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Travel Frog: The new addictive mobile game

Taking me back to my Neko Atsume days

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If you were into Neko Atsume while it was out, this is the game for you: Tabi Kaeru (旅かえる) meaning “Travel Frog” in English.

If you haven’t heard of Neko Atsume, shame on you — just kidding. It was a mobile game that was developed by Hit-Point Co., Ltd. that was released on October 20, 2014. It grew in popularity by its simple game mechanic of collecting adorable cats. It was difficult to resist trying this game out when the graphics were impossibly cute. This pretty much sets you up for what Tabi Kaeru (旅かえる), a new game developed by the same company, achieves.

Well, here it is: The perfect cute game where, even if you have minimal understanding and not as much involvement, you will feel satisfied. As much as this game is completely in Japanese, it doesn’t quite matter. You can play along with context clues and wander about figuring out what seems to work and what doesn’t.

The game has enough visuals to walk you through most of what you’re meant to do despite not really speaking or understanding Japanese. In fact, Neko Atsume and Tabi Kaeru (旅かえる) make waiting a valuable aspect of the game.

In Tabi Kaeru (旅かえる), you meet an adorable small frog that wanders about, leaves you postcards, and occasionally stays home. You’ll first get bombarded with Japanese instructions once you’ve installed but don’t fret. Most of the things you need to play in this game have context clues and the game is filled with them.

This game is addictive without needing your full and dedicated attention. You collect clovers to buy food, charms, and items to set your frog on his journey. You’ll meet different friends on the way as you’ll occasionally check if your frog has returned home from his travels. I’ll let you know how I progress in the game soon, but there’s just something satisfying about seeing your frog travel around mysterious and cinematic places. Play it with me here (Android, iOS).

SEE ALSO: Razer Phone Review: Best smartphone for gaming?

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There’s a Neko Atsume VR game coming to the PS4!

Cat lady dreams come true

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Remember Neko Atsume? The adorable, noncommittal mobile game that lets you collect cute cats and watch them do the silliest of things? Well, if you were one of the people who squealed over virtual pet cats and wanted to hop into the game, you might want to warn your friend for some intense screams. Neko Atsume VR is an actual game that’s coming to PlayStation 4.

The game was first announced in September last year but had no details on when it was going to launch. Well, all the cricket noises have cleared out and the developers, Hit-Point, just announced that Neko Atsume VR will be launching for the PlayStation 4 on May 31. Before you get too excited though, the game will, unfortunately, be available only in Japan — for now.

But this doesn’t stop us from checking out the features before Hit-Point releases it worldwide. In Neko Atsume VR, you can place snacks, toys, and items in your yard. Players will have to buy these items from the shop. You can take photos and watch your cats grow in numbers. Admittedly, the game is not too different from your typical Neko Atsume but it’s still a cat lover’s dream come true.

The selling point is undeniably clear: to immerse yourself in the cute cat world and to interact with them in ways you couldn’t have before. Neko Atsume is still in the works seeing as Hit-Point has only integrated 20 types of cats you can collect. That’s not even half as many as the ones you could collect on the original version.

As of now, the rest of the world will have to wait it out since it’s, again, only available in Japan on May 31.

SEE ALSO: Kingdom Hearts 3 has adorable retro mini-games!

SEE ALSO: Pokémon might release its eighth generation on the Nintendo Switch

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Amazon launches lightweight Android web browser

It’s designed for low-powered devices

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Amazon has released a lightweight internet browser for Android smartphones in India, simply called Internet. The app itself weighs just about 2MB in size and is designed to offer an efficient way to browse the internet on devices with limited processing power and available storage space.

Compelling features of the Amazon Internet browser include privacy, with Amazon claiming no extra permissions are required to use it and no private data is collected, as well as private tabs to ensure websites can’t capture your data.

Among many features, the web browser’s homepage gives a glimpse at general headlines, while offering specific news such as cricket scores. The home page also offers previews for various tabs and an automatic full-screen viewing option. The browser comes with a download manager as well, and while the default search engine is Bing, you can change it to Google from the settings.

Amazon has designed the app for Android 5.0 Lollipop and higher, but it cannot be downloaded on devices running newer versions of Android as of now, citing incompatibility as the reason on the app’s Play Store listing. Amazon had recently launched the Kindle Lite app, which too weighs less than 2MB in size.

The major reason why India has been such as an attractive market for tech companies is because of its increasing data consumption. On December 21, 2017, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant tweeted that India has become the “World’s No. 1 mobile data consuming the country.”

Earlier this year, Google released Assistant Go, YouTube Go, Google Maps Go, Google Go, Gboard Go, and the completely new Files Go app as part of the Android Go initiative. Android Go is based on the latest Oreo update but is a less resource-intensive version of the operating system, tailored for budget phones with lower specs — as low as 512MB of RAM.

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Spotify is redesigning their Free version with more features

Finally, some on-demand!

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Spotify Free users are in for a treat. The music streaming service is gearing up to redesign their free version with more features.

For weeks, leaks and rumors have teased upcoming changes to Spotify’s business model. From plans for a smart speaker to their own voice assistant, Spotify’s future is as hazy as the stock market.

To add to the mire of updates, users are reporting rollouts of a new free version over the last few days. Among other notable changes, the redesign allows users to play songs on demand from selected playlists.

Before the redesign, the free version’s biggest difference from the premium is the inability to play songs on demand. Free users had to settle for shuffle mode. The new feature adds the ability but only for more popular playlists such as the “Gold Edition” playlist.

The new design now also displays an individual songs album art while they are playing. Album art displays were another feature exclusive to the premium version.

It also sports several quality-of-life redesigns. For example, Spotify now displays genres with smaller icons, prompting more content on one page. Previously, genres showed with larger “album arts” and genre-specific icons. (This subtler change also made it to the new Premium version.)

Spotify has yet to release an official announcement regarding the new redesign. They have also haven’t revealed any notable feature upgrades for Premium users. However, rollouts are slowly making their way to devices now.

SEE ALSO: 5 steps to making the perfect Spotify playlist

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