Five to Try: Splitter Critters is a clever puzzler, Ooniprobe inspects your connection

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 10 Feb 2017

lcome to Five to Try, our weekly look at what’s fresh exciting in the ay Store. have five br new Android app game picks this week, led by Splitter Critters, a game that makes you slice up shift the environment to solve each puzzling new level. 

so new this week are Ooniprobe, an app that can scan wireless networks for signs of censorship surveillance tools, as well as the FBI’s official nted app for helping to track down suspects missing persons. And if you need more game options, the entertaining Tomb of the Mask is a speedy, swipe-based adventure, while Glitchskier is like a classic arcade space shooter… albeit set within a computer’s code.

Splitter Critters

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Split the scene, rearrange the frames, see if you can get the little guy(s) to safety.

Classic platform-action games can be tough to adapt to touch devices due to the lack of physical buttons, so many mobile games go the auto-runner route—like Super Mario Run, hitting Android next month. But Splitter Critters ($3) goes with a different, rather creative solution: here you’ll manipulate the environment itself rather than the titular critters.

You’ll do so by swiping giant rifts into the level, which then allow you to slide either resulting half to create new pathways for the little aliens to reach the UFO at the end. By chopping the stage into chunks, you can rearrange safe passage around obstacles enemies alike, you’ll often need to cut multiple times ( in multiple directions) to work around hazards. It’s a really inventive approach, one that makes each area feel like a fresh puzzle to solve.


fivetotry feb10 ooniprobe The Tor oject

Get readouts on your connection, courtesy of The Tor oject.

If you’re concerned that a -Fi network you’re using may be censoring certain sites, limiting access, or tracking your actions, then Ooniprobe might be able to confirm (or dash) your fears. Developed by the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) under The Tor oject, Ooniprobe runs a series of simple tests on your network directly from your phone.

You can run a test of dozens of controversial or frequently-blocked websites to see if any are inaccessible, scan for the presence of censoring or surveillance tools, or even just do a diagnostic speed test get immediate results. ed, Ooniprobe can’t actually change any concerning elements you discover about a network, but it might give you some helpful information—or maybe just some peace of mind.

Tomb of the Mask

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st don’t swipe your way into some spikes!

Tomb of the Mask looks like c-Man but plays like an endless runner— in any case, it’s a lot of fun. You play as an explorer who enters an ancient tomb stumbles upon a magical mask, which lets him climb walls zip through the mazes. And that’s exactly what you’ll do, swiping to make the little hero blast ahead in a straight line until he hits a barrier.

Your goal, of course, is to make sure that those barriers you smack into don’t have spikes or other hazardous surfaces, which can end your run. As you navigate the tombs, you’ll attempt to grab all of the treasure stars in the smaller mission levels, while an endless mode tasks you with continually hustling upwards so you’re not killed by the rising neon wave. In fact, that mode isn’t too far off from c-Man 256 in approach, but Tomb of the Mask has its own unique flavor.

FBI nted

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See anyone you recognize in the app? Tell the FBI, please.

nt to help solve crimes, make your city a bit safer, maybe reap some rewards in the process? Have a look at the official FBI nted app, which serves the America’s Most nted-like purpose of providing information about wanted criminal suspects, as well as missing persons other unsolved crimes, in the hopes that you’ll recognize someone share information.

The app itself is about as rudimentary as they come, looking like something you might have found on the Android et several years ago, but it’s a hier way of accessing the data than using the mobile web. You can search for keywords cities to find nearby cases, but the lack of a location-based filter is one big omission for now.


fivetotry feb10 glitchskier2 Shelly on

w pew! How long can you survive inside the machine?

Arcade-style scrolling shooters often take place in space or in warzones, but Glitchskier ($2) offers some very different terrain: the garbled code of an old-school computer. As a little pointer, you’ll glide through the chunks of characters attempt to survive as blocky enemies attack from all sides, plus larger bosses emerge along the way.

Glitchskier commits to its retro computer aesthetic, all the way from double-tapping a faux executable file on the menu screen to the fuzzy, CRT-monitor-like visual output. ocedural creation means the endless stage is br new every time you play, while the thumping beats of the soundtrack pair well with the pulsing action. The controls feel a bit clumsy, as my finger often was in the way of the chaos, but there’s still a lot to like about this intense indie game.