Six (6) Android Games You Should Play Now not Tomorrow

Got a new device? You need to get some new games. Here are some quick recommendations for great Android games. Some are familiar from other platforms. Some are free. Some are paid, and some have specific hardware requirements. All are listed here.
1.  Minecraft Pocket Edition
Why it is great: Minecraft is an entertaining block-building and survival game. You can play either in creative mode where you build and invent things in your own randomly generated world or you can play in survival mode where you use your wits and resources to survive against the creepers who come out at night.
Note – this does not connect with your main Minecraft account if you play the computer version of the game.
Play for yourself or keep it around to entertain kids. (Turn off in-app purchases if you do this.)
Minecraft is a paid app ($6.99) but you can find occasional sales, in-app purchases run from $0.50 to $1.99.   More »
2.  Lara Croft Go
Based on the popular Tomb Raider series and developed by Square Enix, Lara Craft Go is a relatively simple but very addictive puzzle game you can take with you. The puzzles are designed for short bursts of play, so pull it out in the doctor’s office waiting room or while riding the bus home.
Lara Croft Go sells for $4.99 but is occasionally on sale for $0.99. It allows in-app purchases. If you like this game, you can also check out Hitman Go, which is also from Square Enix.  More »
3.  Buttons and Scissors
This is a free puzzle game where you try to cut matching color buttons off of a square of denim. Mechanically this feels similar to Bejeweled, but not completely the same. The logic puzzles offer great challenges for players of all ages.
The other big advantage to this game is that it does not require any connectivity. You can play this game on devices that aren’t connected to Wi-Fi or in that signal dead spot.
Buttons and Scissors is a free download but allows in-app purchases.  More »
 Did you want to try out the new trend in adult coloring books, but you don’t want to carry around coloring pencil and a coloringb book? Try out this app instead. It’s appropriate for kids or adults, and while it’s not the same as coloring in an actual coloring book, it is still very satisfying.
Mandala Coloring Pages is free (with ads) but also allows in-app purchases.  More »
Yes. You can play an Android version of Portal. This is a real console game. As such, it requires a real console. This version will only work on the Nvidia Shield version of Android TV.  The Nvidia Shield starts at around $199 but allows you to stream movies and play Android games on your TV.
Portal starts at $1.99 but this is “introductory pricing.”  More »
If you have a phone with a fast processor and terrific screen display, you can take it for a ride with this virtual reality game. This is a first-person shooter where you aim at balloons. You’ll need Google Cardboard. This is an inexpensive accessory that you can either make or buy for around $15 and will turn your phone into a virtual reality device. Obviously not a game you can play while waiting in a doctor’s office (unless your doctor is awesome) but a fun novelty game to play by yourself or after having one of your friends try on the headset.
VR Cardboard Shooter 3D is a free download.  More »

Disclosure: This page may contain external affiliate links that may result in us receiving
 a commission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own.
 We do not receive payment for positive reviews.

Get the most out of your online communities

Today, almost all companies have some form of community interaction, whether it’s an intranet forum, blog, Facebook page or other social media account. To be sure, interaction from your employees, peers and customers generally leads to valuable conversations, but it can also invite unsavoury criticism or worse.

If you’re tasked with managing one of these, how do you keep the dialogue in control? For every intelligent comment or conversation there’s someone who’s disrupting things. Make sure you aren’t distracted by internet drama – stay focussed on the purpose of your site or platform.

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your online communities.

Is this the right place for a comment?

The first thing you need to decide, even before your community goes live, is if it needs comments to function. The moment there is a space for comments, it will be filled with spam. If comments and interaction are not essential to the core purpose of your site, disable them. Put in your contact details instead, so people can get hold of you.

Setting the right example

It’s important to remember that social media isn’t just about listening; it’s also about creating a dialogue. That means you need to also be involved in the conversation as a moderator. By actively posting, responding to comments and encouraging discussion, you can increase the value of the community and reward those followers who do comment. It’s also a great way to set the tone of the conversation, so be sure to keep your messages honest, productive and on-topic. Chances are your audience will follow your lead.

When is moderation necessary?

You always need to be moderating. A social platform lives or dies with the quality of its community interaction. If you can’t put in the time, you won’t get the benefits. The real question is how much moderation is needed? If your community is outward facing (that is, your potential or current customers or peers can see it, like with Facebook), you may want to keep closer tabs on the content than you would an internal forum.

Not all commentators are created equal

Many of the comments that take things off topic or are insulting are written by “trolls.” Trolls are people who use the anonymity of the internet to disrupt and disturb the smooth running of a site, purely for attention or for laughs. Don’t let them do this to you. Trolls are the major reason you need to moderate.

The first moderation commandment is: don’t feed the trolls. Trolls thrive on attention – if you deny them what they’re craving they’ll go away. Simply ban them and move on.

Another threat to your community’s well being is derailment. Commentators who constantly take conversations off-topic or “off the rails” can make your platform irrelevant to your users. Sometimes, a gentle reminder can get things back on track, but sometimes you’ll need to use stronger measures.

Different strategies for effective moderation

Effective means of moderation is engaged moderation. The level of effort you put in is how much you’ll get out. Here are a few methods you can use to keep things under control; each requires a certain amount of interaction.

  1. Probation: Putting a poster on probation means that you prevent them from posting for a set amount of time. It’s an effective slap on the wrist because it stops them from interacting for a while, but it doesn’t remove them from the community completely.
  2. Banning: This is the ultimate form of moderation and should be used sparingly. It shuts down a user, permanently. It’s the best way to deal with trolls, but it’s also the most heavy-handed. Ban too many users and you’ll end up with a graveyard for a forum.
  3. Shadowbanning. This is a more subtle form of banning. The shadowbanned user can post, but no one else can see it. It deprives annoying posters from the one thing they crave: attention. Eventually they’ll realize that no one is responding to their drivel and they’ll go away.
  4. Disemvoweling. Cut an offensive comment down to size without disrupting the flow of conversation. Disemvoweling is the practice of removing the vowels from a post. It publically lets the poster know that his comment was out of line. For example: “Your posting is bad and you should feel bad,” becomes “Yr pstng s bd nd y shld fl bd.” Clever trick, huh? It takes a bit of effort to disemvowel but it’s an effective way to moderate without banning a user.

Fight the good fight

When moderating a community, remember that it’s not a democracy. You have to enforce your rules and standards, or run the risk of losing control of your own site. Don’t invite comments unless you’re ready to deal with offensive or off topic ones. And when you’re bringing down the ban-hammer, remember that it’s for their own good, and the good of your community.

Disclosure: This page may contain external affiliate links that may result in us receiving
 a commission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own.
 We do not receive payment for positive reviews.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time