Smartphones

Tokyo’s labyrinthine Shibuya Station becomes a literal RPG dungeon in free smartphone game

Sometimes when I’m in Tokyo, I find myself wandering through seemingly endless subterranean passages that twist and turn back on themselves in a disorienting serpentine labyrinth. As I trudge forward I can feel my stamina fading, as well as my spirit. Still, though, I press on, delving deeper and deeper into the bowls of the earth, knowing that only at the very bottom level will I find what I seek: the platform for the subway line that takes me home from Shibuya Station.

And apparently I’m not the only one who feels that Shibuya Station feels more like an RPG dungeon than a rail hub, since there’s a new smartphone game that uses the map of the station as the layout for its fantasy adventure.

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Pokémon finally comes to iPhone and Android as the augmented reality game Pokémon GO 【Video】

There’s a pretty big gap between the life of an in-world Pokémon trainer and a real-world Pokémon player. Whereas your in-game avatar is alternatively journeying to new lands or patrolling old stomping grounds on his quest to catch ‘em all, you yourself can experience the games’ wonders without ever leaving your couch.

It looks like all that’s about to change, though, because the newest installment of the franchise, Pokémon GO, is not just a smartphone title for iPhone and Android, but an augmented reality game that requires you to get out and search the real world for Pocket Monsters and other trainers to battle.

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Cardcaptor Sakura is ready to capture your phone with this elegant anime iPhone case

Cardcaptor Sakura’s titular heroine keeps her captured cards in a magic tome called the Clow Book, pulling them out as needed in the course of her adventures. In your daily life, though, you probably don’t run into that many occasions that call for instantly producing wooden cages, creating a labyrinth in an alternate dimension, commanding the sun to rise, or any of the other mystical functions of the Clow Cards.

On the other hand, you probably whip out your smartphone several times a day, and the next time you do, it could be inside this regal-looking Cardcaptor Sakura iPhone case.

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Solo Theater: The surreal home theater in a box for your smartphone or tablet

A home theater setup can be a great way to enjoy your favorite movies. But what if you don’t have the space for a lot of bulky, high-end audio/video equipment, or if you just don’t have people over often enough to justify the cost? Furthermore, what’s the point in investing in a big screen TV and array of speakers if you watch most of your movies and videos on your smartphone or tablet?

Thankfully, there’s now a way to recapture the Cinemaplex experience in a compact and affordable way, with the single-occupant Solo Theater from Japanese design house Lucy Alter Design.

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Square Enix to release Dragon Quest game exclusive to smartphones

Game developer Square Enix, renowned for its number of long-running Japanese RPG series, announced yesterday that a new, smartphone-only entry in the fabled Dragon Quest franchise will hit online stores sometime this year.

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Math-solving phone app is the quickest way to self-study, skip homework, and/or fail your tests

I think we can all agree that math is a pretty handy thing to understand, right? A basic concept of things like fractions and algebraic equivalents is what keeps us from getting taken advantage of by con men who make such tempting offers as trading two of their shiny monies (or even three!) for our one paper money when the latter is actually of greater value.

Still, basic math is all about following the proper procedures to arrive at the one true solution, which is why you don’t get partial credit for having the wrong answer on your math assignment just because you took a novel approach and wrote the numbers with nice penmanship. As such, you can program a machine to spit out the answer in a fraction of a second, and with a new smartphone app, all you have to do is snap a picture of the math problem, and let the app take over from there.

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Transform into a Disney character with these adorable, photography-boosting smartphone cases

Last week, we looked at some adorable liquid-filled Disney iPhone cases from smartphone accessory manufacturer Hamee that let you play with the cast of Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and Frozen. If you happen to suffer from acute aquaphobia, or just love Disney so much that you can’t look at the studio’s characters without wishing you yourself were one, though, Hamee has still got you covered, with these clever iPhone cases that will transform you into Mickey or his closest pals every time you hold up your phone to snap a picture.

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Samsung is reportedly developing a crazy phone with two screens that you might be able to fold in half

Samsung is reportedly developing a new phone that will have two screens, according to blog Sam Mobile, which has a solid track record for reporting leaked information about upcoming Samsung products.

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Pikachu will hook you up with some free tunes with this cool-looking Pokémon music smartphone app

There’s a unique art to making video game background music. It has to be engaging enough to produce an emotional response, but not so much that it becomes a distraction from the gameplay. Each piece has to quickly establish its tone, but can’t be so simplistic that it becomes repetitive on the many occasions where the music loops around for a second play during the hero’s journey across the map or epic boss fight.

For years, the Pokémon franchise has been hitting the nail on the head with its soundtracks, and if that musical accompaniment adds a special something to your quest to catch ‘em all, why can’t it do the same to a late night of studying or your commute to work? So not only will a new app let you play Pokémon music on your smartphone, it’ll even give you a regular batch of free listens.

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“Too sexy!” New Final Fantasy’s hunky male lead has his revealing costume toned down

Those of you with an interest in the Final Fantasy series, mobile gaming, and/or the male form might remember when we took an early look at Mevius Final Fantasy a few months ago. The most ambitious original mobile title yet from publisher Square Enix, the Mevius development crew is made up of Final Fantasy veterans, and the visuals that have been released are far beyond what you’d ordinarily expect from a smartphone title.

But while Square Enix apparently isn’t skimping on the production budget, it was willing to give the game’s male hero a skimpy outfit, as the first promotional images showed the main character dressed in a costume that showed off plenty of his tanned and toned back and buttocks. If that was right up your alley, though, we hope you already got a good eyeful, because Square Enix has since rethought the design and changed it to one that exposes less skin.

