One Punch Man, the manga loved by millions worldwide, makes an appearance as a game this week. You also have an indie game set in medieval times, an app that makes it convenient to turn off your phone before you sleep at night, an app for bookworms to gush about their latest read, and an app-blocking app for better wellness.
We have every intention to maintain the quality of all recommended apps each week. In case none of the suggested apps are appealing enough, perhaps you might want to check out our free apps of the week article that is published at the beginning and end of each week at nextpit. That is all from me, let us check out what’s in store this week?
Timed Shutdown (Android)
The phone has become such a ubiquitous part of our lives that we can hardly live without it. However, there comes a point when the phone ends up as a distraction more than a helper. Perhaps it is time you reined in the handset and take control of your life.
Timed Shutdown is a simple app that lets you turn off the phone without having to root it. It does so by emulating the manual gestures used to shut down the handset. Alternatively, you can set a timer to shut down your phone.
- Price: Free / Advertising: None / In-app purchases: None / Account required: No
If you are someone who is concerned about your phone’s security settings, do take note that Timed Shutdown requires you to make some modifications to the security settings before it can get going. It isn’t major, just a small tweak and you’re good to go.
Theoretically, this app can still function even if the screen is off, but other variables come into play such as battery optimization, power saving mode, and even the phone model. Your mileage may vary here.
While this app is meant for Android users only, it would be nice to see an equivalent appear on the iPhone. Perhaps in Europe, this might happen soon due to the walled garden being pulled apart slowly but surely be EU regulations, but tough luck for those living outside the EU!
AppBlock (Android & iOS)
Doom-scrolling is one of the modern-day malaise that affects many smartphone users. If you made a New Year resolution to waste less time on your phone but have failed to keep it, here is an app that might be able to help.
AppBlock aims to help you control your screen time by reducing all possible distractions. Setting up the app is simple. Using just a few taps, you will be able to block apps on your phone. Upon doing so, these apps can no longer be opened, and that also means no irritating notifications!
You can even schedule specific days or times to block certain apps. I found this to be a great productivity boost, especially when I am chasing after a deadline and would like to remain free from distractions, closing off all incoming notifications from my social media and instant messaging apps. If you are more of a routine-based person, AppBlock also boasts the ability to block notifications based on your location.
- Price: Free / Advertising: Yes / In-app purchases: Yes / Account required: No
If you feel that you do not have enough self-discipline, there is the Strict Mode to help lay the smackdown. It locks the app settings to make sure you can no longer mess around with the blocking schedules, now how about that? Unfortunately, it works best on with a premium subscription ($4.99 monthly, $29.99 annually) since the free version is very limited in nature. However, desperate times call for desperate measures, right?
One Punch Man World (Android & iOS)
Are you a huge fan of the One Punch Man anime? If so, you might want to check out yet another game adaptation of an anime. The premise is simple: you journey with the main character himself, Saitama, who is going around defeating one evil boss after another. Fan service is duly respected here, as the Subterranean King and Mosquito Girl are part of the bad guys’ roster.
- Price: Free / Advertising: None / In-app purchases: Yes / Account required: Yes
The action and combat sequences are decent enough, but some meaning might get lost from the less-than-stellar English subtitles. Longtime anime fans who do not speak Japanese would be immune to poor translations (that might even end up as a meme one day!) and find them endearing, though. There is a hefty 8GB plus download before you can even begin to play the game, so be prepared for a wait while rocking to some, rock music.
The graphics are excellent in my opinion. It looks like you are playing in an anime itself. It is nice to see smartphones having such processing power to handle complex animation and computing tasks without breaking a sweat. Furthermore, it takes time to explore the different members of your team, their strengths and weaknesses, and figure out a way to gel everyone together to take down evil once and for all.
Unfortunately, the gacha system ruins it for me. I would have preferred to make a one-off payment for the entire game, instead of relying on random rewards with in-game purchases for better gear and expedited progress.
Bookum (Android & iOS)
Bookum might sound weird at first, but it is short for “Book Community”. In other words, a social network for bookworms. It works both ways, whether you are an author or a reader, as you can dive into different clubs, hook up with community Nooks (Live Podcasts), and if the situation is favorable, monetize your bookish-generated content (BGC). Basically, you hang out here with other book lovers and talk about nothing else but books all day long.
However, I do have one particular concern. While I have yet to come across any nasty people, there might be some opposing or dissenting views on certain books and/or topics that might require moderation.
I trust that most who use Bookum are mature individuals who can discuss ideas without resorting to low blows like personal insults just because someone else thinks and reads differently from me. All in all, this is the ideal platform to bring your offline book clubs, online!
- Price: Free / Advertising: Yes / In-app purchases: Yes / Account required: Yes
You can always make sure your local book club remains closed to the public, or open it up to everyone so that it is more accessible. Who knows? There might be a kindred spirit halfway across the world who has always wanted to discuss certain matters about a particular book.
Yes, Your Grace (Android & iOS)
Life is tough enough as it is, and what more if you are of noble blood. You have peasants to take care of, not to mention infernal politics and all that comes with the weight and responsibility of a ruler.
Yes, Your Grace is full of interesting choices that really requires you to think hard and well before making a choice. After all, not everyone can be satiated with each choice you make, and there is always a price to pay. The Aesop’s Fable about the father, the son, and the donkey comes into mind here…
- Price: Free / Advertising: None / In-app purchases: Yes / Account required: No
This game features highly pixelated graphics that hark back to the early 1990s, this is not a new game. It is a port from the PC platform, but so far, ran beautifully on a smartphone. I love the way the speech is all garbled up, it makes the game all the more endearing. There is definitely dark humor and full of witty dialogue to tickle your ribs.
About the difficult decisions mentioned earlier. Do you kill a deserter despite running low on troops and need all the help you can muster to defend the city walls? Kill him and morale is maintained, let him live, and many more might desert your cause. What would you do?
While the game itself is free to play, you would most probably get hooked right from the get go after completing the free mission. This would require you to fork out $4.99 to unlock the full game. Right now, if you want to unlock it during the first week, you get a $1 discount. A sneaky move, but how far can a few dollars bring you these days?
What are your thoughts on the list of featured apps this week? Did you enjoy any of our recommendations? Is there another app you are dying to share with the rest of the world? Please let us know in the comments!