets you take on the role of a new farmer in town. Instead of just plants, though, you harvest collectible creatures — the titular Ooblets — which you can take with you as you explore the town and surrounding areas. Developers Glumberland eschewed a traditional turn-based battle system in favor of dance battles and trading cards in the spirit of a more peaceful game, and it’s hard not to get charmed by how adorable it looks. Coming to PC and Xbox One in 2019.

Overland

Turn-based strategy game Overland doesn’t have a trailer yet, but from snapshots from developer logs and first access scenes, it’s shaping up to be an interesting experience. Survive in procedurally generated levels in post-apocalyptic North America while managing allies, resources, weapons, and more. It’s being developed by Finji, publisher of Infinite Fall’s acclaimed Night in the Woods, with an estimated release date in 2019.

Wattam

Keita Takahashi of Katamari Damacy fame teams up with Funomena for a zany game about friendship and discovery. Choose from a gallery of strange characters to play and do little challenges and activities to make more friends. It’s hard to describe exactly what kind of game this is going to end up being, but it looks absurd and sweet and a great game to come home to for a pick-me-up after a long day. Wattam aims for release later this year.

Features

The Honor 8X is a storage space beast

More space than you think you’ll need

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Having some extra space can always come in handy. With the Honor 8X, you’ll have all the extra space you can possibly need.

Internally, the storage can go as high as 128GB but it doesn’t stop there. The phone has a microSD card slot that supports up to a whopping 400GB of additional storage.

The Honor 8X has the all the space to handle memories you take with the phone.

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It can even hold files and other media from your other devices so you can take them wherever you go.

Photos, videos, documents, apps — it doesn’t matter what it is. You’ll have access to them whenever and wherever because the storage on the Honor 8X is just ridiculously massive.

It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “lost in space.”


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Honor Philippines

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Hands-On

Apple iPhone XR Unboxing and Hands-on

Did Apple skimp on this one?

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You’re probably not expecting this video to drop until Friday, but here it is! We have the iPhone XR early.

In this video, we find out if there are accessories Apple left out to make this phone more affordable, and if its display and camera are subpar compared to its more expensive brothers.

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Hands-On

Nokia 6.1 Plus hands-on: A compelling midranger

The benefits of Android One

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HMD Global continues trying to lift the Nokia phone brand to where it was before. While they’re still far from being on top again, the current Nokia phones are quite compelling. The latest we have is the Nokia 6.1 Plus, which is practically the Nokia X6 we first heard of in China.

This is Nokia’s first notched phone. While that doesn’t necessarily make it any better, this is a stepping stone for Nokia as they embrace the popular design choice for modern bezel-less devices.

Is the Nokia 6.1 Plus any good? Here’s what I have to say.

It’s got a 5.8-inch Full HD+ display

With a tall 19:9 aspect ratio

The notch houses the front camera, earpiece, and sensors

Thankfully, the notch is pretty small

The chin gives the phones a bit of a balance

It also shows the Nokia logo

There’s a hybrid card tray on the left…

You have to choose between a second SIM or microSD card

… while on the right are the physical buttons

One for power and another for the volume

On top are the audio port and noise-canceling microphone

There are also some antenna lines all around

It’s rocking a USB-C port! 👌

Beside it is the loudspeaker and main microphone

The back is a slab of smooth glass

Like the Nokia 7 Plus but with a different material

The fingerprint reader sits below the camera module

Easily for the index finger

Android One assures you with the latest updates

Quite a lot of other printed words, as well

It owns a common design

Design-wise, there’s not much to talk about. The look and feel of the Nokia 6.1 Plus are not that different from its competitors. It’s got the same aesthetic of the ASUS ZenFone 5 with an aluminum frame sandwiched by curved glass. Nokia claims to use Gorilla Glass 3 to make theirs stronger and scratch-resistant.

The display of the phone measures 5.8 inches, so it’s more pocketable than most smartphones today. It also has a tall aspect ratio of 19:9 which makes it easier to hold in one hand. The Full HD+ resolution is sharp at this size and there’s nothing to complain about the overall quality of the phone’s display.

The notch might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but to be fair to Nokia, this is their first attempt. There are other Nokia phones without a notch that consumers can buy if they dislike it. The cutout is not as obtrusive as the iPhone’s, but there are no complicated sensors for facial recognition. Good thing the rear fingerprint reader is accurate and fast.

Overall, the Nokia 6.1 Plus stays true to the notion of Nokia’s build quality. The design is nowhere near iconic, but you’re not paying much for the phone either.

Performance is smooth as butter

The smooth operation of Android that we come to expect from Nokia phones is also present on the Nokia 6.1 Plus. The handset is powered by a Snapdragon 636 processor paired with 4GB of memory and 64GB of expandable storage. It’s a pretty standard midrange setup that’s able to perform smoothly even with a number of apps running in the background.

I didn’t encounter any hiccups or notice any lag during my time with the phone, but I can say that it loads apps slightly slower than on flagship phones. Of course, there’s no bloatware that hogs resources since the phone is under the Android One program, and it’ll have consistent updates for up to three years.

I wouldn’t say that the Nokia 6.1 Plus is ideal for gaming, but it can handle popular titles. The Adreno 509 GPU that comes with the chipset is more than capable of rendering medium to high-quality graphics depending on the game’s demand. My staple Asphalt 9: Legends racing game runs fine, but it’s definitely not the smoothest I’ve seen.

The camera is more than okay

The Nokia 6.1 Plus is equipped with dual rear shooters and a single wide-angle selfie camera. The main sensor at the back is 16 megapixels accompanied by a 5-megapixel depth sensor. There’s also a dual-tone LED flash to help in taking photos in the dark. For selfies, it’s got a 16-megapixel sensor.

Check out the samples:

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Even without Zeiss branding on its cameras, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is able to take decent photos using both the front and rear cameras. They’re not the most appealing stills, but they’ll do good for social media. You can apply bokeh effects with the rear cameras, but it’s a bit cumbersome to use.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you want to stick to Nokia, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is a convincing choice among its midrange lineup. It’s not as impressive as the Nokia 7 Plus we loved before, but it’s cheaper and smaller. For PhP 15,990 (US$ 300) in the Philippines and MYR 1,149 in Malaysia (US$ 280), it’s a pretty good deal. It’s an even better deal in India for just INR 15,999 or roughly US$ 215.

The phone offers pure Android software with timely updates, a sturdy build, and good performance. It’s an all-around device, but don’t expect it to be an ideal phone for everyone.

SEE ALSO: Nokia 3.1 review: Back to Android One’s beginnings

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