Google’s End of Summer Sale is on. And just like every time, this year too there are a stack of very good apps that are now available at staggering discounts on the Google Play store.
While you can see the whole list here, which has quite a few nifty deals (and we hear that the number of apps could increase in the next day or two) we have cherry picked seven of the best for you.
Now available for: $0.99
It changed the gaming world more than a decade ago with its non-stop action and (for that time) mind-boggling graphics. And it is now available for less than a dollar on Android. Max Payne is the story of a policeman who loses his family to the drug mafia and goes on a rampage of revenge. Check out the comic book style narrative fillers and most of all, bullet time, in which Max dodges bullets in slow motion, just like Neo in The Matrix. The touch controls take some getting used to, but all said and done, an exhilarating experience.
SwiftKey 3 Keyboard
SWYPE might be grabbing most of the headlines when it comes to keyboard apps, but you can get its full version only if it comes preinstalled on your device. However, most Android users will tell you that the best keyboard app out there is SwiftKey. The app "learns" the words you use by accessing (only if you give it) your SMS, Facebook, Twitter and Gmail accounts, and also is smart enough for smooth autocorrection and space insertion, where needed. It is well-designed too. Worth a buck, definitely!
Download the SwiftKey 3 Keyboard app from here:
In terms of sheer graphic brilliance, there are not too many games on Google Play that match Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance 3 (or N.O.V.A. 3). A spectacular shooter set in a future where mankind returns to Earth after exile and fights for its right to stay there, this game has everything a sci-fi action fan would love - strange creatures, stunning weapons, and most of all, amazingly detailed locales. Do not try this on anything less than a dual core device, we advise. But if you have such a phone or tab, go right ahead and get immersed.
There is no shortage of camera and photography applications out on Google Play, but few pack as much into a compact package as Vignette does. It comes with more than seventy effects and more than fifty frames and adds them to your pictures without butchering resolution (unlike some more famous apps). Also thrown in are handy features like self-timer, time lapse and steady shot modes, and even 10x digital zoom, which make it a super replacement for the default camera apps that come in most Android devices - you can even access it from the lock screen if you wish.
Download Vignette from here
Virtua Tennis Challenge is one of the few sports games that actually leverage the functionality of the touchscreen, letting you play the entire game by just swiping your fingers across the screen, rather than bumbling about trying to find the right onscreen control button. Graphics are very good too and you can play in exhibition or tour mode, create your own players and play on a host of surfaces. An absolute must for all those who love tennis, or heck, just want to experience how much fun a "serious" (as opposed to casual) game can be on a touchscreen.
Download the game from here
The Modern Combat series has been setting the bar for first person shooters on mobile devices, and Fallen Nation yanked it to a new high. Korea, Pakistan and Russia declare war on the US, and it is up to you and your mates to save the nation. Forget the plot, just focus on the action that comes thick and fast and takes place in some amazingly well-crafted and detailed locations. There are a more than a dozen missions, four difficulty levels and a very decent multiplayer element too. For less than a dollar, this is a steal, but only IF you have a powerful device.
The most expensive app on this list (it still is well short of Rs 100, though) is also perhaps the most addictive of the lot, notwithstanding its seemingly ordinary graphics. Square Enix take a leaf out of their legendary Final Fantasy world and come out with a game of intricate and elegant strategy that will keep you entranced for hours, as you defend crystal reserves from monster hordes, even while managing resources and characters. No, it does not look special, but play it and you will find yourself sucked into a different world. If proof were needed that 'tis great gameplay and not great graphics that make great games, to paraphrase a Mughal emperor, this is it, this is it, this is it!
Download the app from here