Five to Try: MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2017 plays ball, and Stance helps you reach U.S. reps

Fill your phone with this week's hottest new apps and games.

fivetotry march31 lead
Andrew Hayward

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The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ dominated the week in Android news, but even if you’re not eyeing a flagship upgrade, you can still get something fresh: new apps and games from the Play Store. We have five more selections this week, starting with MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2017, a streamlined and officially licensed multiplayer game.

Stance is another intriguing release, as the app makes it easy to contact your United States congress members, while VUDU just rolled out a feature that lets you buy cheap digital copies of the DVD and Blu-ray movies you already own. And if you’re looking for other game options, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars is an action-packed fighter, while N.O.V.A. Legacy lets you blast aliens in the face, no matter where you are.

MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2017

fivetotry march31 tapsportsbaseball Glu

No pitching, no fielding, no running—only hitting.

The 2017 Major League Baseball season kicks off on Sunday, and fans have been anxiously awaiting the first pitch since the Chicago Cubs’ historic World Series win in November. If you love playing baseball games as much as you love watching the real thing, then you might want to check out MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2017

Glu’s mobile series adds MLB teams for the first time alongside the licensed players, and this streamlined, batting-only experience lets you swing for the fences in turn-based battles. You’ll play your at-bats against an A.I. pitcher and then wait for your online opponent to do the same, and alternate back and forth until the final out is recorded.

It’s built to be a free-to-play grind. You’ll pick your favorite team, but the top players are stripped from the roster and made available via card packs instead—which means your lineup will be filled out by random picks from other teams. The simplified approach feels pretty limited, but if you only care to swing for the fences, this freebie may be worth a look. A more robust, premium RBI Baseball 17 should be popping up on the Play Store soon, as well.


fivetotry march31 stance Ense

Take the hassle out of reaching your reps with Stance.

In these times of heightened political tension across America, it’s important to make your voice heard by the powers that be. However, with millions of other people feeling much of the same stress and anxiety, it can be difficult to actually reach your congressional representatives, thanks to long phone waits and overflowing voicemail boxes. Stance has a solution for that.

Stance helps you find your representatives based on address or current location, and then lets you record a voice message directly from the app—and even helps you shape your approach. Once recorded, the message is not only sent to the representative or senator’s phone, but also tweeted to him or her. It’s shared on the Stance website, too... so maybe don’t get too personal with your details. 

Power Rangers: Legacy Wars

fivetotry march31 powerrangers nWay Inc.

Your main Ranger can call in the other two for assistance.

Whether you grew up with some era of the Power Rangers on TV or you’re just hyped about the new film, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars is for you. This team-based fighter brings together Rangers from all across the franchise spectrum, whether you prefer the spandex-clad warriors of the earliest series, the futuristic versions from this big-screen reboot, or one of the many different iterations in between. And it all looks pretty slick along the way. 

You’ll pick a trio of combatants for each battle and tap the various attack and defense move buttons as your energy meter refills. It’s not the most fluid of fighting experiences, but with real-time online battles against other players, at least there’s a solid sense of competition. Legacy Wars is strongly freemium, with an energy meter and seemingly endless unlockables for new fighters and perks, which come slowly unless you spend some cash.

VUDU Movies & TV

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Turn your old discs into new downloads for a couple bucks a pop.

Some of us have significant DVD and/or Blu-ray collections, which is great… except they take up space and don’t play on the touch devices and streaming boxes that are quickly outmoding physical media. What can you do? Well, with VUDU’s Disc to Digital feature—newly added to the service’s Android app—you can pay a small fee to get a downloadable version. 

Simply scan the UPC barcode from your physical box and VUDU will tell you if it’s eligible for a digital “conversion.” If so, you can pay $2 for a standard definition version of a DVD movie, or $5 to upgrade to VUDU’s HDX format. And if you’re coming from a Blu-ray, then it’ll just be $2 for the HDX version. The digital versions come via the VUDU and UltraViolet platforms, which have apps on various devices, and the program works with about 8,000 movies as of now.

N.O.V.A. Legacy

fivetotry march31 novalegacy Gameloft

Have a blast in this reborn sci-fi shooter.

You might have played the original N.O.V.A. Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance several years ago, when Gameloft’s Halo clone was one of the earliest flashy first-person shooters on mobile. Well, now it’s back: N.O.V.A. Legacy is something of a remastered and reformatted edition, with improved visuals and a new free-to-play approach. 

Ripping off Halo isn’t nearly as exciting in 2017; hell, Halo isn’t all that exciting these days. But for a free mobile FPS experience, N.O.V.A. Legacy packs in a solid amount of fun. The solo campaign has you blasting aliens in compact chunks, but the bigger draw is surely the live online multiplayer action, with six-player deathmatches across 19 different maps. Just ignore Gameloft’s boast about it being a 20MB app: you’ll apparently download about 300MB more when you first open it.

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