Get a $10 Google Play credit when you make 5 purchases with Google Pay from now until May 14th in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Google recently rebranded Android Pay to Google Pay, and it’s now running a promotion to increase use of the service. From now until May 14th, you can get a $ 10 Google Play credit if you make five purchases via Google Pay, with just a few caveats.

The promo is pretty straightforward – just make five purchases sometime between now and May 14th to get a free $ 10 credit for Google Play, which you can use to buy apps, movies, books, and more.

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Get a $ 10 Google Play credit when you make 5 purchases with Google Pay from now until May 14th in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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‘#WarGames’, by Sam Barlow of ‘Her Story’, Launches March 14th, Will Revolutionize Interactive Video

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Sam Barlow and Her Story [$ 3.99] fans, the wait is over. #WarGames, the next project by Barlow, will release on iOS on March 14th, so get ready to hack the world or die trying. As we talked about a few months ago, #WarGames reimagines the classic 80s movie with the same name (minus the hashtag) in some intriguing ways. In #WarGames, Kelly, played by Jess Nurse of Scandal and Grace and Frankie, is an ex-military brat who has decided that the world needs some fixing, and that type of fixing can only come through some “well-intended” activist hacking. So, she and a band of other international hackers (think Anonymous minus the cool masks) take it upon themselves to bring peace to the world, a laudable goal that will most definitely lead to a huge mess. As you can see from the trailer below, it doesn’t take long for everything to fall to pieces around this hacker team, with the stakes getting higher and choices becoming much more consequential.

Speaking of choices, #WarGames will you have you switching between video feeds—since the hackers are communicating remotely—and experiencing the story from different perspectives. What’s interesting about #WarGames is that the series will “learn” from your choices, which the developers claim will make experiencing #WarGames “unique” and “personal.” The exact details on how that will work aren’t that clear yet, but what is clear is that #WarGames will try and break new ground in what an interactive video game can be.

Specifically, #WarGames will use the technology developed by Eko, an interactive entertainment company developing a new live-action medium that enables viewers to truly shape the stories they watch. Eko uses its proprietary technology to let players control live-action narratives in a way that (the company believes) is nothing short of the future of digital entertainment. Eko looks at interactivity as a way to create deeper bonds with the audience while still retaining a structured narrative; “give them a way to react to your story,” Eko’s guidelines point out, “but don’t forget you are the one telling it.”

In an Eko show, the story changes seamlessly based on both explicit and implicit choices made by the viewers. Pretty lofty goals, but it does look like Eko is poised to demonstrate these capabilities to us pretty soon. If you want to find out more about Eko and how it hopes to change live-action video games, head over here.

As for #WarGames, the six-episode series will launch on March 14th on the Eko iOS app (among other platforms). No word on pricing yet, but I don’t expect the game to be too expensive based on how Her Story was priced. I have faith that Barlow can give us another great live-action game, and I’m very curious to see how Eko helps him break new ground. I’m always intrigued by new technologies in gaming, so Eko and #WarGames definitely have my attention. Hopefully both the narrative and the technology will come together in a very memorable experience. Not too long to wait now until we find out.


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Chris Rock’s first Netflix special debuts February 14th

Chris Rock signed a deal with Netflix in 2016, agreeing to two comedy specials for a reported sum of $ 40 million. Well the wait for Rock's comedy special return is finally over as Netflix has announced that the first of those two specials will air on…
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SMG’s Blocky Puzzler ‘Death Squared’ Making its Way to iOS on February 14th

After bringing out tons of mobile hits like Thumb Drift, Over The Top Tower Defense, and the One More Line/Jump/Bounce series, Australian developer SMG Studio entered the console realm last year with the release of Death Squared on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Death Squared is a block-moving puzzler not unlike many we’ve seen before, except here you’re moving multiple boxes simultaneously and you’ll need to do so in a way that doesn’t trigger a sudden death trap that will destroy one of the blocks, rendering a level failed. On its own Death Squared is a clever and challenging puzzler, but where it really shines is in its cooperative multiplayer for up to 4 players. This was especially true of the Nintendo Switch version with its detachable controllers and tabletop mode. Well, it’s been close to a year since Death Squared first launched and SMG is bringing things full circle with a release for iOS. Check out this extremely high-budget trailer touting the virtues of Death Squared on iOS. These guys spared no expense!

