Apps

Stray Cat Doors is a cute and calming puzzle mobile game

Sometimes, all it needs to be is cute!

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I’d been up all night, as per usual, and I’d stumbled upon a mobile game on my recommended list: Stray Cat Doors. At first glance, it’s undeniably adorable. The colors are appealing and warm; meanwhile, the graphics are just downright cute. When you’ve installed the game, the music is calming and I admittedly may never get tired of it.

But what is it?

Stray Cat Doors is a puzzle adventure game where you tap items and solve puzzles to unlock doors that reveal your character’s memories with her treasured cat. Seems simple enough? You’d be surprised. This game takes a little bit of thinking — I mean, it’s a puzzle game for a reason. When you open the game, it walks you through the basic mechanic: collect shards to form a complete cat by solving puzzles of varying kinds.


Since you have access to most things visible in a single stage, you essentially end up tapping everything on the screen to see if there are any clues that may connect to other elements in the environment.

If you like escape-the-room games…

You’ll discover quickly that if you don’t have the patience of clearing out the room to see which clues are related to each other, you will be bothered with this game. If you don’t know what escape-the-room games are, by the way, they’re a sub-genre of point-and-click adventure games where you make use of your environment to, well, escape the room.

It’s the type of game that requires players to think and take their time. With Stray Cat Doors, you’ll be surprised to know that there are quick cheats for the clueless.

A puzzle game on easy

Yes, boys and girls, this game has a wonderful cheat that saves you when you’re stuck: advertisements. You read that right: The game trades puzzle solving with advertisements. When you play and can’t figure out how to solve puzzles, you can click on the gear icon on the upper-right side of the game and take hints.

You’ll have to sit through watching an ad but at least you’re given clues on what to look for. If that doesn’t make it easier for players, there are no limits on how many hints you can take as long as you sit through an advertisement every time.

And there are more cheats…

Can’t figure out how to handle the puzzles even after you’ve read the hints? In Stray Cat Doors, you can get the answers to the hints by… you guessed it: watching another ad. This can be a bummer for some people who enjoy a challenge when playing a game but honestly, the game gets away with it because of how adorable and soothing it is.

Why you should give this mobile game a try

It’s a good game to pass the time. When I played it, the puzzles weren’t too tough to figure out. Many of them reminded me of an easier version of Professor Layton. It’s a nice way to keep you thinking or if not, furiously tapping every corner of your phone. Some might find the pitfalls of the title to be the lack of a precisely explained storyline, but there’s something nice from Stray Cat Doors’ ambiguity: It makes the game noncommittal — the good kind!

It’s a casual puzzle game that doesn’t ask for much. If you struggle, you have easy ways to get around puzzles. The game doesn’t dig deep into a storyline and leaves players space to speculate with what they go through while playing (which is admirable in its own way).

Stray Cat Doors has stunningly adorable graphics with aptly calming music. It’s hard not to fall in love with those two elements themselves. I mean, sometimes, all you need it to be is cute. If you do decide to give it a go, it’s available on iOS and Android for free.

SEE ALSO: The Adventure Pals: Your dad is now a hotdog, go save him!

SEE ALSO: Crane Game Toreba: A mobile game that mails your prize from Japan

Apps

Google rolls out Dark mode to G Suite apps on Android

A feature meant for Android Q

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Image credit: Google

With Android Q‘s release already on the horizon, Google has started making changes to its core apps to support it. One of its anticipated features is the system-wide Dark Theme. Thankfully, even Google’s first-party apps will have their own Dark mode.

In a blog post, Google announced the rollout of Dark mode for two of its Android apps: Calendar and Keep. Basically, the brightly made Calendar and Keep apps will now be friendlier to use in dim environments with less strain to the eyes.


To activate the Dark mode for Google Calendar, just head over to Settings > General > Theme, and select Dark mode. On Google Keep, simply go to the app’s Settings menu and select Enable Dark Mode.

Dark mode for Calendar is only supported on devices running Android 7 Nougat and higher, while Keep’s Dark mode will work on older phones running Android 5 Lollipop and newer.

Those who have Android Q Beta with Dark Theme activated will have Dark mode for both Calendar and Keep apps turned on by default.

The update will be rolled out to compatible Android devices over the course of 15 days, according to Google.

SEE ALSO: Latest Android Q Beta is now available on Pixel phones and 15 other devices

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Apps

Minecraft Earth is like Pokémon Go but with building blocks

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In a move that makes loads of sense, Minecraft is coming to mobile though an augmented reality app similar to Pokémon Go.

It’s called Minecraft Earth and it’s arriving later this year with a beta phase happening during summer. The developers offered this trailer, but it does little to explain how the system would work.


Check it out:

The official website’s FAQ section, however, delves into more of the info we actually care about.

For one, it’ll be free to play and will include several of Minecraft‘s traditional features including world building and discovering/fighting mobs.

Concerning regional availability, the developers aren’t confirming these details just yet. If it’s anything like the issues Niantic experienced with Pokémon Go before, chances are this rollout will be gradual, too.

Finally, for the “Will Minecraft Earth have loot boxes?” question, the website has a definite “No” to answer that.

Minecraft Earth will be available on both Android and iOS. Fingers crossed that there’ll be no delays. 🤞

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Apps

The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World through augmented reality

A new way to experience Lady Liberty on your iPhone

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The quintessential American landmark, the Statue of Liberty is a shining beacon that enlightens the world. Despite today’s polarizing times, she has become a true symbol of liberty throughout the years, not just for Americans but for citizens of the world.

Today on the same island where she is perched, the new Statue of Liberty Museum opens its doors to the millions of tourists that come to see her each year. But in recognition that not everyone can visit, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation is also unveiling an AR app for your iPhone. Anyone, anywhere, can experience the statue’s grandeur.


A grand view of Libertas’ torch

On her right, the Statue of Liberty holds up a torch which symbolizes enlightenment and the path to liberty. Though visitors could originally climb up and experience the statue from the torch, it has been closed off to the public since 1916. The Statue of Liberty app will allow us to once again enjoy the breathtaking cityscape from this vantage point from sunrise to sunset.

The makings of the statue

Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi with the framework by Gustave Eiffel, the Statue of Liberty is an engineering marvel. 125 tons of steel and 31 tons of copper comprise the statue which used to glisten like a penny. The current patina green coating comes from copper oxidizing.

See everything with your own eyes via the Statue of Liberty AR app: how the color changed, how the insides were built, and even a life-sized model for scale.

A look throughout the years

Strategically built at the “gateway to America”, the Statue of Liberty has born witness to a significant chunk of New York’s history. On the app you can look through her eyes in an almost 180-degree field of view and watch the changing of the times from 1886 to the present day. Watch the Manhattan skyline rise and fall including that poignant moment from 2001. It’s all there, 200 years of change and progression from the viewpoint of Lady Liberty.

The hows and the whys

The creation of the Statue of Liberty was no easy feat. A private venture that maximized crowdfunding efforts not just from the elite, the statue is truly an icon that each American can call their own. Exclusive content on the app tells us the story in detail and narrates the journey from inception, to France, and finally to America.

If you can, you should also check out the 3-part short film at the new museum’s Immersive Theater. One will surely walk away with a better appreciation for Lady Liberty and all she stands for.

Raising the Torch, a limited-series podcast narrated by Diane von Furstenberg, is also now available for your listening pleasure. The saga tells the Statue of Liberty’s history, continuing story, and evolving significance.

You can download the app on the App Store here.

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