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 »

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 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.

It’s time to celebrate

If the lights in the office seem to be going off earlier than you’re used to, it’s not your imagination, but it’s certainly not because people have less work to do. Companies continue to ask more of their employees, so people are coming up with new ways to meet those expectations, which often means not knowing when to shut down for the day.

 Notebooks and smartphones have made it easier for people to access their work data from virtually anywhere. Perhaps they’ve made it too easy. With the boundaries between work and home blurring, increasing numbers of people are getting burnt out—which not only affects their productivity at work, but also their health.

While companies are most likely profiting from the extra hours their employees are putting in, at what point does enabling them to do so begin to impact the company in a negative way? It’s impossible to tell people when they can and can’t work, but studies are showing that companies are at least trying to create a better work/life balance for their employees by instilling certain expectations.

One such expectation is instructing workers to stop checking their email after work hours and on weekends. A tall task, for sure, but even addressing your concern for these habits might be enough for workers to pause before they fire up their work notebooks on a Saturday afternoon.

So, what’s the best way to truly walk away from work when you step out of the office each night? It’s often hard to tell your employees to forget about their work after hours, but here are a few tricks you can suggest to them to ensure that their work stays in the office and away from home.

Keep it clean
It’s easy to let your inbox pile up with emails, but when you’re staring down at all of those unanswered requests, it’s often hard to resist the urge to make a dent while you’re at home. If you keep your inbox clean and mean from the beginning—filing away the emails that don’t need to be answered right away, and flagging important emails that can wait until you’re back in the office—you’ll shorten your to-do list.

Sometimes it’s as simple as separating your emails into different categories. One category can be for emails that don’t need a response, another category could be for emails that need to be forwarded or acted upon. This way, you can look at your inbox from a less daunting angle and maybe you won’t be as compelled to work late into the night.

Forward thinking
This one is a catch twenty-two, but try to get a head start on the to-do items that you won’t be able to put off forever. Of course, if you had ample time to work ahead, then you obviously wouldn’t need to work after-hours or on the weekend. What working ahead really means is that maybe you put in an extra hour or two while you’re in the office, so you don’t have to work when you’re out of the office. After all, this is what work/life balance is all about. Of course, nobody wants you to spend all of your time in the office, but they also don’t want you working when you’re supposed to be at home with your family and friends. An extra hour in the office every once in a while could have a dramatic effect on whether or not you have the desire (or need) to log on when you get home.

Take a breather
If all else fails, don’t feel guilty about taking what is commonly known as a “mental health day.” This is time set aside for you to completely check out of the office and take a day to do something fun for yourself, gather your thoughts or catch up on sleep. But in order for a mental health day to be successful, you need to rid yourself of the distractions of work. That means no checking your work emails and no answering voicemails.

How you ease back into work is almost as important as the break itself. It won’t do you any good to dive headfirst back into your old habits. The best suggestion is to plan out your first day and week back in the office—decide what has to be taken care of right away, and decide what can wait. Most importantly, remember that it’s okay to go home early and leave your work where it belongs—in the office.

Taking time away from not only work, but the technology that connects you to work, can improve your health, happiness and productivity.

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.

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