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

Spotify will soon sell you tickets to concerts

It’s experimental for now

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Decades into the information era, buying tickets is still a harrowing experience for the modern-day fan. If you’re not lucky enough to nab great tickets through the usual ticketing sites, you’ll have to try your luck with the ferocious gray market of scalpers. In an experimental feature, Spotify has a new way for fans to see their favorite artists live: by selling tickets directly.

Over the years, Spotify has grown beyond the scope of music streaming. The platform now has sections dedicated to podcasts and talk shows. Now, if you know where to look, there’s also a section for selling tickets.

Notably, this isn’t Spotify’s first incursion into the world of live events. If you go through the list of categories, a Live Events section will take you to a page of concerts happening near you. However, clicking an event will only take you to the normal ways to get tickets, such as through Ticketmaster.

In contrast, the new Tickets page, spotted by Chris Messina (via TechCrunch), will sell you tickets directly through Spotify. Currently, the experiment is limited to a handful of artists like Crows, TOKiMONSTA, and Annie DiRusso. Additionally, each entry will only host pre-sale tickets. After that, sales will take place in the usual sources.

Spotify’s price will also incorporate booking fees going into the company’s revenue. However, unlike other sources, Spotify’s tickets promise to be transparent about pricing.

As the page indicates, the final Tickets page will merge with the current Live Events page. However, it’s still an experiment, even if you can already buy tickets now. Spotify has yet to announce when the feature will come to the general public (and to more artists).

SEE ALSO: Spotify launches new recommendation feature, Enhance

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WhatsApp will finally block screenshots for View Once photos

Update coming soon

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WhatsApp’s View Once feature was a massive step towards user privacy. The feature allows users to thaw out the fiery risk of the other person leaking sensitive information and media elsewhere. Well, sort of. Despite the feature’s disappearing nature, users can easily take a snapshot without fear of repercussions. Finally, WhatsApp is doing something about this critical flaw in an upcoming update.

WhatsApp is a constantly evolving product. Throughout the past few months, the app’s developers have experimented and shipped various updates to make everyone’s life easier. Now, compared to the previous accessibility-oriented updates, the upcoming one focuses more on privacy.

It’s not a set of brand new updates, though. At least one of the three updates — the ability to control who sees you online — was reported way back in June. Another one is relatively new: the ability to leave groups silently so as not to alert everyone that a user is leaving. Both of these are rolling out sometime this month.

Given what it fixes, the final update is more crucial. It will block users from taking screenshots of View Once messages. Once the update rolls out, WhatsApp will natively alert View Once viewers that screenshots are blocked for added privacy. Unfortunately, there is no timeline for the update. The announcement only has a “soon” placeholder for a release.

With social media the way that it is, privacy is an ever-growing concern that all users should prioritize. While platforms are still imperfect, small updates like these can surely help people protect their data.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp officially launches emoji reactions, 2GB file sharing

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Transfer for free: Tonik now has InstaPay services

No added fees for transfers

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Tonik InstaPay

Tonik, the Philippines’ first neobank, now supports InstaPay services to make it even easier and more convenient for in-app transactions.

This means customers can now send and receive real-time transactions up to PhP 50,000 to and from participating banks and e-wallets with no added transfer fees using the digital bank.

To top-up another Tonik account, simply go to the “Top up” option on the dashboard, choose InstaPay, and copy the 14-digit Tonik account number.

For transfers to another bank, tap “Send Money Options” and select “To another bank”. Then, change the channel to InstaPay and fill out the necessary information.

What’s great about Tonik transfers is that they are free of charge although do note that other banks may have varied transaction fees for InstaPay top-ups.

This should matter a lot specially for workers as interbank transactions or transfers from e-wallets like GCash, Maya, and ShopeePay to banks and vice-versa usually cost anywhere between PhP 10 to PhP 25.

Tonik is available both via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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