Looking for Something to Do This Weekend? Watch the Conclusion of Awesome Games Done Quick 2018

One of my favorite events of the year is taking place right now: Awesome Games Done Quick. We’ve mentioned it numerous times over the years, but if this is the first time you’ve heard of it, here’s the basic gist- There’s a massive community of speed runners on the internet who individually have laser-focus on playing specific games and beating them as quickly as humanly possible. Different categories for speed runs exist, and range from reaching 100% completion with no glitches in its most “pure” sense and then on the complete opposite end of that spectrum is “any%” where you just blast through a game as quick as possible, skipping anything you can.

There’s a big Twitch scene of these speed runners, but what makes Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) so captivating is the speed runs during the marathon are accompanied by commentators on the couch behind the player. These guys explain what the speed runner is doing, the history of the game, when specific exploits were discovered, and the theory behind why certain shortcuts (often called “skips”) exist. These can be fantastic history lessons, and it’s really captivating watching someone absolutely obliterate a game that you spend months trying to beat as a kid in (sometimes) 20 minutes or less. Better yet, the whole thing is for charity, and there’s loads of donation incentives to funnel cash into the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

The schedule can be found here, and while you can go back and watch any of the VODs on Twitch to see anything you might have missed, runs I would definitely make sure you watch this weekend include:

Friday @ 5:10 PM CSTMega Man 1 – 3 Team Relay Race – The races are some of my favorite things about AGDQ, but it seems like over the years they’re doing more and more to add additional variety into the format. Instead of just racing the first three Mega Man games, they’re doing it as a relay race. I promise this will be ridiculous.

Friday @ 7:35 PM CSTThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – This is a 100% run, so it’s estimated to take just under five hours, but it seems like the commentators during Zelda games absolutely just barf trivia about the game. I promise you’ll learn something, and a 100% run means they’ll be finding every gold skulltua which I bet most people reading this haven’t done.

Saturday @ 10:52 AM CSTDiablo – I love watching speed runs of games like this that, when first released, took me months to beat. It’s estimated to take 35 minutes, which is some Neo-in-the-Matrix level stuff compared to me playing Diablo.

Saturday @ 5:56 PM CSTThe Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – This is a randomizer race, which seems to have really grown in popularity this year. You can read about the randomizer here, but the basic gist is that the location of all the items are shuffled. It’s entertaining to watch for two reasons: Items can show up in the most absurd places, and it really goes to show how flexible Link to the Past is that they can do this kind of thing, potentially not allowing runners access to very key items until super late in the game. Also, it’s a race!

Saturday @ 8:15 PM CSTSuper Mario World – This is a four way race that will be a nail biter. These ultra-classic SNES games have been mastered to an extent that’s hard to really even believe. Based on the history of seeing these games run, it’ll likely be four people playing independently with fractions of a second between them. Also, no capes or Star World access is allowed!

Saturday @ 10:26 PM CSTThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Similar to Diablo, this should be pretty entertaining. I’m over 100 hours into Breath of the Wild and I still don’t think I’ve done everything. This run specifically focuses on all main quests, and is estimated to take just under four hours. I don’t even think I figured out how to get on a horse four hours in.

If any of this sounds interesting, be sure to also check out their YouTube channel.

TouchArcade

Weekend poll: Do you use app shortcuts?

Ever since Android Nougat 7.1 (and the second N Developer Preview), developers have been able to add a second set of actions to app shortcuts in supported launchers. By long-pressing a supported app on the homescreen or app list, you can quickly access specific functions in it. Although we’ve had the feature for over a year, not all developers have updated their apps to take advantage of it, and plenty of us forget that the option is even there.

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Weekend poll: Do you use app shortcuts? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android News, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets

Weekend Deals: 13″ Macs from $899; iMacs as low as $799; 15″ MacBook Pros from $1,799; iPads just $299, plus no tax in 48 states

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Weekend deals are in effect now with instant rebates and coupon discounts on your favorite Apple products. Enjoy $ 200 off current 15" MacBook Pros, or pick up a closeout model at up to $ 1,000 off. Meanwhile, Apple’s 13" Touch Bar MacBook Pro starts at $ 1,299, while iPads are as low as $ 299. Apple iMacs are also up to $ 420 off with no tax on orders shipped outside NY & NJ.
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Weekend poll: Do you use a voice assistant like Bixby, Alexa, or Google Assistant?

With CES about to swing into gear, and Google apparently gearing up for a personal assistant blitz at the event, we’ve been thinking pretty hard about how Google Assistant has integrated itself into our lives.

Ignoring a few small hardware snafus, Google’s solution has become an indispensable tool for many of us. But, it isn’t the only personal assistant game in town. Samsung’s Bixby has a following of its own, and Apple’s Siri is built into MacBooks and iOS devices.

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Weekend poll: Do you use a voice assistant like Bixby, Alexa, or Google Assistant? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android News, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets

[Weekend Watch] You should see this adorable video of a grandma goo-gooing at a Google Home Mini

Some videos are just too awesome to not be shared and this one falls right into that category. It’s a grandma (she’s Italian, you’ll notice some Italian dialect in the video) figuring out how to use a Google Home for the first time, and the whole video is filled with her saying “Hey Goo-Goo, Okay Goo-Goo.” It’s just adorable.

I laughed, I teared up a little (my grandma died right before Christmas and this video brought bittersweet memories), I laughed again, and I just felt an urge to go hug her and tell her she’s awesome for putting up with these quirky gadgets we use, the usability of which we take for granted.

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[Weekend Watch] You should see this adorable video of a grandma goo-gooing at a Google Home Mini was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android News, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets