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

Microsoft is ditching Edge for new Chromium-based browser for Windows

It’s time to let things go

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Are you one of the few users of the Edge browser? Since its debut on Windows 10 in 2015, the replacement for the once-popular Internet Explorer wasn’t able to become the go-to browser it was expected to be.

The Edge browser was built from the ground up with a new rendering engine called EdgeHTML. It was designed to be lightweight, fast, and secure. The browser had a rocky start and was not favored by both users and web developers. That’s why Microsoft is pulling the plug soon.

According to Windows Central‘s insider, the Redmond company is putting all these efforts aside and will create a new web browser powered by Chromium codenamed “Anaheim.” It’ll be similar to Google’s Chrome browser and will take advantage of the popular rendering engine Blink.

After all the pushy and in-your-face prompts to make Edge more popular among Windows 10 devices, this new browser will replace Edge as the default browser. It’s still unknown if Anaheim will use the Edge brand and user interface, but the inside report confirms EdgeHTML’s demise.

What’s in store for users when Microsoft goes full blast with Chromium? Websites will behave how they should, especially those that work best on Google Chrome.

It’s worth noting that the Edge browser app on iOS and Android are already using rendering engines native to their platforms, so the shift to Chromium will be more beneficial to Windows 10 users. We could see Anaheim come to life by 2019.

SEE ALSO: Windows 10 will soon go full white with a light theme

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Apps

These are Apple’s top apps and games for 2018

Did your favorite app make the list?

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Apple likes to keep track of the apps you download and games you play on their devices. They like it so much that they now have a list of the top apps and games for 2018. The list features all categories in the App Store globally and locally.

From a global perspective, self-care apps became a revelation in the App Store. Apps such as Fabulous, Headspace, and 10% Happier made self-care and wellness more accessible to anyone. For gaming apps, battle royale-style games like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite took over. Both games feature fast-paced, last-man-standing action, with Fortnite even adding bases to the mix.

However, editorial picks reflect something different. Across the iPhone and iPad, editors picked education and creativity apps like Procreate Pocket and Froggipedia as their top choices. Procreate Pocket is a creativity app for artists to draw, sketch, and paint on the go. Froggipedia, on the other hand, is an interactive education app for children to teach them about frogs and their life cycles.

For gaming, the same theme follows as the editors picked Donut County and Gorogoa. Donut County is an education game that mixes puzzles with concepts in physics, while Gorogoa introduces hand-drawn stories to the puzzle genre. The selection goes against the findings of dominance across battle royale games globally.

Within Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, photography and video streaming apps became the talk of the town. For iPhones, photography apps like kirakira+ and TouchRetouch topped the list, as users can play around with filters for their pictures and videos. Streaming apps like TikTok and Viu opened the door for people to share their videos on a global platform.

Battle royale and multiplayer games, such as PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, dominated the App Store in Singapore. Despite the success of these games, people also took notice of locally produced games. Cat Quest, an action role-playing game, became part of the top paid games for the iPhone for 2018. 

To know more about the lists, you can check them out in the App Store through the Today tab.

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Accessories

Gift ideas for the important people in your life

Make a list and check it twice

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Making Christmas lists can be daunting. One minute you think you already thought of the perfect gift for the people on your nice list, but next thing you know, they already have it or you doubt they’ll ever use it. So, you drop the idea and go back to square one. Other times, you come up with the most generic lists just so you have something to give: belt for dad, purse for mom, a pair of socks for the brother, a scarf for the best friend.

Sometimes, all you need are fresh ideas. Here are some to jump-start your holiday shopping this year!

1. For the one who travels for work

Productivity and portability rarely go hand in hand, but there are devices and accessories that help maximize remote work for anyone whose jobs allow it. Creatives could use a stylus, while writers and entrepreneurs could use a keyboard case. You can even get a nice backpack or sleeve to house it all in!

2. For the one who embraces a minimalist lifestyle

There are those who dream of having a walk-in closet, and those who try to keep their belongings to a minimum. That said, minimalist people are probably the toughest to buy material things for, but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a thoughtful gift. If you know that they have something that needs replacing, help them find out if they can have it recycled or traded in for a new one. Apps for mindfulness and meditation, learning a new language, or even an Audible subscription would also be great!

3. For the one who works out a lot

Gym rats almost always have everything they already need for their workouts, yet some of them haven’t invested in a smartwatch or a fitness band. If they have, you can give them new straps or cases so they can sport their wearables outside the gym and continue tracking their activities. Subscriptions to coaching, music streaming, or meal planning apps are also something they’d appreciate.

4. For the one who needs a pop of color

We all have that one person in our lives who wears neutral colors all the time or have had a pretty lackluster year — at least I know I do. Whether a guy or girl, everyone could use something bold once in a while: a pair of shoes in red, a wool coat in yellow, or even a phone in coral. More than making a statement, colors have the power to change moods and brighten up one’s day.

5. For the one who dresses to kill

She’s all about making an impression and takes dressing up seriously. She’s the woman in your life who takes a little bit longer to get ready in the morning putting an outfit together. A daring red lipstick, a pair of sexy pumps, jewelry, or a designer watch are all great options. Even better: a smartwatch in a bold color that is a statement on its own.

While they don’t always have to be material things, there’s something to be said for getting gifts for family and friends, no matter how small or cheap. Gift giving during the holidays is a way to give back to the important people who made your year merrier. The more thought and effort you put into it, the more meaningful and fitting it is for the person you’re getting it for. There’s no better feeling than knowing you made a difference in someone’s life through a gift — whether that’s in making them more efficient with their work, in their road to fitness, or in simply making them feel good about themselves.

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