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 is under investigation for abusing Android

Dominating the market comes with a price

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Google has often been accused of monopolizing the smartphone market with the use of Android. While Android as an operating system is open source and anyone is free to make or use the system however they wish, Google’s push of its apps is a bigger problem.

Android is maintained by the search engine giant and the code is available for everyone’s use. But, Google pushes its range of apps in stock Android like Gmail, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and more. Many accuse the company of forcing itself upon users and blocking the competition from a fair chance.

India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been reviewing Google’s case for the last six months. The enforcement agency is currently at a preliminary stage and no official release has been made. Google, as well as CCI, have declined to comment.

The European Commission found Google guilty of dominating the market since 2011 and it’s abusing its standard practice of installing Google apps. The investigation led to a US$ 5 billion fine from the antitrust agency.

Google and CCI have met in recent months and the complaint was filled by a “group of individuals.” The agency has a track record of taking years to finish or conclude a case and we never know when a verdict might actually come.

Although, the CCI did impose a US$ 19 million fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.

Android has a massive 85 percent market share and almost every Android phone ships with Google’s suite of apps. These apps, in return, help the search engine push ads to the user and generate revenue for the company.

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EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends

To battle with Fortnite

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Image credit: EA

EA‘s battle royale game is a certified hit. Apex Legends, which was developed by Titanfall makers Respawn, has no fewer than 25 million registered players in just one week. The game is playable for free on multiple platforms (PC, PS4, and Xbox One), but why not make it available on mobile as well?

Early reports don’t indicate mobile plans for the game, although during the Electronic Arts Q3 2019 earnings call, EA Games CEO said that they are looking into bringing Apex Legends to mobile devices.

Fortnite‘s userbase ballooned when it became available on Android and iOS, so it’s a no brainer than EA also wants mobile gamers to join the fun.

“We are looking at how to take the game to mobile and cross-play over time, and I also expect that this game will have tremendous value in Asia, and we’re in conversations about that,” EA Games CEO Andrew Wilson said during the conference call.

There’s no definite timeline for the release of Apex Legends on mobile, but it’s certainly on the drawing board. For now, EA plans to introduce direct purchase options for players to buy items and new legends or heroes. They will also offer the so-called Apex Packs or simply loot boxes for more random items.

Apex Legends is not a pay-to-win game, so these items are purely cosmetic and can be used to customize your hero’s looks in the game.

SEE ALSO: Apex Legends hits 25 million players after one week

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Apps

Introducing Bumble’s Spotlight: Pay to get to the top of the page

For just two Bumble coins!

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You can’t buy your way to true love but you can now buy a top spot on Bumble’s swipe page.

You heard that right. Bumble just announced their new feature and they’re calling it Spotlight. For two Bumble coins, which is around US$ 2, you can get your own profile to the top of the swipe page — the most conducive spot for swiping. Your profile stays there for 30 minutes and people won’t even know you paid for the extra airtime.

Similar to Tinder Boost, this new feature allows for a bigger shot at better swiping results. It basically bumps you up in the queue. Remember, though, that you can only pay for being more visible on the app, but the swiping is still left to the other party.

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