Five to Try: Path Guide creates indoor directions and Crazy Taxi makes an Uber enemy

Check out this week's biggest new Android app and game releases.

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Looking for the most intriguing Play Store picks from the last week? If so, then look no further: Our Five to Try column highlights the newest Android apps and games that are worth your attention. This week’s lineup is headlined by Microsoft’s new Path Guide app, which puts an interesting twist on turn-by-turn navigation: It’s entirely focused on indoor spaces and requires minimal effort on your part to use.

Elsewhere, we see the return of a classic Sega gaming franchise in a very new form, as Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire offers up a simple tapper that puts a pretty funny target on Uber. And if you need more Android options this week, we also have a spotlight on Bouncy Hoops, Samsung’s SoundAssistant, and the not-actually-bad Really Bad Chess

Path Guide

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You can create an indoor route in seconds and then share with pals.

Google Maps and other navigation apps can get us anywhere in a hurry, but what if you’re trying to find your way around the inside of a building? We can get quick instructions from a friend or just, you know, figure it out, but Microsoft thinks its new app could be a better solution. Path Guide is a fully automated way to create an indoor route and then share it with the world or send it to friends, allowing them to navigate with ease.

You’ll simply pick a starting point within an apartment building, mall, museum, or anywhere else, and then hold your phone upright while the app captures your movements. Once downloaded by your recipient, they will be able to follow the very same path by locating the starting point and following the step-by-step directions. And you can even tell it to reverse the directions, for example, if you want to create a path back to a parking spot.

Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire

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Tap, drive, profit—and drive this dope out of town.

Sega’s classic Crazy Taxi franchise has already been reimagined for mobile with the very solid Crazy Taxi: City Rush, but this is something very, very different. Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire finds the middle ground between a streamlined simulation and a mindless tapping game, challenging you to build up and sustain an old-fashioned taxi company amidst the threat of a soulless ride-sharing giant moving into town.

Surprisingly, it’s actually pretty engaging. You won't physically drive the cars, but you can tap their next passengers on the map to speed things up, all while reinvesting income on new vehicles, drivers, and various upgrades to boost your earnings. It’s simplistic, but as with any successful tap-heavy game, the constant sense of progress keeps things interesting. And the Uber-inspired corporate enemy proves a pretty clever and amusing narrative hook.

Bouncy Hoops

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Flappy basketball? It’s pretty fun!

Ever had the feeling that basketball just needed more Flappy Bird in it? Well, somebody did, because now we have Noodlecake’s Bouncy Hoops to fill that very void. It’s essentially a solo game of shooting free throws, only instead of arcing your shot and hoping it sinks in, you’ll flap the ball one step at a time until it reaches its destination. Or, rather, until you run out of time shooting bricks.

This is a fast-paced, arcade-style challenge, which means you’ll need to speedily time your taps to guide the ball into the hoop to keep playing. Each new basket appears in a different position on the screen, and the result is a frantic sprint to keep scoring before the game ends. However, Bouncy Hoops has a fair number of ads within it, otherwise it uses the Crossy Road approach of offering cosmetic unlockables through continued play or by spending real money.

SoundAssistant

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Got a Nougat-packing Galaxy? SoundAssistant might help.

Samsung’s new SoundAssistant app is pretty specific in both its target market and abilities, but for anyone who wants a lot more control over their audio output on the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+, it could be incredibly helpful. As the title suggests, SoundAssistant helps you get into the finer details when it comes to audio on the devices, giving you customization options for how the physical volume buttons work, for example. 

You can also minutely tweak the volume output with 150 steps of difference, as well as play with equalizer settings, alter the left/right balance, and set individual volume and output preferences for apps, media, and games. It’ll work with any Galaxy S device running Android 7.0 Nougat or newer, which isn’t a lot of different phones, but most of the popular devices of the last year-plus are included, namely the S7.

Really Bad Chess

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It’s not actually bad, it’s just different… and yet not.

Love chess, but tired of the same old game? If so, then Really Bad Chess should be right up your alley. It uses the classic checkerboard backdrop and familiar piece movement mechanics, but changes up where they start on the board—as well as how many of each piece you actually get. Really Bad Chess might do a terrible job of adhering to the rigid structure of traditional chess, but that shift actually opens up a new kind of experience. 

You’re still playing chess and still tapping into your old strategies, but with a fresh starting lineup and a new army to face on the other end, it totally changes the game. The free download lets you play against the AI in various modes, while a $3 in-app purchase adds a local pass-and-play mode, kills the banner ads, and gives you 100 undo moves, along with other perks.

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