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New smartphone game lets lonely gamers blow up, unleash other misfortunes on lovey dovey couples

The expansion of the modern mobile game market has been a boon for romance games. The genre usually doesn’t require particularly powerful hardware specs, and the larger profit margins that come with purely digital distribution mean that even niche titles in what’s already a niche segment of video gaming can make money for their developers, all of which lets creators keep on creating and players keep on playing the virtual field of dating partners.

But there are two sides to every coin, and if the success of mobile romance games is the shiny penny’s unblemished face, what about its bitter, jaded backside? That’s now taken care of too, with a new game that gives players the power to make lovey dovey lovers explode, plus meet with a host of other unexpected tragedies.

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Charge your phone with Mickey: Cute new Disney USB cables now on sale

You can recite nearly every Disney movie by heart. Disneyland is your second home. You’ve got Mickey and all of his friends adorning nearly every item you own. No doubt about it, you’re a Disney fan. Now there’s something more to add to your collection and let you show your love of the mouse: these cute new Mickey ear USB cables!

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Is smartphone pinky the new text claw? Overuse of mobile devices found to cause finger deformity

For many of us, mobile devices are an inescapable part of daily life. But for all the convenience they bring, we have to remember that there is such thing as too much of a good thing. The spread of smartphones and other mobile devices has brought with it a slew of ailments caused by overuse.

You may have heard of – or even currently suffer from – “text claw,” which is the pain you get in your wrists and hands from constant use. In addition to this and other increasing ailments is what is being called “smartphone pinky“, which is classified as pain and even temporary deformity of the pinky finger from, you guessed it, excessive smartphone use. If you’re reading this on your phone now, you may want to adjust the way you’re holding your mobile device.

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New game lets you save the world with your vacuum and toaster…who are also beautiful anime girls!

Released a little less than two months ago, smartphone game Touken Ranbu, with a cast of characters made up of famous swords from history transformed into handsome young men, has proven itself to be a solid hit. It’s just the latest success story, though, in the established video game genre of “many attractive people who’re actually anthropomorphized [something].”

Still, samurai swords seem like a pretty good well to draw from in creating heroic video game characters. But can you replicate that kind of enthusiastic response with  household appliances and consumer electronics though? We’re about to find out, with the upcoming title Kaden Shojo, which has you saving the world with a the help of a toaster, washing machine, and refrigerator, all of whom, of course, take the form of cute anime girls.

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Clever trick gives you an anime face to go with your cosplay, and all you need is a smartphone

The tricky thing about cosplay is that the costume only makes up half of an anime or video game character’s appearance. Sure, you may have every frill, button, and buckle exactly recreating the original artwork, but there’s still the problem of trying to match the character’s physical features.

Earlier this month, we looked at a set of strap-on breasts to give yourself the sort of bounteous bust that’s so common in Japanese animation. Now, one Twitter user has come up with an easy way to replicate the character’s eyes, mouth, and even facial expression, and all you need is a smartphone or tablet.

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Arithmetic-based smartphone alarm clock app will wake up your brain or destroy your eardrums

There’s a fundamental weakness to alarm clocks, and that’s how easy it is to shut them off or hit the snooze button. Especially if you’re the kind of person who keeps your smartphone within arm’s reach of the bed, odds are you can kill that sleep-impeding buzzer and be happily snoozing again within seconds, meaning you’ll get plenty of rest but probably never be on-time for work or school.

Expressed in its most basic form, the problem lies in being able to shut off the alarm in less time than it takes for your brain to fully wake up. Thanks to a useful smartphone app, though, one Japanese Twitter user says he’s completely solved his oversleeping problem, and if he doesn’t necessarily hop out of bed with a smile every morning, he does at least wake up screaming and ready to kick his mental facilities into high gear.

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Still no hoverboards, but 2015 has now given us this cool Back to the Future Delorean iPhone case

Now that 2015 is upon us, futurists and move fans alike are up in arms about all the cool things Back to the Future II promised we’d have by now, but still don’t. Where are our self-lacing shoes, they ask? When can we except to be devoured by holographic advertisements, huh? And what in God’s name is the holdup with the hoverboards?

What all these complaints fail to recognize, though, is all of the other amazing stuff that’s become part of our daily lives. For example, not only do we have the Internet and all the wondrous knowledge it provides, but we can access it from our mobile phones! That’s something even Back to the Future II couldn’t imagine, which is why it’s taken until the real 2015 for someone to make these sweet iPhone cases modeled after the film’s iconic Delorean time machine.

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Is Samsung sounding the retreat on the Japanese smartphone market?

South Korean Electronics giant Samsung may soon pulling out of the smartphone market–in Japan, at least. Recent information from industry sources paints a dreary picture for the company’s prospects in the country, with Business Korea saying: “By continuing to do business in Japan, Samsung should expect more of a loss than a gain.”

So what’s to blame for its floundering smartphone sales?

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Sega seemingly saying sayonara to consoles as it downsizes, shifts focus to mobile and PC games

There was a time when the word “Nintendo” was synonymous with console video games. Literally, in that you’d hear parents say things like “Stop playing Nintendo and do your homework,” to their kids.

Rival video game company Sega put an end to that, though. Its Master System was the first post-NES console to have any sort of impact, limited as it was. More impressively, its Mega Drive/Genesis was the first 16-bit video game system, and for a period was actually the leading console in the North American market.

Sega’s tumultuous history with the console video game industry looks to be heading into its final chapter, though. Not only has the company been out of the hardware business for over a decade, Sega has announced that console software will no longer be the core element of its operations.

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An early version of Samsung’s next Galaxy phone might have just leaked

We’ve been hearing for months that Samsung may be designing the Galaxy S6 “from scratch,” but now we might have a better idea of what that actually means. Blog Phone Arena published a photo that reportedly shows an early prototype of the Galaxy S6.

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