Your phone or tablet might be cool, but it could be a lot cooler with the right apps. So what? Spend like mad until you find the apps that suit your needs? Nah, just read the weekly Google Play App Roundup here on Tested. We strive to bring you the best new, and newly updated apps on Android. Just click the app name to head to the Play Store.
Countdown apps are not usually something I think of as innovative, but leave it to Sam Ruston, developer of Weather Timeline to prove me wrong. The new app "Hurry" provides a number of cool features in a countdown app that will make you actually want to use it.
The basic concept is not dissimilar to other countdown apps that you'd use to keep track of events like a vacation or birthday. However, it's much cleaner and feature-rich than others. It's also not crawling with intrusive ads like a lot of the competition is. So, we're off to a good start here.
To start a countdown, just open Hurry and press the plus button in the corner. This app uses the material design guidelines wherever possible, and the floating action button is just the start. To get set up, just create an event name, choose a type, location, time, and pick a photo source. Technically, all you have to do is set a name and date, and the countdown will work. However, Hurry is a lot more fun if you fill in all the spaces. After creating an event with photos from the web selected, you get to choose which ones the app uses in your countdown widgets and hero images. This is a nice touch, but you can also use your own photos if you prefer.
There are several ways to view your countdowns, including just opening the app. Your countdowns show up in a list, with active timers ticking down. You can tap on to open any of them and see all the other info you provided. There's also a clever little minigame where you can guess how many times you could perform certain activities in the remaining time. Hurry also pings you occasional notifications so you don't forget about your upcoming event, but those can be disabled on this screen.minigame where you can guess how many times you could perform certain activities in the remaining time. Hurry also pings you occasional notifications, so you don't forget about your upcoming event, but those can be disabled on this screen.
The other way to see what's happening with your countdowns is to use widgets, and I suspect this is how most serious users of countdown apps (is that a thing?) will do it. There are seven different designs, many of which provide access to multiple countdowns and have background images. They're all resizeable with dynamic layouts, too.
Hurry is incredibly well-designed from top to bottom. It's completely free right now, but it looks like an ad-supported/upgrade model will be added later.
Owls are not to be trifled with. The owl protagonist in Fowlst has been "trapped in Hell for some reason," according to the developers. He's taking it all in stride, though. There are lots of demons in hell, so the owl is going to take out as many as possible with your help.
The controls in Fowlst are vaguely reminiscent of Flappy Bird. You can tap on either the right or left side of the screen to make your owl flap once in that direction. He bobs up and falls back down unless you tap again. You can go back and forth between the two sides to go (mostly) straight up.
The game cycles through different rooms, each with a few demons that fly in from the edges of the screen. They'll shoot projectiles at you, but it's not too hard to dodge. The goal is to smash into them without getting hit, thus eliminating the demon. Things get tricky when there are multiple demons on the screen, which happens after a few rooms. You've got to flap around carefully before making your move. I also really like the variety of rooms. They're random each time you play, and a lot of them have added dangers like spinning blades and burning walls.
Vanquished demons will occasionally drop bonuses, which you have to snatch up in between all the demon slaying. Most of them are money, which you can use to upgrade your owl. However, you might also find some health or special abilities. Those can be triggered with a swipe up on the screen.
Visually, Fowelst doesn't come across very well in screenshots. However, the design makes sense when you're playing. The owl and environment are white, and the demons are red. It's all very clean and easy to follow, even when a lot is going on. It reminds me a lot of Downwell, so we're talking heavily retro here. There's also a chiptune soundtrack that I'm really enjoying.
Fowlst is $1.99 in the Play Store, and there are no in-app purchase in sight.
RPGs are great, but sometimes that's just more work than you want on a mobile device. If only there was a way to quest without all the complications. Now, there is with Questy Quest. This is yet another "verb-y noun" game, so you can probably guess a few things about it. The gameplay is simple, it's free, and you can win lots of in-game prizes.
Questy Quest is a game you can play with one hand. Your character must battle all varieties of evil, which seem to have more hitpoints than he or she does. Combat is based on your ability to tap on the screen as a slider passes over certain points. The path the slider travels along is random each time you attempt a battle, as are the attack points. You only get to see one at a time, so the next one might pop up unexpectedly lose after nailing the last one. You've got to hit enough times in a row to take the monster out because a single error sends you back to the start.
Your character isn't very powerful to start with, but you can get better gear with the in-game vending machine. Items are doled out "gacha" style, which is increasingly popular these days. The better your gear, the easier it is to score hits. It takes 100 coins to get a random item out of the machine, but you accumulate coins quite fast. Some of the attack markers are highlighted with coins, indicating you'll get some loot if you hit it.
The coins are also used to unlock new quests, but there's always the wilderness for endless questing. Here, baddies get one point harder at each level. There are checkpoints, but it takes a lot of concentration to beat them once you get up to 10-15 points. There's plenty of loot to be discovered, though. Power ups like potions can help you along, though. You'll find those in bonus chests, which are awarded when you beat quests.
Questy Quest has a cel shaded cartoon vibe, which I think it used to great effect with the character designs. However, you have to focus so intensely on the attack slider that you often don't get to take in the visuals.
Questy Quest is a free-to-play game, but it's not a jerk about it. The in-app purchases only go up to $15 and there's no premium currency.