Five to Try: Spider-Man: Homecoming suits up and Mini DAYZ shrinks the zombie uprising

Grab this week's most exciting new Play Store releases.

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Credit: Andrew Hayward/IDG

If you’re planning to rush to see Marvel’s new Spider-Man: Homecoming flick in theaters this weekend, then you'll want to check out the official app. It’s loaded with amusing digital bits, from browsing Peter Parker’s phone to viewing his suit in augmented reality, and it’s available free from the Play Store.

Not a Spidey fan? We have a few other new and intriguing apps in our Five to Try roundup this week, including zombie survival adventure Mini DAYZ, as well as That’s You, which uses an Android app to let you interact with an inventive PlayStation 4 game on your TV. Our list is rounded out by BBC Taster VR and Super Samurai Rampage, so grab some fresh apps and have fun this weekend. 

The Spider-Man: Homecoming App

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Oh, him? That's just my good friend, Spider-Man…

It might not have the most imaginative title ever, but The Spider-Man: Homecoming App comes exactly as advertised. This official tie-in app for the Sony/Marvel Studios film, which hits theaters today, offers up a small stack of digital goodies to dig into before and after you catch the flick.

The app includes an augmented reality version of Spidey’s new suit, which you can drop into your surroundings and interact with via your phone screen. You can also browse through Peter Parker’s faux phone to view his photos, messages, and contacts, as well as find GIFs and stickers to use on your own device. It also has photo filters, clips and other details from the movie, plus links to buy tickets (of course).

Mini DAYZ

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It doesn't look like DayZ from PC, but it unfolds the same way.

DayZ has been a PC gaming smash over the last few years, evolving from a zombie-themed mod into a standalone game that has sold more than three million copies. Now you can play a tiny, retro-stylized version on your Android device called Mini DAYZ—and it’s totally free.

Aside from the aesthetic shift and move to a top-down viewpoint, there’s a much larger change at play: Mini DAYZ is strictly a single-player experience, while DayZ is known for its online antics. Otherwise, the premise remains much the same, as you attempt to survive in a barren, zombie-filled wasteland via careful encounters, smart scavenging, and plenty of crucial self-care. You can watch video ads for extra perks, but Mini DAYZ is thankfully free of in-app purchases.

That’s You!

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The Android app lets you interact with the PlayStation 4 game.

Are you one of the 60 million PlayStation 4 owners around the world, or do you have a pal that has one of Sony’s current consoles? Good news: the company recently announced PlayLink, a series of games that use Android and iOS devices as controllers, allowing for new kinds of TV-based experiences. And the first of those, That’s You!, is out now.

It’s currently exclusive to subscribers of Sony’s premium PlayStation Plus program, but That’s You! is a free party game that lets up to six friends compete to find out who knows each other the best. You’ll answer trivia questions about your buddies, take goofy selfies, and draw doodles, all of which is handled from your phone or tablet. It’s a really fun little game, and the companion app is free to download too. You can even use the app when you’re away from the PS4 to play a turn-based drawing game, or write questions and create drawings to use later with the PS4 experience.

BBC Taster VR

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Getting close to VR snakes is some virtual insanity.

Planet Earth II is another stunning documentary series that spotlights wildlife in ways most of us have never seen, and now the new BBC Taster VR app lets you get up close and personal with some of those creatures on your Android phone. Either with a Cardboard VR viewer or just in full screen on your handset, you can look around freely in 360-degree environments pulled from the TV series and learn about various animals across six different spaces.

That’s the main attraction, although as the app title suggests, BBC is giving you just a taste of its VR efforts right now. There’s also a One Deadly Weekend in America VR experience based on the documentary of the same name, but that’s all there is as of this writing. Still, this is a free app and the Planet Earth content is solidly compelling, especially for younger viewers.

Super Samurai Rampage

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Slice, dice, score, and repeat until your demise.

Super Samurai Rampage ($2) sounds like a 16-bit game and certainly looks the part, delivering straightforward, uncomplicated action—and solid fun, too. Super Samurai Rampage lets you wield the katana of an aggrieved warrior, who springs into action to slice and dice bad guys into gory bits.

Brackish Games’ latest title keeps things simple, with left and right swipes used to send your samurai warrior slashing in either direction. You can also leap, press on the screen to slow the action and focus your shot, and deflect projectiles, but there isn’t much more to it than that. Super Samurai Rampage is all about setting the highest score you can to top the leaderboards, without any kind of freemium, pay-to-win mechanics in play. It’s a thrilling throwback.

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