Content-wise everything from the console version of Death Squared is making its way to the iOS version, including more than 80 levels of story-driven (and fully voiced!) campaign mode as well as 10 additional levels in the Vault Mode which “are almost too hard for human consumption.” One thing that isn’t making its way over, which isn’t that surprising, is the 4-player mode. However, Death Squared on iOS will still retain an element of multiplayer as you can easily play with two players on the same device, since on each side of the screen is a virtual stick that will control one of the blocks. SMG even recommends “snuggling up close to your +1 and playing together” and with the iOS version set to launch on February 14th, aka Valentine’s Day, that sounds like quite the romantic idea. Android folks don’t have to feel left out as a version is planned for that platform too, but it’s currently still in the works. iOS folks, though, find yourself someone you can get intimately close to and try not to destroy each other when Death Squared hits the App Store February 14th.


‘Florence’ from Annapurna Interactive Releases on February 14th, Pre-Order Available Now

Annapurna Interactive has become quite the boutique publisher on mobile in recent times. They surprised everyone with Flower [$ 4.99] and have gone on to put out great stuff like Gorogoa [$ 4.99]. Florence is their latest mobile game and it comes from developer Mountains. Florence tells the tale of a young woman’s first love through ups and downs. It plays like an interactive storybook with a series of vignettes. Florence has been inspired by slice of life graphic novels. I’m already on board with that art style.

Florence Yeoh is a young woman who spends a bit too much time on social media and is in quite the rut of a routine. She ends up meeting a cello player named Krish who changes how she sees the world. This game is about their relationship and all aspects of it. The gameplay will vary based on what’s actually happening in the scene be it fighting or flirting. The story even promises to showcase how things change when they grow apart.

Florence comes from the mind of the lead designer of Monument Valley, Ken Wong, who started his own studio called Mountains. It was initially announced late last year for a release in 2018 and we now have the release date. Florence will release on iOS on February 14th. It is even up for pre-order on the App Store right now for $ 2.99. I’m quite excited to check this out when it releases. Check out the offiical website for Florence here.


Exclusive: Caavo, the universal remote control that uses machine vision, will ship on February 14th

Caavo, the exciting machine vision-powered universal TV control system, is finally getting a very delayed ship date, after being first promised in June: the first 5,000 units will arrive February 14th, priced at $ 399. And the company has raised another $ 17.5M in venture capital for a total of $ 32.5M with an eye on delivering cheaper new products in the future.

Caavo was announced at Code Media in February in a demo with Walt Mossberg and Lauren Goode. It’s a powerful control system for virtually every streaming, cable, and satellite box out there. It’s not just a simple remote, though: you plug everything into the large Caavo unit, and it uses machine vision (what the company is now calling Caavo Vision) to intelligently navigate the…

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The Morning After: Thursday, December 14th 2017

Hey, good morning! In cased you missed it, we got driven down an actual highway while wearing a VR headset, did cartwheels in a next-generation VR device and heard all about T-Mobile launching a TV service. That last one has nothing to do with VR. Y…
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Square Enix Is Finally Bringing ‘Life Is Strange’ to the App Store on December 14th

Life Is Strange [Free] from Dontnot Entertainment and Square Enix is finally releasing on iOS. It was originally released beginning January 2015 on consoles and PC as an episodic release. At the time I was surprised to see it only launch on those platforms given Telltale’s success on iOS and Android. Life Is Strange has you playing as Max Caulfield in Arcadia Bay. This is a third person adventure game where choices actually matter and Max discovers that she has the ability to rewind time. It is a 5 episode series and the first episode releases on iOS on December 14th. Watch the original trailer below:

I really loved Life Is Strange when I played it around release. It reminded me of The OC (The TV Show) with time travel. The use of licensed and original music made it even more memorable along with the fantastic voice acting. The iOS version is up for pre-order now and it has iMessage stickers included. An initial purchase gets you Episode 1 with Episodes 2 and 3 being in app purchases. The final two episodes arrive in early 2018. There’s a 10% discount for getting them all together through a season pass from within. Episode 1 is now available when you buy Life Is Strange on the App Store for $ 3.99. You can pre-order it now which is a new thing on the App Store that has brought multiple big indies and ports to the platform.

App Store Link: Life Is Strange, $ 3.99 (by Square Enix)


‘Race for the Galaxy’ “The Brink of War” Expansion Hits Dec. 14th

Race for the Galaxy [$ 6.99] is getting ready to grow. The third expansion, The Brink of War, will add four new starting worlds to the game, thirty six new developments to build and worlds to settle, five new goals, and Prestige, a new way to earn victory. The expansion also adds Search, a new action that allows players to find specific cards that can more easily work with their current strategy. The new expansion will hit the game on December 14th, and it will cost you $ 3.99. The expansion is highly rated on Boardgamegeek and should be a good addition to the base game.

Race for the Galaxy, in case you don’t know much about the game, is a classic card game where you secretly and simultaneously decide which one of the seven phases of the game you’ll lock in, then you reveal your picks at the same time as your opponents, and then execute the various phrases in the order decided. The previous two expansions are already available, so plenty of content to play with.