Welcome to Five to Try, our weekly look at what’s new, fun, and interesting in the Play Store. SKRWT leads the list this week, serving up precise tools designed to fix photo distortion and turn your phone snapshots into brilliant results. Also new on the app front is Wildcard, a curated news resource ideal for quick, on-the-go skimming.
The Room Three is the week’s biggest game release, delivering another atmospheric, brain-bending puzzle box experience, plus Star Trek Timelines pulls together the sci-fi franchise’s top characters and Pocket Mortys creates an odd, Pokémon-like experience from Adult Swim’s Rick & Morty. Got an Android phone? Fire up the Play Store and check these out.
Long acclaimed on iPhone, SKRWT ($1) is finally available for Android—and while we might wonder just how to pronounce the name, there’s no denying its photo editing power. Unlike a lot of surface-level editors designed to tweak and enhance your shots, SKRWT is more focused on fixing them: its array of tools lets you subtly correct any perspective distortion issues caused by the fixed focal length of phone cameras.
If you’re editing photos taken with an external camera while on the go, SKRWT has value there too: specific filters designed to fix DSLR and even GoPro distortion are included. And you’ll find auto-cropping, photo ratio selections, and even light vignette options if you want to put a finishing touch on anything. SKRWT isn’t really meant for quick casual use, but if you pride yourself on excellent phone photos, it’s a heck of a package for only a buck.
One of the best mobile puzzlers around is back—and bigger and better now, too. The Room Three ($5) continues the atmospheric series, challenging you to unlock numerous puzzle boxes by rotating, maneuvering, and massaging their oft-unseen parts. Like the earlier entries, the third is an ideal touch experience, delivering a tactile sensation as you interact with the digital brain-teasers in view.
The Room Three is even larger and more beautiful than its predecessors, with expanded locales filled with multiple puzzles. Also, your magic eyepiece—which is typically used to find hidden messages and clues—now offers a whole new play element (that we won’t spoil here). We strongly recommend playing The Room and The Room Two first, but if you already have, The Room Three is a very welcome addition.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek television series, and in addition to this summer’s Star Trek Beyond on the big screen, the creative forces behind the franchise have just unleashed a rather all-encompassing game. Star Trek Timelines pulls together characters from every TV series, from The Original Series and The Next Generation all the way through to Enterprise.
They’re all assembled for a menu-driven strategic quest that finds you building a crew from character cards, completing tasks by selecting the best squad member for the job, and taking part in simplistic ship-to-ship battles. There’s not a whole lot of variety of depth to the gameplay, and it seems like it could really be a grind over the long haul—but there’s plenty of fan service and authentic series flavor on tap here.
Eager to quickly catch up on the news on your phone? Wildcard is a solid new option that delivers curated headlines pulled from the day’s events and trending stories, and then tosses them into a list of cards. Tap any card for a quick summary and varying source links that expand out to full stories, if desired, letting you dig as deeply as you want without leaving the app. It’s a handy way to see what’s happening around the world, all wrapped up in an attractive package.
That said, as the name suggests, it’s their curation, not yours: you can’t choose particular news topics of interest or browse categories, and it’s not rare to see a story or two that seems out of place on the list. Linking up a Twitter account helps pull in shared stories from friends, at least, and Wildcard’s editors seem to do a good job of bringing in (mostly) relevant stories and making them approachable and interesting.
Adult Swim’s lovably demented Rick & Morty, a cartoon series about an abrasive, dimension-hopping scientist and his insecure grandson, hits the Play Store this week with Pocket Mortys. And curiously enough, it’s a dead-on Pokémon riff, tasking you with recruiting and battling all the different Mortys that appear from different dimensions.
Pocket Mortys does an admirable job of taking the Pokémon framework and infusing it with the show’s distinctive humor, with more than 70 different Mortys to train and fight—including Stray Cat Morty, Mustache Morty, and Multi-Morty. Familiarity with the show is a huge benefit, since the game is packed with references, although anyone else seeking a silly, offbeat role-playing adventure might get a kick out of this free-to-play release anyway.