Best apps and games for Android in 2018

Google Play Store shares the best games and apps of 2018 in the following two lists:

For me personally, most of the apps I used in 2018 remained the same from the previous years. The two new discovers were:

  • Yatse – a remote control for Kodi media center, which I use at home a lot.
  • SimCity – a game I used to play decades ago on PC, which is now available on the mobile, and it’s awesome!

Programmer Playing Cards

I have recently blogged about the Faces of Open Source project. That’s a great initiative. But here’s another one, with a lot more practical approach – Programmer Playing Cards. It is a deck of playing cards, featuring people who influenced the world of computer programming in a variety of ways. Each card has a photo of a person, his or her name, what was the influence, and, as a nice touch, a quote from that person.

Here’s an example with Larry Wall.

More examples as well as instructions on how to get these cards are here.

Magnasanti: The Largest and Most Terrifying SimCity


Here is an interesting story for all the fans of SimCity and similar games, as well as for anyone who still thinks that computer games are a useless time waste.  I’d like to see you try doing something even remotely close to this:

This story reminds me of all the time I spent playing Transport Tycoon Deluxe and OpenTTD.  The game is fun and I learned a lot about transportation.  But no matter how hard I tried, I never came close to the real pros (there are many actual professionals from the transportation industry playing the game and trying things out).  Have a look at this monster train station, for example (found in this forum thread):

Just stop and think for a moment.  How much do you really know about transportation? Trucks, buses, trains, ships, airplanes and helicopters?  Roads, maintenance, history and technology change?  Road planning, bridges, tunnels, semaphores, roundabouts, ports, loading stations, warehouse? I can go on …

These games teach you a great deal about the complex world around you.

Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds


I’ve been a fan of  Jeff Atwood’s writing on Coding Horror for years.  But it was mostly about technology and programming.  Today, I was reading through his review of a video game – Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds – and for the first time in a really really long time, I wanted to download it and start playing even before I finished reading his post.

That reminded me of how gaming reviews and guides were done back in the 90’s – not by professional content managers and editors, but by people who had a passion.  Learn from that, the gaming industry.  Learn from that, everyone else!

ioquake3 – Free Software FPS Game Engine Based on Quake 3 for Windows, Linux, and macOS


ioquake3 is the modern, cross-platform distribution of the Quake 3 engine with a few extra bits and pieces.  As per the GitHub repository:

The intent of this project is to provide a baseline Quake 3 which may be used for further development and baseq3 fun. Some of the major features currently implemented are:

  • SDL backend
  • OpenAL sound API support (multiple speaker support and better sound quality)
  • Full x86_64 support on Linux
  • VoIP support, both in-game and external support through Mumble.
  • MinGW compilation support on Windows and cross compilation support on Linux
  • AVI video capture of demos
  • Much improved console autocompletion
  • Persistent console history
  • Colorized terminal output
  • Optional Ogg Vorbis support
  • Much improved QVM tools
  • Support for various esoteric operating systems
  • cl_guid support
  • HTTP/FTP download redirection (using cURL)
  • Multiuser support on Windows systems (user specific game data is stored in “%APPDATA%\Quake3”)
  • PNG support
  • Many, many bug fixes